Round 4: Andrew Schneider vs. Michael Braverman
Michael Braverman is hoping to improve on his Quarterfinal finish at last year’s SCG Invitational in New Jersey, but he’d have to reach the elimination rounds first. Standing in his way this round was three-time Legacy Open Champion Andrew Schneider. Schneider was (as always) playing U/R Delver, while Michael was relying on Shardless BUG to carry the day.
Michael brings intensity to the table.
Delver of Secrets got things started for Andrew, while Michael suspended an Ancestral Visions on his first turn. Insectile Aberration came out to play immediately, revealing a Brainstorm, which Andrew cast. He found no second land, and was content to swing for 3 in the air and pass back. Michael had Abrupt Decay to answer the 3/2, and Andrew attempted to replace it with another Delver. Michael Force of Willed pitching Ancestral Visions, and Andrew Forced back pitching a Snapcaster Mage, allowing the Delver to stick.
Michael cast a Brainstorm, and found Wasteland, which took out Andrew’s one mana source. He passed the turn, and Delver flipped up again, this time revealing Force of Will. It got in one hit, dropping Michael to 12, before it too fell to Abrupt Decay. Michael’s Ancestral Visions came out of exile, but met a Force of Will from Andrew, and an Island into Ponder from Andrew drew Force of Will from Michael. Michael untapped and cast Hymn to Tourach, leaving both players with no cards in hand and no non-land permanents in play.
Andrew celebrated a bit as he took his draw and found another Delver of Secrets, but Michael laughed as he immediately drew another Abrupt Decay to deal with it. After a few turns of draw-go on both sides, Michael found a Deathrite Shaman, which met Chain Lightning from Andrew. Michael’s next turn finally got him onto the board, as he cast Shardless Agent and cascaded into Tarmogoyf.
Knowing he’d need to close the game out quickly, Andrew cast an end step Lightning Bolt to drop Michael to 7, then untapped and Pondered into a Chain Lightning, dropping him to 4. Michael attacked for 7, then cast another Shardless Agent, this time finding Deathrite Shaman. Andrew drew and cast a Brainstorm, but didn’t find the burn spells he would need to finish things out, and conceded the game.
Andrew is a literal Young Pyromancer.
Andrew led with a Scalding Tarn and passed the turn, and when Michael opened up with a Deathrite Shaman, Andrew was quick to fetch up a Volcanic Island and fry it with a Lightning Bolt. He cast a Brainstorm, then played an Island and a Delver of Secrets. Michael could only play a land and pass. Delver revealed Brainstorm, but Michael was ready with a Flusterstorm when Andrew cast it, although the 3/2 flier still brought the beats, dropping Michael to 17.
Wasteland from Michael sent Andrew back to just one Island in play. Andrew drew and cast a Brainstorm, then played Mountain and fired off of a Lava Spike, dropping Michael to 13. When the Insectile Aberration came swinging, it died to Abrupt Decay. Michael untapped and committed to the board, casting Deathrite Shaman and Baleful Strix. Andrew drew and cast a replacement Delver of Secrets, then played a Scalding Tarn and shipped back.
Lilliana of the Veil showed up next for Michael, and she ticked down to kill off Andrew’s Delver. Baleful Strix poked for 1, dropping Andrew to 17. He drew his card and passed back. Hymn to Tourach prompted a Price of Progress from Andrew, which dropped Michael down to 7, but Liliana ticked up to clear out both players hands, and the Deathrite Shaman quickly ate a Delver out of Andrew’s graveyard to bring Michael back up to 9, and the Strix swung again.
Goblin Guide came off the top of Andrew’s deck swinging, killing off the Liliana of the Veil. A second copy o of Liliana, however, sent Andrew back to square 1. Andrew drew his card and passed, and when Michael used Liliana to see what Andrew’s mystery card was, a second Price of Progress was the response. Thanks to Michael’s Deathrite Shaman, however, the Price only dropped him to 7, and a Shardless Agent into Tarmogoyf looked to seal the deal.
Andrew would need running burn spells to have a shot. He drew his card, smiled, and extended the hand.