Welcome to live coverage of the Superstars 5K event happening in San Jose, CA this weekend! All weekend long, I (Josh Silvestri), will be updating this space with metagame breakdowns, feature matches and flight results! Just scroll down as the weekend progresses to see updates in the coverage as I finish it.
Congratulations to our 5K winner, Matt Nass!
Decklists will be added later.
Metagame Breakdown for Friday Early Bird Flight
Red Aggro – 7
Faeries – 7
Jund – 7
Kithkin – 6
G/W Aggro – 5
Time Sieve – 5
5cc – 4
G/B Elves – 2
Merfolk – 2
G/B Rock – 2
Other – 6
As you can see, the field is quite diverse, at least before the dust settles on what actually succeeded. In a surprise twist, Faeries and Red Aggro share the spotlight and I’m sure that got a bit awkward for some unlucky players. Many of the Fae players added red for Lightning Bolt to deal with Great Sable Stag and some went the extra mile and used Cruel Ultimatum as an end-game strategy. Those that didn’t ran multiple Gargoyle Castle, taking advantage of the simpler two-color mana and effectively running extra manlands in the control and mirror matches.
Jund, to no one’s surprise, was also tied for the most played deck; the most interesting variation removing nearly all spells and adding Doran, The Siege Tower along with the classic tech of Sygg, River Guide for card draw.
Kithkin and G/W Aggro of various sorts are a bit odd to see to some considering the expected metagame in the wake of the Nationals results, but with the top 3 decks being 50/50 or better matches for the Kith players, it ended up being a solid choice. The G/W Aggro variants are a bit difficult to classify, some running as G/W Tokens, others as little kid G/W featuring Soldiers and Teeg prominently and one very similar to my build posted 2 weeks ago combining both. The one combo deck in the room, Time Sieve / Open the Vaults has gone up in popularity after Ruel’s success with the deck at French Nationals. Unfortunately for them, many of the control matches they prey on aren’t here, still the deck has reasonable matches against non-Fae so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few make the top 32.
The rest of the field consisted of mainly aggro and more control-oriented creature decks, with nothing sticking out as a particularly new take on any of the classics. As for the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“other’ moniker, decks with single deck representation earned the honor, which includes Elementals, Warp World and the Doran deck of the previous 5k champion, David Mintz. It’ll be interesting to see if these decks hold up all weekend or if the metagame significantly shifts for the Saturday flights.
FRIDAY FLIGHT QUALIFIERS
Congratulations to our 8 qualifiers!
David Mintz, Devon Miller, Luis Scott-Vargas, Kyle Richter, Kenny Hayashi, Brandon Tabaldo, Lev Osherovich and Alexei Gousev
Round 1: Josh Utter-Leyton (5cc) vs. Albert Sanson (Jund)
Game 1: Albert Won the die roll and begins the game with a Savage Lands, Mire and Putrid Leech, met by a pair of Vivid’s by Josh. On turn 3 the Leech comes in and bashes for 4, while Leyton drops a Mystic Gate into play and ships the turn. A 4th land comes down for Albert and Bloodbraid Elf hits. Cascading for Ram-Gang. Plumeveil hits the combat step and takes down the Elf and Josh drops to 9 life. A Wall of Reverence on Josh’s main sends him back to 13 and puts an opposing clock on the Jund player.
Sanson proceeded to spend some time in thought while considering how to deal with the dual walls and simply swings in with his team. Plumes blocks Ram-Gang and Wall blocks the Leech, Plumeveil now becomes only a 1/1, but the Ram-Gang is now out of the picture. A Maelstrom Pulse post combat takes down the Wall of Reverence and Leyton simply passes the turn, missing his 5th land drop.
A tapped Gilt-Leaf Palace from Albert and a 2nd Ram-Gang dropped to the table and Josh had the Cryptic Command to counter it and bounce the Leech back to hand. Unable to recast with only one open mana, Sanson simply passed the turn. A main-phase Esper Charm drew 2, attempting to find a 5th land drop for Josh and he successfully found a Reflecting Pool and passed, facing an empty board.
A Volcanic Fallout clears the board of the Withered Plumeveil and sent Josh to 11 and Albert to 14. A Kitchen Finks was subsequently hit by Broken Ambitions, milling away 2 Bloodbraid Elf in a crushing blow to Jund’s offense. A 6th land came down with Runed Halo, shutting off Anathemancer, one of the major threats to Leyton at this point. A pair of Putrid Leech hit the board and Josh drew two on the end-step off another Esper Charm, followed by a Cruel Ultimatum hit for Josh, taking down a Leech, getting back his Wall of Reverence and making the life total 16-9 in favor of him. With Albert down to topdecking, things were looking grim, but a swing put Josh to 12 and a Chameleon Colossus hit the board. A 2nd Cruel Ultimatum then hit, bringing Leyton back to 17 life while taking down a Putrid Leech and (at this point the return creature part was useless as he simply discarded his Wall) anyway dropped Sanson to 2 life. A Chameleon Colossus attack back for 8 brought Josh to 9, but it was simply not to be enough with Cruel Ultimatum and Leech payments taking their toll on Sanson’s life total, an Ajani Vengeant spelled game over.
Game 2: The beginning of game one looked to play out yet again, with the only difference being Leyton’s 2nd land being an untapped Sunken Ruins to represent Broken Ambitions. A Great Sable Stag on Albert’s 3rd turn simply didn’t care, as a combined attack the following turn took Leyton down to 9 life. With only land-go coming from Leyton, there simply wasn’t much he could do. A 2nd Great Sable Stag for Sanson looked to quickly end the game on his 5th turn attack step, but Josh had his Cryptic Command at the ready to tap down the oncoming horde and draw him a card. An Anthamancer hit play and took Josh down to 6 life and now would be the critical turn as a 5th land and Hallowed Burial would be absolutely devastating and leave Josh somewhat stabilized. Josh did have the 5th land, but his 3WW spell was a Baneslayer Angel, hoping to stem the onslaught with the large lifelinker. A Bloodbraid Elf hit for Albert and cascaded into Maelstrom Pulse, killing the Angel, with more than enough damage to finish up.
Game 3: With Josh on the play, not much had changed, land-go was still the order of the day, leaving open turn 2 Broken Ambitions mana in case of another 2nd turn Leech from Sanson. However Albert’s lands consisted of a crag, mountain and reflecting pool, unable to make red. A 3rd turn Great Sable Stag was taken down by Lightning Bolt on his end-step, while Leyton simply dropped another Vivid . Boggart Ram-Gang hit play for Albert, but was taken down by a flashed in Plumeveil. Wall of Reverence hit on turn 5 and Sanson still had no black sources in play, eliminating practically any way of taking the 1/6 down. Josh was going up 1 life at a time now and a 2nd Great Sable Stag simply sat uselessly on the table, unable to get by the wall. Josh simply sat with 6 lands his play, his 1/1 Plumeveil and Wall of Reverence, content to gain 1 a turn (23 life).
A Cruel Ultimatum came down for Josh, dropping Albert to 15, killing his Stag and taking Josh up to 28 life. An Anathemancer, Putrid Leech and Terminate being discarded to the Cruel showed the consequences of seeing no black mana. The following turn a 2nd Cruel Ultimatum hit the table, taking down the rest of Albert’s hand essentially sealing the game for Utter-Leyton. A pair of Volcanic Fallout’s hit the table in response, effectively negating the life-gain for Josh and keeping him at 31 life while he dropped to 6. Sanson drew the black source on his subsequent topdeck, a Savage Lands, but never would have the chance to use it as Josh had the Ajani Vengeant and Lightning Bolt to finish the game up.
