Round 5: Drew Levin vs. Jeff McAleer
Switching from his usual style, Drew sleeved up the flavor of the month for the Richmond Legacy Open: RUG Delver. Jeff, on the other hand, had an artifact-centric deck based around the Thopter+Foundry/Sword+of+the+Meek combination, in conjunction with effects like Ensnaring+Bridge.
Drew's Delvers have flipped furiously in today's tournament.
Tropical+Island and Delver+of+Secrets was quickly trumped by Tundra and Swords+to+Plowshares, but Drew had more gas coming. Fetching Volcanic+Island, Drew cast Ponder and shuffled a tough three cards before casting Nimble+Mongoose, already almost halfway to threshold. Passing to Jeff, Drew had no reply when Jeff cast Chrome+Mox, imprinting Jace, followed by Mox+Opal and Sword+of+the+Meek.
Drew resolved Ponder and kept his three this time, glad to find Force+of+Will among them. He cast a second mongoose, played a fetchland, and passed the turn to Jeff after attacking for another point. Ensnaring+Bridge from Jeff merited a Force+of+Will from Drew, and Jeff ended the turn without a land drop.
Fetching during the end step, Drew untapped and fetched again to hit seven cards—the Mongooses became ferocious 3/3s! Jeff dropped to 13. He resolved Thopter+Foundry with a Mox up, creating a chump blocker on Drew’s next attack and stabilizing on 11 life. Drew followed with Delver+of+Secrets, but that wasn’t going to be much help against this board. Casting Top on the next turn, Jeff appeared to be in control, to some degree.
Drew’s Delver+of+Secrets flipped and he squeezed in a point of damage at the cost of his Delver to put Jeff on 10 life. The lock fully in place now, Jeff waited for Drew to make a decision—that decision was to concede.
Jeff 1, Drew 0
An army of Thopters have been Jeff's main weapons today.
Volcanic+Island gave Drew Delver+of+Secrets, while Tundra… gave Jeff nothing. Drew did miss the trigger, swinging for just 1 damage before casting Nimble+Mongoose. Jeff played Seat+of+the+Synod and ended the turn, ready to take some lumps. Drew attacked, Jeff falling to 17, and Tarmogoyf joined the party—but not for long.
Jeff tried to Swords the Tarmogoyf, and Drew replied by cracking a fetchland to gain a life, going to 20. Jeff attempted to sneak down Thopter+Foundry, but Drew’s last mana enabled Spell+Snare, binning the artifact. Revealing Stifle, Drew flipped Delver on the next turn and attacked Jeff to 13 life with his little creatures, quickly forging a lead.
Fetching with Marsh+Flats earned the Stifle from Drew, and Jeff followed by using Swords+to+Plowshares on Delver+of+Secrets. Nimble+Mongoose chipped in for another point, and Drew cast a second copy of the green one-drop. Jeff cast another Thopter+Foundry, but Drew was prepared—Snapcaster Mage for Spell+Snare might seal this one up! Jeff responded by Brainstorming, but had to let the Snare resolve.
Passing turn, Jeff was pleased to hit Sensei’s Divining Top with his Tezzeret’s boost, followed by resolving Counterbalance. He had the soft lock in place, and now Drew needed to either break through immediately or face a game he couldn’t win. Chuckling on the next turn, Jeff cast a third Thopter+Foundry, and Drew wished him luck in the next round.
Jeff 2, Drew 0