Supremely Swept

Posted in Event Coverage on May 19, 2013

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Josh Utter-Leyton (Boros Blitz) vs. Craig Wescoe (Selesnya Aggro)

Dusty Ochoa (Esper Control) vs. Craig Wescoe (Selesnya Aggro)

When is a board sweeper not a board sweeper? When it's playing against Selesnya Aggro, apparently.

Despite starting Game 1 of the Finals with a mulligan to five, Craig Wescoe managed to wade his way through multiple Supreme Verdicts on his way to a 3-0 victory over Dustin Ochoa's Esper Control deck.

Despite a mulligan to five cards in the first game, Craig Wescoe's Selesnya Aggro deck powered through Dusty Ochoa's Esper Control deck 3-0.

Playing the most popular deck in the tournament by far, Dustin Ochoa had to feel good when Wescoe threw his first two hands back to open the series. Those feelings had to turn sour as he saw the blazing start held within those five cards.

"Equip my Saber. Attack for 8."

With these words, Wescoe put Ochoa one turn away from death. He had blazed out of the gates with a Judge's Familiar, Voice of Resurgence, and Call of the Conclave to open the game. After bouncing the Voice of Resurgence with Azorius Charm, Ochoa managed to cast Supreme Verdict to clear the board. Unfortunately, the Voice came right back, picked the Civic Saber back up, and finished the job alongside Advent of the Wurm.

The next Supreme Verdict was even less effective. Ochoa had managed to use Jace to draw more creatures out of Wescoe's deck, forcing him to get a Voice of Resurgence, Call of the Conclave token, Dryad Militant, and an Advent of the Wurm token. The Supreme Verdict looked like it would be absolutely devastating. Instead, Wescoe simply put his Elemental into play and flashed in an Advent of the Wurm token. After a Supreme Verdict cleared away his creatures, Wescoe untapped with 7 points of damage ready to attack. Without a second Verdict, Ochoa simply conceded a turn later.

Ochoa's Supreme Verdicts, despite seemingly being a good card in the matchup, were rendered virtually ineffective.

Twice now, Ochoa had cast Supreme Verdict, but to no great effect. Verdict was his best card against Wescoe's ability to spew creatures onto the table, yet it hadn't been able to save him. The last game of the Finals brought the episode of futility to an end.

Once again, Wescoe shot out of the gates, adding Experiment One and a Call of the Conclave token to the board. Ochoa had some early removal spells, killing both with Devour Flesh and Dramatic Rescue repsectively. Wescoe went on to replace them with exact duplicates while Ochoa built up his lands. On his fourth turn, Ochoa made his fourth land while over 20 life. Things looked the best they could be for Ochoa by this point in the game.

At this point, Wescoe simply attacked and passed the turn with four mana up, including a Temple Garden he had just taken 2 to put into play untapped. It looked like a Wurm was on the horizon. Ochoa decided to clear the board with a Supreme Verdict, but Rootborn Defenses shielded Wescoe's creatures from death, putting another 3/3 into play as well. This also evolved his Experiment One a second time. After untapping, Wescoe attacked Ochoa down to 9 before adding a Voice of Resurgence to his team.

Wescoe's Selesnya cards rendered board sweepers laughably worthless, as his opponent struggled to deal with the Conclave's offenses.

Ochoa tried again, tapping out for a second consecutive Supreme Verdict. Wescoe removed the counters from his Experiment One to regenerate it and then placed the other creatures in the graveyard. The Voice triggered, giving him not only another creature, but another counter on his Experiment One. At the end of Ochoa's turn, Wescoe also used the remainder of his mana to make a 2/2 with a Selesnya Charm. The represented a near lethal attack. Two consecutive Supreme Verdicts, and both times, Wescoe ended up with as many, if not more, creatures than he had before it was cast. All he had to do was untap, play an Advent of the Wurm to push his Elemental to a 4/4, and attack for the win.

Ochoa seemed dazed by how ineffective his trump card was, rarely speaking during the match. It looked from the outside like there was very little he could do. He had somehow managed to cast Supreme Verdict four times, only once clearing the board. Much of the credit for that goes to Wescoe, who had filled his deck with cards that were exceptional against Supreme Verdict, a phenomenal decision given the prevalence of the card in the field this weekend.

Congratulations to Craig Wescoe, Pro Tour Dragon's Maze champion!

Dustin Ochoa

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Craig Wescoe

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