Quarterfinals: Mike Prokop vs. Scott Ouderkirk
There were a few Delver players in this Top 8, including Mike, but none of them were paired against each other. Would the green decks shut out the Seachrome Coasts? Mike sure hoped so, and he had Talrands to give him an extra edge.
Scott's Bonfire of the Damneds have burned everyone in his path so far.
Mike kept his opener on the play, while Scott dropped to six cards. Seachrome Coast and Forest as each player failed to make a one-drop, with Mike playing Island on turn 2 and passing with Mana Leak represented. He declined to respond to Birds of Paradise, but did Gut Shot it during the end step.
Augur of Bolas prior to a land appeared to offer Mike choices, and he landed on Thought Scour after some thought, playing another Island. The other option was a Dismember, but his hand appeared to be lacking active plays to leverage the removal spell properly. Scott had no third land, just a Green Sun’s Zenith for one to give him another Birds of Paradise. Mike Scoured, milling Delver and Gitaxian Probe, then untapped and attacked for 1 damage. Adding another Coast, he ended the turn.
Now on three mana, Scott made it four with Copperline Gorge. Now he could try one of his power four-drops, and he settled on... Green Sun’s Zenith for three. That earned an immediate Mana Leak from Mike, keeping him in the driver’s seat.
Another swing for 1 damage, and Mike added Talrand to the board before casting Probe at the cost of 2 life. That showed him Huntmaster of the Fells, Strangleroot Geist, Hellrider... and Bonfire of the Damned! If Scott drew a land, then Mike’s Drakes would be undone. He Vapor Snagged the Birds, tapping out and protecting himself from anything except a miracle.
There wasn’t any such luck on Scott’s side of the board. He recast Birds of Paradise and shrugged, allowing Mike to untap with Talrand—no good could come of that! The legends primary strength came against green decks, and he was about to start showing off. Runechanter’s Pike on a Drake and another Snag for the Birds gave Mike an attack for 14 damage, leaving Scott dead on the board and drawing almost as poorly.
Mike 1, Scott 0
Scott had seven for game 2, and began once more with Birds of Paradise. Gut Shot again sniped the little guy, and Mike had no turn 1 Delver but did have an Island. His pause before taking 2 damage from a second-turn Strangleroot Geist implied Vapor Snag potential, but only Thought Scour came down.
Delver of Secrets on turn 2 for Mike, but better late than never! He had another Island, and Scott now had to consider racing an Aberration. He attacked, and Mike revealed he’d been contemplating Gut Shot—he cast it now, turning the Geist into a 3/2. Scott only had a third land. Mike’s Delver missed, but he did have Blade Splicer to start holding down the fort. Scott paused in the end step, and decided to commit to Crushing Vines on the Golem.
He passed, representing Snapcaster Mage or maybe an Angel—after all, it wasn’t a land or a spell. He blocked the Geist with his Delver when Scott attacked, and then used the end step to flashback Gut Shot with Snapcaster Mage. Scott hadn’t used Wolf Run and he also hadn’t made a play; what was he holding to pass with five mana?
Mike took the first game off Scott's stumbles, but fell behind in the second.
Mike used Ponder to keep his top three in place, including a Pike, though another Vines was among Scott’s likeliest holdings... Bonfire of the Damned also bore mentioning. He Pondered again after that, and attacked for 2 damage after keeping the cards. Playing Island, he passed.
Birds of Paradise for Scott, and he sent the turn. Vapor Snag on Birds from Mike, and he landed Runechanter’s Pike and then equipped it. His attack met a Combust—no Crushing Vines, but preventing the damage for now. With Mike tapped out, Scott was content to resolve Thragtusk and seize control of the board.
It looked like he may have diluted his deck a bit for so much removal, but it was working out now. Mike Pondered once more, keeping his three and then casting Delver of Secrets, and equipping Pike. If this little guy lived, Mike would have renewed hope...
Miracle Bonfire of the Damned earned the concession from Mike on the next turn. Deadest Delver you’ve ever seen!
Mike 1, Scott 1
Mike kept, while Scott took a mulligan to six. Turn 1 Delver of Secrets began the heat early, and Scott’s Copperline Gorge for Llanowar Elves replied. No Gut Shot and a missed Delver trigger meant the Elves would likely save a point of damage, but Mike Gitaxian Probed to see Birds, Sword of War and Peace, Huntmaster of the Fells, and two Wolf Runs.
He considered an attack, but passed after playing Glacial Fortress. Scott tapped out for his blade, and Mana Leak from Mike countered—whew! Delver didn’t flip on turn 3 either, and Mike found himself a little flooded. Moorland Haunt and nothing concluded his turn, while Scott predictably ran out Huntmaster of the Fells before Snapcaster Mage could stop him.
A second Mana Leak got him.
Revealing a third (!) Mana Leak to Delver of Secrets, Mike swung for 3 damage and played his fourth land, ending the turn. Scott wasn’t in much of a position to play around it yet; he might just have to go through it. Birds of Paradise then Llanowar Elves boosted his mana production to six, and he passed.
Blade Splicer for Mike resolved, and he passed with two mana up once again after attacking. Scott played Sword of Feast and Famine, earning a Mana Leak that only tapped him out. Mike untapped into Runechanter’s Pike and dropped it on his Aberration.
Mike 2, Scott 1