SEMIFINAL 1 - BRIAN LIU VS. OSCAR JONES

Posted in NEWS on March 9, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Which Pod is the best Pod? Melira Pod was out in much greater numbers than Kiki Pod this weekend, but from where Brian Liu sit it didn't matter: He had already slain Ben Friedman's Melira Pod.

While it wasn't a Melira Pod mirror match as when he faced down Josh McClain, Oscar Jones was more than ready to do it all over again against Liu's Kiki Pod choice. Both players were anxious to keep things moving.


Jones looked prepared against another type of Pod deck.

With an early Spellskite, Jones looked to lock away some of what Liu might do, but Chord of Calling for Linvala, Keeper of Silence broke the chains. Liu had plans of his own.

Undaunted, Jones played and used Birthing Pod to find a Linvala of his own and maintain the stalemate parity. Chord of Calling again from Liu found Zealous Conscripts to take, and kill, the newest Angel. Jones dug through his deck with Birthing Pod again, but Jones realized there wasn't any way to stop Liu from finishing him off.

The second game started with Jones seeing Liu's hand off Thoughtseize – removing the sideboarded Combust he found there – and followed it up with both Birthing Pod and Linvala, Keeper of Silence. Then the waves of removal jousting began: Jones' Dismember for Deceiver Exarch in response to Restoration Angel, then Liu's Combust for Linvala in response to Spellskite.

It left Restoration Angel free to attack, pressuring Jones to 7 life.


At every turn, Liu seemed to have exactly what he needed against Jones.

Birthing Pod transformed Jones' Spellskite into Eternal Witness and Linvala, Keeper of Silence all over again, but Liu's Zealous Conscripts were there to steal the Angel and end Jones' Top 8 run.

"You have no burn, right?" Jones asked, knowing his opponent's decklist.

"Yeah."

"I could just take Restoration Angel and next turn get stuff. Did you top deck that guy?" Jones followed up, referring to Zealous Conscripts.

"No, I had him."

Jones just shook his head. The speed in which Liu clinched his finals appearance left no doubt in Jones' mind.

Brian Liu defeated Oscar Jones, 2-1.

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