Jason Chung is widely considered one of the better players in New Zealand, especially considering his 11th place finish at Pro Tour Fate Reforged earlier this year. His opponent, Maitland Cameron, was no slouch either, having finished Top 4 at Grand Prix Sydney last year.
“Do you wanna come Karaoke with us after this tonight?” Chung asked as they shuffled, setting an amiable scene.
Chung took the lead early with an Arc Lightning on a Typhoid Rats and a face-down Sagu Archers. Cameron rallied behind a Rotting Mastodon, and an Armament Corps that beefed an Unyielding Krumar up to 5/5.
Eventually down to 8 life from the Krumar, Chung again found a big turn, attacking Cameron down to 4 between a Bathe in Dragonfire and a Cached Defenses.
“Am I dead?” Chung asked as he passed back the turn to Cameron, who had the Mastodon and the 5/5 Krumar.
Jason Chung puts his life in the hands of his opponent.
He was not. Unable to attack back for the win, Cameron passed. Chung added creature after creature to the table, and was soon able push past Cameron’s blockers to take Game 1.
Chung 1 – Cameron 0
Chung again attacked early and often in Game 2, Cameron seemingly on the back foot, all the way up to his End Hostilities. Unsurprisingly, he’d been holding some creatures in reserve, which he soon played out to quickly take the match to the decider.
“You could say that my Krumars didn’t yield that time!”
“But they did, the first one died to Bathe in Dragonfire.”
“The other one died to Arc Lightning.”
“Ok, you got me, they yielded.”
Game 3 started very much like the others, with Chung quickly backing Cameron into a corner and hiding from an Alpine Grizzly and a Mardu Warshrieker behind an Unyielding Krumar while teetering on a lowly 4 life.
“Have you got me?” Cameron asked.
“Have I GOT you?” Chung rephrased, considering his play.
“So it’s not another Valley Dasher then?”
Maitland Cameron is quite relieved that Jason Chung doesn’t have a Valley Dasher.
Chung eventually attacked, and an Abzan Charm took down the Grizzly, while the Krumar traded with the Warshrieker.
Chung played a Bloodfire Expert, and Cameron frowned, before playing a Krumar Bond-Kin, and a Harsh Sustenance for 1 to try to take down the Expert. He risked Chung being able to save it with a pump spell, but waiting gave Chung an extra draw step to find one, and he hadn’t saved either the Grizzly or the Warshrieker during combat, so it seemed like he was unlikely to have one. Cameron’s play worked, and the Expert was no more. In return, Chung Bathed the Krumar Bond-Kin in Dragonfire, and the board was now clear on both sides.
(queue cheesy infomercial music)
Cameron slammed an Ivorytusk Fortress off the top of his deck, giving the Ancestor the best of both worlds. Chung drew a few more attackers, but they weren’t getting past the Fortress, and Cameron soon took the game and match to advance to the semifinals.
Maitland Cameron defeats Jason Chung 2-1