Semifinals: Joseph Moreno vs. Brian Moss
Most green decks really feared Dredge, and Maverick’s not an exception. While the deck has some of the best hate bears in Thalia and Scavenging+Ooze, no one sits down across from Dredge particularly eager to play against it.
Brian kept his starting seven cards, while Joseph fell to six to start the semifinals. Savannah and Noble+Hierarch for Brian got him onto the board. Gemstone+Mine and Putrid+Imp gave Joseph a solid start, but Brian had the best on turn 2—a Savannah and Scavenging+Ooze! Joseph attempted to bait an activation by discarding two Bridge+from+Belows, but Brian didn’t react.
Brian's all business against the dreaded Dredge.
After Joseph drew, Brian used Swords on the Putrid+Imp and that gave Joseph the opportunity to discard Stinkweed+Imp and cast Breakthrough in his main phase. He streamed dredgers, putting an Ichorid and an additional Bridge into the graveyard along with Cabal+Therapy and one Narcomoeba. He’d only had the one dredger—Brian could’ve waited until the end step to make this Swords play and been a bit safer.
Therapy flashbacked and hit Knight+of+the+Reliquary, leaving Brian with just lands and his Ooze. Would it be enough? He would be able to catch all the Bridges next turn and the Ichorid, which might be enough. He started with the Ichorid and then just passed, waiting to see what he’d use his other three mana to do.
Joseph dredge Grave-Troll and hit another Ichorid, tons of dredgers in the graveyard but little to do with his three Zombie tokens. He attacked, and Brian immediately blocked with Noble+Hierarch and then removed the new Ichorid before it died—that took all the Bridges too, and Joseph decided to just concede.
Brian 1, Joseph 0
Joseph kept seven cards this time, and Brian looked up a weak seven he mulliganed. City+of+Brass and Putrid+Imp for Joseph, with Brian immediately Wastelanding it on turn 1. Grave-Troll via the Imp put Ichorid and Cabal+Therapy into the bin with Faithless+Looting, and Joseph attacked for 2 damage.
Pitching Grave-Troll again during the end step, Joseph had a dredger in the yard. Brian responded with Swords on the Imp after fetching, and Joseph decided to discard Bridge+from+Below, Golgari+Thug, and another Grave-Troll. Faerie+Macabre then took out the Trolls, leaving Joseph on Thug.
Joseph was a turn too slow in game 1.
He brought back Ichorid and found another Grave-Troll and another Bridge with his Thug. After attacking, Joseph flashbacked Cabal+Therapy to make two Zombies and named Green Sun’s Zenith. He whiffed—two Thalia and Dryad+Arbor, alongside a Forest. Brian dropped one Thalia, and passed the turn.
Dredging six, Joseph found two Narcomoebas, a third Bridge, and two Stinkweed+Imps to fuel his Ichorid. He considered swinging to trade a Zombie for 2 damage and decided to do so, leaving Brian on 12 life. Dryad+Arbor for Brian and nothing else, while Joseph grabbed back Ichorid and dredged into two Cabal+Therapy. He could keep the Narcomoebas around for some flying pressure in this position, avoiding the Arbor’s block that would remove Bridge.
Forgetting that his Narcomoebas were no longer summoning sick after a discussion with the table judge, Joseph ended the turn. Brian cast Sylvan+Library, and Joseph was reduced to drawing a card for turn.
Scavenging+Ooze joined the party for Brian, and now Joseph was in a bad way. Locked under Thalia, he lost Faithless+Looting to the Ooze. The Narcomoebas attacked Brian to 7 life, and Joseph played City+of+Brass afterward. He declined to use it to pay for any Therapy use, and lost one Bridge to the Ooze.
Untapping with Ooze, Brian appeared pretty far ahead but would need to close his clock against Narcomoeba. Thalia swung for 2 damage, and Brian passed. Gemstone+Mine for Joseph gave him pain-free mana, and he followed that with an attack for 2 to leave Brian on 5 life. Paying for Golgari+Thug, Joseph passed the turn.
Brian removed his Faerie in the end step to gain a life, and then turned his Dryad+Arbor into Maze+of+Ith during the upkeep, shuffling his Sylvan and killing all the Bridges. With the Ooze active on a couple creatures now, it looked grim for Joseph—1 damage a turn would not cut it, and he couldn’t kill Thalia to combo off, either.
Attacking with Thalia and the 3/3 Ooze, Joseph fell to 12 as the Ooze grew one more before damage. Attacking for 4, Maze made it 2 and Brian went to 5 once more. He took a Forest with Sylvan and attacked with his 5/5 Knight and Scavenging+Ooze, a block on the Knight leaving him at 8. Zenith for two after combat found Fauna+Shaman for Brian, and he passed tapped out.
Cephalid+Coliseum gave Joseph some potential options. He cast Stinkweed+Imp, generating a blocker and potential attacker, depending on how Brian played. Swords+to+Plowshares removed the Imp, and Brian swung with Ooze and Knight. Golgari+Thug blocked the Knight, and Ooze declined to remove it. Brian passed.
Falling to 2 life to cast the Thug, Joseph’s attack with both Narcomoebas didn’t meet the Maze this time—that left him dead to Brian’s swing with everything.
Brian 2, Joseph 0