Quarterfinals: Joe Lossett vs. Logan Mize
These two players are fresh off of an appearance in the 2014 Players’ Championship, and they’re starting off the new year with a strong bid to return. Which player would triumph in the Heroic vs. Heroic slug-out?
Joe led off with a Temple+of+Enlightenment, giving Logan the first opportunity to get a Hero on the battlefield, sticking Favored+Hoplite on his first turn. A Battlewise+Hoplite on turn 2 from Joe evened up the board, but Logan drew first blood by sending his Favored+Hoplite to skies with a Stratus+Walk, dropping Joe to 18. Joe cracked back for 4 on his turn using Ordeal+of+Thassa to grow his Battlewise+Hoplite twice. Logan had Defiant+Strike to send back another 4 damage in the air, and added a Battlewise+Hoplite to his own side, hoping to race.
He declined to chump block when Joe cracked in with a 5/5 Battlewise+Hoplite, cashing in his Ordeal+of+Thassa for two fresh cards. Joe added Seeker+of+the+Way to the battlefield and passed with two mana open. Logan spent a moment in the tank before attacking with only the 3/4 flying Favored+Hoplite, dropping Joe to 10, then casting another Battlewise+Hoplite and another Favored+Hoplite, and shipping back.
Joe came swinging with a 5/5 Battlewise+Hoplite and a Seeker+of+the+Way. Logan blocked each, chumping the 5/5 with his Battlewise+Hoplite and putting his Favored+Hoplite in front of the Seeker. Logan used Defiant+Strike after blockers to pump up his Favored+Hoplite, eating the seeker, and avoided taking any damage. Joe simply replaced the Seeker with another one from his hand and ended the turn. Logan untapped and tried for an Aqueous+Form on his Battlewise+Hoplite, but Joe shut it down with a Stubborn+Denial, allowing him to continue holding the ground. He took 3 in the air, falling to 7, and Logan added Hero+of+Iroas to the board before ending his turn.
Being careful to avoid a misstep in a tight race, Joe cast Heliod’s Pilgrim to retrieve an Aqueous+Form, putting it on his Battlewise+Hoplite and attacking with both it and the Seeker+of+the+Way. Logan blocked the Seeker with his Favored+Hoplite, then used Ajani’s Presence on it in a bid to prevent Joe from gaining life from his Seeker. He needed to use his Mana+Confluence to do so, however, falling to 8, and Joe had Defiant+Strike to bring the unblockable Battlewise+Hoplite up to 8/7, sealing the deal.
Joe Lossett 1, Logan Mize 0
This time it was Joe who opened up with Favored hoplite on the draw, and Logan who got himself established on turn 2 with a Battlewise+Hoplite. Joe had Defiant+Strike to crack for 3, but no follow-up, while Logan put Aqueous+Form on his Hoplite and swung for 3 right back. Joe exploded on turn 3, casting Hero+of+Iroas to enable a Ordeal+of+Thassa for just one mana, which beefed his Favored+Hoplite up to 4/5 and gave him two new cards. Logan cycled Defiant+Strike on his end step, then found an Ordeal of his own, growing the Battlewise+Hoplite to 6/6 and jumping up to 25.
At 9 life and facing down a 6/6 threat, Joe needed a solution, and he found one off the top of his deck: a Glare+of+Heresy. Logan had bad news for him, protecting the Battlewise+Hoplite with Gods+Willing. Joe got off another Ordeal+of+Thassa on his attack step, dropping Logan down to 17, and had Tranquil+Cove to give himself a life. It might have made the difference, as Logan was unable to finish the game with his unblockable 7/7, only attacking Joe down to 3, casting a Hero+of+Iroas, and passing back.
Joe used Gods+Willing in his upkeep to give Favored+Hoplite (now a 7/8!) Protection from Blue, and in the process found another Glare+of+Heresy, which successfully cleared away Logan’s 7/7. He dropped Logan to 10 with his Favored+Hoplite and passed with Hero+of+Iroas back to trade with, or at least chump block, Logan’s own hero.
Joe Lossett 1, Logan Mize 1
Battlewise+Hoplite led the charge for Joe in the decider, While Logan had Temple+of+Enlightenment on turn 1, then a Favored+Hoplite but no second land drop on his next turn. Joe cracked in for 2 and added Hero+of+Iroas to his board, while Logan took his draw step and had the bad news, moving to his clean-up step and discarding his 8th card. Joe cast Ordeal+of+Heliod on his Battlewise+Hoplite, attacked with it to bring Logan down to 14, then cast a second Hero+of+Iroas.
Logan still had no land drop, but did find a second Favored+Hoplite. Joe turned up the pressure with an Ordeal+of+Heliod on his Battlewise+Hoplite, then attacked and triggered both Ordeals, dropping Logan to 5. He cast Seeker+of+the+Way post-combat and passed back to Logan. Logan triumphantly flipped a Plains off the top of his deck, and cast Glare+of+Heresy to get rid of the colossal Battlewise+Hoplite, but the damage was done. Joe showed him Glare+of+Heresy to clear away a blocker, and Logan extended the hand.
Joe Lossett 2, Logan Mize 1