Quarterfinals: Thomas Johnson vs. Ian Browning
“We meet again.”
These two competitors met in the Swiss rounds, with Ian delivering Thomas’ only loss on the day. Will Jund once more defeat U/W Control?
Ian hopes the Beasts are with him!
Ian, with an unblemished record of 6-0-2, had the choice to take the play and decided to take it, but had to start off with a mulligan in game one while his opponent kept. Once he kept, both players played out some lands, Ian using Farseek on turn two, for the first few turns. Ian did not have a turn three play to capitalize, and Thomas played out his third Island of the game.
Ian’s Cavern of Souls, not the normal choice, caused severe problems for Thomas, who cast Thragtusk and immediately attacked the following turn. Thomas continued to make land drops, but they were all Islands until it was far too late. The lone Thragtusk was joined by Huntmaster of the Fells and a Wolfen buddy before Thomas found Plains, and already at 10 when he did so meant all Ian had to do was attack with nine power and pass the turn, but Azorius Charm on Thragtusk delayed the inevitable for a split second. I say only for a split second because after another uncounterable Thragtusk resolved, Thomas scooped up his cards and headed to the next game.
Ian 1, Thomas 0.
This game began much like the last, with land drops aplenty, though this time there was no mulligan and Thomas had access to white mana all game. Ian did not have the Farseek either, though he found Scavenging Ooze for his third turn. It could not eat the Think Twice that had landed in Thomas’ bin though thanks to the instant speed, and Thomas played his fourth land. Ian did not respect the Restoration Angel, and had the correct read on the situation when neither Angel nor Azorius Charm landed. Underworld Connections then resolved on Ian’s untapped Stomping Ground, threatening to bury Thomas under the aura’s card advantage.
Thomas is hoping the Sphinxs are kind to him!
Another Think Twice for Thomas meant he had nearly perfect mana on his fifth turn with “something absurd” number of cards (seven) in hand. Jace, Memory Adept used the 0 ability to mill ten of Ian’s cards, to which Ian responded by drawing one with his Connected shockland. Ian untapped and used Dreadbore to knock off the five-mana Jace, then Scavenging Ooze took a 4/4 bite out of Thomas (thanks to it being milled a turn earlier). Thomas cast Augur of Bolas on his turn, choosing Syncopate, before passing right back.
Scavenging Ooze swung in once again, and Augur of Bolas chumped the Ooze. Ooze number two resolved after combat for Ian, and Thomas did not punish him with Supreme Verdict. Ian attacked for six, dropping Thomas to 8 on resolution of damage, and he followed that up with Olivia Voldaren (which also resolved). Sphinx’s Revelation for four gained Thomas an Opportunity’s-worth of cards and four life at end of turn.
Ghost Quarter targeted the Underworld Connections land, and Ian got one more card off the Aura before Stomping Ground hit the bin. Thomas simply played another land and passed before discarding down to seven. Ian just kept his game plan moving right along, attacking with his trio of +1/+1 counter-gaining creatures. Thomas chose to use Azorius Charm on the 4/4 Scavenging Ooze, which resolved, and Thomas fell to 6. Ian then cast Farseek and passed.
Thomas, still facing essentially lethal, cast Tamiyo, the Moon Sage and locked down Olivia. Ian didn’t mind, attacking Thomas to 3 before casting Slaughter Games for Sphinx’s Revelation. Thomas revealed a pair of Syncopates and Negate in addition to some lands as Ian removed the remaining copies of the Return to Ravnica instant from Thomas’ deck.
Thomas failed to find an out on top of his deck, even using Tamiyo’s minus two as Divination to dig for more, but he failed to find anything but land and Ian moves on to thr semifinals!
Ian 2, Thomas 0.