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 Esper Delver deck while Matt and his Naya Pod deck were ready to go.
Matt Young is up to no good
Joe broke the ice with a turn three 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, Lord of Innistrad and Moorland Haunt, but, like the first game, Matt had the Elesh Norn, 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