Scott and James both seemed confident in their chances in this matchup but for James it was old hat. After losing the Swiss to Alex Bertoncini he'd extracted revenge moments ago in the quarterfinals with a quick spanking. With one Merfolk master notched on his belt James was looking to eliminate another in the semifinals. Scott took down the die roll for an early edge and took another when James mulliganed to six cards.
Scott began with an Island an Aether Vial while James began with an Island and a Chain of Vapor to bounce it. A Mutavault recast the Vial while his Island cast Cursecatcher and Scott appeared to be in quite reasonable shape against James—the storm player had just a Verdant Catacombs and a pass on his second turn. The Vial ticked up and Scott tossed down an Island. Merrow Reejerey let the Cursecatcher crack in for 2 damage and Scott passed. James cracked Catacombs during the end step for a Swamp and then untapped and drew.
Preordain shipped nothing to the bottom and James played an Underground Sea before casting Duress. Scott responded with Vial for Cursecatcher revealing Coralhelm Commander and Wasteland to James—a pretty sizable clock! He could attack for 9 damage by leveling the Commander next turn but he wisely decided to Wasteland instead. A Mutavault animation swung in to make it 9 damage anyway and Scott passed turn with his formidable Cursecatchers complicating the life of James Lance. James tried a Duress with an Island up which Scott successfully Cursecatchered.
Lion's Eye Diamond resolved for James and a second one. He cast Ponder sacrificing his Diamonds for 3 black and 3 blue mana pitching an Infernal Tutor in the process. Scott used his second Cursecatcher to tax that play as well leaving James with 2 blue. He shuffled for Ponder drew his card and conceded.
Scott 1 James 0
It was Scott's turn to open with a mulligan tossing back a weak hand with far too many Merrow Reejerey. He kept his six and James kicked the game off with a fetch to find a Thoughtseize and take Force of Will from a hand filled with Wastelands Reejereys and a Lord of Atlantis. Scott dropped an Island and passed a second Thoughtseize from James discarding Lord of Atlantis. His fetches continued to search basic lands dodging Scott's Wastelands and a solitary Merrow Reejery wasn't much of a threat even on 14 life.
James passed on three lands and a second Reejerey landed to untap a Wasteland and bash in for 3 damage. James continued to play draw go falling to 5 life. He drew for his turn and shrugged flipping over a hand filled with rituals but lacking in any cantrips or tutor effects to actually win the game. A little bit of the beatdown was all that Scott had needed to take down the game and advance to the semifinals.
Scott 2 James 0