Semifinals: Nicholas Arestad vs. Bernardo Fonseca
As the higher seed, Nicholas had the option and chose to play. Both kept their seven.
Nicholas scryed off a Temple of Silence, sending it to the bottom after a little thought. Bernardo led with a Swamp and Thoughtseize, revealing Pack Rat, Lifebane Zombie, Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Desecration Demon, Mutavault, and Godless Shrine. Pack Rat went away and Bernardo went to 18.
Nicholas played a tapped Godless Shrine and went for a Thoughtseize of his own, seeing Swamp, Temple of Deceit, two Pack Rat, and two Gray Merchant of Asphodel. One Pack Rat hit the bin and the life totals were 18-all.
Another Swamp from Bernardo and the Pack Rat came down. Nicholas went for the Lifebane Zombie, which had no targets, after the Mutavault came into play. Bernardo played a Mutavault of his own and passed. Nicholas took the pain from an untapped Godless Shrine, going to 16, and went for Desecration Demon. At the end step, Bernardo made his first Pack Rat copy.
Bernardo untapped, scryed off a Temple of Deceit, and left the card on top. He then passed. Nicholas untapped and swung with Desecration Demon, putting Bernardo to 12 life. A freshly drawn Underworld Connections went on the Godless Shrine, with a tap to get a fresh card. At the end step, Bernardo made a third Pack Rat.
Bernardo rides his Pack Rats to victory in Game 1 of the semifinals.
Bernardo untapped and sent all three rats into the red zone. Nicholas blocked one with a Lifebane Zombie, but a freshly made Pack Rat changed the combat math and sent the Lifebane Zombie to the bin. Another Underworld Connections draw gave Nicholas a Swamp, but Bernardo did not take the bait on Desecration Demon’s trigger and Nicholas passed without attacking. Bernardo untapped and went into the tank.
“Two cards in hand?” “Four,” came the reply from Nicholas. Bernardo went to combat and attacked with all four Pack Rats. Nicholas activated Mutavault and blocked two Pack Rats, but Bernardo made a fifth Pack Rat and Nicholas packed it in.
Nicholas Arestad 0, Bernardo Fonseca 1.
“I’m not actually a big fan of the full four Bile Blight in the main,” Nicholas commented as they sideboarded, comparing notes with Bernardo on removal suites. Nicholas retained the option and chose to play. Nicholas kept his seven, while Bernardo mulliganed to six.
A Swamp and a pass from Nicholas. Bernardo had a Temple of Deceit and scryed, sending the card to the bottom. Nicholas had a Swamp and yet another pass, while Bernardo had a Swamp and Lifebane Zombie, which took out a Blood Baron, but Nicholas had drawn a second. Bile Blight disposed of the Lifebane Zombie. On Nicholas’s turn, he laid a tapped Godless Shrine and passed.
Nicholas shuffles up for Game 2 of the semifinals.
A Mutavault from Nicholas and Thoughtseize-Lifebane Zombie combo left Nicholas hurting for cards, but Bernardo didn’t have much himself, as a Sin Collector revealed. Bernardo’s Underworld Connections threatened card advantage, but Nicholas topdecked a Revoke Existence.
Nicholas Arestad 0, Bernardo Fonseca 2.
-- written by John Dale Beety