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Feature Match Round 14: Josh Rider vs. Jelger Wiegersma


Well, these players have come a long way and all they need is to win this round and they make the ever-elusive top8. They’re in for a long haul though as both are playing WR Control.

Wiegersma won the coin flip and plays first. His opening hand had land, cyclers and an Exalted Angel; Rider’s had land, cyclers and a Lightning Rift. The Canadian’s Rift came out on turn two and Jelger followed with an Astral Slide. The next few turns were spent with both players cycling and Rider’s Rift dropped Jelger to 14.

Jelger made the first creature on turn six, a Temple of the False God accelerated Angel, leaving one mana open, threatening a cycler so that he could save his dude with the Slide. Jelger got a hit in with his Angel before Josh made a Slide of his own. The life totals were 16-12 in Rider’s favour.

Wiegersma had drawn his one maindeck Decree of Annihilation, essential in this matchup, a card that will alter how he plays the rest of the game. He also drew a Rift which he slapped onto the table to even things up. Both players got shot twice at the end of Wiegersma’s turn.

Josh’s hand was full of some hot stuff. He had two Decree of Justice, an Exalted Angel, a backup Rift and a Vengeance, but he stalled on seven land, whilst Jelger had nine mana available to him. Rider made his second Rift. In the Canadian’s end step, Jelger cycled, faded out his own Angel and both players got Rifted.

Jelger ripped the ninth land he needed and slammed his hardcast Decree of Annihilation onto the table. Although all of the enchantments remained in play, it as not long before the unrivalled Angel finished off Rider.

Wiegersma 1 – Rider 0

Rider’s opening hand was just a bunch of stuff and an Angel. Jelger’s is smoldering hot, he has a Slide and three Rifts! He bust the first one out on turn two, but held the rest back. Jelger cycled and shot in the Canadian’s endstep, Rider responded by destroying the Rift with a Wipe Clean. Wiegersma untapped and dropped a second Rift.

Rider flopped out a turn five Angel thanks to an ever-useful Temple. Jelger shrugged and made another Rift. The Angel charged into the Red Zone but Jelger had two cyclers, they took down the mighty flyer and sent two damage to Rider’s dome. The life totals read 18-16 to Rider. With the Angel dead, Rider was free to Vengeance away Jelger’s two Rifts.

Wiegersma played a Slide onto the empty board, but Rider one-upped him with an Akroma, Angel of Wrath. It managed to get one hit in before spending the rest of its potential attack phases phased out.

Meanwhile, Jelger had found an Eternal Dragon which would allow him to keep the Akroma slid out indefinitely. Rider spent the next two turns adding an Exalted Angel and an Eternal Dragon to the board. Wiegersma followed suit with an Eternal Dragon of his own and, more importantly, a once-amplified Kilnmouth Dragon. Josh had only nine mana available to him whilst Wiegersma was sitting comfortably behind fourteen land, easily enough for him to keep a never-ending flow of Eternal Dragons going.

No one was attacking, or to be more precise, the Akroma continually tried to get some damage through but seemed to spend all of its time getting a tan in the ‘removed from the game’ zone. Eventually, Rider drew and cast a Wipe Clean to destroy Jelger’s Slide. However, the Kilnmouth was taking bite-sized chunks out of Rider’s life total by pinging him at the end of turn. Rider was ahead on life 15-10.

Wiegersma committed a second Eternal Dragon the table and then a third. There was 38 power of big flying creatures on the table. Rider finally realized that if he slid out the Kilnmouth then Jelger had to re-amplify it every time it came into play, and seeing as all of Jelger’s Dragons were already on the board, this meant that the prolonged pinging was at an end. At the same time, Rider also figured out that for the last three turns he could have attacked uncontested with some of his men, using that Slide as threat enough to gaurentee that he could only come out of the resulting combat ahead.

In Wiegersma’s end step, Rider’s Slide took care of the Kilnmouth, the following turn all of the Canadian’s monstrosities ambled forward in attack. When combat damage resolved it left Rider with a lone Akroma and Jelger with two Eternals and only four life.

The Kilnmouth came back, amplified by another. Jelger regrew and cast the third Eternal, all the while staring at the Akroma in his hand in frustration.

Finally Rider exploded, realizing he had missed many opportunities to get damage through using the Slide as a double-blocking deterrent, he slid out most of Jelger’s men and smashed through for lethal damage.

Rider 1 – Jelger 1

Wiegersma was going first and his hand had what it needed to win with quickly as there was only ten minutes left on the round. He made a turn three morphed Angel, which Rider matched. Jelger swung for two and then dropped a Rift and cycled Rider’s unmorphed Angel to death. Rider untapped and did exactly the same thing to Wiegersma’s.

Jelger passed his fifth turn, laying only a Temple. Rider cast a Wipe Clean to deal with Jelger’s Rift and Wiegersma returned the favour. The term ‘Mirror Match’ could not have been more accurate.

Eventually, they stopped casting the same spells. Wiegersma dropping a Slide and Rider an Angel. The Slide is dealt with by another Wipe Clean and the Angel by a Vengeance. Rider untapped and made an Eternal Dragon, Jelger answered with a Slide.

The Dragon nipped in for a quick five, Jelger apparently out of cyclers, or fearing a Vengeance. Jelger did nothing in his turn, letting Rider cycle a Decree of Justice for four. The men swung, dropping Jelger to eight. He answered with a Vengeance and followed it up with a Rift.

Rider found his eighth land and Akroma bounded unstopped into the Red Zone, Jelger fell to two. Wiegersma thought long and hard about his next turn before deciding that an unmorphed Angel was his best hope of staying alive.

Josh drew and made an Astral Slide which he then used to remove the Angel from the game before smashing in to claim his spot in the top8.

Rider 2 – Wiegersma 1

Widely considered one of the world's foremost Limited competitors, Quentin Martin has four Limited Grand Prix Top 8s and a Top 8 at Pro Tour–Prague 2006. Between his Magic expertise and a background in philosophy, it's no surprise Quentin is well known for his strategic insight and theories on the game.

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