Matthew Johnson was the most successful player at our MKMS event in Milan earlier this year, but had to miss our other stops since then. Today he started the Vintage event with two losses and a bye, but miraculously still snuck into the Top8 by winning the other rounds.
His opponent Hannes started the game with a Ponder that prompted a trading of Mental Missteps. The Ponder resolved but didn‘t find a land despite even shuffling. Therefore Matthew pulled ahead on mana, but his Ancestral Recall was countered by Flusterstorm. Hannes tried to Preordain, but that was hit by Spell Pierce. In response to Matthews Standstill, Hannes finally tried to resolve his own Ancestral Recall, but he was once again denied via Spell Pierce. He had to start discarding before finally finding his second land. With a higher land count, Matthew was favored in the long game, but for the moment both players were content with just discarding useless cards at end of turn. This is what Hannes saw, when he finally broke the Standstill with Gitaxian Probe:
His Cabal Therapy was countered with a Flusterstorm. Matthew took a Monastery Mentor onto a Treasure Cruise, had Mental Misstep for Hannes‘ Brainstorm, and wasted one of his precious lands. Hannes found a Mox and a Jace, Vryn‘s Prodigy, but that was send to plow the field. His Mentor was Mana Drained on the next turn, allowing Matthew to attack for lethal with Monks in the meantime.
Matthew took the lead 1-0
Hannes thought long and hard before keeping a six card hand, but he at least had lands this time, and resolved a young Jace, which was once again removed by Swords to Plowshares. Matthew tried to destroy a land with Wasteland, but Hannes cast Gush in response to save it. The next Wasteland was more successful. Once again Matthew was ahead on mana thanks to Sol Ring, which helped him to resolve Jace, the Mind Sculptor. One Brainstorm activation later Hannes had to try to resolve a Mentor to pressure the Planeswalker, but that was met with Force of Will. Matthew‘s third Wasteland prompted another Gush, but Hannes had to pass the turn with a full grip after replaying a land. Matthew offered to Balance the game, to which Hannes responded with Vampiric Tutor. Balance resolved discarding Hannes‘ hand down to one card and Jace fatesealed the tutored card back on the bottom.
With nothing but Jace in play the game spiralled out of control fast. From here on it was just Strip Mine your land, counter your Black Lotus, Dig Through Time, Standstill, and go through the motions by attacking with Mishra‘s Factory.
Matthew Johnson won the game and the match 2-0