Itaru Ishida won the flip and used Last Gasp on Jeff Cunningham's first-turn Arcbound Worker, and another on his second-turn Dark Confidant. That seemed to clear the way for Cunningham to play Erayo, and on his fourth turn Cunningham followed it up with Ornithopter, Arcbound Worker, Thoughtcast and finally Frogmite off the Thoughtcast to attempt to flip Erayo -- but Putrefy killed him before the trigger could resolve.
Ishida started up his
Cunningham could only look on and try to nibble him to death with cards like Arcbound Worker and Blinkmoth Nexus. After a long search, he finally found a Psychatog near the bottom of his deck. After a
Ishida 1 - Cunningham 0
Both decks were set up well for this matchup, with Ishida going so far as to maindeck Oxidize, so neither devoted much sideboard space to it. Jeff could have brought in any number of cards, but knew better than to damage his Affinity engine.Jeff got off to a quick start thanks to Dark Confidant
Game 2 represented the opposite scenario. Cunningham led out with a first-turn Dark Confidant thanks to Chrome Mox. Going second, Ishida needed a quick start to prevent being overwhelmed by a combination of card advantage and pure speed but could only play a Lonely Sandbar on turn one.
Falling behind on tempo, Ishida could only use a Counterspell on his second turn but Cunningham managed to play multiple threats each turn with the help of Dark Confidant. Unable to find a mass removal spell that could stabilize the board in time, Ishida quickly died and the players moved on to Game 3.
Ishida 1 - Cunningham 1
The final game opened with a Cabal Therapy on Last Gasp, which missed revealing a hand of three casting-cost goodness and a Darkblast that took out the Arcbound Worker Cunningham had put out with a Chrome Mox. A second Cabal Therapy took out Psychatog, but he did not have enough threats to put pressure on Ishida.
Meanwhile, Ishida Putrefied the Chrome Mox o leave Cunningham with only two mana and used Darkblast and
Ishida, however, was running into a problem: He had been forced to put his cycling lands into play earlier, and while he was rapidly establishing a strong mana base he was unable to turn his
When Cunningham found an Arcbound Ravager, suddenly Ishida was once again under real pressure as Cunningham committed most of his resources in an attempt to win the game before Ishida could retake control. On the last turn before he was going to be killed, he found a
Final Score: Ishida 2 - Cunningham 1