Round 5: Slaving Away

Posted in Decks of the Week on February 10, 2011

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Martin Jůza (Blue-Black Tezzeret/Forgemaster) vs. Masayasu Tanahashi (Blue-Black Control)

Game 1

Tanahashi won the die roll and chose to go first. After a long deliberation from Jůza, he decided his hand was unworthy, sending it back for a fresh six.

Insert obligatory Paris joke here.

The first game started off in earnest with Jůza casually tossing an Inquisition of Kozilek at Tanahashi, revealing a pretty decent hand containing two copies of Mana Leak, Go for the Throat, two lands, and an Abyssal Persecutor. Jůza did not think too long before taking a Mana Leak. Next turn, Jůza decided to play a Ratchet Bomb directly into the Mana Leak Tanahashi was holding, but the Japanese player declined to counter the spell. Instead, he just untapped, played a land, and then fire an Inquisition of his own right back at the Czech superstar, stripping an Everflowing Chalice from a hand containing three lands. An Inquisition from Jůza was met by Mana Leak this time around. Either he was protecting something or he knew it was going to be the card Jůza had him discard, so he at least pretended like he was.

Martin Jůza and Masayasu Tanahashi are running very different flavors of blue-black.

At this point, Jůza had a pair of Inkmoth Nexuses on the battlefield, and they started attacking. The first got hit by a Tectonic Edge before it could do too much, but the other hit home. On the following turn, he dropped a Jace, the Mind Sculptor into play. Rather than fix his hand, as most players tend to due on the first turn he's in play, Jůza started building him towards his ultimate. Tanahashi found an answer to Jace in a Ratchet Bomb, though it would be slow in coming. Rather than wait, he used a Jace Beleren to simply off the planeswalker before he could go off.

This whole time, Jůza had been whittling away with his Inkmoth Nexus, taking Tanahashi closer to death with each swing. When a second joined the fray, things looked grim for the Japanese player. Poison counters added up in two point chunks. After reaching eight counters, Tanahashi managed to use Preordain to dig deep enough to find a Spreading Seas, which he used to turn one of the pair into an Island. He couldn't find an answer to the second one, and he succumbed to poison just a turn later.

Jůza 1, Tanahashi 0

Game 2

Tanahashi started off with the same quick reliance on discard as he had in the first, hitting Jůza with an Inquisition of Kozilek on the first turn. It hit an Inquisition out of Jůza's hand, revealing a grip of five lands and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. Jůza did manage to find a Sphere of the Storm for his third turn, but he was ramping to nowhere. He couldn't even cast his Tezzeret for fear of counterMagic. When Tanahashi cast Jace Beleren on the following turn, Jůza once again had to simply play a land and pass the turn. He stopped the Ratchet Bomb on three, added a Tumble Magnet to his toolbox, and passed the turn.

Tanahashi (re)presents.

Tanahashi was drawing enough cards off his Jace Beleren that he soon had to start discarding. Jůza, tired of running behind on cards, attempted to exact a little justice with his own Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but it was hit by a Mana Leak.

Tanahashi managed to stick a Precursor Golem and two of his brothers, and Jůza found himself behind the eight ball. All he could do was play a Mindslaver and a second Tumble Magnet and hope. When Tanahashi took his turn, he whiffed on an Inquisition before attacking with his golems and passing the turn. Jůza stopped as much as he could with the Tumble Magnets, surviving the turn, giving Jůza the chance he needed.

He activated the Mindslaver.

Tanahashi's hand was quite good. Jůza took Tanahashi's turn, and started turning things in his own favor. First, Jace turned traitor, using his first ability, and expending his last loyalty counter, to draw Jůza a card. After that, the Jace Beleren in Tanahashi's hand followed suit. With all Jace activations out of the way, Jůza simply forced Tanahashi to play the Jace, the Mind Sculptor in his hand, killing both of them. He then sacrificed Tanahashi's Ratchet Bomb before it could get more than one counter on it. This left Tanahashi with a Precursor Golem and a Grave Titan in his hand.

Jůza began his own turn by casting Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. He used its +1 ability to search the top of his deck, finding himself a Kuldotha Forgemaster, the marquee card in his deck. After playing the wicked engine of his deck, he passed the turn. When Tanahashi tried to attack him on the following turn, Jůza was ready with the Tumble Magnets. All he could do after that was continue on and play his Grave Titan.

Martin Jůza is a veritable machine.

Now Jůza had an active Kuldotha Forgemaster. Before he went using it, though, he had a Jace, the Mind Sculptor that he used to draw himself a Brainstorm. Before passing the turn, he also added an Everflowing chalice for 0 to his side, just beefing it up. He also found a second copy of the Forgemaster, should it come to it. Finally the moment arrived. He activated his Forgemaster, thinking for a few minutes about how he could use the artifacts in his deck to pull this game out. After peeling through his deck, the light bulb above his head went off. He plopped Myr Battlesphere into play. That, combined with the Tezzeret he had in play, resulted in a 16-point life drain, dropping Tanahashi to 2. When his deck failed to provide him a Magic answer to the situation, Tanahashi conceded.

Jůza 2, Tanahashi 0

Masayasu Tanahashi

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Martin Jůza

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