Semifinals: Zachariah Tyree vs. Max Tietze
Zach's Jund deck has a tribal matchup in the Top 4.
Zachariah had the honor of the play and led with Deathrite Shaman, while Max started things off with Goblin Lackey. Zachariah cast turn 2 Dark Confidant, and Max countered with Goblin Piledriver. Bob revealed Sylvan Library and Zachariah dropped the Legends enchantment as well, alongside Deathrite Shaman number two. Max, relatively stymied by the 1/2s on the opposite side of the table, threw Goblin Warchief at the problem… but did not attack.
Bob found another Bob (going to 16) before restacking with Library and Wastelanding one of Max’s two Cavern of Souls. Abrupt Decay also dealt with Goblin Warchief. A Hymn to Tourach robbed Max of Mogg War Marshall and Tin Street Hooligan before the end, and Max could do nothing but play a land and pass. Zachariah dropped Liliana of the Veil next, using her -2 Diabolic Edict ability to make Max sacrifice his Lackey. Also, on attack step Bob traded with Piledriver.
But Max continued to draw air, playing another land and passing. Goblins can recover from a slow start if you let it though, so Zachariah just going to win super easy. Liliana added Mountain to Max’s graveyard and Bob to Zach’s own, then cast Tarmogoyf to press his advantage. Deathrite Shaman also gained life after Max whiffed again on action, drawing a second Wasteland, and Tarmogoyf swung in to continue the offensive then joined by another Dark Confidant. Goblin Warchief was what Max finally uncovered… but Abrupt Decay kept things right where they were before.
Zachariah’s Wasteland took out Max’s tapped one, and Goyf and Bob swung in to Max, dropping him to 9. Goblin Ringleader turned up three cards for Max, but Deathrite Shaman activations dropped Max down to four, and in response to the Dark Confidant trigger the pair of Deathrites killed Max with exact damage before he even had to reveal.
Max Tietze proves himself a Goblins master once more.
Zachariah 1, Max 0
Max led things off with Wasteland into AEther Vial. Zachariah started with Deathrite Shaman. Vial ticked up, and Mogg War Marshall joined the Max Red Team, while Wasteland from Zachariah Wastelanded Max’s Wasteland. Zachariah played Sylvan Library on his turn, then Max cycled Goblin Incinerator to rid himself of the Deathrite problem before attacking with one of his two tokens.
Thoughtseize revealed Goblin Ringleader times two, Gempalm Incinerator, and Siege-Gang Commander. Zachariah took one of the Ringleaders, and after dropping to 17 Zachariah passed. Max just played out a land and ticked up Vial, and Zachariah took the opportunity to cast Liliana of the Veil to make them both discard. But Goblin Ringleader uncovered Goblin Matron, and the four power of Goblins took care of the planeswalker, and Matron searched out Goblin Ringleader numero dos. Max was threatening to turn this game into a Slaughter in short order, so Zachariah had to get going.
Zachariah used Grove of the Burnwillows to cascade and spin the wheel, finding 4/5 Tarmogoyf but that would probably be lackluster in finishing off Max, or even slowing him down, really. Max Vialed in Goblin Ringleader, turning up a pair of Warchiefs and Gempalm Incinerator, and then cycled Gempalm Incinerator to take out Tarmogoyf before attacking . Ringleader traded with Bloodbraid Elf, and Zachariah fell to 13, then Wasteland destroyed the Grove.
Sylvan Library was still in play, though without the ability to pay life effectively without dying it had become Mirri’s Guile. Zachariah fetched out a land to cast Bloodbraid Elf into Lightning Bolt on Ringleader, but Vial let Siege-Gang come onto the battlefield and used one of his Fresh Volunteers to ping off the Elf. Finding no outs to the oncoming masses, Zachariah conceded.
Zachariah began game 3 by searching for Bayou and casting Deathrite Shaman. Max started off his game with Rishadan Port into AEther Vial. Zachariah used his turn two to Thoughtseize Max (taking Ringleader and leaving another Ringleader, Relic of Progenitus, Siege-Gang Commander, and lands) and have his Deathrite Shaman do a Squire impression by swinging for one… but apparently forgetting to make a land drop, as he was audibly displeased with himself after passing the turn so quickly. Max’s turn 2 consisted of Cavern of Souls, pass.
Rishadan Port tapped a land, but Abrupt Decay took out the Vial anyway thanks to the Birds of Paradise mode on Deathrite Shaman. Another AEther Vial replaced it, and Rishadan Port continued to tap Zachariah’s Bayou so he just played Wasteland and passed. Max played his second Cavern (to join the two Ports) to play Ringleader and get Goblin Sharpshooter and Goblin Warchief, then Punishing Fire took out the 2/2 haste creature that, other than Jace, the Mindsculptor, might be the best card draw engine in the format.
Zachariah cast Sylvan Library and Wastelanded a Cavern of Souls on his next turn to try to keep the Red Menace at bay, but with AEther Vial slowly ticking towards Siege-Gang range it was only a matter of time before Max would be able to take over the game. He played a Wasteland of his own and used it to destroy Bayou and then cast and activate Relic of Progenitus to cantrip and Morningtide both players’ graveyards.
Max could only tap down Zachariah’s remaining land, and Deathrite Shaman could only attack for one for a few turns. Zachariah went to 9 to draw two cards, then dropped Max to 17 with 1/2 beats. Max finally found a fetchland, finding Mountain to go alongside his pair of Rishadan Ports. He then cast Goblin Sharpshooter before passing. Zachariah cast Lightning Bolt on the gunsmith before passing.
Another fetchland for Max was what awaited him, and considering a lot of his remaining deck was lands that shouldn’t be too surprising. If Zachariah could have taken advantage of denying Max of mana for as long as he did things would be a different story, but as it was Max’s Goblins rolled down the Mountain like a Rock Slide. In spite of Punishing Fire killing off Max’s Goblin Warchief, Max was chock full of more goblins, including another Warchief, and Zachariah went from 9 to 7 to 5 without much interruption. A fetchland meant he went down to 4 to deal with another Warchief by casting Liliana of the Veil to have a brief reprieve.
But as the mana denial plan had failed so too did the creature denial plan, and Siege-Gang Commander came into play for Max off of his fifth land. Liliana did what she could, discarding Skirk Prospector and Dark Confidant, and Zachariah spun the wheel with Bloodbraid Elf. Elf did not turn up a way to deal with the Commander and Zachariah extended his hand in graceful defeat.
Max 2, Zachariah 1