Quarterfinals: Todd Anderson (Maverick) vs. David Bauer (Maverick)
David aims Swords to Plowshares at an opposing Knight.
“I’ll play,” Todd announced shortly after sitting down. “That feels real good!” By playing it out in Round 9, Todd had locked up the option for the remainder of the tournament thanks to the new change in policy.
Starting Forest and Noble Hierarch, Todd was ahead early as David was forced to Swords the 0/1. Todd followed with Wasteland and Umezawa’s Jitte on turn 2, appearing potentially color-screwed. David dropped Forest and Sylvan Library, preparing to get some additional cards.
No land drop and a pass from Todd on turn 3—he was in trouble! David untapped and took 4 for the Sylvan, taking advantage of Todd’s handicap and being aggressive. He played a Forest and traded Jittes prior to adding Mother of Runes to the board.
Drawing Forest, Todd still lacked plays—his hand must be white-heavy. Savannah and Green Sun’s Zenith for three gave David the first Knight of the Reliquary of the game, and with Mother of Runes to protect it Todd appeared to be in trouble.
Drawing Heath to fetch Plains, he Wasted David’s Savannah and cast his own Knight, which was a 4/4 to David’s 3/3. David only took one card from Sylvan this time around, staying on 16. He cast another Swords to remove Todd’s Knight and take the lead before turning a Forest into a Verdant Catacombs into a Savannah, and casting Gaddock Teeg. He played Gaea’s Cradle then, and shipped.
Qasali Pridemage from Todd destroyed Sylvan Library, and he fetched Savannah to drop Mother of Runes afterward. David attacked Todd for 7 and cast two more Mother of Runes, emptying his hand. Todd dropped another Knight and another Mother of his own, but David could force through unblockable damage faster than Todd could.
The Knight went pro: white and put Todd on 10, David following with Scavenging Ooze. Thanks to Gaea’s Cradle, the Ooze would shrink Todd’s Knight in a hurry and threaten to grow enormous and bloated feasting on their dead creatures.
Floating green, Todd popped Savannah with his Knight for Horizon Canopy to draw at an answer. He pointed Wasteland at David’s Cradle, and David responded by removing everything from Todd’s yard except for a Jitte and a Heath, which he removed during the end step via Savannah. David’s Knight once again became unblockable, as did his remaining creatures, and Todd took lethal damage.
David 1, Todd 0
Todd struggles to bounce back from a tough game 1.
Upon sitting down, David had predicted the matchup to revolve around mana denial, and it looked like he might be right. Forest for Todd but no one-drop, while David led Windswept Heath and also held off. Todd played Wasteland on turn 2 and Zenithed for one to find Noble Hierarch, nodding as David fetched Plains and used Swords on the 0/1 once again. Would it hurt as bad as last time?
David’s turn 2 featured another fetch, for Forest, before casting his own Zenith to find Hierarch. Todd shuffled David’s deck, then untapped and drew. He has another Zenith, again finding Noble Hierarch, and passed without a third land.
“Oh really?” he asked as David dropped Linvala, Keeper of Silence to take a major piece of Todd’s game away. He topdecked the Plains he needed and cast Knight of the Reliquary, but now he was in dire need of Swords to Plowshares to remove the 3/4 beater.
Verdant Catacombs from David fetched Dryad Arbor, and he played and equipped Jitte with his other four mana sources to kill the Knight with counters. Todd had Jitte to trade and attacked for 1, but his development was so stunted by that Linvala at this point that it was dubious he could recover unless he had Swords. David added Qasali Pridemage and Noble Hierarch to the board and sent 6 damage into Todd via exalted—Swords removed the Linvala with the triggers on the stack.
Wasteland took Todd’s Wasteland away, but he drew another one and slammed his own copy of Linvala! That turned off all of David’s creatures, but he still had the beatdown and a Maze of ith to back it up, attacking Todd to 10 with Pridemage after playing a third Hierarch.
Now that he had four mana, Todd started taking over the game against David’s empty grip—he cast Elspeth, Knight-Errant to make a blocker and passed the turn. Losing the Soldier, Todd shrugged as David made Scavenging Ooze. Creating another Soldier, he jammed Gideon Jura and boosted the big man’s loyalty—absolutely brutal.
Linvala wouldn’t let David float mana with his Hierarchs or Arbor, so Todd could eat everything with blocks. Linvala consumed Qasali Pridemage while a Soldier killed one Hierarch, Todd planning to get an army going as Gideon took just 3 damage. Another Pridemage from David was hardly a threat—at this point, the board was irreversible without an incredible series of draws.
Wasteland from Todd killed Savannah, Todd’s plan moving to strapping David’s mana since he could eat all the mana creatures. David was reduced to Scavenging ooze and Dryad Arbor on his next forced attack, Gideon very slowly shrinking. Todd made a third Soldier and Bojuka Bogged David, following with Aven Mindcensor when he tried to fetch during the end step.
David drew, and conceded to the impenetrable board position Todd had generated.
David 1, Todd 1
David had the play for the first time, but he also had an unkeepable hand. Todd stayed on seven, while David fell to six and kept after considerable agonizing. Fetching on turn 1, David got risky and grabbed Savannah before casting Green Sun’s Zenith for zero to add Dryad Arbor to the field. Todd Wasted the Savannah and passed, reading David for weak mana.
David passed with just the Arbor, while Todd fetched Forest and cast Noble Hierarch. Again missing land, David attacked for 1, but Todd worsened his position by playing Plains and casting Aven Mindcensor. David fortunately drew Savannah to get back in it, casting Mother of Runes.
The Aven hit for 3 damage, and Swords to Plowshares removed Mom before Scavenging Ooze hit the board on Todd’s side, slowly growing his beatdown crew. David cast Stoneforge Mystic into the Mindcensor, hitting the Jitte in the top four cards to earn himself a shot. Todd went to 16 during the end step to exile a Windswept Heath, tapping Horizon Canopy.
Then he cast and equipped his own Jitte to Aven Mindcensor, attacking with all his creatures and killing Dryad Arbor with one of the Jitte counters—owowow for David. He drew, and passed the turn. Todd again swung both Ooze and Mindcensor, this time losing the 2/1 to Path to Exile. Todd had the goods though, casting Linvala post-combat and then adding an untapped Karakas to the board.
David drew and passed the turn once again, and Todd equipped his Ooze with Jitte. David blocked the Ooze and sent his blocking creature on the Path to Exile this time, keeping Jitte smaller and taking 3 damage from Linvala, falling to 8. He had two mana again now, but Todd used Zenith to find Knight of the Reliquary, threatening another Wasteland… or just beats to the face.
Getting the count on Knight at 5/5, David played Savannah and began to formulate a plan. He had to get Jitte off the board first, and then he dropped Mother of Runes to try and block—but Todd had Path to Exile ready to go.
David 1, Todd 2