Round 4: Owen Turtenwald vs. David McDarby
Former Player of the Year Owen Turtenwald’s Reanimator deck was off to a 3-0 start, but standing between him and a 4-0 was Jace-lookalike David McDarby who brought a unique BUG Veteran Explorer deck to the table. Who wins in the battle between Platinum Pro and actual planeswalker?
Owen searches for a way to combo off.
Owen won the roll and elected to mulligan, while McDarby kept his seven after some deliberation. Owen played Marsh Flats and passed, and David kicked off the action with a Gitaxian Probe before laying his land. Owen responded by fetching up a Swamp and Entombing a Griselbrand. David saw Ponder, Thoughtseize, and two Reanimates. He then played a Swamp and a Thoughtseize, taking Owen’s Reanimate.
Thoughtseize on Owen’s turn revealed two Brainstorms, Lilliana of the Veil, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Karn Liberated, and Innocent Blood. David lost his Innocent Blood. When David had no further play on his turn, Owen upped the ante with an Exhume, putting Griselbrand into play. He activated it once before passing.
David found an answer to the giant demon in the form of a topdecked Innocent Blood, but Owen protected it with Daze. Owen untapped, attacked for 7, then went down to 9 life to draw a fresh batch of cards. He Brainstormed, fetched Underground Sea with a Polluted Delta, then cast Careful Study, binning two copies of Entomb. He then passed, discarding 5 lands to go back down to seven in hand.
Perhaps sensing that there was no coming back from this one, David cast Cabal Therapy, it resolved, and he jokingly named Malek, Izzet Paragon. Owen had none, and David packed ‘em up.
David makes careful use of his Cabal Therapies.
David opened up the action with Show and Tell, Ashen Rider, Thoughtseize, Griselbrand, Force of Will, Underground Sea, and Swamp. He played a Tropical Island and passed it back. Owen got to look at David’s goodies, too, as he began the game with Swamp into Thoughtseize. He saw Brainstorm, Ponder, Force of Will, and Lilliana of the Veil, and two Polluted Deltas, depriving David of his Brainstorm.
David Pondered on his own turn, then fetched up a Bayou and cast Veteran Explorer. Owen simply played Underground Sea and passed it right back, David did the same thing, playing Polluted Delta, swinging for one, and ending his turn. Owen went for a big play on his own turn. He cast Show and Tell, David attempted a Spell Pierce, and Owen cast Force of Will pitching Daze. David had his own Force of Will, pitching a Force, and the Show and Tell went to the graveyard.
Looking for a way to capitalize, David cast a Brainstorm, then added a second Veteran Explorer to the board and passed the turn. Owen had no play on his own turn, simply playing and Island shipping it back. The Explorers came across, dropping Owen to 13, and David cast Baleful Strix. Owen drew his card and passed.
The 1/1 beats continued, as David’s anemic army dropped Owen to 10. Post-combat, David cast a Brainstorm, then a Gitaxian Probe, seeing a hand of Griselbrand, Ashen Rider, Iona, Shield of Emeria, and Exhume. He then sniped Owen’s Exhume with a Cabal Therapy, and then flashed it back, sacrificing one of his Veteran Explorers to ramp both players. The Cabal Therapy named Griselbrand.
After another draw go from Owen, David played a Lilliana of the Veil, ticking it up. Owen pitched his Ashen Rider, and David discarded Forest. Owen drew and passed, and David cast a Therapy from hand, naming Iona, Shield of Emeria, which removed Owen’s last Show and Tellable threat. The pair of 1/1s continued to beat down over the next three turns, and Owen never found another meaningful spell, eventually falling to 0 in two-point increments.
On the play in the decider, Owen led off with Underground Sea into Thoughtseize, revealing Ponder, Swan Song, Gitaxian Probe, Baleful Strix, Underground Sea, Polluted Delta, and Misty Rainforest. David lost his Swan Song, then played Gitaxian Probe, seeing a hand of Brainstorm, Daze, Griselbrand, Careful Study, and Bloodstained Mire. He Pondered and passed.
Owen looked to set up a combo on his turn, casting Careful Study and discarding Griselbrand and Ashen Rider. He played Bloodstained Mire and passed it back. Another Probe from David revealed Owen’s new hand of Entomb, Brainstorm, and two Dazes. David had no other play besides his land drop, and Owen wasted no time on his own turn Brainstorming, cracking his fetchland, then Brainstorming again. His final play of the turn was Thoughtseize, revealing five lands from David.
David drew Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but couldn’t cast it yet. He played a land and passed, and Owen passed the turn right back. Knowing about Owen’s Dazes, David played his fourth land and passed again. Owen started digging so more, first casting a Careful Study and then a Brainstorm. He didn’t find the reanimation spell he needed, and passed it back. Knowing that one Daze was gone thanks to Careful Study, David went for Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but Owen had Force of Will, pitching the other Daze.
Verdant Catacombs shuffled away the Brainstormed cards on top of Owen’s deck, and Owen Pondered. He found the Reanimate he needed, checked to see that the coast was clear with a Thoughtseize, then put Griselbrand from his graveyard into play, earning the concession from David.