Quarterfinals: Trevor Humphries vs. Brian Swatkins
Brian Swatkins was the one lucky duck with an 8-2 record to sneak into the top 8, and his reward is the number one overall seed, the tournament’s only 9-1, Trevor Humphries. Can Brian pull off the upset?
Brian's one of four Jund pilots in the #SCGMA top 8!
On the play, Trevor led with Overgrown Tomb and Avacyn’s Pilgrim while Brian led with a tapped land. Trevor used his turn two to cast Farseek, unusual for a Junk Reanimator deck, and he attacked for one with the Human. Brian also played Farseek, which is much more common for Jund. Trevor used his turn three to cast…
Acidic Slime took down Stomping Ground, and Brian could only add Rakdos Keyrune… but that quickly hit the bin as well, as Restoration Angel brought back Slime time for more. Brian played his fourth mana source (for the third time of the game) and passed. Mulch (getting three lands) and Farseek from Trevor meant he still had the mana advantage, but it also allowed Brian to resolve Thragtusk… albeit with no red mana, and only four black-green duals and Kessig Wolf Run in play.
Vault of the Archangel allowed Avacyn’s Pilgrim to trade in combat with Thragtusk and take Brian down to 8. Vampire Nighthawk threatened to slow down Trevor a bit, but Trevor showed no signs of slowing. Nighthawk and Angel traded in combat, but the Unburial Rites in Trevor’s graveyard (thanks to Mulch) allowed Acidic Slime to destroy Kessig Wolf Run on its way back down. Now with no land drop and naught but 3/3 Beast token, Brian passed.
Restoration Angel numero dos once more blinked Acidic Slime, and Brian wondered allowed, “what are my outs here?” He found Dragonskull Summit to allow him to cast Rakdos’s Return for three… but then quickly conceded in the face of the pair of Restoration Angels. Oh, and that pesky Acidic Slime.
Trevor 1, Brian 0.
“Just like in the Swiss.” Trevor had handily defeated Brian 2-0 in the Swiss rounds as well.
Brian and Trevor played some lands for the first two turns, and it was the Junk Reanimator pilot who had the Farseek turn two. Brian had to wait until the third turn to cast his thanks to his Guildgate-style hand. Not to be outdone, Trevor cast two more Farseeks on his next turn! After the pseudo- Ranger’s Path, Brian resolved Olivia Voldaren. And with relatively few outs in Junk Reanimator, things weren’t looking great…
Until Sever the Bloodline took her down. Arbor Elf also joined the fray, but Rakdos’s Return for two made Trevor hellbent. Brian cast his second Farseek of the game as well. Gavony Township allowed Arbor Elf to get up to 2/2, but Huntmaster of the Fells made things much more awkward for Trevor. Living off the top of his deck and facing down Huntmaster, Arbor Elf dropped Brian to 18 before Sever the Bloodline flashback took down the Huntmaster. Kessig Wolf Run allowed the Wolf to start beating for a bunch, but the Gavony Township plus Vault of the Archangel allowed all three creatures to gain a bunch of abilities in combat. Vault allowed the Elves to trade with the Wolf, and then both players were once more living off the top of their decks.
Trevor was the first to strike oil, hitting Grisly Salvage. He took Thragtusk and cast it (while binning an Unburial Rites), and Brian’s Cavern of Souls naming Vampire into Acidic Slime killing Vault of the Archangel was the best response he could muster. Sever the Bloodline took out the Ooze, and Unburial Rites brought back a Slime of his own. Trevor’s Ooze took down Kessig Wolf Run, and combat got a bunch less complex.
Trevor's the Reanimator player on top today!
Rakdos Keysune off the top would do a good job of slowing Thragtusk… that is, unless Grisly Salvage turned up three Angel of Serenity! In swung both Thragtusk and Acidic Slime, and Brian could only activate his Keyrune to knock off the Ooze, fall to 8, and get his 3/1 first striking artifact eaten by Angel of Serenity. The Angel also got another Angel of Serenity and Restoration Angel. Sitting at a comfortable 10 life, Trevor looked to be in the catbird seat to win the match.
Brian has eleven lands…
And Bonfire of the Damned!
Trevor 1, Brian 1.
“That felt sooo cheesy.”
Players played out some lands, and then both players played Farseeks. Avacyn’s Pilgrim was all Trevor could manage… which was better than what Brian could, simply passing. Trevor cast an end of turn Grisly Salvage and cast Thragtusk on the next turn with the spoils, then Brian continued the do-si-do and cast a Thragtusk of his own. It’s almost like Farseek and Thragtusk are some of the best cards in the format.
Disciple of Bolas, though, is a new one. Trevor gained five life and drew five cards, making a Beast in the process, before discarding down to seven at end of turn. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed was Brian’s response play the next turn; quite the powerful play! Especially when Trevor plays Farseek to fall to 24 (with Brian at 25). Trevor added Acidic Slime to kill a Blood Crypt. Since he has a taste for blood, Ruric Thar had to enter the red zone. Dreadbore from the Jund player killed the Acidic Slime (also dealing six to its controller) before the Ogre rumbled in for damage.
Restoration Angel blinked Disciple, and then Disciple of Bolas used the Angel for food as Trevor gained three and drew three to dig up answers to the legendary Orge Warrior. Restoration Angel number two did the same trick, and Trevor went up to 30 (with Brian at 19). Brian attacked for 11, and the ‘Tusk traded with Trevor’s 1/1 and Disciple. Brian cast Garruk, Primal Hunter and drew six cards of his own (while falling to 13), then dropped to 11 off of a shockland and then fell down to 5 to resolve Ground Seal. Wow, that’s a bunch of damage! Both players were now at full starting hand sizes again after nifty tricks.
Abrupt Decay took out Ground Seal (and dropped Trevor to 18), and then Unburial Rites got back Thragtusk (garnering an overall loss of one life). But Brian was undeterred, swinging with both his 3/3 Beast token and Ruric Thar. Trevor thought long and hard now, and elected to take six and fall to 11 by blocking the Beast. Brian resolved a Thragtusk of his own after combat to climb to 10.
Trevor, seemingly unable to find Angel of Serenity at all, cast Unburial Rites on Thragtusk… then Unburial on Disciple of Bolas to draw five and, perhaps just as importantly, gain five life to go to 9. Trevor discarded down to seven… but overloaded Mizzium Mortars to get all of the remaining blockers out of the way meant Brian was the victor.
Brian 2, Trevor 1.