Round 5: Brad Nelson (Reanimator) vs. Michael Hetrick (Stoneblade)
We've entered the unfair rounds of the Invitational. Brad Nelson faced Michael Hetrick with a Reanimator deck abusing Griselbrand, while Michael would have to hold the front with Stoneforge Mystic and counterspells.
Brad kept his hand, while Michael kicked off with a mulligan. Brad's first play was Careful Study off Underground Sea, discarding Blazing Archon and Exhume. Michael played Island and then Karakas, passing both times.
Brad Entombed at the end of Michael's second turn, looking for Griselbrand. He then untapped into an attempted Reanimate on Griselbrand. Michael had Spell Pierce to try to prevent the fearsome Demon from rising. Brad Dazed, and Michael paid with his open Karakas.
Brad then cast a second Reanimate; this one resolved after Michael's Daze was Dazed. Of course, Michael still had Karakas to bounce it back to Brad's hand. When he did, Brad activated it once; in response, Michael Brainstormed and then passed priority.
Brad took a look at his new seven; while he was at 5 life, his hand was brimming. Hopefully for him, it was full of gas.
Brad cast Thoughtseize on Michael, taking Jace, the Mind Sculptor out of Snapcaster Mage, Wrath of God, Flooded Strand, and Riptide Laboratory. Brad then discarded Griselbrand and two lands at end of turn.
The two played draw-go for a bit. Michael made the first move by casting Snapcaster Mage at end of turn, and Brad Force of Willed it.
With Brad at three lands, he Pondered and shuffled. He played his fourth land and passed.
Michael played his sixth land and tried to cast a maindeck Relic of Progenitus—"Interesting," Brad said—but Brad had another Force of Will. Brad was running too low on life, however, and one Stoneforge Mystic from Michael meant he couldn't win. Brad picked up his cards to sideboard for game two.
Michael 1, Brad 0
"Looks like you came prepared for this matchup."
"Yeah, I certainly did," Michael replied. He'd been expecting Reanimator today.
Michael played Misty Rainforest, to which Brad responded with a Swamp into Thoughtseize. Michael fetched himself a Tundra and Spell Pierced it. Brad then resolved Entomb with his open land, looking for Griselbrand.
On Brad's next turn, he cast Reanimate; Michael used Daze to force Brad to tap a land. Finally Flusterstorm from Michael managed to prevent Griselbrand from entering the battlefield. He added Relic of Progenitus to exile Brad's graveyard and draw a card.
The two played draw-go for a while. Michael was stuck at two lands and had to discard Spell Pierce after Brainstorming. Brad went for two Careful Studies on his turn, and he put a Griselbrand into the yard.
Michael cast Stoneforge Mystic with his Tundra and Plains; to counter or not to counter? Brad responded with Daze, making Michael pause. Surgical Extraction was Michael's play, and Brad had yet another Daze…but Michael had a second Surgical Extraction! Brad Brainstormed, finding a Force of Will. Michael simply Forced back, and all the Griselbrands were removed from Brad's deck, graveyard, and hand.
Brad shuffled on his turn with Ponder, and the turn after he Careful Studied. What were his outs?
Decidedly nothing; Brad scooped them up.
"I should've let Stoneforge resolve, go off on my turn." Brad noted.
Michael 2, Brad 0