Quarterfinals: Steven Jack vs. Dave Shiels
Steven Jack has marched through the swiss with his See the Unwritten-based G/B Devotion deck, while Dave Shiels took Mantis Rider and co. to the elimination rounds. Which of these emerging format staples would earn a semifinal berth?
Both players were content to develop their manabases for the first few turns, and it was Steven, on the play, who first broke the silence with a turn 3 Courser of Kruphix. Dave fired right back with a turn 3 Mantis Rider, swinging for 3 in the air and dropping Steven to 17. Steven added a Sylvan Caraytid to his board on his next turn and passed with an Arbor Colossus looming on the top of his library. Dave cleared away the Courser of Kruphix with some crafty sequencing—he played Goblin Rabblemaster, went to combat to make a token, then tapped his three creatures and his remaining land to cast Stoke the Flames.
After some calculating, Steven decided the coast wasn’t clear to cast his Arbor Colossus, and went with Eidolon of Blossoms instead. He drew his card and passed, and was forced to push the Eidolon in front of Goblin Rabblemaster when Dave untapped, cast Stormbreath Dragon, and shoved his board into the red zone. He fell to 8 and had no recourse but to tap out for his Arbor Colossus. Dave simply showed him another Mantis Rider and attacked with everything again, presenting enough damage to attack for the win even through the 6/6 reach blocker.
Dave Shiels 1, Steven Jack 0
Again it was Steven with the first play of the game, a turn 3 Voyaging Satyr, and once again Dave had a turn 3 Mantis Rider to bring the aggression immediately. Polukranos, World eater was the turn 4 follow-up for Steven, and after taking another 3-point hit from Dave’s Mantis Rider he was in the clear to swing back with it. He cast Eidolon of Blossoms and Sylvan Caryatid after combat and passed with a significant board advantage.
Dave had an End Hostilities in his hand, but opted not to play it, simply dropping Steven down to 9 with his Mantis Rider and passing the turn back. He took another swing from Polukranos, falling to 8, and had Disdainful Stroke at the ready when Jack attempted a Hornet Queen. He used Jeskai Charm at Jack’s end step to drop him to 5, then untapped and showed Stoke the Flames to seal the deal.
Dave Shiels 2, Steven Jack 0