Quarterfinals: James Nguyen vs. Oliver Coffey
James Nguyen won the Legacy Open here in Portland this summer with Shardless Sultai, and he’s back again to defend his title! Standing in his way now was Oliver Coffey and his Burn deck.
James kicked things off with a turn 1 Deathrite Shaman, while Oliver suspended Rift Bolt to begin the game. James Didn’t have a second land drop, so he just suspended Ancestral Vision and passed the turn right back to Oliver, who deliberated for a moment before sending the Rift Bolt at the Deathrite Shaman. He suspended another Rift Bolt, which was sent at James on the next turn, but neither player made a move for the next three turns, as Oliver simply played lands and passed, while James missed land drops and waited for his Ancestral Vision to tick down.
Finally the Visions hit the stack, and James found a Verdant Catacombs to fetch up a swamp, and added a 3/4 Tarmogoyf to his board. Oliver had no response but to untap and fire off a Chain Lightning at James, dropping him to 13. James cracked in for 3 with his Tarmogoyf, then thought about his options for a moment before going to discard and pitching Abrupt Decay, growing the Tarmogoyf to 4/5. Oliver was again without a play, and the Goyf dropped him o 12. After combat, James played and cracked a Polluted Delta to fetch Underground Sea, then cast Shardless Agent and cascaded into Brainstorm. He passed the turn to Oliver, who cast a Price of Progress at James end step to drop James to 8, although Oliver took plenty of damage thanks to his own uncracked fetchlands, and fell to 4.
With a lethal Tarmogoyf looming, this turn would be the moment of truth for Oliver. He floated two red mana and cast Fireblast—James pitched Ancestral Vision to cast Force of Will, falling to 7. He floated two more red mana and cast another Fireblast—James pitched Force of Will to cast Force of Will, falling to 6. Oliver only had a lightning Bolt left, and scooped up his cards.
James Nguyen 1, Oliver Coffey 0
Wooded Foothills into Mountain, Grim Lavamancer was the start for Oliver, and he cracked a second fetchland and used it to drop James to 18 on his next turn, while James was content to simply develop his manabase for his first few turns. James played a Tarmogoyf on his second turn, and used Flusterstorm to defend it when Oliver tried to crack a fetchland and cast Searing Blaze in the end step.
The Tarmogoyf wouldn’t stick, however, as Oliver untapped and used Lightning Bolt to clear it away. James simply replaced it with another from his hand, and added a scary Umezawa’s Jitte to his board to go with it. Oliver cast a Price of Progress, dropping James down to 9, then cast Chain Lightning on the Tarmogoyf and used Grim Lavamancer to finish it off.
James had seen enough of that Grim Lavamancer, and used Liliana to kill it off. His shields were down, however, and James showed him another Price of Progress, another Chain Lightning, and a Fireblast to finish the job.
James Nguyen 1, Oliver Coffey 1
Monastery Swiftspear led the charge for Oliver in the decider, and it poked for one before it ate an Abrupt Decay from James. James followed up with a Tarmogoyf on his next turn, which drew Dismember from Oliver. James thought the Tarmogoyf was worth fighting for, however, and pitched Brainstorm to cast Force of Will. It was still just a 2/3, however, and Oliver was able to untap and use Searing Blaze to get rid of it.
Umezawa’s Jitte came down for James, but he was once again without a creature to pick it up. James attempted Sulfuric Vortex, and James put a stop to it with Force of Will pitching Flusterstorm. He then untapped and cast a Tarmogoyf, threatening to pick up the Jitte and start moving his life total back upward.
Oliver wasn’t having it. He cracked a fetchland and used Searing Blaze to drop James down to 11. He untapped, used Chain Lightning to drop him to 8, a Lightning Bolt to drop him to 5, then cast Price of Progress to finish the job.
Oliver Coffey 2, James Nguyen 1