Josh Utter-Leyton wins 2-1
Round 2: Kevin Mayer (B/R Aggro) versus Michael Klemic (Kithkin)
Game 1: Mayer started off with a Mountain and Graven Carins into Goblin Outlander, met by a Windbrisk Heights, Mystic Gate and Meddling Mage naming Boggart Ram-Gang. An Anathemancer pinging for 2 and an Outlander attack sent Klemic to 16; Michael responded with an Honor of the Pure and bash back for 3 damage, leaving up a W. Hellspark Elemental joined the team and swung in, this was met by a Harm’s way, saving two damage and taking down the Anathemancer as Michael dropped to 11.
A fresh Meddling Mage came down and named Flame Javelin , followed by a Wizened Cenn. Klemic chose not to continue the attack against Kevin and left all of his men back as blockers. On Kevin’s follow-up turn he attacked Michael down to 9 and Terminated a Meddling Mage (naming Flame Javelin). He swung back over for 6 damage, taking Mayer to 11. Outlander came in for another two damage and Mayer pondered his options, simply passing the turn back. The white army was held back again to stop haste monsters, but another Outlander attack followed by Flame Javelin and Lightning Bolt ended the game. Klemic revealed after that he had nothing but lands in his hand.
Game 2: Michael came flying out of the gates with a Figure of Destiny and Wizened Cenn, while Mayer came back with a Magma Spray on the Figure and Goblin Outlander. An Honor of the Pure was the 3rd turn play for Klemic and he shipped the turn without attacking. A 3rd turn attack and Blightning sent Klemic down to 15 and forced him to discard a Rustic Clachan and Negate. Knight of the Meadowgrain and Windbrisk Heights hit on turn 4, depleting his hand, but leaving him with a 4/4 lifelinker. Kevin came back with a Bolt to the Cenn and Figure of Destiny of his own. A 2nd Honor of the Pure came off the top for Klemic, but the Knight was stymied by Knight of the Meadowgrain.
He pumped his Figure of Destiny to a 4/4 and proceeded to swing it into the 4/4 Knight, first strike took down FOD and gained him 4 life, getting him to 19. A Forge-Tender attack knocked Mayer to 14 life and a 2nd Forge-Tender off the top looked to put the game away. Another attack later with the entire team brought a 3rd and 4th Forge-Tender out from under Windbrisk Heights . At this point there’s simply no way for Mayer to recover, he lays 3 Hellspark Elemental out on the table, but simply is unable to force through any real damage.
Game 3: Both players keep their openers and start with land, Figure of Destiny. Mayer Bolts his opponent’s FOD and beats for one and then ships the turn, missing his land drop. A Mystic Gate joins the Plains for Michael and he drops a Cenn into play. Mayer responds with a Deathmark and pump on his Figure, attacking for 2 and dropping Michael to 17. A Spectral Procession comes down to hold the fort and a 3rd land springs from the top of Kevin’s library. FOD comes in again and isn’t blocked, hitting for just 2 and then a Blightning comes down, dropping Klemic to 12 and forcing a discard of Negate and Clachan. All the Spirit tokens swing in, taking Mayer to 17 and a Stillmoon Cavalier hits the table to protect against FOD. Magma Spray takes down the Cavalier and FOD comes in for another 2, sending the Kith to 10 life. An Honor of the Pure and Knight of the Meadowgrain come into play and Michael swings with 2 Spirit tokens, dropping Mayer to 13. Another Deathmark blows up Knight of Meadowgrain and FOD swings in, getting chumped by a token. Another Knight comes off the top for Michael and he beats with the spirits putting Mayer to 9.
FOD comes in for 4, dropping Klemic to 6 with an Outlander hitting to defend against the Knight. A second Honor of the Pure falls into play and one spirit comes in, taking Kenny to 6 and leaving the Knight and 2nd Spirit as blockers. Anathemancer comes down and is unable to do more than 2 damage, combined with the Outlander that’s only 4 damage leaving Klemic to swing for lethal on the following turn.
Michael Klemic wins 2-1
Round 3: Derek Cockrell (R/B Aggro) versus Stephen Hines (Jund)
Both these players qualified for the single-elim rounds at the last 5k, Hines making it to the top 4 and both expect to make a run at winning it this time around.
Game 1: Gilt-Leaf Palace and Forest into Putrid Leech from Hines kicked the match off. Meanwhile Derek responded with a impressive display of 2 Mountains. Putrid Leech cracked for 2, not drawing the pump for fear of burn. A Wren’s Run Vanquisher hit play and was subsequently bolted. A 3rd Mountain hit for Derek and a Ram-Gang hit and swung over for 3. Nameless Inversion took down the Ram-Gang and Putrid Leech hit Cockrell to 16. A Dragonskull Summit now provided Cockrell with a black source, but he simply played a 2nd Ram-Gang, knocking Stephen to 14. A 2nd Putrid Leech hit the field and a Bolt took down the Ram-Gang, leaving Stephen with only 2 cards in hand.
Derek considered his options and simply laid a Figure of Destiny with 3 mana open, passing the turn. (14 a piece) Both Leeches attacked and Hines elected not to pump, hitting for 4 and dropping Derek to 10. A post-combat Maelstrom Pulse removed the FOD and left Cockrell’s board empty. A Flame Javelin came down and took down one of the Leeches on end-step. A 2nd Figure hit the board with the same situation as last turn, except now facing down only one Leech. Leech was blocked by FOD and the new combat rules actually played a part in this game. Figure pumped to a 2/2, Leech attempted to pump to a 4/4 and Bolt was played in response. Instead of Leech being able to trade with the FOD regardless, now the Leech was destined to die unless a pump effect was played.
Jund Charm was indeed played on the Leech, taking down FOD and surviving the Bolt. A Blightning removed the remaining cards in Hines hand and left him with 4 mana and a 4/4 Putrid Leech in play. Cockrell was now at 6 life and Hines at 9, Stephen came in with the leech threatening a kill, but Derek simply passed priority. Hines simply dealt 4 and passed the turn back. Derek had laid no blockers for the past 3 turns, so there was no escape to the Leech. He simply did not have enough mana to take down the Leech as a 4/4 as long as the pump ability was in play the get it to a 6/6. After thinking for a moment, Cockrell scooped.
Derek boards out 3 Volcanic Fallout and 2 Banefire, boards in 4 Deathmark and a Puppeteer Clique
Hines boards out 3 Anathemancer and 2 Jund Charm, boards in 4 Great Sable Stag and a Chameleon Colossus
Game 2: Both players start with a mulligan to six and start with their various tap-lands on turn 1. The first action comes from Cockrell with a Hellspark Elemental attacking for 3. Hines comes back with a Vanquisher revealing Bloodbraid Elf. For his 3rd turn, Derek plays Figure, Unearthed Hellspark and struck, taking Stephen to 14. With two filter lands, Cockrell is forced to make many of his plays at the same time during his main phase. Vanquisher strikes, knocking Derek to 17 and a 2nd Vanquisher hits play. FOD goes up to stage 1 and Hellspark #2 hits play and swings in, knocking Hines to 11.
Stephen hits his 4th land drop, laying Bloodbraid Elf and cascading into Stag. All 3 Elves attack and the 2/2 Figure trades with Elf, while Cockrell drops to 11 life. Anathemancer for 3 takes Hines to 8 and another Figure immediately took the place of his dead brethren. A Pulse takes down the Figure and
both Vanquishers swung in, taking Cockrell to 5 and leaving his Great Sable Stag back to block. A 5th land and Puppeteer Clique comes down and returns Bloodbraid Elf to the field to swing for 3, taking Hines to 5 and leaving Derek with 0 cards in hand. GSS attacks and drops Derek to 2 life, playing another Vanquisher.
Cockrell draws hoping for some action and finds a Demigod of Revenge to end the game on the spot.
