Round 7: Matt Young vs. Joe Black
Round seven found us a pair of west coast players fighting for a run at the Top 8 with California’s Joe Black facing down Logan, Utah’s Matt Young. Joe had to take a mulligan with his Geist+of+Saint+Traft, but Matt was ready with Phyrexian+Metamorph, falling to 18 in the exchange. Evolving+Wilds on turn four meant that Joe was unable to capitalize and had to watch as Blade+Splicer and Strangleroot+Geist joined the opposing team before Vapor+Snag took out the 3/3 golem and Evolving+Wilds found him a Swamp on Matt’s end step.
Sorin%2C+Lord+of+Innistrad and a vampire bodyguard took up residence on Joe’s battlefield, and the vampire token combined with Dismember to negate next turn’s attack on Sorin, though a post-combat Huntmaster+of+the+Fells was a big-time beating . That left Joe at 15, but his Sorin was alive to keep pumping out vampire tokens. Moorland+Haunt and a second Geist+of+Saint+Traft gave Joe a force of his own after evening things out a bit with another Dismember for Huntmaster+of+the+Fells.
Oblivion+Ring on Sorin%2C+Lord+of+Innistrad allowed Matt’s minor army to get a bite in on Joe’s Dismember- hindered life total. Geist+of+Saint+Traft stayed out of the fray, but a Moorland+Haunt spirit and the vampire token traded with Strangleroot Geist’s backside, allowing Joe to keep his life relatively safe. Daybreak+Ranger kept the rally going for Matt, though he swallowed a hit from the legend on the next turn. Matt wasn’t worried, though, as he untapped and calmly played Elesh+Norn%2C+Grand+Cenobite, forcing a quick scoop out of Joe.
Matt 1, Joe 0
Meet Joe Black. Seriously.
An early Delver+of+Secrets was met by a pair of Birds+of+Paradise, but Snapcaster Mage and Vapor+Snag pumped the brakes on Matt’s plans after Matt missed a third land drop. The Delver was having a hard time flipping, so Joe tried to help it get big with Sword+of+War+and+Peace, but Ancient+Grudge put a stop to it. That left Joe’s draw severely lacking with just a Dismember and Surgical Extraction in reserve.
Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben took the Dismember bullet, but Blade+Splicer and a third Birds+of+Paradise quickly started overwhelming Joe’s porous defense on the back of Gavony+Township, and Joe quickly fell to 4 from the massive birds. Joe looked to fortify with Sorin%2C+Lord+of+Innistrad and Moorland+Haunt, but, like the first game, Matt had the Elesh+Norn%2C+Grand+Cenobite. That was more than enough for Matt to take the win and keep his hopes of a Top 8 alive.
Matt 2, Joe 0