Semifinals: James Hess vs. Chi Hoi Yim
Chi Hoi Yim was the lone representative of fair Magic left in this tournament. Would his U/W/R Miracles deck be able to contain James Hess and his Elf Combo deck?
James unleashes the elves.
James got the party started with a green Sun’s Zenith for 0, retrieving Dryad Arbor. Chi Hoi had no plays of his own, and James continued to develop his board, casting Quirion Ranger and Deathrite Shaman. Chi Hoi played his third land, a Karakas, and passed the turn right back. When James attempted a Heritage Druid to start off his third turn, Chi Hoi sprang into action, casting a Vendilion Clique to take a peek at James’s hand. He saw Llanowar Elves, Dryad Arbor, another Heritage Druid, and Natural Order, which he sent to the bottom. With his plans foiled, James simply attacked his two elves, and Chi Hoi happily traded his Vendilion Clique for James’s Quirion Ranger.
James attacked for 3 the next turn with Heritage Druid, Deathrite Shaman, and Dryad Arbor, and this time it was Venser Shaper Savant that sprang into action. He bounced the Arbor and blocked a Deathrite Shaman, but James had a replacement copy, as well as a replayed land before passing back. Chi Hoi felt safe behind his 2/2 blocker, and tapped low for a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. He ticked up to check James’s top card, and didn’t mind to leave it on top.
A Green’s Sun’s Zenith for two found Elvish Visionary for James, but he couldn’t make any meaningful attacks. He passed back to Chi hoi, who bounced his Venser at the end step with Karakas then untapped, played his sixth land, and cast Terminus the non-miraculous way, sending James back to the stone age. He fetched up Dryad Arbor with an untapped fetchland, and untapped with only Bayou, Dryad Arbor in play.
Green Sun’s Zenith for 1 found Quirion Ranger, which bounced the Bayou to untap Dryad Arbor. He replayed the Bayou and added Deathrite Shaman to his board, but Chi Hoi had bad news, and revealed the Entreat the Angels he had tucked on top of his deck with Jace the turn before. An army of 4/4 Angels came jumped into play, and James suddenly found his back against the wall.
James unloaded his hand, dumping a second Deathrite Shaman, a Heritage Druid, and a Llanowar Elves into play, and his first Deathrite Shaman gained him 2 life to buy one turn’s reprieve. Chi hoi swung with half of his angels, dropped Counterbalance into play, and shipped it back. James found no miracle of his own to turn things around, and picked up his little green men for the second game.
Chi Hoi Yim 1, James Hess 0
Chi Hoi patiently waits to find out if he is dead.
Dryad Arbor, Go was the turn one play from James, but it was swiftly sent to the farm with a Swords to Plowshares from Chi Hoi. Deathrite Shaman came next, and when Chi Hoi had no further play, James fired off a mini-Glimpse of Nature, drawing a card off of Heritage Druid, then playing Gaea’s Cradle, and adding Quirion Ranger and Nettle Sentinel to draw some more. Chi Hoi sensed that this Glimpse turn might get out of control, so he used Brainstorm in response to the third elf, but found no way to stop it from entering play.
James had the green light to go nuts, but he couldn’t make the most of it. He added another Nettle Sentinel, another Deathrite Shaman, and another Quirion Ranger to his battlefield, drawing three more cards in the process, but the well ran dry at that point, and James was forced to pass the turn. Chi Hoi flipped over the Terminus that he had tucked on top of his library with Brainstorm the turn before, and just like that, it was back to square one for James.
Chi Hoi Brainstormed and found a Counterbalance. He passed back to James, who attempted a Wirewood Symbiote to begin the rebuilding process. Chi Hoi flipped over Brainstorm with his Counterbalance to stop it. James’s next attempt was a Green Sun’s Zenith for 1, which Chi Hoi bounced back to his hand from the stack with Venser, Shaper Savant. James’s next attempt at Green Sun’s Zenith resolved, and he found Quirion Ranger, but had no further play, and an end step Brainstorm set up Entreat the Angels, which Chi Hoi cast for three 4/4s on his next draw step.
A Scavenging Ooze came off the top for James, which like the game before would by him an additional draw step against Chi Hoi’s angelic army. Chi Hoi crashed in dropping James to 8, and James had went digging for a way out. Elvish Visionary resolved, but the top card gave him nothing, and Chi Hoi’s angels carried him home.
Chi Hoi Yim 2, James Hess 0