Round 8: Jeff Hoogland vs. Matt Carlson
Jeff assembles his deck's version of Voltron!
“Catch and release,” Jeff declared as he threw his hand back for a new six, but Matt’s starting seven were perfectly fine. Each player started with Evolving Wilds, Jeff cracking his first to get Swamp. Forest followed on turn 2, and he cast Despise. Seeing spotted Lingering Souls, Timely Reinforcements, two Midnight Haunting, and three lands, Jeff had just played one of the worst Gitaxian Probes of the tournament!
Fetching Plains, Matt played another one and ended his turn. Jeff had Woodland Cemetery and no three-drop, but Matt’s hand was packed—he played Lingering Souls first. Jeff lacked a play and a land drop on turn 4, taking 4 damage when Matt played Intangible Virtue and Gather the Townsfolk.
Ratchet Bomb from Jeff bought him some time, wiping the tokens. Matt declined to flashback Lingering Souls, but did fire Midnight Haunting after Jeff played Perilous Myr and a Forest. Matt attacked and passed, still with Souls in the bin—he’d drawn a second copy of Haunting. Jeff attacked for 1 and then cast Nihil Spellbomb and Ratchet Bomb, but declined to pop the Spellbomb—he passed.
Matt kept those Hauntings in his hand, and tried to incentivize a Bomb pop. Jeff took the damage, but Oblivion Ring convinced him to detonate the Bomb. On his next turn, Jeff attacked for 1 damage and then cast Glissa, the Traitor. Midnight Haunting put Matt in business, but if Jeff could kill a creature… the Bomb would effectively lock Matt out.
Nihil Spellbomb cantripped, and Jeff swung for 4 damage, putting Matt on 14. Black Sun’s Zenith for 2 cleared the board and got back two Ratchet Bombs, but a third Midnight Haunting squeaked in lethal at exactly the right moment. If he’d had another land, Zenith for 1 would’ve let his Perilous Myr trigger Glissa and play a Bomb—so close!
Matt 1, Jeff 0
Woodland Cemetery for Jeff, while Matt played Plains and passed. Buried Ruin and then Nihil Spellbomb on Jeff’s side, while Matt spent turn 2 casting Intangible Virtue before watching the Spellbomb cantrip. Despise whiffed again for Jeff, revealing Celestial Purge, Oblivion Ring, and spells—no threats for the aggro deck!
Unsurprisingly, Matt passed without a play. Jeff had no fourth land and played Perilous Myr, sending the turn. To his dismay, Matt drew Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and cast it, making a Vampire token. Now Jeff was in trouble. He sighed and attacked, earning a block from the 2/2 Vampire and shrinking Sorin. He followed with Swamp and then Sylvok Replica, destroying the Intangible Virtue.
Jeff passed, and Matt cast Honor of the Pure before making another Vampire. Jeff cast Ratchet Bomb and passed, but Matt wasn’t losing any sleep over the Bomb this time, with plenty of answers to Glissa available. He jumped the gun and cast Oblivion Ring, Jeff seizing the opportunity to kill Matt’s token and make him remove his own Honor the Pure. Matt made another token, and passed.
Another Bomb for Jeff, and Matt swung for 1 before making a second Vampire and playing Vault of the Archangel. During Matt’s upkeep, Beast Within destroyed the very potent Sorin and bought Jeff some time. Another Honor of the Pure from Matt, and he attacked to make life totals 18 to 26.
Now Jeff cast Glissa, and when matt tried to Purge Jeff got back Ratchet Bomb, Replica, and Nihil Spellbomb by detonating his Ratchet Bomb already in play. Nihil Spellbomb and another Glissa put Jeff way ahead when Matt passed the turn, and then things got really unruly: Batterskull!
Gather the Townsfolk gave Matt a defense, but the chumpers still gave Jeff Perilous Myr and Sylvok Replica even as they killed Jeff’s Germ token. Lingering Souls from matt made two more dudes, but Matt declined to flashback. He lost his graveyard to the Nihil Spellbomb, and then Ratchet Bomb let Jeff recur all of his artifacts after wiping the tokens from the field.
