Zan Syed bashed his way to the Top 8 after winning a Last-Chance Trial on Friday with the same Naya concoction that he had on hand in the quarterfinals. With aggressive, hasty creatures like Fanatic of Xenagos, Goblin Rabblemaster and Shaman of the Great Hunt, he would look to bring the fight quickly to his Green-White opponent.
For his part, Corey Baumeister had come to Miami for the weekend courtesy of his brother, Brad Nelson, who put up a Top 8 finish two weekends ago at Grand Prix Memphis. Nelson had flown him to Florida as a birthday present, Baumeister said during the match. “It's awkward—he flew me out here just to scoop to me in the last round,” he chuckled. Now Baumeister was hoping his devotion-based deck, with Whisperwood Elementals and a full four copies of Mastery of the Unseen.
“Seems like a sweet deck,” Baumeister said, as they reviewed each other's decklists. “I like yours too,” Syed said. “So, how are you going to sideboard?” Baumeister kidded, and Syed laughed and shook his head.
Baumeister started Game 1 with a mulligan while Syed kept his opening seven. Baumeister kicked things off with a Fleecemane Lion into Mastery of the Unseen, while Syed returned serve with an Heir of the Wilds into Goblin Rabblemaster.
On his fourth turn, the Naya player sent a Shaman of the Great Hunt straight to the red zone, along with the Heir and a Goblin token. The Lion and Shaman traded, but the board soon grew cluttered once again as Baumeister added a Whisperwood Elemental and began cranking out 2/2 colorless creatures.
Baumeister turned to Mastery of the Unseen to start recouping his lost life points.
While Baumeister clogged the ground, Syed took to the skies, summoning a hasty Stormbreath Dragon to fly right over the stalled board. He dropped Baumeister to 7, but a quick flip of a manifested Sylvan Caryatid and Elvish Mystic sent the Green-White player right back to 12 and then 18 courtesy of his Mastery of the Unseen.
His engine assembled, Baumeister started to run away with the game.With Nytkhos, Shrine to Nyx Baumeister began generating obscene amounts of mana, manifesting, flipping and gaining life to his heart's content. After several turns of such shenanigans, facing down three Whisperwood Elementals and eight manifest tokens (and that's just for starters), Syed conceded.
Baumeister 1 – Syed 0
Syed started on a mulligan to four in Game 2, and after laying his first two lands he began to sputter. With no more land and no castable spells, he could only pass the turn as Baumeister accelerated out of the gates with two Sylvan Caryatids and a Voyaging Satyr.
Things looked grim for Syed after a mulligan to four in Game 2.
A fourth-turn Genesis Hydra for 5 added a beefy threat and a Mastery of the Unseen to the board, while Syed could manage only a morph after a finding a third land. With that, Baumeister went off. Using Nykthos, he cast Fleecemane Lion and immediately made it monstrous, untapped the Nykthos with Voyaging Satyr and continued right on deploying threats. Syed grimaced, drew for the turn, and conceded.
Baumeister 2 – Syed 0