Quarterfinals: Logan Rodgers vs. Taylor Scott
Two tempo strategies squared off in the Top 8, with Logan piloting the new school of UWR popularized at the New Jersey Invitational. Could Taylor’s classic RUG list overcome Stoneforge Mystic and crew?
Logan fought a big counter-war early and came out on top.
Starting with Tundra, Logan passed the turn. Taylor had Wasteland and took the bait, destroying the dual and ending his turn. Logan played his own Wasteland and passed back, nodding as Taylor played Volcanic Island and Delver of Secrets on turn 1. With Taylor tapped out, Loganw as safe to fetch with Flooded Strand for Tundra, casting Stoneforge Mystic into Daze—but he had his own Daze to protect.
Taylor exiled Spell Pierce to Force of Will the Mystic, but Logan exiled a second Daze to Force right back, fetching Batterskull. Ponder did flip Delver into Insectile Aberration, but Taylor had no answer to the incoming Batterskull. He cast Ponder to find one, digging into a Lightning Bolt one turn too late.
With Taylor tapped out, Logan immediately dropped Tundra and Batterskull into play on his turn. Taylor played a fetchland and broke it, digging up Tropical Island and casting Nimble Mongoose with five cards in his graveyard before playing Lightning Bolt on Stoneforge Mystic. He attacked Logan to 12, and ended the turn.
Batterskull began to outrace the Aberration, with Logan debating how best to use his two lands. Swords slew the Delver and Wasteland on Tropical Island followed, locking Taylor up good. He Brainstormed, failing to find a second land and getting locked into some rough spells before passing the turn.
Taylor's deck didn't deliver lands for a while. A long while.
A few more turns against the implacable Batterskull, and Logan had claimed the lead.
Logan 1, Taylor 0
Taylor mulliganed to six and kicked things off with turn 1 Volcanic Island and Brainstorm. Logan snapped off Wasteland, and Taylor revealed that he had locked himself out of lands! Flooded Strand for Logan, but no spell after his second Flooded Strand on turn 2.
Taylor began to hit cleanup steps, while Logan had a third Flooded Strand. Breaking one on the next turn, he searched for Volcanic Island and played Tundra before casting Rest in Peace. Sighing, Taylor Force of Willed and found his Force predictably Spell Pierced. It was looking like a slaughter as Taylor continued to miss lands, but he found a fetchland on the following turn!
Gitaxian Probe from Logan revealed three Nimble Mongoose, Spell Snare, Ponder, and Lightning Bolt. “Sweet ones,” Taylor said, and Logan moved on with a Brainstorm. Breaking a Strand to shuffle, Logan grabbed his fifth land and cast another Brainstorm. Was he really totally dry on threats?
Geist of Saint Traft said no.
Another fetchland for Taylor meant he could threaten Geist with two Nimble Mongooses, but he fetched Volcanic Island and Tropical Island in order to cast Ponder and then Nimble Mongoose. A hardcast Batterskull from Logan earned a Daze from Taylor, and Logan passed. The second Mongoose resolved, now forcing Logan to evaluate his Geist’s attack.
He Brainstormed again first, looking for a second Geist or another credible threat. He wound up jamming in the Geist and then Submerging it after Taylor blocked, planning to ship in one more time and likely finish the job with Lightning Bolt—Taylor was on 7. Recasting the Geist after Taylor played his third Mongoose, Logan ended his turn.
Revealing a pair of Bolts afterward, Logan locked up the game.
Logan 2, Taylor 0