Posted in NEWS on March 2, 2014

By Pip Foweraker

Both well-know Australian players came into Round 11 in the dangerous X-2 bracket, needing to win out their matches to keep any chance of making Top 8.

Jackway blew out of the gates early with a Burning Tree Emissary and a Magma Jet, whilst Robertson played out a pair of Temple of Enlightenments , passing with 3 mana open. Jackway had another Magma Jet, drawing a frown of consternation from Robertson before he let it resolve.

Jackway tried a Fanatic of Mogis, but Robertson had the (Dissolve), untapping into a Jace, Architect of Thought. Jackway kept going with his Jace, finding an Elspeth with his mini-Fact or Fiction. Jackway started to accumulate cards in hand as Robertson fell to 11. A Last Breath finally took care of the Emissary, Jackway replacing it with a Boros Reckoner. Jace started going berserk, flipping a Doom Blade, Azorius Charm and a Syncopate, Robertson taking a pile with the Charm and counterspell.

Jackway, knowing the bevy of cards in Robertson's hands, had few options but to load up on threats and overwhelm the control player. Robertson was having none of that. His Azorius Charm took care of the Reckoner for a time, and Robertson swung into clean-up mode. Jackway was left with no gas versus an active Jace and a control opponent with a full grip. A few turns later, Jackway bowed to the inevitable and headed for his sideboard.

Jackway looks for a way to light things up.
Patty Robertson 1 - Robert Jackway 0

Jackway came roaring our of the gates in the second game with a Rackdos Cackler and a pair of Ash Zealots. Robertson pinged the Zealots with a Detention Sphere and then laughed as Jackway cast a third. Robertson had a Jace, Architect of Thought to clog things up on the ground.

Jackway decided to ignore it and attacked Robertson's life points directly, going all-in with a Burning Tree Emissary and a Rakdos Cackler post-combat. Robertson untapped and considered his next move, staring down a bunch of damage on the board. At a perilous 4 life, he summoned a Blood Baron of Vizkopa, activated Jace's -1/-0 ability, and passed back to Jackway.

Does Robertson look like a guy who's gonna let your spell resolve?

Jackway glared lasers at the Blood Baron. After it disobligingly failed to burst into flame, he was forced to simply summon a Boros Reckoner and pass, his army stymied by the powerful lifelinker.

Robertson fired off a Sphinx's Revelation for 3 to gain back some precious breathing room. He drew into another Blood Baron and Jace continued to tick upwards, putting Jackway further and further behind in the damage race. A Skullcrack should let him punch through, but the top of his deck yielded only another Boros Reckoner.

Robertson activated Jace's ultimate, mulling over whether to take a Magma Jet, deny Jackway a Skullcrack, or to switch to an aggressive stance and take a beater. In the end he opted for Magma Jet and replaced his Jace with another.

Robertson, comfortably ahead, began attacking with his Blood Barons. An Elspeth on defence and a grip full of action left the red player sitting opposite him looking a little forlorn. The rest of the game was all mopping up.

Patty Robertson 2 - Robert Jackway 0

After the match, both players laughed about how tense the middle of the second game was before its somewhat lopsided ending. Jackway had multiple outs in his deck - Skullcrack or a Fanatic of Mogis would have ended the game instantly - but didn't find anything in the window he was given before Robertson clawed his way back into a comfortable position. The match highlighted the raw power of Sphinx's Revelation, which kept Robertson with a decent grip and helped pull his life total out of the danger zone.