Round 8 Feature Match: William Jensen and Scott Johns

Posted in Event Coverage

By Ben Ronaldson

"Baby Huey," already a Constructed Masters winner last year, is a Pro Tour regular with a mean record behind him. This Pro Tour he was playing 'Domain' which he had created with Matt Linde a few weeks before. His deck stands out from the other Domain decks due to his Star Compasses, but good ol' Brian Kibler came along with three days left to go and slammed in a few Fertile Grounds to make the mana acceleration of the deck obscene. With four Compass, 3 Fertile Ground and 4 Harrow those main deck Dracos and Hippos start looking fairly mean.

Scott was sporting the blue/white deck of team "Godzilla," an Anglo-German-U.S. conglomeration of people which included Zvi, Brian Selden, Kai Budde, Patrick Mello, Warren Marsh, John Ormerod, Seth Burn and myself. It was a metagame deck designed by John O that had 4 main deck Crimson Acolytes that were dead cards against Jensen, but the four Meddling Mages could always cause the five color deck problems.

Game 1

William won the toss and elected to play first but his opponent had to mulligan. Johns foolishly looked at the top card anyway and kicked himself. "Never look!" Things started looking really bad then as he then had to go down to five cards as his second hand was worse.

Despite this set-back Scott managed to drop a land on each of his first four turns with a Meddling Mage turn two (naming Restraint) and Absorbed an Allied Strategies on turn four. From this point onwards, the game went downhill for him as Jensen cast Global Ruin (having Harrowed on turn 3) then two consecutive Ordered Migrations. Johns managed to lay a second Meddling Mage naming 'Rout' and looked like he might be able to race the birds with a couple of other creatures he managed to get through, but William cast Fact or Fiction and gets a Malice for the Mage that had named Collective Restraint. Now the birds could go all the way and the three Stormscape Apprentices on the table couldn't tap them all down.

Interestingly William chose to side out his Collective Restraints. He explained to me afterwards that he did not believe that the U/W deck could deal him enough damage to want to not put in all his Lobotomies and Gainsays.

Scott boarded out a lot of Repulses and the useless Acolytes for Gainsays, Disrupts and Aura Blasts.

Game 2

No mulligans this time and Johns had what appeared to be a good start with a tapper, then a Meddling Mage naming "Restraint," but he stalled on two land for a turn and then three land till turn 6. Jensen was not scaring him much though as all he had done by turn 6 was cast a bunch of mana accelerators and a Fact or Fiction (taking a Rout and a Fertile Ground), but his turn 7 Rout was backed up by a Gainsay and the board was reset again.

With his opponent on seven life, Scott played a Galina's Knight and took a Lobotomy on the chin after another Gainsay battle, having his remaining Gainsay in hand and the last in his deck stripped. A Hippo then made it past an Absorb with the help of a Spite, but William was tapped out after that, so Scott could make a protection from blue Voice of All. With both the Galina's Knight and the flyer, Jensen could not afford to attack with his Hippo, so his life score was gradually chipped away as he cast Reviving Vapors twice and had to take a Fact or Fiction over a Rout as he did not have enough Hippos left to win the game and had to find a Malice for the angel. Four turns later he could still not fins the Malice so the match reached parity.

Scott 1 - William 1

For game 3 Huey sided out his Global Ruins and Scott kept his deck the same.

Game 3

Each player laid 4 lands in four consecutive turns before anything happened in this game. This was obviously ideal for the Domain deck as Johns absolutely had to lay some kind of early pressure to stop the awesome card drawing capability of the 5-colour deck kicking into action. The problem for the Potato Nation campaigner was that all four of his lands were islands and he was sitting there with a multitude of W/U 2/2 creatures. The first actual spell of the game was a fertile ground on turn 5 from William, then a Star Compass on turn 6!

Scott managed to lay his first creature on turn 8 (a Stormscape Apprentice) and then eventually (on turn 10) a Meddling Mage naming 'Rout', but from that point his Absorbs got Lobotomized, an Ordered Migration started racing him, and then finally a Draco managed to resolve when a huge counter-war was fought over a Voice of All.

There was incredible time pressure on this last match as both players wanted to make sure a win result was obtained by someone, so a couple of hurried plays were questionable, and Scott made a Voice of All the turn before he died naming blue instead of black (it was Maliced the next turn), but his board situation was horrible and he would have died anyway. There were good reasons to make it blue too, such as if a Hippo came into play or if his opponent had Repulse, but there is no question that Johns had pretty bad luck in this sequence of games and could have done little to win.

Final Result: William Jensen wins 2 -1

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