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.