Semifinals: Ian Kendall vs. Josh Serad
Ian's Merfolk swam a bit faster in the semifinals.
Two masters of Merfolk squared off in the semifinals, having both advanced through the tournament by swimming with the fishes. Ian went into black for Underground Sea, while Josh utilized Cavern of Souls.
Josh began with only an Island, and Ian one-upped him with Island and Cursecatcher. Silvergill Adept revealed Merrow Reejery, and Ian attacked for 1 damage before casting an Adept of his very own, showing off another Cursecatcher. Josh appeared to consider Force of Will or Daze—maybe both—but allowed it to resolve.
Merrow Reejerey joined the party, but Josh couldn’t attack since the Adepts would still trade. Mutavault on Ian’s side of the board, then Phantasmal Image to try and copy Merrow Reejerey. “That’s pretty good,” Josh muttered to himself, deciding to Daze. Ian looked for the trick, and decided to Daze the Daze rather than pay one mana. Casting his other Cursecatcher with that mana, Ian tapped Adept and swung for 5 damage.
Falling behind, Josh replayed his Island and cast Kira, Great Glass-Spinner. One of Magic’s better Wind Drakes resolved, and Josh passed. Shields up! Ian had the edge on the board and could profitably ram his team in, holding back Image to keep a lord around. The primary question seemed to be what to do with Mutavault.
Ian decided to hold back Mutavault and Image, just attacking with his Cursecatchers and Adept. Josh traded Kira and Adept for Cursecatcher and Adept, holding onto Reejerey so that he could one day use it to kill the Image. Ian tried Coralhelm Commander, and Josh Force of Willed. Rather than pop the Cursecatcher to counter, Ian binned his Commander and cast Standstill.
Drawing and passing, Josh lacked creatures. Ian animated Mutavault and attacked with Cursecatcher and Mutavault, leaving Image back and Standstill online—another 5 damage to Josh, dropping him to 6. He found Coralhelm Commander, breaking Standstill to kill the Image. Cavern made the Commander uncounterable, and after leveling to three Josh passed the turn.
Ian 1, Josh 0
Lord of Atlantis got Josh to the penultimate round, but no farther.
Cavern of Souls and Aether Vial on turn 1 for Josh, but Ian had Force of Will pitching Cursecatcher to counter. Fetching Island, Ian resolved his own Aether Vial and ended the turn. Josh played Wasteland, strapped for blue mana, and passed.
Wasteland on Cavern put Josh all the way out of blue, as Ian’s Vial began ticking. Drawing Mutavault Josh gained some board presence, but when Vial moved to two and slid in Silvergill Adept, Ian was clearly in the lead. Fetching Island, he added Lord of Atlantis to the board before passing the turn.
No Islands meant Josh didn’t have to worry about islandwalk yet—he cast Aether Vial and passed with just Dismember available as a play. Ian moved his Vial to three, and after Josh declined to block he put in Merrow Reejerey. Dismember on the Reejerey earned a hardcast Daze, and Josh took 7 damage. He dropped to 9, and moved his Vial to one.
Drawing, he extended the hand—the game had just gotten out of control too fast.
Ian 2, Josh 0