Quarterfinals: Jeremy Dombek vs. Lloyd Kurth
Jeremy was one of two players in the Top 8 not playing Delver of Secrets, but he was still packing Seachrome Coasts and Ponders in his Esper Control list. Sun Titan had just taken down the #SCGOH Standard Open—could it repeat in Worcester?
Lloyd's got a lot to fight through this round--Lingering Souls remains one of the most powerful anti-Delver cards in the format.
Jeremy kept to start the match, and Lloyd followed suit. Turn 1 Seachrome Coast and Ponder for Jeremy might have done a Delver impression in the Swiss, but Lloyd knew the score. He began with Delver of Secrets via Island, while Jeremy spent turn 2 Pondering once again. Darkslick Shores and pass ended his turn.
Revealing Mana Leak to Delver, Lloyd put Jeremy under pressure quickly with an attack for 3 damage. Jeremy passed turn 3 after casting another Seachrome Coast, and then fell to 14. Lloyd Pondered and passed the turn, nodding as Jeremy resolved Forbidden Alchemy during the end step. It discarded Lingering Souls, Sun Titan, and land in order to keep a land. Jeremy flashbacked Lingering Souls, forcing his tokens through with Mana Leak on Lloyd’s Leak.
Another attack from Lloyd repped Vapor Snag, and Jeremy appeared to consider calling him down before taking the damage. Lloyd dropped Sword of War and Peace and passed, making the potential block irrelevant now, but Jeremy had the trump: Gideon Jura, whose -2 ability killed the Delver. Swinging with Spirits, Jeremy passed.
On five mana, Lloyd seemed to lack action. He Snapcaster Maged Ponder and cast Gitaxian Probe for 2 life, seeing Oblivion Ring, Unburial Rites, Tamiyo, and an Isolated Chapel. Lloyd knew he couldn’t let Tamiyo land, and passed to at least represent Mana Leak.
That incentivized Jeremy to Oblivion Ring the Sword of War and Peace and then boost his Gideon, leaving the Spirits back to block Snapcaster Mage. Trading one of them, Jeremy pulled far ahead. Lloyd had to Snapcaster Mage Gitaxian Probe to dig, but passed afterward with four mana open.
Jeremy boosted Gideon and swung with one Spirit before casting and flashbacking Lingering Souls. Lloyd made a Spirit with Moorland Haunt, and Jeremy traded away two of his own to keep Lloyd’s board clear. Blade Splicer replenished it, and Lloyd passed with four still up.
Another Spirited attack preceded Lingering Souls and flashback, with Gideon advancing to ten loyalty. Lloyd flickered Blade Splicer with Restoration Angel during the end step, mounting some real pressure. Jeremy blocked a Golem and allowed Gideon to take 7 damage, untapping with six Spirits in play on his side of the board against Moorland Haunt and two cards.
He swung with everything, and Lloyd blocked one with a fresh Spirit. Jeremy boosted up Gideon one more time, and passed with seven mana up. Lloyd swung into Gideon, killing him, and sent the turn as Jeremy flashbacked Forbidden Alchemy.
Untapping, Jeremy sent all five tokens before suing Go for the Throat to clear an attempted Moorland Haunt defender. That left Lloyd on 1 life as Jeremy passed the turn, and Lloyd would be hard-pressed to stop all five Spirits. Things got worse when Jeremy resolved Tamiyo, the Moon Sage and tapped down a Golem, as Lloyd couldn’t likely even afford to attack her with everything.
Considering his position briefly, Lloyd scooped.
Jeremy 1, Lloyd 0
Gitaxian Probe spotted six lands and a Ponder on turn 1—no respect!—and then Lloyd followed with a Ponder of his own. Jeremy dropped Seachrome Coast and Pondered, shuffling—bad sign for his keep, but it was only turn 1. Snapcaster Mage on Probe revealed a Timely Reinforcements had joined Jeremy’s hand, and it promised to be a game.
