Quarterfinals: Stephen Mann vs. David Winsauer
Stephen Mann is well known for his prowess with a Magic: The Gathering deck, as he has proven time and time again, perhaps most impressively by adding the first Pro Tour top 8 to his resume last February at PT: Gatecrash. But he’ll have his hands full of Storm in the hands of David Winsauer. Can he and his squad of U/W/R Delver sta;warts get him into the semis?
Even an Umezawa's Jitte gaining life couldn't stop the oncoming Storm!
Stephen had the second overall seed and with it decided to be on the play. He had many of the tools he wanted, including a turn one Delver of Secrets that quickly transformed into Insectile Aberration with the help of a Lightning Bolt lurking on top of his deck, followed by Umezawa’s Jitte on turn two to help not only deal more damage but also increase the storm count necessary to be killed. David was more than content to take three once, after a turn one Preordain and a turn two Brainstorm (combined with Polluted Delta) to fix his hand.
Stephen, commonly known as SMann, used his two dual lands (Volcanic Island and Tundra) to equip the Jitte, beat for three, and then Wasteland a dual… but that was about as far as he got. On David’s next turn, he used Duress to snag a naked Force of Will, revealing only a land, Lightning Bolt, and Stoneforge Mystic, and then went to town: Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Ad Nauseum (floating three black mana from the LED), draw eight cards including Tendrils of Agony, and storm for the twelve he needed.
David 1, Stephen 0.
Stephen had to begin game two on the mulligan, while his opponent decided he was confident enough in his seven. When play got underway it was much like how the first game began, with Stephen dropping a turn one Delver of Secrets. David decided that Gitaxian Probe was the best way to begin the game, and he saw Stephen’s last remaining four cards: Force of Will, Daze, Pyroblast, and Ponder. Not a bad mulligan hand! But that Gitaxian Probe combined with a Cabal Therapy to force the Daze from Stephen, which chipped away at the U/W/R Delver pilot’s defenses.
Delver did not blind flip this game and after he pinged in for one Stephen used Ponder to dig deeper into his deck, perhaps to find another land. He liked the top three well enough to keep them, but no land was among the keep. Sensing that Stephen kept many counterspells, he used Brainstorm to sculpt his hand before attempting another discard spell, but when he did it was Cabal Therapy naming Force of Will. The Alliances uncommon hit the bin.
Gitaxian Probe finds a Storm a-brewin'...
Insectile Aberration came into being thanks to Red Elemental Blast on top, and after that Stephen dropped Meddling Mage naming Infernal Tutor as the ‘banned’ card. David shuffled his library with a Ponder before casting a free Massacre thanks to Stephen’s Tundra counting as a Plains. Stephen did not have a counterspell, and he was essentially back to square one. David was free to draw and make a land drop, though Wasteland dealt with the Gemstone Mine. Another Meddling Mage naming Infernal Tutor came down instead.
Abrupt Decay took care of this second Mage, with help from Lotus Petal. The players just played draw-go for a bit, but then David found Lotus Petal number two to allow him to cast Xantid Swarm. The 0/1 would allow him to combo off with impunity should it be allowed to attack, and on his next turn it did… but no combo just yet.
Xantid Swarm swing for zero several times, and each time it connected… and each time David failed to activate the combo. A gitaxian Probe a few turns later showed why: Underground Sea, Thoughtseize, Cabal Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, two Dark Ritual, and the finisher Tendrils of Agony… but not yet enough storm to complete the kill. Stephen could not find a creature to apply any pressure though, so he was under no burden to combo.
LED, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Thoughtseize taking a Force of Will, Cabal Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Tendrils of Agony for fourteen to drop Stephen to 1, Infernal Tutor (maintain priority, activate two LEDs), Past in Flames and Tendrils for the final amount.
David 2, Stephen 0.