Semifinals: Milton Figueroa vs. Brennan Decandio
Brennan’s Orzhov Midrange deck has been beating up on many of the Mono-Black Devotion decks in the room today, with Blood Baron of Vizkopa playing a big part in his run to the top overall seed. Milton’s Mono-Blue deck is a classic of the current format, and the Pro tour-winning archetype has been a dominant force ever since. But can it take down the guild-themed menace?
Brennan discussed his strong dislike for playing Pack Rat before game 1.
Milton's judged Mono-Blue to be his deck of choice!
“I played it (Pack Rat) in something like sixteen games at a GP recently, and I lost every game I activated it. Every time it was a 1/1, I won. I was like, ‘this card is terrible!’”
Brennan’s deck produced a turn two Pack Rat on the play.
Milton’s draw was quite aggressive though, with turn one Cloudfin Raptor, turn two Tidebinder Mage, turn three Omenspeaker and Judge’s Familiar.vBrennan was at 17 staring down four creatures before he untapped for his fourth turn. He decided to begin to race, attacking with a pair of rats before creating a third midcombat. Milton continued to press his advantage, dropping Bident of Thassa and using it to turn all of his little guys into Scroll Thiefs. He drew two, attacking with only Cloudfin and Familiar, before passing. Brennan sat now at 12.
In came the pack of rats. Omenspeaker jumped under the gnashing teeth of one of the mice, and with a Mutavault activation precombat they became 4/4s on the offense. Milton fell to 6, then Brennan dropped Desecration Demon before passing. Milton has a good counteraction, casting Master of Waves for seven and using one of the tokens to satiate the Demon for the turn. This allowed him to get in for five and draw more cards…
But Brennan untapped and used Hero’s Downfall to knock out the Master. In the face of too much power to handle, Milton scooped.
Brennan's confident in his rat pack!
Add another one to the win column for Pack Rat and friends!
Brennan 1, Milton 0.
Milton was now on the play, and while he had a turn one Judge’s Familiar he had no turn two play. This allowed Brennan to Thoughtseize from Mitlon’s hand, and he took Thassa after seeing Master of Waves and Jace, Architect of Thought as well. Duress the next turn took the Jace, and Pack Rat joined the fray as well. Milton mustered a turn four Jace (off the top!) to draw a copy of Bident of Thassa, but once again staring down a Pack Rat things didn’t look too keen.
Brennan decided that knocking the Jace down to one with his Return to Ravnica rare was good enough, and instead cast Desecration Demon postcombat to provide offense and defense. Master of Waves once again played the role of demon food, but Last Breath quickly took care of that. With three untapped lands in play Milton did not block with his one remaining Judge’s Familiar to prevent Jace from dying to demon. Underworld Connactions served as Brennan’s source of card advantage now, adding a steady stream of cards to his already formitable board position.
Milton had some card advantage of his own in the form of Bident of Thassa and then Omenspeaker. But an attack for six plus a second copy of the 6/6 flyer would serve as a quick clock should Milton be unable to answer. Brennan was forced to attack on his next turn, which he found agreeable. This was because Brennan had both Hero’s Downfall and Devour Flesh to clear Milton’s board before blockers, and Milton fell to 7. A late Master of Waves didn’t help things either, because Doom Blade lay in wait on the top of Brennan’s library to answer the merfolk.
Brennan 2, Milton 0.