Semifinals: Rob Hunsaker vs. Jesse Harper
Both of these players have taken unconventional decks this far, with Rob playing Naya Hexproof and Jesse playing Junk Midrange. But only one could advance to the finals and have a shot at the Standard Open trophy!
Rob opened up the action with a turn 2 Bassara Tower Archer, but Jesse had a Thoughtseize to take away his Unflinching Courage and keep him from going wild with the hexproof beatdowns. Rob was content to play a Voice of Resurgence and attack for just 2. Jesse fortified with a Voice of Resugence of his own, and attempted an Advent of the Wurm on his next turn, but Rob cleared it away with a Selesnya Charm and kept on swinging.
Courser of Kruphix looked to stabilize the ground for Jesse, but Rob calmly attacked into it with his Voice of Resurgence and Bassara Tower Archer anyway. Jesse took the damage, falling to 10, then untapped and played a second Courser of Kruphix. The two Voices knocked Rob down to 8, and he drew a timely Unflinching Courage, which went onto his hexproof 2/1. Jesse played another land, climbing back up to 13, then played Pack Rat and passed the turn.
When Jesse declined to block the 4/3 Bassara Tower Archer on Rob’s next attack Rob showed him Selesnya Charm and Boros Charm to make the creature a 6/5 double striker. Jesse fell to 1, and a second Boros Charm finished the job.
Rob Hunsaker 1, Jesse Harper 0
Once again, Rob was quick to the board with a hexproof threat, playing Gladcover Scout on turn 1. Jesse fired back with Thoughtseize, seeing Stomping Ground, Temple of Plenty, Bassara Tower Archer, Gift of Orzhova, and two Ethereal Armors in Rob’s hand. He cleared away the Gift of Orzhova, but still took two when Rob put the first Armor on his 1/1.
When Rob played the second Ethereal Armor on his next turn and attacked for 5, Jesse had Abrupt Decay for the enchantment, and took just 2. He untapped and cast Courser of Kruphix, stabilizing the ground, at least for the time being. Rob had Witchstalker as a follow up, but no more auras to grow is creatures. He lost his last card in hand, the Bassara Tower Archer, to Jesse’s Lifebane Zombie, and found only another Witchstalker to replace it.
Jesse developed his board further with a Scavenging Ooze and a Voice of Resurgence. Unflinching Courage was drawn for Rob, but it was exiled with Banishing Light immediately. When Jesse drew and cast his second Voice of Resurgence, he felt safe enough on the ground to begin attacking with his Lifebane Zombie. Rob saw a Thoughtseize on top of Jesse’s deck, and used his last spell in hand, a Boros Charm, on his own turn due to the Voices on Jesse’s side of the board. Jesse cast the Thoughtseize anyway, and saw only a Sacred Foundry.
Chained to the Rocks showed up for Rob, exiling the Lifebane Zombie, but Rob simply drew another. It continued to beat Rob down in 3 point chunks, and a Pack Rat eventually showed up for Jesse to fortify the ground even further. Rob drew Unflinching Courage, and played it on his Ethereal Armored Gladecover Scout, making it a 6/6 First Striking Lifelinker. He passed, and Jesse simply attacked with Lifebane Zombie, dropping Rob to 6.
Rob’s next draw was a doozie: Mizzium Mortars, with the sixth land in hand to cast it. He attacked first with his enchanted monster, and Rob stuck his Voices of Resurgence in front of them, looking to convert them into huge Elemental Tokens. Unfortunately for Jesse, this played right into the Mizzium Mortars, as he lost them both, along with all of his Pack Rats and his Courser of Kruphix and Lifebane Zombie, to the wave of fire.
Jesse had a Whip of Erebos to follow up, and brought back his Lifebane Zombie, but it wasn’t enough to pull him back in it, as Rob drew another Ethereal Armor and swung with his team, dealing 18 damage in one swoop.
Rob Hunsaker 2, Jesse Harper 0