Quarterfinals: Sam Black vs. Danny Jessup
Sam, fresh off Worlds with his R/W Tokens deck, will be on the play in the quarterfinals, but will it be enough to beat Danny Jessup and Abzan Midrange?
Sam deploys Chandra, Pyromaster.
A couple of temples starting things out for both players as Danny developed his mana with a Sylvan Caryatid and Sam Raised the Alarm at the end step. Sam got in for 1 with his Soldiers and passed after another Temple of Triumph kept the card on top. Danny got the party started with a Siege Rhino on his third turn, but Sam would immediately chain it to the rocks, get in for 2 and make three Goblins with a Hordeling Outburst.
Danny had a backup Siege Rhino, bringing him back up to 21, and passed with two blockers on defense. Sam opted to keep a card on top with his third Temple of Triumph and added Chandra, Pyromaster to his board, who ticked up, pinging the Rhino and he finished it off with a convoked Stoke the Flames. Danny landed a Courser of Kruphix and killed off the Planeswalker with Hero’s Downfall to keep from falling far behind. Sam used another Chained to the Rocks to get rid of the Courser and attacked with the team. Danny landed his own Planeswalker, Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and made three Soldiers.
Sam sent his team at Elspeth, prompting Danny to trade off his tokens for Sam’s, leaving Sam with two Soldiers while Danny would make three more on his next turn and support them with another Caryatid and a Sorin, Solemn Visitor that ticked up. Sam just suited up a token with a bestowed Eidolon of Countless Battles and passed the turn. Danny upped both of his Planeswalkers and passed, content on building up his defenses. Sam used a Heliod’s Pilgrim to tutor up a Dragon Mantle and suited up his other token with the firebreathing enchantment. Sam drew off the Mantle but had not attacks and shipped the turn.
Danny kept growing his ranks and the loyalty on his Planeswalkers, sitting back on a hand of removal. Sam drew for his next turn and sent the Eidolon-equipped token at Elspeth and Danny chumped with a token. Sam was fine giving Danny two life off the chump because he was able to land a Wingmate Roc that was joined by a companion. At the end step, Danny used Utter End on a Chained to the Rocks to get his Rhino back and exiled the original Roc with an Abzan Charm. Danny used a Hero’s Downfall on the bird token, upped his Planeswalkers and sent everything into the red zone for a lethal attack.
Danny 1, Sam 0
Sam opened up with his one-of Monastery Swiftspear off a Mountain and attacked for 1 while Danny played a Temple of Silence. Sam’s next land was another Mountain, signaling no other play, and attacked for 1. Danny dropped a Llanowar Wastes and killed off the Swiftspear after Sam’s third attack with it. Sam’s third land was a Temple of Triumph and he again passed with no play, allowing Danny to untap, and use a Thoughtseize to take a Wingmate Roc from Sam’s hand, leaving him with a Chandra, Pyromaster, two copies of Glare of Hersey, and a Mana Confluence.
Danny passed after a land drop and Sam played his known land and a freshly-drawn Seeker of the Way. Danny continued playing land-go so Sam played Chandra to ping and attacked with his Seeker, but Danny exiled it with an Abzan Charm. The Chandra wasn’t long for the world as Danny untapped and killed it with a Hero’s Downfall. Sam had no play and Danny seized the momentum with a Sorin, Solemn Visitor that made a Vampire token.
Sam took a pain to play Ashcloud Phoenix and passed. Danny opted to tick up Sorin and attacked with the Vampire, knocking Sam to 15. Danny followed the attack with an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and played Liliana Vess, forcing Sam to discard a card. Sam pitched the Chain to the Rocks and sent the Phoenix at Sorin, killing it, and added another Phoenix to his board. Danny made Sam pitch another card and fired off a Thoughtseize, taking a Glare of Hersey, leaving Sam with a Chained to the Rocks. Danny passed so Sam exiled the Vampire token with the enchantment and sent his flaming birds at Liliana. Danny used a Hero’s Downfall on one, flipping it to a morph, and allowed Liliana to go to down to 3 loyalty.
Danny dropped Liliana to 1 loyalty to tutor a card to the top of his library, played a Sylvan Caryatid, and a Siege Rhino. Sam took the opportunity to kill Liliana with a Phoenix and used another Chained to the Rocks to exile the Rhino. Danny played his tutored card, Abzan Charm, to exile one Phoenix, but he was empty handed and Sam played another Phoenix from his hand and began attacking in the air, dropping Danny to 13.Danny dropped to 12 to fetch a Plains with Windswept Heath and exiled another Phoenix with an Abzan Charm.
