Semifinals: Dave Humpherys vs. Mark Ziegner
If Mark Ziegner really enjoys playing Magic, today should be perfect. Not only has he made his way to the Top 4 in the individual competition, but as a member of Team Germany he just drafted against the Americans and will play in that final as well. Theoretically, he could become World Champion and be a member of the World Championship Team- a feat that has only been accomplished once by Jon Finkel in 2000. This would be somewhat appropriate, as Ziegner is sometimes called "The German Finkel". This is not so much in reference to his playskill as much as the striking similarity between the two. Apparently when Ziegner had shorter hair he looked almost exactly like Jon Finkel.
Ziegner played first and was able to get Nightscape Familiar into play without much trouble. A second was Memory Lapsed, and Ziegner Iced down a land on Humpherys' upkeep. This helped him force through the second Familiar on the following turn, giving him a significant advantage. Deep Analysis for two put the German further ahead, and Humpherys used Chainer's Edict to kill one of the Familiars. Deep Analysis was flashed back, and Ziegner got Psychatog into play. Humpherys summoned Nightscape Familiar, but Ziegner had Memory Lapse. Ziegner's 'Tog wasn't quite ready to be all it could be, so it simply attacked along with the Familiar for two damage. Humpherys used Cunning Wish on end step to get Repulse. The Lapsed Nightscape Familiar finally got into play, but Ziegner had Repulse. Humpherys used his own Repulse in response to bounce Psychatog. Ziegner untapped and played two Psychatogs, and Humpherys played Nightscape Familiar followed by Psychatog. Ziegner targeted Psychatog with Repulse, forcing Humpherys to discard his hand so that Circular Logic would counter it. Ziegner had a Logic of his own, and attacked. Fact or Fiction gave him the Psychatog fuel needed to deal lethal damage.
Humpherys- 0 Ziegner- 1
This game went much like the first, with both players fighting for card advantage; exchanging Deep Analysis, Fact or Fiction and countermagic. Ziegner managed to force through Lobotomy, and took Psychatog with a tone of victorious aggression. He realized he had more cards in his library than Humpherys, so he changed his plan to decking the American. As a result, he allowed two Engineered Plagues on Atogs to resolve, which effectively nullified Ziegner's Psychatogs as well, except for the one tutorable Upheaval in his sideboard.
Both players then started to cast Deep Analysis on their opponent, and all seemed to be working out in Ziegner's favor. Humpherys had a mere nine cards in his library, while Ziegner had twenty. Humpherys fought back, forcing multiple copies of Deep Analysis through, but was still a bit short of decking Ziegner. He cast Cunning Wish and contemplated taking Psychotic Haze, since Ziegner was at two life points. Instead, he got a removed from game Circular Logic and played a second Wish to get Mana Short from the sideboard. It was cast, and resolved. With Ziegner tapped out, Humpherys targeted the German with Cephalid Coliseum. The American took his turn and spent some time trying to figure out how he could win the game, and how to go about doing it.
Deep Analysis brought Ziegner to seven cards in library. Humpherys cast Edict on Ziegner and Lapsed it. This brought his own library back to four. Upheaval was played, and no mana was floated. Ziegner played Duress and saw Circular Logic, Chainer's Edict, and the Coliseum that was capable of decking him one turn before Humpherys. He summoned Psychatog, which died to Chainer's Edict. Ziegner tried to get the one card he needed back in his library to win by casting Duress and Memory Lapsing it in response, but Humpherys countered it. The American then drew the only card left in his library and played the Coliseum, thought for a bit (getting a warning for slow play) and decked Ziegner with no turns to spare in one of the most memorable Top 8 games in Pro Tour history.
Humpherys- 1 Ziegner- 1
Humpherys played Cunning Wish on Ziegner's end step, getting Fact or Fiction. Ziegner played Burning Wish, and it was Memory Lapsed. It resolved on the following turn and got Deep Analysis. Humpherys was stuck at three lands and used a second Cunning Wish to get Mana Short. Deep Analysis was discarded because Humpherys could not cast anything, and Ziegner went to work with his Analysis. Humpherys flashed back Deep Analysis, and finally got a fourth land in Darkwater Catacombs. This left him with only two untapped lands and Lobotomy resolved, getting three copies of Fact or Fiction out of the American's hand. The discard attack continued, as Ziegner's Duress drew out Counterspell. Gainsay was added to the stack and Duress resolved, showing a hand of Upheaval, Divert and Mana Short. Upheaval was discarded, and Ziegner refilled his hand with Deep Analysis. Both players summoned Psychatogs, but Ziegner had a clear edge in the card advantage department, thanks mostly to Humpherys' mana stalled opening. From there, the German's win was inevitable.
Humpherys- 1 Ziegner- 2
This time, Humpherys came out aggressively, playing Psychatog on turn three. Ziegner Memory Lapsed it and played Duress on his turn, seeing two Edicts, Cunning Wish and two Upheaval. Humpherys lost Cunning Wish, drew Psychatog off the top and promptly played it, missing his fourth land drop. It attacked once and Ziegner got ahead with Fact or Fiction. The piles presented were Fire/Ice, Island, Salt Marsh and two Urborg Volcano, since Ziegner did not have a red mana source in play. The German took the three card pile. Humpherys was in a horrible position, having only three lands in play and no card advantage spells in hand. He played Nightscape Familiar, and Ziegner responded with another Fact or Fiction, accidentally looking over the next card in the process (Repulse), which was revealed to Humpherys. The American put Memory Lapse and Fact or Fiction in one pile, and three lands in the other. Ziegner took the spell pile, and the Familiar resolved.
Ziegner untapped, played his first red mana source, and burned away Nightscape Familiar with Fire. He followed that with Psychatog. Humpherys cast Chainer's Edict, and Ziegner countered it with Circular Logic, and pumped his fist. A fourth land finally made its way to Humpherys, but it was a Sulfur Vent. Repulse bounced Humpherys's Psychatog, and Fact or Fiction pumped up Ziegner's to lethal damage.
Final Result: Humpherys- 1 Ziegner- 3
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