Round 10: David McDarby (Solar Flare) vs. Elijah Herr (U/W Delver)
Elijah Herr snaps his Snapcasters into play with ferocity.
Playing for the glory, David McDarby and Elijah Herr faced off in the final round of the Standard Open here at Indianapolis.
David played Swamp, while Elijah Pondered twice on his turn. He played Geist of Saint Taft next, which quickly died to one of David's many Phantasmal Images. Restoration Angel from Elijah met a quick Doom Blade, and the two drew-passed for a turn cycle. Elijah found a Snapcaster Mage however on his next turn to shuffle away the top of his deck. He then cast Gitaxian Probe, paying two life.
After taking a hit from Snapcaster Mage, David and Elijah were both at 18. Elijah tried to copy his Snapcaster Mage with Phantasmal Image, and David Forbidden Alchemied in response. He binned a couple Sun Titans, and Snapcaster Mage resolved, flashing back another Ponder.
Phantasmal Image from David copied his opponent's Snapcaster Mage, and he recycled a Forbidden Alchemy for cheap; or at least he tried to—Elijah had Mana Leak to fight it. Elijah used his turn to Ponder, shuffle, Gut Shot David's Phantasmal Image, and swing for four. David subsequently went to 14.
David had little going on on his side of the board but had an impressive array of lands; when he had eight, he cast an Unburial Rites targeting Sun Titan. It resolved, and David targeted Phantasmal Image in the grave. Elijah responded with both Dismember and Gut Shot to get rid of the juicy clone target. David merely copied Snapcaster Mage, flashing back nothing, and passed.
The 2/1s traded off when Elijah attacked, with David taking two from the remaining Phantasmal Image (the one mimicking Snapcaster Mage). Elijah resolved Geist of Saint Traft, and David cast Forbidden Alchemy at end of turn. He tried Day of Judgment, which Elijah Mana Leaked; David paid the mana, but Elijah had a second.
David 1, Elijah 0
Elijah kept, while David took two trips to Paris. Elijah began with Gitaxian Probe, showing Island, 2 Lingering Souls, Day of Judgment, and Sun Titan—a sketchy five if I ever saw one! Could David make a game of it anyway? Elijah then Pondered off Island.
David found Evolving Wilds and played it, while Elijah flashed back Gitaxian Probe with Snapcaster Mage; the 2/1 started getting in. Elijah landed a Sword of War and Peace to add pressure. David played his third land and used Phantasmal Image to copy Snapcaster Mage, with nothing in the graveyard.
Elijah equipped and swung, and David quickly blocked; Lingering Souls made him some white Spirits. Unfortunately, they couldn't block the 4/3 Mage, and David went down to 10. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage from Elijah was more than enough for David to handle.
The two moved onto game three.
Elijah 1, David 1
It was Elijah's turn to mulligan this game; he went to five and went second. His play was the predictable Gitaxian Probe. David revealed two lands, Doom Blade, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Lingering Souls, and Forbidden Alchemy. Elijah copied the same play next turn, showing David had drawn Glacial Fortress. He then Pondered to finish.
David made two Spirit tokens on his turn, and they started getting in for bits of damage. The flashbacked version was Mana Leaked by Elijah, who then went on to pass the turn back. After David's tokens got in, putting Elijah to 14, Restoration Angel came down for Elijah. However Doom Blade took it to an early demise.
Phantasmal Image from David copied Snapcaster Mage on the other side, and David recycled Ponder; Elijah ticked down to 7 life. The two 2/1s traded as soon as Elijah attacked, and David summoned a Sun Titan on his turn, which ran into Dissipate.
Moorland Haunt let Elijah find a way to trade with David's lone token, and he stabilized at 7. The two played draw-go for a while until David played Forbidden Alchemy; he found Lingering Souls—but Dissipate from Elijah saved him from any potential token armies.
Elijah resolved a Delver of Secrets, which got in for a point of damage; at end of turn, David flashbacked Forbidden Alchemy, and Nihil Spellbomb came down to blow up Elijah's full graveyard. Elijah then attacked David to 16—still a long way to go!
With tons of lands, David went for an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite; Elijah could do little but bin his Delver of Secrets and flash in a mini Restoration Angel. However Elijah did have Phantasmal Image on his turn to legend rule the Praetor. When David tried to Doom Blade the Angel, Elijah saved it with Vapor Snag. But David had a second waiting. Elijah then cast a Delver of Secrets.
Elijah generated a couple Spirit tokens with Moorland Haunt and started getting in for some real damage with three 1/1s, putting David to 13. After Pondering, David landed a Sun Titan, getting back Phantasmal Image…into Phantasmal Image…into Oblivion Ring on Delver of Secrets. Three 6/6s in one turn!
David used Forbidden Alchemy to draw…perhaps a path to victory? He attacked with his three Titans, getting back a Phantasmal Image (copying Sun Titan), Oblivion Ring, Vault of the Archangel, and Nihil Spellbomb. Elijah had to block everything, and David activated Vault to go up to 31. Elijah's board was eliminated, and David still had three 6/6 Phantasmal Images.
Elijah drew, saw nothing, and scooped it up.
David 2, Elijah 1