The Epic: Finals, Bryant Cook vs. Ben Green
Delver+of+Secrets has a new home in America… or U/W/R, as it were. Can it brave the Storm?
As the 8-seed, Ben was on the draw. Bryant led with Gemstone+Mine. Tundra was Ben’s play. Lotus+Petal was followed by Brainstorm from Bryant, which dug out Volcanic+Island to cast a second Ponder. That cantrip shuffled, and then the Storm pilot passed. Ben cast a Ponder of his own…
Ben, not playing any Storm cards whatsoever, shuffled and drew then added Tundra to his board. Bryant Found out all of Ben’s secrets with Gitaxian+Probe: Spell+Pierce, Force+of+Will, Vendilion+Clique, Geist+of+Saint+Traft, Swords+to+Plowshares, another Force, and Wasteland. Bryant drew off the Probe, then used Cabal+Therapy to try Deprive Ben of the pair of Forces, but Force removing Geist kept one safely in hand. Bryant then passed.
Bryant has a (Grape)shot at victory!
Ben played Wasteland before passing right back, and Bryant didn’t even play a land before passing his turn. Vendilion+Clique came into play during the end step though, targeting Bryant. Burning+Wish, Dark+Ritual, Dark+Ritual, Rite+of+Flame, and Underground+Sea were revealed and the legendary Faerie put the Wish on the bottom of Bryant’s deck. On Ben’s turn, the 3/1 Morningtide rare dropped Bryant to 15 and Wasteland took out Volcanic+Island. Bryant simply played Underground+Sea number two and passed.
Vendilion+Clique swung again and again as Bryant build up spells to try to fend off Ben’s defenses. Gitaxian+Probe dropped Bryant to 7, revealing a pair of Swords+to+Plowshares, Spell+Pierce, Stifle, Daze, and Force+of+Will. Duress snagged Force+of+Will, then Bryant played Scalding+Tarn and passed. Clique dropped Bryant to 4, and at that point he decided to try and go for it.
A warning first: this next series of plays is for experts only. Don’t try this at home!
He cast Brainstorm, Lotus+Petal, Rite+of+Flame (met by Spell+Pierce, countering it), Rite+of+Flame, fetchland fail-to-find (to try to bait out Stifle), Dark+Ritual, Dark+Ritual, and Burning+Wish. Burning Wish found Past in Flame, which Bryant then cast. Rite+of+Flame met Ben’s Daze, but Dark+Ritual in response allowed Bryant to pay for Daze. Another Dark+Ritual (flashed back, as were all of the spells now), Duress (taking Stifle), Rite+of+Flame, Gitaxian+Probe (going to 1), playing Lion’s Eye Diamond right off the top and broken for three blue mana, Ponder into Lion’s Eye Diamond (adding another three blue), Gitaxian+Probe (paying mana), Cabal+Therapy naming Swords+to+Plowshares, Burning+Wish for Grapeshot.
Storm for 21, one damage targeting Vendilion+Clique and twenty targeting Ben. And that was that!
Bryant 1, Ben 0.
Ben led things off with a mulligan, while Bryant kept.
“I wish I could’ve kept. My hand was so pretty.”
“I think the same thing every time I look at my deck. That’s mostly the foil ‘S’ Chinese Polluted+Delta though.”
Ben is hoping to shine as bright as this trophy!
Engineered+Explosives for zero and Delver+of+Secrets led things off, and City+of+Brass led to Ponder and Lotus+Petal. Delver flipped into Insectile+Aberration with the help of Ponder, and Bryant fell to 16. Ponder also happened for the American Delver player, and after he drew Ben passed. (Simplified Chinese foil) Polluted+Delta entered play, and Bryant cast Brainstorm, after which he cracked said fetchland and Duressed Ben. He showed Bryant his hand of Lightning+Bolt, Geist+of+Saint+Traft, and Flooded+Strand. Burn spell hit the bricks, and Geist did as well when Cabal+Therapy happened. Delver beat in for three, and Ben then passed.
Brainstorm from Bryant was followed by activating Scalding+Tarn, finding Underground+Sea, Dark+Ritual, Dark Ritual… and in response Ben fetched and cast Vendilion+Clique taking Infernal+Tutor from Bryant. That’s a pretty good one to top deck! Bryant lost the groove then, and he just passed and emptied his ample mana pool. Bryant died with the other two Dark+Rituals in hand, and the finalists shuffled up for the ultimate showdown: game three.
Bryant 1, Ben 1.
Bryant took the play and began the rubber match of the finals by casting Ponder off Gemstone+Mine. Ben played Volcanic+Island and passed, then Bryant played his pride and joy Delta again activating it… but meeting plain ol’ Stifle in response. Gitaxian+Probe revealed Lightning+Bolt, Tormod’s Crypt, Geist+of+Saint+Traft, Brainstorm, and two lands. He then cast Lotus+Petal times two, LED, Infernal+Tutor (in response Lion’s Eye Diamond for three mana) finding Empty+the+Warrens for fourteen goblin tokens.
“Take a chance I guess!”
Hoping to avoid Engineered+Explosives for zero, Bryant passed. Ben dug with Brainstorm on his turn to try to find the Fifth Dawn rare… but found none. Fourteen damage, Cabal+Therapy naming Brainstorm (whiffing) left Ben with one out: blind shuffle into Explosives.
Here we go…
And here we go…
Your winner, Bryant Cook!
Bryant 2, Ben 1.