Semifinals: Charles Gindy vs. Joshua Cho
It seems like only last week that I was covering Josh Cho in the top 8 of a Star City Open… because it was! Josh was going for the ‘Tiger Slam’ equivalent, attempting to win back-to-back events but on different weekends. His opponent Charles Gindy is no stranger to top 8s himself, with a Pro Tour win and several other high level finishes under his belt. Who would win this 72 card Delver mirror match?
Joshua rolled double sixes, and decided to take the…
“Actually…” interrupted the head judge.
As it turns out, Charlie gets to choose by virtue of the number one overall seed. Pretty sneaky, Mr. Cho.
“Ugh, I’m so tired,” groaned Charlie.
He woke up quickly though, since he kept his opening seven and Josh had to mulligan to six. After Josh kept, Charlie led with an Island. Josh showed Gitaxian Probe off of Phyrexian mana and showed Gindy’s keep of Hero of Bladehold, Vapor Snag, Thought Scour, Cavern of Souls, and a pair of Mana Leaks. Josh played Seachrome Coast, which Mental Misstepped Charlie’s Thought Scour… but he had already found Ponder on top!
“So lucky,” protested Josh.
He kept his top three, and found a Delver of Secrets among the fresh cards which was cast courtesy of Cavern of Souls naming Human. Josh had another Gitaxian Probe, and then he cast Snapcaster Mage which in turn played Probe number three of the game from Josh’s graveyard. Charlie flipped his Delver off of Ponder, and brought Josh to 11. Josh dropped Charlie to 18 from his 2/1 and then he cast a Delver of secrets of his own. He followed that with land number three and passed. Insectile Aberration beats took Josh to 8 (thanks to a lot of Phyrexian mana) and he passed. Josh flipped Delver on his upkeep with Vapor Snag, but Charlie had a Vapor Snag of his own to take care of Charlie’s 3/2 flier as well. Snapcaster rumbled into the red zone, and post combat Josh recast Delver of Secrets and then Ponder, but the Ponder was countered by Charlie’s Mana Leak.
Ponder number three from Charlie kept his top cards for a third time, and Gut Shot took care of Josh’s Delver. Charlie replayed his Entomologist and passed. Josh kept chipping away with Snapcaster, and post combat he played Geist of Saint Traft. Charlie flipped Delver with Gut Shot, and the 3/2 then took Josh to 4 after an attack. Josh, now on the ropes but with lots of power in front of him, attacked with both of his creatures. Charlie Vapor Snagged Josh’s Angel token, which spelled all but the end. Cavern of Souls named Human and passed, but Charlie had three power for josh’s three remaining life points, and they moved on to game 2.
Charlie 1, Josh 0.
“The same thing we bring in every mirror match, Pinky,” said Charlie.
With no secrets between these SCG Blue teammates, they were under no pretense to bluff. But they did feel the need to trash talk a little.
“My other trophies are lonely, Josh.”
“And they have cobwebs on them!”
Josh kept his seven, and it was Gindy’s turn to mulligan. Josh led with Seachrome Coast, and Charlie led with Island and Delver of Secrets. Josh played Island and Gut Shot. Charlie cast Ponder, which Josh allowed to resolve, and Charlie shuffled away the junk. He played Island and passed. Josh looked to take control of the game by attempting to cast Geist of Saint Traft on turn three, and Charlie end of turned a Thought Scour to dig for an answer. Finding none, he laid a third land, a Glacial Fortress, and passed. Josh attacked Charlie to 14 with the legendary Spirit Cleric and passed right back. Charlie went for Talrand, Sky Summoner on his turn, which resolved and provided him with his first action of the game.
Josh untapped and cast Thought Scour targeting himself and followed that up with a pair of Gut Shots targeting Talrand. Charlie responded with a Gut Shot of his own targeting Josh, creating a Drake in the process. Josh cast Vapor Snag on the freshly made token and attacked Charlie to 6. Charlie calmly untapped and cast Hero of Bladehold.
Josh attacked with Geist, which got blocked and dropped Charlie to 2. Josh had the second Geist of Saint Traft before ending his turn. Josh cast Gitaxian Probe to make sure the coast was clear, but Gindy revealed Island, Vapor Snag (which would keep Charlie alive if Josh attacked) and Gut Shot. Seeing the problem ahead, Josh cast Delver of Secrets and passed with no attack. Charlie drew a Geist of Saint Traft for the turn and legend ruled Josh’s main route to victory, after which he also Gut Shotted the Delver. Hero of Bladehold rolled on into the red zone, joined by a pair of 1/1s with Battle Cry. Josh only drew a Seachrome Coast on his turn, so he would be unable to complete the back-to-back… this weekend at least.
Charlie 2, Josh 0.