Quarterfinals: Jonathan Sparks vs. Bobby McCullough
Jonathan mulliganed to six, while Bobby kept his opening seven.
Jonathan led off with a Verdant Catacombs, fetching an Underground Sea and casting Deathrite Shaman. Bobby led with a Tundra and a pass. Jonathan played Wasteland and accelerated into Liliana of the Veil, which met a Brainstorm and then a Force of Will exiling Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Another Tundra let Bobby cast Stoneforge Mystic, which resolved and fetched up Batterskull. Jonathan drew and tanked a bit before fetching up a Tropical Island with Polluted Delta. Abrupt Decay took out Batterskull, Wasteland took out a Tundra, and the Deathrite Shaman attacked for one.
Bobby dug for land with Brainstorm and found a Flooded Strand, cracking it and shuffling away two unwanted cards in his search for an Underground Sea. Bobby’s Thoughtseize revealed a Ponder and Tarmogoyf; Bobby chose the Ponder to hit the graveyard.
Misty Rainforest came down for Jonathan, followed by the Tarmogoyf, which met a Force of Will exiling Brainstorm. Jonathan passed. Bobby cracked a second Flooded Strand, this time for a plain Island. True-Name Nemesis entered the battlefield and named Jonathan.
In the end step, Jonathan exiled Force of Will with Deathrite Shaman, putting Bobby at 11 life, and cracked his Misty Rainforest for an Underground Sea. On his turn, he topdecked and played an Underground Sea.
Bobby used Ponder and shuffled away the top three cards. True-Name Nemesis drew blood, putting Jonathan at 14 life. In the end step, Jonathan exiled again, reducing Bobby to 9 life. Jonathan passed his turn, and Bobby tried Swords to Plowshares on the Deathrite Shaman. One last exiled graveyard card put the life totals at Bobby 7, Jonathan 15.
Bobby had the offense, though, attacking with True-Name Nemesis to put Jonathan to 12. Jonathan dug with Brainstorm and found Liliana of the Veil. Her second ability sent True-Name Nemesis packing. Bobby had only a Polluted Delta before passing, and Jonathan had a Tarmogoyf. Liliana’s plus ability sent a Daze to Jonathan’s graveyard and a Karakas to Bobby’s.
Bobby McCullough considers his sideboard.
Bobby had a second True-Name Nemesis, but Liliana went to zero loyalty to off it and Tarmogoyf attacked Bobby to 2 life. Jonathan added a Delver of Secrets to his battlefield and passed. Bobby tried Stoneforge Mystic, fetching up Batterskull, but Delver showed Thoughtseize on top and Bobby conceded.
Jonathan Sparks 1, Bobby McCullough 0.
Bobby chose to play and kept his seven, as did Jonathan.
Bobby played Polluted Delta and passed. Jonathan’s opener was an Underground Sea into Deathrite Shaman. A plain Island landed on Bobby’s board and he passed again. Jonathan cracked his Polluted Delta for a second Underground Sea and doubled up on Delver of Secrets.
In the end step, Bobby Brainstormed, which went through after a bit of thought from Jonathan, followed by a Polluted Delta sacrifice and search-up of Tundra to shuffle away two unwanted cards. Bobby untapped and cracked a Flooded Strand, placing an ordinary Plains onto the battlefield. True-Name Nemesis met a Deathrite Shaman activation for blue mana and a Brainstorm from Jonathan.
In the end, True-Name Nemesis resolved. On Jonathan’s upkeep, both Delvers flipped when he showed a Flusterstorm. A double attack sent Bobby to 12. Tropical Island and a follow-up Golgari Charm wiped Bobby’s board and kept Jonathan’s intact.
Jonathan’s next land was Wasteland and his next spell was Hymn of Tourach, which forced the discard of Rest in Peace and Polluted Delta. The Wasteland took out a Tundra and Jonathan passed. Bobby had another Polluted Delta, though, and cracked it for an ordinary Island. He tapped all his lands and paused.
