“You're even ready for poor Skithiryx” Brian said as he looked over Gerry's decklist. “I can't stop that I can't even regenerate!” Brian of course referred to a pack of Condemns between Gerry's main and sideboard. Gerry probably wouldn't value those too highly—this matchup would depend heavily on the disruption each player drew and how well Brian could control Gerry's Swords and planeswalkers. The pressure would be on Brian to present appropriate answers but his deck also packed an explosive ability to steal wins thanks to Skithiryx the Blight Dragon.
Gerry won the die roll and kept a hand that featured lands alongside a Stoneforge and Sword-Creeping Tar Pit especially which he played on the first turn once Brian also kept. Brian had just a Drowned Catacomb nodding as Gerry cast Stoneforge on the second turn for a Sword. Inquisition followed with Brian declaring “probably that one.” He was dismayed to see that Gerry had already drawn the spare but there wasn't much he could do. Brian added Inkmoth Nexus to the board and passed. Gerry dropped a second Tar Pit and passed preparing to Mystic in the Sword which he did after Brian cast Tumble Magnet.
With nothing better to do Gerry began to force the Tumble Magnet active buy equipping the Sword. His own Inquisition of Kozilek stripped a Contagion Clasp from Brian's hand of Inquisition Preordain and two more Islands. Brian cast the Preordain and tanked on the decision. “Showboating” Gerry accused as Brian eventually kept both cards. A second Clasp shrank the Mystic and Brian sent the turn. Jace the Mind Sculptor for Gerry was a welcome draw and he cast it after the Magnet had tapped down his man. The brainstorm picked up a Hawk a Preordain and a Go for the Throat. He tossed back the Hawk and a land as he played a third Creeping Tar Pit keeping the Hawk safe from Brian's Inquisition.
Brian stopped to think. If he cast Inquisition at Gerry's fresh hand he'd be unable to proliferate this turn as he'd kept a pair of spells with Preordain previously. He decided to Preordain once more and keep both cards finding a land and passing the turn. He hated to leave that Jace and he probably expected that Gerry had hidden his best cards on the previous turn anyway making his discard spell moot.
The Hawks cawed for Gerry on the following turn and a brainstorm with Jace followed. “I feel like I'm falling behind” Brian admitted. “A little bit” Gerry said. Proliferate boosted the Magnet and shrank the Mystic while Gerry cast another Hawk to find the two he'd put back with Jace. Brian lacked the resources to fight Sword and Jace with so little mana as he had to sue four each turn to keep his Magnet alive. Gerry Preordained and passed the turn.
Brian stared at the board in search of a solution before casting Inquisition. “Exciting” he said staring at Gerry's Go for the Throat Gideon pair of Hawks and lands as he discarded Gerry's Inquisition. Jace Beleren removed the Mind Sculptor but that meant Brian would have to burn his Tumble Magnet or offer Gerry a free hit with the Sword on the following turn.
A second Mind Sculptor off the top of the deck for Gerry didn't seem all that strong now—he cast Gideon Jura instead running it headlong into Brian's Mana Leak. Brian declined to Magnet his hand empty but that meant Gerry could untap his lands and deploy Jace. Brian laughed and congratulated Gerry on his good fortune—“After all my hard work!” Fateseal gave Brian a Darkslick Shores but he was being eaten away by a Squadron of angry Hawks now. As Gerry fatesealed him again Brian laughed. “I'm curious what you would even bother to put on the bottom!”
Tar Pit met the Magnet as proliferate neutralized the Sworded Mystic and Brian drew what Gerry had given him. Skithiryx was not enough to win the game and Brian conceded.
Gerry 1 Brian 0
Brian took the play for the second game anticipating a much more proactive game for his infect deck—he'd lacked the ability to really get his offense going.
Brian opened on Tar Pit but Gerry had Darkslick Shores and Inquisition revealing a Swamp Inquisition Contagion Clasp Jace Beleren Tumble Magnet and Preordain. That was a spicy grip but Gerry eventually discarded the Inquisition. Brian's Preordain kept both cards but only a Swamp followed. Squadron Hawk hit for Gerry digging up the pair as he passed the turn offering Brian the opportunity to deploy Jace Beleren—he took it drawing a card.
