The semifinals matchup features a battle between Valakut, piloted by Kyle Russell, and Caw-Blade, piloted by this site’s very own Joshua Silvestri (who, evidently, chose the correct event play in, rather than his normal role of providing event coverage). Things began quickly with a Stoneforge Mystic for Silvestri and a Lotus Cobra for Russell, though Josh elected to Oust the Cobra away for a few turns. Green Sun’s Zenith from Russel got him to the Cobra again one turn ahead of schedule, while Josh used the opportunity to cause some damage with a Sword of Feast and Famine on his Mystic. He searched up a Mortarpod with a second Mystic, and used the Germ token sacrificed itself to off the mana-producing snake. A Baneslayer Angel from Silvestri threatened to make this game a short one, and Russel was left looking to the top of his library for help. It didn’t come quite yet, and he was forced to send the turn back to Silvestri with a sigh, who joyously got to work reducing Russell’s life total in enormous chunks. When the next turn yielded only an Overgrown Battlement for Russell, he was ready to move on to the next game.
Josh Silvestri 1, Kyle Russell 0
Kyle Russell elected to play first in game 2, and hoped to use his turn 2 Overgrown Battlement to ramp quickly to his powerful spells. Silvestri had other plans, however, as he Ousted the Wall before playing a Stoneforge Mystic to retrieve Sword of Feast and Famine. For the record, it has become apparent that it is impossible to draw a seven-card hand with this deck that does NOT include Stoneforge Mystic. I’m beginning to wonder whether these players are running 8 copies of the Artificer. Regardless, a Jace, the Mind Sculptor from Silvestri returned Russell’s freshly cast Overgrown Battlement to his hand, and he began cobbling together an offensive squad of hawks. Russell’s response was considerably more impressive, however, in the form of Avenger of Zendikar and it’s accompanying garden-variety army. Silvestri brainstormed in search of an answer, playing a Stoneforge to shuffle away his blanks before connecting with a Sword to untap all of his lands. He Ousted the Avenger leaving Russel with a small salad serving as defense, and sent the turn back after a minor life total dispute was settled. A Green Suns Zenith from Russel fetched a Primeval Titan and a couple Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles, leaving Silvestri was suddenly facing 12 damage worth of Valakut triggers on the following turn. He casually returned the Primeval Titan to Russell’s hand with Jace before forcing him to discard it with a Sword of Feast and Famine trigger. When Russell realized that his opponent’s life total was now entirely out of reach, he offered his hand. Josh Silvestri advances to the Finals!
Josh Silvestri 2, Kyle Russell 0