Semifinals: Casey Pordes vs. Caleb Scherer
As the higher seed, Casey chooses to be on the play. Both players keep their opening seven and the semifinal action begins!
Casey starts off with a Swamp and a pass, while Caleb has a Flooded Strand and pass. The first play of the semifinals happens on Turn 2, with Casey playing a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Caleb matches him by playing a second turn Snapping Gnarlid, looking to press the action.
A Zulaport Cuthroat and a Sidisi's Faithful are the plays for Casey's third turn, sacrificing the Sidisi's Faithful to bounce Caleb's Snapping Gnarlid and drain Caleb for one life. A pass of the turn by Casey leads to Caleb playing a Turn 3 Anafenza, the Foremost, a powerful creature against Casey's graveyard strategy. A Nantuko Husk and a pass by Casey, and it looks like this game is setting in for the long run.
Caleb starts his turn with an attack with Anafenza, the Foremost. A block and a loot with the Jace by Casey leads to a response of a Murderous Cut targeting the Jace. Casey sacrifices Jace to his Nantuko Husk, meaning it is exiled instead of placed in the graveyard, thanks to the Anafenza. Caleb replays his Snapping Gnarlid and passes to Casey.
Casey starts to play out his hand on his turn, playing a Catacomb Sifter and a Sidisi's Faithful, sacrificing the Eldrazi Scion token to bounce Anafenza, the Foremost back into Caleb's hand. A sacrifice of the Sidisi's Faithful to Nantuko Husk allows Casey to do a good amount of damage to Caleb, and he passes the turn. Caleb redeploys his Anafenza, the Foremost and passes.
A Rally the Ancestors for one brings back two Sidisi's Faithful, both of which sacrifice to their own Exploit triggers to bounce both the Snapping Gnarlid and the Anafenza, the Foremost back into Caleb's hand. An attack puts Caleb at four life, and Casey passes back.
Casey wins Game 1 and leads the match, 1-0!
Casey Pordes looks to Rally for a win!
Both players decide to mulligan for the first game after sideboards. Caleb mulligans to six, puts his scry to the bottom. Casey mulligans to five, and keeps his scry on the top.
Both players lead with tapped lands for Turn 1, but Caleb starts off with a face-up Den Protector for his second turn. Casey also has a second turn play in Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. An attack for two by the Den Protector is followed by a Pitiless Horde, signifying that Caleb is ready to put the pressure on this game.
Casey draws for his turn and thinks for a bit before deciding to loot with Jace, discarding a Nantuko Husk. He then plays just a Windswept Heath and passes. After losing two life to the Pitiless Horde on his upkeep, Caleb attacks for seven, putting Casey to ten life. A Duress reveals a hand of Murderous Cut, Catacomb Sifter, Flooded Strand, and Rally the Ancestors, which Caleb takes the Murderous Cut from. He then casts a second face-up Den Protector, and passes the turn.
Flooded Strand fetches for a Sunken Hollow to start Casey's turn, followed by a Jace loot, discarding a Polluted Delta. This transforms the Jace, but before using the Jace, Casey casts a Catacomb Sifter and a Sidisi's Faithful, bouncing the Pitiless Horde back to Caleb's hand via the Sidisi's Faithful exploit trigger. A +1 activation of the Jace, Telepath Unbound on a Den Protector, and a pass of the turn by Casey.
Caleb fetches for a Smoldering Marsh and dashes the Pitiless Horde into play, attacking Casey. Both the Catacomb Sifter and the Eldrazi Scion token jump in front of the Pitiless Horde to trade with it, and Caleb passes his turn back to his opponent, who simply plays a Grim Haruspex and passes the turn. Another dashed in Pitiless Horde is followed by another trade, this time with the freshly played Grim Haruspex, and Caleb plays a Shambling Vent and passes.
"Draw-Go" from Casey leads Caleb to go for the kill by animating the Shambling Vent and attack, but Casey drew a Murderous Cut to kill the creature land. Caleb has another Shambling Vent to play and a pass. A land for Casey means he can now Rally the Ancestors for three, getting back a Catacomb Sifter, a Grim Haruspex, a Sidisi's Faithful, and Nantuko Husk. After all the triggers are done resolving, Casey has an Eldrazi Scion token in play, a Jace with several counters on it, and many cards in hand.
