Round 12: Jim Davis vs. Marcus Torrez
Both of these players had 8-3 records heading in to the twelfth round, and with an expected cutoff of around 12-3-1 neither player could realistically expect to make top 8 with a loss here. Which red-based aggro deck could take the cake in this battle of Burning-Trees?
Jim went to five on the play, which isn’t exactly where you want to be in a make-or-break round. But once he kept he led things off with Stomping Ground nonetheless, while Marcus dropped Temple of Triumph. Jim’s second land was Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and a quick pass after that spelled a poor draw (expected from a mulligan), while Marcus had a pair of Burning-Tree Emissarys. Jim then missed a land drop while Marcus added Ash Zealot and a third land. He dropped Jim to 14.
Jim found a second red land for Mindsparker, but Chained to the Rocks took it out of play. Another Ash Zealot also came down on the fourth turn of the game for Marcus, who then bashed for eight more damage. Jim knew what the deal was and quickly headed to sideboarding.
Jim Davis is undefeated in Standard going into Round 12.
Marcus 1, Jim 0.
Jim sighed for a while before deciding to keep, and dropped Sacred Foundry turn one. Temple of Triumph again from Marcus was quickly responded to by Jim, who dropped Ash Zealot and immediately went to town with it. Chained to the Rocks on his own Mountain was Marcus’ response, and he had no play after that. Jim was now faced with a tough decision, and did not play a third land before passing. Marcus, for his part, also had no play on turn three, though he did have the third land.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx came into play for Jim before passing back. Marcus played a fourth land and Purphoros, God of the Forge on his turn four, so Jim would have to get some semblance of offense going before the big red God could take over. But he sadly had no play yet again, so Marcus was able to untap, drop another Temple, and cast Fanatic of Mogis. The total damage dealt by entering play was four, to set life totals at 18-16 in Marcus’ favor, and Marcus also had the board advantage. Jim was still unable to piece a real board together, but at least on board with a lone Burning-Tree Emissary.
Marcus dropped his own Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx for his land number six, then cast Aurelia’s Fury targeting Jim for two and his Emissary for two. Jim fell to 10 on attacker’s step, and once again Jim’s cupboard was bare. Still unable to find a fourth mana, Jim used Mizzium Mortars to at least remove the 4/2 from his path. But Marcus kept firing, playing another Purphoros to get in two damage before legend ruling itself. Jim found Frostburn Weird to get a creature that could attack and block (unlike the God of the Forge), but Marcus quickly used his own Mortars to end that.
Jim’s deck was finally cooperative. He quickly snapped Stomping Ground into his hand before paying two life to drop it into play (falling to 6 life) and casting Boros Reckoner. But Marcus had Fanatic of Mogis to drop Jim to 2, and also Chained to the Rocks to clear out that opposing Minotaur. The good news for Jim was that Marcus went hellbent in the process, so he could hope for Marcus to brick… which he did for a turn after Mizzium Mortars cleared out another 4/2. Jim added Stormbreath Dragon and then a second to clock Marcus, and he needed him to draw three straight lands. He’d already drawn the first…
And then the second…
And then Marcus slammed the third draw step…
Marcus 1, Jim 1.
“We’re definitely in Vegas, because that was a sick sweat!”
Marcus Torrez is on a tear today!
After a very odd game two, Marcus was on the play for the first time of the match. He once again was able to easily keep his opening seven, and for a change so did Jim. Marcus led off with Temple of Triumph for the third time, and Jim began his game with a Temple of his own. Both players kept the card on top, which meant a true game this time! Ash Zealot turn two from Marcus dealt two immediate damage, while Jim cashed in on turn two with Stomping Ground and Ash Zealot of his own. Jim’s did not attack though, planning to trade.
Marcus played a second Temple and then used Chained to the Rocks to prevent the trade and drop Jim to 14. Jim, unfazed, played Nykthos and Domri Rade. The littlest planeswalker used his +1, but did not find a friend on top of Jim’s deck. Marcus decided his best course of action was to play a SECOND Ash Zealot and kill off the Domri immediately, leaving Jim with only three lands in play to Marcus’ two creatures and enchantment aura on his Mountain. Jim rebuilt with his own Chained to the rocks to get rid of one of the 2/2s before playing a fourth land and passing.
Ash Zealot dropped Jim to 12, then Frostburn Weird came to play as well for Marcus’ side. Jim, finally not landlocked in a game this match, used Temple of Abandon to scry and, after a long thought, put the card on the bottom. Both of Marcus’ creatures entered the red zone, and after one pump Jim fell to 6. Marcus, by the way, was the one light on land with only three in play this game, but was still in the driver’s seat… until Burning-Tree Emissary into an overloaded Mizzium Mortars cleared Marcus’ board. A regular ol’ Mizzium Mortars without the kicker cleared out Jim’s 2/2 as well.
Jim had another Burning-Tree on his next turn but no friends this time, while Marcus put up a big road block in the form of Boros Reckoner. Ash Zealot came down for Jim, who could only draw and pass. Marcus found his fourth land, Temple of Triumph, before he rumbled for three and then Mortar’d the Zealot. Another Ash Zealot that couldn’t really attack came down for Jim, who simply drew and passed. Marcus untapped and revealed the Fanatic of Mogis in his hand, and that was the match.
Marcus 2, Jim 1.