Semifinals: Aaron Cook vs. Ben Stepka
Aaron tries to find a way to win facing down Elspeth and Jace.
Aaron kicked things off by scrying a card to the bottom with a Temple and Ben played an Island. Aaron followed up with a Forest and no turn-2 play, while Ben matched with another land. Aaron made his first play, a Fanatic of Xenagos – that Ben opted to not pay the tribute on. Aaron got in for four and passed the turn. Ben played another land and passed back. Aaron got in there for three more then followed it up with a Domri Rade that met a Dissolve from Ben. Ben untapped and dropped another land before shipping the turn. Aaron sent in the Fanatic again, but this time it got hit by an Azorius Charm. Aaron shrugged it off and played another Fanatic, this time Ben countered it with a Syncopate.
Ben played a Jace and immediately ticked it down and came away with a Detention Sphere and a land before passing. Aaron played the Fanatic again, this time Ben paid the tribute. Ben cashed in his Jace for a Mutavault, passing on two other lands, then landed a Detention Sphere on the Fanatic. Aaron, finally found a fourth land and tapped out for a Ghor-Clan Rampager. Ben had another D-Sphere for the 4/4 and passed the turn. Aaron resolved a Scavenging Ooze. Ben played another Jace and ticked it up, Aaron went to activate the Ooze at end of turn, but Ben responded with a Last Breath to exile the Ooze and Aaron went up to 25 to Ben’s 13. Aaron played his fifth land, but did not have another threat to cast before passing.
Ben used the -2 on Jace to get a Dissolve before shipping the turn after hitting another land drop. Even with five land, Aaron only could land a Sylvan Caryitad. Ben cast a Sphinx’s Revelation for six at end of turn and untapped with a hand full of options. Aaron went for a Domri, but Ben had the Dissolve. Ben used Jace again to net an Azorius Charm and passed with a ton of open mana. Aaron went for a Stormbreath Dragon, but Ben had another Dissolve for the hasty threat.
Ben cashed in his Jace to reveal an AEtherling and an Elspeth. Ben took the Elspeth, played it and pumped out three soldiers. All Aaron could muster was an Elvish Mystic before passing back. Ben deployed his third Jace, rolled it up, then sent the soldiers into the red zone. Ben made more soldiers and passed. All Aaron could respond with was a land before passing. Ben upped his Jace, sent in the soldiers to drop Aaron to 20, then made three more tokens.
Ben 1, Aaron 0
Both players kept seven and Aaron’s first play was a turn-2 Sylvan Caryatid. Aaron didn’t have anything to ramp into and Ben cycled an Azorius Charm then played a land and passed. Aaron played a Mistcutter Hyrdra for three, but Ben had the Celestial Flare for the pro-blue creature. Aaron’s next threat of Xenagos, the Reveler was exiled from a Syncopate. Ben, needing lands, used a Sphinx’s Revelation for one on his turn to find another land.
Aaron fired up another Mistcutter, this time for four, and got in there. Ben played a Supreme Verdict to clear the board and passed. Aaron took advantage of Ben only having one open mana and resolved a Xenagos, the Reveler and made a 2/2 and hit Ben down to 15. Ben had a Detention Sphere for the planeswalker and passed. Aaron dropped Ben to 13 with the satyr token, then resolved a Chandra, Pyromaster and used the zero ability, but bricked on a Ghor-Clan Rampager.
Ben dropped an Elspeth and made three tokens before passing. Aaron used Chandra’s zero to find a land for the turn then cast Ruric Thar, the Unbowed and passed with no attack. Ben used the -3 to kill the troublesome ogre warrior and passed. Aaron found a Fanatic of Xenagos off Chandra and played it. Ben opted to pay the tribute and Aaron sent the satyr at Elspeth. Ben put a token in front of the 2/2 and Aaron responded by bloodrushing a Ghor-Clan Ramapger on the satyr, but Ben responded with a timely Azorius Charm for the blowout. Ben untapped and made more soldier tokens then used a Detention Sphere on the Chandra before passing.
Aaron resolved a Stormbreath Dragon and killed Elspeth with the 4/4 flier. Ben sent in the soldier to knock Aaron to 16 then cleaned the board with a Supreme Verdict. Aaron attempted to rebuild with a 5/5 Mistcutter Hydra that knocked Ben to 8. Ben had no play, so Aaron played another dragon and sent the two creatures into the red zone. Ben fell to 4 and put a Mutavault in front of the hydra. Ben played an end of turn Sphinx’s Revelation to go back up to 7 life, untapped and played a land, then passed. Aaron went for a Xenagos, the Reveler, but Ben had a Dissolve. Aaron attacked with both of his threats again and dropped Ben to 3 after Ben threw another Mutavult under the hydra. Ben untapped and wiped the board again with another Supreme Verdict. It wasn’t enough as Aaron untapped and dropped another Stormbreath Dragon to force a third game.
Ben 1, Aaron 1
Ben goes to his sideboard for Game 3.
Ben, on the play for the first time in the match, kept his seven while Aaron went down to six. Ben led off with a Temple of Enlightenment, while Aaron’s first land was a Mutavault. Aaron played a Forest and sent his land in to drop Ben to 18. Ben passed for a third time with no play, and Aaron sent his land in again, but this time it got sent to the top of his library from an Azorius Charm. All Aaron could do was replay his Mutavault.
Aaron played another Forest and attacked with a 3/3 Mistcutter Hydra that Ben had a Celestial Flare for. After hitting his sixth land on time, Ben dropped an Elspeth and made three soldiers. Aaron found his red source on turn 6 and dropped an Arbor Colossus. Ben had a Detention Sphere for the Colossus and attacked for three and ended his turn after making three more soldiers.
Aaron sent his land at Elspeth, Ben put four soldiers in the way and Aaron bloodrushed a Ghor-Clan Ramapager to knock Elspeth to 3. Ben made more tokens and attacked for three more. Aaron played a Fanatic of Xenagos and Ben paid the tribute to keep it from having haste. Aaron resolved a Domri Rade and ticked it up, but bricked on the reveal. Ben revelated at end of turn to go up to 23 and refill his hand.
Ben untapped and sent five soldiers at Domri, one died to the Fanatic, but Ben got the planeswalker off the board, then made more soldiers to bring Elspeth up to five loyalty. Aaron sent the Fanatic and a Mutavault at Elspeth, but Ben traded off four soldiers and his own Mutavault to prevent any damage to Elspeth. Aaron tried for another Domri but it got Dissolved.
Ben untapped, knocked Aaron down to 10 and made more soldiers. Aaron ran out a Ghor-Clan Rampager and Ben went up to 29 off another revelation. Ben used a Detention Sphere on the 4/4, animated his two Mutavaults then attacked for the lethal.
Ben 2, Aaron 1