Semifinals: Joseph Loster vs. Jacob Kory
These two combo decks promised to make for a fast match. Could Joseph’s counters give him enough defense to survive a Griselbrand deck just as fast as his own?
Joseph began the match with a few mulligans, but tried to rally.
Joseph mulliganed as Jacob kept, and that six became five immediately after. His five were pretty bad too, but they did contain Griselbrand, Emrakul, and the potential to Show+and+Tell on turn 2 if he drew one. Keeping, Joseph led Flooded+Strand. Jacob played Scrubland and cast Cabal+Therapy on Emrakul before breaking Lotus+Petal for Cabal+Therapy on Griselbrand, leaving both players very light on cards.
Lotus+Petal and pass for Joseph, while Jacob fetched Underground+Sea on turn 2 and cast Dark+Ritual for Entomb and Shallow+Grave, plopping Griselbrand into play. He drew fourteen cards immediately, playing Lotus+Petal and then Dark+Ritual for Entomb to get Emrakul, Shallow+Grave putting it into play with haste before the shuffle resolved.
On turn 2.
Jacob 1, Joseph 0
Jacob's taking Tendrils Reanimator to new heights in Las Vegas.
Joseph kept and played turn 1 Grafdigger’s Cage off Island, hoping to slow down Jacob. Gitaxian+Probe from Jacob cost him 2 life and showed Force+of+Will, Spell+Pierce, Preordain, Griselbrand, and Sneak+Attack—a relatively intimidating hand.
Cabal+Therapy started picking it apart, naming Sneak+Attack before Jacob played Lotus+Petal and ended the turn. Preordain spotted a land for Joseph, which he drew and played. Jacob played Polluted+Delta before playing Cabal+Therapy again, invalidating Spell+Pierce and earning a Force+of+Will, removing the Pierce.
Fetching, Jacob grabbed Underground+Sea and cast Brainstorm. Passing, he had no reply to a Lotus+Petal from Joseph as each player sat, struggling to assemble a winning combo play. Jacob had many more cards, but Joseph had more live draws—Jacob was completely Caged for the time being, but he wasn’t so far from being able to Dark+Ritual up a Griselbrand if he could fine one, sitting on four mana already.
Joseph had three lands and two Lotus+Petals as he waited to draw action, but found none on this turn. Jacob began to enter cleanup steps, binning Griselbrand. On Joseph’s upkeep, Jacob cast Silence—this meant he’d likely be planning to bounce the Cage in the end step and attempt the win. Sure enough, once Joseph passed turn the Chain+of+Vapor came down.
Still during the end step, Jacob cast Shallow+Grave to put in Griselbrand until the end of the next turn, saving himself some mana. Untapping, he cast Silence again—no response from Joseph, and now Jacob could Griselbrand to his heart’s content. He played his second and third Lotus+Petal after drawing seven, then drew seven more.
Jacob Entombed Emrakul, and Joseph extended the hand as he saw the writing on the wall.
Jacob 2, Joseph 0