Game 3: Stephen ends up taking multiple mulligans and finally starts the game with 5 cards and tries to make the most of it by casting over the first three turns. Meanwhile Derek brings the action with Figure of Destiny and Hellspark Elemental, with the FOD getting Bolted and Hines going to 17. A Ram-Gang from Stephen evens the score at 17 all, but Anathemancer comes down, Lava Spiking Hines down to 14. A Stag joins the field and Ram-Gang swings in again, bringing the life totals to even yet again. With four land in play, Cockrell makes the decision of doing nothing, waiting for his opponent to possibly make a mistake in combat. Both 3/3’s swing in and the GSS eats a Flame Javelin while Derek falls to 11.
A 5th land and Puppeteer Clique come down for Derek, stealing Great Sable Stag and allowing him to come back over for 5, putting Hines at 9. The Clique is hit by a Nameless Inversion on Derek’s 2nd main phase and he simply ends the turn. A Pulse finishes the Puppeteer Clique off, leaving only the Anathemancer on the field and Ram-Gang strikes him down to 8. A Deathmark takes down the Ram-Gang and a FOD hits the field and immediately is pumped to stage 2. There was simply nothing forthcoming to stop the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Mancer and soon to be 8/8, so Hines is forced to scoop.
Derek Cockrell wins 2-1
Round 4: Peter Harbison (G/W ) versus Eirik Aune (R/B Aggro)
Game 1: Peter kicks things off with a Nettle Sentinel, signaling Combo Elves, while Eirik begins with a Mountain into Figure of Destiny to show that he’s red aggro. Devoted Druid comes down and a 2nd FOD hits plays, as well as pumping the first into stage one and bashing for 2. Both players are at 18 and Heritage Druid into Ranger of Eos is the follow-up, fetching Burrenton Forge-Tender and Nettle Sentinel. The 2/2 Figure swings in and gets blocked by the Ranger, no pump happens, so they both die off and a Banefire takes down the Heritage Druid. Devoted Druid makes GG to go along with the Forest and Sunpetal Grove in play; Harbison laid a 2nd Ranger of Eos fetching Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel.
Nettle Sentinel swings in, Figure pumps to a 2/2 and they trade off. Aune lays an Anthemancer on his turn alongside the yell of, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“One ya!’, dropping him to 17. Ranger of Eos comes in for 3 and drops Aune to 15, after which he lays a 2nd Devoted Druid and the Forge-Tender. A Blightning flies from Eirik’s hand, taking Harbison to 14 and he discards Elvish Visionary and a 3rd Ranger of Eos. Mancer traded off with the Ranger in play when Peter attacks again. With Eirik tapped out, he attempts to go off, making 3 mana off his Druids to lay 2 Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid, laying a 2nd Druid and building up to the 7 mana to resolve Regal Force. Sensing the end is near (as both Nettle’s will untap and Devoted Druid can untap itself for Heritage Druid usage), Aune concedes.
Harbison boards out 2 Path to Exile for 2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
Aune boards out 4 Anathemancer for 3 Deathmark and a Shriekmaw
Game 2: Aune on the play takes a mulligan to six and starts off with a Hovel and Mountain, while Peter lays Llanowar Elf and a turn 2 Elvish Archdruid. This allows for a 3rd turn Primal Command with the modes of Search for a Creature fetching Ranger of Eos and bouncing Auntie’s Hovel. Eirik floats a red in case he feels the need to Volcanic Fallout, but with a W the possibility of Harm’s Way exists. He lays the Fallout anyway and blows up both Elves and taking them both to 18. Land-go comes from Aune and a Devoted Druid hits for Harbison allowing him to follow-up with the Ranger the following turn for Nettle Sentinel and Burrenton Forge-Tender. Forge-Tender hits play and he ships the turn.
A Deathmark takes down the Forge-Tender and the ball is once again in the Elves court. Ranger of Eos knocks Eirik down to 15 and Heritage Druid hits the table, on end-step another Fallout clears the board and makes the life-totals 16-13 in favor of Harbison. Llanowar Elf and Heritage Druid hit play, leaving 2 cards remaining in his hand. These are rendered irrelevant when a Blightning takes them down. The Elves swing for the next two turns and life totals become 13-9 and then 11-7 from a 3rd Fallout. Nettle Sentinel hits play and Aune comes back with a Flame Javelin to Harbison, taking him to 7 life and the follow-up Banefire for seven ends the game.
Game 3: A first turn Nettle Sentinel graces the field for Harbison and yet another tapped Auntie’s Hovel on turn 1 hits for Eirik, which seems to be a running theme for his tribal land. Nettle beats for 2, knocking him to 18 and Harbison lays a Llanowar Elf and Forge-Tender to end his 2nd turn. A tapped Summit is Eirik’s only play as he passes the turn back. Elvish Archdruid comes down and Peter swings with his now 3/3 Nettle Sentinel which gets taken down by a Lightning Bolt. On Aune’s turn a Deathmark and 2nd Bolt take down the Forge-Tender and Archdruid, leaving only a Llanowar. Elvish Visionary joins the fight, but does little otherwise as Llanowar comes in for one taking Aune to 17.
A Figure of Destiny is the first creature played by Eirik and a 3rd Bolt takes down the Llanowar Elf keeping him off the crucial 4th mana for Ranger of Eos and Elves simply plays Nettle Sentinel while the Figure becomes a 2/2 and then a 4/4 on Eirik’s next turn, beating Peter down to 16. Harbison swings for 3, knocking the burnslinger to 14 and laying a Devoted Druid to set-up. The Figure swings again, taking another 4 point chunk out of Peter’s life total. Heritage Druid hits play on Harbison’s turn and he generates the 7 mana necessary to lay a Regal Force on the table. Aune then drops the Volcanic Fallout on the table, clearing the board and making the life totals 12-10 in favor of Aune. The Regal Force gets taken down by Deathmark and a swing with Figure drops Peter to a precarious 6 life. Ranger of Eos comes down, fetching Burrenton Forge-Tender and Nettle Sentinel. Sentinel hits the board and Elves ships the turn.
An evoked Shriekmaw kills the Sentinel and the Ranger is forced to chump the Figure. A 6th land finally hits play, albeit tapped and Flame Javelin drops Harbison to 2 life. A Demigod comes down the following turn, forcing a Forge-Tender sacrifice and leaving Peter with few outs. Another Llanowar and Forge-Tender come down but are no match for Lightning Bolt, Volcanic Fallout, Demigod and the Figure which could become an 8/8 flyer.
Eirik Aune wins 2-1
Round 5 – Derek Cockrell (R/B Aggro) versus Jason Showard (R/B Aggro)
Game 1: And we now have a mirror folks! Jason drops a pair of Tattermage Maniac on the table and Derek lays the MVP of red, Figure of Destiny. A Hellspark Elemental joins the pair of Maniac and they all swing in together, the Figure trades with a Maniac and Cockrell drops to 13. Showard misses his 3rd land drop though and a Ram-Gang comes down for Derek to potentially block Maniac. A bolt puts a stop to that and he falls to 11, but with only two land Showard is unable to add any real pressure. Anathemancer comes down on Cockrell’s side and pings for 1, and then trades off with the Maniac. The accompanying unearthed Hellspark eats a Lightning Bolt before damage.
A Figure of Destiny hits the field for Showard along with the third land and he makes it a 2/2. A Blightning from Cockrell takes out the remainder of his hand (Anathemancer and Blightning). The Figure cracks for 2, but isn’t pumped in case of burn. It becomes a moot point when a Flame Javelin takes it down on end-step. A Blightning from Jason takes out a Demigod of Revenge from Derek’s hand, but a Boggart Ram-Gang takes the field and starts taking down Jason’s life total. A fresh Figure from the top of the deck, immediately goes to 4/4 mode and no help coming from the top of Showard’s deck brings a concession.
