ROUND 3 FEATURE MATCH

Posted in PRO TOUR KHANS OF TARKIR - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 11, 2014

By Marc Calderaro

Hall of Famer, No. 17 Patrick Chapin is no stranger to the Pro Tour, and no stranger to Pro Tours in Hawaii for sure. The decorated veteran comes to his formats prepared and unfazed. Chapin's deck, full of Temur beatdown, has a bevy of morphs backed by green pump spells to get them through. Not to mention some very nice burn spells—from the common Arrow Storm, to the rare Crater's Claws.

Though Jadine Klomparens is a Pro Tour rookie, she has made a large splash on the tournament scene and we've been watching her star rise as of late. She finished in the finals of Grand Prix Chicago, and in the first tournament showcasing Khans of Tarkir, a StarCityGames.com Open Series Standard event, she debuted to the masses the Jeskai deck that has been a huge buzz in this tournament hall.

Klomparens' draft deck was a blue-black controlling beast. Let's just say the combined toughness of her deck was much higher than its power. It could bounce creatures seemingly indefinitely as it chiseled way with unblockable and flying creatures. All the while, she would draw and discard to fuel large spells like Treasure Cruise and Necropolis Fiend.

The seventeenth-ranked player Patrick Chapin and rising star Jadine Klomparens faced off for the opportunity to enter Day One's Constructed rounds unscathed.

Both players are currently 2-0, and are vying for the coveted "Going-into-Constructed-Rounds-Undefeated" title. Draft often plays the spoiler in competitors' Top 8 hopes, and walking out of the first pod unscathed is crucial, for not just the record, but for the weekend's morale.

The Games

Chapin started the party with the seemingly standard two dual lands to go to 22 life. He represented his Temur colors and cast his first morph. Klomparens showed only two colors of mana, blue and black, when casting her morph but already had a Disavowed Ancestor up to a 1/5 thanks to outlast. The control machine was already working.

Klomparens followed up with a Despise to reveal no more creatures after Chapin had cast his morph and Alpine Grizzly. His hand was Crippling Chill, Dragonscale Boon, and Forest.

Chapin played the aggressor—especially after the Boon made his grizzly into a Craw Wurm—but Klomparens set that plan back with a simple Force Away. Her Master of the Hidden Way, now unmorphed, slowly pecked at Chapin's above-average life total. Though she'd stunted Chapin's initial assault, Klomparens was stuck on four land. And Chapin's second assault would soon come.

And it did. Chapin used his opponent's setback to knock Klomparens down a few pegs, develop his board, drop her to 11, and took out some of her blockers. He passed back to Klomparens up on life, and creatures (which, after trades included a face-up Woolly Loxodon and a Bloodfire Expert).

Chapin applies some pressure on his mana-starved opponent with some big threats.

Despite the land problem, Klomparens fought valiantly. Using a second Force Away to bouncing the Loxodon, then a Cancel to counter the next morph (which was not, to Klomparens' dismay, the Loxodon). But Chapin snuck the elephant back into play later, and even had a Howling Mandrills for one mana. Klomparens was at 8, and faced down 10 damage on the board, but still had to Bitter Revelation to sink further (#blueblackcontrollife). She found a Sultai Scavenger to join a Scion of Glaciers and tried to turtle up. The Waterwhiel in her hand showed that she could survive for at least another few turns.

Even though Klomparens was able to profitably block the Expert, and made Chapin waste a ton of mana by casting and flipping the green elephant three times, the Hall of Famer had had the upper hand since Klomparens stalled on land. She had been able to delay the inevitable, but it eventually happened. You know, 'cause it's inevitable.

Chapin 1 – Klomparens 0

Klomparens opened this game with a Despise that revealed Chapin's hand to contain just one creature—Arc Lightning, Crater's Claw, Glacial Stalker and land. Chapin was able to top-deck a Temur Charger to represent some initial damage, but he would be light on board presence for a while.

Klomparens, like a control player should, didn't use this to get any damage through. But she hit each land drop, held the ground with Scion of Glaciers, and sculpted her hand with Bitter Revelation (echoing some of last game's spells, just this time not casting them while on the back foot). A Rotting Mastodon and a Dragon's Eye Savants ensured that nothing with a power would impact her life total. It was just the impending double fireball she had to worry about.

