Angels in the End Step: Round 9 Feature Match, Cody McGuire (Bant Midrange) vs. Paul Piazza (Naya Midrange)
Both players knew they were missing out on top 8 and likely playing for 9th but were in high spirits nonetheless. Which Thragtusk-Restoration Angel deck would emerge on top?
Paul won the die roll and led things off with Forest, while Cody started with Hinterland Harbor. Paul cast Farseek and far-sought Temple Garden, while Cody had land-go again with Forest. Clifftop Retreat for Paul led to no play, but Plains from Cody allowed Centaur Healer to enter play. Miracle Bonfire for 3 took care of that though, and the players were back to even. Cody played Cavern of Souls naming Beast… and Paul did the same, though he actually had the Thragtusk unlike Cody and played the 5/3 on an empty board.
Cody only had a Temple Garden doing its Elfame Palace impression for his turn, while Paul attacked to put life totals at 25-15. Both players played Cavern of Souls naming Angel to join the other Caverns naming Beast they had in play over the next turns and Thragtusk continued to hack away at Cody. Paul attempted to pump his ‘Tusk with Kessig Wolf Run with Cody at 10, but Azorius Charm put an end to those shenanigans. The Beast token took Cody to 12, who still only had cast two spells in the game so far.
Paul Piazza would like to invite his opponents to the Bonfire!
That changed when Cody resolved Terminus, but his situation wasn’t greatly improved. In came a Beast token aided by Kessig Wolf Run, and the 10/3 took Cody to 2. Cody said draw-go, and the Beast threatened lethal damage… fortunately, Restoration Angel came down for Cody, which stood in front of the Beast. Kessig Wolf Run made the 3/3 able to trade, but Azorius Charm again removed the problem animal. Cody was unable to follow up that play with anything relevant, and Paul landed an end of turn Restoration Angel of his own. Angel attacked, and Cody had yet another post-Kessig Charm, but Bonfire for 2 ended a rather uneventful game 1.
Paul had to mulligan to five to start game 2, but after he did Cody started off with Hinterland Harbor. Paul answered with Temple Garden. Cody had the Farseek on the play this game and went exploring for Hallowed Fountain. Paul and Cody played some lands and said go until Cody cast an EOT Restoration Angel. The3/4 drew first blood, and then Paul cast Borderland Ranger. Angel took out some more life, and Paul also got in on the attacking action, setting life totals at 18-14. Huntmaster of the Fells came down for Paul to improve the life discrepancy. Cody added Thragtusk to trump the werewolf on his main phase.
“How many cards?”
“How many Azorius Charm?”
Paul ultimately decided to double block with Wolf token and Borderland Ranger. Selesnya Charm from Cody 2-for-1’d his opponent though, and also set Paul to 10. Paul cast his own Thragtusk on his turn to try to catch up and left his trio of creatures back to block. Cody’s Thragtusk was feeling much more aggressive though, and it crashed in. The M13 rares traded and left behind 3/3 babies. Paul only had Farseek for his turn, grabbing a sixth land, before passing.
Cody had Jace, Architect of Though for his play (much more impressive) and he used the -2 ability and revealed Supreme Verdict, Sunpetal Grove, and Sphinx’s Revelation. Cody elected to take the pile with the draw spell and passed back. Paul took out the Jace with Oblivion Ring and passed. Cody had a miracle Terminus to empty the board, and after the dust settled all that remained were lands and O-Ring… but not for long.
Thundermaw Hellkite rumbled into Cody’s life total, but at end of turn Cody cast Revelation for 3. Detention Sphere took out Hellkite after he untapped. Paul’s response was a second Sigarda, Host of Herons, to which Cody had the Supreme Verdict. Paul continued his Battlecruiser Magic plan by hardcasting Entreat the Angels for two, but once again Cody had the sweeper in Terminus from his hand. Paul was not done though, and added Garruk, Primal Hunter. A flashed-in Restoration Angel took Garruk to 1, and Jace, Architect of Thought post-combat revealed two lands and Thragtusk, which then joined the Ravnica planeswalker on the board for Team Cody.
Cody McGuire doesn’t want to ban Thragtusk… he wants to Bant Thragtusk!
Beast token attacked Jace, which traded with Cody’s Thragtusk (albeit not very favorably). Cody attacked with Angel and Beast token at Garruk, and a flashed in Restoration Angel and Paul blocked Angel with Angel and Beast with Beast. Cody continued to try to grind card advantage every chance he got, choosing to +1 Jace to keep it around, then cast a pair of Farseeks. Paul had yet another Restoration Angel at end of turn.
“That’s quite the mull to five.”
Both Angels attacked Jace, and one got Azorius Charmed to only take Jace down to 1 loyalty. Garruk ticked up again and continued the stream of Trained Armadons for Paul. Cody attacked Garruk… but Paul had the fourth Restoration Angel! The attacker got stonewalled, and all Cody could do was pass. Paul swung in, with two creatures coming at Jace, and Cody cast his own Restoration Angel and also cast Azorius Charm on Restoration Angel to keep Jace alive. Paul untapped and cast Bonfire for 3, taking out Jace, and Garruk kept recruiting Beasts to the cause.
“I’m so sick of Garruk.”
Angel attacked Garruk, but it didn’t have the power to kill it any longer. A trio of three-power attackers was met by another flashed Restoration Angel (but only Cody’s third, which is a platry amount by comparison) and Cody went to 17. Paul, on 15 life, cast Angel of Serenity to trump the other Angels. Paul hid both of Paul’s Angels and also rebought Sigarda… but Cody found Supreme Verdict on top to take care of the 5/6!
“It’s a miracle!”
Paul cast Sigarda, Host of Herons and was aided by another 3/3 Beast. Restoration Angels came back down for Cody but did not dare attack for fear of being eaten by the much larger 5/5. Paul cast Angel of Serenity to remove Cody’s 3/4s again and attacked for exactly 8 to kill off Cody.
“That’s a great mull to five.”
Paul 2, Cody 0.