ROUND 8 FEATURE MATCH

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

By Corbin Hosler

It doesn't get much better than this: Hall of famer, five-time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor and currently fourth-ranked William "Huey" Jensen against the reigning 2013 World Champion Shahar Shenhar. The consummate pro against one of the brightest young stars in a match with huge implications heading into Day Two.

Just another round at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir.

Surprising no one, Jensen showed up the tournament with a classic take on control, with just a pair of Pearl Lake Ancient to finish out the game after using his complete suite of removal and counterspells to run his opponent out of threats. It's an archetype new to this Standard format, but one that is well-represented around the room today. He entered the round 5-2 overall, while Shenhar was 6-1 heading into the match.

Two titans representing different eras of the Pro Tour fought to secure a better position going into the second day of competition.


Shenhar played around with several decks in testing, from trying his own Control builds to playing around with combo, but in the end, he knew he would eventually settle on Jeskai Aggro.

"It just fits my play-style," he explained. "It would be hard for me to not play this deck."

The Games

There have been many exciting and flashy cards played this weekend. We've seen the expected Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix, sure, but we've also seen Ensoul Artifact, Ghostfire Blade, and See the Unwritten. Heck, we've even seen Phenax, God of Deception today.

Those are unexpected and exciting, the kind of cards that draw spectators around the table.

Radiant Fountain is none of those. But it's a key part of Jensen's deck, as he demonstrated in Game 1.

Facing off in the first game, the contest proceeded exactly as two games between two decks with stockpiles of non-creature spells typically do: slowly. Shenhar would draw a card, play a land, and pass the turn. Jensen would do the same, and at the end of the turn Shenhar would point a burn spell at him. Twice, Shenhar tried to attack with a creature, and twice Jensen killed it.

Shenhar's Jeskai Aggro deck suits his style, and in this match, it suited his ability to slowly tear down his opponent.


After a few minutes of this both players had plenty of lands, Jensen had discarded to hand size after a pair of Dig Through Time, and Shenhar was slowly wearing down Jensen's life and lining him up for a finishing blow.

Then came Radiant Fountain. Along with Dismal Backwater, the innocuous Magic 2015 land was crucial to Jensen's survival. It bought him another turn to find the counterspells to stop a pair of lethal burn spells from Shenhar, and it wasn't done yet.

Jensen, representing the opposite end of the speed spectrum in his match against a deck full of burn.


Down to 5 life, Jensen deployed Pearl Lake Ancient. But he wasn't interested in attacking. He used the final ability on the Leviathan to return the Radiant Fountain to his hand so that he could replay it and gain another critical two life. With the Pearl Lake Ancient-Radiant Fountain "combo," he seemed in a good spot to outlast Shenhar's burn.

The only problem is that the play left Jensen low on available mana, and that meant he was unable to handle the Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker Shenhar found on the next turn. It hit Jensen for four damage in the only attack step of the game, and a Lightning Strike finished it off.

Jensen 0 – Shenhar 1

Game 2 started off similarly to Game 1, but with one key difference. When Jensen passed on his third turn, he did so with only two lands in play. The meant he was unable to answer the Goblin Rabblemaster Shenhar landed, and the goblin army went the distance as Jensen failed to find a third land.

Jensen 0 – Shenhar 2

Shahar Shenhar - Jeskai Aggro

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William Jensen - Blue-Black Control

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