Quarterfinals: Pete Ingram vs. Chi Hoi Yim
Chi Hoi Yim has piloted control decks to his second consecutive Invitational quarterfinal, but if he hoped to go deeper than he did on his last try, he’d need to his UWR Miracles deck to overpower GP Miami quarterfinalist Pete Ingram, who was undefeated in the Swiss with BUG Delver.
Pete's mind can't handle the possibilities.
Deathrite Shaman was the turn 1 play for Pete, while Chi Hoi had a power one-drop of his own in the form of Sensei’s Divining Top. Pete added Dark Confidant on his second turn but left the Deathrite Shaman back for mana. Chi Hoi cast a turn 2 Brainstorm, but simply played a Plains and passed the turn. Dark Confidant revealed a Stifle, and Pete fired off a Ponder before crashing with his Confidant, dropping Chi Hoi to 17.
Chi Hoi spun his Sensei’s Divining Top and gave some strong consideration to sorcery-speed action, but chose to simply play his third land, a Tundra, and pass the turn back to Pete. Pete attempted a Brainstorm in his upkeep, and Chi Hoi responded with by activating his Top to draw a Terminus. Pete attempted a Stifle on the miracle trigger, Chi Hoi pitched Counterbalance to cast Force of Will, and Pete let that one go before attempting a second Stifle. That one resolved, and Terminus went harmlessly Chi Hoi’s hand. It didn’t stay there long, however, as Cho Hoi cast an end step Brainstorm and put right back on top of his deck. He revealed it in his draw step, and this time it resolved, sending Dark Confidant and Deathrite Shaman to the bottom of Pete’s library.
With a little room to breathe, Chi Hoi replayed his Sensei’s Divining Top and passed the turn. Pete wasted no time replenishing his board, casting Tarmogoyf and another Deathrite Shaman from his hand. Chi Hoi found Swords to Plowshares and sent the Tarmogoyf back to the farm, and played out a second Sensei’s Divining Top before passing the turn. Pete cast a True-Name Nemesis, predictably choosing “Chi Hoi Yim,” but Chi Hoi had the perfect answer, casting Council’s Judgment and choosing to exile it.
A second Deathrite Shaman bolstered Pete’s clock, and he passed the turn with his first one active. Chi Hoi simply drew a land, played it, and passed, falling to 13 from the Deathrite Shaman on his end step. Pete was content to Wasteland Chi Hoi’s Tundra and pass the turn, and Chi Hoi pulled the trigger on Pete’s end step, tapping Sensei’s Divining Top to draw Entreat the Angels. Pete Brainstormed for an answer, but ultimately let it resolve, and two 4/4 Angels entered the battlefield.
When Chi Hoi crashed in for 8 in the air on his own turn, Pete used Abrupt Decay to kill one of two Angels, falling to 17 from the other. He shocked Chi Hoi down to 10 with his other Deathrite Shaman, then untapped and cast Ponder. With Chi Hoi at 10, Pete was content to attempt to race the Angel with his Shamans, and passed back. Chi Hoi miracled up a Terminus on his draw step to put a stop to that plan. Pete pitched Daze to attempt a Force of Will, but Chi Hoi was ready with Pyroblast. Pete used the two Deathrite Shamans to drop Chi Hoi to 5, and then board was clear again.
Counterbalance came down for Chi Hoi, but with his Sensei’s Divining Top tucked on top of his library or the time being, Pete was able to sneak a 3/4 Tarmogoyf through Chi Hoi’s defenses. Chi Hoi drew and played his Top, and then Pete bashed him down to 2 and passed back. Chi Hoi found Swords to Plowshares in his top 3 cards, and it arrived to clear away the Tarmogoyf. Chi Hoi was at 2, but he had Counterbalance active, Sensei’s Divining Top on top of his library, and a clear board. Pete took the opportunity in Chi Hoi’s draw step to cast Brainstorm while the Top was stuck in his hand, but he didn’t find a way to stop the Top from re-entering play, nor an Abrupt Decay to destroy the Counterbalance. Chi Hoi happily replayed his Sensei’s Divining Top and established the hard lock.
