Quarterfinals: Kevin Ziet vs. Jacob Baugh
Kevin Ziet has made this top 8 with quite a monstrous combination… by which I mean he is running a full ten monstrous creatures of varying types! His Gruul deck will have to test its mettle against the newest boogeyman of the format, Mono Black Devotion, in the hands of Jacob Baugh.
Jacob's Thoughtseize left Kevin exposed.
Jacob, by virtue of the higher seed, elected to take the play and Kevin dropped down to six cards. His mulligan problems were compounded when Jacob played Thoughtseize on turn two to reveal Kevin’s awkward mulligan to only his turn one Mountain and a hand full of green creatures, from which he selected Sylvan Caryatid. Kevin missed many land drops, while turn three Nightveil Specter and turn four Desecration Demon made short work of Kevin. Even after finding a Forest turn five to finally cast Elvish Mystic and try to start playing creature, it was all for naught.
“Yeah, that was a nice quick game one. I didn’t really stand a chance.”
Jacob 1, Kevin 0.
Kevin kept his opener rather quickly this time, while Jacob had to mulligan.
“Ah, now it is your turn to have to mulligan!”
Jacob was content with his six though. Kevin led off with Elvish Mystic on time this time on turn one, while Jacob had Swamp. Sylvan Caryatid and tapped Stomping Ground were Kevin’s plays, and Jacob’s turn two Thoughtseize revealed even more gas in the tank: double Boon Satyr, Arbor Colossus, and Polukranos, whom I have heard is the Eater of Worlds. The legendary Hydra hit the bin, but the 6/6 giant hit the board next turn instead. Hero’s Downfall took care of the giant.
But Domri Rade off the top began ticking up, so Jacob was back behind the eightball. Jacob played Breeding Pool (this is an odd Mono Black deck!) and used Abrupt Decay to remove the planeswalker. The dual land allows Jacob to cast Nightveil Specter and Abrupt Decay, so it’s not too odd of an includion. Jacob didn’t have to face another monster just yet, so he spent his turn adding Pack Rat to the board.
Boon Satyr changed the math, as it flashed in at end of turn and then attacked alongside Elvish Mystic. Midcombat he put a Boon Satyr on a Boon Satyr (yo dawg…) to drop Jacob to 7. He fell to 5 thanks to his own Overgrown Tomb and cast a second copy of Pat Rat, then Jacob attacked with his 2/2 to start chipping away at Kevin’s life total. The 8/4 Boon Satyr and 1/1 Elvish Mystic came into the red zone, and the 2/2 Pack Rat blocked the 1/1. Jacob attempted to knock off the 8/4 with Hero’s Downfall… but Ranger’s Guile saved the day! On to game three!
Jacob pushing ahead onto the board.
Jacob 1, Kevin 1.
Jacob led game three with Thoughtseize and saw Kevin’s “iffy” keep with two Forest, two Sylvan Caryatid, Xenagos, the Reveler, and Scavenging Ooze. The satyr planeswalker hit the bricks. The next spell cast was Sylvan Caryatid, as Jacob only played a few Golgari Guildgates plus basic Swamp. Kevin found Domri Rade and used it to get Polukranos, but Hero’s Downfall took out the troublesome little Ravnican planeswalker.
But the many-headed beast entered play the next turn. Desecration Demon was what Jacob elected to use to try to hold off the massive Hydra, which didn’t work out since Boon Satyr flashed in to make the Hydra a 9/7 midcombat. Mutavault attacking was all Jacob could do, and the Putrefy took down the massive green creature. But Kevin’s stream of pressure continued: attack with Boon Satyr, cast another Polukranos, World Eater, attack for nine after sacrificing the Caryatid to be Demonfood. Scavenging Ooze and Sylvan Caryatid both came down as well.
Jecob had to turn the corner quick before this game got out of hand. Nightveil Specter followed by Gray Mechant of Asphodel set life totals at 9 for Kevin and 12 for Jacob, which definitely let him stay a little safer. But Kevin’s beats continued: sacrifice Caryatid to tap Demon, eat a dead creature with Scavenging Ooze, untap and draw for turn, attack with the team. This led Jacob to block Kevin’s Polukranos, which meant Scavenging Ooze became 5/5 and Jacob fell to 2 while Kevin went up to 13. Gray Merchant number two drained again to set life at 6 to 9 in favor of Jacob (for now), but Desecration Demon got tapped and Nightveil Specter only found Mizzium Mortars after attacking. Scavenging Ooze grew again on end step.
Another turn, another hairy attack step: Gray Merchant in front of 7/7 Ooze, and Mutavault in front of Polukranos. The Ooze ate both creatures before Kevin passed.
“Do you have a Gray Merchant?”
He did not have the instant win, so Jacob simply entered his attack step to force Kevin to attack. Mutavault chump blocked the Ooze, which meant that Kevin Ziet had to sacrifice his last remaining creature: that Scavening Ooze. It was academic from there, as Kevin failed to find a creature to satiate the now 11/11 creature. He could not, and Jacob emerged with the victory.
Jacob 2, Kevin 1.