Round 16: Josh Ravitz vs. Taylor Raflowitz
At table 8, these players have about a 25% shot at top 8ing the Invitational with a victory… but a loss means it’s 11-5 and a likely top 32 finish. Can either player complete the impossible dream and sneak into the top 8 here in Las Vegas?
Taylor won the roll and led things off with fetchland into Island to cast Ponder. After a quick reset of the top of his deck, Taylor passed. Josh played Plains and passed. Taylor played another fetchland before passing, and Josh followed up on turn two with Stoneforge Mystic. In response, Taylor decided the Stoneforge was important enough to try to counter so he cast Brainstorm, but didn’t find the Force of Will or other countermagic to deal with the 1/2. After Stoneforge found Batterskull, Taylor searched out a pair of Volcanic Islands on his turn and cast Show and Tell. Taylor put out Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Josh put out Batterskull.
Josh went for Brainstorm with his Tundra to dig for Karakas, but Force of Will threatened to deal with it. Josh had a Force of his own… but Misdirection put an end to that counter war, and Josh scooped up for game 2.
Taylor 1, Josh 0.
Josh led things off with Thoughtseize, and from Taylor’s hand of Gitaxian Probe, Force of Will, Sneak Attack, Lotus Petal, and Sneak Attack (plus two land) Josh took Force of Will. Taylor spent his turn learning Josh’s secrets as well, seeing Jace, the Mind Sculptor; Brainstorm; Stoneforge Mystic; and lands with Gitaxian Probe (paying mana and not two life). Josh played the Stoneforge on his turn two, finding Sword of Feast and Famine before passing the turn.
City of Traitors and Lotus Petal allowed Taylor to land a copy of Sneak Attack on his turn and threaten a quite deadly hasty attack force next turn, while Josh spent his turn casting Brainstorm to dig his way out of the impending predicament. Josh put two cards back before using a fetchland to get Tundra and then cast Disenchant to destroy the offending enchantment in a quite classic and classy way. The 1/2 hit for one before Josh ended his turn.
Taylor played a land so he had to rebuild his mana base post-City, while Josh was able to bring in the Sword and start going to town with it. Inquisition of Kozilek saw two Show and Tells alongside Griselbrand and Spell Pierce after a Brainstorm hid the items Taylor wanted most, then Taylor willingly discarded a copy of Show and Tell as well. Jace came down post-combat and Josh elected to use the Brainstorm ability to protect from future blowouts, finding an Underground Sea before passing.
Gitaxian Probe was Taylor’s play, and he saw Josh’s grip by going to 14 life: Brainstorm and Spell Pierce. Unable to pay the Pierce tax (he only had four total mana!) Taylor could only pass with both Sneak Attack and Show and Tell in hand. That was enough of a window for Josh, who continued to go to work with Jace using Brainstorm yet again to find Snapcaster Mage to flashback Thoughtseize. Once the Lorwyn sorcery hit the stack, Taylor had seen enough and it was off to the final game of the Swiss rounds for both of these competitors.
Taylor 1, Josh 1.
Taylor took the play and led things off in the rubber match with Island. Josh began with Inquisition of Kozilek courtesy of Polluted Delta into Underground Sea, but Brainstorm threw a small wrench into the works in that plan. After Brainstorm resolved Josh selected Gitaxian Probe from a hand that included five lands and Spell Pierce. Not exactly what Taylor was looking for, I imagine. One of those lands, a fetchland, came down for Taylor on his turn two while Josh continued to press onward by playing Meddling Mage naming Sneak Attack.
But so did Humility.
Well, the good news is that Sneak Attack can be cast now!
Stoneforge Mystic (aka a vanilla 1/1) entered the battlefield for Josh, and Taylor would have to get rid of the Humility before anything else could occur positive for him. Meanwhile, Creeping Tar Pit entered the battlefield and so did another blank Mystic while the one without summoning sickness dropped Taylor to 15.
Taylor failed to find an out for several turns, and when Josh added Liliana of the Veil to the board Taylor scooped.
Emrakul, have some Humble pie.
Josh 2, Taylor 1.