Semifinals: Seth Zulinski vs. Patrick Dickson
Seth entered the Top 8 as the number one seed, and hoped to hang onto it for three more rounds. Patrick Dickson was standing in his way, playing Punishing RUG with plenty of cascade.
Going to 19, Seth started with a fetchland for Swamp and Thoughtseize on Patrick. He revealed Underground Sea, Wasteland, fetchland, Shardless Agent, Snapcaster Mage, Force of Will, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. “If I was a fair deck, this would be awful,” Seth teased. Discarding Patrick’s Force, Seth played Lotus Petal and ended the turn.
Patrick suspended Ancestral Vision on turn 1, a fresh draw, and Seth Entombed Griselbrand during his own upkeep before playing an Island. Patrick played Abrupt Decay on the Lotus Petal, but Seth wasn’t concerned—Reanimate targeting Griselbrand resolved on the following turn, leaving Seth at 9 life.
Seth's Reanimator is slicing up the field.
“That’s a shame,” Patrick admitted after drawing Liliana, lacking the mana to play her. Shardless Agent into Brainstorm gave Patrick more options and some Force of Will, but it looked like it might be too little, too late. The Griselbrand began attacking, and Seth drew seven cards afterward.
Fetching another Island, Seth cast Careful Study to discard Elesh Norn and Iona, followed by Exhume. Force of Will sought to counter, but Seth Forced back and grabbed the Iona, naming blue. Drawing one more card, Patrick conceded.
Seth 1, Patrick 0
Patrick had the play and started with seven cards, while Seth mulliganed to five. Thoughtseize stripped Seth’s Reanimate on turn 1, but Patrick failed to make a land drop on turn 2. Seth played Lotus Petal and a fetchland on turn 2, grabbing a basic Swamp to go with his Island and casting Show and Tell.
Patrick's Shardless BUG deck is a bit slow for this combo matchup.
Force of Will exiling Vendilion Clique countered and kept Patrick safe. Patrick found Forest on the next turn, passing back to Seth. He cast Careful Study, discarding lands, and passed back. Patrick suspended a Vision, and Seth cast another Show and Tell—Patrick had another Force.
Now both players were trying to topdeck, but Patrick had a Vision suspended. Careful Study for Seth binned Griselbrand, and an Exhume afterward tried to summon the Demon—but Surgical Extraction removed them all from the game instead. Seth Pondered as Patrick passed, finding an Entomb in the end step to bin Iona.
Snapcaster Mage exiled her, and Seth was in a world of hurt. Patrick’s Vision unsuspended and he began to attack. A pair of Deathrite Shamans resolved, and Patrick was sitting on Force of Will. After a few turns of this beat down, Seth packed it in and went to game 3.
Seth 1, Patrick 1
Underground Sea and Thoughtseize for Seth on turn 1, spotting two Force of Wills, Shardless Agent, and Deathrite Shaman alongside three fetchlands. Taking the Deathrite Shaman, Seth sent the turn over to Patrick after playing Lotus Petal. Seth Brainstormed after Patrick made just his land drop, then played Scalding Tarn to shuffle for Underground Sea.
Casting Entomb for Griselbrand, Seth played Reanimate and Forced Patrick’s Force of Will—Patrick had failed to draw another blue card or Surgical Extraction, and the Demon entered the battlefield. Patrick made just a land drop on the next turn, while Seth attacked for 7 and then drew seven cards.
A commanding position, to be sure. He went to 7 life for Thoughtseize afterward, seeing just Liliana of the Veil and Force of Will, discarding the planeswalker. Patrick fetched three duals on his turn and played Shardless Agent, cascading into Baleful Strix but losing the Bird to Force of Will from Seth. Brainstorm followed, Seth trying to put the game under lock and key.
Seth 2, Patrick 1