Round 7: Josh Cho vs. Kyle Pittleman
Josh managed to finals the last Legacy Open with RUG Delver, an unfamiliar deck in an unfamiliar format. He has made another deep run today, but barring an unwise draw from one of his competitors, a disqualification, or a tiebreaker miracle—he's probably playing for ninth place. Still, Josh can only keep his hopes alive with a win.
Josh will need a win and an absurd amount of luck to Top 8.
Josh kept his starting seven, beginning with Misty Rainforest, and Kyle played the same land. Josh added Wasteland to the field on turn 2, nodding as Kyle played Mountain. The Mountain made Grim Lavamancer, and that merited a Wasteland crack for Tropical Island from Cho. Floating a blue, he Dazed the red man, using the blue to Stifle Kyle's Misty Rainforest crack.
Delver of Secrets for Josh once he replayed Delver, and Kyle fetched for Island on his next turn, passing afterward. During Josh's own upkeep he cast Brainstorm, and after revealing Chain lightning he lost his Delver to Lightning Bolt. Out of gas, Josh played Volcanic Island and ended the turn. Kyle played Scalding Tarn on his own turn, passing.
Another Volcanic for Josh, and Kyle resolved Grim Lavamancer. It wasn't long for this world, Chain Lightning killing it on Josh's turn. Drawing Volcanic Island, Josh used it to Chain Lightning Josh and ended the turn on four cards, going to three for Spell Snare when Josh cast Snapcaster Mage.
Ponder from Josh kept the three cards in place, and Josh attempted to resolve Tarmogoyf. Kyle fetched for an Island in response, Brainstorming into three lands and allowing the 4/5 to resolve. He played a fetchland and passed the turn, casting Snapcaster Mage when Josh attacked—Spell Snare dealt with that, and Kyle fell to 13 life. He fetched before drawing, looking for help.
Finding none, he sent turn back to Josh. Josh consulted on the Oracle text of Price of Progress before attacking and passing the turn. Chain Lightning followed by Lightning Bolt targeted Tarmogoyf, and Josh shrugged before binning his guy. He Bolted Kyle to 5 and then cast Snapcaster Mage flashbacking Lightning Bolt, putting Kyle to 2 life.
Josh 1, Kyle 0
Starting with a Scalding Tarn for Mountain, Kyle cast Goblin Guide and attacked, revealing Brainstorm from Josh's deck. Volcanic Island and Ponder were a less aggressive start for Josh's side of the game, and when he had to shuffle the deck it appeared to be even more grim. A fetch for Island from Kyle and another Goblin Guide, revealing Sensei's Divining Top both times as he attacked Josh to 14.
On his own turn Josh played Scalding Tarn and fetched up Tropical Island, casting Tarmogoyf as a 2/3. Spell Snare from Kyle countered and he knocked Josh to 10, revealing Delver of Secrets. Scalding Tarn for Kyle again fetched Mountain to cast Chain Lightning and Grim Lavamancer.
Josh drew, and died.
Josh 1, Kyle 1
Keeping, Josh started with Tropical Island. Kyle fetched with Misty Rainforest on turn 1, playing an Island and Pondering his choices. Josh Brainstormed in response, allowing Ponder to resolve, and Kyle kept his top three cards.
Kyle upon seeing Counterbalance resolve? Actually, this was the "before" picture.
Untapping, Josh resolved Counterbalance, threatening to accrue a lot of value over the course of the game. He revealed the Sensei's Divining Top he'd left there when Kyle tried to resolve his Delver of Secrets, and Kyle sighed. “This game just got hard.” Josh untapped, played Wasteland, and cast his Top—that combination resolving threatened to functionally end this game on the spot with any real help from Josh's deck.
Casting Ponder, Kyle allowed Josh to Top in response. He failed to find anything with the look, so he popped it for a counter. Kyle passed, and Josh replayed Top, following with Tarmogoyf as a 4/5. It resolved, and Josh passed over to Kyle. Drawing Arid Mesa, Kyle cast Brainstorm into Josh's Top, which bounced, and he passed.
Tarmogoyf attacked for 4 damage, and Josh recast his Top to no response from Kyle. Another draw and pass, Josh Topping during the end step to continue controlling his top three cards. He attacked Kyle to 10, played Misty Rainforest, and ended his turn. Kyle played another Mesa, and ended his turn.
Another attack left Josh on 6 life—he needed to make a move soon, or he'd be dead to virtually anything else. Attempting Lightning Bolt on Tarmogoyf, Kyle got his wish—Josh allowed it to resolve. Kyle fetched Mountain, falling to 5, and gave Chain Lightning the college try. This time, Josh used Counterbalance to counter, aiming Lightning Bolt at his opponent during the end step.
Josh 2, Kyle 1