Semifinals: Eric Jones vs. Edwin Beckwith
With no Reanimator in the Top 4, it appeared the dominant deck’s run of Standard Open victories had come to an end! This matchup paired Edwin’s Wolf Run Bant against Eric’s Mono Red deck.
Edwin possessed the much-needed play thanks to his seeding within the Top 8, and didn’t mind seeing Eric mulligan to five at the start of the match. Breeding Pool for Edwin while Eric had Mountain and Rakdos Cackler, which met no opposition on turn2—just another tapped shockland for Edwin.
That left him on 18 during Eric’s turn as a second Cackler hit the battlefield, but Edwin threw on the brakes with Centaur Healer. Searing Spear removed it but also took up Eric’s turn, and now Edwin cast Farseek for Sacred Foundry, lacking another land to help him cast Supreme Verdict. Eric punished him with Hellrider, dealing 10 damage to put Edwin on 7 life.
Supreme Verdict mopped the board, and Eric simply passed turn 5 with no plays—Edwin had made it. Another land fueled Thragtusk to get him up to 12, and now Eric was the one in trouble. Thragtusk started swinging, and even a Hellrider for Eric wasn’t good enough to reverse the momentum. He put Edwin to 8, but Sphinx’s Revelation popped him right back into the double digits.
Edwin 1, Eric 0
Eric had the play this time, and Edwin found himself mulliganing instead. “Back and forth, it seems,” Eric noted. Edwin did wind up on four cards, but he got to catch up a lot very fast. Eric led with turn 2 Ash Zealot and turn 3 Ash Zealot, but both vanished into the Detention Sphere on Edwin’s turn.
Boros Reckoner made up for lost ground, and went unmatched. Eric’s Rakdos Cackler duo also made a return appearance, and now Edwin needed some serious gas. Centaur Healer wasn’t quite enough, Searing Spear again removing it, but the Thragtusk he made afterward was much better. Eric played Hellrider, and Edwin traded Thragtusk for it while going to 1 life.
The top of his deck was no Verdict, and that was it. “Not much you can do on four cards,” he sighed.
Edwin 1, Eric 1
Each player took trips to Paris in the third game, and each kept six. Eric was unsurprisingly first to the board with Stromkirk Noble, but Edwin had his ideal turn 2 in Farseek. He dropped to 19 from the Noble while Eric passed on turn 2 after adding another Mountain to the battlefield. With not much pressure on the field, Edwin felt fine Farseeking again on turn 3.
Ash Zealot a turn late for Eric improved his position, leaving Edwin on 15, but the next swing wound up getting Ambushed by Restoration Angel, eating up Stromkirk Noble and a Searing Spear. Angel of Serenity rebuilt Edwin’s Angel and exiled the Zealot, but he would be stuck racing Boros Reckoner now.
Hellrider landed and put things back in Eric’s court, but Edwin had Thragtusk to rally right back. Both players were running low on cards, and Edwin had to fear Reckoner’s trigger due to his lowly 8 life. He decided to attack for 8 and put Eric to 7, willing to fall to a lower life total while threatening lethal.
Selesnya Charm chumped for only 2 damage to Edwin’s face, leaving him at 6 life. Unfortunately for him, Eric did have Stromkirk Noble to prevent a lethal attack. Drawing Detention Sphere, Edwin exiled Boros Reckoner and put the game out of reach for Eric, whose Brimstone Volley just wasn’t enough.
Edwin 2, Eric 1