Both players have had very good years this year. Jelger has finished top of the standings on day one at a number of Grand Prix and Benjamin finished in the top eight at Pro Tour Yokahama. Yesterday Jelger finished 7-1 and Benjamin finished 6-2 with good tie-breakers, and so far this morning Jelger has only drawn whilst Benjamin won his first round and both players are still in with a chance of top eight.
Jelger is playing Red White Slide whilst Benjamin, like a lot of the French players, is playing Blue White Control, adding Blue control elements to the more traditional Mono White Control deck.
Jelger won the toss and both players kept their opening hands. Benjamin made the first play, a Silver Knight on his second turn but Jelger followed up quickly with a morph to balance the board.
Both players sat behind their creatures for a few turns, playing land and cycling, digging for good spells. Benjamin found one first, a morph, but didn’t have the mana needed to counter a Slide from Jelger on the next turn. Benjamin did nothing in his turn and Jelger used his spare mana to unmoprh his angel before returning a Dragon to his hand.
Again, the players sat back drawing and playing land before Benjamin made his move: he cast Akroma’s Vengenance to try and clear the board. Jelger cycled a card to Slide out his Angel and the Vengeance happened. Jelger untapped and cycled a Decree of Annihilation, intending to blow up the world if Benjamin had no Stifle. He didn’t and Jelger floated three mana before destroying all the land, played a Grand Coliseum and cast a morph before attacking for four.
Two turns later, still with no land in play Benjamin conceded the game.
The second game started off all Benjamin’s way, as Jelger was a little light on land. Benjamin got an Angel and a Knight into play and took Jelger down to six life before Jelger could cast Akroma’s Vengeance. Benjamin used a Chain of Vapor to return both his Angel and his Knight but Jelger had stolen the initiative, dropping an Eternal Dragon and a Rift. A turn later Jelger cast a second Dragon, putting pressure on the Frenchman.
Benjamin couldn’t do very much – he just wasn’t drawing the spells he needed – but did stop the terminal Decree of Annihilation with a Stifle, leaving Jelger to play a second Rift. Even with the life gain from his own Angel, without clearing the board Benjamin would have a tough time and with two Rifts, two Dragons and Angel of his own and three cyling cards Jelger finished him off to take the win.
Jelger wins 2-0.