Quarterfinals: Steven Duran vs. Adam Minniear
This matchup might well be titled ‘The Quick and The Dead’: Bant Hexproof, featuring Ajani, Caller of the Pride, and B/G Zombies. But we shall see who is really the dead one after this match!
Adam's hoping for a night of the living dead!
Steven, as the top overall seed, had the play and the crucial leg-up on this speed vs. speed aggressive matchup. Both players kept, and the match was underway with Steven’s first play of Breeding Pool tapped, followed by Deathrite Shaman from Adam. Invisible Stalker hit the board for Steven next, and after a quick peck from Deathrite Adam cast Sign in Blood targeting himself. Steven took three damage to cast both Ethereal Armor and Spectral Flight on his Stalker before attacking for 5, dropping Adam to 13.
Cavern of Souls naming Zombies allowed Dreg Mangler to enter play and Steven fell to 13… until Unflinching Courage took over and put the game well out of reach. The Stalker hit as an 8/8, flying, first striking, unblockable, hexproof, trample, Lifelink beater. Did I miss any keywords? Nope, but those stats made life difficult for Adam, and after drawing one more card to look for outs he scooped.
Both players started Game 2 with a mulligan… to five! Once play got started, Adam led off with Overgrown Tomb and Steven led with Sunpetal Grove. Lotleth Troll came down for Adam, while Steven only had another fake Selesnya Guildgate in Sunpetal Grove. Adam had Deathrite Shaman postcombat on turn three, while Voice of Resurgence came into play for Steven.
Steven's Bant Pants have served him well!
The Lotleth Troll continued unimpeded, and afterwards the Voice became a Victim of Night. Breeding Pool off the top allowed Invisible Stalker to enter play though, so 2/2 Elemental token rumbled for Steven. At end of turn, Deathrite Shaman deals two more to Steven, who was now at 10. He fell to 8 after an attack from the Troll, but Adam had no further follow up. The Stalker became a 5/3 with trample and flying thanks to Rancor and Spectral Flight the next turn, and Steven got his beats on.
After Adam gained two by removing Voice from Steven’s graveyard, Diregraf Ghoul also joined the party. Adam dropped to 7 after taking two damage from his Breeding Pool, and Adam dropped to 5 after Stalker attacked. Both the Ghoul and the Troll entered the red zone for Adam, but Advent of the Wurm threatened to throw a big trampling wrench in the works. Wurm blocked Troll, and Steven fell to 5. Steven dropped another Invisible Stalker before combat, and 4/4 Elemental, 5/5 Wurm, and 5/3 Invisible Stalker with many keywords put an end to Adam’s top 8 run.
Well, we did say it would be quick!
Steven 2, Adam 0