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