Semifinals: Sam Roukas vs. John Wiley
Sam Roukas hadn’t lost a match yet today, marching into the top 8 at 6-0-2 with U/W Miracles. John hoped to put an end to his streak with BUG Delver.
John brings Deathrite Shaman to the party.
Delver of Secrets was the turn one play for John, while Sam had no play on the first few turns. Abrupt Decay was revealed for John, and the Delver of Secrets took to the air, with another one coming down for John post-combat. Sam fired off a Ponder, then found and cast a Sensei’s Divining Top, which met Daze from John. The second Delver of Secrets revealed another copy of Abrupt Decay, and the pair of Insectile Aberrations came knocking, dropping Sam to 8.
Sam needed a miracle—conveniently, he’d left one on top with his Ponder, as a Terminus showed up to sweep at the 3/2 fliers. John began to rebuild with a Deathrite Shaman, but Sam had Counterspell. His next threat, Tarmogoyf, hung around, and Sam used Snapcaster Mage to cast Ponder, then cast Sensei’s Divining Top. John used Abrupt Decay to clear away the 2/1, then knocked Sam down to 2 with his Tarmogoyf.
Sam drew and immediately cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor, using it’s -1 ablity to sent Tarmogoyf back to John’s hand. When John attempted to recast it, Sam pitched Counterbalance to cast Force of Will, going to 1. The Jace was kept busy for the next two turns unsummoning John’s Dark Confidant. On the second cycle, Sam was able to replace his Jace with another one from hand, getting in a Brainstorm activation and a Ponder before John again recast the Dark Confidant, threatening lethal.
Sam spun his top, then tapped it to draw a card. John responded with Abrupt Decay to get rid of the Top, and Sam drew and cast Counterbalance, which drew yet another Abrupt Decay. Sam bounced the Dark Confidant with his Jace, and John simply replayed it and passed back. Sam had replacements on his next turn for both Sensei’s Divining Top and Counterbalance, bouncing John’s Dark Confidant once more.
Now with the Counterbalance/Top lock in effect, John couldn’t recast his Dark Confidant, and simply passed the turn. Sam began using Jace, the Mind Sculptor’s +2 ability to screen John’s draws, and the Counterbalance kept John from resolving any of his spells. John didn’t manage to resolve anything else before Jace ticked all the way up to 12 loyalty and put the game away.
Sam Roukas 1, John Wiley 0
John led things off with a Deathrite Shaman, while Sam had a turn 1 Ponder to set things up. John Wastelanded Sam’s Tundra, then cast a Dark Confidant, and Sam had no recourse but to play an Island and pass back. John cast a Brainstorm, then attempted Tarmogoyf, but Sam was ready with the one-of Spell Snare. He simply untapped, played a plains, and passed.
John attacked with his Dark Confidant, and Sam flashed in Snapcaster Mage in an attempt to trade. John used Abrupt Decay to clear away the 2/1 before it could block, then had a second Tarmogoyf post-combat. Sam played another Island and cast Counterbalance, but fell to 8 on John’s next swing. Sam played Jace, the Mind Sculptor and brainstormed with it, but it was too little too late, as John attacked him down to 2 on his next turn and then used Deathrite Shaman to finish things off.
Sam Roukas 1, John Wiley 1
Sam gives the Top a spin.
Sam had the first play of the game in the form of a turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic, but John was ready with a Stifle to keep Sam from fetching up Batterskull. He untapped and matched Sam’s power two-drop with one of his own, adding Dark Confidant to the board. Sam played a Brainstorm, then passed it back with two mana untapped. John used Abrupt Decay to clear away, Sam’s blocker, then attacked with his Dark Confidant and passed.
Sam flopped over a Terminus off the top of his deck. John attempted a Stifle on the Miracle trigger, but Sam had Red Elemental Blast to force the issue, and Dark Confidant was sent to the bottom. John followed up with a 4/5 Tarmogoyf. Sam had Counterbalance on his next turn, but John was ready with Abrupt Decay, and attacked Sam down to 12. Sam played the last card out of his hand, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and bounced the Tarmogoyf back to John’s hand.
After some deliberation, John chose to simply recast his Tarmogoyf, and Sam opted to bounce it again with Jace, passing right back. John fired off an end-step Bainstorm, then recast his Tarmogoyf. Sam was ready with Snapcaster Mage flashing back Counterspell. John had a Delver of Secrets as well, then passed the turn. Sam Brainstormed with his Jace, then sent Delver of Secrets to the farm with a Swords to Plowshares, cast Counterbalance, and passed the turn, seemingly having turned the corner.
John used Abrupt Decay on his own turn to solve the Counterbalance problem, then fired off a Ponder and passed. Sam Brainstormed with Jace, then cast Sensei’s Divining Top and attacked for 2, dropping John to 16. John recast his Tarmogoyf, and Sam had a second Snapcaster Mage, flashing back Swords to Plowshares to clear away the Tarmogoyf.
John played his land and passed the turn, then attempted an end-step Vendilion Clique after Sam got in his beats with the two Snapcaster Mages, it resolved, and he sent away one of the Spell Pierces from his hand. He untapped and attempted to attack away the Jace, but Sam activated Sensei’s Divining Top to reveal Entreat the Angels, adding three 4/4 Angels to the board and ambushing the Clique. With no answer to Sam’s army of Angels, John extended the hand in defeat.
Sam Roukas 2, John Wiley 1