Round 10: Brian Braun-Duin vs. Joe Lossett
Both players are 1-1 in Pod A and are playing for position to see how the elimination rounds shape up. Joe is looking to battle through Brian’s permission from Jeskai Stoneblade and win with a monster before BBD takes control.
Joe stares Brian down.
Joe opened with a Polluted Delta while Brian started with a Gitaxian Probe to see Joe’s hand, but Joe responded with a Brainstorm to hide two cards away. Brian saw more cantrips and a couple copies of Reanimate to go with a Daze then passed after playing a Volcanic Island and a second Probe to draw a card. Joe led his second turn with a Careful Study, but Brian stopped it with a Force of Will, pitching a Brainstorm. When Joe passed with no other play, Brian used an end-of-turn Brainstorm to dig deeper. Brian added a Polluted Delta to his board and passed back.
Joe offered no other action, leaving Brian to clear his library by fetching another Volcanic Island, untapped, and played a Tundra before saying, “go.” Joe proceeded to discard for the turn, ditching a Griselbrand while Brian was content sitting back. Joe made his second land drop, a Polluted Delta and passed, leading Brian to playing a Young Pyromancer. Joe responded and Brainstormed before allowing the 2/1 to resolve and fetched a Badlands when Brian passed the action.
Joe determined it was time to make an attempt, firing off a Reanimate, targeting Griselbrand, but Brian used a Force of Will, and got a token for his effort. Joe went for a second Reanimate, but Brian had the Spell Pierce for it. No worry for Joe, though, as he had a third Reanimate and was able to get the Griselbrand on board.
Brian went on a Treasure Cruise after playing a second Pyromancer, getting two more tokens, and followed it up with a Brainstorm to generate two more Elementals. Brian dug into another cantrip, this time Ponder, and kept building his board of tokens before passing the turn. Joe’s Griselbrand looked a bit outmatched in the face of a massive army from Brian, decided to draw 7, dipping to 3, and attacked Brian to 6, bringing himself up to 10. Joe went back down to 3 facing lethal on the other side of the board and searched for a sequence of plays to survive. He started with a Volcanic Island into a Firestorm, pitching nine cards, killing Brian and the majority of his board in the process.
Joe 1, Brian 0
Brian handles the pressure like a pro.
Joe began the game with a Gemstone Caverns in play with a luck counter, thanks to his exiling a Brainstorm and Brian led with a Volcanic Island. Joe Brainstormed at his end step, untapped, and went for a Careful Study, but Brian had Spell Pierce and a Force of Will, to counter Joe’s Force of Will he hoped would win out. Brian opened his next turn with a Brainstorm and made it perfect with a Flooded Strand for a Tundra and used a Gitaxian Probe to see Joe’s hand of two monsters, Abrupt Decay, and Reanimate.
Joe drew and passed, which allowed Brian to flash in a Containment Priest, who attacked for 2 the next turn. Joe attempted a Ponder on his next turn, but Brian stropped the development with a Spell Pierce and let the Priest do his work. Another draw and pass, led to Joe falling to 13 from attacks and Brian stopped his next cantrip with another Spell Pierce. Brian kept turning the Priest sideways and added more pressure with a Vendilion Clique, seeing a loaded hand. Brian made Joe bottom the Decay, untapped, and attacked Joe down to 6 and passed.
Joe found a Bloodstained Mire and shipped the turn and Brian knocked him to 1 and passed. Joe drew and considered his options before discarding a Griselbrand. Joe paused Brian in his upkeep to play Firestorm, discarding two cards, but Brian had a Flusterstorm to secure the game.
Joe 1, Brian 1
Both players were happy with their openers and Joe kicked off the deciding game with a Ponder off an Underground Sea. Brian led off with a Probe to see what Joe was up to and played a Ponder of his own when he knew he wasn’t in immediate danger. Joe simply played a Bayou for his second turn and after quite a deliberation, had to move to discard.
“You’re on my type of strategy,” Joe joked.
Joe began his third turn with a Brainstorm and fetched up a Volcanic Island, going to 18, and played Animate Dead, targeting Brian’s Meddling Mage and named “Surgical Extraction.” Brian went to 15 for another Probe and Brainstormed, but again found no land and had to discard down to seven cards. Joe knocked Brian to 14 with the Mage and played a second Animate Dead, again on another Meddling Mage and Joe named “Force of Will.”
Brian attempted to Ponder so Joe used Entomb in response, putting Griselbrand in his graveyard, then let the cantrip resolve. Brian found and played a second Volcanic Island and passed the turn. Joe attacked Brian down to 11, fetched an Underground Sea to go to 15, and played Exhume. Brian responded with Pyroblast on the Mage naming “Surgical Extraction” then went to 9 to play the Extraction and removed all of Joe’s copies of Griselbrand from the game. Brian got his Mage back and named “Abrupt Decay,” forcing Joe to pass the turn.
Brian jumped into high gear and drew three cards off a Treasure Cruise and attacked Joe down to 13. Brian fetched down to 8, finding a Tundra, and used Swords to Plowshares on Joe’s Meddling Mage, putting Joe back at 15. Joe played a Careful Study and shipped the turn back, leading Brian to Probe again and attacked for 2. Joe went for a Brainstorm, but Brian stopped it with a Pyroblast and Brian flashed in an end-of-turn Vendilion Clique, which worked on Joe’s life total the next few turns until Joe had to extend the hand.
Brian 2, Joe 1