Semifinals: Juha Tolvanen vs Jake Moldowsky
Two vastly different graveyard strategies sat down to battle in this semifinal: Juha Tolvanen had been conjuring up Zombies all day with Manaless Dredge, while Jake Moldowsky was using a more traditional Reanimator deck.
Jake kicked things off with a Thoughtseize, seeing a hand of Cabal Therapy, Golgari Grave-Troll, Shambling Shell, Gitaxian Probe, Balustrude Spy, and a pair of Bridge from Belows. He shrugged, offered “Eh, that one’s not a dredger,” and deprived Juha of his Gitaxian Probe.
Juha drew a Dread Return and passed the turn.
Brainstorm into fetchland and Ponder was the turn 2 for Jake, and Juha was then in the clear to draw up to 8 cards and pitch a Golgari Grave-Troll. Jake cast Careful study on his third turn, pitching two Griselbrands, then played a third land and cast Exhume.
Jake: “What you’ve always wanted: A Golgari Grave-Troll!”
Juha had no choice but to put his Golgari Grave-Troll into play as a 1/1, delaying the dredging for at least another turn. He drew and discarded a Shambling Shell. Jake’s Griselbrand rumbled in on his next turn, and he had further bad news: Reanimate, targeting Shambling Shell. The 3/1 joined Jake’s army, and Juha was again without a way to start Dredging.
Another draw step and another dredger (Stinkweed Imp) discarded, Juha passed it back. Jake had a plan to finish things off—he Entombed for Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, then then Reanimated it. This got the 1/1 Golgari Grave-Troll out of the way, and pumped up his team, allowing him to attack for 14 for the win.
Jake Moldowsky 1, Juha Tolvanen 0
A Duress on turn 1 from Jake revealed Flayer of the Hatebound, Stinkweed Imp, Dread Return, Ichorid, Street Wraith, Golgari Thug, and Bridge from Below. He sniped the Dread Return, buying a free turn, as Juha simply drew and passed. A turn 2 Entomb for Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and a Reanimate resolved, and Juha simply chuckled and extended the hand, having no way to get the Elesh Norn off the board and no way to keep a permanent in play under the -2/-2 effect.
Jake Moldowsky 2, Juha Tolvanen 0