Quarterfinals: Lloyd Kurth vs. Josh Rhoades
Lloyd Kurth has taken his Shardless BUG deck to the elusive back-to-back top 8, coming off of a semifinal finish in yesterday’s Standard Open. Standing in his way of a top 4 repeat was Josh Rhoades and his RUG Delver deck.
Lloyd had the first play of the game, leading off with a turn 1 Deathrite Shaman. Josh sent him back to square one, however, Wastelanding his Bayou and frying the shaman with a Lightning Bolt. Lloyd had Underground Sea and a suspended Ancestral Visions next, and Josh looked to speed up the clock, casting a 3/4 Tarmogoyf.
After Lloyd simply drew his card and passed, Josh went digging with a Ponder, then added a second Tarmogoyf to the board. Lloyd had no follow up, and when Josh added Delver of Secrets to his board on his next turn and tapped Lloyd’s land down with Fire/Ice, Lloyd had seen enough and conceded.
Josh Rhoades 1, Lloyd Kurth 0
Ancestral Visions suspended on turn 1 was the play on turn 1 from Lloyd, and Josh simply played a Volcanic Island and passed the turn. Lloyd’s turn 2 play of Deathrite Shaman also met no response from Josh, but Josh’s turn 2 Delver of Secrets was killed off with Disfigure. Josh replaced it with a Grim Lavamancer, and Lloyd ate the Delver with his Deathrite Shaman, untapped and cast the last card in his hand, a Nihil Spellbomb.
The Ancestral Visions ticked down to 0, and Lloyd hoped to gas back up, but Josh said no with a Stifle on the suspend trigger. He used Grim Lavamancer to kill Lloyd’s Deathrite Shaman in the same upkeep, but Lloyd found Tarmogoyf in his draw step, and was back in it. Josh Pondered and found a Delver of Secrets, and Lloyd could only bash for 4 with his Tarmogoyf and pass back. The Delver immediately revealed a Forked Bolt, and Insectile Aberration took to the air, dropping Lloyd to 17. Josh fired off a Wasteland on Lloyd’s Underground Sea before passing, and Lloyd showed him an Abrupt Decay at end step to shoot the flier down.
Lloyd untapped, attacked again with his Tarmogoyf, and cast a freshly drawn Shardless Agent. It spun up a Brainstorm, which met Daze from Josh, who untapped and killed off the 2/2 with Forked Bolt before attacking Lloyd for 1 with his Grim Lavamancer. Lloyd finally cracked his Nihil Spelllbomb, depriving Josh’s Lavamancer of any further fodder, and added a Deathrite Shaman to the board after dropping Josh to 8 with his Tarmogoyf.
Nimble Mongoose arrived, a little too late to do much good for Josh. He quickly chump blocked with it when the Tarmogoyf next attacked. Within a turn or two, he had run out of options, and fell to a lethal Tarmogoyf attack.
Lloyd Kurth 1, Josh Rhoades 1
Lloyd led off with a turn 1 suspended Ancestral Visions, while Josh developed his hand with a Ponder. Tarmogoyf came down for Josh on turn 2, but it was swiftly dispatched with an Abrupt Decay from Lloyd. Josh’s next threat was a Vendilion Clique in Lloyd’s draw step, which sent a Tarmogoyf to the bottom of Lloyd’s deck, but offered up a Shardless Agent instead, and the Agent in turn cascaded into another Abrupt Decay, once again leaving Josh without a threat.
This situation didn’t last long, however, as Josh had Sulfuric Vortex next, then Tarmogoyf and Fire/Ice for Lloyd’s Deathrite Shaman on his next turn. The Ancestral Visions came out of suspension for Lloyd and resolved, giving him some more tools to work with. He cast Shardless Agent, which offered up a Brainstorm, and passed. A third Abrupt Decay from Lloyd killed off Tarmogoyf when Josh attacked, and when Josh untapped and drew another Tarmogoyf, Lloyd had Liliana of the Veil to kill it. The Planeswalker didn’t last long, however, as Jake was able to redirect the 2 damage from Sulfuric Vortex to kill it off.
Josh drew a pair of Nimble Mongeese for his next two turns, but Lloyd found another Shardless Agent and cascaded into Nihil Spellbomb to keep them at 1/1. With the Sulfuric Vortex tightening the noose around both players, It was only a few more turns before Lloyd’s Shardless Agents closed things out.
Lloyd Kurth 2, Josh Rhoades 1