Tusks for Days: Round 9 Feature Match, Sam Barth (Bant Control) - Grant Kidd (Junk Ramp)
Match covered and article written by Adrian Sullivan
Both of these players are Louisiana players hoping to finish out the tournament in the top 8, with this last round deciding it all. So far in their careers, Sam is the more accomplished of the two players, qualifying for the most recent Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, but unable to attend. A win for either of these players will guarantee their place in Top 8.
Sam wins the flip. Both players spend the first few turns setting up, with Sam using Farseek and Grant using Grizzly Salvage (netting an Olivia Voldaren) and a Mulch (finding a Lingering Souls). Grant makes the first move onto the table, with a turn 4 flashback on Lingering Souls. From there, Sam begins what will be a barrage of beasts and angels. On turn 5 and 6, Sam drops first on Thragtusk, and then another. Grant, nibbling away in the air, casts an Unburial Rites from his hand, bringing back a Thragtusk, putting the lives at 26 for Sam to 25 for Grant.
Sam is ready to battle!
Sam attacking in, trading one of his Thragtusks for Grants, and replacing his fallen Thragtusk with a third Thragtusk. Grant can't contain his shock, exclaiming, "Oh, my" loudly. But Grant was not without things to do. On his turn, dropping a Vault of the Archangels, he flashes back Unburial Rites to return his Thragtusk, casts a Lingering Souls from his hand to make two more Spirits, and attacks in for one to drop Sam to 30. Sam follows up with Tamiyo, to hold down Grant's Thragtusk, attacks with a beast and two of his own Thragtusk, one of which Grant blocks with a beast. Grant drops to 17, lays a land, Dreadbores one of Sam's Thragtusks, and attack Tamiyo with three Spirits, leaving five mana open.
On Sam's turn, he crashes in with three beasts and Grant drops the hammer, casting Restoration Angel to free his Thragtusk from Tamiyo, creating a beast, and gaining five life. Sam loses all of his beasts, and, thinking hard, eventually cashes in his Tamiyo, targetting Grant, to draw three cards from the three tapped Spirits. Unfortunately, they are all land, and he discards at the end of his turn.
Now, Grant cracks in with an Angel, a Beast, and three Spirits, activating his Vault of the Archangels. Sam uses Azorius Charm on a Beast, but after combat, the life totals have moved to 24 for Sam and 28 for Grant. The game ends in a flurry of Angels. Sam hard casts Entreat for two Angels, and Grant casts Angel of Serenity to clear them out of the way. Sam casts Entreat for two, and Grant clears them away. Finally, Sam Snapcasters an Entreat for two more Angels.
Grant shows Sam the third Angel of Serenity and the two players go to game three.
Sam 0, Grant 1.
Unlike the first game, things start out with some action from Sam, with a Turn 3 Geist of Saint Traft. Grant responds with a Centaur Healer which holds off the Geist. Slaughter Games on Dissipate clears the card out of Sam's deck, and shows Grant a pretty impressive hand: Garruk, Primal Hunter, Thragtusk, Geist of Saint Traft, and Supreme Verdict, as well as a few lands. Sam drops the Garruk, Primal Hunter and immediately makes a Beast. Thragtusk comes down for Grant, and Sam matches it, drawing five cards with Garruk. In the next turn, Sam miraculously draws an Entreat, making three Angels, while the ground stalls out with Thragtusks. The air, though, is harsh for Grant, who tries to stabilize with Lingering Souls, but a Detention Sphere wipes the air clean, and Grant concedes.
Sam 1, Grant 1.
Grant prepares for his final round!
Time is running short as both players mulligan to six. Grant acts first with a Mulch into Lingering Souls (flashback), but Sam holds them off with a Jace. Both players drop a Thragtusk on turn five, and Grant adds a second Thragtusk to the table. On the next turn Grant comes in with his creatures, they each trade a Thragtusk, and Grant uses Unburial Rites to return another Thragtusk to hand. Sam pulls the trigger and uses Terminus to clear the world, leaving it clean except for Jace at 5 and a Beast. Grant drops an Angel of Serenity, grabbing a pair of Thragtusks from his grave. Sam grimaces as he uses Detention Sphere on the Angel, adding another counter to his Jace.
Grant casts one of his returned Thragtusks, and adds a Centaur Healer as well, going to 43 life as the clock gets closer to running out. Sam desperately tries to find anything, uses Jace, getting a new Jace, and hard-casts an Entreat for three Angels. Grant comes in, trading Beasts for Angels, casts another Healer and Unburial Rites with flashback on Thragtusk, going to 51. Time hits zero, and they go to Sam's turn.
Immediately, off the top: a miracle! Seven Angels join the fray on turn one of extra turns. Grant kills one on his turn, and makes four spirits with Lingering Souls.
For turn three, Sam goes all in for 24 damage, Grant doesn't even pause and takes it, going to 27. On his own turn, he drops Vault of the Archangel, and attacks. Sam tries to make a Miracle happen with a Think Twice, but isn't able to, and the life swings from 40 to 6 in Grant's favor. On the final turn, there is no answer from Sam, and if the turn ends, they will receive a draw for the match.
Looking at each other, Grant offers the concession, and Sam wins the match.
Sam 2, Grant 1.