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Round 4 Feature Match: William Jensen vs. Eugene Harvey

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William Jensen The letter T!hese two were quick with the banter, starting their match-up with smiles and conversation.

"My deck is so awful!" - William Jensen

"I think everyone's is…" - Eugene Harvey

"That's good, because mine is just … beyond bad." - William Jensen

I wouldn't go feeling too bad for these players just yet. They have the advantage of being two of the game's best. If you're looking for a showcase of American talent, look no further.

You don't get titles like "The Best Player Never to Win a Pro Tour" and "One of the Five Best Drafters in the World" without being something special. Of course, William Jensen finally shed the former when he and teammates Matt Linde and Brock Parker won Pro Tour Boston as "The Brockafellars". That title would probably have passed to Eugene Harvey if not for French superstar Gabriel Nassif, who posted back-to-back constructed Pro Tour finals.

Jensen recently showed up in the Top 8 of Chicago 2003 where he fell to eventual Champion Kai Budde in the quarterfinals. Though his interest in the game is waning, if he takes an active hand, he'll probably see Sunday again. His involvement is finally catching up to the face he puts on at the game table: Complete unconcern.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Eugene Harvey. Where Jensen is laid-back, Harvey is deliberate, the picture of total concentration. It's that keen focus that has been his hallmark. He showed it when he came out of nowhere to make the US National team in 2001, and then the following year when he was crowned US Champion. He's also taken home three Grand Prix Top 8's and three Pro Tour Sundays. No wonder he's the go-to guy when people suggest that American Pro Magic is in decline.

Game 1

Jensen won the flip and chose to play. His advantage increased when Harvey had to mulligan his first hand. His next six were better, enabling him to bust out a Copper Myr on the second turn and then follow it up with Arcane Spyglass while Jensen just played out a Fireshrieker.

Jensen made up for lost time in a hurry by dropping his fourth mountain, playing a severely discounted Oxidda Golem and then suiting it up with the 'Shrieker and hitting for six. Harvey had an Auriok Transfixer on his next turn as well as a Lifespark Spellbomb, but had to eat another six damage before it would come online. Jensen complicated his situation with Arc-Slogger.

Harvey played a Pteron Ghost and passed it back. The Slogger shot it down, and then Neurok Hoversail and the Shrieker meant that the Slogger would bash Harvey to zero. He drew a card with his Spyglass, and then scooped.

Jensen 1 - Harvey 0

Game 2

Jensen matched Harvey's Leonin Bola with a Viridian Longbow, and then dropped a Gold Myr while Harvey sat there. Harvey did some more nothing with his third turn and Jensen brought out two more Myr. Harvey's fourth turn he finally tapped some mana, making a Talon of Pain. Jensen got a laugh out of the spectators when he had to pick it up and read it.

"Don't worry, it won't be doing anything." - Eugene Harvey

Jensen played out a Hematite Golem. Fortunately for Harvey, Tel-Jilad Outrider was ready to come out and stop Jensen's all-artifact offence. Jensen looked at his options and tapped six for Goblin Dirigible. Turn to Dust from Harvey dispatched the Longbow, clearing the way for Slith Ascendant. Jensen put his head in his hands and started thinking.

A minute later he was turning all his creatures sideways. The Outrider stopped the Golem and Harvey took seven. Jensen played another Golem. Harvey put the Bola on his Slith, played a Lifespark Spellbomb. Jensen took a minute in his upkeep, before deciding to spend four to untap his Dirigible. He had enough mana left over to pump his Golem twice. Harvey fell to five to the unblocked Golem. Next turn he chumped with a Myr. Jensen added still more pressure in the form of a Goblin War Wagon.

Harvey wiped the board clean with an entwined Solar Tide.

Jensen shrugged and shipped his men to the graveyard. All he had to bounce back with was a Silver Myr. Harvey showed him another Tel-Jilad Outrider, and shot it down. Then an Auriok Glaivemaster followed. Jensen's deck refused to yield an answer, and he succumbed.

Jensen 1 - Harvey 1

Game 3

Eugene Harvey

Jensen's start in the third game was lightning-fast. Harvey had a Bola but no men to go with it for his first three turns. Jensen dropped Arcbound Slith, then Oxidda Golem. Creeping Mold took out the Golem, but Jensen had Fireshrieker to leave Harvey at four before he could blink.

Harvey summoned some chump blockers, but the Slith was too big to deal with head-on. Jensen had more creatures besides, and rather than prolong things, Harvey conceded.

William Jensen defeats Eugene Harvey 2-1


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