Derek Cockrell 1-0
Derek boards out 4 Anathemancer and a Banefire while adding 4 Deathmark and 1 Puppeteer Clique
Jason boards out 3 Anathemancer, 3 Maniac and a Banefire while adding 4 Dragon’s Claw and 3 Earthquake
(Apologies for any errors in this game, the amount of lifegain going on made it a little difficult to keep clear)
Game 2: Both players start with the same opener, Mountain, Figure of Destiny, go. A turn 2 Dragon’s Claw from Jason could make the race rather interesting, while Cockrell sticks with simply pumping his Figure and laying a tapped Auntie’s Hovel. Showard once again misses his 3rd land drop and pumps his Figure into a 2/2. Derek comes back with a swing from his 2/2 Figure and a Deathmark takes down Jason’s Figure. Lightning Bolt blows up Derek’s Figure in response.
A Hellspark Elemental drops Derek to 14. A Blightning drops Jason to 15 and knocks a Hellspark and Hell’s Thunder out of his hand. A Hellspark Elemental from Derek drops him down to 13 life (Dragon Claw once again negating much of the overall damage). Another Hellspark comes down and takes Derek to 9.
An Unearthed Hellspark from Showard eats a Flame Javelin and a Demigod of Revenge comes down to bring him down to 11. A Magma Spray and Volcanic Fallout takes down the Demigod of Revenge and brings Derek to life. Hell’s Thunder comes back from the grave to eat a Flame Javelin and sends Jason to 12. A fresh Hellspark and unearthed Hellspark come from Cockrell dropping Showard to 7 life. A Figure of Destiny hits the board on Showard’s side and he goes to 8 and then 9 after drawing another Flame Javelin from Derek.
Unearthed Hellspark Elemental drops Jason to 6 and the following turn sees a Blightning dropping Jason to 5 after he throws out a Bolt knocking Cockrell to 3 (2 life gain from Dragon’s Claw, hence the odd life-total route for Jason). Earthquake for 3 is attempted to kill Derek, but a Flame Javelin from Cockrell knocks Jason to 3 even after the Claw’s lifegain. As a result the Earthquake kills both of them, the game is a draw.
Derek 1-0 still
Derek boards out a Volcanic Fallout and Deathmark and brings in 2 Everlasting Torment
Game 3: Derek plays a game of land-go for multiple turns while Jason strikes with a Dragon’s Claw and Blightning, hitting 2 lands, gaining him a life (21) and knocking Derek to 17. A Ram-Gang comes down (missed trigger) and hits Showard to 18. Jason takes this in stride and casts another Blightning and Cockrell discards Graven Carins and Deathmark. This time Derek has his own Blightning, nabbing a few lands and combined with Ram-Gang, knocked Showard down to 14 life. He comes back with an Earthquake for 3, gaining a life, taking down the Ram-Gang and dropped to 12, while Cockrell goes to 11.
A Figure of Destiny and Everlasting Torment come down from Cockrell, sending Jason back to 14 before eliminating his future life-gain. Volcanic Fallout comes down and kills the Figure and drops him to 12.
A Blightning removes the remainder of Showard’s hand and knocks him to 9 life. A Hellspark Elemental comes down and drops him down to six. His draw-steps only yield another Dragon’s Claw and non-lethal Earthquake. Unearthed Hellspark Elemental come down, bashes Jason down to 3 and a Flame Javelin finishes the job.
Derek Cockrell wins 2-0-1
Round 6: Matthew Nass (Elf Combo) versus Chris Santos (Time Sieve)
Game one: Both players start with a mulligan, then Nass lays a turn 1 Noble Hierarch into an Elvish Visionary and Mosswort Bridge. Chris kicks things off will double Island and a pass. Elvish Archdruid comes down and the Visionary strikes for 3, knocking Chris to 17 and laying a 2nd Mosswort Bridge. Santos plays a Swamp and Jace, activating the Howling Mine ability and passing the turn.
Nass proceeds to lay two Nettle Sentinel, activates Elvish Archdruid for GGGG, uses Mosswort Bridge to flip Regal Force, drawing 6 cards. A Ranger of Eos then comes down fetching Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel, providing him with practically infinite mana for as long as he had green cards to play. He makes a bunch of mana and resolves 3 Primal Command in a row, placing every land on top of his opponent’s deck with lethal power in play, gaining the concession.
Matt Nass 1-0
Matt Nass brings in 3 Path to Exile and 2 Quasali Pridemage while Forge-Tender, 2 Elvish Archdruid, Regal Force and Cloudthresher come out
Game two: Matt Nass begins game 2 with another mulligan to six while his opponent keeps and again simply goes Island go for his first few turns. A Nettle Sentinel and Elvish Visionary kick things off for Nass. Devoted Druid eats an Essence Scatter and a Mosswort Bridge hits the table for Matt. Santos taps out to lay a Rings of Brightearth down and Nass ponders if he can go off. Instead he simply settle for bashing for another 3 damage, laying Heritage Druid and 2 Nettle Sentinel, then playing Ranger of Eos to fetch a 4th Nettle Sentinel and a 2nd Heritage Druid. The fourth Sentinel comes down and Nass passes the turn.
With only 2 Swamps and an Island, Chris can do nothing against the onslaught of Elves and the game ends on turn 5.
Matt Nass 2-0
Sorry for the delay, dinner break.
Metagame Breakdown for Saturday Main Flight
5cc – 9
R/B Aggro – 9
Jund – 8
Kithkin – 6
Faeries – 6
Combo Elves –6
Time Sieve – 4
Merfolk – 3
G/B Rock – 2
Doran – 1
G/B Elves – 1
G/W Tokens – 1
Jund Ramp – 1
Other – 10
Saturday Night Late Flight
Round 1 – Eric Levine & Hoot Hoot (Eric’s Special Sharpied Sage Owl) versus Chris Wright (5cc Mirror)
Game 1: The first 4 turns are a blur of Vivid Creeks and more Vivid Creeks. Yes friends, it’s the 5cc mirror. The two players turns are nearly mirrored as they don’t miss land drops and both resolve end-step Esper Charm to draw two cards. Parity is broken as Chris plays a 2nd Esper Charm in an attempt to filter some of his cards, discarding Plumeveil and Volcanic Fallout. The first real action of the game was an attempt at Baneslayer Angel by Eric, after hitting the 7 mana mark, which was promptly countered by Broken Ambitions for 3. Levine’s library revealed another Baneslayer which he kept on top and a Vivid for Wright who shipped it to his bottom.
Wright tapped down to one mana playing a Mulldrifter and shipped the turn, leading to a Cruel Ultimatum from Levine forcing a Plumes, Bolt and Volcanic Fallout to hit the grave. After a turn of do-nothing, Levine proceeded to slam down Baneslayer yet again, this time resolving the card and leaving 3 mana open. An end-step Esper Charm draws Wright 2 cards; followed by a main phase Cryptic Command bouncing the Angel and drawing a card.
Baneslayer Angel comes back yet again and is met by a second Cryptic. Eric taps 2 mana and Broken Ambitions for one to protect the angel and still had two mana open to represent Negate. Regardless a Hallowed Burial occurs and takes care of the first Baneslayer. A second one hits the board immediately after and Chris goes for another draw-2 Esper Charm which resolves. A 2nd Hallowed Burial was stopped by Cryptic Command and drew Levine a card. The tap-out allowed for Ajani Vengeant to resolve and targeted Baneslayer not to untap during the next untap step. The Angel then took the Vengeant down and Levine went up to a lofty 30 life. On Wright’s turn, he laid a Baneslayer of his own, which resolved and let Eric resolve another Esper Charm for 2 more cards. A Lightning Bolt + Volcanic Fallout later, Chris’s Baneslayer was looking rather doomed and he decided to salvage the situation and Lightning Bolt Eric Baneslayer, taking it down as well.
