Semifinals: Beaux Bruggman vs. Vishaal Desai
A mulligan led to a brutally slow start for Vishaal despite having multiple pieces of his early game in place. Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise and Faithless Looting led to an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite in the graveyard, but nothing else of note going on as he looked for a way around Beaux's Esper-colored defenses.
Vishaal Desai calculates his options in the semifinals.
Curse of Death's Hold wiped away the mana-producers and Consecrated Sphinx put the screws to an already-struggling Vishaal, taking away any Lingering Souls that weren't powered up by Elesh Norn. Not that the lady would last very long against Beaux's stack of spot removal. Still fighting, Vishaal used Mulch to grab a land and put an Unburial Rites into the bin for future use, his only target so far being the Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.
Meanwhile, Beaux's Consecrated Sphinx had his hand overflowing with goodies and cutting Vishaal's clock down in large chunks. Another infusion of cards came when Vishaal dug with Faithless Looting, leading to Lingering Souls and an emblem from Sorin, Lord of Innistrad. Vishaal fell to three and nodded when Beaux flashed trio of Mana Leaks, resolving himself to win the next two.
Beaux 1, Vishaal 0
Another mulligan gave Vishaal another unimpressive start with his first play being Tracker's Instincts for a Strangleroot Geist that was subsequently Mana Leaked. Getting a read on Vishaal's body language, Beaux took a risky line with Liliana of the Veil, making both players discard a card. It proved to be safe as a land hit the bin on each side.
Beaux declined to Mana Leak Lingering Souls, further mucking up the board for Liliana of the Veil and Beaux declined to use her at all on his turn, instead going for Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, making a token and letting Wurmcoil Engine resolve. The board spiraled into a cluttered mess off creatures and planeswalkers as Lingering Souls, Gideon Jura and Thrun, the Last Troll joined the fray. Sorin's vampires were on security duty, working overtime to protect all three of his master's planeswalkers.
Beaux Bruggman gives the board a stare.
Curse of Death's Hold cleaned things up a little, leaving the board Wurmcoil Engine and Thrun, the Last Troll against vampire token, spirit token, Giden Jura with 10 loyalty, Sorin, Lord of Innistrad with seven loyalty Liliana of the Veil on four loyalty after getting both players hellbent with discards of Snapcaster Mage and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.
The tokens got in the way of the beefcakes and Vishaal looked to refill with Tracker's Instincts and Faithless Looting, but a massive turn from Beaux tightened the noose. Gideon Jura assassinated the Wurmcoil Engine and Sorin blew up the resulting tokens with his ultimate, leaving Thrun, the Last Troll alone to get eaten by Liliana of the Veil and clearing Vishaal's side of the board completely.
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite was brought back by Unburial Rites, but she was quickly taken care of by Liliana of the Veil, allowing Gideon to rumble in. A vampire token joined the team and the pair crashed in again, knocking Vishaal's life total down to 7 in a hurry. Beaux had Day of Judgment in his hand against a hellbent Vishaal, and he nodded as a topdecked Ray of Revelation wiped away Curse of Death's Hold and opened a floodgate for the pair of Lingering Souls in Vishaal's graveyard. Four tokens filled the board until the Day of Judgment scattered them.
Beaux Bruggman wins 2-0