Semifinals: Alex Bertoncini vs. Elijah Herr
Elijah had just dispatched U/W/R Delver, but he’d need to go through the significantly more controlling Esper Deathblade deck in the semifinals.
Elijah had a fast start with Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull, while Alex began with Deathrite Shaman and then Brainstormed before fetching, casting two more Deathrite Shamans. Elijah had Flickerwisp on turn 3, providing him with a threat and allowing him to search through the deck for Umezawa’s Jitte by flickering the Mystic.
Alex Brainstormed again, casting Stoneforge Mystic to shuffle things up and search for Umezawa’s Jitte. Elijah landed his own Jitte and bashed in after equipping Flickerwisp, but Alex bought a reprieve from the equipment with Jace’s unsummon. Elijah attacked Jace after equipping his Mystic, threatening to gobble up a number of creatures on Alex’s side, and earned a chump block from one of Alex’s three Shamans—Elijah declined to pump, but could still kill it with a -1/-1 if he wanted to.
Casting Vial, Elijah’s follow-up Thalia merited Force of Will. Alex had a potential game-breaker on the next turn, Brainstorming into True-Name Nemesis, but Elijah thought Sword of Fire and Ice would have it beat—a sneaky Swords to Plowshares left him with no creatures on the board and open for business from a Jitte and equip on that Nemesis.
Alex 1, Elijah 0
Plains and pass from Elijah, while Alex opened once more on turn 1 Deathrite Shaman. Stoneforge Mystic from Elijah once again grabbed Sword of Fire and Ice, while Alex fetched his way into turn 2 True-Name Nemesis, choosing... Elijah. “That’s not good.”
Cavern of Souls on Flickerwisp repeated the Mystic search, this time for Batterskull, but Elijah was under pressure. Jace bounced back that Flickerwisp, but the Nemesis stayed on defense for now. Elijah cast a Jitte and passed, planning to forge in Sword of Fire and Ice during Alex’s end step.
Alex brainstormed and cast more Shamans, but he also had Vendilion Clique in response to that Mystic’s activation. Cycling away the Sword, Alex nodded as Batterskull joined the battlefield, still neutralized by the Nemesis completely. Thalia into Flickerwisp searched the Sword back up on Elijah’s side, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet. Alex brainstormed and passed turn, a host of Swords to Plowshares at the ready but not much else.
The Mystic tossed down the Sword, and Elijah put it on Batterskull before dropping Jitte onto Flickerwisp. Batterskull attacked Alex, while Flickerwisp sent at Jace. Fetching, Alex fell to 20 to reset the top of his deck before using Swords to Plowshares on Batterskull and Snapcaster Mage on the Swords to kill the Flickerwisp. Tapped out, Elijah ended the turn.
Jace bounced back Thalia and Alex Wastelanded the Port, with another Swords available to take down Stoneforge Mystic if it got any ideas. Turning everything but Nemesis sideways, Alex attacked Elijah to 21 and passed the turn. Just the Sword of Fire and Ice on the Mystic, but that was enough to earn Swords to Plowshares. Sighing, Elijah cast another Mystic and Thalia.
Alex’s Jace dug him to Stoneforge Mystic, which in turn found Umezawa’s Jitte to put Elijah in a very tight spot. Equipping it onto True-Name Nemesis, Alex attacked with his Nemesis and Clique before ending the turn, a Mystic and Deathrite Shaman in place against a potential Sword hit but Jitte around to make Elijah’s mana hurt.
Elijah moved to equip to Stoneforge Mystic, and Alex allowed it to happen. Jitte joined the party as well, and when Elijah attacked Alex blocked and used his own Jitte to kill Mystic, keeping Elijah’s blank for the time being. Flickerwisp reset Batterskull’s Germ, and Elijah ended the turn.
Alex attacked with his Clique and Nemesis once more, Elijah trading the Wisp and falling to 14 life. Jitte nabbed the Thalia, and Alex Brainstormed before fatesealing Elijah, leaving Phyrexian Revoker on top. The Revoker named Jitte, and when Elijah tried to move his Batterskull over to the Mystic Alex revealed Swords to Plowshares, earning a concession.
Alex 2, Elijah 0