Round 16: Brian Kibler (Naya Pod) vs. Harry Corvese (Delver)
The crowd pressed in around the raised feature match viewing area as the last round was called. At most only one of the many 30-pointers would be able to squeeze into the Top 8, but it was anyone’s guess as to who that lucky person would be, so there was a lot at stake in this matchup featuring Brian Kibler’s Naya Pod against Harry Corvese’s U/W Delver.
Brian won the roll with a 19 against Harry’s lowly 1 and noted his thoughts on the good omen. Harry disagreed, saying it was just a waste of a 19, but Brian was happy to take it.
It looked like whatever omen Brian had felt was leaning on the match as Harry fell to six cards, then an immediate five as Kibler exploded onto the board with Avacyn’s Pilgrim into Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and another Avacyn’s Pilgrim. Harry could only try to dig his way into two Delver of Secrets with a pair of Gitaxian Probes, but he was missing a second land and Acidic Slime ate it for lunch before Kibler’s team crashed in.
Brian 1, Harry 0
Things started with the full amount of cards for the second game, and the players settled into a less aggressive pacing than the last game. Kibler stepped onto the dance floor with Avacyn’s Pilgrim, but Vapor Snag sent it right back home.
Harry Corvese Vapor Snags to fight for position against Kibler.
Mana Leak shut down Garruk Relentless a few turns later while Harry was getting started on Brian’s life total with a flipped Delver of Secrets. He went to pump things up a bit more with Runechanter’s Pike, but ended up losing his Insectile Aberration to Huntmaster of the Fells’ flip.
He replaced it with a Geist of Saint Traft that picked up the Runechanter’s Pike, but Ancient Grudge blew it up in combat and Brian went to block with his 4/4, but Vapor Snag pushed it out of the way with Brian falling to 10. He replayed the Huntmaster of the Fells, gaining another wolf and an extra two life to work with, but he was still on stuck on defense against the Geist and bunch of cards in Harry’s hand.
Two more Vapor Snags shut down Brian’s try at a double block with both wolf tokens, and the angel token knocked Kibler to 8, exhausting most of Harry’s hand. Brian had to hold back again on the next turn, leaving Avacyn’s Pilgrim, two Huntmaster of the Fells and a wolf token back to defend his dwindling 8 life.
Geist of Saint Traft came through again and Brian sighed an “okay, fine,” as he triple blocked the crazed spirit and lost a Huntmaster of the Fells. The angel token bashed him down to 4, but it looked like he was in the clear after a Ponder finished Harry’s turn. Just the wolf token attacked and Brian boosted his team with Gavony Township, but Snapcaster Mage reactivated Vapor Snag to return the Huntmaster of the Fells before it could flip.
The Snapcaster Mage couldn’t attack through the Avacyn’s Pilgrim, and the Ancient Grudge sitting in Kibler’s graveyard was holding off Sword of War and Peace in Harry’s hand, and it was quickly back on Brian. Again the Huntmaster of the Fells came in and again the wolf token ran into the red zone.
Harry looked for a big topdeck on his turn, squeezing his new card into his hand, but he failed to find a way out of his predicament and extended the hand in the face of Kibler’s ever-growing army.
Brian 2, Harry 0