Semifinals: Peter Nguyen vs. Robert Vaughn
Can Peter continue to his domination of Abzan Control lists in the Top 8? Or will Robert and his innovative take on Abzan Control with Den Protector and Deathmist Raptors win the day?
Peter, as the second seed, chooses to go first and mulligans to six. Robert keeps his opening seven with gusto. Doing what his deck does best, Peter leads with a Mountain into a Foundry Street Denizen. Robert plays his Temple of Malady and scrys to the top.
Peter draws for his turn and mirrors the first turn, with a Mountain into Foundry Street Denizen, but this time an attack for two as well. Robert plays a Windswept Heath, fetches a Plains, and deploys a Fleecemane Lion in hopes of slowing down Peter’s aggression. But Peter summons more Goblins, with a Dragon Fodder, triggering his Foundry Street Denizens and attacking. Robert blocks one of the Goblins, trading away his Fleecemane Lion away to the lowly one-drop Goblin, in order to save some life.
Robert fetches for a Forest on his turn, and casts a Courser of Kruphix, hoping to gain back some precious life against Peter. Peter attacks with his team and after blocks, casts a Lightning Strike on Robert’s Courser, keeping him off both life and lands. However, Robert is all to content to play a second Courser of Kruphix, and pass the turn.
Peter decides to kill a Courser again, this time with a Stoke the Flames, and a pass the turn, only able to cast to spell by tapping his creatures. Unfortunately for Peter, Robert has the first of (hopefully for him) many Siege Rhinos to come, gaining three life and draining three life from Peter. He also has a Bile Blight for some of Peter’s Goblin tokens.
Peter sits back in his chair for a second, but then springs to action after his draw step, as he plays his third land and a Goblin Rabblemaster. The Goblin Token kamikazes into the Siege Rhino and there is a passing of the turn.
Robert plays a land for his turn and makes his Fleecemane Lion monstorous, in hopes of blocking against Robert’s force of Goblins. However, those plans of blocking go slightly awry, as Peter has a hasty
Monastery Swiftspear and a dashed in Goblin Heelcutter, making it the case that Robert’s Rhino cannot block. However, the Heelcutter dies to the indestructible Fleecemane Lion, and Peter is forced to pass the turn back.
A second Siege Rhino for Robert makes life even more difficult for Peter (and gains more life for Robert). All Peter can do is cast a Lightning Strike and a Wild Slash on one of Robert’s Rhinos in order to kill it, and pass the turn back to Robert.
After a land drop and pass from Robert, Peter plays a Hordeling Outburst. Another land drop and pass from Robert, and another Hordeling Outburst from Peter. Finally some action for Robert, as he draws an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and ticks it up. Times are looking tough for Peter.
Or so Robert thought. Peter plays a Hall of Triumph, naming “Red”, and attacks with eight 2/2 Goblins at Robert! Robert blocks appropriately, but falls to two life. Robert draws for the turn…and scoops up his permanents.
Peter wins Game 1, and is up 1-0 in the match!
After sideboarding, Robert decides to play first, hoping to hinder Peter’s aggression. After tanking sometime on his hand, Robert keeps. He leads with a Temple of Malady, scrying to the top. Peter, as he tends to do, leads with Mountain, Foundry Street Denizen and says “go.”
Robert plays a second Temple of Malady, this time scrying to the bottom. Peter casts a Monastery Swiftspear and dashes in a hasty Lightning Berseker, dealing five damage on Turn 2! Robert can only play a Forest and pass back to Peter, hoping to stop the damage where he can.
Peter plays a Horderling Outburst, triggering the Swiftspear and the Denizen, but the Foundry Street Denizen trades with a Hero’s Downfall from Robert. Robert untaps and passes once again, missing his fourth land drop and looking distressed under the pressure from Peter.
However, all Robert can do on his turn is play a Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and pass. Peter dashes in a Lightning Berseker and goes to attacks, but Robert has an Ultimate Price for the Berserker and a Bile Blight for the Monastery Swiftspear, hoping that this will finally allow him to turn the corner. And, for his turn, it looks good for Robert, as he plays a Courser of Kruphix and a Forest, gaining a very precious one life in the process.
Peter wins Game 2, and the match, 2-0!