Both players simply played draw-go for the next few turns, and Chi Hoi found a second Counterbalance as insurance against Abrupt Decay. Pete attempted a Ponder and a Dark Confidant, but both were countered by Counterbalance. Within a few turns Chi Hoi found a second copy of Entreat the Angels, and the Angels carried him to a 1-0 lead.
Chi Hoi Yim 1, Pete Ingram 0
Once again it was turn 1 Deathrite Shaman for Pete, and turn 1 Sensei’s Divining Top for Chi Hoi. This time Pete came prepared, casting a turn 2 Pithing Needle to shut down the Top. Chi Hoi played a Scalding Tarn and cast Ponder, which drew a Daze from Pete. When Chi Hoi cracked his fetchland to pay for the Daze, Pete used Stifle to keep him landless. Chi Hoi passed the turn with a single tapped land in play, and Pete went for the jugular, casting True-Name Nemesis.
Chi Hoi spent a few turns finding lands and developing his manabase, but all the while True-Name Nemesis and Deathrite Shaman were doing work on his life total. He fell to 15,then 10, then 5. Wasteland from Pete kept him stunted on mana, and failing to find a Terminus or Council’s Judgment, Chi Hoi was quickly defeated.
Pete Ingram 1, Chi Hoi Yim 1
Chi Hoi calmly tries to regain a foothold.
Chi Hoi kept things consistent with a turn 1 Sensei’s Divining Top, but this time Delver of Secrets was the one drop of choice for Pete. It immediately achieved Insect form, as Pete revealed a Spell Pierce, and he crashed in for 3 and Wastelanded away Chi Hoi’s Tundra. Chi Hoi went for a Ponder, which drew the Spell Pierce, then played Volcanic Island and fired off Brainstorm, which resolved. Pete added another Delver of Secrets to his Board and Wastelanded Chi Hoi back down to just one land, knocking him down to 13 and shipping back.
Despite giving the Top a spin, Chi Hoi didn’t find a second land, and could do nothing as the Delver and Insectile Aberration dropped him to 9. Dark Confidant came down post-combat to bolster Pete’s attack force, and Chi Hoi knew he was in need of a miracle. He spun his Top… and found nothing.
Pete Ingram 2, Chi Hoi Yim 1
Chi Hoi had no Sensei’s Divining Top to start the game, but Ponder did a poor man’s Top impression. Pete led with Deathrite Shaman, and followed up with a Delver of Secrets on turn 2. Chi Hoi was content to play his lands and pass, and when the Delver of Secrets missed it’s check on turn 3, Pete sent it crashing in for 1, and Chi Hoi attempted to flash in a Snapcaster Mage, doing its best Ambush Viper impression. Pete said no, bouncing his Underground Sea to cast Daze, and Chi Hoi fell to 16.
Chi Hoi missed on his third land for another turn, but Pete couldn’t capitalize, simply attacking for one with his Delver of Secrets and passing back. Chi Hoi found the third land he needed on his next turn for a Council’s Judgment, but Spell Pierce put a stop to that plan, and Deathrite drained Chi Hoi down to 12. Chi Hoi attempted Council’s Judgment again on his next turn, but this one was stopped by Force of Will pitching another Force.
Insectile Aberration finally came out to play for Pete, as Malestrom Pulse was revealed, but promptly shuffled away in Pete’s upkeep thanks to a Misty Rainforest. The 3/2 flier came swinging and dropped Chi Hoi to 6. Chi hoi would need a sweeper to stabilize, and he found his fourth land to cast a clutch Supreme Verdict, falling to 4 from a Deathrite activation in response. Unfussed, Pete simply dropped another Delver of Secrets and another Deathrite Shaman into play and passed right back.
Chi Hoi had a Pyroclasm in his hand, but was missing the red source he’d need to cast it. His draw step didn’t help him, so he had to fade Delver’s flip for at least a turn. He passed, and Pete checked his top card, then silently slid it into his hand. Chi Hoi exhaled and went to 1. He checked for the miracle Volcanic Island on his next draw step, but failed to find it, and extended the hand in defeat.
Pete Ingram 3, Chi Hoi Yim 1