Semifinals: David Stroud vs. Chris Marshall
It would be the age old battle of “forest” versus “fire” in this semifinal, as David Stroud’s U/R Delver deck hoped to contain Chris Marshall's Elf Combo deck.
David Stroud sends in the Swiftspear brigade.
David started things off with a Monastery Swiftspear, poking Chris down to 19. Chris’s turn 1 accelerant of choice was Green Sun’s Zenith, fetching a Dryad Arbor. David used a Brainstorm and then a Ponder on his next turn, then sent in the Swiftspear for 3 damage, dropping Chris to 15. Chris untapped and tried a Glimpse of Nature, but David used a Daze to keep Chris’s engine from getting out of control. Chris allowed the Glimpse to be countered, then added Nettle Sentinel to his board.
After another poke from the Monastery Swiftspear, David cast Young Pyromancer, and shipped the turn back to Chris. Chris’s second attempt at Glimpse of Nature met Force of Will from David, and Chris played a third land and cast Elvish Visionary. David untapped and fired off Lightning Bolt on the Elvish Visionary, then attacked Chris down to 10 with his Swiftspear and token.
Chris’s mana engine couldn’t be contained forever, and he was able to unload most of his hand on the following turn, casting Heritage Druid and a second Elvish Visionary, then tapping them for mana and adding Deathrite Shaman and Wirewood Symbiote to the board. He passed to David, who had nothing significant to do, and passed it right back. Chris untapped and then cast a Natural Order.
Chris: “I’ll get a Craterhoof Behemoth, then attack you for a lot?”
David: “I’ll move on to the next game.”
Chris Marshall 1, David Stroud 0
Chris Marshall has more elves where that came from.
Once again it was Monastery Swiftspear that led the charge for David, and this time it Quirion Ranger to get the party started on Chris’s Side. David spent his second turn casting Brainstorm followed by Delver of Secrets, while Chris deployed a pair of Deathrite Shamans. The Delver revealed a Forked Bolt on David’s upkeep, and he cast it along with a Lightning Bolt to clear away the Shamans, then had even worse news for Chris in the form of Grafdigger’s Cage. He cracked in for 7 and passed.
Chris added another Quirion Ranger to his board, but had no further play, and David cast another Forked Bolt to clear Chris’s board then sent in with his team again, dropping Chris to 3. Chris untapped, added some more elves to his board, and shipped the turn, at which point David flashed him a Lightning Bolt, and it was on to game 3.
David Stroud 1, Chris Marshall 1
Both players had dueling 1/2s in the decider, as Chris’s Deathrite Shaman held the fort against David’s turn 1 Monastery Swiftspear. An Elvish Visionary was the follow-up for Chris, and David used a Gitaxian Probe to sniff out Chris’s hand, seeing Quirion Ranger, Glimpse of Nature, and a pair of Elvish Visionaries. He then fried the Deathrite Shaman with a Lightning Bolt and passed back.
With his mana guy shot down, Chris could only muster a mini-Glimpse turn, as he cast Glimpse of Nature followed by a pair of Quirion Rangers to draw two cards. David wasted no time casting Forked Bolt to kill them both, leaving Chris with just an Elvish Visionary. Chris rebuilt with another Deathrite Shaman, but David cast another Monastery Swiftspear and then a Chain Lightning to kill the Deathrite Shaman off, then attacked with both Swiftspears to drop Chris to 8.
Another Elvish Visionary came down for Chris, and David simply shrugged and attacked with his Monastery Swiftspears again. Chris thought for a moment before electing to block just one of them. David had a pair of Lightning Bolts, which dropped Chris to 2, and pumped up the unblocked Swiftspear for enough to close out the match.
David Stroud 2, Chris Marshall 1