Round 8: Joshua Self vs. Kyle Wright
Joshua examines his sideboard for assistance.
Each of these players were in search of that elusive “first Top 8” on the Open Series, but after strong early starts it appeared that only one of them would claim the single elimination stage.
Joshua began with Swamp after Kyle mulliganed to six, and Kyle's Mountain had no one-drop—probably not Mono Red. Joshua played Island to reveal his colors, and Kyle did the same with a Forest. Nephalia Drownyard into Rootbound Crag, and then Joshua missed a land drop—ouch.
Shrugging, Kyle played a fourth land and tried Huntmaster of the Fells—Mana Leak. That had been bait for his Acidic Slime, however, which he used to kill Nephalia Drownyard when Joshua missed another land drop. Now Joshua was pitching cards in cleanup, losing Black Sun's Zenith. Kyle paid for not killing Island when his Inferno Titan was Mana Leaked, but it was likely his lead had grown too vast to be overcome.
Darkslick Shores off the top was late, but at least it was there. Kyle attacked for 2 more damage and then cast Green Sun's Zenith for six, searching up Primeval Titan and finding two more Inkmoth Nexuses. Big trouble in Primeval city for Joshua!
He drew a card, and shrugged. “Let's go to the next game.”
Kyle 1, Joshua 0
This may have been Kyle's second photo.
A mulligan for Joshua to start game 2, and it began looking like he'd be an underdog in one of his most favorable matchups. He started Darkslick Shores while Kyle played Forest, and followed with Swamp and Spellskite, tapping out. Rampant Growth from Kyle searched for Mountain, and Joshua played a land and passed. Inkmoth Nexus followed by Sphere of the Suns on Kyle's side, continuing to accelerate—Joshua did have a fourth land, however.
He ended the fourth turn with Nphalia Drownyard and plenty of mana… so even Kyle was a bit surprised when the Primeval Titan he played on turn 4 resolved! A mill in response hit nothing relevant, and he grabbed Kessig Wolf Run plus Nexus.
Just another land for Joshua, and no response to Primeval Titan's attack on the next turn, either—two more lands from the deck gave Kyle all four Nexus and both Wolf Runs. During the second main, he cast Primeval Titan with three mana up, and all Joshua could do was mill him for three again. Kyle grabbed two more lands, and passed.
A sixth mana for Joshua, and he tapped out for Consecrated Sphinx, leaving himself semi-dead on the board. Playing Karn Liberated, Kyle removed Spellskite—theoretically missing 2 points of damage by not targeting the Sphinx, but maybe not—and swung with both Titans. Pumping for 3 more damage after Joshua blocked, he got in for 9 damage and ended the turn with Joshua at 5 and in a very bad way.
His next turn offered no way to reverse the disadvantage, and Joshua conceded.
Kyle 2, Joshua 0