Round 3: John Pribula (RUG) vs Angelo Cavaletto (Merfolk)

Game 1

With Angelo winning the die roll, he started off with the classic Merfolk start: Island, Vial, go. John simply had a Flooded Strand and passed the turn. Ticking Vial up to 1, Angelo simply played Mutavault and passed. A Wasteland from John eliminated the Mutavault, but he had no other plays. AEther Vial went up to 2 counters as Angelo played a Misty Rainforest and fetch, but John had the Stifle to deny Angelo mana. The Vial began doing its work by Vialing in a Lord of Atlantis, but John dispatched it with a Lightning Bolt on his turn. Angelo ticked the Vial up to 3 as he played a Silvergil Adept, revealing a Merrow Reejerey, which soon entered the battlefield as well. John replied with a Nimble Mongoose, which was still a 1/1.

Angelo kept up the merfolk invasion with a play indentical to last: a second Silvergill which revealed a second Reejerey, which was Vialed in. Angelo swung with the Reejerey and Adept, but John has a Dismember for the Reejerey, taking him down to 14 life, but Angelo Dazed it. John stopped the Daze with a Force of Will, killing the Reejerey but still taking damage from the Silvergill, taking him down to 10. A second Dismember during John’s turn sent the second Reejerey to the graveyard, and another Nimble Mongoose entered the battlefield. Finally a 3/3, the first Nimble Mongoose drew blood from Angelo, bringing him to 17. Swinging with both Adepts, Angelo sacrificed one to a Mongoose but brought John down to 4 life. Before ending his turn, he cast a Cursecatcher.

A third Mongoose joined the party but was left behind to block as the other two crashed in, taking Angelo to 11 life. However, Angelo kept applying pressure by casting a Phantasmal Image, copying the Adept, netting him another card. He attacked again, losing his Silvergil Adept but the Cursecatcher brought John down to 3 life. Angelo cast another Cursecatcher and passed the turn. John attacked back for another 3 damage, but left two Mongoose back to block. However, a Lord of Atlantis entered the battlefield, threatening lethal. John cast a Spell Snare to stop the Lord of Atlantis, but with double Cursecatcher backup, Angelo forced the Lord of Atlantis through and swung with the copied Silvergil Adept to deal the last 3 points of damage.

Angelo 1, John 0

Game 2

John began game two with a Delver of Secrets, which merited no response from Angelo. Angelo just had an Island and passed the turn. During his upkeep, John cast a Brainstorm, revealing a Spell Snare to turn the Delver into an Insect which hit for three damage. Angelo cast a Silvergil Adept, revealing a second Adept. John swung in for 3 yet again but followed up with a second Delver. If this Delver flipped, it would mean a quick game for Angelo. Angelo just had a Mutavault, and after hitting for 2 damage with the Adept, he passed the turn – with no second Merfolk, he was in trouble as John revealed a Force of Will, turning the second Delver into a 3/2 Insect. The two Delvers took Angelo down to 7 life. Angelo swung with the Mutavault and Adept the next turn, desperately trying to find an answer to the Aberrations but after falling to 1 life, he drew his card and scooped up his cards.

Angelo 1, John 1

Game 3

In the deciding match, it was fitting that both players opened up with their signature plays: Angelo began with Island and Vial, while John had a Tropical Island and a Delver of Secrets. Angelo’s turn 2 revealed an answer to the Insectile Aberration – Coralhelm Commander. With a Brainstorm during his upkeep, John revealed Spell Snare to flip the Delver and swing in for 3 damage before the Commander had a chance to fly. John then attempted to rid the Commander with a Pyroblast, but the Pyroblast was countered with a Daze.

Angelo’s board position improved immensely as an Umezawa’s Jitte and a Lord of Atlantis found their way to the battlefield. John sent Angelo back to turn 2 however, as an Ancient Grudge took care of the Jitte and flashing it back took care of AEther Vial. However, leveling up the Coralhelm Commander to 3, Angelo took control of the game by swinging in for 5 damage, taking John to 14. John, low on ways to deal with both creatures, hit Angelo for 3 with the Insect, bringing Angelo to 11, then Pyroclasmed the board, getting rid of his Insect and the Lord of Atlantis. Coralhelm reached its final level and brought John to 10, but John mounted pressure on his side of the board with a Tarmogoyf, which was big due to the Ancient Grudge. However, the Tarmogoyf was no match for Coralhelm as the flying Merfolk took John down to 6 life, then 2 life, then the game.

Angelo 2, John 1