Semifinals: Zach Tyree vs. John Rojas
Commentators Zack Hall and Jake Van Lunen noted that John would likely have a difficult matchup this round—Cabal Therapy is some good against High Tide, and Zach’s Dredge deck has plenty of Therapies to go around.
John kept his starting hand, while Zach began with a mulligan to six. Ponder on turn 1 kept three cards for John, while Zach played Gemstone Mine to cast Putrid Imp. “Ugh,” John said, and he fired Force of Will at the 1/1 enabler, removing Brainstorm. Merchant Scroll on turn 2 searched for High Tide, and John ended the turn.
Drawing Lion’s Eye Diamond, he’d found himself a new enabler, if he wanted it. First off, John declared Cabal Therapy, hitting Time Spiral and leaving John with Brainstorm and Cunning Wish. He followed with the Diamond and Cephalid Coliseum before passing, likely prepared to dredge. Drawing Scalding Tarn, John passed after a quick consult of the sideboard, and Zach decided to leave his Diamond alone.
He drew, played another Coli, and flashbacked Cabal Therapy on himself to hit Stinkweed Imp, sacrificing the Narcomoeba. Zach fetched Island and cast Cunning Wish during the end step for Turnabout. John untapped and played nothing, allowing Zach to dredge five. He hit Bridge from Below and now had the cards necessary to Cephalid Coliseum, if he wanted to.
Popping the Diamond to Coli, he pitched his Imp and hit Narcomoeba and Bridge from Below. Dredging back Thug, he found Grave-Troll and hit the second Narcomoeba. Popping another Coli to dredge 18 more cards, he found the final Bridges and had a Dread Return in the yard as well as a Cabal Therapy—that was bad for John.
Flashbacking Cabal Therapy at the cost of a Narcomoeba, Zach made four 2/2s and targeted John this time. Responding with Brainstorm, John hid two cards on top of the deck before Zach named Turnabout, hitting the card and seeing two Islands and High Tide. The coast clear, Zach flashbacked Dread Return on the Flame-kin Zealot for 21 damage.
Zach 1, John 0
John kept on the play, while Zach mulliganed instantly. “Double Narcomoeba hand,” he said. “Not what you want!” Another Island, Ponder start for John, but this time he shuffled the deck. Zach’s turn 1 following his mull featured City of Brass and Faithless Looting, earning a tank from John. Force of Will removing Echoing Truth countered.
John played Candelabra of Tawnos and passed without a second land—problematic. His deck sort of needs Islands… Cephalid Coliseum for Zach tapped, dealing him a damage, but he thought better of casting his Breakthrough and decided not to, still obliged to take the damage. “I’ll keep you guessing,” he said.
Preordain and another Island advanced John’s board, but Zach was the one ready to combo. Faithless Looting put Grave-Troll in the bin, and breakthrough resolved to dump over twenty cards in the bin, hitting no Narcomoebas and only a single Bridge and single Cabal Therapy. What a whiff!
John begged the deck for a land, and sat back immediately after drawing his card. Casting Merchant Scroll for High Tide, he shuffled the deck and returned the turn to Zach. Dredging back Grave-Troll, he hit two Therapy, Bridge, and Narcomoeba this time—that’s going to hurt. Zach popped his Coliseum afterward, dredging even deeper before revealing Iona, Shield of Emeria.
The next dredges hit two more Narcomoebas before virtually emptying Zach’s library, but that likely would not matter much. He flashbacked Cabal Therapy and named Force of Will, hitting nothing but revealing Candelabra of Tawnos, Intuition, High Tide, Turnabout, and Time Spiral—a land last turn would’ve been quite flashy.
Making six more Zombies to bin Intuition and Time Spiral, Zach finished with a Dread Return for Iona, naming blue—he had exactly 19 power on the board for John’s life total. John drew, played an Island, and cast Candelabra before he died.
Zach 2, John 0