Finals: Jason Janasiewicz vs. Ricky Sidher
Sphinx’s Revelation didn’t have a top 8 finish last week in Seattle, but the it bounced back hard here in LA, as Ricky Sidher and Jason Janasiewicz sit down for the finals in an Esper Control mirror match.
Ricky is all business.
Ricky thought for a moment about his keep.
Jason: If it has lands and spells, gotta keep it!
Ricky: It does. But….
He showed three Supreme Verdicts, then mulliganed to six. Jason was happy with his seven, and the throwdown commenced.
Both players played land-go for three turns. Ricky was the first to miss, on his fourth turn. He found a land the following turn, and played the first spell on Jason’s turn 5 end step, using Sphinx’s Revelation for 1 to try and hit his land drops. He found a land, then drew a Divination and cast it. When Jason attempted Sphinx’s Revelation for three on Ricky’s end step, it met a Syncopate.
Jason continued to make land drops and pass. Ricky attempted to make some headway with a Jace, Architect of Thought, which resolved. The -2 revealed Elixir of Immortality against Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict, and Ricky quickly snapped up the Elixir. Jason had his own Jace the following turn, flopping three lands. He netted an Island and a Plains, then dropped his Plains and passed back.
Ricky sacrificed his Jace for another -2, this time taking two lands over a Divination. He then attempted Detention Sphere on the opposing Jace, but Jason protected his planeswalker with a Dissolve. Ricky discarded a Supreme Verdict and passed back.
Jason decided he wanted to go digging as well, and sacrificed his Jace, revealing a lackluster 2 lands, Supreme Verdict. Ricky put the lands in separate piles, and Jason picked up Godless Shrine plus Verdict. He poked with Mutavault, dropping Ricky to 19, and passed back.
Ricky stuck another Jace, Architect of Thought on his own turn, and went for another -2, taking Mutavault over Hallowed Fountain and Supreme Verdict. Having already made his land drop, he passed without a blocker to defend his planeswalker, and Jason took the opportunity to attack Jace with his own Mutavault, killing it off. Jason passed back without further play, and Ricky passed right back.
Jason hoped to see what was up, and attempted a Thoughtseize. Ricky Dissolved it, but Jason Dissolved right back. Thoughtseize revealed Mutavault, Temple of Silence, Hallowed Fountain, Syncopate, Detention Sphere, and Elixir of Immortality. Ricky lost the Syncopate, and Jason went for the kill with an Aetherling, leaving one island untapped.
Aetherling’s first attack was just for four. After combat, Jason had a Sphinx’s Revelation of his own, drawing four cards and passing with three mana untapped. Ricky led off his own turn with a Divination, then attempted Elixir of Immortality. Jason tapped out to Dissolve it, and Ricky showed his own Dissolve.
Jason: Show me that Detention Sphere! I’m playing badly, I know it.
Ricky: I don’t know about all that… I know you’ve got a Revoke Existence in there somewhere.
Ricky did ultimately decide that the opportunity to Detention Sphere an Aetherling was too good to pass up. He tapped low to do so, however, and Jason also got to a Sphere away a traditionally unsphereable win condition, removing Ricky’s Elixir of Immortality. On his turn, Ricky played an Elspeth and made three tokens. Jason had an end-step Sphinx’s Revelation for three, which resolved. Jason found Detention Sphere for Ricky’s Elspeth, then cast an Elspeth of his own, passing with three tokens. This Elspeth didn’t last long either, meeting yet another Detention Sphere from Ricky.
He revealed three lands, and Jason didn’t seem to mind whiffing. Ricky drew and passed, and Jason went for another Elspeth. Ricky continued to find no more gas, and Jason went to work with his two planeswalkers. His Jace downtick found him a Sphinx’s Revelation, which he chose to sit on rather than cast. He did find Revoke Existence to unlock his Aetherling, which was enough to earn a concession from Ricky.
Jason Janasiewicz 1, Ricky Sidher 0
Both players again simply made land drops for the first few turns. One of Ricky’s land drops was a Mutavault, though, and he commenced the beats starting on turn 3. The first actual spell of the game was Sphinx’s Revelation for 2, which brought him back up to 14. Despite the 9-card grip, Jason did not have a sixth land drop, and thought for a bit before pitching Thoughtseize and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.