Yet another Baneslayer Angel hit the board for Levine and he finally managed to start attacking and took Wright to 8 life. Chris was nearly out of cards while Eric had nearly a full grip and the Angel on the table, an Esper Charm forced a Plumeveil from hand and Chris discarded his remaining land in hand. Seemingly hopelessly outclassed in card quantity and board position, Wright scooped to save time for games 2 & 3.
Eric Levine 1-0
Game 2: Eric ended up mulliganing to five and Chris started with a massive four cards with the double whammy of being on the play.
Despite the opening hand issues, both players hit their first 3 land drops and the first course of action is a Jace Beleren for Wright, drawing him a card and going to 2 counters. He missed his 4th land drop and passed the turn to Eric who laid his 4th land and now had the Vivid and Reflecting Pool necessary to cast everything in his hand. Wright attempted to evoke a Mulldrifter after drawing a card with Jace which met a Cryptic Command countering and drawing Levine a card. Despite the extra cards from Jace, Chris was still unable to get over the three land hump. A Lightning Bolt took care of Jace when he attempted to replenish his Loyalty counters back to 3 with the Howling Mine ability and a 2nd Jace was countered by Broken Ambitions.
Levine, being the jerk that he is, cast Ajani Vengeant and kept Chris’s Vivid Creek tapped down, completely shutting him down; leaving only Cascade Bluffs and a Vivid Crag as open mana sources. A Great Sable Stag quickly joined Ajani and were soon on their way to winning the game, bashing for 3 a turn which Vengeant kept gaining counters. A Sunken Ruins was found after Ajani was ramped to 7 counters, but no answer was in hand and he offered the handshake.
Eric Levine wins 2-0
Round 2: Tom Raney (UBR Faeries) versus Jason “Punts” Janasiewicz (Jund)
Game 1: Raney led off with a Secluded Glen into a Cascade Bluffs with a whole lot of Broken Ambitions on JJ’s Sygg, River Cutthroat. A third land and go was the play of the day, as Jason came back with a Putrid Leech which was countered by Essence Scatter. A 2nd Sygg was successful in actually landing in play and JJ’s follow-through was a Blightning on turn 5 which Tom took, discarding a Lightning Bolt and Mistbind Clique. Before Jason could draw a card off Sygg though, he was destroyed by a 2nd Lightning Bolt.
After that a Bloodbraid Elf hit play for Jason, cascading into a Lightning Bolt of his own and dropping Raney to 14. He declined to attack into the 6 open mana of Raney, sensing a trick or Plumeveil lying in wait. A second Bloodbraid Elf hit and cascaded into a Putrid Leech. Having his army, he attacked with both the Elves, one of which died to yet another Bolt and dropping Tom to 11. A Blightning on Janasiewicz’ next turn with a 3rd Bloodbraid Elf sealed doom for Raney.
Game 2: Once again, both players main spot of action was Sygg getting countered, this time by Essence Scatter. A second Sygg actually resolved and Raney continued to play land and not do much else. With Janasiewicz stuck on only two land, not much pressure could be placed on the passive Tom. Jason was reduced to trying a main phase Lightning Bolt to trigger Sygg and possibly draw a 3rd land, but after the Bolt resolved, Sygg ate a Cryptic Command getting returned to hand and drawing Tom a card.
Sygg came back down a turn later with Tom just sitting behind the fog of war, Jason unable to do anything threatening to Raney. Eventually JJ began discarding, dropping a Bituminous Blast and Blightning into the graveyard. Finally about 9 turns into the game, Janasiewicz hit a 3rd land, Savage Lands, still unable to play anything he passed the turn and Raney played a creature; a Vendilion Clique to get a look at Jason’s ruined hand. 2 Volcanic Fallout, Great Sable Stag, Anathemancer, Bloodbraid Elf and 2 Blightning were the cards he saw. After writing the cards down a Plumeveil hit the field for Raney and he went back to doing nothing.
A 4th land came off the top of Jason’s deck and a Blightning hit Raney down to 14 and he discarded Deathmark and Secluded Glen. A Bolt from Raney took down the Sygg before Janasiewicz could draw a card though. Regardless, fresh lands kept appearing off the top of JJ’s deck and his hand full of business was slowly taking control of the game. A Puppeteer Clique from Raney stole Sygg and removed him from the game. A Volcanic Fallout took down both Cliques and Puppeteer came back to steal another Sygg which swung in with Puppeteer for 3 damage. JJ dropped to six and then three life from a Lightning Bolt and was taken out by an Anathemancer, ironically because he had finally found land.
Game 3: A 2nd turn Putrid Leech was taken down by a Deathmark and Jason’s third turn was his trademark Blightning which took a Anathemancer and Chandra out of Raney’s hand. A 4th turn Blightning hit Cryptic Command and Plumeveil, while sending Tom to 14. Great Sable Stag was the next play and bashed Raney to 11, followed by a Putrid Leech was taken down by Cryptic Command, getting Raney an extra card.
A Bloodbraid Elf on turn seven cascaded into an Anathemancer which struck for 2 and then a swing for 6 from Stag sent Raney to 6 life. Tom Clique’s himself in an attempt to dig for answers and he destroyed the Elf with Deathmark. JJ untapped, Stag swung in and a Lightning Bolt later, Raney was dead.
Jason Janasiewicz wins 2-1
Round of 32 – Luis Scott-Vargas versus David ‘Web’ Ochoa
Game 1: Web takes a mulligan to six to kick things off and starts off with a Reflecting Pool and Island. As both players would say, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“It could be anything!’. Unfortunately the 5cc mirror isn’t exactly fair when one player is on 2 lands and your opponent has 4 in play; and that opponent is LSV. Some discarding goes on where players dump their respective Agony Warp’s into the grave; Web due to lack of land and Luis due to Esper Charm draws.
A Broken Ambitions takes down Ochoa’s attempt at an Esper Charm and can’t get past the 3rd land for about 4 turns. Finally drawing a Sunken Ruins and Vivid Marsh in consecutive turns, it looks like he might not be out of the game due to the slow nature of the match. At some point respective Plumeveils hit the board for each player and LSV sits back on 3 Cryptic Command and a Negate along with some less relevant cards. A Mulldrifter takes one of those Cryptic Commands which hits a 2nd Negate for LSV off the draw. A 2nd Plumes hits for Vargas, though it seems less than impressive once Ochoa lands a Baneslayer Angel into play.
Ochoa: 9 lands, Plumeveil, Baneslayer Angel, 7 cards in hand
LSV: 13 lands, 2 Plumveil, 7 cards in hand (2 Volcanic Fallout, 2 Cryptic Command, 2 Negate and Mulldrifter)
Life totals are still 20-20, SHOCKINGLY.
A Mulldrifter is played by Web which drew a Cryptic Command, drawing LSV into a Cruel Ultimatum. With his mana and counter advantage he lays a land and goes for the Cruel immediately with 7 mana up and plenty of counters. Web grudgingly plays the Cryptic Command which he knows will eat a Negate and does. LSV goes back up to 7 cards (discarding a land) and Web dumps Baneslayer Angel, Broken Ambitions and Doom Blade into the grave.
Baneslayer attacks and LSV double blocks with his walls, one gets taken down by Baneslayer, bringing Ochoa back to 20. Web’s attempt at a Cruel Ultimatum eats a Negate and an end-step Fallout finishes the Baneslayer. (18-23, LSV). He resolves a Jace and starts drawing two a turn. A turn later, Mulldrifter gets hardcast by the Luis side, which draws a Cryptic Command from Web. Nothing of relevance happens on Web’s turn and he ships it back, LSV brings Jace back up to 3 counters and resolves a Baneslayer Angel. Doom Blade comes from Web on his main-phase, killing the Angel. Once again Luis uses Jace’s +2 ability, driving it to 5 counters.
