Semifinals: Michael Derczo vs. Ross Merriam
Ross knows this matchup all too well as Death and Taxes was what beat him in the finals of a Legacy Open in Providence, costing him winning back-to-back Opens on the weekend. Now he faces Michael and a trip to the finals is on the line. Which non-Brainstorm deck will have a shot at the trophy?
Michael, on a mulligan to two, led with a Plains while Ross, on a full seven, fetched a Forest and played a Deathrite Shaman. Michael found a Karakas and passed while Ross fetched another Forest and played Green Sun’s Zenith for an Elvish Visionary and shipped the turn. Michael found another Plains, but no action and passed.
Ross played a couple of Wirewood Symbiotes into a Heritage Druid to cast a Natural Order, sacrificing a Symbiote, into Craterhoof Behemoth, untapped the DRS, and replayed the Druid to attack for the win as Michael flashed his fourth card – another Plains.
Ross 1, Michael 0
Michael focuses on his opponent.
Both were happy with their openers and Michael led off with an Aether Vial off a Plains while Ross had a Quirion Ranger from a Bayou. Michael used a Swords to Plowshares on the Ranger and passed with no second land. Ross didn’t have another land either and played Nettle Sentinel. Michael ticked his Vial up to two counters and added a Plains to the board before playing Umezawa’s Jitte.
Ross played a Wirewood Symbiote and Michael responded by Vialing in a Phyrexian Revoker naming Wirewood Symbiote. Ross attacked for 2 with the Sentinel and passed. Michael moved the Vial to three counters, equipped the Revoker with the Jitte and attacked with the 2/1. Ross blocked and traded with the Revoker, but Michael got the two charge counters on the legendary equipment. Ross studied his hand for a minute before passing and Michael Vialed in a Mirran Crusader at the end step.
Michael equipped the Crusader to the Jitte and attacked while pumping the Crusader before first strike damage and once afterward to knock Ross to 7 and leave the Crusader with three Jitte counters. Ross drew a card and picked up his cards.
Ross 1, Michael 1
Ross riffles through his hand.
Ross started the deciding game off by fetching up a Bayou for Fyndhorn Elves while Michael passed after playing a Plains. Ross went to 18 to fetch another Bayou and played an Elvish Visionary then played a Wirewood Symbiote with the Elves to then cast Quirion Ranger. Michael played another Plains to cast Phyrexian Revoker naming Wirewood Symbiote.
Ross replayed the Visionary to get another card deeper, attacked for 1 with the Symbiote then played Nettle Sentinel post combat. Ross ended his turn by fetching a Dryad Arbor. Michael had a third Plains and played a Spirit of the Labyrinth then ended his turn with an Aether Vial. Ross played another Symbiote then a Gaea’s Cradle for Natural Order, sacrificing a Symbiote to get a Behemoth and attacked for 61 to take the match.
Ross 2, Michael 1