Quarterfinals: Jade Mauro vs. Sean Weihe
There was plenty of Jund to go around in the Top 8, and Jade found himself facing down the Standard deck du jour as the second seed after the Swiss. Sean’s list was packing the “new tech” of Lifebane Zombie, making his Geists and Paladins a little more vulnerable than usual.
Jade kept after mulliganing but only opened on Hallowed Fountain while Sean played Stomping Ground and then Scavenging Ooze. Jade was still stuck on only Hallowed Fountain, a nightmarish situation against Jund considering how heavily Jade’s Hexproof deck relied upon tempo.
The cleanup step forced him to start discarding three-drop creatures, feeding the Scavenging Ooze while Sean began to miss land drops himself. He used his own cleanup step to grow the Ooze, discarding Olivia to go to 5/5 and then Thragtusk to make his swing lethal. Jade never found a second land, and scooped them up.
Sean 1, Jade 0
With a sigh, Jade went to five cards on the play. Keeping, he led with Gladecover Scout via shockland before being Duressed by Sean. His remaining three cards were Rancor, Ethereal Armor, and Etheral Armor, which meant he lost the Rancor. Sean took a predictable 2 damage on the next turn, then made just a land drop on turn 2.
Jade played his second Armor and then Sunpetal Grove, hoping to dodge Liliana of the Veil. Unfortunately, he failed to do so. Fiendslayer Paladin did join the party on the next turn, Jade having found running lands, but Sean was so far ahead on cards at this point, with a virtual plus-five advantage. He pumped Liliana and then cast Lifebane Zombie, passing the turn.
Finding one of his most relevant enchantments, Jade cast Unflinching Courage. That gave him the evasion necessary to keep Liliana’s edict in check, and when Sean spent the following turn on Kessig Wolf Run it looked like the Paladin might just be able to run away with it! Sean drew a Huntmaster of the Fells to gain traction in the race, but he was going to 7 on Jade’s next turn.
Sean fired back, flipping Huntmaster into Ravager and dealing 2 damage to the Paladin. Bonfire of the Damned for 2 more finished the job, putting Jade to 18 and removing his threat from the board before attacking for 9 damage. Jade replaced the Paladin immediately with Geist of Saint Traft, but Sean’s following attack was lethal.
Sean 2, Jade 0