Round 8: Ben Friedman vs. Ross Merriam
Both of these players are 6-1 headed into the last round of the day, and the winner would be in the catbird seat to make a run at top 8. Who would Emerge Unscathed?
The newest Aristocrats variant has delivered wins for Ben!
Ross won the die roll and took the play. With the initiative, he led things off with Forest and Arbor Elf. Ben played Blood Crypt and passed. Ross continued his start by casting Flinthoof Boar with haste thanks to Stomping Ground. Ben used Dreadbore to kill the pig, but Ghor-Clan Rampager replaced it soon after on Ross’ third turn.
Skirsdag High Priest and Doomed Traveler made their way onto the battlefield for Ben, and then it was back to the red-green aggro show. Ben went to 12 on attacks and Ross followed up the attack step with Borderland Ranger. Blasphemous Act put an abrupt end to Ross’ buildup, and all he could do on his next turn was play a lonely Burning-Tree Emissary. But Ben had no play of his own the next turn, and BTE attacked for Ross with no worry of repercussion. The Traveler’s Spirit chump blocked it, and Ross added Rampager number two to his team after combat.
Another Blasphemous Act cleared out Ross’ army… but again Ben had no follow up. Ross found Hellrider to go with a Burning-Tree Emissary and when Ben found nothing but more land on top he scooped up his cards.
Ross 1, Ben 0.
Ross battles to stay on track in the Invitational.
Ben and his Act Two Aristocrats deck led with Godless Shrine, while Ross once more had Arbor Elf and the home field advantage of basic Forest in his Gruul Aggro deck. Ben gave that boss the Tragic Slip (plus Doomed Traveler), and Ross’ turn two was yet another Elf to go with Mountain. Boros Reckoner joined the fray turn three for Ben, and he passed. Ross used Pillar of Flame to remove Doomed Traveler without making a token, but had no other play after that and that allowed Ben to attack with Boros Reckoner and cast a second.
Ross found Bonfire of the Damned for three on top of his deck, and the Miracle spell set life totals at 17-13. Ben cast Skirsdag High Priest and Blood Artist on his next turn, but Pillar of Flame took out the Priest and Hellrider took Ben down to dangerously low life. Thundermaw Hellkite the next turn was equally bad, and Ben fell to 2. The best Ben could do was cast and flash back Lingering Souls, so when Ross attacked (Ben to 1) and the dust settled after many Spirits and the Hellrider died Ben went to 6. But Ben’s deck wasn’t cooperative, and he could only pass. Ross attacked Ben to 1 again and cast Gyre Sage , but it didn’t matter because Ben couldn’t find another spell on top of his library. Ross Merriam moves to 7-1 with the win.
Ross 2, Ben 0.