Round 12: Erik Smith vs. Todd Anderson
Todd had selected the GP Dallas-winning deck for this event, while Erik was one of several northeastern players on a devotion-based red deck. Both players had begun the tournament strong, with Top 8 in their sights.
Todd exploits his Connections in the first game.
Todd’s turn 1 Temple+of+Silence moved one card to the bottom, while Erik played Mountain without a one-drop. Taking an aggressive stance, Todd put pack Rat onto the field, and Erik threatened the ideal reply by starting with Burning-Tree+Emissary—but he ended his turn after that.
On a pair of Mutavaults, Todd made a second Rat after Erik declined to block, and now the game looked very threatening for Erik’s chances. He tapped out for Boros+Reckoner, but it wasn’t enough to beat Last+Breath plus Devour+Flesh, clearing Erik’s board. Erik was able to return the favor with Chained+to+the+Rocks into Mizzium+Mortars, but Todd’s Thoughtseize stripped Fanatic+of+Mogis from the hand and enabled the Mutavaults to begin racing.
Erik quickly fell so far behind that his Stormbreath+Dragon off the top couldn’t even afford an attack. The space Todd had on life total enabled Underworld+Connections to start working, and Todd even cast a second copy when he found no removal for the Dragon. Erik’s Rakdos+Cackler was on offense while the Dragon hung back, but Todd opted to trade off one Mutavault. He had three, so that was sufficient to keep the dragon at bay still for now.
Blood+Baron+of+Vizkopa changed the game on Todd’s side, with a Devour+Flesh clearing out the Stormbreath+Dragon. Erik had a second copy to keep up, but yet another Devour+Flesh killed that one, and earned Todd the win shortly after.
Todd 1, Erik 0
Erik mulliganed his opener to start a must-win game, while Todd once more kept seven. Leading Firedrinker+Satyr, he had Ash+Zealot to follow with when Todd made nothing except Temple on turn 1. Another turn 2 Pack+Rat was much less impressive this time, as Todd took 4 damage before Boros+Reckoner hit the battlefield.
Erik rallied with some impressive starts in the sideboarded games.
Todd 1, Erik 1
Temple+of+Silence on Todd’s side once more, and Erik with the Rakdos+Cackler to start attacking. Devour+Flesh cleared it out before that could happen, leaving Ash+Zealot unassisted on turn 2. Todd Thoughtseized, dismayed to see just five spells—Firedrinker+Satyr, Mizzium+Mortars, two Boros+Reckoners, and Assemble+the+Legion.
Taking the removal spell, he no doubt hoped that Erik would simply fail to find mana. He did, and only the Satyr began swinging for Erik. Todd was short lands as well, stuck on three, and Erik made it to Boros+Reckoner. On turn 6, Todd Doom Bladed the Reckoner and Thoughtseized, seeing Hammer+of+Purphoros and Fanatic had joined the party.
Erik cast the Hammer after discarding the Reckoner, and Nykthos as a fifth land gave Erik the mana to cast Assemble+the+Legion. With both Assemble and Hammer in play, things looked very grim for Todd—especially as he missed his fourth land once again. Frustrated, he tapped out for Underworld+Connections, but was all but dead to the Fanatic that followed.
Todd 1, Erik 2