The action is non-stop as Ochoa comes back with a Cruel Ultimatum, which runs into a Broken Ambitions for 6 that he can’t pay. Once again LSV +2’s Jace, getting closer to his Ultimate and Baneslayer Angel comes down, while only leaving 13 mana open to defend. Yes, he’s played over half the lands in the deck at this point. Web looks measly by comparision with only 13 lands total. Ochoa comes out with his 2nd Cruel Ultimatum which runs into a Cryptic Command from Luis, keeping his hand filled. A follow-up Baneslayer Angel gets taken down by a Doom Blade.
LSV proceeds to ramp Jace to 9 counters, hits with Baneslayer (13-28) and evokes a Mulldrifter to filter his card quality a bit. Baneslayer hits for 5 dropping Web to 8 and a Cruel Ultimatum hits in an attempt to end the game. Luis is running out of cards in his library though as he only has about a dozen cards left. A Cryptic Command comes from Web, but a Broken Ambitions takes it down and Web concedes after seeing his topdeck.
In: +1 Celestial Purge, +1 Jace, +2 Great Sable Stag, +1 Negate, +1 Springjack Pasture, +2 Identity Crisis
Out: -3 Plumes, -4 Fallout and -1 Agony Warp
Game 2: Luis kicks things off three lands into a Jace, drawing himself a card. A mirror Jace from Web takes it down though and Ajani Vengeant comes down for Luis, keeping Exotic Orchard tapped down on Web’s side (3 vivids, Orchard and a Pool). Vengeant quickly ramps to 6 counters as they play land-go, with the first non-Ajani spell being an Esper Charm from Web drawing 2 cards. Ajani moves to 7 counters and Web attempts an end-step Cryptic Command to bounce the Vengeant. Luis lets it go despite his counters in hand, sensing he couldn’t win the fight.
Ochoa ponders for a bit and plays Thought Hemorrhage, getting taken down by a Cryptic Command. LSV goes for his 2nd Jace of the match, drawing him a card and then getting taken down by a Lightning Bolt. Ajani Vengeant comes down, this time for Web, and it shuts off a Sunken Ruins. Both players laugh about how silly this looks as LSV can make practically any color of mana fopr free and has 9 lands in play still. He simply lays his own Ajani and they legend rule each other out of existence.
Ochoa evokes a Mulldrifter to go up to a full boat in hand and taps out to play a Baneslayer Angel. LSV plays a Cruel Ultimatum taking down the angel and nabbing 2 land and a 2nd Baneslayer from Web’s hand. LSV discards a land down to 7 cards and ships the turn with negate mana open. A third Baneslayer Angel drops into play from Web and LSV comes back with one of his own. David is in an awful position at this point, with only 2 cards left in hand.
Board Update: Web has 2 cards in hand, 10 lands in play, and Baneslayer Angel
LSV has 7 cards in hand, 12 lands in play, and Baneslayer Angel
The Angels end up trading, sending LSV to 30 and Web to 20. A GSS starts beating down in 3 point chunks, taking Web to 14 and a Baneslayer from Luis sparks a counter fight. A Broken Ambitions from Web gets Negated and then the Negate from Web gets Negated and Baneslayer is in. Ochoa takes the opportunity to resolve a Cruel Ultatimum, taking down the Stag and bringing back a Baneslayer of his own and LSV discards a Doom Blade, Broken Ambitions and Mulldrifter. Web taps down to one to lay Baneslayer Angel and says go.
Not willing to be out done another Cruel Ultimatum comes from Luis, taking out the opposing Baneslayer, bringing back one and running Ochoa out of cards. LSV plays a Baneslayer, swings with the other one (Web at 14) and passes the turn. Web casts a Cryptic Command to bounce an Angel and draw, followed by playing a ripped Cruel Ultimatum (Web back to 19!).
Luis played his own Cruel Ultimatum, but Web has the Negate at the ready. Baneslayer Angel #2 is in play again and Baneslayer strikes Web to 14. (LSV at 35) The next turn both Angels come in and one trades with Web’s, keeping him at 14. A Jace comes down for Web, drawing him AND ONLY HIM, cards, but he’s running out of turns to take care of the Angel. A Cryptic Command attempts to bounce the Jace and draw a card for LSV, but Web has the Broken Ambitions. Luis takes the opportunity to Esper Charm discard the remainder of Ochoa’s hand. Jace goes back to 3 loyalty counters, but no answer appears and Web is slain by the Angel.
Luis Scott-Vargas wins 2-0
Round of 16: Ricky Sidher (Cascade Control) versus Phillip Yam (R/B Aggro)
Game 1: Phillip takes a mulligan to six and comes out of the gates with a Goblin Outlander and doing nothing on his 3rd turn. Sidher lays a Kitchen Finks to go back to 20 life, though it quickly drops again as Outlander swings through. A Blightning takes Ricky to 15 and he discards Shriekmaw and Enlisted Wurm. Finks bashes back, sending Yam to 17 life and a Figure of Destiny joins the Outlander on Yam’s side. Outlander cracks Ricky to 13 and forces a Maelstrom Pulse on the Outlander.
Figure grows to a 4/4 and gets chumped by Finks (15 life), out of counters on his Vivid Crag, Sidher is unable to play the other Pulse in his hand until his next Vivid untapped. Yam uses the opportunity to play Boggart Ram-Gang and cracks in with both, sending him to 12 life. A Baneslayer Angel hits play on Ricky’s side, stopping Phillip from advancing. After doing nothing, Baneslayer Angel comes over and the life-totals reverse with Ricky at 17 and Yam at 12.
Sidher then casts Primal Command, gaining 7 to go to 24 life and placing an Auntie’s Hovel on top of Yam’s deck. He comes back with both his men, dealing 7, but the damage is negated immediately by another Primal Command and another Baneslayer attack with an Incendiary Command finishing Yam off from 2 life.
Ricky: Boarded out 3 Anathemancer and a Incendiary Command
Boarding in 2 Thought Hemorrhage and 2 Puppeteer Clique
Game 2: Both players start with a rousing round of land-go to kick the game off. A Blightning is the first move by Yam, taking a Vivid Crag and Swamp out of Ricky’s hand and taking him to 17. A 2nd Blightning from Yam nails 2 Bituminous Blast and drops him to 14, while Sidher’s first play is a Bloodbraid Elf, cascading into a Kitchen Finks, taking him back to 16 and presenting a solid board. A Bolt from Phillip takes care of the Elf and the Finks bashes in for 3, taking Yam to 17. Sidher is unable to make a follow-up play as his land is a Vivid and Yam capitalized with a Demigod of Revenge, taking Ricky to 9, but on the 6th turn Baneslayer Angel comes down.
A Maelstrom Pulse attempting to remove the Demigod for a clear attack gets hit by Wild Ricochet from Yam, blowing up Baneslayer Angel and taking down the Finks, which persists and puts Ricky back to 11 and a 2nd Finks sends him to 13. A few Finks attacks and a Captured Sunlight hits a Pulse to take down the Demigod and the following turn had Puppeteer Clique stealing the Avatar and bashes Yam down to 2. Phillip thought for a moment and then extended the hand.
Ricky Sidher wins 2-0
Top 8: Matt Nass (Elf Combo) versus Lev Osherovich (Kithkin)
Nass wins the die roll with an above-average seven, which can only mean bad things for Kithkin considering the small window it has to win.
