Round 8: Todd Anderson vs. Carlos Urrutia
A big Delver advocate, Todd Anderson has played a variety of builds over the Standard season. This weekend, he's packing Porcelain Legionnaires and Mutagenic Growth, with plenty of Swords to back all of his creatures. Carlos came to the table with Solar Flare, including the Unburial Rites engine.
Turn 1 Swamp, Despise peeled a Geist of Saint Traft from Todd's opening hand, leaving him with two Ponders, another Geist, and Islands. The Delver of Secrets he drew and cast was a nice gift, though! Carlos frowned and played Seachrome Coast, passing the turn. Todd's trigger did not flip his Delver, but the Ponder he played kept the top three in place and appeared likely to do so on the next turn. During Todd's end step, Carlos fired Think Twice. He followed with Isolated Chapel and tapped out to play Liliana of the Veil and boost her, forcing Todd to discard Island while he binned Sun Titan. Todd flipped his Delver on Mental misstep and dropped Glacial Fortress, trying to figure out his opponent. Did he have Unburial Rites or Day of Judgment? “You have to have a Day,” Todd decided, casting Ponder. Finding Gitaxian Probe, he paid 2 life to see Unburial Rites and land—he'd guessed wrong.
Carlos drew and dropped another Chapel, boosting Liliana and pitching the Unburial Rites, but deciding not to cast it—he passed, fearful of Todd's open mana. Todd's Insectile Aberration took out Liliana, and Todd took the opportunity to bluff a response when Carlos flashbacked Think Twice.
Playing Glacial Fortress, Carlos ended the turn. Todd sent his 3/2 at the face now, putting Carlos to 16 and ending the turn with three lands untapped. Forbidden Alchemy for Carlos filled the graveyard with Oblivion Ring and another Unburial Rites, giving him some real power.
He played Darkslick Shores and ended the turn, Todd concerned now that his Mana Leaks would no longer be live. He dropped Snapcaster Mage during the end step for a beater. With two creatures now in play, Todd attacked Carlos to 11 and cast Porcelain Legionnaire, creating an army. Carlos responded with Forbidden Alchemy, putting Sun Titan and Liliana into the graveyard along with a third Alchemy before using Mana Leak on the Legionnaire.
Carlos shuffles up after seizing game 1 on the back of Sun Titan.
Flashbacking Unburial Rites, Carlos grabbed Sun Titan and Liliana of the Veil to kill that Snapcaster Mage. Todd, still on three lands, wasn't sure how to proceed. He decided to send the 3/2 at Carlos and jam Geist, but Carlos had found another Mana Leak. If Todd's Geist had resolved, he might have been able to retake the lead on the back of that 4 damage, especially if he could combine it with a Vapor Snag on the following turn.
Carlos 1, Todd 0
Mutual keeps before Todd paid 2 life to Gitaxian Probe. Seeing Day, Liliana, Ratchet Bomb, and an assortment of lands that would come into play tapped, Todd started with Island and Delver of Secrets. Carlos drew and played Glacial Fortress, while Todd missed his trigger and his land drop, attacking for 1 damage. Ghost Quarter for Carlos, and Ratchet Bomb resolved.
Todd attacked for 1 again and landed Seachrome Coast, paying 2 life to flashback Gitaxian Probe and see a new Elesh Norn in his opponent's hand. Phantasmal Image from Carlos on the next turn copied Snapcaster Mage, and he played Isolated Chapel tapped.
Vapor Snag removed the opposing Image and enabled an attack for 3. When Carlos failed to make his fourth land drop on the next turn, Todd smelled blood—but Carlos had Snapcaster Mage to trade with Todd's Snapcaster. Playing an Island, Todd dropped Geist of Saint Traft and hoped his opponent would fail to hit the crucial fourth mana for Day of Judgment.
It was a sweat, but Carlos had Darkslick Shores—not good enough. Sending Delver, Geist, and the Angel token into combat, Todd dealt seven damage and passed with three mana untapped. The Geist gambit had worked, it seemed. Carlos ticked Ratchet Bomb to one and used it to clear Delver on his own turn, hoping that Liliana would land and execute Delver—Mana Leak countered that, and Carlos passed.
Carlos 1, Todd 1
Todd Anderson has continued to tweak his Delver list every week.
Taking a mulligan to start, Carlos watched Todd agonize over the same decision before going to six cards. Isolated Chapel on turn 1 from Carlos, and another turn 1 Delver for Todd. When it attacked, Carlos traded Snapcaster Mage for the 1/1, and Todd found himself dropping Porcelain Legionnaire on an empty board, very scared of Liliana.
No Liliana from Carlos—just another Darkslick Shores. The Legionnaire attacked for 3, and Todd played Moorland Haunt before shipping the turn, a Think Twice resolving in his end step. The third Darkslick Shores landed for Carlos before he ended the turn, and Gitaxian Probe meant the jig was up—his hand of lands, Think Twice, and Unburial Rites was revealed to be weak. Todd Pondered, shuffling the deck quickly before playing another Island and attacking for 4. Sword of War and Peace resolved, and Todd passed the turn tapped out.
Think Twice flashbacked during that end step, and Carlos had to Ghost Quarter himself to fix his mana for Day of Judgment, fresh off the top. Todd nodded, a bit bummed but still in reasonable shape. Casting Ponder, Todd kept them in place and played Snapcaster Mage on Ponder to set up Delver of Secrets for the next turn.
Drawing, Carlos was in tough shape against that Sword. Todd knew he was working off the top, and he went for another look by casting Think Twice. It failed to turn up any help, and now Carlos took plenty of damage. Delver flipped on Gitaxian Probe, and the Probe revealed that Carlos had three blanks. Todd attacked for 10 damage, and passed the turn with Moorland Haunt mana still available and his opponent on 3 life. Think Twice flashbacked for Carlos, but even Timely Reinforcements would not be enough in this position.
Carlos 1, Todd 2