Semifinals: Morgan McLaughlin vs. Thomas Herzog
Thomas Herzog was bringing Maverick back in style, taking it all the way to the semifinals. Standing in his way of a finals berth was Morgan McLaughlin and his RUG Delver deck.
Thomas hopes this Scavenging Ooze is good enough.
Morgan led things off with his deck’s namesake, Delver of Secrets. Thomas matched him one drop for one drop, fetching up a Savannah and casting Noble Hierarch. Morgan missed on his first Delver trigger, but it cracked in for 1 anyway, and a Nimble Mongoose was the follow-up. On his second turn, Thomas played a Wasteland and cast Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, prompting a Brainstorm in response from Morgan. The Thalia stuck, and Thomas Wastelanded away Morgan’s Volcanic Island before passing it back.
Ponder showed up on top of morgan’s deck, and the Delver of Secrets flipped over. Morgan attacked Thomas down to 15 with his flier, then added a Tarmogoyf to the board before shipping the turn. Thomas used Swords to Plowshares on his own turn to send the Insectile Aberration farming, then passed it back. Morgan tapped both of his lands to cast a Ponder, then attacked for three with his Tarmogoyf and added another Nimble Mongoose to the board.
Swords to Plowshares #2 was the play from Thomas, getting rid of Tarmogoyf and leaving Morgan with just a pair of 1/1 Nimble Mongooses. Thomas then attacked with his Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, knocking Morgan back down to 21, and added a Deathrite Shaman to the board post-combat.
Morgan cast a Brainstorm, putting the sixth card into his graveyard. He found Scalding Tarn, which let him shuffle the chaff away AND grew his Nimble Mongooses into 3/3s. Chain Lightning cleared away the Deathrite Shaman, and the Mongeese came swinging, dropping Thomas down to 6.
Thomas deliberated for a moment before tapping out for a Green Sun’s Zenith for 2, digging Scavenging Ooze out of his deck. When Morgan attacked again with the Nimble Mongeese, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben jumped in front of one, but the other got through, and Morgan revealed Lightning Bolt in his hand to finish things out.
Morgan McLaughlin 1, Thomas Herzog 0
Morgan brings two Nimble Mongeese and in intense stare to the table.
Now on the play, Thomas led the action with a Green Sun’s Zenith for 0, putting Dryad Arbor into play, which stayed in play for all of about five seconds before Morgan fried with Volcanic Island into Lightning Bolt.
Thomas: “I really wanted that guy to live”
Thomas simply played a Savannah and passed the turn. Morgan Wastelanded him back to just one land, then cast a Delver of Secrets. Thomas attempted an end step Swords to Plowshares, but Morgan countered with Force of Will pitching Spell Snare. Thomas simply untapped and disposed of the Delver with a Path to Exile, then dropped another Wasteland and sent Morgan back to 0 permanents in play.
Morgan decided that two could play that game, and played a Wasteland of his own, destroying Thomas’s Horizon Canopy and leaving both players with 0 permanents in play. Thomas laughed and played his third wasteland, passing it back to Morgan who dropped a Tropical Island and a Nimble Mongoose.
Thomas had no further land, and considered his options for a while before choosing to use the Wasteland on Morgan’s Tropical Island. Morgan found a Scalding Tarn to turn his Nimble Mongoose on, and began attacking for 3 damage a turn.
Several turns went by without Thomas finding another land. He fell to 13, then 10, then 7, then 4. By the time he found another mana source, he was staring down a Tarmogoyf and a Delver of Secrets in addition to the goose. The Plains was no help, and extended the hand.
Morgan McLaughlin 2, Thomas Herzog 0