Ashes Weekend 2016 at Team Covenant – Top 8 Semifinals

AshesWeekend_Semifinals

Top 8 Round 2 –┬áSemifinals

The semifinals of the Top 8 put me up against Joshua Trevino’s Jessa deck. The recorded match can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka4JDDqS0gc

I believe the first round of this game highlights the strength of Illusion dice, Hidden Power, and Rin’s Fury so I’m going to be listing the dice counts after each play.

Joshua opens up with Enchanted Violinist (Joshua 10 Dice: 5 Nat, 3 Cere, 2 Charm // Me 10 Dice: 4 Nat, 4 Cere, 2 Ill)
I meditate my Illusion dice to wolves and play a Summon Frostback Bear (Joshua 10 Dice: 5 Nat, 3 Cere, 2 Charm // Me 9 Dice: 3 Nat, 4 Cere, 2 Ill)
Joshua responds by playing Summon Frostback Bear (Joshua 9 Dice: 4 Nat, 3 Cere, 2 Charm // Me 9 Dice: 3 Nat, 4 Cere, 2 Ill)
I exhaust a Charm die and play Hidden Power to grab back my spent Illusion dice to have it ready for more exhaustion (Joshua 8 Dice: 4 Nat, 3 Cere, 1 Charm // Me 9 Dice: 3 Nat, 4 Cere, 2 Ill)
Joshua, afraid of losing that last Charm die, is forced to play Summon Gilder (Joshua 7 Dice: 4 Nat, 3 Cere // Me 9 Dice: 3 Nat, 4 Cere, 2 Ill)
I exhaust a Nature die and summon my own EV (Joshua 6 Dice: 3 Nat, 3 Cere // Me 8 Dice: 3 Nat, 4 Cere, 1 Ill)
Joshua plays down a Chant of Revenge (Joshua 5 Dice: 3 Nat, 2 Cere // Me 8 Dice: 3 Nat, 4 Cere, 1 Ill)
I use my last Illusion die to exhaust another Nature die then play Rin’s Fury to grab back both of my Illusion dice and I luck into a power symbol roll on one of them. This is important because Joshua only has 2 Nature dice available at this point which means that it will not be possible to summon both a Bear and a Gilder if I exhaust a Nature die on my next turn (Joshua 4 Dice: 2 Nat, 2 Cere // Me 9 Dice: 4 Nat, 3 Cere, 2 Ill)
If you listen closely in the video you can hear Joshua say “I’m starting to feel so bad”, then we both laugh. This is because he only has 4 dice left against my 9 and is staring down another potential 2 dice worth of exhaustion. If you’ve ever sat on that resource starved side of the table before (I know I have) then you know exactly what he’s feeling at this moment. He decides to summon a Frostback Bear (Joshua 2 Dice: 1 Nat, 1 Cere // Me 9 Dice: 4 Nat, 3 Cere, 2 Ill)
At this point I have 9 dice versus my opponent’s 2. That’s a huge resource advantage that was gained through dice exhaustion and dice recursion. I summon a Hammer Knight and exhaust his last Nature die to lock his Gilder (Joshua 1 Dice: 1 Cere // Me 5 Dice: 2 Nat, 2 Cere, 1 Ill)
Joshua responds by playing Fear on my Hammer Knight and paying 1 to use Screams of the Departed (Joshua 0 Dice // Me 5 Dice: 2 Nat, 2 Cere, 1 Ill)
I use my 3 extra dice gained Hidden Power and Rin’s Fury to play Hammer Knight back out (Joshua 0 Dice // Me 2 Dice: 1 Nat, 1 Cere)
Joshua passes
I use my last two dice to summon a Frostback Bear (Joshua 0 Dice // Me 0 Dice). Now the ground war begins.
Joshua passes
I Ice Buff my HK to prevent it from dying to a Bear block plus Chant of Revenge ping and swing in with both my Bear and my HK. Joshua elects to have his Bear block my HK since it would die to a Bear maul + Aftershock anyway and takes the Bear hit to the face. He decides to use Chant of Revenge to ping me in the face.
Joshua swings with EV at my HK to try and bring it closer to kill range and I decide to take it to the face.
I respond by swinging back with my EV at his and he takes it with Jessa.

Round 2 (Me – 1 Bear Book, 1 EV, 1 HK, 1 Bear, 14 Life // Joshua – 1 Bear Book, 1 Gilder Book, 1 Chant of Revenge, 1 EV, 14 Life)
The first round 1 ends in a perfect spot for me. He only has one blocker left that only requires 1 more wound to remove while I have two big hitters and an EV that can clear the way. This situation is exactly why BDR deck prefers to go second round 1 – so that it can swing big turn 1 round 2. I side action meditate to trigger an EV ping on my opponent’s EV, killing it, then main action swing with everything for 8 damage. Joshua tries to stablize the battlefield by playing his second EV. I respond by playing my second HK. Joshua side action meditates to ping my fresh HK for 1 with his EV then main action summons a Gilder to ping it again. I use the awesome power of Ice Buff to move the HK out of easy kill range and play Hidden Power to grab back some dice. Joshua meditates and uses EV to ping my HK again then summons a Bear. Seeing my HK’s imminent demise I decide to swing with HK at his Bear. Joshua unit guards with Gilder and I Aftershock his EV. As my HK leaves play he uses Screams of the Departed to ping me for one. Joshua side action meditates to use EV to ping my exhausted HK for one and then plays Expand Energy with his newly meditated die. I use Blood Chains, sacrificing my EV, to put 2 exhaustion tokens on his Bear. Joshua activates his Expand Energy and meditates to have EV kill my HK and uses Screams of the Departed to ping me for one. At this point Joshua has 0 dice, a double exhausted Bear, and an EV with one wound on it. I have 5 dice available, two cards in hand, and a Bear available to summon. I summon my Bear and Joshua passes. I play Stormwind Sniper to clear his blocking EV. Joshua passes and I swing at face for 5, bringing my total damage hitting face in the second round to 13!

Round 3 (Me – 1 Bear Book, 2 Bears, 1 Sniper, 12 Life // Joshua – 1 Bear Book, 1 Gilder Book, 1 Chant of Revenge, 1 Expand Energy, 1 Exhausted Bear, 1 Life)
Joshua opens up by summoning a Gilder to kill my Stormwind. He uses Screams of the Departed to ping me for one but spends a charm die doing it. It would have probably been better for him to spend a different mana color because I was trying to play around Redirect. At this point my lead is probably too big for it to matter, but forcing me to exhaust two charm dice would be more difficult for me because it forces me to use my only two illusion dice which locks me out of playing Stormwind Sniper if I don’t have a Rin’s Fury or Hidden Power in hand. I meditate to prep my Illusion dice for exhaustion and summon my third HK. Joshua responds by using Fear on my HK and uses Screams of the Departed to get those Blood Points in. I side action exhaust his last Charm die then play Stormwind Sniper to ping him directly for the win.

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