Round 4: Ben Wienburg vs. Reuben Bresler
Both of these Ohio natives have been mainstays on the SCG Open series since its inception. Ben brings Standard’s oldest bogeyman, Mono-Black Devotion, while Reuben is turning up the heat with a Mono-Red Aggro deck.
Reuben comes crashing in.
Reuben didn’t have a one drop, and it was Ben who made the first play of the game, using a Duress to get rid of Mizzium Mortars, leaving behind a hand of Burning-Tree Emissary, Firefist Striker, Gore-House Chainwalker, and Rubblebelt Maaka.
The Gore-house Chainwalker came down, unleashed, on turn 2 for Reuben, and Ben matched him with a 2-drop of his own, a Pack Rat. The Chainwalker attacked past the rat on Reuben’s next turn, dropping Ben to 17, and Firefist Striker was the follow up. Ben simply untapped, played his third land, and passed back, representing a Pack Rat activation.
After some deliberation, Reuben attacked with his two creatures, declining to activate Mutavault and turn on Firefist Striker’s battalion trigger. Ben made a Rat and stuck it in front of the Chainwalker, falling to 15. Reuben simply replaced it, playing another Gore-House Chainwalker from his hand.
Ben considered making more Pack Rats on his turn before deciding against it, playing a fourth land and casting a Desecration Demon. Reuben attacked with just the Gore-House Chainwalker, and Ben pushed the Demon in front, trading it for the 3/2 on board and the Rubblebelt Maaka that he knew was lurking in Reuben’s hand. Reuben still had no third land, and simply passed the turn.
Pack Rat got frisky on Ben’s next turn, spawning a buddy and attacking for 2. Reuben sent his Firefist Striker straight into it, and Ben declined to block, falling to 13. Reuben had a Foundry Street Denizen as a follow up, and passed back. Ben simply played his sixth land and shipped back, with two cards in hand to get the Pack Rat horde going.
Reuben found his third land! It was his second copy of Mutavault, leaving him with only a single red source and stuck with multiple double-red spells in hand. He surveyed the board and quickly scooped up his cards for game 2.
Ben is all business.
Foundry Street Denizen led the charge on turn 1 for Reuben, and it attacked for 2 on his second turn after Gore-House Chainwalker followed up. Ben simply played his lands and passed for his first two turns, and when Reuben had another Denizen and a Rackdos Cackler on turn 3, Ben killed off the first Denizen with a Devour Flesh, still falling to 15. A Firedrinker Satyr came next, drawing a Doom Blade on the Chainwalker, and Reuben’s army dropped Ben to 11.
Ben slammed his fourth land and dropped a Desecration Demon, hoping to stem the bleeding. Reuben fed his Foundry Street Denizen to the Demon, then sunk all of his mana into his Firedrinker Satyr, attacking with it and a Rakdos Cackler and dropping Ben to a precarious 5 life. Ben untapped and played a timely Grey Merchant of Asphodel, jumping back up to 9.
Reuben sacked Firedinker Satyr to tap the Desecration Demon, then attacked with his Rakdos Cackler. When ben predictably blocked with his 2/4, Reuben showed Searing Blood to finish it off, dropping Ben to 6. He passed the turn with no board presence, and Ben looked to have turned the tides.