Semifinals: Gerry Thompson vs. Andrew Tenjum
Andrew wouldn’t be on the play in any Top 8 game 1s due to his seed, but that hadn’t stopped him from cruising through the quarterfinals. Reigning Invitational champion Restoration+Angel on defense.
Gerry kept his seven and Andrew followed suit. Stomping+Ground and Avacyn’s Pilgrim advanced past Gerry’s shockland, with just an Island from Gerry on the following turn. Andrew was off to a great start with turn 2 Domri+Rade, failing to find a creature but creating a ton of pressure nonetheless.
Playing Clifftop Retreat, Gerry ended the turn with Dissipate at the ready when Andrew cast Voice+of+Resurgence. Gerry played a fourth land and passed the turn. Andrew advanced Domri to six loyalty, revealing Boros+Reckoner, and took 2 damage for a shockland in order to cast the Reckoner, leaving up Pilgrim and Stomping+Ground.
Flashing in Restoration+Angel, Gerry began to pressure the Domri. He attacked, played a fifth land, and ended the turn. During the end step, Selesnya+Charm gave Andrew a 2/2 Knight token to enable a significant attack this turn. Gavony+Township made it even more lethal, and Gerry lacked a response to the Township—he took 9 damage, dropping to 10 life. Domri ate the Angel with Reckoner’s help afterward, leaving Gerry on 7 life.
Pillar+of+Flame took down Domri while Supreme+Verdict cleaned Andrew’s creatures, leaving Gerry almost tapped out but equalizing their positions. Andrew drew, five cards in his hand to Gerry’s three, and cast Ghor-Clan+Rampager before playing Temple+Garden. That was music to Gerry’s ears, providing a perfectly-sized target for his Warleader’s Helix.
Boros+Reckoner from Andrew resolved, and Gerry cast Think+Twice in the end step. Playing a shockland untapped, he signaled to Andrew that a Revelation would be forthcoming soon. Andrew attacked and activated Township, Gerry taking 4 damage and falling to 5. Andrew followed with another Domri, boosting it and finding no creature on top.
Revelation for five cards drew Gerry lands and a Pillar+of+Flame, leaving him behind against the Domri+Rade. He flashbacked Think+Twice, played a land, and ended the turn. When Andrew attacked, he declined to Township and create a two-turn clock—that left Gerry curious. He took 4, falling to 6, and Andrew boosted Domri to find Thundermaw+Hellkite waiting atop the library.
Gerry needed a real spell—Syncopate, Pillar+of+Flame, and Azorius+Charm just weren’t cutting it. Drawing Supreme+Verdict was a start, and he traded it for the Reckoner and sent the turn back to Andrew. Voice+of+Resurgence for Andrew and then a Domri boost to bounce back before he attempted the Thundermaw+Hellkite—that met a Syncopate, but Andrew did get an Elemental token.
Augur+of+Bolas dug up a Dissipate, and Gerry used Pillar+of+Flame to get rid of the Voice before ending the turn with another land drop. He knew Andrew wasn’t drawing a creature, and with just one card in hand there was a good shot he’d be only concerned with Domri this turn. Andrew missed as he moved Domri to seven loyalty, overloading Mizzium+Mortars to play around Restoration+Angel. Gerry replied by drawing with Azorius+Charm and then casting Dissipate.
Domri+Rade put the screws to Gerry in every game.
Andrew 1, Gerry 0
Keeping a land-light opener, Gerry was on seven cards as Andrew fell to six. Gerry took 2 for a shockland after Andrew opened with Temple+Garden and Avacyn’s Pilgrim, but he couldn’t do much about Loxodon+Smiter. The 4/4 cracked in on the next turn, Gerry taking 4 damage.
Andrew took 2 damage for Sacred+Foundry and played Scavenging ooze with Foundry and Pilgrim up, representing Boros+Charm. Little did Andrew know, Gerry had plenty of Verdicts—just no second white mana. When Andrew attacked, Gerry cast Restoration+Angel to make Andrew decide between his only red mana and his Scavenging+Ooze—Ghor-Clan+Rampager would remove his Boros+Charm protection.
Andrew binned the Ooze then went to 14 for another shockland, casting Boros+Reckoner and leaving two duals untapped. Gerry was in a tough spot, drawing and passing turn after playing a fifth land. Snapcaster+Mage on Azorius+Charm resolved, then Gerry blocked Reckoner and Pilgrim with Snapcaster+Mage and Angel, Charming the Smiter before damage.
Unfortunately for Gerry, that didn’t matter; the 3 he took from Reckoner’s trigger put him to 7, and Andrew wasn’t just holding Boros+Charm; he was holding two!
Andrew's creatures kept Gerry on the defensive.
Andrew 2, Gerry 0
Gerry was up against the wall, the sun nearly setting on his run at a third Invitational title. Even if he won this game, it would be the last game he got to play going first in the match; Andrew would receive the next two! The Naya player was a clear favorite at this point.
A mulligan to six for both players started the third game. No Pilgrim for Andrew while Gerry had a pair of multicolored lands, but a turn 2 Pilgrim revealed Andrew’s draw step. Gerry played a land and ended the turn on three mana, the Pilgrim immediately coming at him for 1 damage before being joined by Loxodon+Smiter.
Supreme+Verdict cleared them out, and Andrew played a Domri+Rade and boosted it to draw Boros+Reckoner. Just a shockland tapped for Gerry, Andrew missing with Domri before playing his Reckoner headlong into Essence+Scatter, following with Avacyn’s Pilgrim and playing Gavony+Township.
Domri drew another Boros+Reckoner, one shy of being able to cast it and Township in the same turn. He cast a pair of Reckoners, and ended the turn. Gerry fired Sphinx’s Revelation for three cards in the end step, untapping into Supreme+Verdict and passing with three mana up against Andrew’s many lands. Domri drew Voice+of+Resurgence, and Andrew ended the turn with no land for Township.
That meant Gerry’s Pillar+of+Flame could clear out the Voice, and another Pillar knocked Domri down to five loyalty. That bought Gerry some time, but he needed to deploy a threat soon. He drew Restoration+Angel right on time, but Andrew drew a pair of Loxodon Smiters to start building more pressure, but he held onto one in favor of casting Scavenging+Ooze.
An attack from the Angel and two more Pillar+of+Flame took care of the Domri+Rade, while Andrew used Gavony+Township to build his monsters up. Swinging on the next turn, he dealt Gerry 7 damage and passed. Finding Augur+of+Bolas on top, Gerry was presented with a decision between Azorius+Charm and Turn//Burn, choosing the Charm.
Andrew played Voice+of+Resurgence before entering combat, and Gerry cycled his Azorius+Charm prior to letting it resolve. Blocking just the Smiter with Angel, Gerry was clearly giving himself as many redraws at Supreme+Verdict as he could get—but the top of the deck failed to deliver.
Andrew 3, Gerry 0