Semifinals: Carl Dillahay vs Kai Burnett
Carl Dillahay has been playing M13’s newest addition to the Delver of Secrets deck, Talrand, Sky Summoner, to astounding results. Kai Burnett has Bant Pod with all the trimmings, including singleton Deadeye Navigator, Stonehorn Dignitary, and Frost Titan. Who would reign supreme in this matchup of spicy metagame calls?
Carl was the number one overall seed and took the play. Carl kept his seven card hand, but Kai had to mulligan to six before he found an acceptable grip. Carl led with Seachrome Coast and passed. Kai led with Avacyn’s Pilgrim, to which Carl responded with Thought Scour then cast Gut Shot on Pilgrim. Carl layed a second land and passed. Kais second turn was a Pird of Paradise, which carl cast Vapor Snag. He laid a third land and passed.
Kai paid 2 life for a Birthing Pod on an empty board. Carl tapped out on his turn as well for the Drakemaker himself Talrand, Sky Summoner. After Carl passed, Kai played Bird of Paradise and activated Birthing Pod, searching out a Phantasmal Image to legend rule Carl’s Talrand and send both creatures to the bin. Kai did not have a fourth land, and passed. Carl played land number five on his turn and passed. Kai found his fourth land but had no further play. Carl played another Tarland on the following turn, threatening a huge board presence if Kai couldn’t find yet another answer.
Kai attempted a Restoration Angel, but Carl has the Mana Leak. Kai could only muster a second Birthing Pod before passing. At end of turn Carl made a Drake by Gut Shotting Kai. He attacked for four on his turn, then passed with six mana available. Kai laid a Bird of Paradise on his turn and thought about how to proceed. He decided to activate Birthing Pod to search out another Image to kill Talrand. On Carl’s turn he attacked for 2 with his Drake and ended his turn with no further fanfare. On Kai’s turn he attempted Borderland Ranger, but Snapcaster Mage from Carl’s hand and Mana Leak from his graveyard were enough to deal with that.
Carl attacked Kai down to 6 on his next turn, then played another Phantasmal Image of his own copying Snapcaster Mage and cast Thought Scour. He Gitaxian Probed Kai, who revealed a hand of Thragtusk, a third Pod and Acidic Slime with only four lands available. Awkward. Unable to find a land for his five drops or a creature for his pod, he scooped up his cards and they headed for sideboarding.
Carl 1, Kai 0.
The players sideboarded in silence. Despite a top four split, they were very serious and stoic heading into the next game.
Carl once again kept his opener, and Kai this time did the same. Kai led with Avacyn’s Pilgrim. Carl Gut Shot on Pilgrim and played Delver on his turn. Kai untapped and cast Ratchet Bomb on his next turn, a decent answer to a flipped Delver. Carl untapped, played basic Island number two and attacked for one and passed. Kai missed his third land drop, and simply passed right back. Carl attacked again, putting Kai to 18, the cast Augur of Bolas, picking a Gut Shot for his deck, and played his third land, a Seachrome Coast, before passing.
Kai found Elvish Visionary on the top of his deck, which he resolved, but still did not find land so passed to Carl. Carl, choosing not to flip Delver (or maybe just not being able to), cast Gut Shot on the Visionary and attacked Kai for two before playing Moorland Haunt and casting a Sword of Feast and Famine. Kai added a counter to Ratchet Bomb now, hoping to now answer Sword instead of a 0-mana Insectile Aberration. He finally found his third land, a Gavony Township, and was able to play Blade Splicer. Carl returned the Golem to kais hand with a sideboard Steel Sabotage, and when he untapped he found Gut Shot on top to flip Delver. He used the Gut Shot to kill the 1/1 human artificer, and then he put the Sword on Augur of Bolas, and dropped Kai to 10 (Kai discarded Birthing Pod). Kai added a counter to Ratchet Bomb before untapping.
Kai now laid his fourth land, a not-so-timely Seachrome Coast that came into play tapped. He tapped out for Borderland Ranger, which resolved, and searched out Forest from his library. On Carl’s turn, he played a basic Island, land number five, and reeqipped the Sword to the Insect to avoid getting mid-combat Ratchet Bombed, attacked and dropped Kai to five. Kai attempted to put a third counter on Ratchet Bomb at end of turn, but Snapcaster Mage cast Steel Sabotage to put an end to that line of play. On Kai’s turn his cast Stonehorn Dignitary to stem the bleeding. Carl played Talrand, Sky Summoner and passed without the ability to attack. Kai, now with only a Borderland Ranger and a Stonehorn Dignitary facing down a blue army, had a tough road ahead, but played Restoration Angel and blinked the Rhino Monk to make Carl skip a second attack step. Carl cast Snapcaster Mage and recast Thought Scour. He also cast Ponder and made another Drake and, now with two, and passed back. Kai, with five untapped mana for the first time this match, attempted to play Ratchet Bomb but Carl found the second Steel Sabotage to counter it!
Another drake also came from the void to fight for carl to add injury to insult. Kai had to cast Phyrexian Metamorph copying Restoration Angel which blinked the Dignitary yet again to make Carl skip another attack step. Carl just untapped and passed. On his next turn, Kai attempted Thragtusk. Now with a decent army himself, the game looked like it was turning a corner, but Carl still had a big bad blade for Kai to try to deal with before he could think about winning this game. Kai went to 10 from the Beast’s come onto the battlefield ability, and passed.
Carl laid a Delver of Secrets before entering his Sword-wielding Insectile Aberration into the red zone. Kai double blocked with his two Angels, and one of the Angels died along with the Delver. He reeqpipped the sword to a drake and passed. Kai drew for his turn and… “Oh wow! Um… that card is terrible.” Kai thought for a moment and passed. Carl attempted an end of turn Vapor Snag on Kai’s remaining Restoration Angel, which resolved and put Kai to 9 and left Kai with no fliers. With an air force of decent size, Carl swung in and with that attack took the match.
Carl 2, Kai 0.