Round 14 Feature Match: Jason Chung vs. Don van Ravenzwaaij

Posted in GRAND PRIX SINGAPORE 2015 on June 28, 2015

By Jun-Wei Hew

Jason Chung is on a bit of a hot streak. Coming off a Top 16 performance at Pro Tour Fate Reforged, he followed that up with a stellar Top 8 appearance at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir, becoming the first player from New Zealand to ever do so.

It also catapulted his standings in the Pro Tour Points race. His performance so far will lock up Platinum, but he has his eyes on the last Asia-Pacific slot for the Magic Players Championship. Today, he brought the blazingly fast Grishoalbrand deck to the table.

His opponent, Don van Ravenzwaaij is originally from the Netherlands, but now lives in Sydney, where he quickly picked up a Top 16 finish at Grand Prix Sydney 2013. He is armed with Amulet Bloom and faces a tough matchup as Chung's Grishoalbrand is just faster.

The winner gets to take an intentional draw the next round into the Top 8.

Don van Ravenzwaaij

Game 1

"Just to let you know, I've only lost one die roll so far," Chung warned, "but it might soon be two..."

"...okay, still one."

Chung dug with a Faithless Looting, but did not find a Griselbrand to discard. He followed that up the next turn with a Manamorphose into Night's Whisper in a bid to find Griselbrand, but still no dice. Van Ravenzwaaij, on the other hand, opened with Serum Visions into Summer Bloom, accelerating to five mana thanks to two bounce lands.

With a possible Hive Mind, Van Ravenzwaaij threatened the kill on his next turn, but Chung could only cast another Faithless Looting, drawing into a second Night's Whisper. Fortunately for him, Van Ravenzwaaij played a Serum Visions to indicate the kill was not in hand, before ending his turn with an Azusa, Lost but Seeking.

Between Chung's last Night's Whisper and his draw step, he now finally found a Griselbrand. Powered out through a pair of Desperate Rituals and a Through the Breach, Griselbrand hit Van Ravenzwaaij before Chung drew his deck with Nourishing Shoals.

As it turns out, Van Ravenzwaaij's Serum Visions had indeed set up the Turn 4 kill the next turn, but Chung's kill was faster.

Chung 1 - Van Ravenzwaaij 0

Game 2

Van Ravenzwaaij opened the second game with an Ancient Stirrings in a bid to find an Amulet, but found only a Gemstone Mine.

Jason Chung

Chung, on the other hand, drew his card for the turn, skipped his land drop, and discarded Griselbrand, bemoaning "oh, I'm so bad, I kept a no-lander" in jest. Van Ravenzwaaij could see the end in sight, but could only play a Selesnya Sanctuary.

Sure enough, a Swamp and Simian Spirit Guide later, Goryo's Vengeance brought Griselbrand back from the graveyard into play. The writing was on the wall when the first Nourishing Shoal was cast.

As it turns out, Van Ravenzwaaij had the Turn 3 kill the following turn, pretty good for Amulet Bloom, but alas, as shown, Grishoalbrand does occasionally kill faster.

Chung 2 - Van Ravenzwaaij 0