Semifinals: Oscar Jones (Melira Pod) vs. Brian Liu (Kiki Pod)
Brian kept his seven, while Oscar mulliganed to six.
Oscar led off with Misty Rainforest into Birds of Paradise via Overgrown Tomb, going to 17. Brian answered with Stomping Ground and Birds of Paradise, going to 18. Oscar had another Misty Rainforest and an untapped Temple Garden, casting Kitchen Finks to return to 16 life.
Brian had a great deal of thought after his draw, settling on a Plains and a Wall of Roots. Oscar had a Spellskite but no third land. Brian, after an Arid Mesa, had the clear mana advantage. He cast Kitchen Finks and passed.
Oscar untapped, drew, and found Birthing Pod, paying life for it. On the end step, Brian found a Steam Vents after a long search. The life totals stood at 17-14, Brian. He untapped, drew, played Gavony Township, and thought, finally casting Chord of Calling to fetch up Linvala, Keeper of Silence.
Oscar cast Birds of Paradise on his turn and sacrificed Kitchen Finks to Birthing Pod to find a Linvala of his own. With mutual Linvalas on the board, the two combo decks needed to find a different way to win.
Oscar fights off the semifinal pressure.
Brian cast Chord of Calling, this time with X = 5, and came up with Zealous Conscripts, which targeted Linvala. Oscar sacrificed his Linvala in response, but found nothing, as Reveillark was already in hand. On Oscar’s turn, he Podded away Kitchen Finks to find Ranger of Eos, but Brian Liu flashed his fatal combination with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Oscar conceded.
Oscar 0, Brian 1.
Both players pored over each other’s decklists as they sideboarded. Oscar had the option and chose to play. Oscar kept his opening seven, while Brian went into the tank before mulliganing. He peeked at the top few cards. They would have been perfect. Eventually he settled on six.
Oscar led with a Swamp and Thoughtseize, which showed Combust, Deceiver Exarch, Restoration Angel, and three lands. Combust hit the bin. Brian played an Arid Mesa and passed. Oscar had a Misty Rainforest and a pass, which Brian took as his cue to fetch up a Hallowed Fountain on the end step.
Brian untapped, drew, and went with Forest for Wall of Roots. Oscar used his opponent’s end step to fetch up a Temple Garden, putting the life totals at Oscar 17, Brian 19. Oscar played Gavony Township and then Birthing Pod, going to 15. Brian had only Gavony Township, go.
Brian ponders how to sideboard.
Oscar played an untapped Godless Shrine, going to 13, and cast Linvala, Keeper of Silence. On the end step, Deceiver Exarch flashed in to tap Linvala. Then a rules question arose about when Deceiver Exarch was coming down, but it was resolved amicably and Brian went on with his turn.
Brian played an untapped Sacred Foundry, going to 17, and passed. Oscar tanked on his turn, settling on a Misty Rainforest, sacrificed for a basic Forest, and a Viscera Seer. In response to the Seer, Brian flashed in a Restoration Angel, threatening a trigger-based lethal army, but Oscar had the Dismember. Oscar then went to town with Birthing Pod, giving up the Seer for a Spellskite, but Spellskite could not protect Linvala from Combust.
Brian attacked with Restoration Angel, putting Oscar’s life total perilously low at 7. Oscar went to 6 after a Verdant Catacombs played and sacrificed, finding a basic Forest. He sacrificed Spellskite to Birthing Pod to find Eternal Witness and recurred and recast Linvala, Keeper of Silence.
When Brian untapped, though, he cast Zealous Conscripts to take Linvala and the match.
Brian Liu wins 2-0 and advances to the finals!