Semifinals: Dustin Taylor vs. Jonathan Kurpaska
Jonathan Kurpaska took down the legendary William Jensen in the Swiss and in the top 8, and now faces Dustin Taylor’s Deathblade. Can he continue his hot streak with Death and Taxes?
Jonathan has been Taxing his opponents all day.
Jonathan had the play and led with Wasteland and Aether+Vial. Dustin cast Thoughtseize and saw the apparent trepidation with Jonathan’s keep: three Rishadan+Port, plus Swords+to+Plowshares and Serra+Avenger. Dustin took the Serra+Avenger and passed. Jonathan simply added another counter to the Vial, Wasted the Sea, and played Rishidan Port. Distin just played a fetchland and passed, and Jonathan was rewarded with Plains to cast his Swords later on. Dustin resolved Stoneforge+Mystic and found Umezawa’s Jitte to deal with Jonathan’s many X/1s. At end of tuen, Serra+Avenger came out of the Vial and onto the battlefield.
Wasteland number two took down Tundra, then Vial activated to drop Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben. Serra+Avenger dropped Dustin to 12, and Port locked down his mana in Dustin’s upkeep. Dustin simply dropped Creeping+Tar+Pit and passed. Jonathan attacked for five, quickly dropping Dustin to 7, and the Aether+Vial on two cheated in a Stoneforge+Mystic for Jonathan to call his own. His 1/2 searched out Batterskull before Jonathan passed.
Dustin’s Tar Pit was targeted by Rishadan+Port, and Dustin used the mana to cast Swords+to+Plowshares on Thalia (paying the Thalia tax). Dustin fell to 6 with a fetchland activation, and Swords+to+Plowshares dealt with Jonathan’s Stoneforge+Mystic. But Serra+Avenger kept on beating in, dropping Jonathan to 3. Swords+to+Plowshares took out the Kor Artificer on dustin’s side of the board before end of turn.
Tar Pit got caught in customs at the Rishadan+Port again, so Dustin used the mana for Brainstorm. Deathrite+Shaman was Dustin’s play before he passed. Jonathan attacked Dustin to 1, then dropped Phyrexian+Revoker naming Deathrite+Shaman, then tapped both white producing lands with a pair of Ports to force the concession.
Jonathan 1, Dustin 0.
Quite the impressive ground assault...
The powerful mana denial effects of Thalia, Wasteland, and Rishidan Port combined with the mana advantage gained from Aether+Vial forced Dustin to play Jonathan’s game… a game that Deathblade is not equipped to win. Dustin will need to put the shoe on the other foot, forcing Jonathan to play a slower control game with lots of lands in play, if he wants to emerge victorious.
Dustin led things off with Thoughtseize, immediately snagging Mother+of+Runes from a hand that also included two Karakas, Rishadan+Port, Aether+Vial, Swords+to+Plowshares, and Phyrexian+Revoker. Jonathan led off with Wasteland on the dual. Dustin untapped (as the lights shut off automatically to let the players know that the midnight hour had struck) and once again had Thoughtseize off Underground+Sea. Phyrexian+Revoker hit the bricks, and Jonathan used Karakas to resolve Aether+Vial.
Dustin cast Stoneforge+Mystic, grabbing Umezawa’s Jitte, on his next turn, and Jonathan added a counter to Vial before just passing with Rishadan+Port available. Dustin tapped his Mystic and the mana that was earmarked to be tapped by Port before putting in Jitte and Wastelanding Port. Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben entered play off of the Vial before Swords+to+Plowshares took out the Mystic… but Dark+Confidant replaced her just as quickly.
Jonathan played a land and passed, and Batterskull off the top (thanks, Bob!) dropped Dustin to 12. Dustin cast Preordain for 1U and kept one on top for future use before passing. Vial brought Stoneforge+Mystic into play at end of turn.
Dustin's Swords are best put to use turning Soldiers into farmers.
Jonathan utilized the new M14 rules in his next turn, as Mystic Vialed out the Jitte, and Karakas number two replaced the first one. This allowed him to use his four mana to equip the Jitte to Thalia and attack, dealing first striking damage to Dustin and knocking out the Dark+Confidant. Dustin also fell to 9 from the damage. Dustin was out of gas, out of creatures, and out of time.
Jonathan pushed his foot against the throat of Dustin’s finals hopes a little more with Wasteland on another Sea, which elicited Swords to Plowshares… which only bounced and replayed the Thalia thanks to Karakas and Aether+Vial. The second Plow took out the Thalia… but Mangara+of+Corondor was the next thing to enter play out of the magical bottle.
The only things in life that are certain are Death, Taxes, and White Weenie in all formats.
After turns later, after Mangara went to work on Dustin’s mana, Dustin scooped.
Jonathan 2, Dustin 0.