Playoff Bracket

**Crusade II takes home the crown in S4 making them the second 5-seed to win the playoffs**


Playoff Match-Up results

PLAY-IN GAMES

ROUND 1-GAME 1 -- EXTINCTION vs FIRE DRILLED: Ugly game, with both teams struggling to find any mana. In fact, both teams were discarding for the first 6 or 7 turns. FD pulls 3 more mountains, continues to hit Extinction with direct damage, and eventually ended it with a Fireball. Extinction really drops the ball in this one.

ROUND 1-GAME 2 -- FIRE DRILLED vs. EXTINCTIONAnother uninteresting game for Extinction, falling in 9-turns to the superior Fire Drilled. Extinction took care of a Ball Lightning and a Viashino Sandstalker but didn't have an answer for a Granite Gargoyle. The Gargoyle took them out a few turns later.

ROUND 2-GAME 2 -- FIRE DRILLED vs. THRULL FROTTLE: Thrulls go down in a sweep. Unfair to them, they're in the middle of a change in roster focus so it started to feel, in both losses, like they're were several unnecessary cards in their hand. Need to go full change to give them any chance at success. Well, here we are, the Drillers make it out of the Qualifier Bracket unscathed, winning 4 games in a row. These four games made it obvious to me that they can no longer win games like they used to - relying on Mana Flare to blast the doors off of opponents. Not sure they have enough protection to beat other teams, but we'll find out in their series against Darwin.

QUARTERFINALS

ROUND 3-GAME 1 -- DARWIN'S DOOM vs FIRE DRILLED: Darwin punches first with their MVP Ants. FD had already used two direct damage cards (Lightning Bolt & Disintegrate) to (a) deal damage and (b) kill off an early Elvish Archers. They had some heft on the board to fight off the Ants and an Elvish Ranger, but their Gargoyle and Shivan Dragon weren't enough to stop the assault, not when a Giant Growth ended the game with six-damage from their Ants.

ROUND 3-GAME 1 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs TEAM 10: One of the most high-suspense games ever held in The League. On the 7th turn for Bad Ass Fault, they were already down to 2-life. Team 10 had worn them down via Carnophage mayhem, even opting to trade damage with a Shocker on the other side which meant constant hand reshuffling. Finally, though, BAF drew their second Swamp and everything turned around. The next few turns showed a Hidden Horror, a Rukh, and Rukh Egg. They sat idly by just waiting for the right time to strike as Team 10 held off their advances with a Puppet Strings. Seven more turns later, and BAF drew their favorite Pox and won the game by as thin a margin as you'll see; 1 to -1.Critical to mention that the Fault destroyed several key lands down the stretch, eliminating a chance for Titania's Song to enter the battlefield. If she does, this game may have ended in Team 10s favor.

ROUND 3-GAME 1 -- SLIVER LINING vs SWAMP THINGS: Typical game by the Slivers - throwing out five Slivers quickly to attack their opponent. The Muscle Sliver upped their damage per turn, which was huge in disposing of the Things in 7-turns.The Things were a bit stranded from the get-go; two islands in their initial hand with five black cards. They then drew two more islands before their first swamp, and by that time, they were toast.

ROUND 3-GAME 1 -- NO LANDS FOR YOU vs CRUSADE II: Crusaders take the first game on the backs of an Armageddon and a Balance, which knocked out a glut of lands for NLFY. No Landia couldn't rebound well enough to win this, but took the 5-seed down to 1 point. Couldn't get much closer than this.

ROUND 3-GAME 2 -- SWAMP THINGS vs SLIVER LINING: Wow, the Things win in 5-turns due to the pre-scribed Sliver antidote; Living Death. They throw their ferocious threesome of Spirit of the Night, Necrosavant and Polar Kraken onto the battlefield while dispatching of two Muscle Slivers and a Metallic Sliver. The next turn, a whopping 17-damage. The following turn, 22-damage.
Gadzooks.

ROUND 3-GAME 2 -- CRUSADE II vs NO LANDS FOR YOU: Crusaders won in unusual fashion, relying on an Icatian Town, evading the Black Vise on the board and cruising to victory. No Landia is in trouble. They are just not built to beat this team.