Game 1: Nass started off with a Sunpetal Grove while Lev started off with a mulligan to six with a Figure of Destiny and Wizened Cenn for an army, hitting Nass to 18. Nass laid his turn 2 Devoted Druid and dropped a Elvish Archdruid into play along with a Llanowar Elf (Adding a counter to his Devoted Druid). On Osherovich’s turn 3 he pumped his Figure and bashed for 5, laying a Stalwart and 2nd Figure.
Meanwhile Matt untaps and begins his bid to go off, playing a 3rd land and two Elvish Visionary (tapping Forest, Sunpetal Grove, Llanowar Elves and Devoted Druid) along with a Nettle Sentinel. The druid tapped for 6 mana and it was filtered to play Ranger of Eos fetching a Heritage Druid and 2nd Nettle. Dropping both of those, he made a large quantity of mana tapping all of his men including Druid for a 2nd time. A Regal Force drawing 9 cards hit play, but Nass was out of mana and had laid his land, so he was forced to move to his discard step instead of finishing the game.
On Lev’s turn he attacked with the team, seeing as it was his only move remaining, hoping Nass would screw up along the way. He blocks the team with his Regal Force, Nettle Sentinels and Ranger of Eos; all of them trading with the two Figures and Stalwart, with Cenn living thanks to Harm’s Way, taking out Nass’s Archdruid (and Devoted Druid, since it had 2 counters on it). Regal Force was accidentally put into the grave, but since no-one noticed until after Nass had drawn a card it was ruled that it would stay there.
Nass went off, and not to spare you the gory details, but famed judge Eric Levine interrupted my note-taking to steal something off his laptop. So to sum up about 4 minutes of this match, he vomited many many Elves on the table, Regal Force #2 and a Primal Command sealed the game.
Matt Nass 1-0
Nass sideboarded in 3 Path to Exile and 2 Quasali Pridemage and boarded out 3 Elvish Archdruid, Cloudthresher and Burrenton Forge-Tender
Lev sideboard in Harm’s Way, 2 Ethersworn Canonist, 3 Unamke and boarded out 4 Cloudgoat Ranger and 2 Elspeth
Game 2: Both players start with mulligans to four (Lev) and three (Nass)!
A first turn Windbrisk Heights kicked things off, followed by a Plains – go. Matt Nass rolled out Devoted Druid on turn 2 with a vast 2 cards in hand. Spectral Procession hit on the Kithkin side and Nettle Sentinel then came down on the Elf side. Honor of the Pure popped out from the Windbrisk and took Nass to 14, and then to 8. Nass couldn’t combo off so he scooped them up and we’re off to game 3.
Game 3: A Noble Hierarch on turn 1 opens up the floodgates as 2nd turn Elvish Archdruid happens, but Osherovich has the Path to Exile to slow the mana acceleration. A Figure of Destiny comes in for 2 taking Nass to 18, but it’s a long way to go before the damage will matter. Using the extra land, a 3rd turn Primal Command fetches up a Ranger of Eos and Matt goes up to 25 life. Osherovich’s next turn is crucial as he has to either accelerate his clock or hold open removal. He chooses the former with Spectral Procession and hits Matt to 23. Ranger of Eos comes down and fetches two Nettle Sentinel, while a 2nd Hierarch is played off the first.
Lev comes in with an alpha strike and Ranger of Eos goes to take down the Figure. FOD gets pumped to a 4/4 and Nass drops to 20 life. A pair of Nettle Sentinel, Devoted Druid and Heritage Druid come down on Nass’s turn; followed by a Regal Force for 7. Nass can’t finish the game, but lays another 5 Elves on the board, practically sealing his win unless Osherovich can trick Nass into producing possibly the worst blocks of all time. He can’t, so that’s game.
Matt Nass wins 2-1
Top 4 Match Summaries
JP Salazar versus William (5c Blood versus Blightning)
Matt Nass versus Michael Klemic (Elf Combo vs. Kithkin)
Four different decks grace the semi-finals and notably no control decks managing to make it, not even Faeries. The supposedly dead Kithkin deck is being represented along with an actual combo deck and a pair of red decks.
Highlights from Game 1:
Matt Nass attempting to go off on turn 3 off only 2 land and being unable to get there, but since this is Kithkin there’s no real punishment for this, he goes off again next turn and gets there easily.
Double Blightning taking out 2 Bituminous Blast and a 3rd one still crushing Ashenmoor Gouger on turn 7 and hitting Putrid Leech. The B/R deck still got mashed off of topdeck Bloodbraid Elf into Boggart Ram-Gang, meaning the board position went from Ram-Gang to RG + Putrid Leech, to RG x2, Putrid Leech and Bloodbraid Elf off two cards which just shows how very fair Cascade is.
In the R/B versus Jund match, not a whole lot actually happened. Multiple Blightning, burn spells and Volcanic Fallout’s happened and Jund managed to get a whole one hit with a Bolt before keeling over.
In the even less interactive Elves versus Kithkin match, Nass continued to dump a multuitde of Elves on the table and draw a fresh hand off Regal Force. After amassing an army of about 8 elves and a Regal Force, he began crushing Knight of Meadowgrain and such in combat. A Harm’s Way stalled by taking out Heritage Druid and Meddling Mage came down on the Kithkin side to keep new Regal Force from coming down. Regardless without any creatures left, things were looking rather grim against the half a dozen elves, Regal Force and Ranger of Eos on Matt’s side. Regardless Klemic soldiered on.
To understand the situation for about 4-5 turns after Matt semi-combo’d, the board was this.
Matt Nass: 2 Noble Hierarch, 7 1/1 elves, 2 Ranger of Eos and a Regal Force.
Klemic: Knight of Meadowgrain, various 2/2’s (including a Cenn) and a Meddling Mage
So the first strike capability and Cenn’s pump kept only a 7/7 (exalted) Regal Force attacking and Nass’s cautiousness combined to have a relatively short game get dragged on for multiple turns while each player slowly strengthened their position. Finally Nass got tired of this and alpha striked with everybody in an attempt to kill Michael. Although it didn’t work out as lethal, it crushed Klemic’s board and was forced to scoop.
Matt Nass advances to the finals!
Despite eating two Blightning, JP had Jund Charm meet Putrid Leech and red can’t typically handle 6 damage a turn, let alone kill a 6/6 that’s immune to Doom Blade.
JP advances to the finals!
5K Finals: Matt Nass vs. JP Salazar – Written by Eric Levine & edited by Josh S.
After drawing their opening hands, both players considered the always-difficult mulligan decision. “I love running this much land”¦ way too much,” said Nass as he mulliganed his one-lander. Salazar also pitched his hand.
“Did you look?” asked Nass, referring to the top card of Salazar’s library.
“The forbidden look!” quipped Toby Elliott.
“All those one-landers when I’m on the draw”¦ it was really close.”
Both players kept their six. Nass led with a Mosswort Bridge and buried a Heritage Druid under it. Salazar’s anemic start of Vivid Marsh was met by Sunpetal Grove-Llanowar Elves by Nass. Next turn, Salazar signed a contract”¦ in blood! He lost two life, drew two, and passed. Nass got there with his Elf and played a Nettle Sentinel. The blazing pace of play was halted by Salazar’s trip to the think tank, which ended in a Lightning Bolt on the Llanowar Elf. Another hit from the Nettle Sentinel sent Salazar to 15, and Nass awkwardly played an Archdruid in his second main phase to untap the Sentinel.
