Semfinals: James Rynkiewicz vs. Jeremiah Rudolph
James Rynkiewicz acquired a Legacy Open Trophy four years ago, and he’s thirsty for trophy number two. Standing in his way in this semifinal was Jeremiah Rudolph, who had cruised through the swiss with his U/G Cloudpost deck.
Jeremiah contemplates a tough Liliana split.
Jeremiah led off with Tropical Island into Sensei’s Divining Top, and James had a turn 1 play of his own in the form of Deathrite Shaman. Jeremiah shut it down on his second turn, casting Pithing Needle and naming Deathrite Shaman. He played a glimmerpost, cast Expedition Map, and passed back. James could only attack for 1 and pass, and Jeremiah developed his mana further, playing a Cloudpost and casting Candelabra of Tawnos.
An end step Brainstorm and fetchland shuffle from James set up Lilliana of the Veil on his turn 3. He ticked her up, pitching Ancestral Visions and drawing an Island from Jeremiah’s hand. Jeremiah Mapped up a second Cloudpost, and made piles of colorless mana on his own turn, but could only cast another Sensei’s Divining Top and pass.
Lilliana ticked up again, getting rid of a Sensei’s Divining Top from Jeremiah, and James used Abrupt Decay on Jeremiah’s Candelabra of Tawnos before passing back. Jeremiah cast a Brainstorm, then played a Misty Rainforest and replayed two Sensei’s Divining Tops, passing the turn with an empty hand.
James began his next turn with a Brainstorm. He tucked Tarmogoyf on top of his library underneath a Shardless Agent, then pitched a land to Liliana of the Veil and passed. At his end step, Jeremiah did the Sensei’s Divining Top shuffle and then attempted a Repeal on the Liliana, which met a Force of Will from James. James was quick to ultimate the Liliana, and deliberated a moment before placing two Tropical Islands and a Cloudpost against Pithing Needle, Bojuka Bog, Cloudpost, and Glimmerpost. Jeremiah decided to keep the second pile.
Shardless Agent came off the top, and Tarmogoyf followed it right behind. James’s newfound army bashed Jeremiah down to 7. When made a lethal attack the next turn, Jeremiah showed him Moment’s Peace. The next attack drew it out of the graveyard, and Jeremiah put a stop to any attacks on his following turn when he put Glacial Chasm into play.
Jeremiah paid for the Glacial Chasm for two turns, but he couldn’t hold out any longer, and conceded the first game.
James Rynkiewicz 1, Jeremiah Rudolph 0
James shows Jeremiah his gameface.
Jeremiah opened up with a Sensei’s Divining Top, and James got on the board quickly with a turn 2 Tarmogoyf. Jeremiah continued to develop his mana, playing a Cloudpost and casting Expedition Map. James spun the wheel on his next turn, playing Shardless Agent and cascading into Deathrite Shaman, then swinging for 1 with his Tarmogoyf.
After some end step Brainstorm shenanigans, Jeremiah untapped and attempted a Show and Tell, but James said no with a Force of Will, pitching Shardless Agent. Jeremiah added Candelabra of Tawnos to his board before passing back. James Abrupt Decayed the Candelabra pre-combat, then attacked for 6, dropping Jeremiah to 14. He ended his turn, then used a second Abrupt Decay in Jeremiah’s upkeep, targeting Expedition Map.
Jeremiah didn’t take the bait—he let the Expedition Map go to the graveyard, then tapped out to cast Primeval Titan, fetching up Glacial Chasm and a second Cloudpost. James had a Thoughtseize on his own turn, getting rid of a Sensei’s Divining Top from Jeremiah’s hand and leaving him with a Moment’s Peace. He then cast a Shardless Agent, cascaded into a second Deathrite Shaman, and passed the turn.
Jeremiah: “I… I think I kill you this turn.”
A Primeval Titan attack kicked things off, fetching up Eye of Ugin and a third Cloudpost. He then played Candelabra of Tawnos, used it to untap his Eye of Ugin and three Cloudposts, bounced his Candelabra with Repeal, replayed it, then tapped his Cloudposts, untapped them, and tapped them again. The end result was 22 colorless mana, which was enough to fetch up Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and cast it.
James Rynkiewicz 1, Jeremiah Rudolph 1
Thoughtseize on turn 1 from James revealed Pithing Needle, Primeval Titan, Forest, Misty Rainforest, Eye of Ugin, and two Tropical Islands, and sniped the Pithing Needle. Both players simply played lands for their second turns, and James had the second play of the game as well, casting Liliana of the Veil and ticking up to draw some additional lands out of Jeremiah’s hand.
Jeremiah continued to have no play, and James ticked up Liliana a second time before casting a Tarmogoyf. Jeremiah drew, played an Island, and passed back, and the Liliana continued its dirty work. Jeremiah took three from the Tarmogoyf attack, then attempted a Repeal at James’s end step on the Liliana, but James contested with a Flusterstorm. Jeremiah could only play his fifth land and pass.
After taking some time to consider ticking up to 7, James decided to ultimate the Liliana, knocking out two Tropical Islands and leaving Jeremiah with two Tropical Islands and a basic Island in play. The Tarmogoyf, grown to 5/6, attacked Jeremiah down to 11. Jeremiah played a Sensei’s Divining Top, gave it a spin, and passed, and the Tarmogoyf attacked him down to 5.
Jeremiah simply spun the Top again and passed back to James, who drew and cast a Shardless Agent, cascading into Ancestral Visions. This prompted a sequence of deck manipulation from Jeremiah, who first drew a card from Sensei’s Divining Top, then fetched up a Glimmerpost with Crop Rotation. The Ancestral Visions resolved, and James Abrupt Decayed his own Shardless Agent to put a creature into the graveyard, growing Tarmogoyf to 6/7 and then swinging with it, dropping Jeremiah to 1.
He didn’t stay at 1 for long, though, as he played a Glimmerpost, going back up to 4, then cast Primeval Titan, retrieving a second Cloudpost and a Glacial Chasm. James drew his card, Brainstormed, then cast Liliana of the Veil, ticking it down to get rid of the Primeval Titan. Jeremiah paid 2 life, falling to 2, to keep his Glacial Chasm, then cat Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, drawing a fresh four cards.
A Hymn to Tourach in conjunction with Liliana threatened to clear out Jeremiah’s hand, so he responded by Crop Rotationing for a Glimmerpost, going to 7. James went for the throat with a second copy of Liliana, clearing away the Kozilek and attacking him to 1. James peeked at his top card, and extended the hand.
James Rynkiewicz 2, Jeremiah Rudolph 1