Semifinals: Carson Long vs. Nathan Zamora
Nathan jumped out to a mana advantage with Mox+Diamond and Grove+of+the+Burnwillows, but Wasteland from Carson brought him back to earth, and a Chalice+of+the+Void on two slowed his already somewhat clunky draw down even further.
Ancient+Tomb and City+of+Traitors combined to get Crucible of Worlds online while Nathan started a game of draw-go with Seismic+Assault. Wastelands started working on Nathan's mana, soon leaving him with just a Mox Diamond to play with.
Carson Long ponders his options.
It didn't seem to matter to Nathan, who was all-in on trying to deal 20 the hard way with Seismic+Assault. Chalice had him locked out from most of his best spells anyway. Carson taxed Nathan's plan with a couple of Metalworkers, forcing a couple of lands from Nathan's hand, and when Lodestone Golem joined Carson's team it was good enough for Nathan.
Carson 1, Nathan 0
Nathan needed to dig in to win the next two games, and a first turn Metalworker was an ugly sight. He cycled Forgotten+Cave on end step and rebought it with Life+from+the+Loam, but that let Metalworker get online for a whopping eight mana. Smokestack and a second Metalworker put the clamps on Nathan's game, forcing him to play draw-go and hoping that the Metalworkers wouldn't put him in too much danger before Carson had to break the Smokestack.
He got a few turns, taking just four damage from Metalworker beatdowns before using Mox+Diamond pick off one of the robots. The remaining Metalworker powered out Tangle+Wire to keep Nathan off any plans of recovery and forcing him back to the draw-go plan to counter Smokestack. Relic of Progenitus also wiped out the graveyards so Nathan would have to work a bit harder to come back.
Nathan Zamora getting ready to race to the finals with Aggro Loam.
When Carson played the last of his hand out, leaving himself with Mishra%27s+Factory, Metalworker, and Smokestack with a counter on it, it seemed like Nathan had weathered the worst of a storm that hadn't turned out too badly, all considered. He was down to 11 before Smokestack finally exited stage left, and down to 6 before he could start punishing Carson's team with Punishing+Fire. He was left with just three life against Metalworker, City of Traitors and Mishra%27s+Factory, but Tarmogoyf made a great first creature against Carson's depleted board.
Crucible+of+Worlds looked to keep the pressure on with a never-ending stream of Mishra%27s+Factory, but Maelstrom+Pulse took care of that and now it was up to Carson to find a way to get the last few points in. He tried his hardest, knocking Nathan down to 2 with an alpha strike, but was left with just a Metalworker after a block and Wasteland. Punishing+Fire crushed the lone survivor and Tarmogoyf started taking five-point chunks out of Carson's life total. Once the Punishing Fire-Grove of the Burnwillows combination came online for Nathan, Carson was ready to move to a winner-takes-all game three.
Carson 1, Nathan 1
Nathan matched Carson's dangerous early lands with Wastelands, keeping him from developing out of control, but Relic+of+Progenitus loomed large, reminding Nathan not to get too crazy. Nathan's Tarmogoyf forced Carson to pop the artifact before he loaded up Grim+Monolith off of Mishra's Factory.
Nathan worked to recharge his Tarmogoyf, firing off a fetchland and cycling a Barren+Moor and Nihil+Spellbomb. Carson couldn't capitalize on his mana and was forced to pass the turn, losing his Mishra's Factory to Punishing+Fire when he tried to block a 2/3 Tarmogoyf. A second Tarmogoyf joined Nathan's team and he looked ready to put the game away. Lodestone+Golem did its best to hold the game in neutral, but Carson declined to block the Tarmogoyfs, nodding as a 5/5 Terravore put lethal damage on the board.
â€œWow,â€ Nathan mumbled as he played his topdecked Diabolic Edict to move onto the finals.
Nathan Zamora wins the match 2-1