Coming off an unconventional win for his Infect Deck, a Noble Hierarch-based beatdown, Tom Ross was ready to dish out infection again. Facing the same kinds of removal and countermagic he had already overcome all weekend, Ross pushed to get the go ahead and play – so much so he nearly started before being cleared.
Across from him, after muscling out his Jeskai Miracles mirror match opponent, Philipp Schönegger looked set for the semifinal match. Terminus is one of the many enemies to Ross’s Infect deck, and given how happy Schönegger was with his deck it was obvious he felt comfortable on his side.
After he kept his hand quickly, Ross led with a first turn Glistener Elf into a second turn Noble Hierarch. With two poison counters on the board, Swords to Plowshares was the first answer from Schönegger.
Another Glistener Elf followed for Ross, who protected it with Spell Piece when Swords to Plowshares arrived again. This time, Lightning Bolt cleared the way. With a Blighted Agent in play, and Schönegger tapped out, Ross laid Invigorate and Berserk, after a Noble Hierarch trigger, to put 12 more poison counters on Schönegger.
It was a blink-and-miss it game win, as Infect sometimes finds.
Ross’s second game featured early Glistener Elf and Noble Hierarch, putting four poison counters onto Schönegger before the second Glistener Elf went away. Inkmoth Nexus carried on the campaign to six poison counters, though Terminus during Ross’s turn stopped it at that.
Schönegger fought to keep Ross in check every step of the way.
A second Inkmoth Nexus and the third Glistener Elf of the match meant Ross had plenty of pressure despite the resistance. Become Immense hit Schönegger’s Force of Will, drawn off Sensei’s Diving Top, but it lstill eft Ross with three potential angles of poison and just two needed for a victory.
Schönegger untapped and topped one last time before revealing the lands he was holding up. He extended his hand next.
Ross defeated Schönegger in two quick games, 2-0, to advance to the finals of Grand Prix New Jersey.