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%2C+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.