Round 9: Justin Schibanoff vs. Matthew Costa
Champion+of+the+Parish, Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben, Honor of the Pure, Hero+of+Bladehold and Mirran+Crusader all smashed their way onto the battlefield while Matt struggled to keep up. Phantasmal+Image took down Thalia, but the champion kept growing and growing and growing thirstier for blood.
It didn’t take long for the white army to put the boots into Matt’s defense-light hand, and we were quickly off to game two.
Justin 1, Matt 0
Needing to dig in for a comeback, a mulligan on the play was the last thing Matt wanted. His six seemed, okay regardless, as he led with Gitaxian+Probe and Delver+of+Secrets on turn one, but Justin matched him with Doomed+Traveler into Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben and Silverblade+Paladin paired with Champion+of+the+Parish to present a vicious series of threats.
Justin Schibanoff focuses on his match.
Matt’s Delver+of+Secrets was having trouble flipping naturally which forced Matt to play very conservatively, using Snapcaster+Mage to break Silverblade Paladin’s bond with Vapor+Snag and allow a trade as he fell to 12. Sword+of+War+and+Peace looked like it might be able to pull Matt out of the suddenly very rough spot, but Justin pushed the action with Hero+of+Bladehold.
An equipped Delver+of+Secrets wasn’t going to be near enough of an answer, so Matt was forced to play Dungeon+Geists to hold off the deadly hero and get in for his first point with Delver+of+Secrets. The 3/3 flyer was big enough to take down any of Justin’s guys if he wanted to rumble, but Justin had bigger plans. He slammed his fifth land and Zealous+Conscripts to untap his Hero+of+Bladehold and then shoved in with his team, putting Matt to stone dead no matter how he blocked. It was a vicious end to a completely one-sided match that caught knocked the master out of contention and likely propelled Justin into the Top 8.
Justin 2, Matt 0