Round 16: Benjamin Lundquist vs. Phillip Lorren
Phillip Lorren had begun the day on top after becoming the lone 9-0 in Round 9, and wanted to end it that way with a win in the last round and a lock of top seed in the Top 8. Ben was fighting to keep Top 8 in his sights.
Turn 2 Augur of Bolas gave Ben the first man on the board, but Phillip took advantage of the end step to send Searing Spear at the 1/3. He made his land drop on turn 3, a tapped shockland, and passed. Ben rolled out Isolated Chapel and did the same, while Phillip made a threat on turn 4 in Boros Reckoner with one mana up.
Ben cast Devour Flesh and played Drowned Catacomb, having dropped nothing but buddy lands and a Drownyard so far, seemingly hurting for untapped mana. Phillip’s Augur of Bolas on turn 5 gave him Azorius Charm, drawing a card the long way, and Ben decided to ignore it for the time being with just a land drop.
Phillip attacked and Ben took 1 damage, casting Think Twice in the end step twice. Paying 2 life for a shockland on his sixth turn, Ben tried to pass—when Phillip cycled Azorius Charm, Ben cast Restoration Angel. Pillar of Flame followed by Searing Spear removed the Angel during Phillip’s turn, and now Ben cycled Azorius Charm.
He played his own Augur of Bolas to slow down Phillip, missing on a spell and adding another land to the board. Phillip played Boros Reckoner, still sitting on five mana as Ben began to outpace him on land drops, Think Twice doing its thing. Supreme Verdict mopped up the board for Ben, and he flashbacked Think Twice after Phillip sent a Pillar of Flame to the dome, leaving Ben on 14.
Another Supreme Verdict cleared Snapcaster Mage, and Phillip took 2 for a shockland before passing turn with six mana up. Ben drew and shipped with eight, Nephalia Drownyard close to coming online as a legitimate endgame. Phillip played Restoration Angel in the end step and Ben defended on Phillip’s turn with Azorius Charm, using Drownyard to discard the Angel from the deck.
In Ben’s end step Snapcaster Mage came down, threatening to flashback Searing Spear and attack Ben to 7 life, an uncomfortably low number. Ben allowed it to resolve and cast Sphinx’s Revelation for three cards against Phillip’s two open lands, leaving two mana up against Izzet Charm. Phillip nodded, resolving Spear on Ben and then attacking him for 2, but that left ben at just 10 life. He Thought Scoured Ben as well, milling an Angel, but was falling behind.
Supreme Verdict cleared the Snapcaster Mage and Syncopate countered the attempted Sphinx’s Revelation for three Phillip made during the next end step. A Revelation for four met the same fate on the following turn, and Phillip was down to three cards as he drew for the turn. Thought Scour caught one of Ben’s Drownyards as Phillip drew, but Ben continued to Think Twice his way into the lead.
Augur of Bolas for Ben revealed the option of Supreme Verdict or Dimir Charm, and Ben opted to take the Charm. Phillip Izzet Charmed for the loot, needing action, but appeared to find nothing. The Drownyard began to operate in his end step, Phillip’s library already halfway depleted. A Searing Spear knocked Ben to 7 life, but he wasn’t too worried.
Snapcaster Mage targeting Sphinx’s Revelation with three mana left let Ben force another handful of cards through Phillip’s last card, a Syncopate. Now he was entering the cleanup step against a hellbent opponent with two creatures in play and an active Nephalia Drownyard—Phillip was in dismal shape.
Revelation for four put Ben up to 16 in the next end step as Drownyard also went to work, Ben no doubt searching for a second copy to lock it up. He didn’t find one, but his offense was also getting to work as Phillip was on 15 life. The next attack made that 12, and Ben played a second Drownyard.
Another six cards hit the bin, leaving Phillip on just 12 cards. He attempted Sphinx’s Revelation for five, and Ben replied with Dimir Charm to knock two cards off the top before using both Drownyards—that made the Revelation lethal.
Ben 1, Phillip 0
As Phillip considered the next game, he decided to concede. A clear lock for Top 8, Phillip realized he was also a lock for first seed, which he had previously considered in doubt. “Sorry for making you sweat,” he offered Ben, along with the handshake. Ben smiled and accepted it before being congratulated by his cheerleader, Gerard Fabiano.
Ben 2, Phillip 0