Matt played Honor of the Pure and passed, with yet another Ratchet Bomb defending Glissa from Midnight Haunting chumps. Batterskull and Glissa was sure to go the distance from here, and in a few more attacks it was so.
Matt 1, Jeff 1
Each on seven, Matt began with Plains as Jeff played Evolving Wilds and broke it for Forest when Matt cast Intangible Virtue. Darkslick Shores and then Nihil Spellbomb landed, perhaps able to snag a little value if Matt had Lingering Souls.
Matt's got an uphill road thanks to Glissa and Ratchet Bomb.
No Souls—Stony Silence for Matt! Ouch! Jeff popped his Spellbomb for a card and just played Darkslick Shores, with Matt now making some Spirit tokens and playing Evolving Wilds. Forbidden Alchemy from Jeff dug toward a solution to the Silence during the end step, and he sent the turn with Beast Within at the ready.
Matt attacked for 4 and flashbacked Souls, giving the turn to Jeff afterward. Destroying Stony Silence, Jeff now untapped and cast Ratchet Bomb with enough mana left over to Alchemy. The Bomb wiped the board, and then Jeff used Forbidden Alchemy once more. Jeff untapped into Glissa and passed—no Midnight Haunting punished him.
Timely Reinforcements from Matt made three creatures, and Oblivion Ring followed to get rid of her—Jeff was in trouble again. He got attacked to 10 and flashbacked Forbidden Alchemy, then cast Black Sun’s Zenith for two on his own turn. He appeared to have stabilized when Matt drew and passed with eight lands in play on the next turn.
Casting Despise to see two lands, Jeff knew he could go about his business safely with Garruk Relentless. He made a Wolf, and ended the turn. Matt’s own Nihil Spellbomb got Jeff pretty good, but he still needed to hit some cards. Sorin was one of those cards, and he made a Vampire token.
Garruk fought the Vampire and the Wolf beat Sorin to 2 loyalty, but he wasn’t leaving anytime soon. Matt made another 2/2 lifelinker, and ended the turn. Jeff declined to attack with his Wolf, making a deathtouch guy and passing. Midnight Haunting during the end step followed by Honor of the Pure was bad news on Jeff’s side.
He fell to 4 as he traded with the Vampire, keeping his deathtouch Wolf around. He sacrificed it on the next turn to find Wurmcoil Engine, and cast Black Sun’s Zenith for three before passing with the Wurmcoil on the way next turn. Matt just made another Vampire before passing, but had plenty of outs, of course.
Jeff drew and used Nihil Spellbomb before casting Wurmcoil Engine and making a Wolf token. Timely Reinforcements made three Soldiers and Sorin went to 6 loyalty, meaning Jeff now faced plenty of offense from 5 potential attackers, two anthems, and Sorin emblems. Doing some math, he attacked Soring with both creatures, and Matt chumped.
Sacrificing the Wurmcoil to Garruk after combat, Jeff searched the deck for Perilous Myr and dropped it into play. He then cast Life’s finale and used the Myr’s trigger to deal 2 damage to Sorin, but wiping his own threats off the board. He could’ve Tragic Slipped his Perilous Myr instead to accomplish similar, at the cost of a lot of life.
Matt drew and played Vault of the Archangel, gaining 8 life as his Vampire consumed Wurmcoil Engine. Beast Within destroyed Sorin however, ending that particular threat. Jeff untapped into Glissa and sent both of his Wurm tokens, dealing 6 damage and going to 13. He made another Wolf, and passed the turn with Tragic Slip in his hand.
Continuing to ignore Garruk, Matt attacked with everything. He lost his Human to Glissa, which enabled a Tragic Slip on the other Human before the deathtouch Wolves killed Matt’s remaining creatures. Now, Jeff was way, way ahead—those deaths had returned two Spellbomb, Wurmcoil, and Perilous Myr. He attacked for 9, and recast all those artifacts!
Revoke Existence handled the Wurmcoil, and Jeff’s next attack brought Matt down to 16 and mortal range. He cast Sorin, but that wouldn’t stabilize against Jeff’s position. Go for the Throat killed the Vampire after Perilous Myr was sacrificed to Grim Backwoods, and Jeff had the capacity to Perilous Myr him again and then pop the dark Garruk ultimate for the kill!
Matt 1, Jeff 2