Round 8: Owen Turtenwald vs. Chris VanMeter
These two players were both seasoned Legacy veterans, with Owen having a pair of Grand Prix Top 8s in the format while Chris VanMeter boasted a number of Open Series finishes, including a win.
Owen could only muster two threats in the first game, giving Chris room to take control.
Taking down the die roll, Chris drew his seven and kept, starting on Polluted Delta. Owen played Misty Rainforest and ended the turn, leaving Chris to ponder his opponent’s holdings—Chris simply played Tundra and passed turn, cracking his fetchland in response to Owen’s own attempt during the end step. An Underground for Chris; a Volcanic for Owen, which he used to cast Brainstorm.
Tropical Island and Tarmogoyf on turn 2 for Owen, Chris nodding and pointing Swords to Plowshares at the creature. He played Underground Sea and cast Dark Confidant, leaving up Tundra and ending the turn. Forked Bolt slew the Human Wizard, and Owen Brainstormed once more. Finding Scalding Tarn, he popped it for Volcanic Island and cast Delver of Secrets.
Chris untapped and fetched, falling to 17 and putting Scrubland into play. Leaving up Tundra, he cast Liliana of the Veil and used the edict to take care of Delver, leaving Owen once more without a threat. Owen drew and passed the turn on three lands, allowing Stoneforge Mystic to resolve when Chris cast it to search for Batterskull.
Liliana moved up a loyalty, and Owen discarded a land before using the end step to Lightning Bolt Stoneforge Mystic. Owen passed again, and Chris cast another Stoneforge Mystic to dig up Umezawa’s Jitte. Playing Flooded Strand, Chris cast the Jitte. Owen responded by casting Lightning Bolt on Liliana and then Spell Piercing the equipment, leaving Chris with a mystery card and Batterskull to go along with his Mystic.
Chris 1, Owen 0
On the play, Owen would hope to capitalize on his RUG deck’s disruptive tempo elements and begin with a clock. Fetching Volcanic Island on turn 1, he cast Delver of Secrets to put exactly that into play. Chris played Underground Sea and Deathrite Shaman, but Owen immediately Dazed the 1/2. His draw step offered up Lightning Bolt, flipping the Delver and allowing an attack for 3 damage before Owen followed with Wasteland.
Chris fetched Tundra on turn 2, and attempted Path to Exile on the Delver—it resolved. Relieved, he sent turn to Owen who spent it Wastelanding Tundra. When Chris passed the third turn with no land drop, Owen’s Wastelands had clearly paid off. Volcanic Island for Delver of Secrets followed, failing to flip but being quickly joined by Nimble Mongoose once Owen fetched Tropical Island.
It was looking grim for Chris as he discarded Deathrite Shaman in the end step, knowing full well that Owen had a Bolt at the ready should Chris cast it once he found a land. Owen revealed Rough // Tumble to his Delver, showing off a sideboard choice but increasing his clock significantly. Lightning Bolt and a fetchland gave him threshold, and Chris lost 9 life when all was said and done.
No permanents? Problems.
He drew one more card, and conceded.
Chris 1, Owen 1
Chris quickly mulliganed to six, while Owen kept on seven cards just as fast. Leading Flooded Strand, Chris sent the turn while Owen opened on Misty Rainforest and did the same. Chris played Underground Sea next and passed, now in a waiting game against a potential Stifle, having preserved the fetchland to play against Wasteland no doubt.
Owen had another fetch and started by breaking one to get Tropical Island, casting Ponder and keeping his three cards in place. Chris Wastelanded Tropical Island and ended the turn, while Owen popped Misty Rainforest during his own upkeep—Chris replied with his own, grabbing Tundra before Owen found a second Tropical Island.
Playing Volcanic Island, Owen cast Nimble Mongoose and sent the turn to Chris. With four cards already in the graveyard, he could acquire threshold in short order and put Chris into a bind against the Mongoose. Chris played Underground Sea and then tapped out for Lingering Souls. Owen lacked Spell Pierce and Daze, or at least had no interest in casting either if he had them, and Chris passed.
Another Ponder made it five cards for Owen, leaving the top three in place. He played Wasteland and used it on Tundra, going to six, but no seventh card and no desire to “bluff” a point of damage left Owen passing the turn on six cards. Chris had to be wondering what they were at this point!
He played Scrubland to regain access to white mana and cast Deathrite Shaman before flashbacking Lingering Souls—that earned a Spell Pierce from Owen, and Chris attacked for 2 damage. The Goose was loose!
It hit Chris for 3 before Owen played a fetchland, and the Tarmogoyf that followed increased Owen’s clock. Chris played Marsh Flats and then tapped three lands for Liliana of the Veil—Owen had no replay, and the edict effect forced him to choose between his darlings. Tarmogoyf went to the graveyard, likely meaning Owen lacked the Stifle Chris had been playing around so carefully.
When Owen broke Misty Rainforest, Chris responded by activating Deathrite Shaman to eat one of Owen’s lands and Brainstorm, but he declined to fetch and shuffle afterward. Lightning Bolt cleared the Deathrite Shaman, and Owen took his turn. Mongoose met a chump block before being joined by Tarmogoyf number two. Chris made a big move on the next turn, casting Relic of Progenitus!
Owen allowed it to resolve, along with the Deathrite Shaman that followed. Chris boosted Liliana to two loyalty, pitching Dark Confidant while Owen discarded a Rough // Tumble. Against Relic, it would be a lot Rougher on him than Chris!
Attacking Liliana with just Tarmogoyf, Owen earned a chump from the Spirit token. Another Tarmogoyf landed, and Chris had to want to pop Relic and just kill the one with a damage on it, doing so in the end step. No Stifle from Owen, and Chris could breathe once more. He pumped up Liliana of the Veil, discarding Snapcaster Mage while Owen binned Spell Snare—awkward. That meant Chris could only have one of a handful of holdings...
Sure enough, he fetched his fourth land and cast Batterskull via Deathrite Shaman. Owen would be hard-pressed to match that off the top of the deck, but he had a turn with Chris tapped out and hellbent to try. Wasteland cleared Bayou, but Owen had to end the turn after that. Lacking green mana, Chris was fine taking the aggressor’s position. He edicted away Owen’s Mongoose and sent in the Germ token.
Owen drew and passed, Chris going to work with Deathrite Shaman on the end step and using Liliana to fuel his little fellows with spells. One more draw step was enough to earn the concession from Owen.
Chris 2, Owen 1