Round 14: Casey McCarrel vs. Niels Sanders Jensen U/B Control vs. Rising Waters

Posted in Feature

By Trey Van Cleave

Having won a Pro Tour and being one of the best young players in Magic, Casey McCarrel needs no introduction. Niels Sanders Jensen is the recent winner of GP Copenhagen and a Danish Team member. Casey McCarrel chose to play a blue/black control deck with counter spells, spot removal and Nether Shadow along with Dominate for the kill. Jensen's deck is an extremely aggressive Rising Waters deck with Cloud Skates, Bouncers, 4 Daze, Withdraw, Ribbon Snakes, and Rishadan Airship combined with Rising Waters and Saprazzan Skerry for good fast beats under the waters and in the early game.

The first game neither player mulligans and each plays a couple of islands before Jensen's third turn Ribbon Snake that was countered. Casey then played an island and Jensen followed up with a Troublesome Spirit which was Thwarted and Dazed much to McCarrel's chagrin. In any blue on blue match-up Daze is vital. It's the Disrupt of Masques Block. Still McCarrel hasn't drawn any swamps and things aren't looking good when Jensen gets through a Rising Waters until McCarrel topdecks a swamp next for the Vendetta putting him down to 13. Jensen draws and Gushes. The following turn Jensen plays a Drake Hatchling which is Countered and another the next turn which was Snuffed Out. A couple turns go by seeing each player untapping lands and moving towards playing or stopping another threat that could turn the tide of this match. Jensen finally gets to enough mana to cast the second Troublesome Spirit he had which was Vendetta'd on McCarrel's next turn. The power of the Skerry was seen several times in this match as Jensen could be tapped out and cast a 3 casting cost threat the following turn while under Rising Waters. The next turn he did just that casting a Ribbon Snake. With double Massacre, Dominate, double Thwart in hand and 6 islands on the board he contemplates his options and elects not to Thwart the Snake. McCarrel taps out the following turn to Dominate the Snake which goes through. The next turn Jensen plays a Rishadan Airship and McCarrel topdecks a Vendetta which while practically tapped out and at 9 life is quite important. Jensen tries to Withdraw both creatures which is met with a Thwart. McCarrel serves for a second time with the Snake and Massacres killing the Airship. Jensen casts another Airship on the following turn. McCarrel's Vendetta proves crucial with all his mana almost constantly tapped or building up for costly spells. Jensen Gushes during his main phase and removes flying from the Snake and serves for 3 bringing McCarrel down to a perilous 6. McCarrel finally casts Vendetta which resolves leaving him at a measly 5 life but in control of the game with a solid but heavy casting cost hand. McCarrel opts to attack with the Snake bringing the totals to 14-5 in favor of Jensen. Jensen had drawn into Cloudskate but had opted not to play it for fear of Daze maybe or another Massacre which would have to wait one turn before being played anyway. The next turn proves to be the most exciting and important of the match as McCarrel casts Bribery tapping out which is met with Daze which is Thwarted and re-Thwarted and finally Foiled by McCarrel so he got a peek into Jensen's deck. He opted to take the control route and grabbed a Bouncer beating down for 2 more with the Snake. Jensen attacks with the Cloudskate for 2 bringing opponent down to 3. The following turn McCarrel attacks with the Snake and keeps Bouncer back on D. McCarrel opts to let the Cloudskate through the following turn despite having to go down to 1 in favor of bouncing the Skate at end of turn which he does. McCarrel attacks for 2 bringing Jensen down to only 4. The following turn saw Jensen drop both a Bouncer and a Skate. With the Bouncer and Rising Waters McCarrel bounces and attacks for the win two short turns later.

The second game began with only 14 minutes remaining. Both players got solid draws but Jensen never drew a third land after playing some early beats in the form of two Cloudskates and a Bouncer and succeeding in Dazing a Vendetta. McCarrel was able to stabilize by casting Vendetta again on the new Skate and dropping to ten on the next attack phase. Jensen was holding several solid 3 drops and the all-important Waters but no mana showed before he succumbed to a Noxious field that wiped out the Bouncer after the rest of his small army had faded or been removed. McCarrel played a Nether Spirit each of the next three turns and Jensen lost with only 2 land in play. An anti-climactic finish to a rather exciting match, I would say.

McCarrel defeats Jensen 2-0

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