Round 6: Feature Match – Wang Xuan Ji (Black-Green) vs. Jia Bin (Blue-Black)

Posted in Event Coverage on July 2, 2011

By Chapman Sim

Both players are well known among the local community and drew loud cheers of applause when they were invited to the Featured Match area. Jia Bin happens to be a four-time Nationals Top 8 competitor and is on his way to a perfect 6-0 record. His opponent and good friend, Wang Xuan Ji has promised to put up a good fight. With that, they shuffled up and began the match amidst their friendly banter.

Game 1

Wang won the die roll and opted to draw, so Jia capitalized on the speed boost with a Copper Myr into a turn three Serum Raker. Wang replied with Carapace Forger and Phyrexian Rager and prepared to return fire. Myr Sire on the opposite side promised to slow down the beats, but Jia declined to block with it, presumptively having a trick up his sleeve. Tumble Magnet hit play after combat and Jia made use of this opportunity to kill the Carapace Forger with Grim Affliction before Wang could achieve Metalcraft.

Wang Xuan Ji turning up the heat.

Viral Drake from Jia attempted to keep Wang's Acid-Web Spider at bay, but an activation from the Magnet and an ensuing attack brought Jia down to 12. Wang himself was at 14, having taken two hits from the three-powered flier.

Trying to bolster his army, Wang added three creatures to the board in the form of Maul Splicer. Jia dropped Necropouncer in preparation to trade with a Golem and lighten the assault, but Wang pressed the advantage with a splashed Quicksilver Geyser, sending both fliers back to Jia's hand, then tapping down the Germ. When Wang attacked with his entire team, Jia destroyed the other Golem with Steel Sabotage and went down to just 4 life.

Not having enough time to deal with the incoming horde and Tumble Magnet activations, Jia could only scoop up his cards as his opponent dropped a second Maul Splicer into play.

Double Maul Splicers take the game.

Wang Xuan Ji 1 - Jia Bin 0

Game 2

Wang pondered for a moment before deciding to mulligan, then berated himself for making that decision upon flipping over the top few cards of his deck. Jia Bin tried to console him and told him he shouldn't have looked to spare himself the heartbreak, to the amusement of the spectators.

Both players had relatively slow draws and it was Jia who was beating down this time, with a turn two Myr Sire and turn four Serum Raker. Being color-screwed, Wang could only stare at his Iron Myr, three Forests and a lone Island and pass the turn.

When Myr Sire came crashing in again, along with the relentless flier, Wang used Unnatural Predation on his Iron Myr to kill Myr Sire. Feeling like it was no big loss, he simply summoned Lumengrid Gargoyle and Necropouncer on succeeding turns. Tumble Magnet made its appearance for Wang again, but he was unable to do anything without drawing any Swamps. Piston Sledge attached onto the Serum Raker added insult to injury and Wang could only delay his inevitable death with Quicksilver Geyser.

Jia Bin wins Game Two, and both proceed to the rubber match.

Wang Xuan Ji 1 - Jia Bin 1

Jia Bin ready to counterattack, with mana gods on his side.

Game 3

Myr Sire appeared for Jia on turn two, but once again Wang was facing mana problems. Being stuck on two Swamps this time, he was forced to discard Dementia Bat, Withstand Death and Birthing Pod on consecutive turns. Jia wasn't about to loosen up and added Serum Raker and Lumengrid Gargoyle to his board. A third land finally appeared for Wang, which enabled him to cast Phyrexian Rager. Jia took it out with Grim Affliction and crashed in with his team, prompting a concession.

After his defeat, he could only blame his lackluster luck as he revealed a hand of Pristine Talisman, Glissa, the Traitor and Mimic Vat. Clearly, powerful bombs don't mean anything if you don't have the mana to cast them.

Jia Bin wins Game Three and takes the match to go 6-0.

Wang Xuan Ji 1 - Jia Bin 2

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