Masters Round 4 Feature Match: William Jensen vs. Trey Van Cleave
by Dave Meeson
This is the semi-finals for the first Master Series, and both William "Baby Huey" Jensen and Trey Van Cleave are well-known Pro Tour veterans with multiple Top 8's at the Pro level. Both competitors are expected to do well at the Masters level in the future.
Huey won the die roll and elected to go first. Both players kept their opening hands. Huey started out with a Tropical Island, and Trey played a Tundra. Huey attempted to cast a Survival of the Fittest on turn two, but Trey countered it with a Daze, returning the Tundra to his hand. However, this slowed his mana development down, as he was forced to replay the Tundra on his second turn. Huey cast a Wall of Roots, then displayed his hand (which contained Tradewind Rider, Deranged Hermit, and Impulse) to pay the alternate cost for Land Grant, fetching a Tropical Island. Trey played his second land, a Gemstone Mine, and cast a Crystalline Sliver. Huey Impulsed during Trey's end step, then cast his Tradewind Rider on his own fourth turn. Trey attempted to pick up the pace, playing an Acidic Sliver, and had a Force of Will when Huey tried to play his Deranged Hermit (pitching a Hibernation Sliver). Huey attacked with his Tradewind Rider out of spite, causing Trey to remark that he had playtested against the deck fifty times, but had never seen a Tradewind attack. Trey responded to the aggression with an attack of his own, and Huey blocked one of the incoming Slivers with his Wall of Roots. Huey improved his mana base with a Birds of Paradise, then cast Land Grant to search out a Tropical Island. Trey again attacked with both of his Slivers, and attempted to add another Crystalline Sliver to his army, which Huey countered with a hard-cast Force of Will. Huey had just drawn and played a second Tradewind Rider when a spectator called for the judge's attention. Huey had used his new Birds of Paradise to cast the Force of Will, and the entire game had to back up to the casting of the second Crystalline Sliver. Head Judge Dan Gray's decision was to rewind the game, leaving Huey with knowledge of his top card, but Huey did not counter the Crystalline Sliver this time (he could have bounced the Tradewind, then pitched it to the Force of Will). Huey again drew the second Tradewind Rider and attempted to cast it, but Trey countered it with a Force of Will of his own, pitching another Force of Will. Trey attacked again with all three Slivers, getting two of them through and taking Huey to 12. Huey drew and passed, and Trey attacked again, dealing two to Huey after he blocked with both the Wall and the Tradewind Rider. Huey again passed, and Trey again came in with all three Slivers. Huey attempted to muster some defense with a Birds of Paradise, but Trey continued to press his attack, attempting to bring in a Winged Sliver to send his army into the air. Huey countered the Winged Sliver with a hard-cast Force of Will, and Trey came in with all three Slivers. Huey blocked all three, and Trey used the Acidic Sliver's ability to pitch his extra Crystalline Sliver at the Tradewind Rider, killing it. Huey was able to block one of the incoming Slivers with his Birds of Paradise, then bounced it back to his hand to save it. He recast the Birds and passed the turn, and again Trey tried to go into the air with a Winged Sliver, but again Huey has a hard-cast Force of Will for it. Huey was able to throw speedbumps in front of Trey's incoming Slivers, and finally stalled the attack with an Uktabi Orangutan. Trey tried to again go up by a creature, casting Crystalline Sliver, but lost the counter battle when his Force of Will was Mana Leak'ed. Both players drew and passed for four straight turns, and Huey had drawn another Counterspell by the time Trey found another Sliver, this one a Hibernation Sliver. Another four turns passed with only land being played, and Huey top-decked a Morphling on turn 24. Trey had no counter, and the Morphling came into play, shifting the balance of the board. Trey again played land, and Huey called on the power of Matt Linde's hat to topdeck a Spike Weaver, sealing the game. He attacked with the Morphling for five, then seven, and Trey conceded.
During sideboarding, Trey commented that after sideboarding, he felt his chances in the second and third games were about 75-25 in his favor.
Trey opted to play first, but Huey made the first move, casting a Wall of Roots and a Birds of Paradise on his second turn. Trey cast a Crystalline Sliver on his third turn, and had an Annul to counter the first of Huey's third-turn Survivals. The second one resolved, however, and Huey immediately pitched a Wall of Roots to search out Squee, Goblin Nabob. Trey cast a second Crystalline Sliver and attacked for two, and Huey sent Squee to search a Deranged Hermit during Trey's end step. Squee returned and found a Quirion Ranger for Huey, and he cast both of his searched-out creatures. Trey played his third Crystalline Sliver. Huey elected to pay the echo on his Hermit, and cycled the recurring Squee into a Birds of Paradise. Huey attacked with two of his Squirrel tokens, but Trey removed the pumping Hermit with a Swords to Plowshares, and was able to kill both of the attacking tokens. Huey played out the Birds of Paradise. Trey attacked with all three of his Slivers, and Huey used his remaining two Squirrels to block and kill one of them. Trey Erased the Survival of the Fittest, but it had done its damage already, and Huey used it one last time to cycle a Tradewind Rider into his Morphling. Huey went for the win and played his Morphling, and had a Force of Will to counter Trey's Pyroblast. Trey pumped up his Slivers with a Muscle Sliver using a new City of Brass, but didn't attack. Huey cast two Land Grants to search out Tropical Islands for his Morphling, and attacked with the Morphling for four, taking Trey to 15. Trey cast a second Muscle Sliver, and attacked with both Crystalline Slivers, getting one through to take Huey to 10. Huey again top-decked his Spike Weaver on his eighth turn, and played it, and Trey had no counter for it. Trey attacked with his Crystalline Slivers, forcing Huey to use a Spike Weaver counter. Huey bounced Trey's Volcanic Island at the end of his turn, and Trey responded by removing the Spike Weaver from play using Swords to Plowshares. The game was almost balanced, with Huey's Morphling staring down four Slivers. Huey drew a Brainstorm and used it, drawing into a Masticore, and he cast it and secured his victory. Trey passed his turn, and Huey used the Squee hiding in his graveyard to pay the upkeep cost of the Masticore. Huey sent the Morphling in again, and Trey conceded the match.
William Jensen wins, 2-0