Round 4: Drew Levin (Delver Blade) vs. Dave Shiels (Delver Humans)
Drew kept his first hand off its first five cards, while Dave mulliganed quickly to six before finding a keeper. Island and Delver for Drew, while Dave had Seachrome+Coast and Champion. The Delver remained face-up through Drew’s upkeep, but the Ponder that followed made it much more likely he’d be flipping for a 3/2 on the next turn… except that he attacked! Dave tanked on the block, uncertain what the aggression meant about Drew’s hand, but he made the block.
Seachrome+Coast for Drew landed, and he passed. Dave’s Gitaxian+Probe cost him 2 life and spotted Sword+of+War+and+Peace, Geist+of+Saint+Traft, and three lands—including Moorland+Haunt. Ponder from Dave followed, shuffling the deck as he looked for help. Drawing, he played Plains and another Champion.
Drew Probed at the cost of 2 life to see two Negates and two Delver+of+Secrets—quite the hand on Dave’s side, but Drew knew he had a lot of reasons to stick his Sword now, unless he could ensure Dave kept tapping out. He decided to increase the pressure with Geist+of+Saint+Traft instead, hoping the lack of a second blue source for Dave would keep his Delvers in the hand as he held open Negate mana. Dave hit Gather+the+Townsfolk off the top, and decided his only option was to get aggressive, making Soldiers and attacking for 3 damage.
Taking his shot, Drew played Moorland+Haunt and cast the Sword, ending the turn. Dave would be planning to bus Delvers while getting in with Champion now—a risky plan, as one Vapor+Snag from Drew would be the game. He played Delver and attacked Drew to 11.
Equipping Geist, Drew got in 4 as the Delver died and followed with a land after combat, casting Snapcaster+Mage and Pondering. He could’ve gone for Moorland+Haunt to try and lock up a Sword hit, but wanted to stay aggressive with Geist. Probe from Dave spotted another Snapcaster and Runechanter’s Pike alongside Seachrome+Coast, and Dave dropped to 12 life. He cast another Delver and attacked with his Champion and a token, earning the block from Drew as he fell to 6 letting the Champion through—a bold move.
Drew Pondered and then attacked, Dave chumping again and going to 8—he was staring down death now, unless he found another blue creature or a Vapor+Snag. Gitaxian+Probe dropped Dave to 2 life, and he attacked, earning a Spirit chump prior to casting a third roadblock Delver+of+Secrets.
Geist swung gain, putting Dave to 2 life as Drew ended the turn. Dave drew for one last shot, and conceded.
Drew 1, Dave 0
Dave kept his seven, as did Drew. Starting with Ponder on turn 1 rather than a one-drop, Dave’s hand appeared a bit slower this time around. Island and Delver+of+Secrets for Drew gave him the offensive start, while Dave Pondered a second time on turn 2. Seachrome+Coast and Champion gave him some beats.
No flip for Drew, but he did cast Gitaxian+Probe for 2 life to spot Snapcaster+Mage, Gather+the+Townsfolk, and three lands, including Haunt, in Dave’s hand. Pondering, Drew played Coast and Pondered again. He replaced those three and drew before attacking. Dave took the damage, and immediately made his own three-power one-drop on the following turn thanks to Gather+the+Townsfolk.
David Shiels takes position in the 4th round of the Invitational.
Delver remained unflipped on Drew’s side, and he played a land before beginning to think. He tapped out to play Sword+of+War+and+Peace, and passed the turn. Dave’s offense grew as he added Snapcaster+Mage to the field, making Champion a 4/4 and getting in clean for 6 damage, reducing Drew to 9 life. Ponder merited a shuffle on Drew’s turn, but he found a big card—Gut+Shot to remove Snapcaster+Mage, permitting a swing with the Sword! Dave fell to 12 and Drew gained 5, going to 12 before playing a land.
Shaking his head, Dave knew he needed a few things to come together for him now—but he’d set up all of it. Phantasmal+Image copied Champion+of+the+Parish and then a second, followed by Delver+of+Secrets to grow all of them. Drew took 9 and fell to 3 damage, facing three Champions and a Delver that could block his offense.
Peeling for help, Drew cast his fourth Ponder and shuffled. He attacked, and Dave blocked with the Delver before a Timely+Reinforcements gave Drew some serious outs. He went to 9, and Dave sat at 12. Drew sent his Delver in to put himself on 11 and Dave on 9, and then cast Geist+of+Saint+Traft with Haunt available, while Dave created a Spirit of his own.
When Dave attacked, Drew put his Geist under the biggest Champion and went to 1 life, making a Haunt token during the end step. Drew sent his Delver in again, putting Dave to 5 and himself to 4, followed by Timely+Reinforcements via Snapcaster+Mage, going to 10 life!
Dave needed a way through those Soldiers, but he didn’t have one—just another Delver+of+Secrets to pump his three Champions. Dave sent everyone except for one of his Spirits, and Drew put his Soldiers to death on the big Champions while taking 5 damage, making it 5 each. Dave played a land, and passed.
Drew 2, Dave 0