Semifinals: Zach Jesse vs Meru Bhanot
No. 2 seed Zach Jesse brings the boogeyman of the format, Mono-Black Devotion to the semis while No. 3 Meru Bhanot looks to take a Big Boros list similar to that of #SCGCOL winner Mike Kenney to the finals. Which devotion strategy will get there?
Meru considers his options facing down a growing army of rats.
Jesse kept a card on top with a temple, and Bhanot did the same. Jesse started the action with a Pack Rat and Bhanot got in there for two with an Ash Zealot. Jesse played a Mutavault and made a rat before getting in for two. Bhanot shocked himself to get a Hammer of Purphoros into play and attacked for two dropping each player to 16. Jesse was on the rat plan, using his turn to make another rodent and swung in for six dropping Bhanot to 10.
Bhanot considered his options facing down a growing army of rats and shocked himself down to 8 with a Sacred Foundry to play a Burning-Tree Emissary and a Fanatic of Mogis for 7 damage to drop Jesse to 9. Bhanot pondered his attacks then sent in just the Fanatic and Jesse threw a rat in front of it. Jesse attacked with his two rats and made another, Bhanot double blocked a rat and took 3 to fall to 4, leaving him with just a Hammer and lands in play. Bhanot scryed away a card with a temple then played a Frostburn Weird on defense.
Jesse recalled his opponent’s decklist, knowing Bhanot did not have an instant-speed trick main deck, and killed the Weird with a Hero’s Downfall before swinging in for lethal with his rats.
Jesse 1, Bhanot 0
Zach sideboards after taking Game 1 of the semis.
Both players kept their seven-card hands and lead off with basic lands. Bhanot played a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, but without another red source had to pass the turn. Jesse played a Pack Rat and Bhanot killed it with a Mizzium Mortars. Jesse cast Thoughtseize and ripped a Boros Reckoner out of Bhanot’s hand. Bhanot did not find another land and shipped the turn. Jesse attacked with a rat and played a Desecration Demon.
“Uh oh” Bhanot said with another whiffed draw step, then Jesse attacked for 7 and Thoughtseized again. Bhanot found a second Mountain and played a BTE that got destroyed by Hero’s Downfall at end of turn. Jesse did not forget to attack and won the match.
Jesse 2, Bhanot 0.