Round 7: Gerard Fabiano vs. Jadine Klomparens
Sitting at a 6-1 record, both players have a chance to put themselves in prime position to make a real run at Top 8ing the Invitational. Will it be Gerard with Esper Control or Jadine with Abzan Megamorph?
Gerard Fabiano summons Ugin to do his bidding!
Gerard won the roll, thus allowing him to play first. Both players keep their opening seven. Gerard leads with the trusty standby of Swamp into first turn Thoughtseize, taking Jadine's Abzan Charm and losing two life in the process. Both player's play Temple of Silences and keep on top. After another round of land-go, Jadine plays a Courser of Kruphix, revealing a Den Protector on top of her deck, in hopes to get the cards that Gerard took with his Thoughtseize on the first turn.
For his turn, Gerard deploys a Perilous Vault, threatening to exile Jadine's board if she overcommits. She does deploy a Morph creature however, in order to keep the pressure on Gerard. He complies with popping his vault, exiling Jadine's Den Protector and Courser of Kruphix. However, Jadine seems fine with it, as she has a second Courser to cast, but still no land to hit. When Jadine goes to attack with her Courser, it meets its Utter End. But Jadine keeps the pressure up with a pair of ferocious Fleecemane Lions.
Gerard starts his turn with a Dig Through Time, looking to recoup some cards after dealing with the majority of Jadine's threats. He passes after playing a Scryland, which let's Jadine attack with both her Lions. However, the next time she tries to send in the pride of Lions, they receive a Bile Blight for their trouble. Jadine tries to counter the Bile Blight's effectiveness by putting a +1/+1 counter on one of them with a Dromoka's Command, but Gerard has a Dissolve for the Command, thus killing the Lions. All Jadine can do is pass her turn.
And with that, Gerard starts throwing haymakers, by first playing Elspeth, Sun's Champion. While Jadine has a Hero's Downfall for Gerard's first Planeswalker, she can't deal with the second one, in the form of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and quickly concedes in face of the powerful Spirit Dragon.
Gerard wins Game 1, leading the match 1-0!
After sideboard, Jadine chooses to play first, but has to mulligan her opening hand down to six cards and leads with a Temple of Malady, keeping her top card. Gerard kept his opening seven and once again has the Turn 1 Thoughtseize. He takes one of Jadine's Fleecemane Lions, the other which she plays on her second turn. Land-go from Gerard; Duress from Jadine takes one of Gerard's two Dig Through Times.
Gerard decides to play his Sorin, Solemn Vistor and makes a 2/2 Vampire token. However, Jadine has a Hero's Downfall for the token, followed by an attack, killing the Gerard's Sorin. And, to top it off, she has a Sorin of her own! She makes a Vampire token, and passes, keeping the pressure on Gerard.
Gerard has another Sorin, Solemn Vistor for his turn, making another 2/2 Vampire token, and passes his turn. Jadine attacks with her Fleecemane Lion and Vampire, killing Gerard's second Sorin. She then draws two cards with her Abzan Charm, plays a land and passes the turn. Gerard just plays a land, and passes the turn back with all his mana untapped, leading to a curious look from Jadine.
Jadine decides to test the waters with an attack by her Fleecemane Lion, which gets through. This is followed by making another Vampire with Sorin and then casting a Morph creature. At the end of her turn, Gerard plays Secure the Wastes, making four 1/1 tokens. So that's why he didn't play anything!
As he is wont to do, Gerard starts his turn with a Dig Through Time. However, he does not attack with the tokens, and simply passes the turn. Jadine, at the end of Gerard's turn, flips over her Morph creature, revealing a Den Protector, and gets back her Duress. She +1's her Sorin and attacks, but Gerard kills her Den Protector with a Hero's Downfall. Jadine takes his last spell in Dissolve, and passes the turn.
Gerard draws for his turn and casts Bile Blight on the Vampire token and kills Sorin with his Secure the Wastes token. He plays his land and passes back. Jadine draws her cards for the turn, plays a land, and attacks, Monstrousing her Lion, and then passes back. Both player's take turns playing lands, Gerard chumping the 4/4 Fleecemane each turn. After the third draw step, Gerard hits a Narset Transcendent, and starts plussing her, hoping to draw his way out of this mess. But Jadine draws better first, playing a Siege Rhino, putting Gerard to one life.
Gerard tries a Dig Through Time, but after looking at the seven cards, scoops them all up and moves to a Game 3.
Jadine wins Game 2, and ties the match 1-1!
Gerard Fabiano summons Ugin to do his bidding!
Gerard is on the play this time, and both players lead with scrylands, keeping their cards on top. Gerard plays another tap land, allowing Jadine to sneak in a Turn 2 Mastery of the Unseen. When she tries to play a Thoughtseize next turn, Gerard has the Dissolve for it. After he untaps, Gerard plays a Sorin, Solemn Visitor and makes a 2/2 Flying Vampire token.
Jadine starts the inevitable clash of Siege Rhinos that this deck is well known for on her fourth turn. Gerard responds by making another 2/2 Flying Vampire token with his Sorin, killing it in the process. But then he plays a second Sorin, this time using its ability to give his tokens +1/+0 and lifelink. He attacks and gains the life right back from the Rhino and putting his Sorin out of reach from the Rhino. Or so he thought. On her turn, Jadine attacks the Sorin and then puts two +1/+1 counters on the Rhino, killing Gerard's second Sorin. She then passes the turn back to Gerard.
Two flying vampires attack for Gerard, trying to put pressure on Jadine's life total, followed by a pass of the turn with no plays. Jadine plays a Courser of Kruphix on her turn, revealing a Den Protector. An attack and a pass. Gerard has had enough, as after his attack with his tokens, he kills all creatures with an End Hostilities, and passes the turn.
Jadine plays the Den Protector, flips it over, and gets back a Thoughtseize, taking a Dig Through Time from Gerard. Gerard shrugs for his turn, and then plays an Elspeth, Sun's Champion, makes three guys and passes the turn. Elspeth meets a Hero's Downfall, followed by an attack by the Den Protector and a Siege Rhino. Jadine is trying to put Gerard on the ropes. However, for Gerard's turn, he plays a land and passes back. Jadine cautiously attacks into Gerard's mana, but he simply takes the damage. She passes the turn, but at the end of her turn, Gerard casts Secure the Wastes, making five 1/1 tokens.
"Well, I can play around a Rhino, or not. Can I play around a Rhino? …I guess not."
And with that, Gerard kills Jadine's Siege Rhino, attacks with his team and plays a Nyx Fleece Ram. If Jadine topdecks a Siege Rhino, she will attack Gerard down to one with the Megamorphed Den Protector, and kill him with Siege Rhino.
Jadine draws for her turn, and attacks with Den Protector…and passes. Gerard hesitantly untaps, and attacks. Jadine makes a Manifest creature with her Mastery of the Unseen but it's not an actual creature, so she can't flip it over and gain life. With that, she extends her hand in defeat.
Gerard wins Game 3 and the match, 2-1!