Round 16: Ben Isgur (Delver) vs. Patrick Sullivan (Zombies)
Patrick Sullivan takes the aggressive stance in most matchups.
“We’ve never actually played a game,” Ben noted. “Not even for fun.”
“No such thing,” Patrick said with a laugh. These two had been driving to the event together all weekend, and with comrade Drew Levin already locked for Top 8 they were among the more successful trios in the room. A win here would lock Top 16, with the loser likely falling to Top 32.
Patrick had the die roll, but no one-drop after a Swamp. Ben had Seachrome Coast and Delver—following Patrick’s Highborn Ghoul, that Delver failed to flip. Ben decided not to attack and cast a second Delver with his next Coast.
No surprise, Patrick was more offensively minded, attacking for 2 and casting Geralf’s Messenger into Vapor Snag. Ben missed his Delvers again, and Patrick took 2 damage. He sent in his Highborn Ghoul on turn 4 before playing Dragonskull Summit and casting two more Highborn Ghouls—Ben really needed some help, and Midnight Haunting wasn’t so incredible a crew.
Those Delvers bricked one more time, Ben looking at the card he drew with considerable disgust as Patrick gave a hearty chuckle. This time Patrick traded one Ghoul for one Delver, taking 3 damage and going to 14.
Swinging for 4, Patrick recast his Geralf’s Messenger before playing Skirsdag High Priest and ending the turn tapped out. Ben did finally flip his remaining Delver, showing Mana Leak. He had a 3/2, but wasn’t sure how much offense he could muster against this board. He was going to fall to 4 at a minimum, so he only sent in 4 damage himself with one token back to block.
The token chumped Messenger as Ben fell to 3 life, and Patrick dumped his remaining hand of Zombies. Ben had one more shot at a live card, and failed to find one.
Patrick 1, Ben 0
Ben’s seven were a keeper, but Patrick’s merited a frown. “Too many Walking Corpses?” Ben asked. “Not enough,” Patrick replied. Ben started on Ponder through Seachrome Coast and kept his three, while Patrick started on Blackcleave Cliffs.
Invisible Stalker landed for Ben, and Patrick’s Highbborn Ghoul threatened the same. Ben tapped out for Sword of War and Peace, making a real clock, and all Patrick could reply with was an attack for 2 damage and Mortarpod. He took 8 when Ben attacked, while Ben jumped well over 20.
Patrick 1, Ben 1
StarCityGames.com Open: Richmond finalist battles for position in the final round of the Invitational.
“That’s the first time I’ve been hit with a piece of equipment in this tournament,” Patrick said. “Seems hard to believe, doesn’t it?” “It’s only in like every good deck,” Ben said, equally shocked by the oddity. Patrick led Fume Spitter while Ben had Delver of Secrets. Declining to Spitter it, Mortarpod took care of Delver and Patrick swung for 1 damage.
Ben Pondered, played Plains, and passed the turn in an awkward spot. He fell to 18 on Patrick’s next attack, displeased to see Highborn Ghoul hit the board but not so bothered by the missed land drop. He tapped out to Timely Reinforcements, and Patrick declined to respond. Highborn Ghoul continued the attack, and Patrick added Gravecrawler to his offense.
Ben cast Invisible Stalker on turn 4 and failed to make a land drop himself, and Patrick sent Gravecrawler and the Ghoul into action, reducing Ben to 20. He recast Gravecrawler, and added a second to the board. Ben sent in his Stalker and played Sword of War and Peace followed by Seachrome Coast, threatening to end this game exactly how he’d ended the last one.
Still stuck on three lands, Patrick pondered his options. Another Mortarpod combined with Fume Spitter to enable an attack for 6 damage, but Ben reversed the majority on the following turn. Gaining 5 and dealing 7, he seized a massive lead by equipping Invisible Stalker. Ben really only needed to beat Liliana, so he dropped another Stalker and Delver of Secrets, passing the turn.
Patrick swung for 6 more and cast Geralf’s Messenger to put Ben on 11, passing the turn back to Ben. He attacked Patrick to 3 life, following with Celestial Purge on the Messenger and sitting relatively pretty at 14 life. He defended one attacker via Moorland Haunt, keeping his lethal squad intact—Patrick had a third land, but his Black Sun’s Zenith was not enough.
Patrick 1, Ben 2