Gerry had a Stoneforge to go along with his pair of Hawks in the grip but he was wary of playing Squire into a Duress effect. He eventually did so attacking Jace to a single loyalty and sending the turn back to Brian. Contagion Clasp killed a Hawk and then both players drew from Jace—that play would prevent a Sword equip attack from Gerry while keeping Jace. He sent his Mystic into Jace before casting two Squadron Hawks searching with neither.
Brian had both players draw once again as he added Tumble Magnet to the board struggling to keep Jace alive. Gerry's hand was in fact just a bunch of lands Sword and Stoneforge but he found a second Sword and cracked Marsh Flats for the mana to cast it. Brian decided to Mana Leak and Gerry passed the turn. Both players once again drew a card from Beleren who would stay just out of arm's reach thanks to Tumble Magnet and proliferate based on the board. If Brian could land a Phyrexian Crusader or other beastie he might even start to get ahead.
Skithiryx was a sufficient animal and Brian passed with a single black open and the Dragon on defense. Magnet tapped down one Hawk and Gerry contemplated what to do next. He'd drawn Gideon—after teaming into Jace and losing a Hawk to Skithiryx he cast the planeswalker. Brian would be in strong shape if Skithiryx could land a blow but the planeswalker served as both defense and removal forcing Brian to expend resources to maintain a board that only edged him slightly. Both players again drew with Beleren and Brian decided to animate his Tar Pit in order to shrink the planeswalker below the assassination point. A second Clasp killed Gerry's last Hawk and Brian passed facing the pair of Mystics and Gideon with Magnet available to defend Jace.
Gerry could force a hit to the face with Sword or the death of Jace by playing and equipping Sword and Brian chose to offer up his planeswalker by tapping down the newly-equipped Mystic. Gideon swung into Jace and Brian took a point of Mystic beats. Now the combination of proliferate Tumble Magnet and Skithiryx would begin to eat away at Gerry and Brian was looking pretty good to finish the game out barring anything strange from Gerry. He hesitated to begin attacking no doubt concerned about Condemn so he hedged by sending Tar Pit at Gideon and the Dragon at Gerry with four mana still open.
On four poison but facing death next turn due to the Clasp Gerry cracked a Marsh Flats before drawing just a Glacial Fortress for turn. That left him dead on the board and when Brian Clasped he decided to scoop rather than wait for the Dragon to attack again.
Gerry 1 Brian 1
“GL but not too much G” Brian offered as they shuffled for the third game. “Why wish me luck at all then?” “I want you to have reasonable luck not bad luck” Brian replied. “Last game was fun. I had fun didn't you?” The back-and-forth nature of the previous game as Jace Beleren and Tumble Magnet jousted against Gerry's board had been a dynamic affair. Would the third game prove as interesting?
Gerry kept for the deciding game with Brian tanking after Gerry kept quickly—he was concerned about the strength of Gerry. The speed factored into Brian's decision and Brian eventually decided to keep. A first turn Duress stole Preordain and left Brian with lands Skithiryx and a pair of Mana Leaks. Brian played a Tar Pit and Stoneforge landed for Gerry on the second turn. “I may have lied when I said I was thinking about turn one” Gerry admitted—his hand was clearly gas. Brian again had just a tapped land while Gerry had both Swords in hand followed by a second Duress to take Jace Beleren. “I don't know if a six-card hand could have beaten this” Brian said. “I could probably stack six and still be a dog.”
Gerry's Sword popped out during Brian's end step equipping on the next turn as Stoneforge attacked. Gerry was stuck on just three lands and Brian could toss a Nexus in the way if he expected Gerry to jump too far ahead. “I'm trying to figure out what I can draw” Brian said knowing that Tumble Magnet was part of the answer. He took the hit pitching a Mana Leak as Gerry untapped his lands and shipped the turn. Brian played a land and passed burning an Island as Gerry attacked again still without a fourth land.
Brian tapped out for the Blight Dragon on his next turn earning a Mana Leak from Gerry. Gerry cast a second Stoneforge and attacked pitching Brian's last Leak and giving him the mana to cast a second Sword. With two equipped Mystics threatening to fight next turn and Brian on 11 life it appeared grim for him. He sent both Nexus into Gerry laughing as Squadron Hawk landed on Gerry's side of the board. Brian flipped over his next card and conceded.
Gerry 2 Brian 1