Evolving Wilds, go from Jeremy, while Lloyd dropped Blade Splicer and attacked for 2 damage. He had Moorland Haunt in play to keep the creatures coming even if Jeremy managed a sweeper, and ended the turn. Jeremy cast Lingering Souls and passed, choosing to go Spirits over Solders. He traded with Snapcaster on Lloyd’s turn, taking 4 damage as Lloyd passed.
Dissipate on the flashbacked Lingering Souls raised the eyebrow, but Lloyd apparently felt quite strongly about the Spirits. With Ghost Quarter in play, Jeremy passed. He tried Mana Leak on Sword of War and Peace during Lloyd’s turn, but his own Mana Leak forced the spell through. In the danger zone, Jeremy took another 4 damage. He cast Timely Reinforcements and made his fifth land, passing.
Jeremy's got a few tweaks to an otherwise standard Esper list.
Lloyd equipped the Sword to his Golem and got in 9 damage, Jeremy’s hand filled with lands he couldn’t play fast enough. He tried Ponder, which resolved, but had to shuffle when the top three offered no solutions. Peeling a random card, Jeremy’s Negate wasn’t very helpful at the moment. He nodded as Moorland Haunt made a token, Lloyd’s army reducing Jeremy to just 1 life.
Jeremy 1, Lloyd 1
Seachrome Coast and Thought Scour during Jeremy’s end step represented a slow start for Lloyd, but Jeremy’s was no faster—just lands. Lloyd Mana Leaked Forbidden Alchemy when Jeremy cast it during the end step of turn 3, and another Thought Scour dug Lloyd in deeper. He played Ratchet Bomb and passed with two up, tapping out to leak a second Alchemy.
Jeremy didn’t mind—he had a fair bit of mana, making his fifth drop and casting Ratchet Bomb, which he ticket to one. Lloyd still lacked creatures, playing a fifth land himself with no Moorland Haunt.
He did Dissipate Jeremy’s Gideon Jura, and then found Delver of Secrets, also adding Blade Splicer to the board. Jeremy popped the Bomb to kill Delver, and flashbacked Forbidden Alchemy without binning much action. Blade Splicer got in for 4 damage in the meantime, and Jeremy untapped for Ponder before playing Oblivion Ring on Golem token and Phantasmal Image on Blade Splicer.
Now under attack from the Clone effect, Lloyd passed turn. Evolving Wilds jumped Jeremy to eight mana, and his attack with the Golem convinced Lloyd to pop the Bomb. Jeremy shipped turn as well, out of Alchemies now, and the players appeared stalemated. Moorland Haunt for Lloyd could change things, but Lingering Souls from Jeremy got the jump on him with Ratchet Bomb for backup.
Lloyd made a Spirit anyway, trying to slow down Jeremy’s clock. He shifted to blocking, going to sixteen as he traded some Spirits—but Jeremy’s Consecrated Sphinx threatened to put the game far, far out of reach. It survived to the draw step, and Lloyd even had to Ponder on his own turn for the Oblivion Ring to kill Sphinx. He swung with his Blade Splicer, and passed.
Jeremy Ghost Quartered Moorland Haunt and Lloyd made a Spirit in response, blocking and going to 13. Jeremy played Seachrome Coast and passed the turn, inching toward victory as the game progressed. Lloyd’s own Sphinx met Doom Blade, and he continued to fall back as Jeremy’s Ratchet Bomb made it to three counters—Sphinx was back in town!
Another trigger gave Jeremy two cards, and he tried Phantasmal Image on his own turn—Snapcaster for Dissipate shut it down, but Negate locked it up and gave him the second Sphinx. The Vapor Snag Lloyd drew killed the fake Sphinx, but the real one was all too alive. Alchemy into Sun Titan on Jeremy’s next turn pretty much sealed the deal, returning three Phantasmal Images to play and blowing the game out of the water.
Jeremy 2, Lloyd 1