This semifinal pairing saw the dreaded mirror match. Not only were both players Dennis, both were also on Death's Shadow Jund, one of the most popular archetypes this weekend and one of the most succesful as well. While shuffling, the players were wondering just how many players exactly had been in the tournament in total.
“674? And now there's just the four of us left …” said Königsmark and nodded approvingly.
Due to his higher seat in the standings after the Swiss rounds, Zens was on the play. He went to 15 after casting Thoughtseize and saw Königsmark's hand of: Blood Crypt, Street Wraith, Tarfire, Ghor-Clan Rampager, Mishra's Bauble, Death's Shadow, and Inquisition of Kozilek, the latter of which he took.
On turn two, Zens summoned Tarmogoyf, while Königsmark didn't find a second land, even after cycling Bauble and Wraith. He did have a Fatal Push for Tarmogoyf, but had to discard his Death's Shadow to Zen's Inqusition of Kozilek. Nothing much happened for a while, neither player had a creature, and Königsmark never drew a second land either.
Then Zens went to 10 thanks to a third land and summoned Death's Shadow. When Königsmark ended his turn without a land drop once again, Zens cast Tarfire on himself, cycled Street Wraith, attacked for 7 and left Königsmark at 9.
Königsmark still had no land and was about to discard at end of turn, when Zens cast Kolaghan's Command to retrieve Tarmogoyf and bring Königsmark to 7 … Königsmark didn't even let that resolve: “That's your game …”
Dennis Königsmark 0-1 Dennis Zens
This time, Königsmark led with Inquisition of Kozilek, made Zens discard one of the two Lingering Souls in his hand, and used Surgical Extraction during the following draw step to exile them all. This left Zens with just Mishra's Bauble, Street Wraith, Traverse the Ulvenwald, and lands in hand. That wasn't much and his following draws didn't help.
Meanwhile, Königsmark continued with Grim Flayer. Zens cast Inquisition of Kozilek, saw Death's Shadow, another Inquisition and Fatal Push and gave Königsmark delirium by choosing to have him discard the creature.
Königsmark's attack brought his opponent to 11 and his Inquisition revealed a hand with lands and two Traverse the Ulvenwald, one of which had to go. The other searched up a Death's Shadow which died to the Fatal Push seen earlier. Grim Flayer brought Zens to 7.
Zens had another Shadow, Königsmark another Push. His Grim Flayer went all the way and evened the score.
Dennis Königsmark 1-1 Dennis Zens
Another game, another turn-one discard spell. This time, Zens cast Thoughtseize and saw: two Tarmogoyf, two lands, Death's Shadow, Surgical Extraction, and Inqusition of Kozilek. He gave his approval, “Nice hand. Looks keepable.”
“Yep, got everything. Except for removal,” Königsmark agreed. He lost his Inquisition, took his turn, played a land, and passed back to Zens, who cycled a pair of Street Wraiths and summoned a 2/2 Death's Shadow.
Königsmark cast Tarmogoyf, only to lose it to Fatal Push on the spot. Next, Zens searched up a third land with Traverse the Ulvenwald. Königsmark used Surgical Extraction on Fatal Push, found a second one in Zens's hand, and also got to see what Zens needed that third mana for so urgently anyway: Lingering Souls and Liliana of the Veil! Luckily, Königsmark was able to handle Liliana preemptively with Pithing Needle. He also cast a Death's Shadow of his own and was well back into the game now.
Zens made some tokens, Königsmark another Death's Shadow. He also went to Traverse the Ulvenwald to find Ghor-Clan Rampager. This game was definitely heading toward its conclusion …
After some attacks and blocks, both players were at 5 life, with one Shadow each and Rampager in Königsmark's hand, three Spirit tokens on Zens's battlefield. Königsmark played a fetch land and attacked. The land enabled him to go to 2 if needed, and with the Rampager his Shadow could have grown to 15/15. Meaning, Zens had to block it with all three—11 toughness worth—of his creatures. Königsmark just went to 4 and didn't use the Rampager's bloodrush ability. One token and the Shadows died, and Königsmark summoned a replacement.
On his turn, Zens played Inquisition of Kozilek to make Königsmark discard Ghor-Clan Rampager … which didn't work. “What? Oh. Of course,” said a flustered Zens and extended his hand in concession …
Dennis Königsmark 0-1 Dennis Zens