Semifinals: David Rice vs. Greg Sochacki
The matchup between Dave’s Aggro Loam and Greg’s Elves promised to be a quick and dirty affair. Elves was going to have a hard time outgrinding the resilient board control deck so Greg would need to assemble either his combo kill or a very aggressive draw in a hurry. Being on the play as the higher seed certainly helped, but a mulligan out of the gate did not.
Greg Sochacki struggled through a sea of mulligans to reach the semifinals.
Llanowar Elves bit it to Lightning Bolt and Maelstrom Pulse broke up Greg’s Heritage Druid, leaving Quirion Ranger and Birchlore Rangers behind. Elvish Visionary and Nettle Sentinel were met by Scavenging Ooze that immediately grew to 4/4 and sparked a little damage race.
Liliana of the Veil and another Scavenging Ooze arrived to reinforce the first ooze and make both players discard a card—Life from the Loam for Dave and a land for Greg. Summoner’s Pact pulled up Elvish Archdruid and let the elves run into Liliana and only traded a Quirion Ranger for Scavenging Ooze, leaving a growing ooze to face off against a handful of elves.
Dave’s draws were being very unkind to him despite a very strong start, leaving him with six lands in play plus three more in hand and unable to finish off the hamstrung Elves deck. Regal Force refilled Greg’s hand and let him go completely off with Glimpse of Nature on the next turn, launching elf after elf into play with the help of Elvish Archdruid and Quirion Ranger.
Another land off the top of Dave’s deck meant there was nothing he could do to stop the savage army from running him over.
Greg 1, Dave 0
A triple mulligan for Greg was just what Dave wanted to see, and things got really nice when Greg’s first land was a useless Gaea’s Cradle. Dave’s game-winning Seismic Assault was already in his hand thanks to Faithless Looting and he set himself up with Life from the Loam while using a Lightning Bolt to off Nettle Sentinel.
Dave Rice plowed through a good matchup to reach the semifinals.
Seismic Assault fired up on turn four and instantly melted Greg’s Nettle Sentinel and Wirewood Symbiote. That drew an immediate concession from Greg who was already tilted from his triple mulligan, and we were off to the rubber game.
Greg 1, Dave 1
A pair of Nettle Sentinels was a fine start on the beatdown plan for the Elves deck, but Dave wasn’t sweating it. He calmly cycled a trio of Onslaught lands—two Forgotten Cave and a Tranquil Thicket—finding Engineered Explosives to destroy both Nettle Sentinels. That set Greg way back, but he rebuilt with Elvish Visionary, Fyndhorn Elves and Wirewood Symbiote while Dave fired off Life from the Loam to set up for the Seismic Assault he had cycled into.
“Do you got it?” Greg asked.
“Tap, tap tap,” came Dave’s reply.
“You got it,” Greg answered his own question with a sigh.
Seismic Assault quickly undid all of Greg’s hard work for the low, low price of a few extra lands, but Greg fought back with Living Wish for Phyrexian Revoker. Still, Dave’s hand was full of cycling lands and he dug right into the Darkblast he needed to plow through the pest. Dark Confidant got some damage in and put Greg really close to dead. A pair of Life from the Loams did 12 by themselves, and the two remaining lands in his hand were exactly enough to get the job done, roasting Greg out from 16 to take the match.
Dave 2, Greg 1