Salazar’s Fallout put the score at 18-13 and killed both Elves, but Nass played a new Archdruid and was seemingly unfazed. Salazar’s Bloodbraid Elf cascaded into a Putrid Leech, and a swing from the Elf sent Nass to 15. Leaving a Sunpetal Grove open, Nass cast a Ranger of Eos and fetched Burrenton Forge-Tender and Nettle Sentinel. After playing the Forge-Tender, he passed the turn. Salazar dropped Ajani Vengeant and kept Nass’s Archdruid tapped (it paid for Ranger last turn) before swinging in with his Leech. Nass declined to block, and Salazar elected to pump, putting the life totals at 11-11.
Nass played a Nettle Sentinel and a Heritage Druid before summoning another Heritage Druid from under his Mosswort Bridge. Ranger of Eos and Burrenton Forge-Tender got in there; Ranger traded with a Bloodbraid Elf while Forge-Tender got through to put Ajani Vengeant back at three counters. Salazar played another Bloodbraid Elf and hit yet another Putrid Leech. After some math, Salazar attacked with his new Elf and old Leech to put Nass at 6. Salazar used Ajani to keep the Archdruid tapped yet again and passed.
With four lands, three cards, three untapped Elves, and a Forge-Tender, Nass spent some time considering his options before playing an Elvish Visionary. Two lands and three Elves were tapped for a Primal Command which put Nass at 13 and found him a Ranger of Eos. Salazar replied on his own turn by playing a Boggart Ram-Gang and smashing with his team of Bloodbraid, Ram-Gang, and two Leeches. Forge-Tender blocked the Ram-Gang, and a Visionary traded with a Leech. Nass seemed unhappy with his blocks after saying they were final, and Salazar pumped his Leech to put himself at 9 while Nass dropped precariously back to 6. Ajani kept the Archdruid tapped yet again, and Salazar passed the turn.
Nass played his new Ranger of Eos and dug up two more Nettle Sentinels before attacking Ajani with a Heritage Druid and a Sentinel. Salazar Bolted the Sentinel, and Nass considered using his Forge-Tender to prevent the damage, but he eventually decided to bin his Sentinel. Ajani went down to three counters, and Nass played his two remaining Sentinels before passing. Salazar, for his part, decided to keep Nass on the back foot by swinging in with Bloodbraid Elf, Putrid Leech, and Boggart Ram-Gang. Nettle Sentinel blocked the Leech, Forge-Tender blocked the Elf, and Ranger blocked the Ram-Gang. Salazar went to 7 to keep the Leech alive and kill the Sentinel, and the Ranger traded with everyone’s favorite hasty Boggarts. Ajani continued to keep the Archdruid tapped, and Salazar passed after playing a Kitchen Finks.
Nass tapped four lands and three elves to make Regal Force, which drew him five cards. A Visionary let him see another card, and a Noble Hierarch closed out Nass’s turn. Things began to look grim for Salazar, who continued his routine of counting the creatures on Matt’s board before using Ajani’s Lightning Helix ability to put Nass down to 3 while bringing Salazar up to 12. Finks traded with a Ranger and persisted, bringing Salazar to 14 for a short while before he cast another Sign in Blood to go back to 12.
Nass untapped his Archdruid for the first time in a long time, cast yet another Primal Command to put himself at 10 and search for a second Regal Force, which he then played to draw eight cards. With lots of mana still available, Matt played a Devoted Druid and began the arduous process of playing out piles of Elves and making buckets of green mana. With the ability to untap the Devoted Druid twice due to the +1/+1 it got from Archdruid, Matt played a few elves before shuffling his graveyard into his library and searching up a Regal Force with his new Primal Command.
Nass then explained his master plan to kill Salazar in order to save both players some time, but Salazar told Nass he wanted to see it all happen. Ranger found two Sentinels, and Nass played them out, leaving two green mana still floating. Due to a miscalculation in his remaining mana, Nass had to pass the turn without playing his next Regal Force. Salazar used his Ajani’s last two counters to kill Archdruid and go up to 15 before Maelstrom Pulsing Nass’s Nettle Sentinels. The death of the Archdruid caused Nass’s Devoted Druids to die as well, as they were overburdened with -1/-1 counters.
Nass asked, “I think you’re dead, right?” Salazar replied, “I don’t think I am.” Unfazed, Nass cast another Regal Force and drew nine more cards before flashing two Primal Commands to Salazar, who conceded.
Nass 1 – 0 Salazar
Nass: +3 Path, +3 Forge-Tender, -3 Devoted Druid, -2 Regal Force, -1 Cloudthresher
Salazar: +3 Deathmark, +3 Thought Hemorrhage, +2 Jund Charm, +1 Maelstrom Pulse, -3 Ajani Vengeant, -3 Sign in Blood, -2 Anathemancer, -1 Puppeteer Clique
Salazar elected to play first, and both players kept their 7. Vivid Marsh and Mosswort Bridge sucked up turn 1, and Salazar was similarly inactive on turn 2 with only a Reflecting Pool. The first spell of the game was Nass’s turn 2 Visionary, but it was soon followed by Salazar’s Ram-Gang, which put Nass to 17. After a quick exchange about the difficulty of playing the Elfball deck and the possibility of going off this turn, Nass made some vague hand motions and counted mana before deciding to go for it. He played Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid, floated 3 mana, and made a Llanowar Elf and another Sentinel, floating 1. An Archdruid and a Visionary came down as the Sentinels continued to tap and untap. Primal Command put Salazar’s Vivid Marsh on top of his library and found Nass another Archdruid. After playing a Sunpetal Grove, Nass passed. Salazar replayed his Vivid Marsh and considered attacking, but he chose instead to Lightning Bolt Nass’s onboard Archdruid before passing the turn.
Nass used his powerful Elvish mana engine to run out the Archdruid he searched for as well as the Ranger of Eos from under his Mosswort Bridge. Two Burrenton Forge-Tenders were played as quickly as they were tutored up, and a Llanowar Elf came along for the ride as well. Nass attacked with twelve power worth of Elves, trading a Sentinel for Salazar’s Ram-Gang and putting him to 11. Nass kindly pointed out that Salazar would need to make three blockers to live, and Salazar replied by unkindly Deathmarking both Nass’s Archdruid and his Ranger of Eos. Nass swung in for 7 on his next turn. At 4 life and seeing no outs, Salazar conceded.
Nass 2 – 0 Salazar
Salazar commented that his one-of Fire-Lit Thicket had betrayed him in this matchup, keeping him from Deathmarking earlier. He once again elected to play first, and Salazar’s bad run of luck continued as he mulliganed to 6. Nass kept his hand, putting him in position to sweep the finals.
Salazar led with a Reflecting Pool, which looked pretty poor compared to Nass’s Forest into Noble Hierarch. Salazar’s own forest also paled in comparison to Nass’s turn 2 plays of Visionary and Llanowar Elf. Salazar failed to find a land for turn 3, and Nass took the opportunity to cast Ranger of Eos and find two Burrenton Forge-Tenders, one of which he played. An exalted Visionary put the dejected Salazar to 18, and Salazar spent yet another turn doing nothing. Nass attacked in for 6 and passed, and Salazar finally found a Mountain. He didn’t cast any spells, though, and Nass played another Forge-Tender before swinging in for another 6. Salazar’s Lightning Bolt on Ranger of Eos blunted the attack slightly, and Salazar went to 9. Nass played a Nettle Sentinel before passing back to Salazar.
“One time!” shouted Salazar, but from his facial expression, it seemed that he had run into the dreaded whammies. He played a Boggart Ram-Gang before shipping the turn back to Nass, who attacked with everything but his Heritage Druid. Nettle Sentinel died to the Gang, and Salazar dropped to 5. Nass played yet another Llanowar Elves. Sighing, Salazar drew his card for the turn and passed right back to Nass, who sent Salazar down to 1 with yet another attack. After drawing, Salazar decided to go out with a bang and cast Volcanic Fallout, giving Nass the game.
Matt Nass defeats JP Salazar, 3-0!