Semifinals: Ali Aintrazi vs. Richard Adams
Richard already took down one G/R Tron opponent on the way to the semifinals. Can he keep it up, or will Ali and his army of colorless Planeswalkers move on to the final?
Ali and Richard battle in the semifinals!
Ali, being the higher seed, has chosen to play first. Both players keep their opening seven, and our semifinals are underway!
Both players start with land-go, but Ali plays a Relic of Progenitus on his second turn while also having two of three Tron pieces. Richard casts Spreading Seas on Ali's Urza's Mine to try to keep him behind on man, so Ali simply casts a Oblivion Stone, letting Richard know that he can't overcommit to the board. So, in order to get some value, Richard casts a Silvergill Adept, revealing a Master of Waves, and draws his card, and passes the turn.
Ali starts his turn by casting an Expedition Map and cracking it for an Urza's Power Plant, threatening to assemble Tron at any moment. He plays the Power Plant, and passes the turn back to his opponent. Richard draws first blood by attacking Ali with Silvergill Adept and casting the revealed Master of Waves, creating three Elemental tokens. Ali simply plays a land and passes his turn, leaving up enough mana to pop his Oblivion Stone.
Which is exactly what he does when Richard moves to attackers. Ali still takes two damage from the Mutavault, and Richard has a Spreading Seas and a Cursecatcher post combat, further hindering Ali's plans. In order to catch up, Ali starts his turn with a Sylvan Scrying, fetching another Urza's Power Plant. After assembling the UrzaTron by playing said Urza's Power Plant, Ali casts Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and kills Richard's Cursecatcher with it.
Now facing down an Ugin, Richard goes into the tank for a little bit, but plays a Mutavault and casts a Master of Waves, creating two Elemental tokens. He then attacks Ali for three off from a different Mutavault, and passes back to Ali.
Ali decides it is time to drop the hammer, as he casts a Karn Liberated for his turn, exiling one Mutavault, and killing the Master of Waves with the Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Richard draws his cards, has a laugh, and then scoops up his cards to go to Game 2.
Ali wins Game 1, and leads 1-0!
After sideboarding, Richard will be on the play, looking to tempo Ali out before he can cast gigantic spells. Richard snap keeps his opening hand, but Ali has to throw back his seven for six cards instead. Richard has his preferred start of Turn 1 Aether Vial off a Mutavault, and Ali leads with a Turn 1 Expedition Map off of a Urza's Power Plant.
All Richard can muster is an attack for two with the Mutavault for his second turn, but Ali starts threatening Tron, as he plays an Urza's Tower and leaves up mana to crack his Map and grab the final piece. Not wanting this to happen, Richard starts his turn by casting Spreading Seas on Ali's freshly played Urza's Tower, and passing the turn. Ali takes the opportunity to fetch for a Grove of the Burnwillows with his Expedition Map.
Ali starts with a Chromatic Sphere that he cracks for green mana, followed by casting a Sylvan Scrying, getting an Urza's Mine. At the end of Ali's turn, Richard Vials in a Silvergill Adept, drawing a card, and getting ready to start applying pressure to Ali's life total. Which he does by casting a Master of Pearl Trident, followed by Vialing in a Master of the Pearl Trident, and activating and attacking with Mutavault, dealing eight damage to Ali in the process. But Ali calmly untaps, plays his Urza's Power Plant, and casts Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. He uses the Planeswalker to exile all but the Vial off of Richard's board. Confidently, Ali passes the turn.
But Richard plays his third Mutavault, a particularly tricky threat for Ali's deck to deal with. He then attacks for four with two Mutavaults, and says "go." Ali starts his turn by casting a Wurmcoil Engine, hoping it is enough. Richard tries to cast Vapor Snag on the Artifact Wurm, but Ali has a Nature's Claim in response, targeting his own Wurmcoil Engine, thus gaining a much needed four life and creating two blockers.
