Semifinals: Brendan Goold vs. Michael Nixon
Brendan had just finished dispatching one Reanimator opponent in the quarterfinals, but could he take down the mirror back-to-back? Michael certainly hoped not!
Brendan's stuck in a series of mirrors.
Brendan started with Avacyn’s Pilgrim after taking 2 for a shockland, while Michael had the same start but with Arbor Elf. Brendan made a land and ended the turn, while Michael did the same, nodding as Brendan cast Grisly Salvage for Thragtusk, binning Restoration Angel. He lacked a strong turn 3, but Michael had one ready to go.
Garruk Relentless ate up the Pilgrim and left Brendan with nothing to do but Salvage. He cast Loxodon Smiter on his turn, but Garruk, the Veil-Cursed was up to the task of handling that guy with blockers. Acidic Slime kept Brendan strapped for mana on the following turn, and he had to pass with no attacks and no plays.
Michael used Garruk to turn his Wolf into Acidic Slime, keeping the land destruction coming as he added Gavony Township. That took Brendan off green mana entirely, although he had Sunpetal Grove to get it back. Michael attacked with both of his Acidic Slimes, getting in 4 damage, and followed by sacrificing one to Garruk for Restoration Angel.
Rather than use the Angel to ensure a flying defense for Garruk, Michael spent the front end of Unburial Rites on getting back his Acidic Slime. Brendon played yet another land and passed, the Angel now coming down to blast Brendan’s green source once again.
At this point it became pretty elementary—Brendan had no green mana, and Garruk found Craterhoof Behemoth to close out the game.
Michael Nixon's Slimes were more potent in the second game.
Michael 1, Brendan 0
Each player started with tapped shocklands in the second game, Brendan firing off a “Mulch Recall” for three lands as a Grisly Salvage went to the graveyard. He made no turn 3, which was a big whiff, but seemed to imply he had a Grisly Salvage. Michael did during the end step, grabbing Avacyn’s Pilgrim before untapping into Mulch.
He got one land, and played Avacyn’s Pilgrim—Brendan had Tragic Clip and his own Salvage for Slime. “That makes Deathrite Shaman a much better choice,” Michael noted, lamenting his Salvage. Arbor Elf for Brendan, and an end of the turn—Craterfhoof Behemoth looked on ominously from the graveyard.
Acidic Slime took down one of Michael’s lands, Michael leaning more heavily on his Deathrite Shaman for mana. He exiled Vault of the Archangel to give himself the necessary mana for Acidic Slime, taking out Brendan’s only Forest. That meant his Arbor Elf was turned off—he couldn’t cast his second Slime!
Passing, Brendan was open for business as Michael Restoration Angel’d his Acidic Slime to kill another land. Sunpetal Grove did not get Brendan to the very important four mana mark, and he lost his binned Behemoth to the Deathrite Shaman. Now came the big game—Angel of Serenity.
Michael exiled Arbor Elf and Slime from Brendan, then grabbed a dead Slime back from the graveyard. One more draw step and one more attack step was all it took to take care of this match for Michael.
Michael 2, Brendan 0