Quarterfinals: Josh Cicio vs. JD Nir
JD Nir was looking to steal a quick victory with his U/G Infect deck, but he’d face stiff competition from Josh Cicio and his Shardless BUG deck.
JD hopes to put his Blighted+Agents to work.
JD got on board quick with a turn 1 Glistener+Elf, which could conceivably threaten a kill on the very next turn. Josh responded with a Tarmogoyf, a mere 1/2 thanks to a cracked Verdant+Catacombs. It was enough to hold off the Glistener+Elf, but JD contributed another infect threat to the board, this one a Blighted+Agent that would prove a bit harder to block. Josh simply played his third land and passed the turn.
Blighted+Agent came across for 1 infect damage, and JD simply passed the turn himself, content to play the staring game for now. Josh untapped and cast a Brainstorm, then played a land and tapped low for Liliana+of+the+Veil, which JD countered with Force+of+Will pitching Blighted+Agent. With Josh tapped out, JD went for the kill, attacking with his Blighted+Agent and casting Invigorate and Vines+of+Vastwood. Josh used his last two cards, Force+of+Will and Jace the Mind Sculptor, to stop the Vines, but he still took 5 Infect damage.
Josh untapped and played a Sylvan+Library. When JD simply poked him for 1 with his Blighted+Agent and passed back, Josh happily paid 8 life to draw an extra 2 cards with his library, seeing as JD was not attacking his life total. With his newfound hand, he tried for a Liliana+of+the+Veil, which was able to kill off the Glistener+Elf. He attacked with his Tarmogoyf and passed back to JD with 2 cards in hand and 3 lands untapped.
JD attempted to play another Blighted+Agent, but Josh used his last two cards, Force+of+Will and Shardless+Agent, to keep it off the board. JD attacked away the Liliana with his remaining Blighted+Agent and passed. Josh used his Sylvan+Library to set up another Shardless+Agent, cascading into Abrupt+Decay to kill off the Agent, then Wastelanding away JD’s Inkmoth+Nexus and attacking JD down to 10.
JD found only a Noble+Hierarch, and shipped the turn back. When Jace the Mind Sculptor arrived for Josh to clear a path, JD conceded the game.
Josh Cicio 1, JD Nir 0
Josh is calm under pressure.
Both players had mana creatures to start off the second game, JD leading with Noble+Hierarch and Josh firing back with a Deathrite+Shaman. Blighted+Agent showed up next for JD, while Josh ramped straight to Shardless+Agent, which spun up a Meddling+Mage, shutting off Invigorate. JD used Crop+Rotation at Josh’s end step to fetch up an Inkmoth+Nexus to double up on Infect beaters.
JD untapped and swung for 2 with his Blighted+Agent thanks to Noble+Hierarch, then simply passed back with four cards in hand. Josh went for the jugular on his turn, playing his third land and tapping out for Night of Soul’s Betrayal. JD attempted a Brainstorm in response, but Josh countered with Force+of+Will. The Night of Souls Betrayal resolved, and Josh attacked for 2 with his Meddling+Mage and Shardless+Agent.
Now JD’s back was against the wall. None of the creatures in JD’s deck had more than 1 toughness, so he had only the three Nature’s Claims out of his sideboard to get the pesky enchantment off the board and progress his board. He Brainstormed, didn’t find it, and passed.
Josh untapped and cast a second Meddling+Mage. He named Nature’s Claim, which looked like lights out for JD. JD had one last trick left up his sleeve, however—When the Meddling+Mage attacked on Josh’s next turn, JD cast Berserk on it. The Mage got in some extra damage, but was destroyed at the end of Josh’s turn. Josh did get a chance to play another Shardless+Agent, however, adding a second Deathrite+Shaman to play.
Now facing five damage a turn from Josh’s motley crew, JD was on a short clock. His top two cards didn’t help him, and he succumbed to the 1/1 beatdown.
Josh Cicio 2, JD Nir 0