Quarterfinals: Steven Ratcliff vs. Nick Mohon
Steve has to go through Days and Titans to make the semifinals.
Squaring off in the quarterfinals, Steven and Nick were playing two very different green decks. Nick’s ramps into Titans with tokens and Township plus Vault for backup, while Steven is all about the aggro.
Nick began the match with Forest and pass, while Steven started on Llanowar Elves. No turn 2 from Nick, and he was under pressure as Steven tapped out on turn 2 for Sword of War and Peace. That forced an Oblivion Ring from his hand on the next turn, but Steven had another threat in Huntmaster of the Fells on turn 3.
Missing land, Nick cast Lingering Souls and passed. He traded one Spirit away to the Wolf token, making Steven way more likely to flip on him this turn—he passed and blasted the Spirit. Still on three lands, Nick tapped out to Oblivion Ring the Ravager of the Fells. Keeping up the pressure, Steven played Green Sun’s Zenith for two and grabbed Strangleroot Geist, attacking for 5 damage and leaving Nick on 13.
He passed without flashback on Souls, using Go for the Throat to remove the Geist from combat and falling to 10. His fourth land was Razorverge Thicket, meriting the Lingering Souls flashback as he tried to buy time for Day of Judgment. Steven played Phyrexian Metamorph to copy Strangleroot Geist and got in for 3 more, but he lost everything to Day of Judgment on the next turn.
Rootbound Crag off the top gave Steven Hellrider, putting Nick to 3 life and dead without a defense. Nick played Day of Judgment and passed, but Steven had only Huntmaster of the Fells, going to 22. Nick’s Sorin wasn’t going to be enough here, although it would buy him a turn or two…
Unless Steven drew Green Sun’s Zenith for another Strangleroot Geist, of course.
Steven 1, Nick 0
Swamp for Nick in game 2, while Steven started with Forest and Birds of Paradise. Woodland Cemetery from Nick, and Steven dropped Sword of Feast and Famine. Playing Plains, Nick appeared defenseless—except that he had Naturalize after Steven equipped and attacked, gaining a fair amount of tempo.
He played Plains and passed, while Steven dropped Daybreak Ranger. Go for the Throat removed Steven’s red mana by killing Birds, and now Daybreak Ranger got the beats going before flipping. No fourth land for Steven left him stranded as Nick tapped out for Grave Titan on 18 life—that boded real bad for Steven.
Nick's Titans and removal were timely enough to take the match.
Steven took 2 to Phyrexian Metamorph the Titan, but he was slow to the party and wouldn’t likely be able to attack very profitably with his copy, leaving Nick advantaged. Nick swung with his Titan and earned a block from Nightfall Predator and a token, while Nick followed with Primeval Titan for two Gavony Townships. Then, he played Vault of the Archangel. Steven made another Grave Titan with another Metamorph, gaining traction as he attacked, killing three Zombies.
Oblivion Ring off the top for Nick removed the opposing Grave Titan, but the five Zombie tokens that opposed him were more than enough to handle Primeval Titan and a 2/2. Nick decided to let the stalemate continue, with Solemn Simulacrum for another land and Sphere of the Suns. Now he could start using those two Townships! Steven just played Llanowar Elves and passed.
Nick sent his 2/2s but kept big daddy Primeval at home. Steven blocked each with a Zombie, and Nick activated Township and Vault to gain 6 life. Drawing one more card, Steven decided to head to game 3.
Steven 1, Nick 1
Forest for Steven and Sunpetal Grove for Nick, followed by Zenith for Birds on Steven’s side. Sphere of the Suns gave Nick some acceleration, and not Steven tapped out for Sword of Feast and Famine without a third land. Would he get to connect? Nick had Ghost Quarter and another Sphere…
Copperline Gorge and an equip for Steven earned another Naturalize when he attacked, a heavy blow. Nick cast Rampant Growth for Swamp on turn 4 before adding Woodland Cemetery to the field. Hellrider from Steven put Nick to 15, but he had a big one—Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. He could’ve dropped Grave Titan here to set up a massive attack on the next turn, but got punished when Steven had the Phyrexian Metamorph to remove Elesh Norn.
He dropped Grave Titan now, and Steven had only a few cards left. One of them was Batterskull, which was a pretty large threat in this position. Unfortunately for Steven, Nick drew Go for the Throat. Grave Titan dropped Steven to 12, and Nick passed with a bunch of mana and Township, plus the removal spell in his hand.
The Germ lost its Throat before it could attack, and all Steven could do was point Brimstone Volley at Nick’s Dome, knocking him to 6 life. Steven was dead on board to the attack Nick could make now, and once the creatures turned sideways it was over.
Steven 1, Nick 2