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's 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's 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's 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.
“Wow,” Nathan mumbled as he played his topdecked Diabolic Edict to move onto the finals.
Nathan Zamora wins the match 2-1