Round 9: Todd Anderson vs. Richard Killiam
After a win two weekends ago, it wasn't much of a surprise to see Todd slugging at the top tables of the Standard Open. What was surprising was his switch from Delver-Blade to Mono-Green Aggro! He faced a bad matchup this round, but Todd's tiebreakers were far from a lock with a draw. Richard was in with a draw or a win, but Todd had to clinch the victory.
Richard's Tempered Steel deck faces a good pairing in Mono-Green Aggro.
Taking the play, Todd quickly kept his seven while Richard did the same. Starting with Llanowar Elf, Todd was quick to the board. Richard played Razorverge Thicket and Vault Skirge to start the game, and Todd attacked with Strangleroot Geist on turn 2, putting Richard to 17. Memnite, Mox Opal, Tempered Steel quickly reversed Todd's board position and life totals.
Casting Thrun, the Last Troll, Todd passed the turn back. He fell to 14 as Vault Skirge swung, and Etched Champion made Todd's life even more difficult. Paying 2 life, Todd cast Phyrexian Metamorph to copy Strangleroot Geist, ending his turn. Richard dropped Memnite and then Gavony Township, activating the latter and attacking for 9 damage—Todd was in dire shape.
He drew, and picked up his cards.
Richard 1, Todd 0
Todd kept, starting Forest and Birds of Paradise on turn 1. Two Memnites and a Razorverge Thicket started the game for Richard, followed by Glint Hawk, but Todd got both Memnites with Ratchet Bomb on the second turn, missing his land drop. “Jeez,” Richard groaned, attacking for 2 and playing Inkmoth Nexus.
Still landless, Todd played another Birds of Paradise and passed. Richard played a second Thicket and Tempered Steel, followed by Memnite. Todd cast Ratchet Bomb and Llanowar Elf, ending the turn. Glint Hawk Idol for Richard gave him an evasive threat, and when he tried to Dispatch Llanowar Elf, Todd protected it by popping Ratchet Bomb to kill Memnite, depriving Richard of metalcraft.
Todd drew Forest, but he wasn't out of the woods yet. Facing 6 damage in the air, he needed an answer to Steel soon. He cast Garruk, Primal Hunter, likely hoping to draw some fire and gain a Beast in the process. Richard cast Etched Champion to activate Glint Hawk Idol and swung his Idol at Garruk and dropped Todd to 12 with the Hawk.
Drawing Naturalize, Todd was suddenly back in the game. He passed, his hand full of four-drops he couldn't cast. Richard turned on Nexus and Idol, swinging with everything, and Todd cast Naturalize on the Glint Hawk Idol, blocking the 4/4 Etched Champion with his Beast and a Llanowar Elf. Tilting, Richard declared an assignment of lethal damage exclusively to the Elf, which Todd didn't mind obliging.
On 10 life and 3 poison, Todd attacked for 3 damage and dropped Garruk, Primal Hunter as Harmonize to draw three cards, whiffing on land. Richard activated Inkmoth Nexus and swung, putting Todd to 8 life and 6 poison before casting Glint Hawk Idol. Dropping Dungrove Elder, Llanowar Elf, and Birds of paradise, Todd passed the turn.
Richard attacked with his Idol, Hawk, and Nexus, forcing Todd to chump block the Idol and keep hoping to hit the land he needed Green Sun's Zenith for Acidic Slime, or the Slime itself—a paltry twenty-two outs he'd missed for a few turns. He got there, dropping his fourth Forest. Acidic Slime destroyed Glint Hawk Idol, Todd planning to bump with a Birds on Nexus after attacking for 7 to put Richard on 10 life. Richard drew, attacked with just Glint Hawk, and cast Tempered Steel.
Todd's hoping for his second Standard Open trophy in a row.
Drawing his fifth Forest, Todd made Dungrove a 5/5 to match Nexus and sent both Acidic Slime and the Dungrove into combat, with the Beast token and Llanowar Elf joining following some thought. Richard went to 2 life, and Todd cast Thrun, the Last Troll.
One more card, and they were off to the decider.
Richard 1, Todd 1
Mulliganing to start the second game, Richard offered Todd the draw one more time, but Todd wasn't confident enough in his tiebreakers to take it. Starting with Plains and Mox Opal, Richard cast Glint Hawk and passed the turn. Todd had Forest, pass on his own turn, while Richard attacked for 2 damage and cast two Signal pests. Todd just played turn 2 Ratchet Bomb.
Richard attacked for 6 damage and then cast Glint Hawk idol and Memnite, hoping to remain aggressive after he lost three permanents. Todd destroyed those and played Strangleroot Geist, passing. Richard attacked Todd to 10 with Glint Hawk Idol and played a new Glint Hawk, passing.
Todd went to four lands, tanking over his play. He attacked for 2 and cast Thrun, the Last troll. Richard swung back for 4 damage, putting Todd on 6 life, and played a land—he was one mana from Gavony Township.
Swinging for 6 damage, Todd used Acidic Slime to kill Glint Hawk Idol. He went to 4 from Glint Hawk, Memnite still sitting back, and Richard passed the turn. Attacking with everything, Todd reduced Richard to 4 life. He cast Birds of Paradise and then Green Sun's Zenith for three, putting Dungrove Elder into play as a hexproof blocker, staving off lethal.
Richard had his fifth mana to turn on Township, but he could not get through. Todd's play had kept Richard's Dispatch from doing anything, and he scooped up his cards.
Richard 1, Todd 2