Quarterfinals: Joe Lossett vs. Ryan Macedo
Joe Lossett is no stranger to the top 8 stage of a Legacy Open, and he’s in the hunt for another trophy with Miracles. Standing in his way is Ryan Macedo, who hopes to steal his thunder with U/G Infect.
Things started slow on both sides. Joe’s turn 1 Tundra met a Wasteland from Ryan, then both players were content to Brainstorm and make their land drops for the next few turns. Ryan got on board on his third turn with a Glistener Elf. Joe cracked a Scalding Tarn in response (protecting the activation from Ryan’s Stifle with a Pyroblast in the process) then used Brainstorm to tuck a Terminus on top of his library at Ryan’s end step. The Terminus came off the top and onto the stack uncontested, and the Glistener Elf was sent away.
Ryan took a peek at Joe’s hand with Gitaxian Probe, and saw a hand full of reactive spells: Counterspell, Force of Will, Dig through Time, and Counterbalance. He added a Noble Hierarch to his board and passed back to Joe, who promptly put the Counterbalance into play. Fred fired off an end-step Brainstorm plus fetchland to get some gas in his hand, then untapped and went for Blighted Agent. The blind Counterbalance flip missed, revealing Sensei’s Divining Top, so Joe pitched Counterspell to cast Force of Will. It resolved, Fred passed the turn, and Joe quickly drew and cast his Top to establish the CounterTop lock.
From here Ryan needed his Noble Hierarch to go the distance, as his next four attempts to resolve a spell were met with the freezeout from Counterbalance, as Joe was able to float a Brainstorm and a Counterbalance on top of his library with the Sensei’s Divining Top. Joe’s attempt at an end step Dig Through Time was countered with a Force of Will from Ryan, but he found a Jace, the Mind Sculptor within a few turns and bounced the Noble Hierarch at a healthy 8 life.
A second Sensei’s Divining Top arrived shortly after, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor began his slow but steady ascent to 12 loyalty. Ryan never resolved another spell through the Counterbalance lock, and within a few turns Jace’s ultimate was wrapping things up.
Joe Lossett 1, Ryan Macedo 0
Both players started with a mulligan, and Ryan immediately took a peek at Joe’s hand with a Gitaxian Probe, seeing Red Elemental Blast, Brainstorm, Swords to Plowshares, a pair of Terminus, and a single Island as his only land. Glistener Elf came down to get the party started and Fred passed it to Joe, who immediately topdecked Karakas to cast his Swords to Plowshares, sending the Glistener Elf to the farm.
Blighted Agent showed up on Ryan’s turn 2 as a replacement threat, and it got in two pokes for 1 poison counter over the next two turns as Joe took his draw steps and developed his manabase. He went for an end-step Brainstorm after the second hit, tucking a Terminus on top, then casting it on his Draw step to get rid of the Blighted Agent, but an Inkmoth Nexus showed up to keep the pressure going.
The Inkmoth Nexus got in for 2 more attacks, bringing Joe up to 4 infect damage. Joe cast an end step Vendilion Clique to send an Entreat the Angels rotting in his hand to the bottom and get a fresh card, a Venser, Shaper Savant. He passed without attacking, and Ryan Wastelanded Joe’s Karakas then animated and attacked with his Inkmoth Nexus. Joe blocked, Ryan attempted Invigorate, and Joe responded with Venser, bouncing the Inkmoth Nexus to Ryan’s hand.
With no potential attacker on Ryan’s side, Joe got in for five damage with his legendary creatures. Ryan replayed his Inkmoth Nexus, and this time Joe just attacked with Venser, dropping Ryan to 10. When Ryan sent in with the Nexus, Joe blocked with his Clique, and a hefty stack ensued. Ryan tried Invigorate, Joe tapped five for Force of Will, Ryan Forced back pitching Daze, and Joe use Red Elemental Blast to win the counterwar. Invigorate was countered, and Ryan used his last trick, Become Immense, to keep the Inkmoth on the board.
It was all for naught, however, as Joe untapped and found Entreat the Angels on top of his library, producing four 4/4 Angels. Ryan had no way to push through the flying blockers, and extended the hand in defeat.
Joe Lossett 2, Ryan Macedo 0