Semifinals: Corbin Rudnick vs. Chris Funk
This is already Corbin Rudnick’s best best finish by far, but his Belcher deck now faced a greater challenge: BUG control in the hands of Chris Funk. Will his combo deck be able to put up with Chris’ disruption?
Chris Funk's BUG has been serving him well today!
Chris was on the play but quickly mulliganed his seven card hand while Corbin decided to keep his opener. After keeping his six, Chris searched up Underground Sea off of Misty Rainforest to cast a first turn Inquisition of Kozilek, revealing Land Grant, Lotus Petal, Desperate Ritual, Elvish Spirit Guide, Street Wraith, Pyretic Ritual, and Empty the Warrens. Chris took the Desperate Ritual and passed the turn.
Chris decided he had enough gas in the tank to go for the knockout on turn one. He cast Lotus Petal then revealed his hand to play Land Grant, which featured a fresh Pyretic Ritual as his draw for the turn. Chris cast Daze targeting the Land Grant, but an exiled Elvish Spirit Guide paid the tax. The searched up Taiga entered the battlefield for Corbin, which led to Pyretic Ritual after Desperate Ritual after Pyretic Ritual and ultimately Empty the Warrens, which made 12 Goblins for Corbin. That was enough for Chris, who headed quickly to his sideboard.
Corbin Rudnick is living the dream with Belcher!
Chris and Corbin pondered their sideboarding decisions... well, Chris did, since Corbin has no sideboard in this tournament! Able to add some much needed tools to his deck (and remove clunky creature removal), Chris looked to avenge his loss in Game 2.
Both players kept, and Chris led with turn 1 Underground Sea. Corbin played Land Grant, showing Street Wraith, Rite of Flame, Goblin Charbelcher, Manamorphose, Tinder Wall, Lotus Petal, and Desperate Ritual. He searched up the lonely Taiga from his deck and proceeded to cycle Street Wraith. He then cast Lotus Petal, which resolved after Chris pondered whether or not to respond for a moment, then tried to add red from Rite of Flame to his pool off of the Taiga. Now Chris used his Spell Pierce, and the Rite was countered, but Corbin was not done yet. He sacrificed the Lotus Petal to play Rite of Flame number two for the turn, then used Manamorphose to add a mix of green and red to his mana pool. He used two red to play Desperate Ritual to throw a Goblin Charblecher onto the battlefield, but just like the quarterfinals didn’t have the ability to activate it just yet. Chris Thoughtseized a Tinder Wall the next turn and Chris, unable to find the mana to shoot off his monster weapon, passed yet again.
Chris sacrificed a Misty Rainforest on his fifth turn to get a Tropical Island in order to finally apply some pressure in the form of a Tarmogoyf, which was immediately a 4/5. Corbin Gitaxian Probed Chris, revealing Snapcaster Mage, Surgical Extraction, and another Tarmogoyf. Corbin passed the turn, fully knowing Chris’ plan, and at the end of turn he removed Simian Spirit Guide to activate the Goblin Charbelcher and with one big boom moved on to the finals of SCG St. Louis!
Corbin 2, Chris 0