Richard starts his turn with a Monastery Siege, naming Khans, in order to try to catch back up by drawing more cards a turn. Ali draws his card for the turn, and then casts a Karn Liberated. After a judge call about Ali's lands, he plays an Urza's Mine, and then casts Karn Liberated, choosing to exile the card in Richard's hand. After a swing with the Lifelink Wurm token, Richard thinks for a moment, but ends up realizing that this battle is probably over, and he concedes, going to Game 3.
Ali wins Game 2, and leads the match, 2-0!
Richard Spreading Seas a Tron land!
Needing to put together three straight wins, Richard will be on the play. And both players will keep their opening grip, as Richard has Island into Aether Vial. Ali has a Grove of the Burnwillows, which he uses to make green mana and cast an Ancient Stirrings, netting an Urza's Tower.
Richard starts the beat-train early with a Lord of Atlantis, but Ali has a Pyroclasm to take care of it before the Lord of Atlantis gets out of hand. Richard has a Monastery Siege for his turn, naming Khans, meaning he will get to look at two cards every turn. For his turn, Ali has a Sylvan Scrying to find an Urza's Power Plant, which he immediately puts into play, followed by a pass of his turn.
Richard draws two cards for his turn, discarding an Island. He then slows down Ali's mana development by casting Spreading Seas on Ali's Power Plant. However, Ali starts with a Nature's Claim for the Spreading Seas, but Richard has a Swan Song to stop Ali from getting his Tron back online. So now Ali plays an Oblivion Stone and passes, his new Bird token ready to fight.
Richard discards a Monastery Siege to his Monastery Siege, and then plays a Merrow Rejereey and attacks with his Mutavault. Ali throws his Bird token that he got from the Swan Song under the Mutavault, and pops his Oblivion Stone to destroy all of Richard's board. Richard plays the last two cards from his hand – a Merrow Rejereey and a Sea's Claim, targeting Ali's Urza's Mine to cut him off of Tron.
But Ali just hardcasts Thragtusk the hardway, putting both players at twenty-five life. However, Richard has a very nice topdeck in the form of Lord of Atlantis, giving all his Merfolk Islandwalk. Thanks to the Sea's Claim on Ali's Mine, Richard's double Mutavault activation and attack does eleven unblockable damage. And all Ali can do is play an Oblivion Stone and pass back, hoping that Richard doesn't topdeck another Lord.
Richard makes the same attack as last turn, but simply passes the turn back with one card in hand. Ali just draws his card and passes the turn, leaving open O-Stone mana. Richard goes into the tank for his turn, finally coming out to play a Master of the Pearl Trident, which triggers his Merrow Rejeerey to tap down the Oblivion Stone. Ali pops the Oblivion Stone in response, clearing the board, but letting the Master of the Pearl Trident resolve. An attack by two Mutavaults means that it is for exactly lethal damage, and Richard is one step closer to clawing his way back.
Richard wins Game 3, but Ali still leads the match, 2-1!
With Ali on the play, he's hoping to assemble UrzaTron without being disrupted by his opponent. Unfortunately for Richard, he has to mulligan to five. And Ali starts with an Urza's Power Plant into a Chromatic Sphere. Richard has a Mutavault and a pass.
Ali wastes no time in trying to assemble Tron by cracking his Sphere and casting an Expedition Map, while also playing an Urza's Mine. However, Richard still has some fight left in him, as he casts Spreading Seas, targeting Ali's Power Plant. And boy, is he glad he did, because Ali plays an Urza's Tower, showing he would've had the natural Turn 3 Tron. A simple pass with Expedition Map at the ready is all Ali can do.
Ali summons Karn, Liberated to his side!
Richard has a Master of the Pearl Trident for his turn, but Ali has something much bigger. An Uzra's Power Plant into Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, killing the Master of the Pearl Trident. He also a plays a Ghost Quarter to threaten killing a Mutavault. Seeing that Ali fears the Mutavault, Richard activates one and casts a Phantasmal Image, copying the Mutavault!
But, as he tends not to do, Karn didn't care. Karn Liberated came down and exiled one Mutavault, and Ugin shot Richard. Seeing the end of the line, Richard graciously extended his hand in defeat, facing down too many Planeswalkers to overcome.
Ali wins Game 4, and wins the match, 3-1! Ali is into the Finals!