Round 7: Lukas Blohan (Blue-Red Twin) vs. (15) Jacob Wilson (Abzan)

Posted in Event Coverage on February 7, 2015

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Jacon Wilson was no stranger to the Pro Tour or Modern. With plenty of Grand Prix success and a Pro Tour Born of the Gods finals appearance last year, Wilson handily earned his slot as the fifteenth-ranked player, Platinum Pro, and seat at the 2014 World Championship. While his Pro Tour finals appearance was playing the now obsolete Melira Pod deck, Wilson's skill was apparent with other decks: Jund in his victory at Grand Prix Chicago in 2012 (also Modern) as well as part of his team victory in Nashville a few months ago. With only one loss on the day he was on track for another Pro Tour Top 8.

Lukas Blohan was looking for his second Pro Tour Top 8 too. After making the Sunday cut for Pro Tour Dark Ascension, Blohan fell off the qualification train. Adding his third Grand Prix Top 8 in Stockholm last year, Blohan found himself back on the big stage. Matching Wilson's solitary loss, he had earned the right to return for Day Two.

Lukas Blohan was looking for Blue-Red Twin to keep him alive for another Pro Tour qualification. Seventeenth-ranked Jacob Wilson was just looking to top last year's 2nd-place Pro Tour performance.

Finding a win would keep Blohan on the path to Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir and so much more.

The Decks

Abzan, the most popular choice by players to play this weekend including Wilson himself, wins similarly to the Jund decks of old: playing Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek to pick apart opponents' hands, using efficient creatures such as Tarmogoyf, "burning" players down with Siege Rhino, and swarming the battlefield with self-replacing creatures or tokens.

Alright, perhaps it isn't quite the same as the old Jund decks but the powerful mix of disruption, solid creatures, and direct damage was enough to create the biggest bandwagon deck of choice for Pro Tour competitors here.

Blohan, however, went against the push of the metagame current with one of Modern's original powerhouse players: Blue-Red Twin. Built on using Pestermite, Deceiver Exarch, Splinter Twin, and plenty of ways to filter through cards, it sets up an ultimate turn of a two-card combo to defeat an opponent with as many as (nearly) infinity Faeries. With countermagic like Spell Snare, Remand, and Cryptic Command, it can hold off many opponents long enough to piece everything together.

The Games

Islands and Serum Visions were Blohan's early plays as the Czech looked to craft his game-winning combo. However, Wilson's second-turn Loxodon Smiter forced an awkward Remand from Blohan: using the counterspell against the uncounterable to just draw a card.

Blohan cast Snapcaster Mage to flash back Serum Visions, putting both on the bottom and digging for what he wanted. Wilt-Leaf Liege joined Wilson's team, and the next attack put Blohan at 7 life. Voice of Resurgence tried to join Wilson's party after combat, though Vendilion Clique in response cleared out Wilson's Path to Exile before Spell Snare stopped the Elemental.

Copies of Cryptic Command brought Blohan his next turns, each time tapping Wilson's army down before they could attack, but he never found the pieces he needed to win. He decided to try again in the second game.

"Somebody told me the wrong deck for what you were playing," Wilson said as they pawed through their sideboards. "I mulliganed a good hand."

Whether that was a boast or not, Blohan didn't have a response either way.

Blohan's focus was stone cold in his match.

The second game featured Wilson leading the plays again, with Birds of Paradise on turn one. Blohan wanted nothing to do with that and battered the Birds down with Lightning Bolt, but Wilson just replaced them. Blohan peeked at Wilson's hand with Vendilion Clique: Siege Rhino was his choice to send away, leaving behind Qasali Pridemage and Kitchen Finks.

The Clique began to race for Blohan, who protected his side by using Cryptic Command to counter Qasali Pridemage. Serum Visions kept both cards on top of Blohan's library, so Wilson responded with Thoughtseize on his turn after attacking. Blohan responded back with Snapcaster Mage for Lightning Bolt to finish off the Vendilion-blocked Loxodon Smiter.

Wilson chose to put Cryptic Command into the graveyard, and the Splinter Twin left behind ended up on Snapcaster Mage. It meant both Cryptic Commands, and any other spells, in the graveyard would come back to haunt Wilson. Lingering Souls cast and flashed back all at once forced Blohan to tie up his mana doing just that.

Wilson, however, got to use those turns having his creatures tapped down by pumping his army with Gavony Township. When it looked like Blohan had run out of copies of Cryptic Command, he cast one from his hand. With only six lands in play, Blohan needed to find a seventh to try for his combo all in one turn...assuming, of course, he could assemble it too. Exhausting his last Cryptic Command from his graveyard, after casting the spell a total of five times off of three cards to keep Wilson's army in check, Blohan had run out of time.

Wilson keeps the pressure coming.

Blohan used Vendilion Clique on himself to cycle away Dispel and dig one card deeper, but it wasn't the one he needed. On Wilson's next attack, Blohan extended his hand.

"That was very dumb of me not to take Splinter Twin," Wilson said. "I just wasn't thinking." The aura had done its work keeping Wilson in check, thanks to Cryptic Commands, and had Blohan drawn his combo along the way it could have been onto a third game.

"Yeah." It was a pithy response from Blohan. Thanks to the cards falling his way, Wilson had escaped with the win.

Blohon 0 – Wilson 2

Jacob Wilson - Pro Tour Fate Reforged

Download Arena Decklist

Lukas Blohan - Pro Tour Fate Reforged

Download Arena Decklist

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