Round 6: Bruce Archey vs. Zee Shan Babar
On undefeated, Zee Shan Babar has been turning heads with his Heartless Summoning deck. He's facing Bruce Archey's Delver list this round, and that's just the sort of deck Zee Shan wants to see. With tons of sweepers and the threatening enchantment to let him get past Mana Leaks, Bruce is going to need an aggressive start to hand Zee Shan his first loss of the day.
Zee Shan knows that patience wins the race against Mana Leak.
Bruce started with Glacial Fortress, while Zee Shan began on Darkslick Shores. Seachrome Coast and pass from Bruce, but he fired Thought Scour during the end step after Zee Shan played Swamp and nothing else. Geist of Saint Traft on turn 3 gave Bruce his first threat of the match.
With his opponent tapped out, Zee Shan cast Phantasmal Image to trade before playing Ponder, leaving his top three cards in place. Bruce had a fourth land, but no threats before ending the turn. Zee Shan Pondered again on turn 4, thinking over his three more carefully but still keeping all of them in place prior to playing a land and passing. Snapcaster Mage during his end step Thought Scoured again, hitting Gitaxian Probe but nothing else relevant.
An attack for 2 brought Zee Shan to 18, and Bruce passed after playing his fifth land. Zee Shan also had just a land and passed, nodding when Bruce tried another Geist of Saint Traft after attackingâ€”it resolved. With only two mana up, Bruce was slightly vulnerable. A sixth land from Zee Shan let him try Phyrexian Metamorph to kill Geist, but Vapor Snag on the Geist forced Zee Shan to settle for his own Snapcaster Mage, and a flashbacked Ponder.
Not so badâ€¦
Once more leaving his top three in place, Zee Shan tapped out for Perilous Myr and passed the turn. Moorland Haunt from Bruce gave him some more action, and Zee Shan elected to block Snapcaster with Snapcaster, saving the Perilous Myr for later. Ponder and Geist left Bruce with two mana untapped once again, but Zee Shan could beat the Geist with Black Sun's Zenithâ€”except that another Vapor Snag kept Geist in the wings.
That put Bruce to 16 life after Myr's trigger, and Zee Shan cast yet another Ponder, quickly leaving the top three in place before tossing Heartless Summoning off the top of his library. Now Bruce replayed Geist (again) and cast Ponder, but his top three earned a snap-shuffle.
Only concerned with beating Mana Leakâ€”hardly a concern at all with Summoning on the boardâ€”Zee Shan prepared for a big turn. Phyrexian Metamorph for two mana bought the Leak, which Zee Shan paid for. He followed with Ghost Quarter on Mooorland Haunt before ending his turn.
Bruce cast Delver of Secrets and quickly passed, while Zee Shan equally quickly slammed Rune-Scarred Demon on the next turn. Bruce tried Mana Leak again, but Zee Shan remembered to pay and resolved the tutor/Demon. Missing his trigger, Bruce used Dungeon Geists to tap the Demon before attacking for 1 damage.
That didn't matterâ€”Zee Shan had Havengul Lich now, and cast it to play perilous Myr five times, killing all of Bruce's creatures and dealing him 4 damage. Snapcaster Mage on Vapor Snag bounced the Lich, but Bruce was all out of gas not.
Recasting the Lich, Zee Shan executed Bruce's team and then Bruce himself.
Bruce shuffles up after a tense first game.
Zee Shan 1, Bruce 0
Turn 1 Gitaxian Probe revealed Spellskite, Doom Blade, Heartless Summoning, and four lands from Zee Shan's hand. Bruce played Seachrome Coast and Ponder afterward, quickly setting up. Zee Shan just played Swamp, and Bruce had Glacial Fortress. Thought Scour after Zee Shan resolved Heartless Summoning milled Delver and Gitaxian Probe off the deck; seemed like a stronger turn 2 to just cast the Delver?
Bruce spent turn 3 casting Invisible Stalker. Continuing to expand his board, Zee Shan played Solemn Simulacrum for a land and then played another from his hand. Bruce revealed his plans on turn 4 by casting Runechanter's Pike and equipping, sending in 5 damage and putting Zee Shan on the clock.
Zee Shan had just land and attack, nodding as Bruce knocked him to 10 before playing Delver of Secrets. Pondering, Zee Shan had to be searching for a Zenith. He left his top three in place, playing a sixth land and attacking for 1 before casting Zenith with two upâ€”Mana Leak countered, and he sighed.
No trigger for Bruce, who swung in 6 damage and left Zee Shan on 4 life. Precombat Massacre Wurm from Zee Shan mopped the board and deal Bruce 4 damage, followed by another point from Solemn Simulacrum. During the end step, Bruce flashed in Snapcaster and flashbacked Thought Scour, but Doom Blade slew the 2/1.
Another Scour during his own turn for Bruce, but no creatures were forthcoming. Zee Shan sent in his Wurm and Solemn, but Celestial Purge removed the Wurm from the game. Wurmcoil Engine resolved through Mana Leak after that, and now Zee Shan threatened to take control.
Bruce fired back with Dungeon Geists! While it only tapped Spellskite, Runechanter's Pike gave it the first strike necessary to tap down Wurmcoil Engine. Ponder from Zee Shan dug him into an answerâ€”Phyrexian Metamorph copying Bruce's own Dungeon Geists, which let Wurmcoil land a major hit and boosted Zee Shan back to 10 while simultaneously removing the lethal flier from his opponent's board.
Needing a hit this turn, Bruce peeled at the top but didn't find anything that would save him.
Zee Shan 2, Bruce 0