Finals: Kevin Jones vs. Jon Goss
The green decks may have been a dominant presence in the Swiss this weekend, but the finals would be a Forest-free affair, as Jon Goss’s Mardu Midrange and Kevin Jones’s Jeskai Tempo would duke it out for the first Standard Open trophy of the season.
Kevin lays it down for a Thoughtseize.
Seeker+of+the+Way kicked things off for Kevin, and a turn 2 Thoughtseize from Jon saw what else he was working with: Magma+Jet, Jeskai+Charm, Shivan+Reef, and a pair of Mantis+Riders. One rider hit the bin, but the other immediately entered play, and Kevin bashed John down to 13. Jon stemmed the bleeding with a Lightning+Strike on the Mantis+Rider, and developed his mana with a Temple+of+Malice.
An upkeep Magma+Jet from Kevin dropped Jon to 11, and a fourth land allowed another Magma+Jet in his main phase, dropping him to 9. The Seeker+of+the+Way, now a 4/4, came swinging and Jon was down to just 5 life. Jon simply played his fourth land and passed, and when the Seeker came knocking again, he used Crackling+Doom to keep the board clear. Kevin passed, but in the wake of two Magma+Jets Jon had to suspect that the top of Kevin’s deck contained some action.
His suspicions proved correct. He shrugged and plopped a Goblin+Rabblemaster into play, but end step Jeskai+Charm followed by Sarkhan, the Dragonmaster off the top gave Kevin the reach he needed to finish things off.
Kevin Jones 1, Jon Goss 0
Jon doesn't like the look of these Steam+Augury piles.
This time it was Jon with the first play of the game, a turn 3 Goblin+Rabblemaster. It did no work whatsoever, however, as Kevin had a Lightning+Strike at the ready to shoot it down. Kevin’s turn 3 threat was Mantis+Rider, and it too fell to a Lightning+Strike, although it did get in one swing for 3 before dying. Both players were content to develop their mana bases for the next few turns, as they sat with a grips full of reactive cards and removal.
Jon broke the silence with a Brimaz%2C+King+of+Oreskos, which gave Kevin a good target for his Sarkhan%2C+the+Dragonspeaker on his own turn. It met a Hero’s Downfall before it got a chance to attack, however, and it was back to the staring game.
An end step Steam+Augury from Kevin revealed Jeskai+Charm, Disdainful stroke vs. Banishing+Light, Temple+of+Epiphany, and Mountain. After a moment in the tank, Jon gave Kevin the pile with the lands. He untapped and played Narset%2C+Enlightened+Master, leaving two mana open. When Jon attempted a Crackling+Doom on his own turn, Kevin was ready with a Negate.
The Narset attacked, and Kevin’s deck went wild, flipping up Stoke+the+Flames and Lightning+Strike. Kevin showed a Jeskai+Charm and another Stoke+the+Flames from his hand, and the game was suddenly over in a flurry of fire and lightning.
Kevin Jones 2, Jon Goss 0