Round 8: Nicholas Laporte vs. Matt Severa
The final round left Nicholas and Matt fighting for a shot in the single elimination rounds. Matt's RUG list was one of the more popular decks in the field, but Nicholas had the Dream Halls combo deck, a Legacy archetype picking up steam since Grand Prix Indianapolis.
Nicholas kept his seven pretty quickly, while Matt debated a more speculative hand. Island and Preordain started the game for Nicholas, splitting the top two. Matt knew Preordain probably meant dirty combo deck, and spent turn 1 fetching Volcanic Island and casting Ponder. Nicholas played Misty Rainforest and then Brainstorm on turn 2, placing two cards back and passing.
Matt's made it to the bubble match with stock RUG Delver.
Matt revealed himself to be RUG with Taiga and Tarmogoyf on turn 2, prompting a response from Nicholas. He fetched Island, shuffling away his Brainstorm and casting another one. Nicholas then played City of Traitors on his own turn and cast Show and Tell with an Island up. “That's horrendous for me,” Matt admitted.
Nicholas dropped in Dream Halls against Matt's Nimble Mongoose, and then cast Conflux by pitching Force of Will to Dream Halls. He searched for Pact of Negation, Conflux, and three Progenitus, then used one of the 10/10s to cast Conflux again, grabbing Conflux, False Cure, and the last two Progenitus (since one shuffles back).
Another Conflux through a discarded Progenitus grabbed another Conflux, Force of Will, the Progenitus, and Beacon of Immortality—that would just about do it. Nicholas Confluxed for Force of Will and Progenitus for good measure, then cast False Cure by discarding Progenitus before casting Beacon of Immortality, targeting Matt.
Nicholas 1, Matt 0
Announcing a fast keep out of turn, Nicholas nodded as Matt followed suit and led with Scalding Tarn. Nicholas played Misty Rainforest and passed, cracking his fetch in response to Matt doing the same. Island for Nicholas and Volcanic Island for Matt, followed by Brainstorm. No land for Matt, though—just the two cards he put back with Brainstorm.
Nicholas played Preordain and Matt Dazed—Nicholas missed his second land as well! What a peculiar start to the second game. Matt spent turn 2 replaying his land and casting Ponder, but had no other plays. Nicholas tried another Preordain, resolving this one and looking for land. He discarded Progenitus during the end step to shuffle his deck after keeping both cards.
Matt played Wasteland and shipped the turn, using Spell Pierce to counter a Ponder from Nicholas, who still had just an Island. Matt Pondered again, followed by Volcanic Island. Nicholas peeled Island, prompting Matt to say “Uh oh!” He Spell Pierced another Ponder from Nicholas, but Nicholas Brainstormed in response to the Spell Pierce. He threw back False Cure and an extra fetchland, ending the turn.
Delver of Secrets gave Matt his first threat of the game, and Nicholas nodded. He played Polluted Delta and cracked it for Island, passing. Matt revealed Thought Scour to the Delver and swung for 3 damage, threatening to end the game in a few attacks. Nicholas was content to make land drops now, with Polluted Delta and pass.
Brainstorm during the end step for Matt, then Thought Scour to discard those cards gave him a fresh hand. Matt attacked again, and ended the turn. Nicholas fell to 11 and fetched another Island during the end step, but had no plays on his own turn.
Sulfur Elemental during the end step doubled Matt's clock, and he swung for 6 damage before passing. Nicholas tried Intuition during the end step, and Matt nodded, allowing it to resolve. “What could happen?” he said with a laugh, knowing full well that Intuition tended to be Demonic Tutor! Three Dream Halls for Nicholas, with one going to his hand.
Nicholas has Confluxed his way through the field!
Nicholas 1, Matt 1
A keep from Nicholas while Matt mulliganed to six. Fetching Island on turn 1, Nicholas cast nothing and ended the turn. Matt had only Volcanic Island, and Nicholas played Misty Rainforest and passed. He fetched during the end step for Island, then untapped and played one from his hand before passing.
During Matt's draw step, Nicholas cast Vendilion Clique. Red Elemental Blast countered the 3/1 flier, and Matt attacked for 1 damage. Nicholas drew and played Ancient Tomb, falling to 15 as he tapped out to cast Dream Halls—Matt Spell Pierced. His Delver failed to flip, and he attacked Nicholas to 14.
Playing Flooded Strand, Nicholas cast Show and Tell—it resolved, and Progenitus joined the fray! Matt had only a land, and now the race was on. Delver flipped for Surgical Extraction, giving Matt some racing potential, but he was way behind. He swung Nicholas down to 11 and ended the turn.
Nicholas swung for 10 damage.
Matt drew, and lacked a way to stop the inevitable march of Progenitus!
Nicholas 2, Matt 1