After 9 grueling rounds of Standard, two players stand atop the rest, both wielding the same deck: Caw-Blade. Michael Hetrick and Josh Silvestri have both established names for themselves, Hetrick as Modo ringer _ShipItHolla and Silvestri as the author of his own column on this site, “Silvestri Says”.
Silvestri won the die roll and chose to play, but was unsatisfied with his opening seven. For the first time in history a Stoneforge Mystic was not played on turn 2, as Silvestri was forced to settle for a Squadron Hawk, and Hetrick did the same. The players traded birds (Creatures, not gestures), and continued building aerial armadas. A Baneslayer hit the table for Silvestri, and hit his hand again just as hard when Hetrick untapped and played a Jace to unsummon her.
After Josh replayed his Angel, Hetrick went into the tank for a few minutes before playing a Gideon Jura and bouncing the Baneslayer Angel once again. Silvestri determinedly replayed the Baneslayer, not to be deterred, while Hetrick finally used his Jace to brainstorm. Hetrick then used a Tumble Magnet to keep the Baneslayer from attacking and thus Gideon’s loyalty count as high as possible. However, a Stoneforge Mystic finding a Mortarpod for Silvestri allowed him to finally deal with Hetrick’s blue planeswalker. Hetrick merely untapped and played a Sword of Feast and Famine, equipping it to Squadron Hawk to connect for some precious card advantage. A post combat Stoneforge Mystic found a Sylvok Lifestaff, and he slammed yet another Jace, the Mind Sculptor which Josh greeted with a disgruntled sigh. After offing the Baneslayer with Gideon, Silvestri’s situation began to pale. A Day of Judgment into a Squadron Hawk was all he could manage to try and keep things under control, but he would still be faced with two very powerful planeswalkers. Once Hetrick demonstrated his recognition of the existence of his Celestial Colonnade, Silvestri scooped up his cards.
Michael Hetrick 1, Josh Silvestri 0
“How’s Mortarpod been for you, other than against the mirror?” Inquired Hetrick.
“The other versions are running Cunning Sparkmage.”
After that thoroughly rousing discussion, the players finished sideboarding and shuffled up for the second game of the finals. Both players snap kept their hands and Silvestri cast a turn 2 Preordain, quickly shipping both cards to the bottom.
Hetrick asked, “The one-lander?”
“No, I’m not that absurd” replied Silvestri.
“Ah, the two-lander.”
Four turns later and no one would have known the difference, as Silvestri hit every land drop while Hetrick got on the board first with a Squadron Hawk on turn 2. Another Hawk joined the fray, and Silvestri decided to make his move with a Stoneforge Mystic, searching up a Sword of Feast and Famine. Hetrick seemed more than happy to let that resolve as he planned to bounce it with a Jace on the ensuing turn. Silvestri Spell Pierced, and Hetrick showed him a Mana Leak. However, a second Spell Pierce ensured that the blue planeswalker would not hit the board for his opponent, but rather allow him free reign to cast his own Jace, the Mind Sculptor on the following turn.
Hetrick prepared his offense to deal with the card advantage machine by playing a Gideon Jura and a Squadron Hawk. Silvestri simply continued brainstorming away, more than happy to sit back on the mountain of cards he was accumulating. Hetrick’s air force finally dispatched Silvestri’s Jace, and added his fourth Hawk to the board.
“Do you ever get that feeling when you are playing against someone by whom you are totally outclassed?” asked Silvestri.
A Sun Titan from Hetrick was all Silvestri needed to see to quickly start packing it in, making Michael Hetrick the winner and Channelfireball $5k Champion!