Semifinals: Luis Alfonso vs. Matt Costa
Turn 1 Judge’s Familiar for Luis gave him both an attacker and a way to slow down Matt’s removal spells, and Matt began with Temple+of+Abandon to keep his top card in place. Turn 2 Thoughtseize from Matt nabbed Thassa from his opponent’s hand, leaving Luis with an assortment of creatures he’d been unable to play due to turn 2 Mutavault.
Frostburn+Weird for Luis on turn 3, while Matt played Scavenging+Ooze and a tapped shockland, already on 16 due to the Bird beatdown. He appeared to debate a block when Luis attacked, and eventually did make Luis use his valuable colored mana to boost the Weird, killing the Ooze. After combat, Nykthos allowed Luis to cast his Nightveil+Specter.
Anger+of+the+Gods from Matt mopped up with a mana to spare for the Familiar, leaving Luis on just Frostburn+Weird. An attack from Mutavault alongside the Weird put Matt to 11 life, and Cloudfin+Raptor offered Luis an air force. Matt had a brick wall in Polukranos, but Thassa%2C+God+of+the+Sea threatened to overwhelm the Hydra.
Abrupt+Decay from Matt on his own turn, and Luis used Rapid+Hybridization to convert the Weird into a 3/3. Matt had Scavenging+Ooze with a green up afterward, and Luis’s play made more sense when he slammed Bident+of+Thassa and attacked, forcing Matt to trade the Ooze or give Luis a free card.
Trading, Matt untapped with Polukranos against a 1/2 Raptor and a tapped out opponent, but he declined to monstrous in favor of casting his final Scavenging+Ooze. Luis dropped Judge’s Familiar on the next turn and then Master+of+Waves for six Elementals. Matt went to 13 growing his Ooze into a 5/5, and had Hero’s Downfall in hand or Polukranos available to slay all those blockers... he used Polukranos, and Luis conceded.
Matt 1, Luis 0
Judge’s Familiar once more for Luis, while Matt had Stomping+Ground to start and fell to 19. Sylvan+Caryatid caught Matt up on mana, while Luis failed to make a two-drop. He did have one of his most important turn 3 plays in Thassa, while Matt just continued to play Caryatids. Luis tried Bident, but Matt had Doom+Blade to kill the Bird and shut down the draw... for now.
Out of land drops, Matt played Polukranos and ended the turn. Luis had Tidebinder+Mage to lock up the Hydra, and that enabled an attack with Thassa that Matt elected to chump block with a Caryatid. He found a replacement land waiting for him on top, which let Matt cast a 4/4 Mistcutter+Hydra in defense mode. Luis spent the mana he needed on Thassa, drawing a card and getting in 5 damage.
Matt swung Luis to 16 with his Hydra and passed. When Luis attacked, Matt blocked Tidebinder with his Caryatid and then used Golgari+Charm to destroy the Bident+of+Thassa, taking away devotion. Luis rebuilt his board with Nightveil+Specter, but Matt was ready to cash in with Anger+of+the+Gods, losing his Caryatid but reducing Luis to just Thassa.
Falling behind, Luis played Frostburn+Weird and passed. When Matt attacked on the next turn, his Hydra became a Frog Lizard quite Rapidly, but the Mistcutter was inexorable. Luis had Master+of+Waves, but another Polukranos from Matt had headed Luis off on that angle. Unwilling to risk a Hybridization that killed his Hydra, Matt decided to Anger+of+the+Gods and then attack.
Luis traded Master for the damaged Polukranos, and had Nightveil+Specter on the next turn to attack Matt down to 4 life. When Matt tied to swing for lethal with Mistcutter+Hydra, Luis pulled out his last trick—Hybridization on Thassa to make a green blocker—but Matt had Abrupt+Decay at the ready to clear the path.
Matt 2, Luis 1