Semifinals: Clay Spicklemire (Infect) vs Christopher Walton (Miracles)

Posted in Event Coverage on June 12, 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

Clay Spicklemire may only be sixteen, but he’s quickly establishing himself as quite the master. Legacy is no walk in the park and Infect is widely considered to be one of the most difficult decks to pilot. In the quarterfinals, Spicklemire played against Jarvis Yu’s Lands deck; Lands is traditionally one of the worst matchups for Infect. Spicklemire was unphased and fought his way through a tremendously tough opponent to earn his seat here in the semifinals.

His opponent, Christopher Walton, has been dismantling opponents all day with his Miracles deck. Miracles was the most successful deck this weekend, putting four copies into the Top 8 elimination rounds. Walton defeated a fellow Miracles player in the quarterfinals, but this would be a much different task.

The two talked about their tournaments thus far and described the matches they lost throughout the weekend as they shuffled up and studied the other’s decklist.

Spicklemire chose to play and seemed unphased when his opening hand wasn’t up to snuff, “I’ll go to six.”

Clay Spicklemire

“This hand sucks,” Walton paused, “I’ll keep it.”

Spicklemire went for a Brainstorm on his second turn with a fetchland up in hopes of sculpting his hand for the coming flurry of spells, “Brainstorm?”

“I have mixed feelings about this. Brainstorm resolves.”

Walton went for Ponder and Spicklemire used Spell Pierce aggressively. It was clear he had some fireworks up his sleeve.

When Spicklemire went for Blighted Agent after playing Inkmoth Nexus on the following turn, it met Force of Will from Walton. Spicklemire tried to Brainstorm into an answer, but he didn’t find it and the Force of Will resolved.

Then came Counterbalance for Walton, but that met Daze from Spicklemire.

It was time for the big finish. Spicklemire activated his Inkmoth Nexus and used Invigorate and Become Immense to make it a lethal threat. Walton tried to use Swords to Plowshares to save himself, but Spicklemire’s Vines of Vastwood sealed the deal and they were on to a second game.

Spicklemire 1-0 Walton

Christopher Walton

In the second game, Walton had Sensei’s Divining Top to start things off and Spicklemire led with Noble Hierarch.

Next came Glistener Elf and Walton still hadn’t answered anything on the board.

When Spicklemire tried to attack for two with Glistener Elf, Walton had Snapcaster Mage and traded with the Glistener Elf.

“Good ol’ Snapcaster Mage,” Smiled Walton, happy that he was able to use one of the many Blue cards that clogged his hand as a removal spell.

Walton tried for Counterbalance on the following turn, but Force of Will from Walton prevented that from being a reality.

Blighted Agent went unanswered and Spicklemire started to get in for two poison at a time.

Spicklemire’s Blighted Agent had already dealt seven points of Poison to Lossett, but Lossett found Swords to Plowshares on the right turn to stem the bleeding.

Walton’s board was slowing growing with Snapcaster Mage and Vendilion Clique. With the pressure he needed to close the game, he only needed to hold one for a few more turns.

Spicklemire had different plans, though. He used Crop Rotation on Walton’s endstep to find Inkmoth Nexus and was able to make a lethal attack when Walton committed too many resources to sculpting his hand.

Spicklemire 2 - Walton 0

At sixteen-years-old, Clay Spicklemire has managed to pilot one of the most complicated decks in Legacy to the finals of a massive Grand Prix!

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