Round 6: Jesse Hampton vs. Daniel Baker
Jesse tanks over a Brainstorm.
The classic Reanimator and Maverick matchup for these undefeated players would determine which of them was positioned to draw over the next two rounds. Jesse came with Griselbrand, while Daniel was playing Knight of the Reliquary and crew.
Savannah and nothing else began the game on Daniel’s side, while Jesse opened on Polluted Delta. Another Savannh and Thalia, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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,