Semifinals: Alex Olson vs. David Thomas
After a Stoneblade mirror in the quarterfinals, David faced a very different foe in the semifinals: Alex Olson’s Lands deck. In this case, “different” meant terrifying—a deck filled with Snapcaster+Mages for Swords+to+Plowshares wouldn’t be much use.
Alex has found himself well-positioned to mop up the Top 8.
On six cards and the play, David cast Inquisition+of+Kozilek off Scrubland to take one of two Explorations, spotting Wasteland, Tranquil+Thicket, Rishadan+Port, and Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. “I’m so dead,” David sighed. Just the Thicket from Alex, while David resolved Stoneforge+Mystic for Batterskull.
Alex played Exploration and Wasteland plus Tabernacle, tying up the Stoneforge+Mystic and David’s mana. He played Plains and attacked for 1 damage, then passed. Rishadan+Port had nothing to tap with Batterskull entering play in the upkeep, and a fetchland for Underground+Sea enabled David to Ponder.
He kept those three, including Jace and a fourth land, in place—he'd need a fifth to get past Port.
When Alex dredged into Maze+of+Ith, David conceded. “I don’t think I can win this match.”
Alex 1, David 0
David finds his chances in this match dismal.
Polluted+Delta for Underground+Sea gave David Thoughtseize to strip Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben while revealing two Mox+Diamonds, Tropical+Island, and three fetchlands. Just Tropical+Island for Alex, and David Brainstormed prior to using Thoughtseize on Mox+Diamond, leaving Engineered+Explosives alone.
Surgical+Extraction caught the other Mox+Diamond and revealed Alex drew Karakas. Searchign the deck, David spotted Dark+Confidants and Chalice+of+the+Voids now in Alex’s deck. He played Karakas on his own turn, and David dropped Stoneforge+Mystic for Batterskull into play, planning to start attacking soon.
Chalice+of+the+Void on one merited a reply from David—Spell+Pierce. An attack from Mishra’s Factory put Alex to 18, and he passed with two up. Tolaria+West from Alex transmuted for Maze+of+Ith, slowing David down. His next attack was for only 3 damage, the Germ getting lost in the Maze, and David passed the turn.
Thalia resolved for Alex off the top, but David had a fifth land to let him cast the most expensive Unsummon ever. Alex declined to recast Thalia, landing Exploration and a pair of fetchlands. When he fatesealed his own deck to see Surgical+Extraction, David attacked Alex to 9 and then flashbacked Surgical+Extraction on Life+from+the+Loam.
Alex had two Tolaria+West in his hand and an Engineered+Explosives, which he fetched to resolve for four and kill Jace. David got in 5 damage to leave Alex in a bind, and during the draw step Surgical Extractioned Engineered+Explosives to try and keep lethal on the board. Awkwardly, Alex only had one Explosives in his deck. “I can’t believe I did that,” David admitted.
Transmuting for another Maze, Alex was stable for now. David Stoneforged again to shuffle his deck, now only able to attack for 3 damage because he’d Extracted a currently irrelevant card instead of the Thalia that could block his lethal damage.
Instead, Alex fell to 1 and killed Mishra’s Factory. Again transmuting Tolaria+West, Alex needed another blocker to avoid death, and a third Maze+of+Ith did the trick. David passed the turn with no available plays, sandbagging a Snapcaster+Mage.
Another Tolaria+West for Alex found Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and because David had only four lands he could no longer sneak in lethal damage. He tapped out, needing to peel running lands to get his Snapcaster on the board—but then Alex allowed his Thalia to die to the Tabernacle, and was forced to play Dark+Confidant as a blocker.
David found another land, and Alex used Wasteland to put David back to tapping out every turn, but it was too late. David used the end step to Snapcaster+Mage and get through exactly lethal damage, as Dark+Confidant and three Mazes just weren’t enough.
Alex 1, David 1
Alex dredged into three lands, cast another Exploration... and David shrugged before conceding.
Alex 2, David 1