Semifinals: Mike Fyrberg vs. Joseph Greer
The lone midrange deck remaining, Mike Fyrberg would have to go through Joseph Greer’s G/R Aggro deck with a guaranteed pairing against Domri Naya in the finals. Would his top seed advantage get him through the gauntlet?
Joseph turns to the sideboard after making quick work of Game 1.
Mike began with Swamp while Joseph had Stomping Ground, and Woodland Cemetery kept up Joseph’s access to Abrupt Decay. Unfortunately for him, Joseph’s first play of Strangleroot Geist was immune to the removal spell. The follow-up Flinthoof Boar, however, died more suddenly.
A Desecration Demon in the second main from Mike sent the turn over to Joseph, slowing him down a hair. He had Mutavault and his Geist available, adding Hellrider to the board and sacrificing his Strangleroot Geist in order to get in 8 damage. On 8 life, Mike tapped out Vraska the Unseen to kill Hellrider.
“I’m dead to Thundermaw Hellkite off the top,” he observed, deciding to attack for 7 rather than try and play defense with the Demon. Joseph drew and went into the tank, clearly lacking the land and Thundermaw Hellkite that would kill his opponent—he just had an attack for 3 damage and Thragtusk. That sent Mike back to the drawing board.
He Decayed Geist on his own turn and then followed up with Sign in Blood, but that left him dead on the board when he bricked on removal.
Mike's back is against the wall...
Joseph 1, Mike 0
Having broken serve, Joseph was now a substantial favorite. Even if Mike managed to lock up game 2, he’d be on the draw in the final game of the match against Joseph’s aggressive potential. Strangleroot Geist once more began the beatdown for Joseph, this time earning a Slip early on. Lifebane Zombie landed on Mike’s side, stripping Flinthoof Boar and leaving Domri Rade behind in Joseph’s hand.
Another Boar off the top let Joseph basically force the Zombie into trading, which Mike did. Now, however, he’d be vulnerable to Domri Rade over the next couple of turns. Desecration Demon offered Mike a threat for the planeswalker, but Joseph had the ability to defend it for a time by playing an Elf and hitting Thragtusk with Domri’s boost. That would play readily into Mike’s Mutilate, however...
Mike moved to combat and saw the Elf hit the bin, following with Liliana of the Veil to force a discard. Joseph’s only unknown card was Mountain, but the Flinthoof Boar his Domri found let him sneak a lethal swing in on Liliana while he played another Arbor Elf to ward off the Demon. Mike was tempted to pull the trigger on Mutilate now, and did so.
Domri dropped to a single loyalty, with a Thragtusk and four lands on Joseph’s side... but he drew a land to enable the 5/3! Mike entered combat to find out if Joseph would defend the planeswalker, and he decided to do so by dropping the 5/3. Peeling Thundermaw Hellkite with Domri, Joseph got in an attack for 8 damage against Mike’s inept Vampire Nighthawk, but Putrefy on the following turn cleared out the Dragon.
Joseph drew Zealous Conscripts and stole the Demon, sliding a lethal attack through Mike’s tapped Nighthawk when he declined to use the trigger.
Joseph 2, Mike 0