Semifinals: Alex Marth vs. Chris Andersen
Can Alex master the lighting again?
Chris led with a Swamp and a pass, while Alex led with Nimble Mongoose off of Tropical Island. Chris used turn two to use a fetchland to get basic Island (the best play in Legacy; its Wasteland-proof!) and cast Chalice of the Void for one, which, if it resolved, would be backbreaking. Alex attempted to Force, but Chris also had Force and the Mirrodin equipment resolved. Alex played a land and attacked for one, and could do no further. Chris followed up on turn three with Talisman of Dominance for one and Engineered Explosives, which was met by Force of Will… just in time.
Alex used Wasteland to take out Chris’ Underground Sea, then cast Tarmogoyf. As one of the few ways to win and one of the non-one mana spells left in his deck, it was quite powerful. Jace, the Mind Sculptor might be slightly more powerful here though, as the Worldwake planeswalker entered play and used his Unsummon mode to bounce the ‘Goyf. Mongoose took out half of Jace’s Loyalty total to try to keep it under wraps, and Tarmogoyf rejoined the fray to threaten it further. Chris untapped and, sensing that death might be imminent for Jace, used Brainstorm… but Ensnaring Bridge came off the top of Chris’ library instead, so Jace got to stay alive.
Now under full Chalice-on-One and Ensnaring Bridge lock, Chris spent the next several turns +2ing Jace, gaining a few life off of Thopter Foundry, drawing some cards here and there with Thirst for Knowledge and Baleful Strix, Transmute Artifact for Sword of the Meek to get the second piece of the combo (with Foundry), and eventually winning the game with an army of 1/1 flying Thopters cleverly disguised as Penguins.
Chris' Thopters are ready!!
Alex, on the play for Game 2, elected to mulligan while Chris, in the words of one of our commentators this weekend Adam Prosak, ‘snap’ kept his seven. After keeping six, Alex led with Ponder off Tropical Island. Chris’ turn one was more exciting: Chalice of the Void off Ancient Tomb. Chalice resolved.
Now, Chalice for 75% of your deck would slow down most RUG Delver players, possibly cause them to scoop. But Alex soldiered on. After making Alex’s land drop and passing, Chris began his turn and cast Baleful Strix. Wasteland kept Ancient Tomb from doing too much more damage (to the mana pool and Chris’ life total), and Alex’s 1-of Ancient Grudge took down the Chalice of the Void. This allowed Delver of Secrets to enter the battlefield, and it flipped on Alex’s next upkeep. The Lightning Bolt it revealed was even able to clear the Baleful Strix out of the way. Engineered Explosives for zero was targeted by Force of Will for counterspell, so the Insectile Aberration could continue to remain in play.
Then Chris cast Chalice for one. Again.
Academy Ruins also came down for Chris, now able to remove the zero-cost creature at will. Grudge destroyed the Chalice, but Engineered Explosives for zero also came down. Alex cast an end of turn Brainstorm, and Chris used the opportunity to destroy the Delver before Stifle could ruin the fun. Alex had Nimble Mongoose and Ponder, but that was all. Engineered Explosives kept destroying the relevant pressure from Alex, and even the last second Wasteland to take it out was all Chris could do… and Alex topdecked Nimble Mongoose… and Chris topdecked Perish.
Wow. Quite the little exchange there!
The players played draw-go for a bit, playing the occasional land, before the next relevant play: fetch (Chris to 3 life) and then cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Double Spell Pierce dropped Chris to 1 (because he paid with Ancient Tomb. Tarmogoyf came down a few turns later, but Damnation took quick care of that. Topdeck war once more, this time won by Chris who landed Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. Tezz used +1 to dig up Baleful Strix and go to four Loyalty.
“Don’t Bolt me bro!”
“Your fate is in your hands,” as Alex presented his deck. And off the top came…
Not good enough.
Chris cast Baleful Strix and Sword of the Meek, then ultimate Tezzeret. Krosan Grip in response meant it was only for four, but that was good enough to get out of Bolt range. With Chris at 5 and Alex at 12, Delver of Secrets was the next play. Chris found Jace, the Mind Sculptor and used Unsummon to bounce the Delver. He also added Nihil Spellbomb, and Alex could only redraw and cast the Delver. Thirst for Knowledge threatened to put the match further in Chris’ pocket, as he found Transmute Artifact to go find Thopter Foundry. He used Thopter Foundry twice with Ancient Tomb, and both of his Swords of the Meek entered the battlefield as 2/3s thanks to the equipment.
Alex’s deck rewarded him with yet another land, and now Chris put the game out of reach. +2 from Jace. Activate Foundry five times. Attack for four. Nimble Mongoose couldn’t stop the 1/1 flying team, and Alex wished Chris luck in the finals.
Chris 2, Alex 0.