Semifinals: Spencer S vs. Brian Weller-Gordon
Brian had just fought through Elves in the quarterfinals. He’d need to do it one more time in order to earn a finals appearance with U/W/R Delver. Could Spencer stop him?
Would Jitte be enough to give Brian the match?
Starting on Tundra and Delver of Secrets, Brian passed the turn. Spencer cast Green Sun’s Zenith for zero to grab Dryad Arbor, and Brian Brainstormed during his upkeep to ensure the Delver would flip, revealing Swords to Plowshares and then fetching Tundra in order to use the Swords on the Arbor, attacking for 3 damage.
Wirewood Symbiote and Quirion Ranger following a fetchland gave Spencer some men, while Brian attacked for 3 damage and then used Stoneforge Mystic to search for Umezawa’s Jitte. If Brian had a fourth land, that could be very problematic for Spencer! He started his turn by casting Green Sun’s Zenith for one, putting Heritage Druid into play and casting Quirion Ranger via his other Ranger’s activation.
That Heritage Druid’s three mana enabled Glimpse of Nature, which Brian Forced by exiling Ponder. Still on two mana, Spencer Zenithed for Nettle Sentinel and ended the turn. Brian fetched in the end step in order to Brainstorm in search of a fourth land. Finding one, he simply untapped and jammed Jitte onto his Aberration, eliminating the Symbiote and then the Heritage Druid.
Spencer cast another Druid and then began making mana. He wound up resolving Natural Order for Craterhoof Behemoth, untapping Nettle Sentinel and attacking for 15 damage. Blocking with Stoneforge to stay alive, Brian fell to the Elves on the following turn.
Spencer played tight from behind in an effort to make it to the finals.
Spencer 1, Brian 0
Turn 1 Grim Lavamancer for Brian, while Spencer began the trudge by fetching Forest and getting Dryad Arbor into play. Brian Brainstormed in order to give him the two cards he needed to eliminate the Arbor, and passed back to Spencer.
Spencer fetched Forest and cast Green Sun’s Zenith for one to dig up Deathrite Shaman, sending turn back to Brian and hoping it would live. It didn’t—Brainstorm and a fetchland once more slew the creature, and another Lavamancer joined the party. Spencer played Nettle Sentinel and a fetchland, trying to weather the Storm.
Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull would be a faster clock, and Brian’s Wasteland with Volcanic up meant he could manufacture a Lavamancer activation if he had to, by Wasting his own land. Spencer tried Natural Order on his turn, but Force of Will countered and that gave Brian an opening to get his Jitte going after an attack for 3 damage.
Spencer 1, Brian 1
Forest into Deathrite Shaman on Spencer’s side, while Brian fetched Volcanic Island in order to cast Lightning Bolt on the little guy. Green Sun’s Zenith for zero following an untapped Forest kept Spencer building mana through Daze, though he offered up Quirion Ranger—no bites from Brian.
Swords eliminated the Ranger, and Brian ended the turn. Deathrite Shaman for Spencer and then an attack for 1 damage, with a post-combat Wirewood Symbiote eating Daze. That did set Brian back a mana, and he was tapping out when he cast Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull. That meant Spencer would be untapping with only Force of Will to fear...
Fetching his fourth land, Spencer got Bayou and passed the turn with his Shaman active. Brian passed right back, and took 2 damage from the 1/2. Batterskull hit play in the next end step, and Brian began to battle as Spencer appeared to suffer from flooding. When Umezawa’s Jitte entered play during Spencer’s end step, the sun appeared to be setting on Elves in the Top 8.
Spencer 1, Brian 2