Semifinals: Ian Anderson vs. Charles Gordon
Affinity had advanced, but could it waltz past Stoneforge Mystic twice? Ian certainly hoped so.
Access to Supreme Verdict gives Charles an efficient weapon against the robot masses.
Each player kept, and Charles led with Thoughtseize to strip the Thoughtcast from Ian’s hand, leaving him on two Memnites, Ornithopter, Vault Skirge, and Signal Pest. Starting off with a band, Ian cast Signal Pest and all of his zero-drops, threatening five power on the next turn.
Charles played Flooded Strand and ended the turn, taking 5 damage but making a play as Ian attempted to add Vault Skirge to the battlefield. Fetching Tundra, he cast Counterspell on the creature, well aware that its damage could pile up quickly and wanting to burn his counter quickly.
He played karakas and passed once more. Ian was still on one land, but had another Vault Skirge. When he entered combat, Charles Brainstormed in search of Swords to Plowshares, but failed to find and once more took 5 damage. The Skirge resolved, and on 7 life Charles was in range of lethal...
Of course, when he had a fourth land Ian knew to expect the worse, and Supreme Verdict cleaned his crew. Signal Pest did little to replace the loss, and now Stoneforge Mystic resolved to find Batterskull on the next turn. Charles cast Jitte afterward, and ended his turn. Ian was in dire straits, and had no plays before Charles could untap and land the Jitte on his Mystic, but Charles elected to hold back in order to deploy Batterskull.
Ian found a land and cast Cranial Plating, but Charles Forced it before putting Batterskull into play, and now the game would move quickly out of reach. Playing True-Name Nemesis after attacking, Charles wrapped up the game in short order from there. Even a late Ancient Tomb to start sticking Etched Champions was not enough.
Ian looks to his opponent's list for sideboarding strategies.
Charles 1, Ian 0
Turn 1 Vault Skirge from Ian, with Scrubland and pass from Charles seemingly representing Swords to Plowshares. Ian played Mox Opal and Charles paused but allowed it to resolve, realizing it was on whether he used Swords of not. Casting Cranial Plating, Ian expected the Swords but was happy to get the Plating onto the battlefield. It would make his inviolable Etched Champion all the more deadly...
Fetching, Charles cast Meddling Mage and named Etched Champion! That did a number on Ian’s plans, forcing him to Thoughtcast for threats instead. He found Ornithopter and Arcbound Ravager, deploying both and creating a deadly presence. Now, he could probably force a Verdict from Charles that would relieve him of the Mage and make Champion all the more difficult to remove.
Brainstorming, Charles followed with Marsh Flats and then used Swords to Plowshares on the Ravager. Ian debated his response, eventually just shifting its single counter to Ornithopter. Sitting on three Etched Champions, Ian really needed this Ornithopter to go unchecked—but a third Swords to Plowshares from Charles took the wind from Ian’s sails and left him without a creature.
Ian was on 11 and falling fast. He’d be dead in two turns, and dropped Memnite in an attempt to slow things down. He lost it to a counter, but had another Memnite next turn to go with Springleaf Drum and attempt Tezzeret... but Charles Forced to lock it up.
Charles 2, Ian 0