Round 4: Drew Levin (Delver Blade) vs. Dave Shiels (Delver Humans)
Drew Levin faces David Shiels in an intense feature match.
A Delver mirror awaited these seasoned grinders in the 3-0 bracket, but the decks were quite different. Drew’s list featured equipment and Invisible Stalkers, while Dave had the hot new Champion of the Parish model with Gather the Townsfolk.
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