Round 8: Brad Grant vs. Sam Moniz
Brad takes game 1 with the help of a supporter's voodoo magic.
Piloting U/R Delver, Brad sat down for his last match of the day against one of Legacy’s darlings: Maverick. Sam was on a loss and a draw, just like Brad, and these players were hoping to cash in on an outside shot at Top 8.
Sam mulliganed to start the match after a keep from Brad. He immediately realized he’d forgotten to undo his sideboarding from last round after picking up the first half of his hand, and called for a judge. He was told to return his deck to its starting configuration, and then start with a five-card hand, which he kept.
Volcanic Island for Brad, while Sam started with Cavern of Souls for Human and played Noble Hierarch in an uncounterable fashion. Brad Brainstormed in the end step, playing Scalding Tarn and fetching for Island, then casting Ponder. He left those in place and sent Chain Lightning into the Hierarch.
Savannah and pass for Brad, followed by another Volcanic from Brad and Goblin Guide. The trigger revealed Windswept Heath, and Sam fell to 18. Chain Lightning to the face followed, and Scryb Ranger joined the battlefield for Sam during the end step.
Fetching to go to 14, Sam grabbed Savannah—not too shy about Price of Progress potential—then tapped out to cast Knight of the Reliquary as a 3/3. “I’m not happy about that,” Sam admitted, and concluded with an attack for 1. Snapcaster Mage on Chain Lightning slew the Knight, and Goblin Guide swung again to leave Sam on 12 life, revealing Aven Mindcensor.
Wasteland destroyed Volcanic Island, and Sam passed with his Aven in the wings and Scryb on defense. Brad sent both Snap and Guide in, using Lightning Bolt on the Aven but losing his Snapcaster to Scryb Ranger. Sam went to 10, and Brad cast Delver of Secrets to end his turn. Bolting the Scryb seems better if this is his line, or at least holding back Snapcaster—Brad seemed to recognize the mistake at the end of his turn.
Scryb swung after Sam played Maze of Ith, and Mother of Runes resolved as well. Delver revealed Chain Lightning, nearly sealing the deal on the spot! Brad played Barbarian Ring, and cast Lightning Bolt on Scryb Ranger, then Chain Lightning on Mother of Runes. Goblin Guide revealed Cavern for Sam, and he Mazed the Aberration to stay on 8 life.
Wasteland for Barbarian Ring bought Sam some time, and Noble Hierarch landed as a chump blocker. Goblin Guide revealed Thrun and Sam declined to block, going to 6 life with Thrun on the way. That Maze continued to hold off the Aberration. Thrun resolved, of course, and Sam ended his turn.
A new Delver for Brad gave him a potential addition to the air force. Sam played Gaea’s Cradle and then cast Green Sun’s Zenith for three, planning to get Knight of the Reliquary but changing his mind for Scavenging Ooze. Now Brad was in a bind—little short of Price of Progress could win the game. Thrun attacked, and Sam passed with Brad on 11.
No flip for Delver was bad news, and Sam gained 3 life while growing his Ooze to 5/5. With three more guys in the yard, he was on a virtual 12 life—still dead to a Price, however. Gaddock Teeg for Sam gave him another body, and he passed the turn.
Brad revealed Price of Progress in his upkeep and killed his opponent with it after drawing the card.
Brad 1, Sam 0
The creatures of Maverick have a tough time against burn spells.
Sam’s game 2 opener was a keep, and Brad’s wasn’t half-bad either. Starting with Cavern and Mother of Runes, Sam wouldn’t like the Sulfur Elemental Brad had in store. Turn 1, Brad fetched Island to cast Delver of Secrets and start the beatdown. Wasteland and Noble Hierarch for Sam, with Mother declining to attack.
Brad Brainstormed during his upkeep to set up a Delver flip, throwing back two spells. He drew the Ponder and played Mountain, attacking for 3 damage. Sam continued to work the Cavern, casting a second Mother of Runes and passing. The Aberration attacked after he played Arid Mesa, but Swords to Plowshares slew it.
With the mana to Sulfur Elemental, Brad worked to find more cards to win rather than seizing an easy trade. He Pondered, fetched Mountain for Arid Mesa, then cast Price of Progress for 4 damage, bringing Sam to 13. Prepared to punish that play, Sam cast Umezawa’s Jitte—but he did not have the third land required to attack.
Hastily, Brad used Smash to Smithereens to destroy the Jitte and cast Delver of Secrets—saving the Smash to dodge a potential second Jitte and topdecked land was slightly safer. Path to Exile killed the Delver, giving Brad a fourth land, and his turn was done. Sam cast Thalia, and attacked with Noble Hierarch—this Sulfur Elemental would be brutal...
It tore Sam’s board apart on the next turn, reducing him to Wasteland, Cavern, and Noble Hierarch. Goblin Guide followed, revealing Thrun, the Last Troll. Sam cast Green Sun’s Zenith for two to search up Scavenging Ooze, in need of a body on the battlefield and some additional life, since he was at 8.
Brad 2, Sam 0