ROUND 3-GAME 3 -- DARWIN'S DOOM vs FIRE DRILLED: Darwin didn't look like they had much early on, then dealt 7-damage with a Giant Ants (Giant Growth + Yavimaya Ants). They then built on the FD Mana Flare with a Hurricane to win the game and the series. The Drillers get knocked out by Darwin for the second season in a row. They've got a roster that can no longer compete in a tougher league. They need a fresh look.

ROUND 3-GAME 3 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs TEAM 10: That's as demonstrative as it gets, as the Fault put a stamp on the series with a 43-point victory. This is what can happens when two Shockers are left alone with a Megrim on the board AND a big hand. In fact, 22-points of damage was done in the last turn alone. Bad Ass Fault is good.

ROUND 3-GAME 3 -- SLIVER LININGS vs. SWAMP THINGS: Second game in a row that Living Death changes the outlook of the game. It wouldn't have been possible had a Dark Ritual not enabled the summon. Next, a Polar Kraken stomps the Slivers out.

ROUND 3-GAME 3 -- NO LANDS FOR YOU vs CRUSADE II: Huge stay-alive win in this one. NLFY uses a Demonic Tutor to pull a Nevinyrral's Disk and consequently save their asses. Two White Knight's and a Crusade are dismissed on the next turn, then a Cyclopean Tomb destabilizes the opposing mana supply. A Black Vise and Nightmare do the rest.

SEMI-FINALS

ROUND 4-GAME 1 -- DARWIN'S DOOM vs CRUSADE II: Great win by Crusaders! They use a Cataclysm and Armageddon to perfection, killing off any hope that Darwin has to compete. The Cataclysm in the 7th turn removed an Elvish Archers, a Force of Nature and an Elvish Ranger from the field, along with 6 forests. The Crusaders were then left with a Serra Angel accompanied by a Crusade to stomp out the remaining Killer Bees. A nice, nice win.

ROUND 4-GAME 1 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs SWAMP THINGS: What a battle. By far the longest game of all time at 51-turns total. The Swamp Things looked primed for victory as they stood with a Spirit of the Night, a Baron Sengir, a Commander Greven il-Vec and a Polar Kraken. The next turn, the Fault summoned a board clearing Jokulhaups. Two Nether Shadow's entered for the Things, and did some damage, but it wasn't enough for two Hidden Horror's and the game-winning Pox. 

ROUND 4-GAME 2 -- CRUSADE II vs. DARWIN'S DOOM: Strong win by Crusaders to take a two games to nothing lead. They turned the tide in this one by playing an Armageddon to extinguish Darwin's 5 mana producers. Darwin staged a comeback, throwing a Woolly Spider and a Erhnam Djinn out to battle, but it wasn't enough once a Crusade hit the battlefield, as it turned eight 0/1 soldiers to life for the final 14-damage

ROUND 4-GAME 2 -- SWAMP THINGS vs. BAD ASS FAULTVery unconventional win for the Things, as they deal with mana issues to discard a Deep Spawn on their second turn only to bring him back out two turns later. The Fault struggled with mana early on in this one, and, as a result, they fell behind. Two M-Kill cards in hand were left stranded, as were two Fissure's that could have handled the Deep Spawn. First loss in an incredible 16-games. Great run for the Fault.

ROUND 4-GAME 3 -- DARWIN'S DOOM vs CRUSADE II: Unusual game for both teams. Darwin finds a way to win in an extended game - this rarely happens, as they're usually toast after the 10-turn mark. Crusade, on the other hand, has a Armageddon backfire on them as they failed to draw any more mana beyond 1 plains after the spell.

ROUND 4-GAME 3 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs SWAMP THINGS: Here's the Fault's turn sequence = kill off opposing swamp, remove two cards from opposing hand, play Shocker, use Demonic Tutor from hand to pull Megrim, play Megrim, attack with Shocker to cause 15-damage, remove opposing creature from battlefield, attack with Shocker for another 15-damage. Whoa nelly

ROUND 4-GAME 4 -- CRUSADE II vs. DARWIN'S DOOMGreat win by Crusaders that they do not get without their Serra Angel. The Angel was critical in extinguishing the Doom who were left without any adequate defense to withstand her attack. This might have been the perfect villain to battle Darwin - the combination of fast creatures with staunch defense against any opposing attack is making it extremely difficult for Darwin to gather any momentum in this series..

