Semifinals: Noah Walker vs. Paul Lynch
Two flavors of Grixis square off in the semifinals with Noah opting for Delver and Paul going for a more controlling build. Which player would play for the trophy against Elves?
Noah opened with a Flooded Strand while Paul, on a mulligan to six, fetched an Underground Sea and hit the board first with a Deathrite Shaman. The Shaman wasn't long for the world, however, as Noah fetched a Volcanic Island and killed it with a Lightning Bolt. Noah landed a Young Pyromancer on his second turn and passed. Paul attempted to kill the Pyromancer with a Fire/Ice, but Noah had a Force of Will, pitching Brainstorm. Paul really wanted the Pyromancer dead, so he used a Force of Will of his own, pitching a Brainstorm.
Noah served in with his elemental and used a Wasteland to blow up Paul's Volcanic Island. Paul dropped a Scalding Tarn and fired off Cabal Therapy, leading Noah to Brainstorm in response. After Brainstorm resolved, Paul named "Gurmag Angler," only to see a Gitaxian Probe and Lightning Bolt. Paul fetched a replacement Volcanic Island and played his last cad, his own Brainstorm. Noah had hid another Pyromancer and played it after attacking for one.
Paul killed the Pyromancer with a Lightning Bolt and passed, not before taking three from the Bolt, generating another token and taking two on Noah's next turn. Paul could only fetch another land as he passed and fell to 9 on Noah's next attack. Paul played the Tropical Island from his hand and passed back. Paul used a Dig Through Time to start looking for a way to stabilize after falling to 7.
Noah used a Dig Through Time of his own and bashed for two more. Noah found an Angler and delved away his graveyard to play it for one mana. Paul finally found a Young Pyromancer of his own and passed. Noah killed the opposing Pyromancer with a Lightning Bolt, attacked in and dropped Paul to 3 after he chumped the Angler with an elemental he created by using a Lightning Bolt of his own. Paul looked at his next card and had seen enough.
Noah 1, Paul 0
Paul kicked off Game 2 with a Deathrite Shaman but Noah had the answer with a Lightning Bolt. Paul Pondered, shuffling away the top three, only to Ponder again. Noah hit Paul's Underground Seas with a Wasteland and played a Delver of Secrets. Paul had his own threat, Young Pyromancer, and passed back. Noah's Delver didn't flip, so he Brainstormed and fetched an Underground Sea for a Deathrite Shaman.
Paul landed Izzet Staticaster and shot down the Delver before passing. Noah went for a Dig Through Time, but Paul had the Force of Will for it, making a token. Noah played a second Deathrite Shaman and shipped the turn. Paul got in for one with a token and went for his own Dig, making a second Elemental. Noah tried for a Brainstorm, but Paul's Pyroblast stopped it and added to his army. Noah had no other plays and passed.
Paul served in with his three tokens to drop Noah to 14 and followed the attack with a Brainstorm and a three-mana Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Noah found a Forked Bolt to deal with the Pyromancer and a token. Noah tried to catch Paul sleeping by playing a Delver of Secrets, but Paul made sure to ping it at the end step with his Staticaster.
Paul attacked and dropped Noah to 7 before playing Cabal Therapy, naming and hitting Dig Through Time. Paul flashed it back to grab a Gurmag Angler and passed, Noah had no action on his next turn and had to decide on blocks when Paul served in. Noah fell to 2 after blocking one token with a Shaman and Paul used the Staticaster to kill off the DRS. Paul ended his turn with his own Shaman and passed. Noah looked at his next card and picked up his permanents.
Noah 1, Paul 1
Noah, on the play for the deciding game, opened up with a Deathrite Shaman. Paul led off with a Gitaxian Probe and attempted to kill the Shaman with a Lightning Bolt, but Noah used a Daze to keep it alive. Noah used his Shaman to play Brainstorm and fetched an Underground Sea to make it perfect. Noah ended his turn with another cantrip, Ponder this time. Paul sent another Bolt at the Shaman, this time succeeding, and used a Ponder of his own. Noah slammed a Gurmag Angler on his next turn, delving away his entire graveyard.
Paul opted for a Dig Through Time, also getting rid of his graveyard, and passed the turn tapped out. Noah knocked Paul to 12 with his fish, used a Wasteland on Paul's Volcanic Island, and passed after playing a Young Pyromancer. Paul simply played another land and deployed True-Name Nemesis, naming "Noah."
Noah began making tokens with a Brainstorm and attacked with his team. Paul put True-Name in front of the Pyromancer, so Noah sent a Bolt at Paul in response to get another token, dropping Paul to 4 after combat. Paul refueled with a Brainstorm of his own and sent Fire at both of the tokens, killing them off. Noah sent a Forked Bolt at Paul, dropping him to 2, and passed.
Paul played a two-mana Tasigur and shipped the turn. Noah went for another Brainstorm, but Paul stopped it with Pyroblast. Noah settled for sending a Lightning Bolt at Paul, who showed his hand with no counter magic and extended his hand.
Noah 2, Paul 1