The weekend's last match promised to be a grind. On one side, Andrew Boswell, Chris Pikula's bet to win the whole tournament, playing Old Reliable Jund. On the other, Robin Dolar, who might just be Europe's Next Big Thing, playing New Reliable Rock with White. Both decks feature the same core of disruption, removal, and advantage-generators Dark Confidant and Liliana of the Veil. Jund's red gives it access to Lightning Bolt and Terminate to punch through and finish off the opponent. The white in Dolar's deck is mainly for Lingering Souls, a powerhouse against sacrifice effects, discard, and spot removal.
The match started with the two trading Thoughtseizes. Boswell took Liliana of the Veil, Dolar took Chandra, Pyromaster. He had left Boswell with just a forest, red cards and a Liliana in hand, but Boswell's deck was kind and served up Dark Confidant right on time. Dolar played one of his own and passed.
Bob turned over a painless Treetop Village. Boswell played a topdecked Inquisition of Kozilek to steal Scavenging Ooze, played his land, and hit for two before passing. Dolar's Confidant gave him an Inquisition, and after he fired back for two points, Dolar could only shake his head and cast Lingering Souls.
Another perfect Confidant trigger for Boswell, Marsh Flats to get him the red mana he needed. He hit for three with Treetop village then fetched out Blood Crypt, and chose to play Grim Lavamancer over Lightning Bolt. Inquisition from Dolar took out the Bolt. Slaughter Pact took out the Lavamancer, and Dolar crashed in for four. Flashback on Lingering Souls gave Dolar a significant airforce. Boswell simply hit for three with Treetop Village. Dolar was down to just five life.
He untapped and flipped his top card: Tarmogoyf. Down to three. Boswell was at eight. He paid for his Pact, then hit with Confidant and a single soul. Boswell did some counting and thinking. He settled on trading off the Confidants and took one. Dolar passed. A fetchland put Boswell to six. He untapped and hit with Treetop Village. Dolar put his three untapped spirits in front and shrugged when Boswell showed him Abrupt Decay for the save. Dolar fetched, and untapped at one life.
First Liliana of the Veil, forcing discards. Useless Thoughtseizes. Then Tarmogoyf, and sailing over for one point leaving Boswell at 5. Boswell drew the land he needed and played Liliana, focing a sacrifice. Dolar chose the spirit token. Boswell was left with just enough mana to chump block with Treetop Village. Dolar animted Stirring Wildwood and forced the Treetop off the board. A second Liliana from Boswell got rid of Dolar's Tarmogoyf, and Boswell summoned one of his own to play defense. Unfortunately for him, Dolar had Abrupt Decay, clearing a path for stirring Wildwood and the win.
Dolar 1 - Boswell 0
Between games Boswell kept his strength up with a dinner-sized salad. A mulligan from Dolar meant more valuable eating time. Dolar stayed on six and they were off.
Boswell led with Raging Ravine and fetched into a second-turn Tarmogoyf. Dolar answered with Dark Confidant. Boswell was ready with Lightning Bolt on his next turn and hit for three with his Tarmogoyf before passing. Dolar's third land brought with it Liliana of the Veil and got rid of the 'goyf, but Boswell overtrumped him with Chandra, Pyromaster to get rid of Liliana and leave him with the only persistent threat.
Dolar shuffled through his hand over and over. He played a fourth land and hired the services of Garruk Wildspeaker, who brought a 3/3 beast with him. Boswell wasn't nearly out of gas, though. First came Tarmogoyf, and then after Dolar made a second beast and destroyed the Raging Ravine with Tectonic Edge, Olivia Voldaren made her grand appearance. Active Chandra. Active Olivia. And then after an empty turn from Dolar, Maelstrom Pulse and Abrupt Decay to clear his side of the board. A turn later they were on to game three.
Dolar 1 - Boswell 1
Again Dolar had to mulligan, and this time Boswell joined him. Dolar stopped on six, but Boswell kept going. He stood on five, with a sigh.
Dolar played a turn-two Dark Confidant without preamble. Boswell fetched out Overgrown Tomb, then untapped and played a Confidant of his own. Dolar had Dismember after untapping. He hit for two, played another Treetop Village and passed. Boswell played Fulminator Mage, which looked like gangbusters against Dolar's two Treetops and Overgrown Tomb. Boswell was in no rush to use it, however. He let Dolar untap, and saw him lose another two off the Confidant via Abrupt Decay. Scavenging Ooze resolved, and then Dolar forced the Fulmination with the Decay.
So Dolar was down to just green mana with no way to use his stacked hand, and Boswell calmly untapped and dropped the mighty Thrun, the Last Troll. A second Confidant on top of his library knocked Dolar to nine. He swung in with his Ooze grew it to a 4/4. Tec Edge took care of Overgrown Tomb, cutting down on the green mana Boswell had available. Boswell played lands and Dolar could only look on enviously. His deck took another two life with Abrupt Decay and still he couldn't find a land. He used up his last Tectonic Edge. Boswell played a replacement land.
And STILL Dolar's deck refused to cough up the land he needed. The toll of the long day combined with this frustrating sequence was starting to fray Dolar at the edges. He watched Thoughtseize and another nonland card roll off the top of his deck. Boswell found more green and dropped Tarmogoyf. Dolar untapped and flipped the top card of his deck: Godless Shrine. Nearby, Frank Karsten was seen cheering silently.
He paid two life to get it untapped, and then attacked with his Confidant to get it off the board before it could ruin his plans. Boswell obliged. Dolar spent his precious three mana on Lingering Souls. The finish line was in sight for Dolar. Boswell knew he had to act. He tapped out of green mana for a second Tarmogoyf and a Scavenging Ooze. It was a game of inches: Boswell at 7, Dolar at 5.
Dolar hit for two in the air. His freshly-draw Marsh Flats became a swamp, allowing him to Abrupt Decay the Ooze off the board. His remaining two mana flashed back Lingering Souls. Boswell, empty-handed, ripped Abrupt Decay for Dolar's Tarmogoyf, but could only risk an attack with one of his own. Dolar quickly chumped with a spirit.
Dolar's actions were speeding up. He untapped, animated one of his Treetop Villages, triple-checked his math, then swung all-out and showed Boswell Slaughter Pact to leave him with just a single blocker. Boswell nodded and accepted defeat.
Robin Dolar defeats Andrew Boswell 2-1 and is the Grand Prix Boston 2014 Champion!