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Semifinals: 2020 vs. Courtney’s Boys

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This is a big grudge match for Courtney's Boys. At Pro Tour – Boston the upstart Canadians were thought to be easy prey, and the Boys were ready to match wits with Phoenix Foundation with everything on the line. Things didn't turn out as planned, with 2020 opening better cards and earning the right to lose to Budde's squad. Now they've got a chance at revenge, and the cards fell their way. 2020 know that a win will go a long way to showing they're no flash in the pan.

"No sleeves, very sketchy." – Gary Wise
"I am from Quebec." – David Rood

Steve Wolfman was under early fire from Neil Reeves, who powered out two morphs, two Wirewood Elves and a Wellwisher. After eating some damage, Wolfman's doubly-amplified Daru Stinger came online, freezing the board. Both players amassed armies, with the advantage firmly in Reeve's hands thanks to the Wellewisher.

Meanwhile, Wise mulliganed in his first game against Rood, and suffered from a slow start. Rood kicked off with the anemic beatdown of Imagecrafter and Aphetto Alchemist. Wise's Catapult Squad traded with the Imagecrafter, allowing his Doubtless One to enter play. Whipgrass Entangler showed up just in time to prevent an absolute slaughter.

In the third seat Bob Maher had weathered the first wave of Elijah Pollock's attack. Charging Slateback and Goblin Sledder managed to trade with Elvish Warrior and a morph. A pair of Tuskers helped Pollock get to Brontotherium range. Crested Craghorn took it down. On a nearly empty board, Pollock's twice-amplified Canopy Crawler threatened to rule. Maher's Mistform Wall inherited Lavamancer's Skill, and with the help of Erratic Explosion took care of the beast. 5/5 Glowering Rogon was met by a Primoc Escapee. It was a tight race. Maher's Voidmage Apprentice shut down a Dirge of Dread that would push through more damage. Solar Blast helped take care of the Rogon. With the Escapee serving in the air, he was ahead. Pollock was at six. Maher played Screaming Seahawk and let himself fall to one from Pollock's attack. No trick came, and Maher flew overtop to take the game.

Wolfman had acquired some fliers to start working against Reeves's now two Wellwishers, but it was a losing battle. Luckily Reeves wasn't making any headway, stopped cold by a pair of Daru Cavaliers and the mighty Daru Stinger. However, he was able to put all that life to good use, playing Graveborn Muse and flipping up Spined Basher to start gassing up.

Maher was having a harder time dealing with Pollocks gigantic monsters in the second game. Glowering Rogon had once again hit the table as a 5/5, along with a Berzerk Murlodont. Maher's early troops had fallen, and he was drawing only more land to go with his Glintwing Invoker. Seeing that his outs had dwindled almost to zero, he knew that he had to play for an Insurrection kill the following turn. He aimed Erratic Explosion at Pollock's face: Imperial Hellkite. Seven to the grille dropped Pollock to a much more manageable six. Pollock swung back putting Maher at something just out of reach and handed it back, hoping for no Insurrection. He hoped in vain.

Courtney's Boys 1 – 2020 0

Game 2 in Wise/Rood looked to be firmly in Wise's grasp. He matched Rood's early pressure, then dropped Sigil of the New Dawn, crippling ground-based combat for Rood. He played out his mana and laid down some big men: Aven Brigadier and Anurid Murkdiver. Rood had no answer for the swampwalker, and it was giving him very little time to find one. Wise's life total was in the double-digits, with the Brigadier and two morphs keeping him safe. Rood surveyed the situation, then pointed at Wise's two morphs.

"These things are Daru Lancers, or some crap like that."

He flipped over Dirge of Dread and turned all his men sideways. Wise's morphs were Defender of Order and Daru Mender. Rood had stolen the game, and taken the match.

Courtney's Boys 1 – 2020 1

That left everything to the struggle between Neil Reeves and Steven Wolfman. With Reeves drawing three cards a turn, Wolfman had resigned himself to the decking plan. Reeves surmised this, and was setting himself up an endgame. His library dwindled, and finally he had the tools to make his move. Graveborn Muse swung in, and Wolfman rebuffed it with Swooping Talon. Reeves showed Infest, and there was a flurry of instants. When the dust cleared, Reeves had Stonewood Invoker, Smokespew Invoker and Krosan Tusker. Wolfman had Gravel Slinger, Daru Cavalier, Daru Stinger and Stoic Champion. Reeves had about thirteen mana, and four draw steps.

Wolfman's rejoinder was devastating: Mobilization. Nine mana on the table meant very bad things for Neil Reeves. He gamely shot down the Daru Cavalier with his Invoker and swung in with the Tusker, costing Wolfman both his soldier tokens and his Daru Cavalier, while Gravel Slinger finished off the beast. Wolfman untapped and gave it back to Reeves. Reeves drew what he needed: Nantuko Vigilante. Strangely, Wolfman made only one soldier, keeping the rest of his mana open. The Invoker shot the Gravel Slinger. Wolfman's mana turned out to be for Cruel Revival, bringing back his Skinthinner. Reeves was demoralized. After another turn he flipped up his last card and started shuffling for Game 2.

Wolfman's curve for the second game was a dream: Festering Goblin, Cloudreach Cavalry, and then Wingbeat Warrior. Reeves held Swat, but had no second black source. His Stonewood Invoker traded with the Goblin, and brought out Wirewood Elf and Screeching Buzzard. Wolfman felled the Buzzard with Cruel Revival and continued his assault. Reeves rebuilt. Prowling Pangolin cost him both his creatures. Reeves found his second swamp at four life, and netted his two-for-one on the downed Cavalry. However, he was long on lands and short on gas. Pacifism shut down Elven Riders and let a morph from Wolfman drop him to two. He followed up with Stoic Champion. Reeves had no play. He had Shade's Breath to stop the Skinthinner Wolfman flipped over, but Wolfman didn't fear chicanery, and simply turned his men sideways. Reeves extended the hand.

2020 defeats Courtney's Boys 2-1

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