Quarterfinals: Yuri Seyssel vs. Jonathan Job
Las Vegas Legacy Open winner Jonathan Job turned a lot of heads this weekend with an innovative Food Chain combo deck, but now faced a tough matchup in Yuri Seyssel’s Charbelcher. Which combo would prevail?
Yuri was the first overall seed, so he got to take the play, a huge advantage for a deck like Belcher. After some deliberation, he kept his seven, and Jonathan spent about 3 seconds looking at his seven before opting to send it back for a fresh six.
Yuri: Aggressively looking for the Force of Will, huh?
A smile was the only response from Jonathan, but both players knew what was up. Jonathan drew up his six, saw it was Forceless, and sent it back again.
His five card hand drew the same response. A quick “nope” and more shuffling.
The four card hand? That one would do just fine.
Yuri opened with Elvish Spirit Guide, using the green mana to cast a Tinder Wall. He then sacrificed the Tinder Wall to make RR. Rite of flame made that RRR, and Seething Song looked to make it RRRRR. Jonathan said no, pitching Shardless Agent to Force of Will, and Yuri passed the turn. We would have a game after all!
Jonathan quickly got on the board, fetching up a Tropical Island and casting Deathrite Shaman. Yuri drew a Lion’s Eye Diamond for the turn, cast it, then cast Land Grant, revealing a hand of Tinder Wall, Burning Wish, and Goblin Charbelcher.
Jonathan: Couldn’t find a Taiga?
Yuri: I asked literally everyone I know. Couldn’t find one.
Stomping Ground entered play, and Yuri passed. Jonathan played a Wall of Blossoms, passed back, and Yuri simply drew and passed. On his next turn Jonathan cast a Brainstorm, finding an Island, and playing it. He passed back to Yuri.
Jonathan played a Noble Hierarch and commenced the beats, swinging in for 2 with Deathrite Shaman. When Yuri again had no play, Jonathan was able to swing again, casting a Brainstorm after combat. He had no other play, and managed to fade yet another draw step from Yuri.
He attacked for 2 with the Deathrite again, Yuri falling to 12. After combat, he cast Food Chain. He sacrificed Deathrite Shaman and Wall of Blossom to cast Misthollow Griffin from his exile zone, then made infinite mana. He used that mana to cast Shardless Agent, which cascaded into Manipulate Fate! He used it to fetch up three more Misthollow Griffins, putting them all into play, then casting an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn from his hand.
Yuri evidently wasn’t the only player capable of going off seemingly from nowhere.
Jonathan Job 1, Yuri Seyssel 0
Yuri again took his time deciding on his opening hand, but this time he decided it wasn’t good enough and sent it back for a fresh six. Jonathan was quick to follow. Yuri liked his six card hand better. Jonathan didn’t, and with another casual “nope” he shuffled up for five.
Once again, the five card hand did not contain the key Force of Will, and Jonathan went to four. His four was good enough, and he kept.
Yuri, on the play, simply said “go.”
Jonathan tossed a Tropical Island into play and passed it right back.
Yuri drew his card, and started doing math. He opened up with a Chrome Mox, exiling Empty the Warrens. He then cast a second Chrome Mox, exiling Burning Wish. Land Grant was the next play, retrieving Stomping Ground and revealing a hand of Tinder Wall and Empty the Warrens. Jonathan had no response, and Yuri played the remaining cards in his hand, spitting ten 1/1 Goblin tokens into play with Empty the Warrens.
Jonathan’s turn 2 play was Phyrexian Revoker, naming Chrome Mox. The Revoker would have been a fine solution if Yuri had kept a Goblin Charbelcher hand, but it wouldn’t do the job against a swarm of Goblin tokens. Jonathan took 10, found no other play, and moved on to the decider.
The first two games had featured more time spent on mulligans than on the actual games themselves, and game 3 looked to be no exception, as both players quickly sent back their sevens. Jonathan didn’t like his six any better, but Yuri decided to keep.
Jonathan: I’d like to play a game with five cards. Just one game.
He picked his cards up one by one, and got his wish. He kept, played Karakas, and passed.
Yuri was unsure how to proceed. He reasoned out loud that Jonathan must have kept a Force of Will, but decided he was going to fire off anyway. He led off with an exiled Simian Spirit Guide into Rite of Flame. It resolved. He played a Lion’s Eye Diamond. It resolved. He played Land Grant, revealing a hand of Goblin Charbelcher, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Tinder Wall. The jig was up, and Yuri emptied his hand and attempted the Goblin Charbelcher. Sure enough, Jonathan countered it, pitching Submerge to cast Force of Will.
Jonathan added Tropical Island and Noble Hierarch to his board and passed, and Yuri drew and passed back. On his next turn, Jonathan cast a Brainstorm, and then a Manipulate Fate, gaining a shuffle effect for his Brainstorm and exiling three Misthollow Griffins from his deck. He played Underground Sea and passed.
Yuri again had no play.
Jonathan played his fourth land, a Misty Rainforest. Then the “beats” began, as Noble Hierarch came across for one damage. Yuri again drew and passed without a play. Jonathan cast Brainstorm on his turn, then attacked for one again.
Yuri drew Gitaxian Probe and cast it, revealing a hand of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and two copies of Venser, Shaper Savant from Jonathan. He then cast Chrome Mox, exiling Land Grant. He tapped his two mana sources, then exiled a Simian Spirit Guide and an Elvish Spirit Guide to cast Goblin Charbelcher. Jonathan wasted no time fetching up a land and bouncing it from the stack back to Yuri’s hand with Venser.
Jonathan attacked for three with his Venser and passed. Yuri found a Xantid Swarm and cast it, but it was returned at his end step, as Karakas bounced the Venser and Jonathan replayed it. Venser came across for 3 damage again, putting Yuri at 8.
When Xantid Swarm came down again, it met a Submerge from Jonathan. At Yuri’s end step, Karakas-Venser Shenanigans returned the Chrome Mox to Yuri’s hand. Jonathan attacked Yuri to 5, then cast Null Rod. Two turns later, the recurring Venser lock in conjunction with Null Rod proved too much for Yuri to overcome, and Yuri extended the hand.
Jonathan Job 2, Yuri Seyssel 1