Semifinals: Jared Boettcher vs. Brian Knopp
Brian is one of two RUG Delver decks in the top 4. Can Jared’s UWR Stoneblade prevent the tempo menace from one of the slots in the finals?
Jared wants to Batter some Skulls!
Brian led with Delver of Secrets, and Jared played a land and passed. When Delver tried flipping thanks to Daze, another copy of Daze countered the Swords that was trying to take it down. Insectile Aberration dropped Jared to 16, and Nimble Mongoose also joined the fray. Another fetchland allowed Jared to grab a Volcanic Island to add to his Tundra and cast Stoneforge Mystic. Daze attempted to counter that as well, but Force of Will (removing Vendilion Clique)kept it on the stack. The Mystic found Batterskull, and Jared passed.
Brian once more played that same Tropical Island he’d played for the first three turns, then swung for three in the air to drop Jared to 11. Jared played Glacial Fortress before passing right back. Jared used Brainstorm on Brian’s attack step, then used Izzet Charm to try to target the 3/2 flier. In response Brian used a Brainstorm of his own to dig for a counter, and found it in the form of Daze number three. But he had to pass with Jared’s active Stoneforge Mystic still in play, which could prove dangerous.
Jared activated the Stoneforge Mystic on his main phase to avoid future Stifles, and as Brian activated his fetchland so did Jared to avoid Stifle yet again. Brian untapped and, using Volcanic Island that he found, cast Ponder. He then played out another fetchland before passing. Jared, now armed with 4/4 lifelinking vigilance Germ, connected with his Batterskull and life totals went to 8-14 (still in Brian’s favor) before Jared passed right back.
Brian searched for another land in his upkeep, a second Volcanic, before casting Brainstorm and attacking for three to drop Jared to 5. Tarmogoyf resolved, but Swords to Plowshares removed the 3/4 before it could be an issue. Batterskull continued the march towards victory, and Jared followed that up with Brainstorm. Jared added his fourth land after that, and passed with an overwhelming board position. Brian tried to climb back, beginning with another attack. Vendilion Clique tried to block, but Lightning Bolt took care of the blocker and Brian revealed a hand of Ponder, Nimble Mongoose, and Tarmogoyf. Jared took the Ponder, and Brian added ‘Goyf to his board.
Venser, Shaper Savant bounced the Llurgoyf though, and Batterskull brought life totals to 7-10 in favor of Jared. Tarmogoyf reentered play, and Aberration continued its march, and even a Wasteland on Tundra happened for Brian, but it wasn’t good enough. Big poppa Jace, the Mind Sculptor bounced the ‘Goyf yet again, and Brian fell to 3. The Delver took down the Jace, and then Brian recast Tarmogoyf and also added Nimble Mongoose. Shields up!
Brian is hoping his Goyfs are good!
Shields up worked! Jared simply drew and passed. Insectile Aberration continued to do work, dropping Jared back down to 8. Then to 5. Then to 2. Batterskull then had to attack so that Jared could avoid death, but at only 6 he couldn’t survive the returning forces. Failing to find land number five, which would have allowed an equip to either Venser of Stoneforge Mystic and outgrow Tarmogoyf’s power, meant the game for Jared… and the game in favor of Brian.
Brian 1, Jared 0.
“That was rough.”
'Jared, now on the play, led with Scalding Tarn into basic Island (some might say the best play possible in Legacy!). Brian led with only Volcanic Island. Tundra from Jared was followed by a pass as well, while Brian used Wasteland to take it down… and Jared then missed his next land drop. Delver of Secrets came down for Brian, and Jared attempted Force of Will but Spell Pierce took care of that.
Jared continued to miss land drops. Delver of Secrets became Insectile Aberration thanks to Ponder off the top, and the clock quickly got underway. Down to 15 life, and also facing Nimble Mongoose, Jared needed to find mana soon. Sadly, none came. Jared fell to 11, and Tarmogoyf came into play as well. Finally, Tundra came off the top to help Stoneforge Mystic search out Batterskull, but by this point it was too late. Brian cast Ponder and Lightning Bolt on the lone blocker, then swung with the team, and Jared dropped to 1. Failing to find Balance or any other number of impossible outs, Jared scooped.’
Brian 2, Jared 0.