Chapin was doing damage calculation in his head and pointed an Arc Lightning at Klomparens' face-down Savants. Klomparens was tapped out, so it seemed safe. But all it took to blank the all-star removal was Klomparens revealing a blue card. It was 17-11 in Chapin's favor. Klomparens was far ahead, but she was moving slowly.

Klomparens finally cast something that could deal real damage with Necropolis Fiend, and tried to bait out the X spell, but Chapin refused to cast his Crater's Claw just yet. He knew one way or another, it would be his best route to victory.

Chapin sunk to 10 on Klomparens' attack, and used a Dragonscale Boon to grow Temur Charger, his lone creature cast this game, up to "fighting weight." It was a 5/3, and turned on all of Chapin's ferocious spells (in this game that just meant Crater's Claws). If only he had pointed the Arc Lightning at Klomparen's face, the creature could finish the job itself, but now it was up to the Claws.

Chapin's back was against the wall. He fired off the Crater's Claws for just enough to kill Klomparens out of nowhere. But then Klomparens revealed her Waterwhirl. She cast it and returned Chapin's only Ferocious creature to his hand. Instead of getting hit for 12 and dying, she got hit for less than that and lived.

Klomparens crafts a board and play that could defeat even a lethal Crater's Claws.

Since Chapin had tapped out for the Claws, he couldn't recast anything and he was left defenseless. Klomparens stomped all over Chapin's remaining 10 life and evened up the match.

Chapin 1 – Klomparens 1

"The Pro Tour is awesome. I'm three rounds in, and I think all of them fall into my Top 50 matches. They're all so interesting." Klomparens remarked on her first Pro Tour appearance. I mean, if I were 2-0 and one game away from beating a Hall of Famer and Pro Tour champion, I think I'd be happy too.

Chapin politely replied, but his business face was on now. It's business time.

In the last game, Klomparens opened up exactly how Blue-Black Control wants to, with an 0/6 and a Rakshasa's Secret to try and outlast Chapin, even without Abzan. She cycled a Crippling Chill, and thanks to the milling from the discard spell, she was able to power out a fifth-turn Necropolis Fiend. She had only one card left in her graveyard, but the 5/5 flying gave Chapin pause. He rubbed his nascent beard before casting a Crippling Chill himself to delay its board-swinging effects. He sent in his two creatures—a Temur Charger and a morph—and took Klomparens to 14. Chapin sat at a healthy 21.

Chapin had both Arc Lighting and Crater's Claws in his grip, but Klomparens knew what was up this game, and would have at least the opportunity to play around the big burn spell. Or try to play around it, as the case often was with that card. Chapin's lone morph turned out to be a Snowhorn Rider during attackers, and trampled Klomparens down to 10.

Chapin had exactly enough land on the board, six, to burn Klomparens' face for the requisite ten damage. But he was wary. He repeatedly asked the amount of cards in Klomparens' hand (two), and tossed his own grip back and for in his hand. Klomparens' had plenty of mana open, and if he went for it and got blown out again, it would be lights out. So he smartly Arc Lightning'ed Klomparens and passed the turn. If he found a couple more mana (and he had plenty of turns to find them) he could kill Klomparens with or without a creature in play to activate ferocious.

Klomparens was onto this plan, so instead of saving her bounce spells to respond to the Claws, she kept using them at the end of Chapin's turn to allow her maximum attack damage with minimal exposure. She had worn Chapin down to 12 and began sighing, trying to determine if there was anything she could do. She cast Treasure Cruise, hoping to find the almighty Cancel, but it hadn't yet turned up. Chapin just needed one more mana now. He had seven lands, and Klomparens was at 7 life. Additionally, he had now drawn the Arrow Storm, so at the most, Klomparens had two turns left alive—and Chapin was much left afraid of single Cancel. But it was now 6-7, and this was likely Chapin's last turn too.

He didn't draw the seventh land. So now only a fully powered Crater's Claws would finish it. If Klomparens had the bounce spell for Chapin's 5/5 Snowhorn Rider, it would be over. He looked through Klomparens' graveyard again. He knew the only line would be to play as if Klomparens didn't have the Force Away.

As he cast the Crater's Claws, Klomparens said, "Good decision." She smiled, packed up her cards and extended her hand.

The mighty X spell had done it.

Pat Chapin 2 – 1 Jadine Klomparens

It was the veteran who would move to Standard pristine. But it's going to be a long weekend, and Klomparens can do a lot with a 2-1.

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