Semifinals: Gerry Thompson (U/W Delver) vs. Michael Hetrick (RUG Pod)
Michael played Birds+of+Paradise off Copperline+Gorge, while Gerry Gitaxian Probed to see three Forest, Phyrexian+Metamorph, and Strangleroot+Geist; Gut+Shot took care of the Birds, and Strangleroot+Geist came down to attack Gerry for two, putting him to 16.
The Metamorph copied Strangleroot+Geist, and Gerry took it, going to 10. He then passed with two lands and Moorland+Haunt. Michael used Green Sun's Zenith to find another Strangleroot+Geist, and everyone entered the red zone.
"Come onnn, Sever," Gerry said.
He blocked the Phyrexian+Metamorph with Snapcaster+Mage and Vapor Snagged a Strangleroot+Geist, going to 8. Dismember took out the undead Metamorph, and Gerry passed after playing a tapped Seachrome+Coast.
Michael cast his second Strangleroot+Geist again and resolved Birthing Pod…Gerry knew he was drawing dead.
Michael 1, Gerry 0
"I'm down," Gerry said to a questioning Josh Ravitz, "but not out!"
Gerry's first Gitaxian+Probe made Michael lay out Kessig+Wolf+Run, 2 Forest, Deceiver+Exarch, Birds+of+Paradise, and Crushing+Vines. He then Pondered off Island, and Michael responded with Birds+of+Paradise off his Forest. Gitaxian+Probe was recast with Snapcaster+Mage, revealing Huntmaster+of+the+Fells.
Unable to attack, Gerry passed as well, and Michael found a Mountain with Borderland+Ranger. Restoration+Angel flashed in, targeting Snapcaster+Mage, and Michael used Crushing+Vines in response to take it out.
Gerry's Delver remained unflipped, so he just made a second. Gut+Shot then took out Michael's Birds+of+Paradise. Michael used Phantasmal+Image to copy Borderland+Ranger, fetching an Island. Strangleroot+Geist from Michael then came in for two, taking Gerry to 10.
Michael summoned Huntmaster+of+the+Fells to gain two life and used a Crushing+Vines on an Insectile+Aberration. The board state now was Gerry's Snapcaster+Mage, Hero+of+Bladehold, and Insectile+Aberration facing Michael's two Borderland+Rangers, Strangleroot+Geist, Deceiver+Exarch, Huntmaster+of+the+Fells, and its Wolf token.
Geist+of+Saint+Traft floated into the battlefield, and Gerry held back his team. Michael cast his second Huntmaster for an even more sizeable army, and he went up to 18. With three mana left, Michael sent in a Birds+of+Paradise—only for it to be sent away with a Mana+Leak, which wasn't doing much otherwise.
Everything attacks...everything blocks.
Gerry blocked the two Huntmasters, a 2/2 Wolf, and a Borderland+Ranger. He let through the other Wolf, Strangleroot+Geist, and Deceiver+Exarch; Michael activated Kessig+Wolf+Run, targeting Huntmaster to kill the Hero+of+Bladehold blocking it.
"Deal," Gerry said, nodding, and he was left with nothing but 3 life and lands. His hand had nothing more to show, however, and it was onto the third game.
Michael 2, Gerry 0
"I missed a few attacks," Michael admitted. Fortunately for him, it didn’t much matter with an army of that magnitude. Delver doesn't like trying to come back from behind. Right now Michael was looking at a chance to take the semifinals in a quick three games…could Gerry battle back?
"Me first," Gerry said, drawing his seven. Michael had to take a mulligan, and Gerry Pondered as his first play. Michael matched with Birds+of+Paradise, but Gerry had the fast Gut+Shot. He then Mana Leaked when Michael tried to play Strangleroot+Geist. Gerry Pondered on his turn 3 and then cast Delver+of+Secrets.
Llanowar+Elves from Michael made it onto the battlefield.
Gerry then flipped his Delver with a topdecked Vapor+Snag, swung for three, and cast Hero+of+Bladehold using Cavern+of+Souls on Human. His plan was laid out before him with the previous Ponder, and he didn't need to think.
On upkeep, Michael used Deceiver+Exarch to tap Hero+of+Bladehold for a turn, and Michael took three to go to 14. Daybreak+Ranger was Michael's next play, and Gerry used Dismember on the Exarch and Vapor+Snag on the Daybreak+Ranger—Gerry didn't even need to swing for Michael to scoop them up.
Gerry 1, Michael 2
Michael would take the play this time, with a Copperline+Gorge to start. Gerry Gitaxian Probed to see Copperline+Gorge, Strangleroot+Geist, Hinterland+Harbor, Daybreak+Ranger, Forest, and Birthing+Pod. He then Pondered to finish his turn. Michael shot back with a turn-two Strangleroot+Geist, putting Gerry to 16.
Snapcaster+Mage brought back Probe, showing Zealous+Conscripts as Michael's draw. The Strangleroot+Geist ran into Snapcaster+Mage, turning into a 3/2 upon rebirth. Michael then played Daybreak+Ranger. Gerry's third land led to Geist+of+Saint+Traft. Michael swung in with his Strangleroot+Geist, taking Gerry to 11, and Birthing+Pod switched out Daybreak+Ranger for Huntmaster+of+the+Fells. Michael went to 18 after all was said and done.
Michael 3, Gerry 1