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 Gerry Thompson was waiting for him there, looking to improve upon his two-time win with an unprecedented third!
Gerry deploys a 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