Posted in 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - COVERAGE on December 3, 2014

By Josh Bennett

Two rounds to go and nineteenth-ranked Patrick Chapin needs a single win to lock up his place in the Top 4. Standing in his way is the reigning World Champion, fourteenth-ranked Shahar Shenhar.

They came to the table in a mock-argument about which of them had earned their wins.

"I gave you one!"

"You didn't give it to me. I took it. Yours was a gift though. I gift-wrapped it with a missed trigger."

They compared decklists and agreed that Shenhar's Sidisi-Whip was a favorite against Chapin's Abzan Midrange.

Despite a rough match-up against Shahar Shenhar, Patrick Chapin was looking to overcome odds to secure his spot in the Top 4.

The Games

Chapin led off with Thoughtseize, stealing one from Shenhar, while he built his mana, Shenhar drew Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and got it into play. It went up to five loyalty but there were no creatures waiting to be manifested. Another Thoughtseize from Chapin took out Whip of Erebos, leaving Sidisi, Brood Tyrant behind. He summoned Brimaz, King of Oreskos and passed.

Shenhar upped Ashiok again and it was another miss. He played Sidisi and got a zombie in the bargain. Brimaz swung at the planewalker. Shenhar declined to risk a double-block, simply eating the token and letting Ashiok fall to four. On his turn Ashiok finally hit a Courser of Kruphix, but by then Chapin was ready with Hero's Downfall. Shenhar dispatched Brimaz and got in for 6 damage, but Chapin was quick to rebuild his defenses. Soon he was safe behind Courser of Kruphix and a replacement Brimaz.

Shenhar seeks leverage in a good match-up.

Shenhar could only watch as Chapin peeled Siege Rhinos while he could only find lands. He had to trade Sidisi for one in a double-block. When his deck finally turned up another Ashiok it only hit three lands and left Murderous Cut on top of Chapin's deck.

"I can't catch a break against you."

Chapin swung out with the team at Ashiok. Thanks to the Cut in hand it would be impossible to find good blocks. A Wayfinder and a zombie token took out Brimaz and Caryatid dove in front of the Siege Rhino to keep Ashiok alive at one loyalty. It went to five loyalty but didn't survive the next attack. Shenhar was down to just a lowly Wayfinder in play, and after a couple more blanks he was forced to pick up his cards.

"Did you have any live draws there?" asked Chapin with a wicked grin.

"For about ten turns I think."

"It's nice knowing your decklist, so I can know how unreasonably lucky I got."

Shenhar's turn-three Ashiok met Hero's Downfall, and Thoughtseize from Chapin left him with a hand of two Murderous Cut, Hero's Downfall, and Soul of Innistrad. Seeing all that, Chapin knew he was in for a grindy game. Fortunately his deck was serving up the appropriate goods. Abzan Charms drew him extra cards and scry-lands kept the blanks at bay.

Chapin presses his advantage, a clinch for Top 4 drawing near.

Chapin forced out the Downfall with Elspeth, Sun's Champion, getting three soldier tokens for his trouble. Siege Rhino drew one of the Cuts. That stocked Shenhar's graveyard enough for a Dig Through Time. He played out a Courser and passed. Chapin matched him with Read the Bones, then Thoughtseized away Hornet Queen, leaving behind two Soul of Innistrad and the last Cut. The parade of advantages kept rolling with Liliana Vess who did her best Vampiric Tutor impression for Chapin.

Shenhar tried one of his Souls but Chapin was ready with Abzan Charm and Anafenza, the Foremost to put on more pressure. Liliana tutored up another good one. Shenhar spent his last Cut on Anafenza and played out his other Soul. Chapin tapped four for Siege Rhino. Shenhar's life total had taken a beating from his painland-heavy draw, so he countered it with Disdainful Stroke. That meant that the way was clear for Chapin to play Utter End on the Soul of Innistrad.

Chapin's position was commanding. Shenhar played on for a couple turns, but soon Siege Rhino showed up to take the match.

Chapin 2 - Shenhar 0

"After that match I want to throw this deck in the garbage. Not anything against you, just those draws."

"Oh no, don't worry. I'm well versed in probability."

Shenhar did his best to shake off the frustrating loss and keep his eyes on the final round. Chapin wished him a very sincere good luck.

Patrick Chapin Abzan Midrange

Download Arena Decklist
Planeswalker (2)
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Sorcery (5)
4 Thoughtseize 1 Read the Bones
Other (7)
2 Brimax, King of Oreskos 1 Ajani, Mentor of Theros 2 Elspeth Sun's Champion 2 Coves of Koilos
60 Cards
Sideboard (15)
1 Utter End 1 Murderous Cut 2 Read the Bones 3 Bile Blight 1 Lilianna Vess 2 End Hostilities 1 Glare of Heresy 1 Nissa Worldwaker 1 Duneblast 2 Anafenza, the Foremost

Shahar Shenhar - Sidisi Whip

Download Arena Decklist