Quarterfinals: William ‘Huey’ Jensen vs. Evan West
Huey wouldn’t have a chance to play the Sneak and Show mirror until the finals—he was in the “fair” bracket and would kick off the Top 8 with a matchup against Shardless BUG in the hands of Evan West.
Evan is concerned about the post-board threat of Blood Moon.
A higher seed gave Huey the play, and Evan started with a mulligan to six. Volcanic Island and Ponder for Huey shuffled the top three cards away, drawing a new one. Evan fetched up Underground Sea on turn 1 in order to cast Deathrite Shaman, leaving Huey to begin his turn undisrupted.
Scalding Tarn and nothing else for Huey, leaving Evan to do his worst on turn 2. His worst was play a land and pass, clearly operating on a slower draw. Huey’s next Ponder was gold, finding more mana and a Show and Tell, but he debated how exactly to shuffle things up. Once he’d figured it out, Evan used the end step to cast Brainstorm and fetch up Bayou, draining Huey for 2 life.
Considering a three mana play, Evan changed gears and played Wasteland before casting Hymn to Tourach. Huey debated firing it back at Evan with Misdirection, exiling Preordain, but decided that keeping the cantrip in order to help him recover from that Wasteland might be more important. The Hymn hit two Griselbrands from Huey’s hand, but he actually had a third—it had basically done nothing!
A second Deathrite Shaman joined the battlefield, and Huey fetched after drawing on his own turn for an Island prior to casting Preordain. He found City of Traitors and cast Lotus Petal, sacrificing it for blue mana in order to play Griselbrand, while Evan put in Baleful Strix. Drawing seven, Huey discarded a couple lands and passed the turn.
When Evan cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Huey drew another seven, falling to 5 and allowing Jace to resolve afterward. Using City for two mana before playing a fetchland, Huey cast two more Lotus Petals and then played Sneak Attack. Fetching for another Volcanic Island, Huey put in Emrakul and then Griselbrand, sending both at Evan and forcing him to throw away his entire board in order to survive—ensuring that Huey won the game a turn later.
Huey 1, Evan 0
Evan had the play and mulliganed once more, while Huey kept his seven hoping to get there from one land and two Brainstorms. Evan played Misty Rainforest and fetched for Underground Sea, casting Thoughtseize to see two Brainstorm, Force of Will, Blood Moon, Sneak Attack, Griselbrand, and Misty Rainforest. Evan discarded the Blood Moon, and passed.
Huey simply played his fetchland and ended the turn, allowing Hymn to Tourach to resolve on the next turn—it once more discarded two Griselbrands, revealing Huey’s previous draw step. Fetching Island after his draw, Huey cast Brainstorm. It had a land and additional counter backup—he was getting somewhere. Evan fetched on his own turn and cast Shardless Agent, cascading into Tarmogoyf.
Allowing both creatures to resolve, Huey now faced seven power and was on the clock. Fetching Volcanic Island, he cast another Brainstorm and found Lotus Petal but no Ancient Tomb or City of Traitors. He cast Ponder and elected to shuffle three blue cards away, hoping to find a land and enable a functional kill on the next turn, potentially with Force backup.
Falling to 11, Huey nodded as Evan resolved Baleful Strix. Drawing Volcanic Island, Huey used Lotus Petal to plant Sneak Attack into play, tapping out in the process... and passing. He’d need to survive one more turn with the enchantment intact in order to win. Evan attacked Huey for 9, tapping the Strix and then afterward casting Goglari Charm on the Sneak Attack—that met Force of Will.
Untapping, Huey put in Grislebrand and attacked, drawing seven cards afterward and passing back to Evan after casting several cantrips that failed to find him a fourth Griselbrand. Swinging with everything, Evan took down the second game.
Huey attempts to Sneak a win against the oncoming horde... and fails.
Huey 1, Evan 1
Is that good?
Evan fetched Underground Sea and cast Thoughtseize, which Huey promptly Forced. Evan sighed and went into the tank before allowing it to resolve. Huey went to 17 for Show and Tell on the next turn, and Evan put a land into play while Huey dropped in a Demon and drew seven cards, including two Lotus Petals.
With Force and Spell Pierce backing him up, Huey looked pretty invincible... and he had a Sneak Attack waiting in the wings as well! Evan cast Baleful Strix and Huey replied by drawing seven cards and casting Daze. Countering the Bird, Evan shrugged, played Wasteland, and passed. When Huey attacked and cast Blood Moon afterward, Evan picked up his cards.
Huey 2, Evan 1
On the play again, Evan kept his seven and Huey did the same. Turn 1 Tropical Island and Deathrite Shaman was well-met by City of Traitors, Lotus Petal, and Blood Moon—locking out Evan completely because his Deathrite Shaman would be hard-pressed to get a land in the graveyard!
Huey could basically gather resources at his leisure now, with Evan al but unable to cast spells and with just a 1/2 clock in play for the foreseeable future. Huey cantripped occasionally and made land drops until he could put Sneak Attack into play, and then Griselbrand joined the party on the next turn. Drawing fourteen cards, Huey found a land and Emrakul to lock up the match.
Huey 3, Evan 1