Round 9: Larry Swasey vs. Tim Wegman
Larry suffered some stumbles early in the event, but he’d rallied to make it within a couple wins of a shot at Top 8. Piloting Delver of Secrets, Larry faced Tim’s Esper Control list this round, a list with a lot of elements designed to give creature decks like his some trouble, complete with the Sun Titan endgame.
Tim took the die roll and the play, deciding to mulligan after some deliberation. Larry frowned, but kept. Tim began with Glacial Fortress as Larry started Seachrome Coast, and turn 2 brought Ponder for Tim’s side. He thought over the three for some time before keeping, then played Isolated Chapel.
Larry had just an Island, not quite the start he wanted against Esper, and Tim passed after playing Drowned Catacomb, seeing Snapcaster Mage join the party as Ambush Viper. He attacked for 2 damage, and Larry played Moorland Haunt before passing. Tim tried Phantasmal Image, and Larry decided to Mana Leak. That left Tim dropping Isolated Chapel and casting Ponder from his hand. “Had it anyways!” Larry said with a smile.
Eventually, Tim decided to shuffle, drawing his card and ending the turn. Snapcaster attacked again, and Larry played his fourth land before passing. His aggressive Snapcaster play implied he likely had another, and now Tim needed to fear Mana Leak from the graveyard. He played Cavern of Souls on Giant, letting Larry know a Titan could be coming, and then he passed.
Paying 2 life for Gitaxian Probe, Larry spotted Day of Judgment, Sun Titan, Ratchet Bomb, and Forbidden Alchemy. Without Vapor Snag to prevent multiple Titans next turn, he’d be pretty far back... unless Tim lacked lands. That made countering Forbidden Alchemy somewhat viable as well. Larry decided he had to go for the throat, tapping out for Sword of War and Peace and attacking.
Tim used Alchemy in response, but didn’t find a stop. He binned Elesh Norn and Lingering Souls along with a land, falling to 8 life. Drowned Catacombs into play tapped meant that Tim almost certainly had to cast Day now, unless the card he’d kept over Swamp last turn was really, really good. Indeed, he dropped the sorcery and passed. Larry did some counting before Probing for 2 life to see Ratchet Bomb and Lingering Souls had joined the party.
Larry played Restoration Angel and equipped it, ending his turn and trying to make sure he used his mana efficiently, rather than play around a topdecked Day of Judgment. Tim decided to cast Sun Titan, resurrecting Phantasmal Image as Sun Titan for a land before casting Ratchet Bomb. Larry could get in for 6 damage, dropping Tim to 2 and going up to 24. Adding Geist of Saint Traft to the field, Larry passed.
Tim drew, needing an answer to the Sword this turn. He flashbacked Forbidden Alchemy, hoping to bin a land and cast a removal spell thanks to his Titans, but after picking up the four cards he just conceded.
Larry 1, Tim 0
Having dodged whammies once, Larry would need one more to keep his Top 8 hopes alive. Seachrome Coast for Tim started the game, while Larry paid 2 life to Probe. He saw Ratchet Bomb, Blade Splicer, Lingering Souls, Phantasmal Image, and Plains to contend with, and cast Delver of Secrets.
Tim predictably cast Ratchet Bomb to defend, and Larry attacked for 1 and added another land to the board. When Tim cast Ponder, Larry considered Mana Leaking and decided to do so, correctly reading Tim for no third land. He swung again with his 1/1 Delver and paid 2 life to Probe and see another Image, casting Ponder and playing Glacial Fortress untapped.
Having had enough, Tim boosted his Ratchet Bomb to one and drew for turn, popping the Bomb after. He passed then, and Larry decided to again play Snapcaster Mage as a vanilla 2/1, giving away his second Mana Leak in the process—why else would he have held? He put Tim on 16 with his attack and then Pondered again, playing his fourth land.
Tim had no third land still, and when Larry cast a second Snapcaster as just the 2/1, he drew one more nonland card before conceding in disgust.
Larry 2, Tim 0