Semifinals: Harry Corvese vs. Jacob Baugh
Three-time Grand Prix top 8 competitor Harry Corvese had an exciting top 8 match on SCGLive against David Bauer last night to land him here in the semifinals. This time he faces Jacob Baugh in the semifinals. Can hecontinue his hot streak all the way to the finals?
Jacob's green splash gives Harry a few fits.
Jacob, the fourth overall seed, got the play since Harry was the bottom seed overall. The Mono Black Devotion (splashing green for a few cards) pilot waited for Harry, competing with Esper Control, to take a mulligan before he led with Golgari Guildgate, while Harry dropped to 16 to play Watery Grave and Thoughtseize. Jacob had Prophetic Prism, Pack Rat Hero’s Downfall, a pair of Gray Merchant, and Nykthos, and Harry took, “that damn Rat.”
“The card I kept my hand for? No!”
Jacob still had a turn two play with Prophetic Prism, then followed that turn three with a freshly drawn Underworld Connections. Harry played Esper lands in the meantime, his next play coming on turn four when he cast Jace, Architect of Thought and used the -2 to get two lands (chosen over Dissolve). Jacob’s Connections went to work on card advantage while Desecration Demon came down to threaten life total. Just how the Mono Black deck drew it up!
Jace used the mini-Fact or Fiction again to garner Hero’s Downfall, which dealt with the 6/6, but the Return to Ravnica aura threatened to bury Harry under a mountain of card advantage, or rather in this case a Golgari Guildgate of card advantage. Whip of Erebos also entered play, and with the pair of Gray Merchants would prove to be quite lethal so Harry quickly used Detention Sphere to clear out the offending artifact enchantment. But Jacob still had lots of action, playing out Pack Rat on his next turn. Supreme Verdict answered the Rat, albeit not very efficiently. And Jacob trundled on, taking plenty of cards and pulling ahead.
Nightveil Specter was followed by Gray Merchant of Asphodel, dropping Harry to 7 and within range of the second copy Harry knew that Jacob had. Not finding any answer to all of the black mana symbols on Jacob’s side of the board, Harry scooped up his cards to prepare for game two.
Harry brings about a Downfall.
“Did you just snap at me? I condede,” Harry chided.
Jacob played a turn one Temple of Mystery (“the best land in my deck”) and both players just played out mana sources for the first few turns. The first spell of the game was Underworld Connections on the draw for Jacob, which resolved, and the second spell of the game was Jacob’s turn four Nightveil Specter, which was met by Hero’s Downfall. Harry resolved Blood Baron of Vizkopa on his turn five though, so he was still in the match.
“So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance…”
An awkward stumbling block came out on Jacob’s turn, as Erebos, God of the Dead prevented the life gaining aspect of the Blood Baron… but the pro-black Vampire still dealt damage, attacking for four. Another Underworld Connections meant the 5/7 awoke from its slumber and attacked Harry. The Esper pilot drew three cards (but gained no life) from Sphinx’s Revelation at end of turn to try to dig for more gas, and he found it in the form of Detention Sphere. That meant he could gain life again, and he went up to 18 and dropped Jacob to 9. Another Sphere removed both Underworld Connections as well.
Pack Rat was Jacob’s reply, but even the potential army of Rat tokens couldn’t deal with the big bad Blood Baron. A hardcast second Rat and a token activation to make three 3/3s (with six lands tapped and two cards in hand) meant Harry was under a decent amount of pressure, so after he swung with Blood Baron of Vizkopa to drop Jacob to 5 he elected to drop AEtherling for defense (with a blue mana up, of course).
Jacob went to his end step, then used Hero’s Downfall in the end step to target AEtherling. That would prevent the AEtherling from attacking on Harry’s turn, so he only fell to 1 from the Blood Baron beats. Supreme Verdict dealt with the growing Rat army though, so the sweet play was not enough to pull out the victory.
Harry 1, Jacob 1.
The players played out a few lands for the first few turns, with Underworld Connections being the first play of the game once more. Harry played Pithing Needle naming Swamp to shut down Jacob’s engine before it could get started, so Jacob only followed up with Nightveil Specter, which was immediately Detention Sphered. Abrupt Decay removed the Needle and Jacob was once more on line to bury Harry in card drawing power.
Harry played Jace and found three lands, taking the pile with two Island. Jacob used his Connections to get Thoughtseize, which found Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, Aetherling, Detention Sphere, Hero’s Downfall, Supreme Verdict, and the remaining Island. What a grip! Jacob took Aetherling from the pile of goodies before saying go. Elspeth entered play instead, so a trio of 1/1s entered the battlefield. Jacob, still on three lands and using one of them as Phyrexian Arena, finally found a fourth and used it to kill the Elspeth with Hero’s Downfall.
Jace -2 found three more lands, this time taking Temple of Silence, before jamming a second Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and making yet another group of 1/1 Soldiers. Pack Rat, a token and a Mutavault were what Jacob could muster for defense.
“I think I got too little land this game.”
+1 Elspeth made a total of nine Soldiers (boy, she gets out of hand quick!) before Herry went for Pithing Needle. When Jacob had no response, Harry named Pack Rat to prevent more ratty action. When Mutavault became active, Hero’s Downfall killed off the land and six damage rolled in to Jacob’s life total. It looked grim for Team MBD… but a pair of Pack Rats from Jacob’s hand meant he didn’t need to activate the rare! But it wasn’t good enough, as Harry threatened to make another phalanx of Soldiers, and showed a hand full of business spells before Jacob scooped.
Harry 2, Jacob 1.