Round 9: Nate Anderson vs. Isaiah Monroe
Nate's hoping for Sword to slice through the competition.
The last round had almost every player on one loss forced to play, and even then one of them might miss Top 8! The choice was clear for Nate and Isaiah: do or die. Nate’s Copperline+Gorge while Isaiah had Isolated+Chapel. Forest for Nate but no turn 2 made it unlikely he was playing Huntmaster+of+the+Fells to leave Nate on Acidic+Slime, Wolfir+Silverheart, Pillar+of+Flame, Sword+of+War+and+Peace, and Kessig+Wolf+Run before playing Plains.
Shrugging, Nate tapped out for his Sword. Isaiah appeared to be on Island on turn 3 revealed him to be a controlling archetype. Drawing Birds, Nate played and equipped it before ending his turn. That bought Day+of+Judgment from Isaiah!
Acidic+Slime for Isolated+Chapel took Isaiah off black mana, and he played Vault+of+the+Archangel to go with his two Islands and Plains. Forbidden+Alchemy searched for help, but it looked like that Sword would be connecting... Debating his four, Isaiah tossed a Terminus and passed.
Nate equipped to his Slime and attacked for 9 damage, threatening to end the game on the next turn with Kessig+Wolf+Run! Plains and another Day from Isaiah bought him time, but Huntmaster+of+the+Fells increased the pressure. Isaiah played Think+Twice, likely searching for Oblivion+Ring, but had to settle for dumping a card out of his hand with Lingering+Souls.
Equipping and swinging with just Huntmaster, Nate followed with two Pillar+of+Flames for lethal.
Nate 1, Isaiah 0
Isaiah shuffles up for the decider.
A slow start from Nate had been remedied by a fast Sword, and with no way to remove the artifact Isaiah had run out of answers to Nate’s constant stream of lethal creatures. Starting Evolving+Wilds for Plains, Isaiah passed. Copperline+Gorge and Llanowar+Elves gave Nate a strong opener, and Isaiah had only Isolated+Chapel on turn 2. That gave Nate free reign to resolve turn 2 Sword+of+War+and+Peace!
Isaiah drew Seachrome+Coast and had Doom+Blade when Nate tried to attack, followed by Sorin%2C+Lord+of+Innistrad to start making black tokens. That would hold off Sword nicely! Huntmaster+of+the+Fells threatened to give Nate a trampling attacker soon. Isaiah had Gideon+Jura to pump, and passed after making a new Vampire.
Nate tapped his Kessig+Wolf+Run to equip, unable to give trample and score free damage when Isaiah chumped with just one Vampire. He passed the turn and shot the other Vampire, decreasing Gideon’s loyalty as well. Isaiah appeared to consider attacking with Gideon... leading with Terminus made that a much more reasonable choice, and he sent. Another Sorin boost for Isaiah, and then Nate made his master plan clear: he dropped Wolfir+Avenger!
Giving the Avenger trample and Sword+of+War+and+Peace killed Gideon, and Despise from Isaiah revealed that Nate had two more Huntmasters and Thrun awaiting him! He binned the legend. Playing and Flashbacking Lingering+Souls, Isaiah then considered his next move with Sorin on six, and decided to make an emblem.
Nate attacked Sorin and played Huntmaster, preparing to take 8 damage from Spirits with Vault+of+the+Archangel in the backfield to make the race truly challenging. Isaiah declined to use Vault, however, preferring to cast Lingering+Souls in order to prevent a Huntmaster flip. He had some life to burn, sitting on 16.
He took 5 when Nate attacked, and Nate boosted himself up 3. Considering his options, Nate passed and flipped his Huntmaster to kill a token—meaning he’d missed out on some Kessig damage, and certainly should’ve sent in his Llanowar+Elves at least. Now Isaiah Vaulted, then declined to flashback Lingering+Souls with a card still in his hand—Doom+Blade, perhaps? Nate entered combat, sending everyone. He again declined to Wolf Run, going to 7 life.
Huntmaster+of+the+Fells put him to 9, then Llanowar+Elves to flip his other Huntmaster made that 11—exactly enough to survive! Unfortunately for Nate, Isaiah attacked him to 1, then cast Day+of+Judgment and flashbacked Lingering+Souls.
Nate drew, and conceded.
Nate 1, Isaiah 1
On the play once more, Nate hoped to replicate his game 2 start. Forest but no mana dork, while Isaiah had Evolving+Wilds for Island. Rootbound+Crag got Nate’s aggro started with Strangleroot+Geist, and Isaiah had the age-old issue of the recurring threat to deal with. He played Drowned+Catacomb and tapped out for Torpor+Orb, but Nate continued to jam men with Daybreak+Ranger.
Ratchet+Bomb from Isaiah was incentive not to flip—he Zenithed for another Geist and sent in 6 damage. Isaiah passed his turn after playing a land in order to Bomb the Ranger, but Nate’s Geists were still a problem—he swing for 4 more damage, leaving Isaiah on 6. Forbidden+Alchemy binned Day and Doom+Blade, then Isaiah cast Tamiyo%2C+the+Moon+Sage to tap a Geist.
Dropping Isaiah to 4, Nate passed the turn. Isaiah negged Tamiyo to draw two cards, searching for some help. Lingering+Souls gave him the blockers he required, and flashbacking it gave him four more... but Bonfire+of+the+Damned from his hand for two sealed the game in Nate’s favor.
Nate 2, Isaiah 1