Sam passed, looking for another land to flip his Phoenix and passed as Danny found a Courser of Kruphix and played a land from hand to go to 13 while Sam Raised the Alarm at the end step and used a Stoke the Flames to kill the Courser. Sam ripped his sixth land, flipped the Phoenix and attacked with his team. Danny used a Bile Blight to get rid of the Soldier tokens and fell to 2 from another attack from the Phoenix. Danny looked at his top card and picked up his deck.
Danny 1, Sam 1
Danny carefully makes a play.
Another game started with temples on both sides, but for the first time, Danny was first to the board with a Sylvan Caryatid on Turn 2. Danny dropped a Courser and a land from his hand to go to 20. Sam played his land and passed with no action, allowing Danny to attack with Courser, play a land and Sorin, Solemn Visitor, to make a Vampire. Sam Raised the Alarm at the end step, untapped and used a Heliod’s Pilgrim to find a Chained to the Rocks to exile the Rhino.
Danny went to 22 off a land, added another Caryatid to his board and passed with a Siege Rhino showing on the top of his library. Sam sacrificed a token to play Wingmate Roc with a companion token and shipped, but Danny exiled the original Roc with an Abzan Charm at the end step. Danny slammed the Rhino and passed, losing the three life back from the bird token from Same. Sam used Glare of Heresy to exile the Rhino and dropped an Ashcloud Phoenix. Danny opted to fetch a land to clear a blank off his library and exiled the Phoenix with an Utter End. Danny’s new top card was an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, and revealed another Rhino after getting a land from the top. Danny attacked with his Courser and played Elspeth, making three tokens and passed. Sam hit Elspeth with the bird and made six Goblins off two copies of Hordeling Outburst and passed back.
Danny played his Rhino to drop Sam to 6, made more tokens and shipped the turn with a Bile Blight sitting on top of his library. Sam opted to kill Elspeth with the Roc, played a Chandra, using her to kill a token, and passed. Danny cleared the Goblins with Bile Blight and attacked Sam with his team. Sam studied the board and after seeing no way out scooped up his permanents.
Danny 2, Sam 1
Danny was first to the board again, with a Sylvan Caryatid on Turn 2 on the draw and another on Turn 3, but Sam had Chandra, Pyromaster on his fourth turn, ticking up 5. Danny landed his own Planeswalker the next turn, Lilian Vess and made Sam discard. Sam used the zero of Chandra to reveal Raise the Alarm, which he cast, played an Evolving Wilds and passed back.
Danny upped Liliana, so Sam discarded a Dragon Mantle, and Danny exiled Chandra with Utter End. Sam attempted to get some damage on Liliana with his tokens, but Danny blocked with his 0/3s, so Sam settled for achieving raid for his Wingmate Roc. Danny kept upping Liliana, this time getting Sam to bin a Glare of Heresy, and dropped Siege Rhino. Sam sent his flyers at Liliana, dropping the Planeswalker to 2,then made another Wingmate Roc and friend. Danny cashed Liliana in for the tutor ability and attacked with his Rhino and Sam blocked with everything, losing a Roc. Sam attacked with the team, dropping Danny to 12 and passed.
Danny used his tutored up End Hostilities to clean the board and played a Courser of Kruphix, getting a fetch land off the top. Sam found a Chained to the Rocks to exile the Courser and passed as Danny fetched a Forest to clear the land off the top of his deck. Danny found another Courser, played it, and revealed Drown in Sorrow. Sam just played a land and passed. Danny drew and revealed Elspeth, which drew an “Uh, oh” from Sam.
Danny attacked for 2 and passed back. Sam used a Heliod’s Pilgrim to get another Chained to the Rocks for the Courser and passed. Danny slammed his Elspeth and made three tokens and shipped.
“I need a Glare,” Sam said.
Sam didn’t find one and played a land and shipped the turn. Danny killed the Pilgrim with a Bile Blight and attacked Sam to 18 and made more tokens before passing. Sam played a Temple of Triumph and sent the card to the bottom. Danny attacked for 6, made more tokens and landed a Siege Rhino. Sam dropped Chandra, which he used the zero to get a Seeker of the Way, but it wasn’t enough and extended the hand.
Danny 3, Sam 1