Round 12: Feature Match – Xu Bin (Blue White Control) vs. Jia Bin (Splinter Twin)

Posted in Event Coverage on July 1, 2011

By Chapman Sim

Both players have previously graced the Featured Match area before and it was unfortunate that both of them had to encounter each other in this elimination round. Both players are at eight wins and three losses and the intentional draw was not going to happen. The winner will make Top 8 and the loser will have to be content to try again next year. Xu Bin is one of the few players who prefers to play with white cards along with his Jaces, while Jia Bin opted to play with red cards instead.

Game 1

Jia mulliganed to six and kept his opening hand, looking to dig for his combo with Preordain. While Jia was stumbling on mana, Xu wasted no time in slamming down Jace Beleren on the table. When Jia tried to resolve his copy, it met Mana Leak by Xu. Jia tried to Dispel it but Mental Misstep was the last word.

Into the Roil returned the Planeswalker to its owners hand, only to resolve again next turn. A couple of 0/4s entered play unopposed, with Jia being the owner of Spellskite and Xu, a long forgotten Wall of Omens. Leyline of Sanctity resolved but its application seemed hardly relevant.

After a few turns of "draw-go", Xu was the one to break the ice and summon Sun Titan, bringing back Jace Beleren. Possibly fearing Mental Misstep, Jia decided to use Gitaxian Probe on himself and Xu had no qualms about that. An attack with Sun Titan ensured that Xu would always be ahead on Jaces and Jia was struggling for he had yet to find any Deceiver Exarchs. He contemplated for a moment before deciding to scoop up his cards, facing lethal damage from the Titan.

Xu Bin

Xu Bin 1 - Jia Bin 0

Game 2

Once again, Jia had to mulligan and keep a two-lander. Attempting to draw more lands with See Beyond (but failing), he was holding a grip of double Mana Leak, Deceiver Exarch, Jace Beleren and Sea-Gate Oracle. Fortunately for him, he was able to draw his third Island next turn but elected to pass the turn.

When Xu placed a Glacial Fortress onto the battlefield tapped, Jia wasted no time in flashing out Deceiver Exarch, tapping down Celestial Colonnade and resolving a Jace of his own. Jia drew into his Splinter Twin eventually. He needed to dig for a second red source with Preordain, but that was foiled once again with Mental Misstep.

Jia Bin

Now at five lands, Xu tried to resolve Torpor Orb to shut down the entire combo and Jia contemplated whether to use both his Mana Leaks. If he did that and topdecked a red source, he would end the game there and then. He eventually decided only to cast one Mana Leak just to tap out his opponent, for the fear of failing to draw a red source and losing to Sun Titan. The decision was heartwrenching, since his next draw happened to be the coveted Mountain.

Surgical Extraction removed all copies of Mana Leak from his hand and Consecrated Sphinx made its appearance. Jia tried to race the Sphinx with his two one-powered critters but Elspeth Tirel made sure that plan was impossible. A second Torpor Orb ensured Xu's safety as Jia eventually succumbed to the overwhelming card advantage generated by the Consecrated Sphinx.

Xu Bin wins Game Two, takes the match and makes Top 8!

Xu Bin 2 - Jia Bin 0

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