Round 4: Alexander Lapping (Wizards) vs. Matthew Shaffer (RUG)

Game 1
Alex won the die roll and elected to go first, opening up with a main phase Brainstorm into a Gitaxian Probe, revealing Matt’s opening hand of a Delver of Secrets, Daze, Brainstorm, and four lands. To no one’s surprise, the Delver of Secrets was Matt’s first play, off of a Volcanic Island. Alex had no play except for another land. However, when Matt cast Brainstorm during his upkeep to attempt to flip his Delver of Secrets, a Spellstutter Sprite from Alex tried to put an end to that. Unfortunately for Alex, the 1/1 Faerie was met with a Daze. The Delver transformed into the Insectile Aberration  when another Daze was revealed to be on top of Matt’s library, and it got in for 3 damage. Alex had nothing yet again during his turn, but Matt attempted an end-of-turn Brainstorm, but that was met with another Spellstutter Sprite, but the Daze that was revealed off the Delver of Secrets trigger stopped the Faerie trickery.
The Insect bashed in for another three damage, taking Alex down to 12. Stuck on two land, Alex needed a way to stop the Insect, but all he could come up with was a Snapcaster Mage. However, it could not flash anything back because a Spell Snare from Matt stopped it from resolving. The Insect Aberration hit Alex for 3 more damage, bringing Alex down to 9. Finally drawing another land, Alex landed the signature card of his deck – the Patron Wizard, but unfortunately the Insect Aberration still needed to be dealt with. Another swing from the Insect took Alex even closer to 0. Alex tried to land another Snapcaster Mage which did resolve, but its trigger was Stifled. A Cursecatcher followed, but a couple more hits from the Insect Aberration proved how powerful the Innistrad common could be.
Matt 1, Alex 0

Game 2
Alex began game 2 of the final round with a Cursecatcher. Luckily for Alex, Matt’s turn 1 was not a Delver of Secrets – he Pondered instead. Alex summoned a Lord of the Unreal, but Matt Force’d it, pitching a Snapcaster Mage, but Alex caught the Force with his Cursecatcher, keeping the Lord of the Unreal in play. Matt one-upped the Lord of the Unreal with a Tarmogoyf, but Alex used a Force of Will of his own to keep it off the field, pitching another Force of Will. Alex Brainstormed during his own turn, drawing into a Patron Wizard, Swords to Plowshares, and a Meddling Mage. He played a Tundra, then cast the Meddling Mage, naming Tarmogoyf and then getting in for two damage with his Lord of the Unreal.

Matt cast Ponder, then played a Wasteland to get rid of Alex’s white sources. A Pyroblast got rid of the Meddling Mage. Alex cast a Patron Wizard on his turn. With RUG running so few lands, Patron Wizard can quickly dominate a game. Alex used the Patron Wizard on Matt’s next turn Brainstorm to prove this, tapping his Patron Wizard and Lord of the Unreal, forcing him to tap out in order to use the blue instant. However, Matt wasn’t fazed. Taking advantage of the fact that the Wizards are tapped out, he paid 2 life to cast Surgical Extraction, targeting Alex’s Force of Will…and whiffed. Searching through Alex’s library yielded no Force of Wills—two were already used in the beginning of the game and the last two one would suppose Alex would have in his deck were nonexistent. “Not good in this matchup,” Alex said as he shuffled up his cards after the extraction.

A second Patron Wizard followed. Matt drew into another land, then cast Red Elemental Blast targeting the Lord of the Unreal, obviously not wanting to face the Lord of the Unreal and Mirror Entity combo. Alex forced him to tap out in order for the Red Elemental Blast to resolve, then began to swing with his Patron Wizards, getting in for 4 damage. Matt, during his turn, resolved a Snapcaster Mage, Blasting away yet another Patron Wizard, but Alex also shoos away the Snapcaster with a Swords to Plowshares. The lone Patron Wizard continues its attacks, taking Matt down to 10 but Matt slams down a Tarmogoyf to put an end to that. The Goyf got in for 4 damage, taking Alex down to 13.

An end of turn Spellstutter from Alex was Dazed, but he chose to race the Goyf by swinging with the Patron Wizard and taking Matt down to 8. A Delver of Secrets landed on Matt’s side, and the Goyf crashed into Alex again. A Brainstorm from Alex yielded some goodies for Alex. Still a little mana light, Alex cast a Chrome Mox, exiling a Meddling Mage, then cast another Meddling Mage, naming Lightning Bolt, then ended his turn. Matt’s Delver failed to transform, so he left the Delver behind as he sent his Tarmogoyf into combat again. Alex chose not to block, going down to 5 life. The Patron Wizard attacked back and took Matt down to 4, and Alex cast another Patron Wizard. The Delver failed to transform yet again, as the top of Matt’s library was just land.  Matt thought for a moment, then swung with his Tarmogoyf again. Alex paused for a moment, and then chose to take the damage, going down to a mere 1 life. However, a second later, Matt realized that at 4 life, with 1 blocker and staring down three 2/2s that attacking just cost him the game.

Matt 1, Alex 1

Game 3
With no time left in the round, Matt and Alex, drew the last game.
Matt 1, Alex 1