Caleb ties the match by winning Game 2!
Both players keep their opening seven, and after trading land drops, the first play of the match belongs to Casey, as he plays a Turn 3 Vryn's Prodigy, but misses his third land drop. Caleb decides to Silkwrap the Jace, and play a Shambling Vent.
A Catacomb Sifter brings along an Eldrazi Scion token for Casey on his fourth turn, after hitting his third land drop. Caleb plays an Anafenza, the Foremost, but it destoryed by a Murderous Cut from Casey. An attack for three, and it is Caleb's turn.
A Murderous Cut for the Eldrazi Scion token by Caleb is followed with a Siege Rhino. But the Siege Rhino travels back to Caleb's hand, thanks to a Sidisi's Faithful. Casey has another Jace, Vryns Prodigy to add to the table, and another attack for two by the Catacomb Sifter, and a pass of the turn.
Siege Rhino is redeployed by Caleb, along with a Shambling Vent. Casey starts his turn with a Jace loot, discarding Nantuko Husk, and then another Murderous Cut for the Siege Rhino. Catacomb Sifter gets in there again, and Casey passes to Caleb. A Plains and an attack for two, thanks to an animated Shambling Vent is all Caleb has for his turn.
Catacomb Sifter continues the beatdown, and a Grim Haruspex joins the ranks for Casey. Caleb attacks with a Shambling Vent again, but this time it is blocked by Jace, who taps to loot, but then transforms into Jace, Telepath Unbound. Caleb plays a Warden of the First Tree and passes.
A Murderous Cut is flashedback by Jace to kill the Warden, and after an attack for five with a Catacomb Sifter and Grim Haruspex, Casey plays a second Catacomb Sifter and passes. Caleb draws his card and concedes.
Casey wins Game 3 and leads the match, 2-1!
Caleb Scherer searches for the right play!
An attack with Warden by Caleb is followed by a second Warden of the First Tree and a Shambling Vent, with Caleb putting the pressure on early in this game. To stem the bleeding, Casey plays a Sidisi's Faithful, but leaves it in play as a blocker instead of exploiting it to bounce a Warden.
Both Warden's attack for Caleb, and one is blocked by the Sidisi's Faithful. An Anafenza, the Foremost is cast by Caleb, but it meets its doom, thanks to a Murderous Cut from Casey. However, the same play happens from Caleb on his next turn: attack with both Wardens and deploy an Anafenza, hoping to stop the graveyard deck from getting any value.
Casey casts a Grim Haruspex and passes, hoping to stem some of the bleeding. But Caleb has a Dromoka's Command, putting a +1/+1 counter on one Warden, and fighting the Sidisi's Faithful with his Ananfenza. He then has a Murderous Cut for the Grim Haruspex and an attack for eight. Casey deploys two more creatures in Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Zulaport Cutthroat, but as soon as Caleb casts Silkwrap, Casey scoops up all his cards.
Caleb wins Game 4, and ties the match 2-2!
Casey is on the play for the final game of this semifinals and he keeps his opening seven. Caleb mulligans to six, and places his scry on bottom.
Both players exchange land drops, with Casey playing a Turn 2 Zulaport Cutthroat. Caleb has a Turn 2 play of his own, with a Snapping Gnarlid. Casey plays a second Zulaport Cutthroat, but does not have a third land drop for his turn, and has to pass back to Caleb.
Caleb plays an Anafenza, the Foremost on his turn, followed by an attack for four by the Snapping Gnarlid and a pass. Casey takes a draw step, but once again misses his land drop, having to pass back to Caleb without a play. Caleb continues to put pressure on Casey by attacking with both the Anafenza and a five power Snapping Gnarlid, forcing Casey to block with one Zulaport Cutthroat. A Siege Rhino comes down for Caleb, and he passes back to Casey.
Casey takes his draw, and extends his hand to Caleb.
Caleb wins Game 5 and the match, 3-2!