Round 7: Chad Bass vs. Justin Geary
A Stoneforge Mystic mirror awaited these players in the final round, with Top 8 a possibility for the winner. Chad and Justin were both weary, but one of them would be laid to rest after this match—the other, more Magic!
Chad had the play and began with Tundra, while Justin played Misty Rainforest—settling in for a game of interactive Magic, are we? Chad's Mishra's Factory ended turn 2, with Justin playing his own copy of the manland afterward. Chad played Island and passed, nodding as Justin Wastelanded Tundra.
Another Tundra, but no other plays from Chad. Justin fetched with Misty Rainforest after playing an Island, finding Tundra and casting Stoneforge Mystic. Chad Mana Leaked, and had to Force of Will when Justin tapped out for Spell Snare, removing a Jace.
Playing Factory, Chad tapped out to land Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and brainstormed—that was a huge shift in momentum. Even if Justin had another Factory, the cards drawn and the mana gained would be significant. Justin played Riptide Laboratory, lacking a way to threaten the planeswalker this turn. He cast Geist of Saint Traft, and passed with a very dangerous card on the board.
“That's good,” Chad admitted. “I'm not too happy about that.” Jace brainstormed again, Scalding Tarn landing for Chad prior to Stoneforge Mystic, searching up Batterskull. With Factor on defense, Chad sent the turn. Justin shipped his Geist and his Angel at Jace, Chad casting Snapcaster Mage in an attempt to block, apparently unwilling to risk his Mishra's Factory, but Spell Snare countered and Swords then killed the Mystic.
Untapping, Chad fetched Tundra and ended his turn, declining to cast his Batterskull. Justin's Geist started to really go to work now. He sent Factory in with Geist this time, and Chad activated his Factory before using Swords to kill Justin's Factory, Mana Leaking a Swords to make sure his Factory traded with Geist, although he could've pumped to keep it around.
Chad drew, and passed the turn. Justin did the same, and Chad found fetchland for a third Tundra, now casting Batterskull. It resolved, but Justin had another Swords for the Germ to keep the pressure off. He then cast Stoneforge Mystic, searching for Sword of Feast and Famine. With two Islands untapped, he shipped turn to Chad.
A Swords from Chad killed the Mystic, but he ended the turn without making any Factory attacks, telegraphing his Snapcaster Mage. Justin did try the Sword the hard way on the next turn, and Chad Mana Leaked via flashback. Displeased, Justin ended his turn.
Trying to move Batterskull, Chad lost his Snapcaster to the fourth and final Swords to plowshares from Justin, going to 20 life. Justin drew… and cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Big game! Brainstorming, he played Flooded Strand and passed with his Wasteland conspicuously tapped.
Justin took a long first game...
With no other choices, Chad sent his Factories at Jace, and they made it in—Jace died. Post-combat, Umezawa's Jitte resolved on Chad's side of the board, and he appeared to once again have an edge. Justin fetched after drawing a card for his turn, going to 19, and cast Elspeth, Knight-Errant to make a Soldier token, his Wasteland untapped this time! Chad drew and immediately cast Brainstorm, finding Stoneforge Mystic ready and waiting, but he took Scalding Tarn, fetching Island.
He animated two Factories and equipped one, forcing the Wasteland as Justin chumped the other one. Justin created another Soldier and made Stoneforge Mystic, searching the deck for Batterskull. Now, Chad was in minor trouble—he needed a real threat to put his Batterskull onto in order to get Jitte rolling.
Animating both Factories, he equipped one and attacked Elspeth, but Snapcaster Mage on Swords to Plowshares killed the equipped Factory and blocked the other, ending it as well. Justin took the offensive with a token, creating a new one and ending the turn. Chad fetched Island, thinning his deck during the end step.
An Elspeth off the top gave Chad hope, but Force of will hardcast countered it, and he was back behind Justin's planeswalker. Chad drew and sent the turn back to Justin, Stoneforge putting down Batterskull during the end step. Swords on the Germ saved Chad a little damage, but he took six as Elspeth pumped it up.
Justin 1, Chad 0
Chad kept for game 2, while Justin mulliganed to six cards after some thought. Island for Chad and Island for Justin, Chad playing Plains and Stoneforge Mystic—Justin Forced, pitching Jace, and Chad Forced back, also pitching Jace. He searched up Batterskull, and ended the turn. Justin sighed and untapped, casting Swords on the Mystic… but another Force removing Brainstorm countered!
Very aggressive. Chad played Tundra and passed the turn, clearly hoping to ride the Mystic/Batterskull into the win, while Justin deployed Geist of Saint Traft. He took 4 from the Batterskull, and Chad ended the turn. Justin swung his Geist in, Chad shrugging and blocking—Justin played a second Geist and passed, his offense neutralized.
Chad jammed Elspeth on turn 4, sending 7 damage in and putting Justin to 8 life. He drew another card, and conceded.
...but Chad evened it up with a very fast game 2!
Justin 1, Chad 1
Justin kept and Chad mulliganed. Chad's six were fine, and Justin led with Scalding Tarn. Chad had a Tundra, exposing himself to Wasteland but needing access to Spell Snare. Justin played Island and fetched Tundra prior to casting Stoneforge Mystic, which Chad countered. He had only a land drop on his own second turn, however.
No Geist try from Justin—just Flooded Strand. When Chad tried to cast Jitte on the next turn, Justin brainstormed in response, allowing the equipment to resolve. Chad missed his land drop, and Justin fetched Plains before tapping out for a planeswalker. There was some suspense over which one, but Elspeth revealed herself, Chad's Force of Will countering her but leaving him depleted.
He drew, and passed on two lands. Justin activated Factory and attacked, losing the land to Swords, and then tried Stoneforge Mystic—another Force of Will from Chad countered it. He drew Riptide Laboratory, and appeared to be slowly coming back.
Justin tried Snapcaster Mage after Chad played Flooded Strand, but Chad had Snapcaster for Spell Snare to counter. Justin dropped Snapcaster number two as a 2/1, and untapped. He began attack, chucking Swords at the Snapcaster and then the Factory that tried to get in his way. Chad needed a creature to stick!
He drew Snapcaster Mage and flashbacked Swords on Justin's Snapcaster Mage, passing with Jitte potential. Justin ended those dreams with Swords during the end step, and now both players were topdecking. Justin found Mishra's Factory, but Chad found Wasteland—Justin tried Batterskull, but Chad had Mana Leak!
They each hit lands, slowing the game down with time fast approaching. Chad drew and played Wasteland, while Justin fetched Island. No action from either player, at which point time was called. Justin hit Elspeth on turn one of the five turns, and Chad had no responses.
Elspeth could get in for 4 damage twice, but Chad could counter Justin's attempt at Stoneforge Mystic to guarantee a draw. Justin asked for a concession, and Chad graciously conceded.
Justin 2, Chad 1