Lewis Laskin debuted a U/B Infect build very reminiscent of the Worlds control deck for this event but an early draw had put him up against the wall. Kansas City's own Ryan O'Connor had just finished intentionally drawing with AJ Sacher in the previous round and now they found themselves locked in a battle on the bubble. Ryan was playing a unique Naya concoction with more silver bullets than you would ever want to shake a stick at.
Lewis took down the die roll but had to ship his starting hand back for a fresh one. Ryan kept his hand and Lewis dropped to five cards in search of something suitable. “I need you to give me one land in my opening hand just once” Lewis told him and Ryan obliged with a kinder cut. A first turn Island and a Preordain did Lewis one better. Ryan started with a Razorverge Thicket and a Birds of Paradise while Lewis just dropped Inkmoth Nexus.
Ryan's Stoneforge Mystic met a Mana Leak and a Raging Ravine revealed him to be on Naya. Lewis cast Tumble Magnet off a second Island passing to Ryan who has nothing other than a second Raging Ravine. A second Preordain for Lewis failed to find him a land and he used the Magnet on Ryan's Birds hoping his opponent was tight on mana. Ryan had a fourth land but no plays and he lost his Birds to a Contagion Clasp.
A trusty Acidic Slime handled the Magnet and Lewis remained stuck on just three lands. He sent his Inkmoth Nexus in for a point of poison but was dismayed to see a Sword of Feast and Famine land on the Acidic Slime. He lost a Jace the Mind Sculptor and Inferno Titan landed for Ryan's team. Lewis tried to use a Tumble Magnet to stay alive but his eyes went wide as an Oxidda Scrapmelter destroyed it. Even with his Titan locked down Ryan was still way ahead and Lewis drew his next card and scooped as Ryan flashed him a Vengevine.
Ryan 1 Lewis 0
Ryan's creature base was clearly suited to the Fauna Shaman engine packing a variety of unique bullets in addition to Vengevines. Lewis contemplated choosing the draw aloud after watching Ryan's slow start in the previous game but elected to take the play. Creeping Tar Pit kicked off the game for Lewis while Ryan had a mere Razorverge Thicket. Lewis Preordained keeping the cards and adding a second Tar Pit to the field.
Stoneforge Mystic found Sword of Feast and Famine but a Swamp and an Inquisition of Kozilek gave Lewis the chance to remove it. He saw the Sword a Squadron Hawk Cunning Sparkmage Stoneforge Mystic an Acidic Slime and two Arid Mesas. He snagged the Hawk and then cast Preordain twice bottoming one at first and then keeping both. Ryan sighed lacking many good options. He'd drawn a Birds of Paradise so he played that with the intent of dropping his Sword into play via the Mystic off Mountain Arid Mesa.
Contagion Clasp clipped the Birds' wings and when Ryan cracked his fetch the Mystic met a Go for the Throat. Ryan's delay had given Lewis the opportunity to generate some tempo—watch those fetches! Ryan cast his Sword and passed with Mesa at the ready losing Razorverge Thicket to a Tectonic Edge from Lewis as he played another Creeping Tar Pit. Stoneforge Mystic found a Basilisk Collar and a Forest enabled Ryan to equip his Sword to the 1/2 creating a significant threat.
Lewis cast a Preordain then an Inquisition of Kozilek to remove the Sparkmage from Ryan's hand. Basilisk Collar landed and attached to the Mystic with a Raging Ravine joining the board. Ryan's attack landed discarding a Flashfreeze and he followed that with a Precursor Golem post-combat. Lewis drew frowning as he cast Phyrexian Crusader with only two cards left.
Ryan cast Acidic Slime to destroy a Tar Pit and Ryan's next attack pitched another Flashfreeze and put Lewis on 8. A Tumble Magnet gave him an opportunity to claw back in but once Ryan activated Raging Ravine it was all over. “I don't think anything with Vengevine is a favorable matchup” Lewis admitted impressed with Ryan's Naya brew. The Golem had been especially potent overcoming what might have otherwise been an acceptable defense on the Lewis side of the board.
Ryan 2 Lewis 0