Semifinals: Philip Braswell vs. Rayne Gould
While Zombies did battle on SCGLive, Philip and Rayne sat down to settle a match between the newest Delver list and Humans, the two most aggressive Seachrome Coast archetypes in the format. Each knew it would be Geralf's Messenger in the finals… but which of them would oppose him?
Philip's Esper Spirits list has an "anthem" of its own, of course.
Humans had the die roll, but Rayne's hand merited a mulligan while Philip quickly kept. Plains and Gideon's Lawkeeper began the game for Rayne, while Philip had just an Island. Swinging for 1, Rayne appeared to lack Honor of the Pure—he'd drawn Champion of the Parish, however. Philip played Glacial Fortress.
Ambush Vipermage ate the Champion on its next attack, and Rayne missed his third land drop, ending the turn without a play. Philip didn't have a black source, but he did have Lingering Souls for two tokens on turn 3. One of them traded with Lawkeeper when Rayne attacked, adding Leonin Relic-Warder to the board.
An attack in the air for 1 damage before Philip played Evolving Wilds and another Lingering Souls. Rayne slid down Grand Abolisher, Philip allowing it to resolve before kicking himself about Evolving Wilds… only it didn't affect Evolving Wilds anyway; Rayne freerolled a turn of no flashbacked Souls. It still didn't look good, as Drogskol Captain enabled an attack for 6 damage as he fetched Swamp.
Rayne had three lands now, attacking with both creatures for 4 damage before casting Sword of War and Peace while on 13 life. Gitaxian Probe for Philip revealed Angelic Destiny as a potential threat, but he spent his remaining mana on Phantasmal Image for Drogskol Captain, with Vapor Snag to finish the deed exactly.
Philip 1, Rayne 0
Mulliganing on the play, Rayne was joined by Philip this time around. Seachrome Coast and no one-drop for Rayne, while Philip played Plains. Tapped Glacial Fortress revealed Rayne's draw step to be land, and Philip played his own Fortress for Ponder, shuffling the deck on turn 2 when the top of the deck lacked development.
Turn 3 for Rayne gave him Plains, and he cast Grand Abolisher. Philip missed his third land drop and cast Delver of Secrets, adding some upside to his mana problems for now. Rayne got in 2 damage, and played Glacial Fortress along with Hero of Bladehold. Vapor Snag on Hero bought a turn, and Philip swung for 1 damage.
Facing just Plains, Rayne attacked again and recast the Hero, threatening to close this game out quickly. Philip drew… and passed, prepared to take a beating. Fiend Hunter exiled the Delver, and the board quickly became too terrible for Philip to salvage.
Philip 1, Rayne 1
A keep for Philip on two lands but without much draw, while Rayne threw back a hand featuring one land. Seachrome Coast and pass on turn 1 for Philip, while Rayne played Doomed Traveler. Philip had Delver of Secrets on turn 2, playing Evolving Wilds afterward and passing the turn. Honor of the Pure came down, and Philip took 2 damage from the Doomed Traveler.
Humans is capable of some explosive starts, especially thanks to Honor of the Pure.
Waiting until his upkeep to break Evolving Wilds, Philip gave himself another chance at a land when his Delver showed him a creature, searching Swamp. He missed, and just attacked prior to passing the turn. Rayne played another Honor of the Pure, landing 3 damage, and during the end step Philip declined to Vapor Snag the Traveler.
Ponder flipped Delver, and Philip attacked for 3 damage. Phantasmal Image post-combat copied Delver, and Philip passed. Rayne killed the fake Aberration with Fiend Hunter and attacked for 3 damage, keeping Philip's clock behind his own. Philip needed help, especially with the risk of an explosive Destiny or Sword breaking open the game!
Darkslick Shores into Ponder was a start, but he shuffled away the top three when they failed to contain additional answers to the board state. Attacking Rayne to 13, he passed the turn with two mana up. Taking 6 when Rayne attacked, he fell to 6 life and nodded as Rayne dropped Hero of Bladehold. He Snagged that during the end step.
Drawing Seachrome Coast, Philip played it and attacked Rayne to 9 life, following with Lingering Souls and hoping to dodge a Sword. Throwing away the Spirits on defense, Oblivion Ring removed the Aberration and Rayne ended the turn. Could Philip pull the game out?
Philip 1, Rayne 2