Round 16: Wilson Hunter vs. Jake Mondello
Both players battled through 15 rounds of Swiss to reach this point: a win-and-in for an Invitational Top 8 berth. Both Wilson Hunter and Jake Mondello were playing Mono-Black Devotion variants, Wilson splashing white, while Jake stuck with the old-fashioned no-splash build. Which player would advance to play on Sunday?
Jake started off with a Temple of Silence and Wilson did the same. Jake made the first play in Pack Rat and Wilson played a land and passed. Jake sent in the rat and followed it up with an Underworld Connections. Wilson killed the rat at the end of turn with a Bile Blight, untapped, and played an Underworld Connections of his own. Jake dropped Nightveil Specter and passed the turn without a fourth land. Wilson scryed away a card with a Temple of Silence, drew off his land and passed it back.
Jake sent the Specter in, which revealed an Underworld Connections. Jake decided on playing his Desecration Demon after hitting his fourth land, leaving the enchantment under his creature. Wilson played his fifth land and added a Blood Baron of Vizkopa to his board. Jake sent in his flyers and hit a land, which he played, then used a Devour Flesh to get rid of the Baron. Jake drew a card off his land then passed back. Facing down two threats, Wilson drew and thought for a moment. He came to the conclusion to play an Obzedat, Ghost Council before passing. Jake slammed a Gray Merchant of Asphodel for nine then shoved his team into the red zone for lethal damage.
Jake 1, Wilson 0
Wilson was on the play and started off with an Orzhov Guildgate. Jake had other plans and cast a Thoughtseize off a Swamp and took a Revoke Existence out of Wilson’s hand, leaving him with Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, Erebos, God of the Dead, Hero’s Downfall, and two lands. Wilson added a Mutavault to his board and passed and this time Jake had a tapped land of his own, a Temple of Silence. Wilson used his third turn to land an Underworld Connections. Jake answered with a three-drop of his own, a Nightveil Specter.
Wilson went to 19 off his land to draw a card and passed back. Jake attacked with his flyer, but Wilson had the Hero’s Downfall. Jake used his turn to get an Underworld Connections of his own going. Wilson added another Guildgate after drawing a card off his land, then played a Thoughtseize of his own to get an Erebos out of Jake’s hand and finished his turn with a Pack Rat. Jake went to 16 with a draw, used Devour Flesh to get rid of the rat, and attacked for two with his Mutavault.
Wilson untapped and dropped a Blood Baron, but Jake had the answer in another Devour Flesh. Jake followed up his removal spell with another copy of Underworld Connections. Wilson drew off his land and played Erebos, God of the Dead. Jake went to 14 to draw a card and played a Gray Merchant for six to drop Wilson to 10, but Jake stayed at 16 with the God on the opposite side of the table.
Wilson evened life totals at 12 after playing an Obzedat and used the extra pips to make Erebos a creature and attacked Jake down to 7. Wilson ended his turn and did not flicker his Obzedat. Jake used a Devour Flesh and Wilson decided on sacrificing Obzedat to go back up to 17. Jake played a Gray Merchant for eight to drop Wilson to 6.
Wilson drew for his turn but chose not to play anything and passed it back with a bunch of mana up. Jake went to 6 off his Connections and used Duress, but in response Wilson used an Ultimate Price on one merchant then a Downfall on the other. Jake looked at Wilson’s hand and took the Elspeth. Jake went to 3 to draw anther card then played a Nightveil Specter. Wilson played a Pack Rat, made a copy attacked with the God and Jake chose to chump with a Mutavault. Jake went down to two off another draw and then down to 1 off the second. He found a Mutavault and a Duress to grab a Connections, then attacked with his flyer in hopes to reveal something good, when it was a land, Jake scooped up his cards.
Wilson 1, Jake 1
Jake started the deciding game off with a Duress and took an Underworld Connections, leaving Wilson with Pack Rat, Elspeth, Hero’s Downfall, and two lands. Wilson opened with a tapped Godless Shrine and Jake played a Temple of Silence before passing. Wilson landed his turn-2 Pack Rat and Jake answered with a turn-3 Underworld Connections. Wilson drew, attacked with his rat and made another by discarding a Swamp.
Jake untapped and landed an Erebos and passed. Wilson added a Mutavault and swung with his rats, making another by discarding an Elspeth to deal Jake six damage to drop him to 12. Jake had a Gray Merchant for five to go up to 17 and dropped Wilson to 15. Wilson had another Mutavault and went into the tank. Wilson decided on a Revoke Existence on the God, then attacked with his army of rats. Jake chumped and Wilson made another to drop Jake to 9. Jake drew and played a Pack Rat of his own before passing.
Wilson animated a land and attacked with his four rats and made another, Jake made an extra rat of his own, but when Wilson animated his second land, Jake extended the hand.
Wilson 2, Jake 1