Semifinals: Jared Lacombe vs. Grant McGuffee
Ah, the ol’ Boros vs. Azorius matchup. These players met in the seventh round yesterday, and Jared won. Would that trend continue in the semis, where Grant would be on the play this time thanks to having the higher seed?
Grant began with a mulligan, but once he kept six he led off with Temple of Deceit, while Jared led with Boros Guildgate. Grant played a Temple of Silence (his Temples are just for the scry value, by the way) while Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Rakdos Cackler entered the battlefield for Jared. A third Temple and a pass was Grant’s play, while Jared missed his next land drop. Jace, Architect of Thought used +1 to make the Rakdos Cackler 1/2 on attacks, and missing another land drop things didn’t look great for the mostly red aggro pilot.
Jace found Elspeth on Grant’s next turn, and Grant finally found his third land, a Mountain, but by this point it was a little late. Ash Zealot turn five is much less impressive than turn two or three, especially when Dissolve prevents it from hurting anyone. Celestial Flare removed the Cackler as well. Grant dropped Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and used her ‘three dudes’ ability before using Jace’s -2 to grab Celestial Flare. Jared dropped Ash Zealot and attacked Jace, but one of the tokens blocked the Human Warrior. Elspeth created more of an army on the next turn while Jace tag teamed to Cumber Stone Jared’s attackers.
Grant sent his opponents to Detention all weekend!
A few turns later, with Elspeth threatening to go ultimate on the next turn, and that was that.
Grant 1, Jared 0.
Jared began on the play and led things off with Rakdos Cackler. Grant once more had to mulligan, but with his six card hand began with Temple of Silence, scrying the top card to the bottom of his deck. Sacred Foundry untapped allowed Ash Zealot to be on time this game, and Grant fell to 16 before he cast his turn two Ratchet Bomb. Boros Guildgate followed by Burning-Tree Emissary into Tear was Jared’s turn three and Grant dropped all the way to 12 already. He went to 10 after Hallowed Fountain came in untapped to Detention Sphere the Ash Zealot. It’s going to be tough to come back from this spot!
Hammer of Purphoros allowed Jared to have a post-Wrath presence should Grant have the Azorius sorcery, but a second Detention Sphere was the call instead… and no fourth land just yet. Jared played Temple of Triumph before attacking for the turn, and facing the coming onslaught scooped in preparation for game three.
Grant 1, Jared 1.
Jared knows his hasty Dragons are Breathing down the opposition's necks!
Grant, once more on the play, actually kept a seven card hand and Jared did the same. Both players played tapped lands on turn one and two, with Jared scrying a card to the bottom and then to the top with his first two. Boros Reckoner turn three was the first non-cycled Azorius Charm spell of the game, and was duely Syncopated… but Grant did not have a fourth land again! Fanatic of Mogis dealt one damage on turn four and landed a 4/2, and a second Azorius Charm cycled to finally find Grant’s fourth land.
And now, some heavy hitters and some equally heavy responses: Stormbreath Dragon turn five was countered by Dissolve, which found an untapped land to be land five. The 4/2 Minotaur attacked Grant, who used Celestial Flare to remove the Giant Cockroach. Burning-Tree Emissary post-combat was the remaining play.
“Two mana burn?”
“Yep, you got me.”
Grant passed without playing a sixth land, and Jared dropped Nykthos as his next land before Ash Zealot entered play. Grant took four to fall to 9, but went back up to 11 thanks to Sphinx’s Revelation. That allowed him to find his sixth land, but perhaps it was too late? Grant simply passed, and Jared kept his foot on the gas pedal by attacking for four more. Grant dropped to 7, and then went for Sphinx’s Revelation for three…
But Boros Charm and Warleader’s Helix finished the job, and Jared completed the comeback in the semis!
Jared 2, Grant 1.