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