Semifinals: Dustin Taylor vs. Bryant Cook
“This’ll do,” Bryant said after taking a mulligan to start things off. He had piloted his U/W Delver deck to the top of the standings after the swiss and therefore earned the right to play first throughout the Top 8, and he would need all the extra time he could get in this matchup against Dustin’s R/G Aggro deck.
Dustin Taylor feel confident about his semifinal matchup.
Thought Scour helped Bryant smooth out his draw a bit, but it was Dustin—who had not been forced to take a mulligan—on the board first with Strangleroot Geist. Bryant was forced to take some hits as he tried to find a way to interact, but all he could come up with was Gitaxian Probe that led into Vapor Snag on the geist.
Wolfir Avenger flashed in without a fight and Dustin was way ahead with five damage coming through. Snapcaster Mage turned on Vapor Snag to off the avenger and Bryant chump blocked the front half of the Strangleroot Geist to buy some time, but it was going to be tough to come back considering the gas in Dustin’s hand.
Timely Reinforcements was a good start, but Sword of War and Peace on Strangleroot Geist was the perfect trump, and Bryant was down to 12. Wolfir Avenger rejoined the team and picked up a second sword for more than enough damage to put away the stumbling Delver deck.
Dustin 1, Bryant 0
It was another slow start for Bryant, who had just a Ponder over his first four turns. He was stuck watching as Dustin rolled out Birds of Paradise into Wolfir Avenger, Llanowar Elves and Strangleroot Geist over the first few turns before finally getting Geist of Saint Traft into play on 12 life.
Bryant Cook is one match away from the Standard Open finals.
Dustin didn’t take long to dump his attackers into the red zone and knock Bryant down to 7. He knew Bryant couldn’t afford to block if he wanted any chance of winning, so Geist of Saint Traft just stood around watching before finding a Sword of War and Peace to smash with. Birds of Paradise blocked the legend but Dustin had to swallow a hit from the accompanying angel token. That was fine with him as he reloaded with Huntmaster of the Fells after attacking Bryant down to 5 and eating a chump-blocking Snapcaster Mage, and he confidently shipped the turn with an impressive board of Llanowar Elves, Huntmaster of the Fells, Wolfir Avenger, Strangleroot Geist, wolf token and five lands against Bryant’s board of Geist of Saint Traft equipped with Sword of War and Peace plus five of his own lands.
Llanowar Elves took one for the team when the geist stormed in again, but Dustin’s loaded board was more than enough to get the job done when Bryant shipped the turn back after no plays, and Dustin was off to the finals.
Dustin 2, Bryant 0