Semifinals: David Reed vs. Chad Kastel
Jund. The enemy. Three of the top 4 competitors are piloting the midrange menace, including this mirror match. Who will earn their slot in the finals?
“I hadn’t played a match of Standard since GP Atlantic City,” commented Chad before starting. “I’ve played in some GPs, Vegas and Kansas City, but no Standard.” We’ll see if he can keep up his hot streak!
Chad is hoping for a miracle!
David had the privilege of the play but had to mulligan. Chad decided to keep his seven, and once David kept six things got underway in much the way you might expect: the players played lands for a few turns and developed their mana, with David using turn two to cast Farseek. Chad wasn’t so lucky, unable to search out a mana source with the ubiquitous M13 common. David had nothing to cast with his four mana though, while Chad had Scavenging Ooze on his third turn.
Turn four saw Garruk, Primal Hunter come on down as the next contestant on The Price is Right for David, and he used the +1 to get the Beast factory going. Chad failed to find a fourth land, forcing him to use Putrefy to take out the 3/3 and knock Garruk down to 2. But Thragtusk and another Beast token quickly filled up David’s board again, and when Chad failed to find a fourth land a very sad Rakdos’s Return for one stole Tragic Slip from David.
Putrefy cleared out the offending Ooze, David attacked for eight, made another Beast, and when Chad failed to make his fourth land drop yet again he scooped up his cards.
David 1, Chad 0.
Both players had to mulligan this time (though keep in mind, last game David’s mulligan ended up better than Chad’s opener), but they were both able to stay afloat on six. Chad even had the Farseek on his turn two, but Duress turn one stole the opportunity to cast it. Chad instead resolved Scavenging Ooze with his second turn, and David followed suit with an Ooze of his own. Turn three was a land drop and a pswift pass from both Chad and David.
David’s Hunting for a win!
Chad’s Scavenging Ooze attacked, and David blocked with his… but it took a Tragic Slip on its way to blocking, and fell victim to Chad’s. That left two cards in his hand though, so when Rakdos’s Return returned it got them both… and it was two Thragtusks! Chad only topdecked a land, so Olivia Voldaren was able to resolve, untap, and attack with imputinty. Even Garruk, Primal Hunter from Chad was too late, as the Olivia quickly became 4/4 and chomped the planeswalker before it could do more that make a 3/3 Beast.
A few turns later, after a few more blank topdecks from Chad, Olivia grew and grew, to 6/6 and then to 8/8, and that was enough to seal the deal.
David 2, Chad 0.
Tough break for Chad, who was beleaguered by mana troubles in both games. And David, who won both games on six cards, admitted he, “drew really well,” as well, so I suppose it was just his day to make the finals.