Quarterfinals: Jonah Gaynor vs. Zach Sigman
Zach Sigman marched straight through the swiss with his innovative Enlightened Tutor Painter’s Servant deck, but Jonah Gaynor and his fishy friends stood in his way in this quarterfinal.
Cursecatcher was the turn 1 play for Jonah, who hoped to get his beatdowns going quickly. When Zach simply played a Plateau and passed, Jonah followed up with a Master of the Pearl Trident and attacked with his 2/2 Cursecatcher. Zach attempted an end step Enlightened Tutor, which Jonah allowed, and he searched up a Sensei’s Divining Top.
Zach untapped, played an Ancient Tomb, and cast Pyroclasm with 1 mana floating. Jonah pitched True-Name Nemesis to counter it with a Force of Will. Zach cast his Top and passed back to Jonah, who attacked for 4 with his Merfolk and played a Mutavault before passing back.
Zach fired off a Faithless Looting, binning Grindstone and Blood Moon. He then fetched up a Mountain and cast the last card in his hand, Ensnaring Bridge, falling to 9 from his Ancient Tomb. With no attacks available, Jonah simply played an Aether Vial and passed back.
Two turns later, Zach attempted a Painter’s Servant, which was met with a Force of Will from Jonah, but Zach fired back with a Pyroblast, and the 1/3 entered play, making all cards blue. The turn after, Zach found and resolved a Grindstone, and Jonah picked up his cards.
Zach Stigman 1, Jonah Gaynor 0
Turn 1 Grindstone is okay by Zach.
Zach had the first play of the game in the form of a turn 1 Grindstone, and Jonah got on the board a turn later with a turn 2 Coralhelm Commander. Zach simply played a land and passed back on his next turn, and when Jonah went for a turn 3 True-Name Nemesis, Zach had the answer in the form of Pyroblast.
On his next turn, Zach went for an Ensnaring Bridge. Jonah Dazed it, but Zach was able to pay, and he passed the turn with three cards in hand. Jonah untapped and studied the board. He leveled Coralhelm Commander once, then attacked for 2, passing the turn with two mana up. Zach played a land, cast Sensei’s Divining Top, and ended his turn with two cards in hand. At his end step, Jonah bounced the Ensnaring Bridge with Echoing Truth.
Jonah considered his options for a moment before leveling his Coralhelm Commander again, making it a 3/3, and attacking Zach down to 6. He passed again with two mana untapped. Zach used the Sensei’s Divining Top at Jonah’s end step, decided he didn’t like what he saw, and activated Grindstone targeting himself, falling to 4 from his Ancient Tomb. He untapped and recast Ensnaring Bridge, falling to 2. Jonah showed him a second copy of Echoing Truth, and it was on to game 3.
Jonah Gaynor 1, Zach Sigman 1
Jonah is in the zone.
Jonah initiated proceedings in the decider with a turn 1 Aether Vial. Zach had a 1-drop artifact of his own, casting Grindstone and passing back with a mountain untapped. Jonah had a Lord of Atlantis on his turn 2, and Zach looked to complete the combo on his third turn, casting Painter’s Servant, again with a conspicuous mountain untapped.
Jonah attempted to Force of Will the Painter’s Servant, exiling another Force of Will. Zach responded with a Red Elemental Blast, and the Painter’s Servant resolved, naming blue. Jonah slipped Cosi’s Trickster into play with Aether Vial at Zach’s end step, then untapped and began doing math. He Vialed another Lord of Atlantis into play, attacked Zach down to 13, and passed the turn with two mana untapped.
Zach pondered for a moment before activating Grindstone and going for the kill. Jonah Echoing Truthed the Painter’s Servant in response, and was simply milled for 2. Zach had only a single untapped land, but he exiled Simian Spirit Guide to recast his Painter’s Servant and passed back.
Jonah needed help to close out the game. He drew a Silvergill Adept for the turn, and Vialed it into play to draw a card. He simply attacked with his trio of 3/3 Merfolk, and Zach took the damage, falling to 4. He shipped the turn back, sitting on two untapped Islands to represent another Echoing Truth.
Now Zach had to be cautious. Giving up another turn of tempo to an Echoing Truth would mean losing the game to Jonah’s attackers. Zach took a moment in the tank before deciding he had no option but to go for it, and activated his Grindstone. Jonah extended the hand.
Zach Sigman 2, Jonah Gaynor 1