Semifinals: Nick Leaf vs. Darrel Feltner
Nick Leaf had sliced through the swiss with his G/R Lands deck, while Darrel Feltner was hoping to earn a seat in the finals with an innovative Rest in Peace Miracles list.
Nick is a man of the land.
Nick made his best attempt in the first two turns to keep Darrel’s lands under control with Rishadan Ports, but he was unable to keep Darrel from casting a Counterbalance on turn 3. He attempted a Crop Rotation in response, but Darrel was ready with Force of Will pitching a second copy of Counterbalance. The Counterbalance stuck, and it triggered just the next turn when Nick attempted a Gamble, flipping over Swords to Plowshares to counter it.
A second Rishadan Port came down for Nick, keeping Darrel limited to just a single land. On his next turn Nick attempted Exploration, which resolved through the Counterbalance, as it flipped up an Island. Seeing that the coast was clear, Nick also took the opportunity to cast Life from the Loam, getting back Wasteland and two fetchlands. A third Rishadan Port followed in short order, and now Darrel, who was stuck on 3 lands, was not able to use any of them.
Nick went into Life from the Loam mode from here, dredging it back each turn as he cracked fetchlands and cycled away Tranquil Thickets. Darrel, for his part, was still stuck on lands, and could find no way to make headway. Finally, Nick found Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths, and Darrel saw the writing on the wall and picked up his cards.
Nick Leaf 1, Darrel Feltner 0
Darrel is just happy to be here.
Darrel, on the play, was able to establish his lock very quickly, fetching an Island to cast Sensei’s Divining Top on his second turn, then fetching another Island on his second turn to cast Counterbalance. He cast a Rest in Peace on his fourth turn, and Nick went into the tank for a moment, as he had a Krosan Grip and needed to decide on a target. He ultimately decided to kill off the Sensei’s Divining Top.
Now that the Counterbalance/Top lock was out of play, Nick was looking to set up a win the following turn, as he cast a Gamble looking for the Dark Depths to go with the Thespian's Stage he already had in play. It resolved through the Counterbalance, which flipped over an Island. He randomly discarded a useless Life from the Loam, and he was set up to make a 20/20 the next turn.
Darrel Felter 1, Nick Leaf 1
Nick opened up with an Exploration in the decider, and by turn 2 he had four lands in play, including a Grove of the Burnwillows and a Rishadan Port. Darrel was able to get a Sensei’s Divining Top into play, but Nick fired off a Punishing Fire at his end step to begin the slow process of burning him out. Darrel put a stop to it, however, as he played a Plains on his third turn and slammed Rest in Peace into play.
Nick: “Not thaaaaat.”
Nick regrew his Punishing Fires in response, but his engine was shut down. A turn later Meddling Mage entered play turning off the Punishing Fire, and the 2/2 beatdowns began. Nick had access to two Rishadan Ports to keep Darrel off of his white sources, but the Meddling Mage kept on poking him for 2 damage at a time. A few draw steps later, Nick couldn’t help but bust out a laugh and flash his hand—FOUR copies of Punishing Fire.
Eventually Darrel found a few more lands, including some additional white sources. With Nick no longer able to keep Darrel off of white sources, it was only a matter of time before Entreat the Angels arrived off the top of Darrel’s deck, and four 4/4 Angels arrived to take things home.
Darrel Feltner 2, Nick Leaf 1