Quarterfinals: Jeff Bravstein vs. Steve Mann
Jeff, one of three players in the Top 8 not playing Delver+of+Secrets, is on the play with Merfolk facing down Sultai Delver in the hands of Steve Mann. Can Jeff and his fish swim through to the semifinals or will the Pro Tour Gatecrash Top 8er move on as the only player in the elimination rounds packing Tarmogoyf?
Jeff, on a mulligan to six, contemplated his opening hand before leading with a Mutavault while Steve started with a Thoughtseize, seeing Umezawa's Jitte, Lord+of+Atlantis, Force+of+Will, Brainstorm, and another Mutavault. Steve opted to take the Force+of+Will and passed, leading Jeff to play the second Mutavault and Jitte, but Steve used a Force+of+Will, pitching Ponder, to keep the powerful equipment off the board. Steve untapped, fetched a Tropical+Island, and deployed a Tarmogoyf.
Jeff missed on a land, or any play for that matter, and passed. Steve bashed with his four-power Tarmogoyf and played another before ending his turn. Jeff could only pass once again and Steve used a Brainstorm before attacking for eight. Steve added a post-combat Deathrite+Shaman and shipped the turn. Jeff glanced at his next draw and picked up his two Mutavaults to concede the game.
Steve 1, Jeff 0
Jeff fights up stream with his fish.
Both players kept their openers this time and Jeff led with an Island as Steve started by fetching an Underground+Sea to play a Deathrite+Shaman. Jeff added a Cavern+of+Souls to his mana base, naming Merfolk, and played a Silvergill+Adept, revealing another copy of the 2/1, to draw a card. Steve fired off a Thoughtseize to begin his next turn, seeing Island, Misdirection, Silvergill+Adept, True-Name+Nemesis, Master of the Pearl Trident, and Phantasmal+Image. After clarifying some Misdirection rulings with a judge, Steve decided to take the only lord then destroyed the Cavern with a Wasteland, and used his Shaman to play a Delver+of+Secrets.
Jeff attacked with his 2/1 and played the other known copy of it off his second Island, revealing the True-Name+Nemesis, to draw a card. Steve used an upkeep Brainstorm to flip his Delver off another Brainstorm, attacked for three in the air, and fetched a Tropical+Island to play a Tarmogoyf with his Deathrite+Shaman. Jeff found a third Island and played the True-Name+Nemesis, naming Steve Mann.
Steve surveyed the board and pulled the trigger on a Golgari+Charm, giving all creatures -1-1, clearing Jeff's board, while leaving his intact. Steve dropped a Polluted+Delta and attacked Jeff down to 12 before fetching an Underground+Sea. Jeff found another True-Name+Nemesis and went for it, again resolving it. Steve drained Jeff to 10 at the end of the turn, untapped, and Brainstormed. Steve followed up the Brainstorm with a Ponder, attacked for three in the air, and shipped the turn.
Jeff attempted to play a Phantasmal+Image, but Steve used Force+of+Will, pitching Daze, but Jeff still had the Misdirection to stop the counter, and allow his Image to resolve, copying Insectile+Aberration. Steve ate the Misdirection on the end of the turn, dropping Jeff to 5. Steve untapped and had a Dismember for the Image, attacked for three, and used the Shaman to take the game.
Steve 2, Jeff 0
Steve figures out his next move.
Mulligans came into play again, this time with Jeff going to four cards while Steve dropped to six. Jeff had nothing but a Wasteland to begin with and Steve fought that with a Deathrite+Shaman on his first turn. Jeff found no action in his first draw step so Steve Pondered after fetching a Tropical+Island and played a pair of Delver+of+Secrets.
Jeff hit his second land, but it was a Mutavault, and Steve's Delvers flipped off a Force+of+Will. Steve attacked for six and simply passed the turn. Jeff's colored mana showed up as Jeff dropped an Island and a Silvergill+Adept revealing a Cursecatcher. Steve ate his Ponder to drop Jeff to 12 at the end of the turn. Steve bashed for six in the air and fetched an Underground+Sea to play a Thoughtseize, seeing Harbinger of the Tides, Lord+of+Atlantis, Mutavault, and a Cursecatcher. Steve took the Harbinger, ate his Thoughtseize and passed. Jeff took a look at his next card, but with six power in the air on the opposite side, he had no outs and extended the hand.
Steve 3, Jeff 0