Semifinals: Will Craddock vs. Jacob Baugh
The most successful deck in Standard clinched two Top 4 berths this weekend, but only one of its pilots would be advancing to the finals—the winner of this Reanimator mirror match.
Will Craddock wants to make it to the finals to improve upon a runner-up at the Dallas Standard Open.
Taking 2 for Temple Garden, Will led Arbor Elf and furthered the advantage of the play. Jacob had only Overgrown Tomb, while Will attacked before playing Godless Shrine and a second Arbor Elf—big game, considering the looming threat of turn 3 Thragtusk. Jacob’s Isolated Chapel plus a pass indicated Grisly Salvage coming during the end step.
Will started with Mulch into Isolated Chapel, binning Unburial Rites and two Restoration Angels before swinging for 1 damage. Jacob’s Salvage revealed four lands and a Centaur Healer, with Jacob deciding on the land before casting Centaur Healer on his third turn, undoing all of Arbor Elf’s hard work.
Will’s own Grisly Salvage was just as bad, binning several lands and taking one before he flashbacked Unburial Rites to get Restoration Angel onto the board, a genuine threat. Jacob passed turn 4 with no play, and indeed had a Restoration Angel of his own once Will attacked to gain 3 life with the trigger. Will made a seventh land drop, a tapped Temple Garden, and Jacob surmised that Will was out of gas.
Casting Avacyn’s Pilgrim, Jacob shipped after adding a land to the board. Will played Thragtusk on the next turn, but it looked like Jacob was getting ready to start outclassing him. Angel of Serenity sucked up Thragtusk, Arbor Elf, and Restoration Angel before Jacob swung for 6 damage. Obzedat landed on Will’s turn to slow the bleeding and create a real threat... but Jacob’s next play was a bigger haymaker.
Jacob swung Will to 8 with an attack for 11 damage then drew a hasty seven cards with his Demon, going to 13 in order to discard Angel of Serenity during the cleanup step and setup a Rites.
Unfortunately for Jacob that made the Craterhoof Behemoth Will drew on the next turn lethal, and they were onto game 2. “I gave you an out!” Jacob lamented, the cost of Griselbrand’s activation bringing him just within range of Craterhoof’s trigger.
Will 1, Jacob 0
Jacob Baugh put in a strong performance on his birthday, but can he keep it up on Sunday?
Jacob’s opener was light on early game but big on haymakers, and he decided to keep. Will had turn 1 Arbor Elf once more after Jacob’s Woodland Cemetery, which was followed by Temple Garden on the following turn. Will Mulched for no lands, two Thragtusk, Restoration Angel, and Deathrite Shaman before playing Woodland Cemetery and a Shaman from the hand.
A third land for Jacob and a pass, Will continuing to move ahead with Grisly Salvage into Angel of Serenity on the next turn, yarding a second Angel for the reanimating. He attacked with Avacyn’s Pilgrim and sat with Overgrown Tomb and Deathrite Shaman at the ready as he ended the turn, with no return Salvage from Jacob.
“All the things,” Jacob muttered as he looked over Will’s graveyard. He wound up tapping out on turn 4 to Sever the Bloodline Will’s Deathrite Shaman, which exiled Mulch in response to put Jacob on 17. Another Pilgrim attack dropped him to 16, but Will passed turn with just a land after that. Perhaps Will was weak enough after all!
Jacob tapped out for Garruk, Primal Hunter on the following turn an made a Beast, nodding as Will followed with Lingering Souls and flashback. That didn’t stop Jacob’s next sequence, which was to Thragtusk for five cards and begin to pull very far ahead. He took 2 for Godless Shrine afterward and passed, representing Purify the Grave prior to discarding Angel of Serenity in his cleanup step.
Garruk fell to a Spirit while the other three attacked Jacob, and then a hardcast Angel of Serenity landed on Will’s side. It stole Jacob’s own Angel from the graveyard alongside Will’s Restoration Angel, but the Angel of Serenity that Will also tried to pull back from beyond was exiled by Purify the Grave to prevent the value loop.
Jacob flashbacked Sever the Bloodline on Angel of Serenity before attacking for 8 and putting Will on 5 life, looking good to untap into his own Angel on the next turn. Will did attack for 5, leaving Jacob on 9, before dropping Thragtusk for a life boost and an additional threat. Jacob’s hand was full of gas, and he spent some time puzzling out how exactly he could die in this scenario before attacking with just Thragtusk, dropping Will to 5 life. Angel of Serenity then landed, stealing Will’s Thragtusk, a Spirit, and his Avacyn’s Pilgrim. Last but not least, Jacob dropped Deathrite Shaman.
That sent Will to the deck for Grisly Salvage, hitting Unburial Rites but no fatty for the taking. He was forced to Rites on Thragtusk to keep afloat against Deathrite Shaman. “Oh, Grisly Salvage... you let me down,” Will said. “We’re supposed to be friends!”
An attack for 10 from Jacob earned one chump block, leaving Will on 5 life and just outside Deathrite Shaman’s reach. Jacob had another Thragtusk and shipped turn, with Restoration Angel effectively doubling the 5/3. Will was vulnerable, and Jacob’s next swing was careful—he declined an alpha and avoided getting ambushed by Will’s Restoration Angel, which negated the damage of his attack with its lifegain. That said, Will had been able to preserve a lot of his board here...
Which made his topdeck on the next turn much better!
Will once more slammed Craterhoof Behemoth, giving his team +7/+7 and attacking for 70. Jacob had Restoration Angel for Thragtusk to get above 20, but with only about 20 toughness blocking he was still dead to the trampling Beast backed by Will’s ragtag team of creatures.
Will 2, Jacob 0