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.