Quarterfinals: Mitch Yunker vs. Robin Schmit
Second-seed Mitch Yunker was happy to be on the play with his aggressive Orzhov Humans deck, hoping to get out ahead with little beaters and steal a quick victory. Robin Schmit had other plans, however, and brought the bogeyman of standard, Mono-Black Devotion, to battle.
Mitch quickly kept his opener, but Robin shipped back his opening seven.
Robin: “This is my first mulligan all day!”
Mitch: “Oh yeah? I’ve mulliganed like crazy today.”
Robin kept his six, and Mitch was fast out of the gate, with a turn 1 Soldier of the Pantheon and a Pain Seer on turn 2. Robin had the Devour Flesh on turn 2 to stymie the beatdowns, and the Soldier quickly hit the bin.
Mitch didn’t add another creature to the board on his turn 3, only activating Mutavault and attacking for 4, putting Robin at 14. Robin had another Devour flesh the following turn, sending Mitch back to 20 life but clearing his board aside from the pesky Mutavault. The Mutavault swung again, and Mitch added Daring Skyjek to the board.
Robin didn’t have a fourth land drop, but he did have a potentially scary threat for Mitch in the form of Pack Rat. Mitch had Orzhov Charm to remove it, and attacked again with Mutavault and Skyjek. Robin fell to 7, and Mitch dropped another Mutavault post-combat.
Robin could only pass with mana up. When Mitch attacked again the next turn with Boros Elite and one of his two Mutavaults, Robin had the Hero’s Downfall for one Mutavault, falling to 2. Another Daring Skyjek hit the board. Robin finally found his fourth land the following turn, but could only muster a Nightveil Specter, leaving him dead on board. Mitch quickly turned everyone sideways to take the first game.
Mitch Yunker 1, Robin Schmit 0
The two players sideboarded quickly and made chit-chat before the second game.
Yunker: “How old are you?’
Schmit: “I’m fifteen.”
Yunker: “Wow, I’m a decade older than you!”
Schmit: “…You don’t look it.”
Both players kept seven and Robin had the first play of the game with a turn 2 Pack Rat backed up by Mutavault. Mitch’s turn 2 response of Daring Skyjek gave Robin pause. Should he kill the blocker, or make more Rats? He settled on the “more Rats” plan, attacking for one and passing the turn with three mana open.
He ended up spending his mana differently than he might have intended. Mitch cast Xathrid Necromancer on his turn 3, and Robin responded by casting Hero’s Downfall on the Skyjek, denying Mitch a Zombie token. He untapped and quickly made a Rat token, activating Mutavault to pump his original Rat to a 3/3, which then attacked. Mitch had Banisher Priest the next turn for the Rat token, but the original remained, threating to duplicate out of control.
Robin chose not to leave up mana for more Rats on his next turn, opting instead to remove the Xathrid Necromancer with Hero’s Downfall. He passed with 2 mana open. Mitch took the opportunity to get in some damage, casting Spear of Heliod and cracking in with Banisher Priest, a 2/2 Zombie token, and a Mutavault. Robin fell to 11.
Robin made his sixth land drop the following turn. He made one extra Rat immediately, but passed the turn with 3 mana open, threating to pitch his last remaining card to make the third Rat. He again ended up using that mana for removal, as Mitch cast another Xathrid Necromancer, and Robin again cast Hero’s Downfall in response, targeting Banisher Priest. Mitch still took the opportunity to attack, knocking Robin to 5. Robin could only draw a card and pass.
Mitch took his time with his next attack, knowing that he needed to tread carefully around Robin’s Rats. He attacked with Xathrid Necromancer, a Zombie token, and a Mutavault, all 3/3s thanks to Spear of Heliod. Robin made a Rat, and Mitch responded by killing one previously existing Rat with Orzhov Charm. Mitch blocked with both Rats, activating Mutavault to grow them. The 3/3s were traded off, and in the aftermath Robin sat at 2 life against Mutavault and a Zombie token.
Robin drew and passed with only a Mutavault to block. Mitch sent both his attackers in, and Robin extended the hand in defeat.
Mitch Yunker 2, Robin Schmit 0