Round 8: Jim Davis vs. Christopher Wessel
Jim Davis is looking to lock up his seat in the Players’ Championship with a strong finish here with Storm. His opponent, hometown hero Christopher Wessel, hoped to rain on his parade with Combo Elves.
Christopher rallies the Elven army.
Jim led off with a fetched Island into Preordain, setting up his draws, while Deathrite Shaman was the one-drop of choice for Christopher. Jim wasn’t done cantripping just yet, and began his second turn with a Brainstorm. He didn’t find what he needed to storm off, but he did find a Cabal Therapy, which he pointed at Christopher naming Thoughtseize. Christopher’s board of Bayou and Deathrite Shaman might have represented Sultai or Jund, but the jig was up now, as the Therapy revealed a hand of Birchlore Rangers, Heritage Druid, Green Sun’s Zenith, Gaea’s Cradle, and two Windswept Heaths, and Jim passed the turn to Christopher, who simply played a Windswept Heath and a Heritage Druid and passed it right back.
After a bit of number crunching, Jim concluded he could go for it. He Pondered (1) then cracked his Misty Rainforest and played Lotus Petal (2). He went for Cabal Ritual (3) with exactly seven cards in his graveyard. Christopher used his Deathrite Shaman to exile a land out of Jim’s graveyard, but Jim was able to crack the Lotus Petal for a red mana to turn his Cabal Ritual back on. Two more Cabal Rituals (4, 5) followed, and the last card in Jim’s hand was Infernal Tutor (6) for Past in Flames (7), which Jim cast with eight black mana in the pool. He cast two more Cabal Rituals (8,9) and then the Infernal Tutor (10) out of the graveyard, retrieving and casting a 22-point Tendrils of Agony.
Jim Davis 1, Christopher Wessel 0
Jim's spells are so nice, he casts them twice.
A Thoughtseize on turn 1 from Christopher took a peek at Jim’s goodies, seeing Ponder, Gitaxian Probe, Duress, Lotus Petal, Dark ritual, Polluted Delta, and Underground Sea. Jim was deprived of his Ponder, so he settled for a turn 1 Gitaxian Probe, seeing Nettle Sentinel, Green Sun’s Zenith, Cabal Therapy, and a pair of Wirewood Symbiotes. He followed up with Duress on Christopher’s Therapy. Christopher decided more mana was his number one priority, so he spent his second turn Green Sun’s Zenithing for a Dryad Arbor, while Jim had only a land drop on his second turn.
Christopher drew a second copy of Cabal Ritual on his turn, and used it to good effect, knocking two Dark Rituals out of Jim’s hand and leaving him with Lotus Petal, Cabal Ritual, and Polluted Delta. He added a Nettle Sentinel to his board and shipped to Jim, who could only play his Delta and ship back. Christopher got in an attack for 2 with his Nettle Sentinel, then added a second Sentinel and a Wirewood Symbiote to his board, ready to begin the beatdown.
Jim’s draw step found an Infernal Tutor, which signaled that shenanigans could begin. He played another Polluted Delta from his hand then cracked all three that he had in play. Cabal Ritual (1) then made five mana, and Jim cast Lotus Petal (2) leaving him with just the Infernal Tutor (3) in hand, then cast it to retrieve Past in Flames (4). He cast it with two black mana left in the pool, and from there the win was on the table: Cabal Ritual (5), two Dark Rituals (6, 7), Duress for good measure (8), then Infernal Tutor (9) for the lethal Tendrils of Agony.
Jim Davis 2, Christopher Wessel 0