Round 7: Tony Chu vs. Mike Tompkins
Mike met the business end of a Batterskull in game 1.
A classic matchup with Top 8 contention on the line: Stoneblade against Zoo. U/W master Tony Chu was on the favored side of the equation, but Mike’s Wild Nacatl-fueled aggro deck could certainly snag a win, even this far behind.
Tony took the play and evaluated his seven carefully, indicating a close hand—he mulliganed, although Mike’s keep was a fast one afterward. Misty Rainforest for Tony while Mike started out with Wooded Foothills, each player quickly fetching dual lands—Tundra and Taiga, respectively. Wild Nacatl for Mike met Swords to Plowshares from Tony, and the U/W player untapped into Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull.
Chain Lightning failed to handle the Mystic on the next turn, Tony Forcing it and removing Brainstorm. Mike fetched for another Foothills, grabbing Plateau, and casting Goblin Guide to reveal Tundra. “Boom!” Tony said, drawing the free card. He played it on his own turn, and passed—Mike was in a tight spot against the incoming Batterskull now. He cast Sylvan Library and sighed, passing with one mana up.
The Batterskull attacked, reversing life totals in Tony’s favor. Lightning Bolt dropped Tony to 17, and Mike used Library. Mana Leak countered Tarmogoyf when Mike tried to deploy it, but Loam Lion resolved. Tony Brainstormed during the end step before fetching Island, and then moved back toward the red zone.
Batterskull gobbled up Loam lion when mike double-blocked, and Tony fetched for his fifth land to equip the Batterskull to Stoneforge Mystic. Mike paid life to get a card with Sylvan this time, resolving Tarmogoyf for a 4/5 beater—not quite enough, here. A double-block again killed Tarmogoyf, leaving the board Batterskull vs. Goblin Guide, but Tony also had some Factories to play with.
On 11 life, Mike decided to just take one card with library and attacked with Goblin Guide, using Path to Exile on the Mishra’s Factory Tony tried to defend himself with. Bouncing Batterskull during the end step, Tony untapped and replayed it. Another Mana Leak for Tarmogoyf from Tony, Mike chuckling at the counterspell as he binned his guy. Batterskull began to attack once again, pounding for 4 damage—Mike decided to concede when he couldn’t conceive of an escape.
Tony 1, Mike 0
Tony doesn't mind a mulligan from time to time.
Mutual mulligans to six in game 2 for Tony and Mike, each hoping to present a strong opening sequence in a tempo-driven matchup. Tony wound up on five cards, concerned to see Wooded Foothills break for Taiga and Goblin Guide, revealing Swords to Plowshares. On his own turn, just a Tundra for Tony.
The next Guide attack revealed Tower of the Magistrate, and Tony’s Swords killed Guide. Kird Ape for Mike concluded the turn, while Tony played Mishra’s Factory and passed the turn. Mike, wary of the Factory, just played Wild Nacatl on turn 3 and passed, missing his second land still. Tony had Tower on the next turn, passing.
Mike fetched for Plateau and attacked for 5 damage before casting a second Wild Nacatl. Tony had those beaters handled on his own turn, fetching for Tundra and casting Wrath of God on a healthy 12 life. He passed, and Mike resolved Sylvan Library with two cards left. Tony landed Elspeth to start making guys, suddenly far ahead.
Library found a Tarmogoyf for Mike, who also used Wasteland to kill Mishra’s Factory. Another Swords to Plowshares for Tony exiled the Tarmogoyf, and he began taking control of the game with Jace, the Mind Sculptor and a booted attack from his Soldier token. It seemed all over but for the formalities, at this point.
Mike passed, and Tony fetched, falling to 10 life. He boosted his Soldier token, earning a Path to Exile from Mike, and then used Jace to brainstorm. Hardcasting Batterskull, Tony sent the turn over to Mike, whose fetchland offered him a fresh Sylvan Library. Paying 4 life, he used Red Elemental Blast to kill Jace and passed the turn to Tony, Path to Exile removing Tony’s Germ token as Mike staved off the lifelink.
Geist of Saint Traft for Tony closed the clock down, guaranteeing Tony some lifegain on the next turn. Mike’s next Sylvan had to be sweet… he paid for an extra card and cast Tarmogoyf, but Path to Exile cleared the way for a lethal assault.
Tony 2, Mike 0