“I like your deck” Edwin offered as he glanced over Gerry's decklist before the match. “I like it too” Gerry replied. The deck had carried him to a trophy just a week ago and a Top 8 the week before that—clearly it had served him well. A victory in this event would vault him instantly to Level 8 but he would need to take it one match at a time. His quarterfinal opponent Edwin had piloted U/B Forgemaster to the Top 8 an archetype first pioneered by Martin Juza. Edwin had picked up the deck and made his own tweaks giving it an interesting spin that had rewarded him with this Top 8 appearance.
After winning the die roll Gerry kicked off the first game with a mulligan. His six appeared equally unplayable and Gerry began shuffling once more. Five lands off the top of the deck were good enough to keep at this point and Gerry opened on Darkslick Shores. Edwin had an Inkmoth Nexus which Gerry replied to with just a Marsh Flats. Swamp and a small Everflowing Chalice accelerated Edwin while Gerry continued on his turn with Island go.
Edwin decided to go aggro on the third turn with his Nexus losing it to a Condemn and generating some tempo in Gerry's favor that he was ill-equipped to actually take advantage of. He'd also drawn a Doom Blade but he would be very soft to a planeswalker. Inquisition of Kozilek from Edwin discarded the Doom Blade and revealed Gerry's hand of lands but he'd drawn a Mana Leak when Edwin tried Jace the Mind Sculptor on the following turn. Tezzeret Agent of Bolas landed on the board digging up a Kuldotha Forgemaster. Edwin sent the turn to Gerry who still had only lands as he added Seachrome Coast to the field.
Edwin 1 Gerry 0
Gerry looked at a far more keepable hand for the second game opening on Glacial Fortress. He revealed the goods to Edwin following a Duress and Edwin tanked on the correct card to take eventually discarding a Gideon Jura and leaving Preordain Stoneforge Mystic Mana Leak Creeping Tar Pit and Darkslick Shores. Gerry played the Mystic for Feast and Famine on his next turn passing to Edwin. Sphere of the Suns resolved on Edwin's turn after he played Nexus.
Gerry Preordained a pair of lands away before adding a Seachrome Coast to the field and passing turn Mana Leak and Mystic at the ready. Edwin activated one Nexus and attacked just Sphere and Nexus untapped as the Sword came into play. Gerry equipped and cast Preordain moving to combat. Edwin took the damage discarding Inkmoth Nexus as Gerry untapped his lands. Inquisition of Kozilek followed for Gerry earning a Negate from Edwin via the Sphere.
Both Nexus entered the red zone now and Edwin passed with just his Sphere untapped. Gerry attempted Jace Beleren precombat drawing and finding a Squadron Hawk on top as he attacked. That gave him plenty of blockers and he played one to search up three passing the turn with Mana Leak still available. Edwin drew and cast Everflowing Chalice with a pair of kickers. Gerry decided to Mana Leak and the beats kept on coming. Beleren drew a card before Creeping Tar Pit turned on all of Gerry's creatures swinging in to put Edwin on 7—dead on-board if he didn't defend himself next turn from the Hawks or the Mystic.
Edwin 1 Gerry 1
Edwin kept as Gerry sent back a hand filled to the gills with land in favor of a stronger six. Gerry's next hand was just six lands leaving him on five once again in the deciding game. Gerry's five were acceptable and the deciding game began. Edwin had just an Island while Gerry dropped Creeping Tar Pit. A Drowned Catacomb and Inquisition of Kozilek discarded Gerry's Inquisition leaving him on all lands once again.
Edwin accelerated with Sphere of the Suns into a turn 3 Tezzeret which Gerry promptly dispatched via Mana Leak. Duress off the top removed a Mana Leak and left Edwin on Duress Blightsteel Colossus and Kuldotha Forgemaster—they were both in rough shape now. Edwin missed his land for the fourth turn leaving him incapable of casting Forgemaster and knowing Gerry had nothing to Duress. Gerry topdecked Stoneforge Mystic and found the Sword dropping it into play in order to keep it safe from Duress.
Edwin drew having missed his land once again and now stuck wondering how he would beat the 1/2 again. He burned an Inquisition to check on Gerry's land and then received a beating from the Stoneforge and the Creeping Tar Pit as Gerry went aggro dropping Edwin to 14 and sending Colossus back into the deck. Edwin drew a Darkslick Shores—the wrong land—on the following turn passing back to Gerry and taking another six on the chin. He pitched Duress as Gerry added another land to the board but Kuldotha FOrgemaster did finally land.
A Tar Pit picked up the Sword and dropped Edwin to 3 swinging past the Forgemaster. Edwin drew his card for turn and knew he was dead to Tar Pit—Gerry lacked the correct colors of mana to activate both. Even Jace the Mind Sculptor couldn't brainstorm a solution to this problem and Gerry was onto the semifinals after baiting the removal spell with an equip of the Sword.
Edwin 1 Gerry 2