Semifinals: (16) Mike Sigrist (Jund) vs. Jon Bolding (Naya Company)

Posted in Event Coverage on May 23, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

This last year has been kind to (16) Mike Sigrist. Sigrist celebrated the birth of his twin daughters, won Player of the Year, and has found himself in countless Top 8s, including last weekend at Grand Prix New York where he went undefeated in the swiss. Sigrist's Jund deck has been dismantling opponents all weekend as he's fought his way to the semifinals of this tournament.

Four years ago, Jon Bolding won Grand Prix Charleston in South Carolina. A win here at Grand Prix Charlotte would mean that he's won a Grand Prix in both Carolinas, an unusual feat that has never been previously achieved by any planeswalker. Bolding's innovative Naya Collected Company deck is very strong against fair strategies like the one he's seated across from in this semifinal match. To make things even scarier for Sigrist, Bolding has access to Blood Moon. Blood Moon has always been one of the better cards against Jund decks, especially when on the play.

The two sat down and started sharing stories from the weekend as they looked over one another's lists.

Bolding told a harrowing tale from round 15, “My Scapeshift opponent mulliganed to three in my win-and-in match and I almost lost.”

“I once mulliganed to three in a game of Magic for $20,000, (referring to the finals of Pro Tour Magic Origins) it happens,” Sigrist has a strange sense of what happens.

Reigning Player of the Year Mike Sigrist is in his second Grand Prix Top 8 in as many weekends!

In the first game, Sigrist went down to six cards and got things started with a Dark Confidant.

Dark Confidant is one of the best cards in this matchup because of its ability to constantly fill Sigrist's hand with removal spells.

Bolding had one of his Lightning Bolts to deal with the powerhouse and was able to follow up with Tarmogoyf.

Terminate dealt with Bolding's Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze came down for Sigrist.

Sigrist seemed to be establishing control of the game, but Bolding ominously passed the turn with four mana open, indicating that he likely had Collected Company in hand.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet came down and Sigrist needed to decide whether or not to attack with his now 4/4 Scavenging Ooze. He went for it and Bolding fired off Collected Company and was able to find Loxodon Smiter and a Scavenging Ooze of his own.

Kalitas made a zombie, but now Bolding had Scavenging Ooze advantage.

Bolding cast Knight of the Reliquary and Birds of Paradise before dropping Loxodon Smiter onto the battlefield for free thanks to Inquisition of Kozilek from Sigrist.

Now Bolding was in the driver seat and he never lost control from this point forward and was able to attack freely into Kalitas thanks to Kessig Wolf Run.

Bolding inquired before his final draw step, “you're at three?”

“Yep,” Sigrist deadpanned.

Bolding drew Lightning Bolt and dropped it on the table to win the game without question.

1 Bolding - 0 Sigrist

It was Bolding's turn to Mulligan in the second game.

Sigrist had Dark Confidant again and Bolding was forced to ramp his opponent with Path to Exile to prevent the card advantage engine from taking over the game.

Sigrist made a pair of Kitchen Finks over the following turns while Bolding floundered and failed to find the requisite lands to cast his spells.

Bolding eventually found the lands he needed to cast Collected Company, but the damage had already been done and Sigrist had established firm control of the board.

A one-two punch of Lightning Bolt and Liliana of the Veil cleared the way for a clean attack and Bolding drew a blank and was ready for a third game.

1 Bolding - 1 Sigrist

Both players kept their opening hands for the third game and Sigrist used Thoughtseize to pluck a Lightning Bolt from Bolding's hand, leaving him with Tireless Tracker and Loxodon Smiter.

Tarmogoyf came next and things were looking quite good for Sigrist.

Jon Bolding is ready to prove that he's unstoppable in the Carolinas!

Then it happened. Just in time. On his third turn, Bolding drew Blood Moon and left Sigrist with lands that were unable to cast any relevant spells.

Sigrist tried to fight his way to victory with the Tarmogoyf he already cast and a Grim Lavamancer, but the Blood Moon was too disruptive and he was eventually overran by Bolding's ever growing army.

2 Bolding - 1 Sigrist

Jon Bolding defeats Mike Sigrist to advance to the finals of Grand Prix Charlotte!

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