Round 12: Adam Prosak vs. Michael Hetrick
Each of these players had an Invitational finals to their credit, which meant the only finish that could really satisfy either one was first place. This match was crucial to remaining in position for Top 8.
Scalding+Tarn, passing. Michael fetched on turn 1 for Underground+Sea and cast Thoughtseize, prompting Adam to respond. He fetched his own Underground+Sea to Brainstorm and protect his best cards, revealing two Dark+Rituals, two Lion’s Eye Diamonds, a Lotus+Petal, and Volcanic+Island. Michael knew the right card on top might spell instant death...
He discarded a Diamond and went to 17, passing the turn. Adam played his Volcanic+Island and cast the Diamond, Petal, and two Dark+Rituals before revealing the top card of his deck had been Infernal+Tutor. Michael had Force+of+Will to counter, exiling Snapcaster+Mage and leaving Adam with just Petal and two lands in play. Michael had the option of tossing Brainstorm or Spell+Pierce her to keep his clock, but decided to lean on Jace for victory.
Michael made a land and passed, Adam drawing and ending the turn with barely a glance at the card. Michael Brainstormed in the end step, using a fetchland to shuffle things up before Thoughtseizing Adam’s only card away, a Lion’s Eye Diamond. Adam once again lacked action, and Michael dropped Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor into play, effectively locking things up. He began fatesealing.
Adam took a few more draw steps, finding a pair of Preordains to try and set up some action. Michael sent one of his cards to the bottom, and Adam cast Duress on the next turn. Michael replied by Brainstorming, then played Counterspell. Adam Pondered afterward, leaving the cards on top.
Jace ticked up to 11 as Adam’s fate came one step closer to being sealed. Casting Cabal+Therapy, Adam named Force+of+Will and revealed Jace and Spell+Pierce in Michael’s hand alongside a Force. Could he do it? He was so close...
Michael moved Jace up to 13 against Adam’s two-card hand and four mana, bottoming the card and sending Adam to the top of the deck once more. He drew, played Lion’s Eye Diamond, played Cabal+Ritual—Michael Spell Pierced, but Adam cracked his Diamond for red and revealed his last card to be Past+in+Flames, paying for Pierce and flashbacking Past+in+Flames with Petal and Polluted+Delta available.
That pretty much did it.
Adam wound up hellbent on turn 2, but kept cool and pulled out a win.
Adam 1, Michael 0
Michael mulliganed to six and then to five, looking for a hand with enough stops to keep Adam from killing him. He found it on five, Spell Piercing Adam’s opening Ponder after they each played Islands. Fetching on turn 2, Michael found Scrubland and cast Thoughtseize.
Adam revealed Lion’s Eye Diamond, Dark+Ritual, two Infernal+Tutors, Duress, and Brainstorm—Michael had a choice to make and decided upon the Brainstorm. If he could find a clock before Adam drew out...
A quick draw and pass from the Storm player gave Michael the opening for Stoneforge+Mystic. He searched up Batterskull and Adam once more passed the turn, knowing he had to get moving soon. Finding a fetchland, he searched for Underground+Sea and cast Duress—no need to start casting Rituals now.
Batterskull entered play in response to Duress. Duress revealed Force+of+Will, Jace, and Thoughtseize—Michael lost the Thoughtseize, and attacked Adam for 5 damage. Adam continued to go slow with Cabal+Therapy for Force+of+Will, taking an additional 5 damage on the next turn. He went to 7 for Gitaxian+Probe, revealing Michael had found another Force+of+Will.
No problem—Adam had another Duress. He fetched a second Sea, falling to 6 life and starting to do some math. He cast Infernal+Tutor, revealing Dark+Ritual to find another one and ending the turn prepared to fall to 1 life. If he made it out, and Michael failed to draw disruption, he’d be in a position to try the combo finish.
Michael resolved Jace and brainstormed prior to attacking Adam to 1. “No idea if I can get it,” Adam admitted. He played Diamond and then a Swamp, casting two Dark+Rituals and then Infernal+Tutor, breaking the Diamond for red to find Past+in+Flames with six mana floating and three lands available, falling to two floating mana and a storm count of five. Two Dark+Rituals made that five mana and seven spells, Batterskull’s lifelink requiring eight more.
Adam cast Ponder and shuffled up the deck, peeling Infernal+Tutor—probably one of the better spells he could draw! That grabbed Lion’s Eye Diamond, which became Adam’s tenth spell. He broke the Diamond to make it to six black and Duressed Michael’s Brainstorm before casting Infernal+Tutor from the bin to get a Cabal+Ritual.
Adam 2, Michael 0