Semifinals: Noah Koessel vs. Konan Ahmed
Standard Open semifinalist Noah Koessel
It may be very early in the morning, but Noah and Konan are ready to go to war in a U/W mirror match. Konan won the roll and led with Seachrome Coast. Noah matched the land and played Delver of Secrets.
Konan followed with a Plains but had no creature to keep up with his opponent’s. Gitaxian Probe revealed Konan’s hand to be full of three drops with two Geist of Saint Traft, Sword of War and Peace and Mirran Crusader getting ready to hit the board. Delver attacked and it was back to Konan.
Konan was happy to trade his Geist of Saint Traft for four damage and the Snapcaster Mage as he played the second along with Champion of the Parish after combat. Noah flipped Delver of Secrets by revealing Vapor Snag and sent for three in the air. He passed the turn with all four lands up.
Konan went for a pre-combat Grand Abolisher and Noah responded with Snapcaster Mage and Vapor Snag on Champion of the Parish. The Geist came across and again traded for four damage and Snapcaster Mage. Noah replied with Sword of War and Peace on his Delver of Secrets, smashing across for a total of five damage and two points of life gain, making it 10-8 in his favor.
Noah 1, Konan 0
The players studied the decklists in silence as they sideboarded, not wanting to miss anything.
A second Seachrome Coast enabled Mana Leak on Noah’s Invisible Stalker and Konan’s follow-up Geist of Saint Traft loomed large on an otherwise empty board. Noah knew he had to find some help in a hurry and dug with Ponder. He chose to shuffle and found Phantasmal Image to legend rule the opposing creature.
The 2/2 Champion of the Parish crashed in for the first damage of the game and Konan shipped with five lands untapped. Invisible Stalker cracked back and Noah passed back with five lands up. Konan activated Moorland Haunt on end step to add a Spirit token to his board.
He attacked with Champion of the Parish and the token, looking to separate himself in the damage race. Gut Shot binned the token but Champion of the Parish got through. Noah attacked back with Invisible Stalker but again ended his turn with no additions to the board.
A second Champion of the Parish grew the first to 3/3 before Konan sent it into the red zone along with Gideon’s Lawkeeper. Snapcaster Mage flashed in, enabled Gut Shot, and traded with Gideon’s Lawkeeper. Konan passed the turn and the aforementioned Gut Shot picked off the new Champion of the Parish. Invisible Stalker continued its assault, but he was all alone and Noah had to pass the turn again. Konan made a Spirit with his Moorland Haunt at the end of Noah’s turn.
The 3/3 Champion of the Parish and the token swooped in, but Vapor Snag kept the 3/3 at bay. The life totals were 16-8 in Konan’s favor as he replayed the Champion of the Parish and added Leonin Relic-Warder. Noah found a clutch Timely Reinforcements to go up to 14 and net three tokens. Somewhat safe, he attacked with his Invisible Stalker. Konan decided not to make a token with his Moorland Haunt on end step.
Konan had his own Timely Reinforcements for three tokens. The leonine and the token attacked and all three soldiers blocked the cat. Two of them fell in combat while the Spirit dropped Noah to 13. Konan passed the turn with three lands, Champion of the Parish and 3 tokens up with 2 cards in hand.
Noah’s Snapcaster Mage tried to recast Timely Reinforcements, but Mana Leak blocked. Noah had to content himself with an Invisible Stalker attack before saying go. Konan sent his team into the red zone. Vapor Snag blew up a Soldier token but Noah dropped to 9. Konan added Geist of Saint Traft before saying go.
Noah added an Invisible Stalker and said go, letting Konan make a token on end step. Konan untapped and played Oblivion Ring on Snapcaster Mage before he attacked with everyone. Midnight Haunting helped Noah trade with one Spirit token and chump block the Angel token while the Invisible Stalkers traded with Geist of Saint Traft. Four creatures got through and Noah fell to 5.
Noah peeled his top card, but it was a blank.
Noah 1, Konan 1
Standard Open finalist Konan Ahmed
Noah got to play first for the first time in the match and led off with Ponder. Geist of Saint Traft, Island and Snapcaster Mage stayed on top of the deck. Konan had an early play this time, leading with a Champion of the Parish off Plains.
Noah had to put his plan on pause due to Konan’s represented Mana Leak, so he played a third land and said go with a full grip. Konan attacked again and added Geist of Saint Traft. Noah quickly allowed it and played Phantasmal Image to bin it and the gold legend.
The champion attacked again and tried for Geist of Saint Traft, but Noah had a Mana Leak of his own. Noah tried another Timely Reinforcements, and this time it got through. He picked up three tokens and six life, going all the way up to 21. Konan kept at it his noble duty, making a token with Moorland Haunt on end step.
Fiend Hunter ate a Soldier and pumped Champion of the Parish, letting Konan attack with both the token and the champion to drop Noah to 18. Noah had a lot to think about, and eventually arrived at Invisible Stalker, go.
Konan sent his Fiend Hunter, the 2/2 Champion of the Parish and the Spirit token into combat. Noah triple blocked the Fiend Hunter and Invisible Stalker died. Vapor Snag on the champion made it 19-15 Konan.
Noah attacked with his remaining two tokens and said go, looking to scrape his way back into the damage race. Konan played his eighth land of the game and went for Timely Reinforcements. Gut Shot from Noah picked off his own Soldier, effectively nullifying both sides of the powerful sorcery. Konan attacked with this Spirit and replayed Champion of the Parish, but Noah’s end step Snapcaster Mage flashed Vapor Snag back on the Spirit token to claw his way to a lead on the board.
He attacked with Snapcaster Mage and the token, letting Konan cash in his champion for the Snapcaster Mage. Another Spirit came out of Moorland Haunt on Noah’s end step, allowing Konan to attack with it. Noah fell to 10 after using another Snapcaster Mage to rebuy Gut Shot on the token, but Konan refilled with Geist of Saint Traft and another Champion of the Parish.
Noah found a fifth land and slammed Sword of War and Peace onto his Soldier token. The ensuing attack made the totals 12-11 in his favor and he passed the turn after Konan made a Spirit.
Oblivion Ring took Grand Abolisher out of the picture and Phantasmal Image copied a Spirit, but Noah was way behind and trying to hold onto his last few points of life as Konan’s Moorland Haunt kept plugging away. Konan attacked with both of his tokens and the 2/2 champion, letting Noah trade his Phantasmal Image for a token. Noah fell to two and had no plays for his turn.
Konan wasn’t worried. He sent his Spirit and 3/3 into the red zone, trading for Snapcaster Mage and a Soldier as Noah fell to 6.
Noah had no miracle top deck on the next turn and said go with six untapped lands including a Moorland Haunt. Konan made another token and struck again, trading the Grand Abolisher for Noah’s remaining tokens.
Noah drew for his turn, but was all out of gas and he extended the hand. Konan Ahmed is on his way to the finals!
Konan 2, Noah 1