Quarterfinals: Mike Nyberg vs. Aaron Cook
Aaron Cook weighs his options.
Both players kept their full seven and led with Elvish Mystic, Mike off a Forest and Aaron an untapped Stomping Ground that put him at 18 life. Mike’s follow-up was a Courser of Kruphix with another Forest, while Aaron countered with a Mountain and Domri Rade. Domri’s +1 ability showed Elvish Mystic, which went to hand.
Mike laid a Forest and attacked Domri down to one loyalty with Courser of Kruphix and Elvish Mystic. Aaron’s next Domri activation bore no fruit, but he added another Planeswalker to his side of the battlefield: Xenagos, the Reveler. After a satyr token, Aaron passed.
Mike made another attack on Domri with the Courser, which the satyr token blocked, and followed with a postcombat Polukranos, World Eater. Aaron made another satyr token and countered with a flying threat, Stormbreath Dragon. After an attack for four, Domri Rade showed Sylvan Caryatid.
Mike played Temple of Abandon off the top of his library, seeing and shipping a second copy of Polukranos to the bottom. His battlefield Polukranos attacked Aaron’s Domri, while Courser and Elvish Mystic went at Xenagos. A satyr token blocked and killed the Mystic, but Domri died and Xenagos fell to one loyalty. A Monstrous activation of Polukranos for one killed Aaron’s Mystic.
Aaron played Stomping Ground untapped, going to 15, and used the +1 ability on Xenagos to add RR to his mana pool. That gave him just enough mana to make Stormbreath Dragon monstrous and start attacking in seven-point chunks. Mike took two attacks and scooped before the third.
Aaron 1, Mike 0.
Aaron had to mulligan to five and a one-land, Sylvan Caryatid hand. Mike kept a full seven and curved out. The turn after Aaron found his second land, Mike attacked with an Arbor Colossus powered up by Xenagos, God of Revels for the quick win.
Aaron 1, Mike 1.
Mike Nyberg shuffles up for Game 2 of the quarterfinals.
Aaron was on the play. Both players kept seven.
Aaron led with a Forest, while Mike countered with a Forest and Elvish Mystic. Aaron added a Mutavault and Sylvan Caryatid to his side of the battlefield, while Mike went with a Mountain and Courser of Kruphix. Aaron untapped and used Mizzium Mortars on the Courser before it could gain Mike any life.
Mike untapped, attacked Aaron to 19 with Elvish Mystic, and added Sylvan Caryatid and a tapped Stomping Ground to his side of the battlefield. Aaron, after some thought, played a Forest and then cast Xenagos, the Reveler, making a satyr token. Mike played a Mountain and hardcast Ghor-Clan Rampager, while Aaron, again after thought, made another satyr with Xenagos and cast a Ghor-Clan Rampager of his own.
Mike played a Forest and Overloaded Mizzium Mortars to wipe Aaron’s side of the battlefield. The Rampager killed Xenagos, while Elvish Mystic attacked Aaron to 18. Aaron responded with Scavenger Ooze. Though he was short on lands, he still had a Forest untapped and ready to activate the Ooze.
Mike attacked Aaron with his Rampager, which sent Aaron to 14 life on the no-block. An Elvish Mystic and Mountain came postcombat. During the end step, Scavenger Ooze ate its first dead creature, the Courser of Kruphix, and grew to 3/3.
Mike attacked with his two Elvish Mystics to make the life totals 15-all but had only a Forest for a followup. Aaron played Temple of Abandon, leaving the scryed card on top, and activated his Mutavault. A double attack saw the Mutavault blocked by Sylvan Caryatid, but after the Scavenger Ooze ate the last Rampager, the life totals stood at Aaron 16, Mike 9.
Mike untapped, drew, and thought. “Cards in hand?” “Three,” came the answer. Mike passed. Aaron untapped and went for Xenagos, God of Revels, who gave Scavenger Ooze a divine upgrade. An Elvish Mystic saved Mike from death. Mike untapped and cast Domri Rade, whose +1 ability brought a Sylvan Caryatid to hand. Mike cast the Caryatid and passed.
Aaron untapped and drew. It was his turn to think. He cast Stormbreath Dragon, which received the Xenagos trigger. Aaron sent the Dragon at Mike and the Scavenger Ooze at Domri. An Elvish Mystic chump-block saved Domri, while Mike fell to a perilous 1 life.
Mike played Temple of Abandon and scryed. Domri Rade brought Courser of Kruphix to hand. He cast it and then a lifesaving Mizzium Mortars on the Stormbreath Dragon. Mike was still in chump-block mode, though, and in need of a threat.
It was Aaron who had the threats instead, adding Polukranos, World Eater to his side of the battlefield. Xenagos buffed Polukranos, who barreled into Domri Rade. Scavenging Ooze joined the attack, and while Domri died, Sylvan Caryatid blocked to save Mike once more.
Aaron Cook wins 2-1!
-- written by John Dale Beety