Just because you’re sitting comfortably at 8-0 is no excuse to take your foot off the gas. A 9-0 record has been proven to lead to a more restful sleep, and in turn, a better Day 2 performance. It’s science.
Pascal Maynard has been crushing GPs lately. He’s notched three Top 8’s in as many attempts, and at Mexico City last month he took home the gold. This weekend he’s battling with Splinter Twin.
Opposite him is GP regular Mark Jacobson, still looking for his first Top 8. He’s sleeved up the darling of Pro Tour Fate Reforged, Infect.
Jacobson was first on the board with Glistener Elf, and Maynard immediately Bolted it. Blight Stalker fell to Spell Snare, and then Maynard Cliqued during Jacobson’s draw step. He saw Mutagenic Growth, Might of Old Krosa, Vines of Vastwood, Sylvan Scrying and lands. He took the Scrying. Jacobson put out a Noble Hierarch and passed it back.
Maynard was content to swing overhead and sit on his mana. Jacobson offered up a Spellskite, and it resolved. Maynard hit for another three. Jacobson fetched out a Dryad Arbor to get some traditional damage in, but found a very welcome Inkmoth Nexus waiting for him on his draw step. Maynard hit for another three and passed back. Jacobson animated his Nexus and gave it the Might of Old Krosa. When he went to attack, Maynard tapped three and summoned Pestermite, trying to tap the Nexus. Unfortunately for him, Jacboson was ready with Apostle's Blessing. He attacked. Exalted made the Nexus a 6/6, and when it went unblocked, Jacobson went for the kill with Vines of Vastwood. Maynard had nothing, and scooped.
Jacobson 1 – Maynard 0
An early Grim Lavamancer posed a problem for Jacobson, but he resolved a turn-two Spellskite to keep his other creatures safe. Maynard put him under the Blood Moon on his third turn, leaving him with just a single forest for non-red mana. Jacobson brought out a second Spellskite. Maynard passed his next turn, then summoned Deciever Exarch, trying to tap down Jacobson’s forest. Jacobson paid two life to redirect it to Spellskite. He needed that green mana for Sylvan Scrying, which served up a second forest, and in turn, Noble Hierarch.
The double Spellskite situation hooked Maynard here. He swung in for one with his Exarch, and Spellskite Blocked. Then he activated Grim Lavamancer on the other Spellskite, and Jacobson redirected it to the already damaged one. That meant that Maynard’s next play of Lightning Bolt could be sent back to the unhurt Spellskite and Jacobson kept both. Maynard knew he’d bungled as soon as he cast the Bolt.
A turn later he got out a Vendilion Clique, but Jacobson paid four life to Dismember it. Maynard went to Dispel, but then realized he was out of blue mana thanks to Blood Moon, and pointed out his error to Jacobson. Maynard went to work on Jacobson’s life total, first Lavamancering him, then untapping and getting a replay of Lightning Bolt with the help of Snapcaster Mage.
However, Jacobson was also getting feisty. He hit with one of his Spellskites and boosted it with Groundswell, leaving Maynard at ten. Maynard Lavamancered him again, and this time Jacobson responded with Nature’s Claim on his own Spellskite to gain four life. The exchange left him at five life. Next he brought down Wild Defiance and attacked with Spellskite. Maynard blocked with his Exarch and lost it to Jacobson’s Vines of Vastwood.
Maynard thought hard here, trying to suss out the race. He paid four life to Dismember the Noble Hierarch. Jacobson paid two life to redirect to Spellskite. Grim Lavamancer finished it off, and Maynard passed. Jacobson swung in with his Hierarch. Maynard had no fear and let it through. He fell to five. He returned fire with his Lavamancer, leaving Jacobson at a perilous two life. He just needed two more cards in his graveyard.
One was the Snapcaster, who dove in front of the attacking Hierarch on the following turn after Jacobson added a second Wild Defiance. Vines of Vastwood saved it. Maynard drew, and passed. With a shake of his head he pushed his poor Lavamancer in the path of the incoming Hierarch. His deck mocked him by giving him another Snapcaster a turn too late. He gamely pushed it in front of the Hierarch, and again Jacobson was ready with Vines. Then another Snapcaster, and this time the two creatures traded.
They passed two quick turns with neither player drawing a relevant card, and then Jacobson found another Hierarch. The following turn it was free to attack, and Jacobson played the lethal Vines of Vastwood. All Maynard could do was Remand, draw, then drop his hand on the table in disgust. He had drawn all the wrong cards.
Mark Jacobson defeats Pascal Maynard 2-0