Quarterfinals: Mason Lange vs. Josh Tabak
The eternal struggle—Copperline Gorge against Seachrome Coast. Mason entered the Top 8 as first seed with G/R Aggro, while Josh was playing a standard U/W Delver list. Mason's standing had earned him the play—would it earn him the win?
Mason began the game with Forest and birds of Paradise, losing his 0/1 to Gut Shot as Josh played Glacial Fortress. Plains and Pass for Josh when Mason played only a land on turn 2, and when he passed turn 3 without even a land drop, he was in trouble—let the oppression of Mana Leak begin!
Josh has to temper his opponent's aggressive deck in games 2 and 3.
Safe to play Geist of Saint Traft on turn 3, Josh did so. Mason missed the third land once more, and that came very close to putting it away in Josh's favor already. He was restricted on blue, with only one source, so he had to pass in order to keep Mana Leak available.
Mana Leak countered Daybreak Ranger when Mason found his third land, and Geist attacked him to 8 life. He drew and passed the turn, frustrated, and Josh cast Snapcaster Mage during the end step. He tried to attack for lethal, and a second Mana Leak kept Wolfir Avenger off defense.
Josh 1, Mason 0
Mason kept in game 2 while Josh started by falling to six cards. He didn't seem to like those much either, but decided to keep. Mason started with Forest and nothing, Josh firing back with Island. Rootbound Crag, go met Josh's Island, and Mason got it started with turn 3 Strangleroot Geist after playing a land. Josh Thought Scoured himself in response, and then did so again during the end step.
On turn 3 Josh Pondered and played Glacial Fortress, then considered Phantasmal Image before ending the turn. He dropped to 16 from the Geist as Josh played a fourth land but no creature, and Josh used Vapor Snag to bounce that 2/1. He cast Geist of Saint Traft during his own turn, and Mason had Wolfir Avenger during the end step.
He attacked Josh to 13 and tapped out for Batterskull, losing the Germ to a second Vapor Snag. Delver of Secrets from Josh followed an attack for 6, and he passed with three up. Mason cast Strangleroot Geist and then attacked with just the Avenger before passing the turn his 2/1 on defense.
Flipping Delver by revealing Gut Shot, Josh had to defend the 3/2 from Galvanic Blast during his upkeep with a Mana Leak. He then played Phantasmal Image copying Strangleroot Geist and attacked Mason with everything, getting through 9 damage to put Mason on 3 and losing his Geist of Saint Traft to the Strangleroot Geist when it blocked.
Mason equipped Batterskull and attacked him for lethal, sending it to game 3.
Josh 1, Mason 1
Mason sideboards to take back the advantage against Delver.
Josh started game 3 with Seachrome Coast, while Mason played Cooperline Gorge and Llanowar Elves. Josh Thought Scoured a land and Snapcaster away, playing another Seachrome before Gut Shot killed the one-drop. Mason played another Copperline Gorge and cast Birds of Paradise, Josh spending turn 3 on Timely Reinforcements.
Mason had Huntmaster of the Fells to create a wall, but Josh played Sword of War and Peace on turn 3 to threaten a destabilizing influence. Mason sent just his Wolf into combat, putting Josh to 22, and trying to pass. Josh Vapor Snagged the Huntmaster, and lost his Sword to Naturalize in response. Casting Ponder, Josh shuffled his deck before attacking with all of his Soldiers. He Mana Leaked Wolfir Avenger and got in 3 damage, burning a second Mana Leak on the Huntmaster Mason recast during the next turn.
Putting Josh to 20 with the Wolf, Mason passed. Josh swung for 3 and played Geist of Saint Traft right off the top, passing back to Mason. Continuing to get aggressive with his 2/2 Wolf, Mason put Josh to 18 while on 15 himself. He had a Wolf Run he wasn't using—clearly, he had a trick available.
That trick was Act of Aggression, stealing the Angel token and blocking Geist with it, falling to 12 from the Soldiers. Josh had Delver of Secrets, but Mason's last card was Galvanic Blast to kill the Delver. Strangleroot Geist and Kessig Wolf Run dealt Josh 6, leaving him on 12 as he peeled Thought Scour. Drawing a card, he cast another Thought Scour in search of help.
Tanking for some time, Josh attacked for 3 to put Mason on 9, prepared to take a lot. Kessig Wolf Run only pumped for 1, and Mason passed, playing Wolfir Avenger during Josh's upkeep. Josh was on 7 life and cast Delver of Secrets, passing without an attack.
Josh made the only block he could to live, throwing away all of his creatures and dropping to 1, with Mason still very far ahead. One more draw step, and it was over.
Mason 2, Josh 1