Semifinals: Josh Ravitz vs. Jeremy Sparkman
Both Josh Ravitz and Jeremy Sparkman had overcome aggressive opponents with their Black-based Devotion decks in the Quarterfinal. Now they faced a mirror. Which of these two Pack Rat Connoisseurs would earn a seat in the finals?
Jeremy sends Lifebane Zombie to do his bidding.
Jeremy led off with a Thoughtseize, seeing a hand of Forest, Swamp, Mutavault, Lifebane Zombie, Devour Flesh, and Hero’s Downfall. He got rid of the Downfall, and Josh drew and immediately cast a Pack Rat.
Josh: “Had it.”
It met an Ultimate Price from Jeremy. Ravitz had Lifebane Zombie, seeing a hand of Devour Flesh, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Temple of Silence, and two Swamps. The Zombie died to Devour Flesh, and Ravitz replaced it with another. Gray Merchant came down to drain Jeremy for 2. It drew more removal from Josh, and the second Lifebane Zombie went to work. Josh traded removal spells in hand for the Jeremy’s creatures over the next several turns, disposing of a Lifebane Zombie and two Pack Rats while his Lifebane Zombie and Mutavault pecked away at Jeremy’s Life total.
Josh Ravitz 1, Jeremy Sparkman 0
Neither player made a move for the first two turns, and it was Josh, on the draw, who opened the action with a turn 3 Underworld Connections. Jeremy had an enchantment of his own on turn 4, casting Whip of Erebos. He attempted a Gray Merchant of Asphodel on his next turn, but Josh killed it with Hero’s Downfall while the trigger was on the stack, then untapped and cast a Desecration Demon.
Another Gray Merchant came down for Jeremy, dropping Josh to 12, but Josh fired right back with a Gray Merchant of his own, jumping back up to 18 and dropping Jeremy to 14. Jeremy wasn’t done with the merchant show, casting a third Gray Merchant of Asphodel on his own turn to jump back up to 20 and send Josh back down to 12. Josh attacked with his Demon, bus passed the turn right back with mana up.
When Jeremy moved to bring back the first Gray Merchant of Asphodel with his Whip of Erebos, Josh killed off one of the others with a Dark Betrayal. The Merchant still drained for 6, sending Josh to 4. Josh had only another Underworld Connections, and the second Whip activation on a Gray Merchant was enough to finish things off.
Josh Ravitz 1, Jeremy Sparkman 1
Josh is not afraid of rats.
Josh tried to get the party started on turn 2 with a Pack Rat, but Jeremy had Devour Flesh to keep him honest. A Thoughtseize on turn 3 from Jeremy revealed a hand of Abrupt Decay, Underworld Connections, Hero’s Downfall, and Erebos, God of the Dead, and cleared the Underworld Connections out of Josh’s hand. Josh immediately drew another and cast it, however, and used Abrupt Decay when Jeremy played an Underworld Connections of his own.
The second Underworld Connections from Jeremy stuck, however, and it looked like both players would have plenty of actions for the decider. Josh cast his Erebos, God of the Dead, and Jeremy upped the ante with a pair of Pack Rats. Josh simply drew his cards and passed the turn. When the Pack Rats came swinging, Josh killed one with Abrupt Decay. Jeremy made another Rat token before damage, and Josh cast Devour Flesh which ate a Mutavault from Jeremy.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel from Josh made up some ground, jumping him back up to 20 and sending Jeremy to 11, and then to 6 from the Erebos attack. Jeremy made another Rat token and attacked with two of them, knocking Josh down to 14. When Josh cast a second copy of Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Jeremy was forced to use Hero’s Downfall to kill off the first rather than make a Rat, falling to 1. Another Rat chump blocked the Erebos, and Jeremy untapped in a precarious spot.
After considering his options, Jeremy made two Rat tokens and came crashing, leaving back exactly two blockers. Josh showed him a removal spell to clear one away, taking the match.
Josh Ravitz 2, Jeremy Sparkman 1