Quarterfinals: Jonathan Morris vs. Jason Smith
Jason Smith was one of only two players in this top 8 not representing team Delver. He and his Death and Taxes deck would be facing off with Jonathan Morris’s RUG Delver deck for a chance to take home the trophy.
Jonathan Morris brings the beats.
Jason kicked things off with a turn 1 Aether Vial, but Jonathan said no with a Force of Will, pitching Ponder. Jonathan had a Tarmogoyf on his second turn, a 3/4 thanks to the Forced Vial, but Jason sent it farming with a Swords to Plowshares, and followed up with a Mother of Runes. The mom didn’t live to see an untap step, however, as Jonathan fetched up a Volcanic Island and fired off a Lightning Bolt.
Stoneforge Mystic came down next for Jason, and Jonathan sighed but allowed it and its trigger to resolve. The Mystic conjured up a Sword of Fire and Ice. Jonathan drew his card and passed without a play, and Jason attempted to double up on his Stoneforge Mystic triggers by targeting it with Flickerwisp, but Jonathan had the Stifle. Jonathan still had no play on his own turn, however, and could do nothing as Jason smacked him for 3 with flickerwisp, snuck his Sword of Fire and Ice into play with Stoneforge Mystic, then attached it to his 1/2.
Jonathan had some tricks up his sleeve, however, and played his 1-of Dack Fayden, using it gain control of the Sword of Fire and Ice. Jason could only attack with his Flickerwisp, but had a Phyrexian Revoker post-combat to keep Dack Fayden from stealing any other treasures. Jonathan found another Tarmogoyf, but Jason had another Swords to Plowshares, and the Serra Avenger that arrived next turn looked to seal the deal.
Jonathan peeked at his top card, found no help, and conceded the game.
Jason Smith 1, Jonathan Morris 0
Neither player had a turn 1 play, but Jonathan had a Nimble Mongoose on turn 2, and Jason fired right back with a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Jonathan could only cast a Ponder on turn 3. Thalia came swinging, and a Spirit of the Labyrinth showed up post-combat. Jonathan had a second Nimble Mongoose, but held them both back, and a Serra Avenger looked to apply additional pressure for Jason, but Jonathan pitched Daze to counter it with Force of Will. He had no play on his own turn, however, and shipped the turn right back.
Jason tried to keep the Mongooses permanently hobbled with a Rest in Peace, but Jonathan countered with a Spell Pierce. Jason was out of gas himself, and the board appeared to be at a stalemate, as the two Nimble Mongooses, 1/1s but threatening to go Thresholded at any time thanks to a Wasteland, stared across the board at Thalia and Spirit of the Labyrinth. Finally Jonathan found a way to break through: a monster Rough/Tumble simultaneously killed off Jason’s board and transformed both of Jonathan’s creatures into 3/3s, who came swinging.
Mother of Runes showed up to play defense, but the Mongoose army swung past her to drop Jason to 8. Jonathan followed up with a Brainstorm and a Delver of Secrets. It was exiled with Swords to Plowshares, but one of the two 3/3 Nimble Mongooses continued to get through. Within a few turns, Jason was picking up his cards for game 3.
Jonathan Morris 1, Jason Smith 1
Jason Smith with the timely spot removal.
Aether Vial on turn 1 for Jason resolved, and after Jonathan had no turn 1 play, Jason went for a turn 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, which resolved as well. It got in one attack before it fell to a Lightning Bolt, and Jonathan untapped to cast Delver of Secrets and Cursed Totem. Jason Vialed in Stoneforge Mystic at Jonathan’s end step, and then exiled the Delver of Secrets with a Swords to Plowshares.
Unable to use Stoneforge Mystic to sneak in equipment, Jason was forced to brave Jonathan’s countermagic in order to get them into play. He led with Rest in Peace instead, which drew Force of Will pitching Daze. After Jonathan drew his land and passed, Jason tried Umezawa’s Jitte. This one resolved, and Jonathan attempted a Rough/Tumble to keep a creature out of play. It killed off the Stoneforge Mystic, but Jason vialed in a Phyrexian Revoker at end step, shutting off Dack Fayden.
The Phyrexian Revoker picked up the Jitte and swung, gaining two charge counters. Jonathan triumphantly drew a Tropical Island and cast a 5/6 Tarmogoyf. Jason cast his Sword of Fire and Ice, but held off for the turn on his attack. The Tarmogoyf attacked, and a post-combat Vendilion Clique saw Batterskull and a Rishadan Port in Jason’s hand. Jonathan allowed him to keep both.
The Phyrexian Revoker picked up a Sword of Fire and Ice and attacked, dropping Jonathan to 6. Jason used a Jitte counter to kill off Vendilion Clique. Jonathan drew his card and considered his options for a while but found no solution to the double-equipped threat. He was forced to chump block with Tarmogoyf on Jason’s next attack step, and fell to 0 on the one after that.
Jason Smith 2, Jonathan Morris 1