ROUND 4-GAME 4 -- SWAMP THINGS vs. BAD ASS FAULTNice win by the Fault. They had a beautiful hand to start, with a Wheel of Fortune, a Pox, a Demonic Tutor and a Megrim. Really, the pillars of the deck. Their first ten damage was dealt by a Wheel of Fortune / Megrim combo, and then capped off by a Hymn to Tourach for another 8-damage, and a Rukh for the final 4. 

ROUND 4-GAME 5 -- DARWIN'S DOOM vs CRUSADE II: Gutsy win by Darwin's Doom. They made some noise early, and then met some resistance. In fact, the tide was turning in Crusade's favor until one burly Force of Nature showed up. Crusade tried to nullify his impact by destroying all mana, but it wasn't enough to keep him from decimating their defenses.

ROUND 4-GAME 5 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs SWAMP THINGS: HUGE win by the Things to stay alive. An early Counterspell changed the entire game in their favor. They stole a Hypnotic Specter, then revived a Deep Spawn and put this one out of reach for the Fault.

ROUND 4-GAME 6 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs SWAMP THINGS: W.O.W. Bad Fault advances to their first Finals in their inaugural season in dramatic fashion by absolutely pulverizing the Swamp Things by an all-time record 46 points - a truly absurd margin of victory. Here's how they did it: 

Shocker = 30-damage
- Wheel of Fortune = 14-damage
- Mind Twist - 2-damage

The Megrim that made it all possible was picked up by a turn-2 Demonic Tutor, of course. What a ridiculous game.

ROUND 4-GAME 6 -- CRUSADE II vs. DARWIN'S DOOMAnd that's it! The Crusaders advance to their very first Finals birth behind two Armageddon's. In the process, they drown out a struggling Darwin while also gaining 16-points in the process, thus boosting them to the 36-point win. A Wild Aesthir took care of things on the ground as Darwin failed to match them with any flying defense. Darwin's speed was absent all series long. Games took an average of 12-turns, which is 50% longer than games Darwin won during the regular season -- not a pace they could withstand, clearly.

FINALS

ROUND 5-GAME 1 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs. CRUSADE IIA blitzing pace turns Game 1 into the Fault's first finals victory, after decimating the Crusaders with an offensive/defensive show.

ROUND 5-GAME 2 -- CRUSADE II vs. BAD ASS FAULTCrusaders even the series after a Jokulhaups goes wrong for the Fault. They were back out of the gate with too much speed for the Fault to contend.

ROUND 5-GAME 3 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs. CRUSADE II: Takes a second in a row by withstanding a serious defensive onslaught by the Fault. In six of their first seven turns, the Fault either destroyed a land or removed cards from the Crusader hand. A total of five lands were included in that dismissal, yet the Crusaders still managed 3 more lands to lay out an attack led by a White Knight, and followed by Wild Aunt Esther, and a Soul Warden. The Fault has some defense in a Rukh and a Hyppy but it wasn't enough with the MVP-Crusade in play. 

ROUND 5-GAME 4 -- CRUSADE II vs. BAD ASS FAULTBig, big win by the Crusaders. They out-mana their opponent and take down the #2-seed with familiar attackers in White Knight and Wild "Aunt" Esther. The Fault look lackluster for a second straight game, and have now fallen behind 3-1. It's back against the wall time!

ROUND 5-GAME 4 -- BAD ASS FAULT vs. CRUSADE II: Crusaders drew four mana in this one, though three of them were destroyed by the Fault. A mid- game Demonic Tutor gave way to a game-ending Wheel of Fortune. Two Megrim were on the board, this dealing the 28-damage to seal it.

ROUND 5-GAME 6 -- CRUSADE II vs. BAD ASS FAULTVictory!! The Crusaders take it home in game 6! They out drew the Fault for mana and took advantage, deploying a Wild "Aunt" Esther, a White Knight and two Soldier Tokens. Much of the victory is in part to Land Tax, who took home the MVP.