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, King of Oreskos, which gave Kevin a good target for his Sarkhan, 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, 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