Mutavault kept on swinging for Ricky, knocking Jason to 12. Ricky passed back, and Jason found a land and played it. Mutavault dropped to Jason to 10. Jason attempted a Thoughtseize on his own turn, but Ricky had the Dissolve. Tapped low, he had no response for Jason’s Elspeth.
Ricky didn’t have a proper answer for Jason’s planeswalker, but he did have an Elspeth of his own, leaving up two mana. When Jason attempted Aetherling, Ricky was quick to counter it with Gainsay. Ricky untapped and gassed up with a Divination, then traded three tokens for three of Jason, and cast a Sphinx’s Revelation for three on his main phase, tapping out. Jason couldn’t punish him, however, simply making three more tokens and passing back.
Ricky went for a Jace, Architect of Thought on his own turn, but Jason said no with a Negate. Ricky then activated Mutavault and swung with it and three tokens at the opposing Elspeth. Jason traded off his own tokens with Ricky’s board, leaving him with a single token in play. Ricky passed back after ticking his own Elspeth up to 7 loyalty and replenishing his solider stock.
Jason had a tough decision to make on his turn. He could ultimate his Elspeth, but he would only have a single token if he did so. He decided to pull the trigger, and had a Detention Sphere for Ricky’s Elspeth afterward. Sitting at a precarious 8 life, he left his 3/3 solider back on defense.
Ricky attempted Revoke Existence on the Detention Sphere, Jason had Dissolve, and Ricky Dissolved right back. Elspeth went to work making tokens again, and Ricky swung with his three soldiers, losing one but knocking Jason to 6.
Jace, Architect of Thought was the play from Jason. It resolved, and he ticked down, seeing Sphinx’s Revelation against Dissolve and Revoke Existence. After some deliberation, he took the Sphinx’s Revelation. He then cast another Detention Sphere, removing Elspeth, and passed back. Ricky was able to kill off Jace with his tokens, and hit Jason down to 5 life. He had no further play, and passed back to Jason.
Jason passed, and went for a Revelation for four on Ricky’s upkeep. Ricky showed Notion Thief, Jason had the Gainsay, and Ricky forced the issue with a Syncopate for 1! Ricky drew four cards off of Jason’s Sphinx’s Revelation, and went to work with his tokens. He knocked Jason back down to 6, then 1 on his next turn. Jason’s Jace met Negate, and Jason packed up his cards.
Jason Janasiewicz 1, Ricky Sidher 1
Jason on the wrong end of a Notion Thief.
Jason led things off early in the decider, casting Thoguhtseize on his second turn. He saw a hand of Azorius Guildgate, Temple of Silence, Plains, Hallowed fountain, 2 Detenion Spheres, and Elspeth Sun’s Champion from Ricky, choosing to snipe the planeswalker. After that, neither player had any action for the next several turns, simply taking their draw steps and developing their manabases.
On Jason’s sixth turn, he began the Mutavault beats. Ricky cast a Divination on his own turn and passed back. Jason went for another Thoughtseize, Ricky attempted to Dissolve it, but Jason’s Syncopate for 1 forced it through. Ricky revealed Jace, Architect of Thought, 2 Detention Spheres, plains, Hallowed Fountain, and Temple of Enlightenment. Jason again removed the planeswalker from Ricky’s hand, and passed the turn back with three mana up.
After another round of land-go, Ricky tried an Elixir of Immortality, but it was countered with Negate. He gave some consideration to jamming the Aetherling in his hand, but decided to wait for a better spot to attempt to resolve it. Jason punished the hesitation with a third Thoughtseize, removing the Aetherling and leaving Ricky with two Detention Spheres and a Revoke Existence. He then Sphinx’s Revelationed for three before passing the turn back. Ricky found no immediate threat on his draw step and passed the turn back to Jason.
Jason’s next play was Jace, Architect of Thought, which gave him a Dissolve. He attacked with Mutavault, dropping Ricky to 14. Ricky attempted to Detention Sphere the Jace, it was Dissolved, but the second Detention Sphere stuck.
Jason passed the turn and went for an upkeep Sphinx’s Revelation for four. Ricky had Notion Thief again, but this time Jason was able to keep it from sticking with a Dissolve, and Jason drew a fresh four cards. Ricky had no play, and Jason attempted Aetherling, Ricky Dissolved, and Jason countered with Negate. Ricky saw the writing on the wall, and asked to see another counter from Jason. When Jason showed Gainsay, Ricky conceded the match.
Jason Janasiewicz 2, Ricky Sidher 1