Semifinals: Ryan Gerhart vs. Simon Stahl
“This matchup looks abysmal for me,” Simon said as he shuffled up for this semifinal. Ryan only smiled, but he likely didn’t mind that his Junk Midrange deck was going up against Simon’s UW Control.
Ryan considers what to do with his Obzedat, Ghost Council.
Ryan led the action with a Thoughtseize, revealing a hand of Divination, Supreme Verdict, Jace, Architect of Thought, and four lands for Simon. He got the Supreme Verdict out of the way. Ryan had Sylvan Caraytid on turn 2, and passed the turn with mana up on turn 3, representing Advent of the Wurm. Simon, for his part, played out his first three lands and cast Divination. He didn’t seem surprised when a 5/5 Wurm token appeared at his end step.
After taking a hit and falling to 15, Simon untapped and cast Supreme Verdict, clearing the board. Ryan replaced his 5/5 with another one, casting Polukranos, World Eater. Simon played his Jace, Architect of Thought and ticked it down, netting a land and a Celestial Flare. The Polukranos came across to dispose of the planeswalker, and Ryan had Obzedat, Ghost Council post-combat. Simon had Detention Sphere to answer to green creature, and passed the turn with mana up to Celestial Flare the Obzedat should it attack.
Obzedat, Ghost Council returned, bringing life totals to Simon 11, Ryan 18. After some thought, Ryan added Archangel of Thune to the board and passed the turn. Detention Sphere came down to dispose of the Angel, and Jace, Architect of Thought was cast right behind, ticking up to protect itself from the Obzedat. Ryan did attack the Jace down to 1 loyalty on his own turn, but had no further play.
Simon untapped and cast Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, adding three blockers to the board. He upticked his Jace, Architect of Thought as well, and passed the turn sitting behind his two planeswalkers. Ryan, playing off the top of his deck at this point, found only a Sylvan Caryatid, and attacked with Obzedat to thin out of Soldier Token. Simon simply played a land, ticked up his planeswalkers, and passed. The Obzedat came in again, draining Simon down to 5, but after Ryan again only had a Sylvan Caryatid, Simon fired off a Sphinx’s Revelation for 4 at the end step, jumping back up to 9 life.
Aetherling showed up for Simon on his own turn, and Simon passed back. Ryan drew and cast a Thoughtseize, seeing a hand of Sphinx’s Revelation, Azorius Charm, Celestial Flare, Temple of Enlightenment, and two Syncopates. Simon lost his Sphinx’s Revelation. After one more round of “uptick my planeswalkers, and pass” from Simon, and another round of “Obzedat returns, then leaves again” from Ryan, Elspeth’s -7 ability allowed Simon to attack for 30, closing the game out.
Simon Stahl 1, Ryan Gerhart 0
Simon doesn't like what Ryan has in store for him post-board.
Both players simply played lands for the first few turns. Ryan had the first play of the game, casting Read the Bones on his third turn, but Simon countered it with Syncopate for 1. Next up was Sin Collector from Ryan, but it was countered by a Dissolve. Simon cast Jace, Architect of Thought onto the empty board on his fourth turn, ticking it down to gain two lands. Not to be outdone, Ryan played a card-drawing engine of his own, casting Underworld Connections and drawing a card with it.
Simon quickly disposed of the Underworld Connections with a Revoke Existence, but Ryan simply played another. Jace ticked down again, and Simon gained a Sphinx’s Revelation. When Simon passed, Ryan cast another Underworld Connections, then demanded to know what was going on in Simon’s hand, casting a Thoughtseize. He saw Sphinx’s Revelation, Jace, Architect of Thought, Azorius Charm, Celestial Flare, and a land. He chose to deprive Simon of his Revelation.
Detention Sphere showed up for Simon on his turn, and the Underworld Connections went away. Jace ticked up, and he shipped the turn. Ryan found his fifth land and cast Obzedat, Ghost Council, bringing life totals to 13 Ryan, 14 Simon. On his turn, Simon binned his Jace, Architect of Thought to acquire two Mutavaults, then passed the turn with nine lands open.
Obzedat came back in on Ryan’s turn, and Ryan then cast Golgari Charm to destroy the Detention Sphere, turning his Underworld connections back on. He drew his card with it and passed, slumping a little when Simon announced “Rev for 6” at his end step. After the big Sphinx’s Revelation, Simon simply untapped, played a land, played and upticked Jace, Architect of Thought, and ended his turn, dumping some excess land.
Thoughtseize from Ryan revealed three lands, two Celestial Flares, Supreme Verdict, and another Sphinx’s Revelation. He disposed of the Revelation, then added Polukranos, World Eater to the board. Simon drew for his turn and found the fourth copy of Sphinx’s Revelation! He passed the turn with all of his lands untapped. Ryan activated his Underworld Connections, cast another, then activated it too. Knowing about the pair of Celestial Flares, he passed without attacking with his two 5/5s, and then heard the bad news: Rev for 7 at the end step brought Simon back up to 20.
Simon used Supreme Verdict to get rid of the Polukranos, then upticked his Jace and ended his turn, dumping three lands. Ryan had Hero’s Downfall to dispose of the Jace, Architect of Thought, then passed back. Detention Sphere showed up for Simon to exile the two Underworld Connections, and Aetherling was the follow-up, as Simon hoped to close the game out. Ryan found an Abrupt Decay to unlock his pair of Underworld Connections, and continued to gas up himself. He ended his turn with five lands untapped and a full grip.
Simon activated three Mutavaults and crashed in with everything. Hero’s Downfall on Aetherling forced him to blink it, but Ryan still fell to 5. Simon passed, and Obzedat came back, bringing Ryan back up to 7. He activated his Underworld Connections, and passed the turn. After some Deliberation, Simon crashed in with Aetherling, and Ryan extended the hand in defeat.
SIMON STAHL 2, RYAN GERHART 0