Round 6: David Bauer vs. Chad Levola
Chad contemplates a speculative keep with Dredge.
Invitational Top 8 competitor David Bauer made the detour to Charlotte this weekend for a family visit, tagging some Magic onto the back of it. Playing his favorite Legacy deck, RUG Delver, David was off to a fine start—but he faced a serious foe in Dredge from Chad Levola.
Losing the die roll, David couldn’t keep seven cards, either—he mulliganed to six. His opponent started with City of Brass and Breakthrough, giving away his dredge intentions, but David did have Force of Will to counter, binning Delver of Secrets. Scalding Tarn and pass, for David’s turn. Chad resolved Lion’s Eye Diamond on turn 2, passing turn back to David.
Fetching Tropical Island, David played Wasteland and then Tarmogoyf. During his own upkeep, Chad broke the Diamond for two Bridges and two Stinkweed Imps, dredging his way into a Narcomoeba and three Golgari Grave-Trolls. That spelled trouble, and soon, but for the moment there was only a 1/1 flier in play.
David’s 6/7 Tarmogoyf wasn’t going anywhere, however. It attacked into Narcomoeba, giving Chad two Zombie tokens—another Tarmogoyf joined the board. Chad dredged a Grave-Troll, hitting Faithless Looting and Bloodghast but little else of note, ending the turn after that. With two Tarmogoyfs going, David was downright hopeful at this point.
He Brainstormed, tossing back a couple clunkers before attacking. Chad declared no blocks, seeking to preserve his Dread Return options on the next turn, but David played Scalding Tarn and passé, representing at least one kind of counterspell.
Chad’s next dredge was a good one, nabbing two Narcomoebas, but David responded to the triggers by Stifling one Narcomoeba. Chad shrugged, and passed the turn. That Narcomoeba bought Chad some more turns of defense as he blocked both Tarmogoyfs, and David played Nimble Mongoose and then ended the turn with two mana open.
Another dredge hit Dread Return, and now David pointed Wasteland at City of Brass to represent a Daze to Chad, although whether he had one or not was a mystery. Chad declined to sacrifice his board of three tokens, and lost two of them when David attacked with everything, Lightning Bolt to the face putting the Mongoose up to 3/3.
One more dredge, and Chad was dead to the board of beasties.
David 1, Chad 0
David knows that game 1 wins in this matchup are to be cherished.
Sneaking by with a game 1 win was good news for David, but Chad probably had the edge post-board, depending on each player’s strategy. The second game began with mutual mulligans to six cards, but David dropped to five after Chad’s keep. City of Brass and Faithless Looting for Chad to start the game, pitching Golgari Grave-Troll and Bridge from Below.
David dropped Tropical Island and cast Brainstorm during his own turn, likely looking for Surgical Extraction—he found it, and removed Golgari Grave-Troll from the game, leaving Chad with Dread Return and Narcomoeba in his hand, and no enablers or dredgers in sight! Chad drew and passed the turn, predictably shut down for the time being. Delver of Secrets hit on David’s next turn, along with Misty Rainforest.
Another pass for Chad, and David cracked Misty Rainforest to shuffle away a known land and roll some dice with Delver—he hit Lightning Bolt, and attacked for 3 damage. Chad had a live card in Lion’s Eye Diamond, but Spell Pierce countered it successfully. Another swing left him on 13 life.
Begging the deck for another Diamond, Chad bricked and passed the turn, the Aberration continuing to take his life in large chunks. He went to 10, facing no other pressure from David, and then drew a card that gave him pause—another City of Brass, which he used to cast Narcomoeba. Daze from David and a Lightning Bolt left Chad on 5 life.
His attack with Aberration made that 2, and now Chad had one draw step and one mana to survive with. Lion’s Eye Diamond could make a show of it, but Chad found no help waiting on top of the deck.
David 2, Chad 0