Quarterfinals: Phil Silberman vs. Ben Stepka
Phil waits to see if his mini-Sphinx’s Revelation resolves.
Both players kept their seven-card hand and began making land drops for the first few turns. They matched land-for-land until turn 14, when Phil did not make his 14th land drop, Ben did not miss his and Phil launched the first Sphinx’s Revelation for four at end of turn, that resolved. Phil untapped, played a land and cast Jace, Architect of Thought. Ben responded with a Sphinx of four of his own, cycled an Azorius Charm, then let the planeswalker resolve. Phil ticked Jace down and kept a Sphinx and put two cards on the bottom before proceeding to discard.
Ben resolved a Jace of his own and only came away with a land and a Supreme Verdict off his reveal. Ben played an Elspeth, that resolved and then made three soldier tokens. Phil Sphinxed for four again at Ben’s end step. Phil FOFed with his Jace and got a Dissolve and a land. Phil played a Fated Retribution on his turn, wiped the board and bottomed both cards off the scry.
More turns of draw-go led Phil to move to his discard phase and Ben wanted to revelate for five, but Phil countered it with the known Dissolve. Players were now in draw-discard mode until Phil played another Jace, which resolved and rolled down to net him a couple lands. Ben Detention Sphered the Jace and passed back. After a few more turns, Ben resolved his second Jace and rolled it down as well to net Syncopate and a land. Phil sent his two Mutavaults at Jace, but Ben responded with an instant-speed Fated Retribution that resolved, killing his Jace and the two Mutavaults. Phil used this window to attempt to resolve an Elixir of Immortality. Ben responded with a Dissolve, Phil responded with a Dissolve of his own, and the Elixir resolved.
Ben played his second Elspeth and made some soldiers before passing. Phil cracked his Elixir to go up to 31 life, but more importantly, reshuffle his graveyard into his library. Phil played Detention Sphere and it exiled the Elspeth before passing. Facing the pressure, Ben activated his two Mutavaults and attacked with them and the three soldiers. Phil blocked a token with his Mutavualt and fell to 25. Ben resolved his third Elspeth and made three more soldiers. Phil revelated for seven, Ben went for a Syncopate for one more mana then Phil had up, and Phil Dissolved the counter, and won the counter war and drew seven more cards.
With Ben tapped out, Phil considered his options. He went with a Detention Sphere on Elspeth and used a Supreme Verdict to get rid of the tokens before proceeding to discard down to seven. Ben attacked with his Mutavaults again and Phil traded one of his for one and took two damage. Phil played two Divinations and passed. Ben resolved a Jace that he ticked up for once. Ben went into ultimate Jace mode and attacked for two with his land. Phil found another Detention Sphere for the Jace and passed. Ben attacked for two more, passed priority and Phil used another Sphinx for 10. Phil resolved his Elixir again and resolved his only Elspeth.
Ben went for a Detention Sphere, but it got countered by a Dissolve. Ben tried again, but ran into another Dissolve. Ben pulled the trigger on a third Sphere, but Phil had the third Dissolve. Ben used this time to go for an Aetherling and Phil responded with a Nullify that led Ben to concede the game.
Phil 1, Ben 0
Ben considers his sideboard options for Game 2.
Ben kept his seven and Phil had to mulligan down to four before finding a suitable hand. The players matched lands until turn 5 when Ben got played a Jace and ticked it up. Phil attacked the Jace with two Mutavaults. Ben ticked up his planeswalker, then Phil played a third Mutavault and passed without attacking. Ben used his -2 on Jace to net a few cards and passed. Phil sent in his lands again to kill the Jace, but Ben had a Last Breath for the land and kept his Jace around. Ben used his turn to resolve an Aetherling that met no counter magic and passed with double blue open. Phil used the window to play a Pithing Needle, but its name didn’t matter as Ben used a Revoke Existence on the Elixir then attacked with Aetherling to drop Phil to 18.
Phil tried to use Fated Retribution to deal with the shapeshifter, but Ben had the Dissolve. Ben untapped attacked Phil down to 12 and ticked up his Jace. Phil went for a Sphinx for five, but ben had the Gainsay. Ben attacked Phil down to 6 and passed. Phil used a Jace to look at three irrelevant cards and scooped them up.
Phil 1, Ben 1
Phil again had mulligan issues and found a playable five while Ben kept a seven-card hand. Phil missed his fourth land drop and Ben hit his as the players started out building up their mana base. Ben went for an early Jace that got hit by a Gainsay. Phil resolved his Elixir and passed. Ben went for a Detention Sphere on the Elixir but Phil activated it and shuffled it up.
Phil again missed a and drop and Ben responded at end of turn for a Sphinx for two. Ben attempted his second Jace, this one resolved and immediately ticked up. Phil played a Sphinx of his own for two that resolved. Phil D-Sphered the Jace and passed the turn. Ben went for another revelation, and Phil tried a Gainsay, but Ben had the Dispel.
Ben went for his Aetherling and Phil used a Dissolve, but Ben had another Dispel to get his sahepshifter to resolve. Phil played a Jace and grabbed an Opportunity off the -2 and played a Pithing Needle naming “Aetherling.”
Ben added an Elspeth to his board and pumped out three soldiers, then sent the 4/5 at to kill Jace. Phil tried to play Opportunity but it was countered by Gainsay, then went for a Detention Sphere that ran into a Syncopate. With no cards in hand, Phil shipped the turn.
Ben attacked Phil down to 18 and made more soldiers. Phil drew and passed with no answer off the top. Ben cashed in his Jace, swung with his team to drop Phil to 8 then shipped it back. Phil drew for the turn and used Divination to attempt to find an answer. Phil tried to play a Jace, but Ben had the coutner and Phil extended the hand.
Ben 2, Phil 1