Robert thought over his keep as AJ waited eventually deciding to hang on. He led with a Swamp and passed to AJ who dropped just a Terramorphic Expanse. A Drowned Catacombs revealed Robert to be on some sort of U/B deck while AJ cracked his Expanse for an Island. Preordain dug him past two clunkers drawing a fresh card and he dropped Seachrome Coast untapped. Robert resolved a Preordain of his own adding Darkslick Shores to the board and sending the turn to AJ.
AJ knew his opponent probably had a Mana Leak based on this sequencing. He cracked Arid Mesa for a Mountain casting another Preordain as he danced around his opponent. He kept both cards and passed the turn. Robert drew and played a land attempting to Spreading Seas the Seachrome Coast. AJ shrugged and it resolved—Robert again passed with a pair of lands untapped. AJ cracked his Arid Mesa to find a Plains and played Sword of Feast and Famine. Robert immediately cracked his Verdant Catacombs for a Swamp and cast Mana Leak which AJ did not even contemplate countering—the Sword had been bait.
Robert decided to cast a Ratchet Bomb on his fifth turn after dropping Mystifying Maze likely just because he could do so while keeping his counter-shields up. AJ attempted Jace the Mind Sculptor with a Spell Pierce at the ready when Robert cast Stoic Rebuttal. He grimaced and AJ began to brainstorm. Another Spreading Seas locked AJ out of white once again but a Jace on the field meant he wasn't complaining. A third Seas turned his Mountain into an Island and Robert passed tapped out except for a single Swamp.
AJ could use this turn to take a massive lead but he lacked the tools to do so. A brainstorm followed by a Preordain only got him a Celestial Colonnade and he sent the turn back to Robert. Robert attempted to trade Jaces casting one with Mana Leak mana available and AJ decided to Leak that attempt—it went without contest. A Creeping Tar Pit joined Robert's lands and he passed. AJ spent the turn brainstorming once again finding a Plains and casting Gideon Jura with a pair of Islands untapped. The +2 would protect Jace and he sent the turn to Robert who ticked his Ratchet Bomb up to 3 counters.
“That's good” he admitted passing the turn rather than swinging in with his manland. AJ cast a Squadron Hawk to find three more shuffling away his previous brainstorm before going into the deck for another three cards. A Scalding Tarn renewed his access to Red and a Stoneforge Mystic found him a second copy of the Sword of Feast and Famine. Robert hadn't quite expected to see two in the main and now he had a lot to handle. AJ ticked Gideon up rather than attack mindful of Doom Blade and passed to his cleanup step discarding a Preordain.
Robert had missed an opportunity to tick Ratchet Bomb by allowing AJ to discard and now he got to stare at Jace for one more turn. Tectonic Edge would help him stave off any potential Celestial Colonnade beatings but the Sword was his newest problem. Mystic dropped it into play but a Doom Blade killed the Hawk before it could connect. AJ moved the Sword to the tapped Mystic and passed the turn after putting Gideon to 12 counters. The Ratchet Bomb could now remove Jace but Gideon was the real problem and Robert decided to try and pop on 5. AJ brainstormed searching up a Hawk he'd tossed back with another one and he activated a Celestial Colonnade.
Robert used Tectonic Edge to kill the Colonnade and Mystifying Maze to ward off the Mystic staying afloat. AJ discarded a Scalding Tarn as the Bomb went to 5 and he passed the turn. Robert drew his card for turn and scooped rather than continue fighting uphill against AJ's massive advantage.
AJ 1 Robert 0
Robert didn't like what he saw in his opening hand for the second game but neither did AJ—they both took a quick mulligan. Robert liked his six but AJ dropped to five in search of a keeper. Robert began with a Tar Pit while AJ had Glacial Fortress. Preordain for Robert dropped both cards on top and a Duress revealed a Lightning Bolt Spell Pierce Sun Titan Mountain and Arid Mesa. AJ lost his Pierce and played land go. Robert Preordained for the goods again passing turn while AJ drew and added a Seachrome Coast to the board.
More land go continued to force AJ to reveal his draws as he played Terramorphic Expanse. Robert was content to make land drops knowing AJ's hand had virtually no action. AJ cast Gideon Jura earning a pensive Stoic Rebuttal from Robert but no follow-through. AJ's plan would be to power through Robert's counters while hoping his opponent never hit a Jace but he needed threats to make that happen. Celestial Colonnade wasn't one and AJ passed with just Sun Titan Bolt and Arid Mesa in his hand. Robert used a Tectonic Edge to kill AJ's Colonnade passing.
AJ tried the Titan but it met a Mana Leak. Inquisition of Kozilek stripped his Lightning Bolt and the Tar Pit began its inexorable march toward victory. AJ drew and dropped Colonnade beginning to try and race the Tar Pit—his Spell Pierce countered Robert's Doom Blade and life was 13 to 16 as Robert began his turn. That quickly became 10-16 as the Tar Pit attacked and AJ could only muster a swing back on his own turn. Robert cast Grave Titan rather than attack AJ shrugging and declining to attack with the Colonnade—he would need it to block.
AJ 1 Robert 1
AJ elected to start keeping his seven as Robert immediately shuffled his back for six. AJ began with Terramorphic Expanse while Robert started off with a Duress revealing Spell Pierce Jace and Stoneforge alongside a trio of lands—he discarded Spell Pierce. AJ searched up an Island with his Expanse casting a Stoneforge Mystic for Sword of Feast and Famine.
Robert had no plays on his own turn passing as AJ did likewise on the third turn. A land and a ship followed for Robert with no Doom Blade forthcoming when AJ attempted to equip. Squadron Hawk met Mana Leak but the blade connected and AJ tried Jace—Spell Pierce shut it down. Robert was under plenty of pressure but he had avoided getting blown out on that turn—a comeback could begin here. He played his fourth land and cast Jace brainstorming in the hopes of finding a solution. He'd at least not have to discard as AJ would almost certainly attack Jace unless he had drawn a Lightning Bolt.
The attack landed and so did Gideon Jura. Robert had no plays on his turn and AJ got aggressive—he activated Colonnade and Gideon fearless of any potential Doom Blades. He knew that Robert would lose most of his grip in any exchange and AJ would untap his resources regardless. Robert had no spells and the attack for 13 dropped him to just 4 life. Staring at the board Robert cast Grave Titan and passed. AJ activated Gideon and moved the Sword over and that was that.
AJ 2 Robert 1