Semifinal Joost Vollebregt vs. Jim Herold

Posted in Event Coverage

By Friedrich Rademacher

Game 1

"Have Fun!" were words from Joost towards Jim. And so we started the semi-finals.

No player mulliganed and they started casting creatures on turn two. Joost cast a Galina's Knight while Jim cast a Yavimaya Barbarian. Both player trade damage but the only player, who played something during his third turn was Jim with a Blurred Mongoose. The Dutchman thought for a while and decided to attack with Galina's Knight that is blocked by the Mongoose. He then played another Galina's Knight and ended his turn. On his turn the German played Mirrorwood Treefolk. Joost was well aware of Sawtooth Loon's abilities so that he first put the gating on the stack and then the card drawing effect. This gave him the chance to have an option whether to abuse the drawing engine or return Gina's Knight and keep a 2/2 flyer out. Sawtooth Loon did stay in play, but it didn't block any of Jim's creatures that brought Joost down to twelve. Instead it attacked leaving the German with sixteen life left. The Dutchman then cast a Sea Snidd and didn't block any of the three attacking creatures and was brought down to a very dangerous five life. Jim did not give Joost any breathing space and went on casting creatures. Even if they were 2/2 they can still get the job done, as 5 life is probably the end for his opponent. Joost thought about the situation for a while, claiming that it all went so fast. That time he did not attack and recast Galina's Knight while his opponent was calculating what he had to do to get five damage through. So the German attacked with a Kavu Climber, Yavimaya Barbarian and a Mirrorwood Treefolk. The Treefolk got blocked by the Knight and the Snidd blocked the Kavu. The Barbarian however stayed unblocked. The German was well aware of the Treefolk's ability and used it giving the Dutchman two extra damage going for the total of four. Another Kavu, this time an Aggressor, joined the party. At the end of the German's turn, Joost decided to play a Magma Burst with kicker targeting the Nomadic Elf and the Barbarian. He then cast a Hobble on the Treefolk leaving his opponent with only one other creature...Utopia Tree. Jim plays a Probe with kicker forcing his opponent to discard Repulse and a Samite Pilgrim. The next turn is spent with him casting Frenzied Tiling and ending his turn. He draws a Sulam Djinn that is immediately enchanted with Hobble when it came into play. Joost was holding on with one live but an Assault finished the job.

Game 2

After declining a Prize Split the German went fearless into the second game.

First four turns are spent with dropping land, until Jim cast a Utopia Tree having two Djinns in hand together with a Probe. After letting Utopia Tree come into play Joost cast a Reviving Dose at the end of the German's turn. On his turn the Dutchman cast an Ordered Migration bringing three tokens into play. One of them got targeted by a Repulse and then the German played a Yavimaya Barbarian. Joost attacked and played Benalish Heralds and a Samite Pilgrim. As Jim said, the situation did not look to good from his point of view. After considering all options, the German played a March of Souls giving his opponent four creatures and himself only two. The Dutchman then plays an Alloy Golem naming green, probably because he feared the Djinn that Jim had in hand. Joost attacked and cast another Ordered Migration. Jim was facing six creatures so he was forced to play Sulam Djinn. Joost didn't care about the Djinn since he controlled many creatures. Jim decided to block the Alloy Golem with his Djinn. German only had five live left and also thought that a third game would be better to decide the outcome of this round.

Game 3

After some consideration the German decided to draw, hoping to draw into good mana. Joost gets out a Samite Pilgrim together with a Stormscape Apprentice. Jim on the other hand played a Blurred Mongoose. Joost suddenly failed to drop a land during his fourth turn and fifth turn. Jim had five lands and played a Nomadic Elf. He had a Halam Djinn in hand together with a Scorching Lava but Joost had a Samite Pilgrim in play together with three different basic lands. Joost finally drew his fourth land but didn't cast anything either. The German thought long and hard about what he should do until he cast Halam Djinn. Joost tapped the Djinn during the attack phase not letting it attack him. He then cast a Shackles on his turn targeting the Djinn. Joost has a hand filled with threats but doesn't seem to find his fifth mana. Jim decides to play Aura Blast on his turn and destroys Shackles. Joost casts Benalish Heralds and is done. His opponent untaps and tries to attack with the Djinn but it gets tapped and the Nomadic Elf goes all the way bringing Joost down to sixteen. He then casts Sulam Djinn and is done. Joost has now five mana available and has to do something against the horde of enormous creatures the German controls. After lots of consideration, the Dutchman played an Alloy Golem naming once again green as it's color. After another long period of consideration the German attacked with Sulam Djinn, Halam Djinn and Nomadic Elf. Joost feared an Explosive Growth, which Jim did have. So he blocked the Sulam Djinn with the Alloy Golem and the Nomadic Elf with Benalish Heralds. Jim seemed to be deciding where to play his Scorching Lava and/or his Explosive Growth but it took very long until he decided to cast the Growth on Sulam Djinn getting eight damage across leaving his opponent at eight life. Joost controlled one Benalish Heralds, one Stormscape Apprentice and one Samite Pilgrim. In his hand he had a Magma Burst, Ordered Migration, Allied Strategies and Faerie Squadron. Jim wanted to declare his attackers but his opponent tapped his Halam Djinn, so that he has to take care of an Salem Djinn and a Mongoose. The Mongoose is blocked by the Samite and the Djinn by the Heralds. After damage was on the stack Joost used the pilgrim's ability to prevent three damage to his Heralds. After combat Jim plays a Scorching Lava on the Stormscape Apprentice, that was tapping his Djinn, leaving the Heralds as the only living creature on his opponent's side. Some time after he asked if his freshly played Probe would resolve, Joost finally decides to let it resolve.

At the end of the German's turn Joost cast Magma Burst without kicker, thereby killing Sulam Djinn. Had he paid the kicker cost then he could have killed both his Djinns with one spell since the Halam was a 4/3. He still had to worry about Halam and what he did was cast an Ordered Migration. The German cast Assault on one of the tokens and attacked. The Dutchman chump blocked. Jim cast a Wallop having a token as target. Jim attacked, leaving his opponent at 4 life. Joost top decked a Galina's Knight and played it. Jim had a March of Souls in hand and thought about playing it. That would leave both of the players with two 1/1 creatures. He did in fact play it and Joost responded with the Heralds ability. Joost then cast an Ancient Kavu and a Sea Snidd. Jim on the other hand seemed to have nothing to give the remaining 4 damage to his opponent. Suddenly the game speed rose, as the Dutchman seemed to have regained control of the board. Jim played Kavu Climber and drew a card off it. Joost attacked with both his Kavu and his Snidd bringing his opponent down to six life. The German, who had only been holding land in his hand, finally drew a spell... Sunscape Battlemage. He played the Battlemage announcing both kickers. What seemed to be a long decided game has been running around in circles without any apparent resolution. Jim attacked with two 1/1 tokens and cast a Yavimaya Barbarian. Again board control shifted player, as the Battlemage seemed to have helped the German's comeback. Players started taking their time once again, as each and every decision could determine the outcome or as both players called it "the 500 dollar game". Joost used Repulse a token and finished his turn. An Alpha Kavu was countered by Prohibit with kicker. Surely the Alpha Kavu would have done lots of damage in combination with the Kavu Climber. Joost drew his second Galina's Knight. Both players were taking a very long time making their decisions until the judge asked them to speed up. Joost attacked and gets three damage through. Afterwards he cast the Knight. The German player attacked with all his creatures targeting the unblocked creature with Gaea's Might having enough damage to win the game.

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