Quarterfinals: Paul Hargrove vs. Shane Remelt
Paul Hargrove came in as the number one seed while his opponent Shane Remelt squeaked in with an undefeated record that included 3 unintentional draws. Paul is packing a fast dredge deck that intends on getting the game over quickly while coming at an angle that many decks aren’t ready for pre-sideboard. Shane is on Miracles, known for being able to win a wide variety of matchups, albeit in a much slower fashion.
Paul being the first seed elects to play and both players keep their opening hands. Paul leads with a Gemstone Mine and plays a Faithless Looting. Wanting to prevent Paul from enabling his dredge cards Shane ponders his options before casting Force of Will pitching Snapcaster Mage. Shane opens with Tundra and Sensei’s Diving Top and passes back.
Paul taps his Gemstone Mine to cast Careful Study and Shane doesn’t have a counterspell. Paul discards 2 Golgari Grave Troll before playing a Lion’s Eye Diamond, discarding his hand, and flashing back Faithless Looting. Paul’s graveyard now has 2x Golgari Grave Troll, Flame-kin Zealot, Cabal Therapy, Ichorid and some black creatures for Ichorid to eat.
Shane plays a flooded stand and passes. Paul’s turn 3 starts by recurring Ichorid exiling Golgari Thug before dredging back Golgari Grave Troll, putting another Faithless Looting and another Ichorid in the graveyard. Shane takes 3, untaps and spins top before drawing and playing another Tundra.
Paul starts his turn with Ichorid again, exiling another Golgari Thug. His dredge of Grave Troll hits another Cabal Therapy and a Bridge from Below. Paul attacks with 2 Ichorids and Shane cracks his fetchland for a 3rd Tundra before flashing in Snapcaster Mage and blocks and Ichorid to save 3 life and Shane goes down to 12. Post-combat Paul flashes back Cabal Therepy naming Force of Will. Shane’s hand reveals Force, Entreat the Angels, and Flooded Strand. Shane spins his top a bit, plays the Flooded Stand and passes back.
Paul exiles 2 Stinkweed Imps to recur his Ichorids on upkeep before dredging for his draw. Paul’s dredge on drawstep puts a Bridge from Below into the graveyard and a Narcomeoba into play. Still in Pauls drawstep Shane flips his top and reveals Terminus to deal send Paul’s 3 creatures to the bottom of his library.
Shane redraws and recasts top and passes. Paul dredges back a Grave Troll, putting another Cabal Therapy and a Dread Return in his graveyard. Shane spins the top at Pauls endstep. Shane leads his turn off with a Brainstorm, ensure that Entreat the Angels will be cast as a miracle very soon.
Paul without any more dredge cards in his graveyard has to take a natural draw step and passes without action. Shane flips top and miracles Entreat the Angels to put 2 4/4 Flying Angel tokens into play at the end of Paul’s turn. Shane plays Jace, the Mindscupter and Fateseals Paul, sending the card to the bottom and attacks for 8, putting Paul to 12. Paul takes another draw before conceding.
Shane Remelt 1, Paul Hargrove 0
Paul is on the play again this time and both players keep. Paul opens with Mana Confluence and Cabal Therapy naming Rest in Peace, Shane reveals Island, Plains, Counterbalance, 2x Sensei’s Diving Top, Scalding Tarn, and Swords to Plowshares. Shane goes Island and Top for his turn. Paul still plays the previous turn by playing another Cabal Therepy naming Rest in Peace and Shane reveals that he drew Ponder. (18-20) Paul plays a Gemstone Mine and casts Careful Study, discarding Iona, Shield of Emeria and Stinkweed Imp. Shane goes Scalding Tarn, cracks for Tundra and assembles the rest of the combo in Counterbalance.
Paul dredges Stinkweed Imp, putting a Dread Return into his graveyard and plays Cephalid Coliseum sacrifices it to draw 3 natural cards. Paul discards Stinkweed Imp along with 2 Ichorids. Paul moves to cast Faithless Looting but Shane flips his Sensei’s Diving Top to counter with Counterbalance.
Shane casts Ponder, likes the 3, then plays Flooded Strand and replays the Top. Paul dredges Imp, hitting nothing relevant. Paul goes to cast Lion’s Eye Diamond and Shane reshuffles his library by cracking Flooded Stand for Tundra then spins the top looking for a 0-cc card (land) to counter the 0-cc spell. Doesn’t find one however and has to flip top to get Force of Will to counter the LED, pitching Brainstorm.
Paul without a discard outlet expends his last Gemstone Mine counter to hardcast Narcomeoba. Shane spins on upkeep, plays Scalding Tarn and passes. Paul takes a draw and gets in for 1 with Narcomeoba, making it 16-all. On Paul’s endstep Shane uses Flooded Strand to get another Tundra then spins his top. Shane draws and spins again mainphase, then flips top to draw Meddling Mage and casts it naming Dread Return. Shane plays another top.
Paul draws another and hits for 1, putting the life 16-14 in Paul’s favor, but not for long. Shane spins on endstep, draws, plays Mystic Gate, and spins mainphase before passing. Paul goes to cast Lion’s Eye Diamond but Shane flips top to draw Force of Will and hardcasts it for the full 5 mana. On Shane’s turn he attacks, taking the lead 12-14. Paul brings back one of his 3 Ichorids exiling one of them and attacks for 4, but Shane uses his Swords to Plowshares to exile the Ichorid permanently.
Paul without an enabler draws, attacks and plays Gemstone Mine. Shane attacks back putting the players at 10-12 in Shane’s favor. A few turns of the same pass before lands Jace, the Mindscuptor and literally sealing Pauls fate by keeping the card on top. Paul extended his hand in concession while Shane moves onto the Semifinals.
Shane Remelt 2, Paul Hargrove 0