With two Matthews meeting in the finals, I had to switch to referring to their last names to keep the match coverage readable. Make sure to read the Quarterfinal and Semifinal first to familiarize yourself with their decks. Johnson was allowed to go first despite having been the 7th player after the Swiss, because he was facing the 8th seat in the finals! Johnson had Tundra, Mox, and Standstill for the first turn, but had no further land drops, while Harper got to play three lands, before breaking the Standstill with an end of turn Thirst for Knowledge, which was forced. Harper wasted Johnson‘s only land, and threatened to eat his remaining Mox Sapphire with Gorilla Shaman, which was also forced. A third Force of Will saved Johnson from instantly losing to Tinker, before Harper‘s Trinket Mage delivered Black Lotus from the deck, which helped to fuel Dig Through Time. Harper had to decide between these seven cards:
The spells just kept on coming from Harper: Mana Crypt, Time Walk, Painter‘s Servant, Trinket Mage, and Grindstone. The combo was complete now, but Harper was missing the mana to activate it yet. Johnson had Swords to Plowshares, but didn’t have a second white mana to cast his second copy when a replacement Painter showed up to mill him out.
Harper took the lead 1-0
Would the most exciting „fun“ deck take down the tournament, or could Johnson come back and win the event on the back of his 0-2 start into the event? We were set for an interesting conclusion on way or the other, although the winner would definitely be a Matthew…
Harper had to mulligan to five, but both players already had lots of mana available when Johnson’s Aegis of the Gods prompted Thirst for Knowledge from Harper. Painter‘s Servant resolved for Harper as well, but his two Pyroblasts were countered, one of them via Force of Will pitching a blue Balance. Tezzeret, the Seeker put Time Vault into play for Harper from his deck, but a Swords cleared the way for Aegis to attack and kill Tezeret – ouch! A Gorilla Shaman all of Johnson's jewelry before getting plowed as well, but Johnson pulled ahead massively by resolving Treasure Cruise, Time Walk, and Brainstorm. A cycled Decree of Justice sped up the clock significantly as well, preventing Harper from drawing out of it.
The game was tied at 1-1
Harper started the deciding game, but Johnson had the first play with an end of turn Ancestral Recall, which resolved, but didn‘t yield any fast mana. Johnson discarded two cards at the end of his own turn, fueling an potentially early Dig Through Time, which was Pyroblasted. Lots of lands were destroyed on both sides of the board with Wastelands, reducing the game to a crawl. Harper finally won a counter war about Grind Stone, after which players started to pass turns back and forth again. Then Johnson pulled ahead by using Snapcaster Mage to Mana Drain Harper‘s Trinket Mage, but had no use for the drained mana on his own turn. Harpers Painter‘s Servant would not only complete the combo, but also potentially block the Snapcaster.
Harper won this counter war as well, but Johnson had two Swords and a Disenchant left to deal with all three (!!!) Painter‘s Servants that were played on Harper’s next two turns. Meanwhile Johnson could keep the beatdown coming. When he had finally run out of cards, he drew Mana Drain from the top to wreck Harper’s last hope. Laughing about the amazing seried of events, Harper extended the hand.
Matthew Johnson won the game, match and tournament, continuing his winning streak from Milan! Congratulations!