Semifinals: Kurthâ€“Patnode-Walte vs. Murray -Visco- Liao
Only one of these teams can make it to tomorrow's booster draft! Whose saved their best for last!
Patnode in ther B-seat was the only one of the five players who had to take the mulligan, so the matches to the outside of him got underway first.
Murray -Visco- Liao (L to R) are deep in the tank!
In the C-seats, Kurth got off to a blazing start, using Mutavault among other lands to play Blur+Sliver and Predatory+Sliver. This forced Murray to block early, but luckily he had Wall+of+Frost to do the job so he could hold off the early Sliver assault. But Kurth kept the beats coming, dropping Maraudering Maulhorn to assist on beatstick duty. Murray set up a defense of Messenger+Drake and Deathgaze Cockatrice to stop the attack, but Trollhide on Marauding+Maulhorn certainly threw a wrench in the works. The now 7/5 Regenerating creature beat in and swallowed up the Drake.
Jace’s Mindseeker was Murray’s next play, but failed to hit an instant or sorcery in the top five of NY’s library. Kurth’s assault continued, but Murray’s defense was stout and Mindseeker joined in on the red zone fun to drop life totals to 16-11 in favor of Kurth. Sliver+Construct also joined the fray, and after he didn’t declare any attackers Orioles flashed in Nephalia+Seakite to try to cut the clock and race. With Kurth now at 10, Murray’s post-combat play of Air+Servant further pushed the action...
But Kurth decided he had had enough, swinging with all seven of his creatures (although two of them were Elvish+Mystic and Gladecover+Scout). Murray was forced to block oddly and fall to 3, but it was good enough to have a lethal swingback and Kurth took game 1.
Murray 1, Kurth 0.
Meanwhile, Patnode’s mulligan to five put him too far behind and he lost his first game.
1 Visco, 0 Patnode.
By the time I dropped in on match A-seat, Liao's opponent Walte was on 4 and he sat at 16, but Dawnstrike+Paladin was certainly able to turn the tide quickly. Walte consulted Patnode on Liao’s possibilities before dropping Seraph of the Dawn to further stabilize. Liao cast Accused Spirit to put in a creature that was impossible to block (at least currently, as Walte was playing black and white). Dawnstrike+Paladin traded with a creature in combat after being double blocked, and Quag+Sickness quickly dispatched of the Spirit.
Patnode, the center player, once more mulliganed and had mana troubles meaning it was up to Kurth and Liao to carry the day.
2 Visco, 0 Patnode
1 Murray -Visco- Liao, 0 Kurth–Patnode-Walte
The team of Kurth-Patnode-Walte (R to L) ponder their next move!
1 Walte, 0 Liao
Back to Kurth versus Murray! Kurth controlled a trio of 4/4 Slivers thanks to Construct and two Predatory+Slivers, facing down Murray’s pair of fliers in Trained+Condor and Seacoast+Drake, supported by Wall+of+Frost. Patnode stepped in to help out NY, offering Striking+Sliver as the best option to prevent any trades from complicating combat. Murray went to 11, then NY places Trollhide on Striking+Sliver.
Murray was stuck on three lands, and so passed. Disperse removed the Striking+Sliver from the board before Wall blocked one Predatory+Sliver and his 1/3 and 2/1 blocked the other. Condor and Sliver died, and Marauding+Maulhorn joined the fray. All Murray could summon was Scroll+Thief, so Kurth attacked unimpeded and the Maulhorn was only slowed by the Wall. Maulhorn number two joined the board as well, but quickly found its way into a box with Claustrophobia. Scroll+Thief dug for answers before Murray passed.
Now with one frozen Maulhorn and one with a psychological fear of confined spaces, Kurth dropped Enlarge targeting his Sliver+Construct. 10/10 trampling Sliver and 2/2 normal sliver swung into Wall+of+Frost and Seacoast+Drake with Murray at 8 life. Wall bit the dust and absorbed a bunch of damage, with 1/3 blocking 2/2, so Murray untapped at 5 life... and that’s when Kurth ran out of gas. Scroll+Thief dug up Messenger+Drake to play some more defense, and it quickly traded with the Maulhorn. Striking+Sliver and Elvish+Mystic hit the table post combat. Murray’s next creature, Water+Servant, was much more impressive.
Manaweft+Sliver provided another 2/2 body for Kurth but it really wasn’t what he wanted. Air+Servant was a much more potent threat for Murray, and the 4/3 went to work. Trained+Condor and Seacoast+Drake further pushed the skies initiative, and after Kurth’s Sliver+Construct got Essence Scattered then Murray swung in for lethal flying damage.
Murray 2, Kurth 0
2 Murray -Visco- Liao, 0 Kurth–Patnode-Walte
As the team of Murray-Visco-Liao already had the 2-0 win, they move on to tomorrow morning’s finals draft!