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%2C+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%2C+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%2C+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.