Quarterfinals: Pete Repp vs. Richard Nguyen
It was all Swamps all the time in this quarterfinal—Pete Repp was representing the traditional Mono-Black Devotion deck, and Richard Nguyen was bringing the beats with Mono-Black Aggro.
Pete puts his minions to work.
Thoughtseize got the party started for Pete on turn 1, and he saw an aggressive hand of Herald of Torment, Spiteful Returned, two Tormented Heroes, and two Swamps from Richard. He denied him a Tormented Hero, but that didn’t stop the other from entering play on Richard’s own turn. Pete continued to shock himself, playing a turn 2 Sign in Blood, and Richard knocked him down to 14 before adding Spiteful Returned to his board.
The Spiteful Returned ate a turn 3 Bile Blight from Pete, and Richard cast a Sign in Blood of his own before dropping Pete to 12 with his Tormented Hero. Richard passed without a third land, and Pete quickly dropped the 6/6 Desecration Demon into play. Richard went digging deeper, casting a second Sign in Blood, this time finding a third land and another copy of Tormented Hero.
The Desecration Demon came swinging, dropping Richard down to 10, and a second copy came right behind. Pete passed with the Demon on defense, but Richard had a plan, and bestowed Gnarled Scarhide on the opposing Demon. This prevented the Demon from blocking, and allowed Richard to swing in with his Tormented Heroes, dropping Pete to 6 and setting up a potential win the next turn with Herald of Torment in hand.
Pete had other plans, however, and was able to drop Richard down to 2 with the other Desecration Demon and a Mutavault. He flashed him Sign in Blood for the last two points, and it was on to game two.
Pete Repp 1, Richard Nguyen 0
Richard looks on in horror as Desecration Demon eats his creatures.
Richard began the charge with a turn 1 Gnarled Scarhide, and followed it up with a second copy on his next turn, but had no second land. Pete stemmed the bleeding with an Ultimate Price on one Scarhide, but Richard simply replaced it with a third copy and knocked Pete down to 16. Turn 3 Nightveil Specter from Pete looked like it would hold off the charge.
Richard fired off Duress, finding nothing to take but seeing another Nightveil Specter, two Desecration Demons, and two Swamps. He played a second Swamp and attacked with his Scarhides, using Boon of Erebos to save one after Pete blocked with Nightveil Specter. Pete shrugged and cast his Desecration Demon, which successfully held off the aggression from Richard or at least a turn. Richard played his third land, cast Spiteful Returned, and passed right back.
The Desecration Demon flew across the battlefield and smacked Richard down to 14, and Pete dropped a Mutavault into play and cast his other Nightveil Specter, passing with two blockers. After some deliberation, Richard attacked with just his Spiteful Returned, a suicide attack that served only to get in one trigger for 2 damage, dropping Pete to 12. He played a post-combat Herald of Torment and shipped the turn.
Richard fed one of his Gnarled Scarhides to Desecration Demon on Pete’s combat, so Pete decided he couldn’t afford to tap any potential blockers, and simply cast another Desecration Demon from his hand and passed back, again with Mutavault mana up. Richard was ready with a Dark Betrayal for the untapped Demon, then dropped Pete to 9 with his Herald of Torment and cast Spiteful Returned.
Pete’s Desecration Demon found more food on his next attack step, as Richard sacrificed his other Gnarled Scarhide to shut it down. Pete swung with his Nightveil Specter, finding a Rakdos Cackler, and cast it along with another Desecration Demon before passing back in commanding position. Richard could see the writing on the wall, and after he found no help in his draw step, he extended the hand in defeat.
Pete Repp 2, Richard Nguyen 0