Quarterfinals: Kurt Kalbus vs. Philip Yam
Jund vs. Mythic
Game One: Yam began with a mulligan to five on the draw, an inauspicious start to our top eight match. Both started with their respective decks manlands, with a Plated Geopede from Kurt being the first spell. Landfall kicked in and the Geopede bashed Yam for 3, taking him to 17. A second Geopede had some potentially scary consequences for Yam, especially when his Knight of the Reliquary was hit with Lightning Bolt, removing all blockers. A land and Bloodbraid Elf (Cascading into Maelstrom Pulse, a whiff) joined both Geopedes and attacked Phil for 9 damage, which sent him to 7 life.
Yam played a 4th land along with a Noble Hierarch and shipped the turn when the action was abruptly paused. A judge call is made when a Mountain lands in the graveyard somehow and a bit of discussion takes place. It’s decided that it was knocked off when Cascade happened off Bloodbraid Elf and that the game state had advanced too far to reverse it. Warnings were issued and the Mountain was left in the graveyard.
Bloodbraid Elf and the Geopedes attacked with no Landfall triggers, Phil chump blocked the Elf and dropped to five life. An Arid Mesa sent him to four and he dropped a Baneslayer Angel onto the table. Faced with the Angel, Kurt could do nothing except pass the turn back. Yam played a pair of Birds of Paradise as potential blockers and it was now a race to see if Phil could ride his Baneslayer and chump blockers to victory before a Black mana was drawn for the Maelstrom Pulse in Kurt’s hand.
With Phil now at 9 life, he allowed the counterattack of Bloodbraid Elf and the pair of Geopedes to go through unimpeded, dropping him back to four. The situation seemingly mirrored itself the next turn, except now he had mana to activate Colonnade and block the Bloodbraid Elf, killing it outright. The next turn Yam drew the mana he needed to hardcast Eldrazi Conscription onto his Baneslayer and it slayed Kurt.
Game 2: Both players kept their seven this time and Yam started the game a Noble Hierarch. Kurt hit the Hierarch with a Bolt on end-step and laid his Geopede a turn later than he would’ve liked. Meanwhile Philip laid an unassuming Birds of Paradise on the table and passed the turn back, hoping for a turn four Baneslayer Angel.
A fetchland pumps Geopede up to a 5/5 and the subsequent attack took Yam to 14 life. A Sprouting Thrinax hit the table, but is made less than impressive when Baneslayer Angel joins Phil’s side. A brow is raised from across the table and Kurt untaps and attempts to win the Cascade lottery with Bloodbraid Elf. A Geopede is flipped and the Baneslayer completely stymied any offense Kalbus once had. With Yam’s next untap step, Soverigins was cast, with a Baneslayer attack fetching up an Eldrazi Conscription and the Angel crashed in for 16 damage, which took Kurt to 3 and jumped Yam to 30. With his topdeck being a blank, Kurt threw out a meaningless Blightning and alpha strike knowing that he was doomed. Yam untapped and ended it, advancing to the semifinals.
Philip Yam advances to the semifinals 2-0!