“Jace?” asked Jonathan. Jace, the Mind Sculptor was indeed the play, and it resolved to give Bobby a welcome Brainstorm effect. Jonathan’s turn brought only a pass. Bobby tried a Thoughtseize, which brought a Vendilion Clique in response.
Jonathan Sparks has his eye on a semifinal berth.
A Vendilion Clique attack from Jonathan put Bobby at a surprisingly low life total, just 3, and a Polluted Delta sacrifice for a Swamp made his life total only 2. Brainstorm found a Swords to Plowshares for the Vendilion Clique.
Jonathan only passed and Bobby kept Brainstorming with Jace. Bobby played and cracked a Marsh Flats, putting him at a perilous 1 life. Rest in Peace exiled the graveyards and Bobby fatesealed Jonathan, leaving his card on top. Jonathan passed and Bobby fatesealed again, leaving the card on top again.
Jonathan cracked his Verdant Catacombs to shuffle away the Jace-approved top of his deck, finding an Underground Sea. Liliana of the Veil came down and both players discarded, Bobby a Force of Will, Jonathan a Diabolic Edict. Bobby fatesealed again and said, “You can have it.” True-Name Nemesis came down for Bobby and he passed.
“So I can’t target him with Liliana?” Jonathan could not, so he had her empty the hands and passed. Jace went up to thirteen loyalty with a fateseal, the card left on top, and True-Name Nemesis attacked Liliana to two loyalty. Jonathan had Deathrite Shaman and passed.
Jace’s ultimate fired, exiling Jonathan’s entire library. Before Jonathan’s draw step he reached for Deathrite Shaman…but with no cards in the graveyards, there was nothing for the Shaman to eat, and Jonathan lost by decking.
Jonathan Sparks 1, Bobby McCullough 1.
Jonathan had the play but also had to mulligan to six. Bobby tanked on his seven before keeping.
Jonathan led with Underground Sea and a pass. “No turn 1 Deathrite,” said Bobby, before playing Polluted Delta and passing. Jonathan drew and Brainstormed before playing and cracking a Verdant Catacombs to shuffle away the dross. Tropical Island hit the battlefield.
“Something’s about to happen,” said Bobby, “but at least it’s not a Hymn.” It was a Tarmogoyf, however. Bobby’s turn saw a Flooded Strand and a double-crack for a Plains and Island. “Wasteland’s not a very nice card.”
Bobby’s all-basics board summoned up Stoneforge Mystic, which itself sent a Batterskull to Bobby’s hand. “Half your deck makes me shuffle,” Jonathan joked before playing Underground Sea, casting Liliana of the Veil, and trashing Stoneforge Mystic. Tarmogoyf attacked Bobby to 15.
Bobby had Karakas and Rest in Peace, blanking the graveyards and making Tarmogoyf unimpressive. Jonathan stepped away to consult with the judge. On his return, he played Verdant Catacombs and tapped two dual lands for a Golgari Charm to dispose of Rest in Peace.
With a Golgari Charm in the graveyard, Verdant Catacombs followed. In response, Bobby tried Swords to Plowshares on the Tarmogoyf, but one copy of Force of Will exiled another. Bayou reached the battlefield and Liliana ticked up, causing Bobby to discard Supreme Verdict.
“Swing with Tarmogoyf.”
Laughter. Tarmogoyf was a 0/1 because the graveyards were exiled. “Go.”
Wasteland took out Karakas and Swords to Plowshares was discarded to Liliana’s plus-one. Bobby had an Underground Sea and passed. Wasteland offed the Underground Sea and Liliana ticked up to five loyalty.
Bobby had a Tundra, but Jonathan topdecked a Delver of Secrets. He flipped Delver of Secrets with a Daze on top and stared at his six-loyalty Liliana, adding another counter to her after thought. Insectile Aberration attacked Bobby to 8 life.
Jonathan ultimated Liliana after a pass from Bobby. He split the piles:
The Jitte group went to the graveyard. Then Jonathan dropped his haymaker: Jace, the Mind Sculptor. A fateseal sent Bobby’s top card to the bottom and Insectile Aberration attacked Bobby to five. Bobby drew one more card and conceded.
Jonathan Sparks 2, Bobby McCullough 1.