The quarterfinals matchup features two players who undoubtedly have faced off countless times as lsv and _ShipItHolla on Magic Online. Both players have considerable accomplishments under their belts, and have each added Channelfireball 5k Top 8 to their lengthy resumes here in real life Magic. Hetrick and LSV are both piloting the immensely popular Caw-Blade, though Luis is splashing red for Lightning Bolt and Cunning Sparkmage. The game began with each player mirroring the other with Stoneforge Mystics on turn 2, though LSV’s Lightning Bolt paved the way to connect with his Sword of Feast and Famine first. Hetrick followed up with a second Stoneforge Mystic, and both players resolved Squadron Hawks in turn through varying degrees of resistance. Gideon Jura from Luis looked to solidify his lead, but again Hetrick mirrored his play and legend-ruled the planeswalker into oblivion. All the while, Scott-Vargas’s Squadron Hawk continued to carry the Sword, until Hetrick rid himself of the menace with a Day of Judgment. Miraculously, LSV had another Squadron Hawk in his hand to carry the equipment, while Hetrick matched it with a Linvala, Keeper of Silence. When Luis attacked into the 3/4 Hetrick gladly blocked, but a post combat Arc Trail ruined any hopes of keeping the Angel around. Another Squadron Hawk joined the battle for each player, but a Tumble Magnet from Hetrick offered to put off the Sword beatings for the moment. Hetrick threatened to connect with his own Sword of Feast and Famine when he played a Stoneforge Mystic, but a Spell Pierce from Luis was able to prevent Hetrick from equipping for at least a turn. With Hetrick’s Tumble Magnet on 1 counter, the board had reached a strange parity, though he held 2 cards while Luis had not a hand to speak of. A Day of Judgment from Hetrick cleared the board, and Luis was able to get in 4 points of damage with a Celestial Colonnade. Hetrick equipped a freshly played Squadron Hawk and, combined with a Tectonic Edge for LSV’s Colonnade, seemed to have taken complete control. That was no longer in any doubt once Hetrick peeled a Gideon Jura, and, seeing the writing on the wall, Luis decided to move on to game 2.

Luis Scott-Vargas 0, Michael Hetrick 1

The competitors shuffle up for game two.

There was little discussion as the players shuffled up for game 2, each was simply ready to get down to business. Luis felt his 1 land Preordain hand had the necessary tools to get the job done, and after scrying away 2 nonlands, he casually drew a Scalding Tarn off the top, as if he knew it was there. He was not able to hit his third land-drop, however, and Hetrick was content to play Draw-Go and establish his mana advantage as his opponent struggled to get his footing. On turn 4 he decided to make his move, casting a Stoneforge Mystic while representing counterspell back-up. Luis Lightning Bolted the Mystic and sent the turn back once again, still unable to find the land he needed. When Hetrick untapped and slammed a Jace, it appeared that third land may be a distant hope. When Hetrick fatesealed a card to the bottom, Luis slowly peeled his card and, not seeing the mana source he needed, extended his hand in defeat. Michael Hetrick advances to the Semifinals!

Luis Scott-Vargas 0, Michael Hetrick 2