ROUND 10: NATHAN HOLIDAY VS. WILLIAM JENSEN

Posted in NEWS on May 25, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

At just 15 Pro Points, Grand Prix mainstay Nathan Holiday needed the assist of another solid Grand Prix finish to lock up Silver, which would guarantee him entry into Pro Tour at Honolulu with his other locked finishes. A Top 16 is the only thing that can improve Holiday's Pro Point standing at the Grand Prix level, although Holiday was unsurprisingly hoping that he just wins today instead.

Hall of Famer and No. 24 Ranked Player William Jensen, however, had only one more accomplishment to set his eyes on: the World Championship invitation. While Player of the Year was far out of his reach – with his teammate and good friend No. 1 Ranked Player Reid Duke currently in the lead – Jensen can really only improve on his already stellar Grand Prix season with a Top 8. A Grand Prix following a Pro Tour in the same city was too good for Jensen to pass up. The man loves some Magic.

The Games

Jensen's first play of the game, Deepwater Hypnotist, was matched by Tymaret, the Murder King from Holiday. Ephara's Enlightenment allowed Jensen to attack over Holiday's creature, dropping him to 17. Holiday however had Blood-Toll Harpy, dropping himself to 16 and Jensen to 17. Jensen's attack dropped Holiday to 14, but when Holiday went for Gild on the Hypnotist, Jensen used Breaching Hippocamp to bring back his Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment then came down again, this time on the Hippocamp, but the gold artifact Holiday got from Gild allowed him to stonewall the attacking Hippocamp with his Blood-Toll Harpy courtesy of Coordinated Assault. A Disciple of Phenax on the next turn then gave Holiday his pick from Jensen's four card hand: Ordeal of Heliod, Calvary Pegasus, Lagonna-Band Elder, and Retraction Helix. The Helix hit the graveyard, and attacks dropped Jensen to 11.

Nathan Holiday

Aspect of Gorgon allowed Holiday to attack through Jensen's Calvary Pegasus with Blood-Toll Harpy on the next turn, while Tymaret (temporarily) succumbed to a block from the Lagonna-Band Elder. Any hopes of a comeback when Jensen put Ordeal of Heliod on his Pegasus for an attack were quashed by the Weight of the Underworld, as Jensen quickly scooped up his cards for the next game.

Brain Maggot gave Holiday some much needed information in the second game, revealing Jensen's hand of Lagonna-Band Elder, Battlewise Valor, Ajani's Presence, Island, and Plains. The Maggot stole away Jensen's Ajani's Presence, leaving Jensen with the Elder, Battlewise Valor, and his in-play Deepwater Hypnotist. The Hypnotist was joined by the Elder on the next turn after an attack from Jensen.

Holiday's Pensive Minotaur was dispatched after a block on Jensen's next attack, courtesy of the Battlewise Valor Holiday was aware of. This allowed Holiday to ensure Scouring Sands would kill the Hypnotist on the next turn. However, the Fleshmad Steed Holiday had on the next turn succumbed to a sweet sequence from Jensen when Holiday went for a block on the attacking Lagonna-Band Elder. Jensen used Last Breath to dispose of the Brain Maggot, then used the Ajani's Presence he got back to ensure his Elder would survive combat.

No. 24 Ranked Player William Jensen

While Holiday bounced back with Flurry of Horns, Jensen's Ephara's Enlightenment on his Elder ensured Holiday could not attack through. Another Flurry of Horns however put the pressure on the Hall of Famer. Despite having a Reatraction Helix to stem the bleeding after blocks, Jensen fell to 4. Without any real action after that, Jensen offered the handshake.

Holiday 2 – Jensen 0