Round 6: Jesse Hampton vs. Daniel Baker
Jesse tanks over a Brainstorm.
Savannah and nothing else began the game on Daniel’s side, while Jesse opened on Polluted+Delta. Another Savannh and Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben—Jesse replied with a fetch for Underground+Sea before casting Entomb, putting Griselbrand into the graveyard. He followed with Force+of+Will for Thalia, removing Brainstorm.
Reanimate brought back the Demon, and Jesse played Island, then Careful+Study. He discarded Iona%2C+Shield+of+Emeria, and another Griselbrand. “Full of fun stuff,” Daniel noted of Jesse’s graveyard. Swords+to+Plowshares on Griselbrand, and Jesse tried to draw seven, but another Swords guaranteed that Demon’s death.
Jesse was on 10 and Brainstormed, then fetched another Underground+Sea and cast Careful+Study. He pitched Entombs, then Duressed Daniel to see Mother+of+Runes, Thalia, and Windswept+Heath. He passed afterward. Daniel cracked his Heath for another Savannah, then cast Thalia and the Mother.
Apparently out of gas despite the seven, Jesse played Karakas and passed. He bounced the 2/1 when it attacked, and dropped to 8 life. Animate+Dead on Iona%2C+Shield+of+Emeria locked Swords+to+Plowshares out of the equation, giving Jesse a pretty stern flier. Green Sun’s Zenith for two met double Daze on Jesse’s side, and Daniel had no other plays.
Attacking for 7 damage, Jesse used Careful+Study again to put Elesh Norn in the graveyard, and passed. Daniel attacked him to 7 life, and Jesse retaliated with an attack on Daniel, leaving him at 7. One more card for Daniel... his Umezawa’s Jitte got Dazed, however, and he did not have the mana to equip it and stay alive after it resolved.
Jesse 1, Daniel 0
Daniel worked Karakas to his advantage all match long.
Daniel kept, and Savannah but nothing else again began the game. Jesse started Undergroudn Sea and cast Duress, spotting Crop+Rotation, Green Sun’s Zenith, Purify+the+Grave, Wasteland, Heath, and Cavern+of+Souls—lots of hate! He decided to discard the Zenith and buy some time. Daniel could Wasteland and did so, content to wait.
Jesse cracked Polluted+Delta on the next turn for Island, and cast Careful+Study. He discarded Griselbrand and Griselbrand, Daniel declining to Purify either one during the end step. Fetching, Daniel found Savannah and passed the turn. Marsh+Flats for Jesse, and he also passed. Daniel tried the Purify now, removing one Griselbrand.
He played Cavern for Human and Noble+Hierarch, taking it slow. Jesse Brainstormed in the end step, tanking pretty hard before fetching to shuffle the two he tossed back and grabbing Swamp. Animate+Dead for Griselbrand earned the Purify, but Jesse had Force+of+Will for the flashback. When Daniel tapped out for Crop+Rotation, Daze countered—Griselbrand hit the battlefield. Daniel hadn’t been patient enough, it seemed.
Drawing seven cards, Jesse fetched his way to 9 life for Underground+Sea and cast Ponder. Binning some fetches in cleanup, Jesse sent the turn. Could Daniel foil him? Karakas off the top was a strong start, and Jesse had no reply for that one. Knight+of+the+Reliquary for Daniel gave him a 5/5, and he passed the turn. Pondering, Jesse needed to rebuild his board quickly against the Karakas.
He shuffled the deck and played Island, then Careful+Study. That put Griselbrand back in the graveyard, and Jesse passed. Attacking for 6, Daniel dropped Jesse within range of a lethal attack. Entomb during the end step gave Jesse access to Blazing+Archon, and he hoped Daniel’s last card wasn’t Swords+to+Plowshares or Purify+the+Grave!
Brainstorming for protection first, Jesse played Underground+Sea and then cast Animate+Dead for the Archon. Daniel sighed, drawing his card, and jammed Harmonic+Sliver. “Show me Force?” he asked, but Jesse didn’t have it.
