Round 10: Joe Keaveny vs. Andre Segarra
Joe kept his cool, even as Karn blew his lid... twice.
Playing for a berth outside the elimination rounds, Joe shuffled up his Esper Spirits list against Andre’s U/B Control with Bloodline Keeper. The players sat down for a friendly match, Top 16 and some glory on the line.
Joe won the roll and kept his seven, while Andre mulliganed instantly to six. Darkslick Shores and Ponder for Joe, the top three going right back from whence they came. Andre also had Darkslick Shores, but no Ponder, while Joe spent the second turn on Evolving Wilds. Andrew played an Island, nodding as Joe fetched for Plains and refreshed that Ponder.
Turn 3 for Joe led to Seachrome Coast but no other plays, and Andre sent the turn right back with Drowned Catacomb. Joe made his fourth land and passed, Andre casting Think Twice during the end step. On his fifth turn, Joe went to 18 for a Probe revealing two lands, two Mana Leaks, Tragic Slip, and Consecrated Sphinx. Playing Island, Joe ended the turn and nodded when Andre flashbacked his Think Twice.
Island, pass for Andre, sitting on five lands, while Joe made Moorland Haunt his sixth before sending the turn. Forbidden Alchemy earned a Mana Leak from Joe, Andre nodding and playing Ghost Quarter on his own turn, remaining patient.
Geist of Saint Traft with three up soaked a Dissipate from Andre, Joe trying but failing to get some Mana Leaks out of Andre's hand. Lingering Souls came next, and Joe tapped out to pay for Mana Leak. Andre decided to save his second copy and cast Forbidden Alchemy. Andre could try the Sphinx on his own turn, but Joe would certainly be ready… so Andre cast Karn Liberated instead, removing a Dismember.
Joe attacked Karn and cast Geist of Saint Traft, passing with three mana up and threatening to end Karn. He nodded as Andre removed a Mana Leak with Karn and then cast Sphinx, but the Spellskite afterward was all the incentive Joe needed to Vapor Snag the Sphinx with Andre tapped out. He could only attack Karn for 6 damage though, and the planeswalker had a massive 12 loyalty.
Going for the throat, Joe attacked Andre for 6 damage and flashbacked Lingering Souls, passing with five mana available. He binned an Island to Karn and Mana Leaked Consecrated Sphinx once Andre cast it, tapping out his control opponent and leaving Joe himself on zero cards.
The Sphinx gave Andre two fresh ones, but Joe’s was more useful—Snapcaster Mage on Vapor Snag, sneaking past the Spellskite to let Joe attack Andre for 8 damage, leaving him on just 4 life! Shaking his head, Andre found himself awkwardly forced to restart a game he’d nearly had locked up! With just an Island in play, it was even possible Joe would be able to come back from the tempo disadvantage.
So, back to turn 1. Darkslick Shores and Ratchet Bomb for Andre, and then Island and Delver of Secrets for Joe. Andre kept the bomb on zero and played an island, his third land, allowing Joe to resolve Ponder on the next turn. He attacked for 1 and played Evolving Wilds.
Tapped Darkslick Shores for Andre, while Joe fetched Plains with his Evolving Wilds before untapping for turn 3. He swung Andre to 18 and played Darkslick Shores, tapping out for Porcelain Legionnaire afterward, but Andre’s Tragic Slip ended it.
Andre continued making lands, falling to 17 as the Delver attacked and Joe played Moorland Haunt. On six lands, Andre passed, Joe’s clock doubling via the Haunt. He attacked Andre to 15, and cast Ponder afterward. Cracking Evolving Wilds after keeping the three cards, Joe paid 2 life for Gitaxian Probe, revealing Karn, Consecrated Sphinx, Snapcaster Mage, and Blue Sun’s Zenith—a lot of gas.
Zenith for three during the end step filled Andre’s hand predictably, and he played Bloodline Keeper on the next turn with three mana up. Joe’s Delver remained unflipped, and he played an Island. Dismember took the Keeper apart at the cost of three mana due to Mana Leak, Joe having paid 2 life. Ratchet Bomb blew up Joe’s Spirit token, keeping Andre on 14 life, and now Karn landed again.
Removing Swamp from Joe’s hand, Andre passed with a mana up. Joe flipped his Delver into Insectile Aberration by revealing Gitaxian Probe, and played Ponder next, shuffling the deck. The Probe followed, revealing Doom Blade, Snapcaster, and Sphinx. Joe considered his attack carefully before aiming the bug at Andre’s life total, Lingering Souls creating four tokens and leaving Joe tapped out.
Andre removed Glacial Fortress from the hand with Karn, casting Consecrated Sphinx and then Doom Blade afterward. Joe Vapor Snagged the Sphinx and then attacked for 4 more damage, adding Porcelain Legionnaire to the field.
With a sigh, Andre drew… and found himself forced to pop Karn again, sitting on a very precarious 6 life. This time, he’d have two lands in play—likely too much for Joe to overcome. Andre played Darkslick Shores and then Spellskite, passing, while Joe had Delver of Secrets. Think Twice for Andre and then his fourth land, while Joe missed a trigger with Delver and cast… two more Delvers!
Andre was as amused as anyone by the outlandishness of the match.
Andre needed some help, casting another Think Twice, and then played Forbidden Alchemy in search of Ratchet Bomb. Failing to find it, Joe revealed Mana Leak on the next turn, flipping all his Delvers! He attacked for 9 damage and passed with three mana up, Andre inexplicably in mortal peril yet again!
He drew for turn, flashbacked a Think Twice, and passed—a turn later, it was all over!
Andre kept his starter and Joe went to six. Darkslick Shores from Andre was mirrored by Seachrome Coast from Joe, and Andre had Mana Leak in reply to Porcelain Legionnaire on the second turn. Joe passed turn 3 with just land, Andre Thinking Twice, and Joe sent the turn again, Andre flashbacking it.
Each player passed, hitting six lands with no plays at all. On turn 7, Andre cast Bloodline Keeper, watching Dismember take the 3/3 out of the skies during the end step. Lingering Souls gave Joe an air force on the next turn, and Andre had no way to take care of them—he played his eighth land and ended the turn, although it was a Nephalia Drownyard. He milled self and took 2 damage.
Another 2 damage from Joe’s Spirits, and Gitaxian Probe revealed three lands and two Mana Leaks—he’s open for business, boys and girls! Joe flashbacked the Souls and passed, increasing his clock to capitalize on Andre’s weakness.
Draw and pass from Andre, just playing a land, and he fell to 12 as Joe attacked again. Joe passed afterward, and Andre hit a live card: Ratchet Bomb! It resolved, and he played another land before ending the turn. The Bomb predictable detonated all those Spirits, and Joe Probed once more before casting Lingering Souls and flashbacking it. Andre burned a Mana Leak to tap Joe out, hoping he’d draw a sweet card.
He didn’t, frowning. Tragic Slip killed a token, and Andre passed the turn back over to Joe. Joe attacked Andre to 9 and ended the turn, Andre finding more lands waiting on top of the library. Another swing from Joe made Andre’s life total 6, but he found an out: Black Sun’s Zenith. Unfortunately for Andre, Dissipate had that potential thorn well-handled.