Round 3: Ali Aintrazi (Esper Control) vs. Brian Braun-Duin (R/G Aggro)
Birthing+Pod or red-green,” Ali replied.
Turns out they were both right, though Ali had hedged a little.
Strangleroot+Geist got a bunch of damage in for Brian, but Ali’s trio of Mana+Leaks shut down his attempts to add to the board, negating Green Sun’s Zenith, Phyrexian+Metamorph and Sword of War and Peace on consecutive turns. That meant Ali was unable to develop his own side, however, and he fell to 12 before Lingering+Souls got to battle the front side of the Strangleroot+Geist, leaving the door open for Huntmaster+of+the+Fells to slide into play.
The red and green team attacked and Hellrider’s triggers ate the planeswalker before Ali’s tokens could trade with Huntmaster+of+the+Fells, leaving the board at Birds+of+Paradise, Strangleroot+Geist, Hellrider, wolf token and four lands against Ali’s four lands and five life. Ali didn’t have a Day+of+Judgment, and a flashed back Lingering+Souls wasn’t enough to hold the fort against Hellrider and Galvanic+Blast.
Brian 1, Ali 0
An unlucky Llanowar+Elves got its throat ripped out, but Strangleroot+Geist made another appearance and Ali was without his trusty Mana+Leaks, so he had to allow another pesky spirit off of Green Sun’s Zenith. He was kind of ready this time, however, using Snapcaster+Mage to rebuy Go+for+the+Throat and eat the small sides of both Strangleroot+Geists, setting him up for a board-clearing Day+of+Judgment on the next turn.
Huntmaster+of+the+Fells replenished Brian’s board as Ali missed his land drop but had Liliana+of+the+Veil. He made both of them discard a card and Galvanic+Blast and Curse of Death’s Hold hit the bin, and Liliana followed soon after as Hellrider smashed Ali down to 10. A second Day+of+Judgment cleaned things up again, and Brian’s only follow-up was Sword+of+Feast+and+Famine.
Consecrated+Sphinx looked like it was going to lock things up as Brian was out of gas and Ali’s hand rapidly refilled, letting Liliana+of+the+Veil and Sorin%2C+Lord+of+Innistrad bolster Ali’s already commanding position. A few turns later we were off to game three.
Brian 1, Ali 1
Ali Aintrazi is back to his old tricks with a blue control deck.
Ali took his first mulligan of the match, but Brian’s opening didn’t look like it punish him as Birds+of+Paradise led into two-point Green Sun’s Zenith that Ali allowed. He was surprised to find a Llanowar+Elves come out of it, expressing it with a “tricky, tricky!”
Garruk+Relentless was what Brian was building toward, and Ali could only shrug at the wolf machine before trimming things down with Curse of Death’s Hold. The curse cleared out all of Brian’s mana producers and left him with just two lands to work with, but he was unable to do anything besides make a wolf on his turn. That left Ali free to tap out for Consecrated+Sphinx.
Gideon+Jura tightened the noose by forcing attacks, but Brian wasn’t done fighting. Phyrexian+Metamorph copied the big flier to give him his own stream of cards, but he was already way behind and a Lingering+Souls plus flashback further tilted the board in Ali’s favor. A second Phyrexian+Metamorph on Consecrated+Sphinx prompted Ali to clear things up with Day+of+Judgment before dropping Brian to 6 with Gideon+Jura.
Ali wins the match 2-1