Round 10: Kyle Guffey vs. Eric Zotigh
The winner of this final round match has a chance to sneak into the Top 8 if their tiebreakers fell the right way, and it was going to be a close matchup between Eric’s R/G Aggro deck and Kyle’s U/B Control.
Eric Zotigh riding and raising hell with R/G Aggro.
Eric came out swinging with Llanowar Elves and Sword of War and Peace, but lost the creature to Go for the Throat when he tried to equip for big attack on turn three. The initial threat dealt with, Kyle took control with a pair of Dissipates on Green Sun’s Zenith and Garruk Relentless, but Huntmaster of the Fells and Hellrider found their way through Kyle’s defenses and smashed in through Curse of Death’s Hold. All of a sudden Kyle was down to 7 and needed help immediately.
Wurmcoil Engine was the perfect answer, but Kyle’s eyes went wide when a second Hellrider slammed a lethal 8 damage through the red zone, killing him before he could get any use out of his big lifelinker.
Eric 1, Kyle 0
They shuffled in silence, with Kyle still feeling the effects of his sudden death. He shook his head repeatedly, trying to get his bearings, muttering, “That was the last thing I was expecting.” He had to feel better when Eric took one mulligan, then a second.
Eric’s slow start played perfectly into Kyle’s game plan and the control mage shrugged at a second turn Birds of Paradise. A follow-up Sword of War and Peace was less comfortable, but Kyle had no way to stop it. He kept the bird at bay with Go for the Throat, and followed up with Tribute to Hunger to get a Llanowar Elves that tried to pick up the sword. Snapcaster Mage flashed back the edict to off another Birds of Paradise, and Eric was starting to feel the effects of his double mulligan.
He fired up a two-point Green Sun’s Zenith, but a second Snapcaster Mage enabled a Flashfreeze that was previously cast aside by Forbidden Alchemy. Curse of Death’s Hold threatened to put a major damper on Eric’s plans for a comeback, especially as the Snapcaster Mages got the beatdown ball rolling.
On just 8 life and staring down two Snapcaster Mages, Eric tapped out for a four-point Green Sun’s Zenith and found Huntmaster of the Fells when it resolved. That would help deal with the attacking wizards, but Kyle decided to do it for him, clearing the board with a one-point Black Sun’s Zenith instead of just slamming Grave Titan into play.
Kyle Guffey hopes his Grave Titans can carry him to the Top 8.
The massive giant made its way onto the board after Eric passed, but Eric was slowrolling Phyrexian Metamorph to clone it. Kyle was ready this time. A second Curse of Death’s Hold cleared out Eric’s Zombie tokens and Kyle’s army crashed in. The Grave Titans traded and the tokens dropped Eric to 2, with a fresh pair of tokens ready to rumble.
Eric 1, Kyle 1
It was Kyle’s turn to mulligan and Strangleroot Geist put some early pressure on him. A second copy was picked off by Mana Leak, but Kyle still needed to find an answer to the first spirit. A natural third Strangleroot Geist spelled a whole lot of trouble for Kyle, and the little guys were off to the races. Tribute to Hunger stopped the front half of one of them, but it came right back, bigger than ever and all Kyle could muster on his turn was a fourth land.
Surgical Extraction checked for any traps by taking Mana Leaks out of the equation, clearing the way for Green Sun’s Zenith to zip the last Strangleroot Geist into play. Another Tribute to Hunger kept Kyle’s life total afloat, but it was starting to look grim. Kessig Wolf Run with six lands in play meant Kyle was at 6 before Grave Titan could stabilize things, and Eric moved all-in on his attack step, leaving the board at Grave Titan and 2 life for Kyle, and just six lands in play for Eric, playing for a topdecked burn spell.
He took a Grave Titan shot to the face and played Huntmaster of the Fells. Its flip would be lethal, but Kyle had the Go for the Throat to off the threat. Grave Titan crunched in again, and a small army of Zombie tokens waited for their chance to join the fray. They got their chance on the next turn as Kyle went for an alpha strike, clearing out the last blocker with Snapcaster Mage on Go for the Throat and the black mambas feasted on Eric’s brains.
Kyle wins 2-1