Jesse 1, Daniel 1
Back on the play, Jesse started Swamp and Thoughtseize. Daniel had Path+to+Exile, Swords+to+Plowshares, Karakas, two Wastelands, Savannah, and Noble+Hierarch—he lost the Hierarch, restricting his colored mana. Daniel had to play the Savannah on the next turn, and pass. Jesse fetched Swamp with Marsh+Flats on the next turn and then cast Animate+Dead for Noble+Hierarch!
Daniel decided to Swords it, and played Wasteland on the next turn. Predictably, Jesse missed his land drop on turn 3, while Daniel revealed he’d found a Forest. Jesse missed again, and Daniel played Cavern for Human. Bloodstained+Mire on Jesse’s side, and Windswept+Heath on Daniel’s.
Finding Underground+Sea, Jesse fetched another and resolved Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor! He’d hoped to have a turn 3 one, of course, but things hadn’t worked out that way. Brainstorming, Jesse got ahead of Daniel’s flood. Wasteland for one Sea, and Daniel fetched Dryad+Arbor in order to get some pressure on Jace.
Another Wasteland on the other Sea, and Daniel attacked Jace to two loyalty. Jesse drew and Entombed for Elesh+Norn%2C+Grand+Cenobite. He knew Daniel still had Path+to+Exile and Karakas available, but this would take care of the Arbor for now, at least. He brainstormed, then played Island and Reanimated Elesh Norn—Purify+the+Grave met Force+of+Will, with Daniel lacking the white mana required to flashback it.
He played Karakas and bounced the Praetor, passing. Jesse brainstormed again, considering the possibility of Reanimating that Dryad+Arbor. He decided to do it, and Daniel used his Purify the Grave’s flashback. Following with Flooded Strand, Jesse passed. Daniel fetched a second Savannah, sitting on Path and a second Karakas but casting Green Sun’s Zenith for two. Jesse Force of Willed that, removing Daze, and then took his turn.
Fateseal put Thalia to the bottom, and Jesse passed. Drawing Scavenging Ooze, Daniel tried to put a threat on the board. It resolved, but Jesse had access to Show+and+Tell with Elesh Norn to kill it, if he desired, or just a handy Perish. He used Jace to brainstorm, then played the Perish. Daniel passed without a play, and Jesse fetched with Strand for Underground+Sea. Brainstorming for real, he found a Force and appeared to be closing in on victory.
Another fateseal for Daniel left the card on top, and Jesse passed. Daniel played Cavern for Faeries with a laugh, Jesse quickly considering the possibility of Scryb+Ranger. Falling to 6 life for a fetch, Jesse hit his second Island and Brainstormed. He played another fetch, then fatesealed Daniel to leave Windswept+Heath on top.
Falling to 5 for another fetch, Jesse could nearly cast his big Demon—but two Seas in the graveyard probably meant it was actually impossible. Jesse fatesealed Daniel and put the card on the bottom, then passed with Jace on ten loyalty. Knight+of+the+Reliquary for Daniel—“About time!”—gave him a threat, and Jesse couldn’t Force it.
Brainstorming for help, Jesse used Karakas as Wasteland then cast Show+and+Tell for Griselbrand—Daniel put down a new Karakas. That forced Jesse to bounce Knight with Jace, as his Griselbrand likewise bounced. Daniel could only replay the Knight. Bouncing Knight again, Jesse passed.
It appeared the game might be slipping away from him on the back of that Cavern and Karakas. Knight landed once again, and Jesse Brainstormed with time running out. He Reanimated Scavenging Ooze in an attempt to build a defense, but another Purify+the+Grave countered that. Landing fetch after bouncing Knight, Jesse passed.
The Knight returned for Daniel, and he fetched with Heath for Savannah before casting a second, counterable copy of the Knight. Jesse fetched, with one Swamp left in his deck letting him hardcast Force+of+Will. Jesse’s next turn was the first of five under time, and he seemed consigned to a draw, bouncing the Knight.
Daniel only needed to connect once with Knight for a win, and he gamely cast it again, adding Thalia, to the board. Jace bounced the Knight, and Jesse cast Massacre to kill the Thalia. Daniel cast Knight with his last turn of the game, and Jesse couldn’t kill him.
Jesse 1, Daniel 1,