Round 2: Kitt Holland (Wolf Run) vs. Chris Andersen (Esper Midrange)
Kitt Holland, at the Invitational, ramping into Titans
The Standard format continues to evolve at the Invitational. Chris Andersen revealed the power of non-Delver midrange with his Esper deck, while Kitt Holland used an old favorite, Wolf Run Ramp. Who would prevail?
Chris, happy with his keep, hoorah-ed when Kitt had to mulligan twice. He began with Gitaxian Probe to reveal Kitt's Huntmaster of the Fells, Solemn Simulacrum, Cavern of Souls, and 2 Copperline Gorge. He then main-phased a Thought Scour on himself, milling a Mana Leak and Blade Splicer.
Chris's second turn was Ponder, and he shuffled his deck for better draws. Kitt cast Sphere of the Suns on time on turn 2, with Chris's Blade Splicer making an appearance right after his third land drop.
Kitt ramped into Huntmaster of the Fells, while Chris attacked with his Blade Splicer and Golem token. Restoration Angel blinked in to save his blocked Splicer, producing a second first-striking Golem.
Red Sun's Zenith from Kitt took care of Restoration Angel, exiling it. Chris swung in with his two Golems on his turn. Kitt tried to double block, but Go for the Throat took down the Huntmaster and his Wolf. Kitt's board was feeling empty, but he used Cavern of Souls on Golem to resolve a Solemn Simulacrum.
Kitt chumped a Golem token to draw a card, going down to 13. Gideon Jura jumped into play on Chris's side, and Kitt needed something big to get back into this game.
On Chris's upkeep, Kitt used Beast Within on Gideon, giving Chris yet another 3/3 in the form of an Osyp Lebedowicz pro player card. Kitt went down to 7 after attacks. After drawing his card, Kitt scooped up his cards to go onto game two.
Chris 1, Kitt 0
The two started off on more even footing this time, and Kitt quickly ramped to three mana with Sphere of the Suns. Chris Thought Scoured himself on the end of Kitt's third turn, untapping right into Blade Splicer.
"Is that what Solar Flare looks like these days?"
"No, this is Sam's deck, but I took out Vapor Snags and added black for removal."
Sam Black, sitting in the feature match right next to Chris, looked over. Could the next step for U/W Midrange be Esper?
Chris has Restoration Angel at the end of Kitt's turn, getting another Golem token out of it. Chris had exactly twelve damage, with Kitt hanging in barely at 1. (Thank goodness for that Glimmerpost draw the turn before!) Unfortunately, Kitt had no outs to Chris's massive board state, and the match ended in Chris's favor.
Chris 2, Kitt 0