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