Quarterfinals: Joel Sadowsky vs. Justin Bransfield
Joel and Justin began today as just two more faces in the 643 person crowd, but now find themselves in the knockout rounds. Sunday morning Magic is in the future for one of these competitors. Which will come out on top 8: Mono-Black Devotion or G/R Monsters?
Justin readies up for the quarterfinals of #SCGBALT!
Joel, as the event’s number one overall seed in this top 8, had the pleasure of being on the play for game one as both players mulliganed to six. Joel had a pretty good start too, with Elvish Mystic into Scavenging Ooze. Pharika’s Cure took down the Ooze on Justin’s second turn, which stymied Joel’s offense for a bit… that is, until a flashed in Boon Satyr at the end of the third turn. Hero’s Downfall took out the enchantment creature and Justin was free to drop big daddy Desecration Demon on turn four. Joel enchanted the Elvish Mystic with another Satyr before the end of turn.
The 5/3 got into the red zone and Justin elected not to block, fearing Ghor-Clan Rampager, which meant Joel was free to drop Xenagos, the Reveler after combat. The God usurper of Theros also was quite adept at ‘chump blocking’ the Desecration Demon, keeping the Return to Ravnica rare in check. Justin’s Pack Rat was able to do a decent job of holding Joel off for a turn, but a combination of being forces to block the biggest creature plus Mizzium Mortars knocked off the rat plus the token it brought into play.
Unfortunately for Justin, the pressure was too much for Mono Black to handle. Satyr after Satyr came out from Xenagos’ maw and joined the Boon Satyr in the red zone, and not finding exactly what he needed on top the man with the now 10/10 Demon (thanks to all that Satyr food) fell to the steady stream of mystical horned beasts.
Joel 1, Justin 0.
Justin had the play now, and was able to keep his opening hand along with his opponent. Joel had the potential for a blistering start with turn one Stomping Ground and Elvish Mystic, but Thoughtseize snagged Joel’s turn two Domri Rade. This left Joel with Xenagos and Ghor-Clan Rampager and lands, and once the Ghor-Clan was discarded to Lifebane Zombie Joel decided to go aggro with Mutavault to drop Justin to 14. Desecration Demon on turn four helped for sure, as the Xenagos engine looked to be well under control thanks to the intimidating 3/1 on the battlefield.
Joel does not like getting his thoughts seized.
Joel dropped Scavenging Ooze and passed, hoping to survive for another turn. But an attack for nine from Justin’s pair of creatures plus a Gray Merchant of Asphodel meant that Justin took a quick fifteen and, combined with the shock land damage on turn one and the three damage from Lifebane Zombie the turn earlier, that was exactly twenty.
Joel 1, Justin 1.
Temple on turn one was not the quick start we’d come to expect from Joel, and after missing his second land and casting Elvish Mystic we saw why. A Mountain allowed Sylvan Caryatid to enter play, and Lifebane Zombie snagged the only target in Joel’s hand: Scavenging Ooze. This left Joel with Stormbreath Dragon and Xenagos, but missing another land drop was trouble for the Monsters pilot. Nightveil Specter was able to start going to work, as only a second Sylvan Caryatid found its way into play.
Mizzium Mortars a turn later took out the 2/3, but not after Gray Merchant drained for five. A pair of mutavaults added to the clock, putting Joel on the back foot, and Joel fell to 6 after an attack from both changeling lands, and a midcombat Pharika’s Cure on a blocking Scavenging Ooze even prevented profitable blocks.
Joel had to shock himself to drop Stormbreath Dragon for defense, but Hero’s Downfall prevented that from doing anything. Again, three attackers dropped Joel’s life total (this time to 1). Joel found two creatures to play in one turn… but a removal spell off the top meant that Joel quickly extended his hand. Justin comes from behind to win the quarterfinals!
Justin 2, Joel 1.