Quarterfinals: Joe Pennachio vs. Eric Hymel
Joe’s evolution of the Naya Aggro deck that did so well at the Dallas Standard Open last weekend had carried him to an undefeated Swiss finish—could he keep it up for three rounds of Top 8 play?
Starting early, Joe made a shockland and Dryad Militant while Eric just played Overgrown Tomb. Joe fell to 16 for the second shockland of the game, casting Call of the Conclave to make a 3/3 Centaur—Eric had just Rootbound Crag. Joe swung Eric down to 13 and cast another Call, putting 8 power onto the board and Eric into a bind.
He’d be going down to 3 life without a play this turn—that wasn’t acceptable. Bonfire of the Damned for 1 damage cleared the Dryad Militant, but Joe could still bash for 6 damage and leave Eric on 7—almost any spell from Joe would let him threaten the same clock. Rancor certainly did the trick, and Ghor-Clan Rampager had Eric fall to 1 life.
Drawing one more card, Eric scooped up his lands. “You got it. Game 2.”
Joe 1, Eric 0
Eric’s second game had an inauspicious start as he went to six cards while Joe kept his seven. A pair of Overgrown Tombs for Eric, while Joe’s first play of the game was turn 2 Voice of Resurgence via shockland. Searing Spear turned it into an Elemental as Eric played Rootbound Crag.
Tragic Slip killed the Elemental in response to Joe’s Boros Reckoner, leaving him off to a slow start. Eric passed turn 4 with no plays, and Joe capitalized with Silverblade Paladin bonding with Boros Reckoner, attacking for 6 damage. Bonfire of the Damned eliminated the Silverblade Paladin, but at the cost of 2 life due to the Boros Reckoner—Eric was on 10 life.
Joe 2, Eric 0