Sorin's a Win: Round 9 Feature Match, Jarrod Hebert (B/R Zombies) VS Joe Bass (Esper Control)
Match covered and article written by Joey Pasco
While only playing for top 32, I really wanted to see what Esper Control could do. So I settled in to watch SCG Dallas top 8 competitor Joe Bass take on Jarrod Hebert, who was on B/R Zombies.
After winning the die roll, Jarrod leads off with one of the most aggressive starts in Standard, an unleashed Rakdos Cackler, which immediately draws blood following Joe's turn 1 Isolated Chapel. A Blood Artist comes down for Jarrod to join in the fun. Joe again simply plays a land and passes the turn, now with two mana available, and we soon see why. An Azorius Charm from Joe hits Jarrod's lone attacker, sending the Cackler back to the top of Jarrod's library.
Joe begins to build his air force with Lingering Souls, as Jarrod replays his Cackler (unleashed of course) and passes the turn. Joe sends in his Spirit tokens, connecting for two, and phones a friend in the form of Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, who produces a Vampire.
Joe knows control!
Jarrod attempts to take care of at least one opposing planeswalker by summoning a Geralf's Messenger, who'd like to get in touch with Sorin. Unfortunately for Jarrod, Joe reminds him that Geralf's message comes in the form of loss of life, which cannot be redirected. Sorin cheers. "Seriously, this is the first time I've ever played Zombies," explains Jarrod, as his Cackler comes in for 2 to try and wipe the smile off Sorin's face. A Bump in the Night knocks Joe to 13.
Joe's creatures continue the carnage, connecting for 3 before Joe doubles their numbers with a flashback on Lingering Souls and a second vampire from Sorin. Jarrod again attempts to get Geralf's message to Sorin, but a spirit gets in the way, as a Cackler connects with Joe's life total for 2. A second Geralf's Messenger shows up to further the insult.
Not to be outdone (or outraced, apparently), Joe again sends the team, now consisting of two Vampires and three Spirits. Seeing that the board is starting to get a bit messy, Joe decides to simplify things for everyone by sweeping the board with a Terminus. A lonely Sorin, Lord of Innistrad calls up another Vampire pal. Jarrod's reconstruction begins in the form of a Blood Artist and a Diregraf Ghoul, but before the Ghoul can make any trouble, Joe puts it into a preemptive Detention Sphere. A vampire draws blood from Jarrod, and Sorin invites another, threatening his ultimate in the process.
Jarrod has a Pillar of Flame to knock Sorin down to 3 loyalty, and a second copy of Bump in the Night to keep Joe's life total from getting out of reach. Joe's vampires have other ideas, and an emblem from Sorin helps the cause, taking 4 life from Jarrod and giving it to Joe.
Jarrod, quickly losing ground, can only find a Pillar of Flame to help stop the bleeding, and burns away one of Joe's vampires. Joe uses a Nephalia Drownyard at the end of Jarrod's turn to mill himself, finding another copy of Lingering Souls. Joe's remaining Vampire rushes into the red zone and trades with Jarrod's Blood Artist, leaving no non-land permanents on Jarrod's side of the board. Sorin again attracts a Vampire, and Joe flashes back Lingering Souls, prompting a scoop from Jarrod.
Joe 1, Jarrod 0.
Jarrod is more of a ’28 Days Later’ kind of guy!
Jarrod begins game 2 with a Diregraf Ghoul, while Joe starts off with a Drowned Catacomb. Attempting to take advantage quickly, Jarrod gets in with his Ghoul and casts Bump in the Night, effectively scaring away a quarter of his opponent's life total on just the second turn. Joe makes the Ghoul pay the Ultimate Price and passes the turn. Jarrod draws a card and makes his land drop, but has no more threats to add to the board. Joe plays a third-turn Lingering Souls, to show him how it's done, but again Jarrod has no pressure, and Joe takes the opportunity to double his threat count via flashback while getting in for 2 in the air.
A Falkenrath Aristocrat hits the table to get things going for Jarrod, and Joe casts Think Twice at the end of turn. Two spirits get in while the other two stay back, and Joe calls upon his good friend Sorin, who brings along a vampire. Jarrod finds another threat in the form of Geralf's Messenger, and the Aristocrat threatens to take a bite out of Joe. A spirit token jumps in front to protect Joe, and Jarrod sacrifices his Messenger to save his Aristocrat.
Unfortunately, Jarrod cannot save the Aristocrat from Joe's Sever the Bloodline, which clears the way for three attacking Spirits and a Vampire. Sorin summons another buddy, and life totals are even at 12-12. Finding some more gas, Jarrod takes out Sorin with a Dreadbore after getting a Blood Artist onto the board, and Geralf's Messenger delivers 4 damage to Joe, who flashes back Think Twice at end of turn.
An alpha strike from Joe knocks Jarrod to 7 and puts Joe up to 10, and a Detention Sphere takes care of Jarrod's Messenger. Jarrod finds himself yet again in dire straits and needing to rebuild, but can only muster a 1/1 Rakdos Cackler. Another Think Twice at end of turn from Joe, who untaps and deals with the Cackler by flashing back Sever the Bloodline and again sending all of his creatures into the red zone. Blood Artist blocks a vampire token, and Jarrod uses the opportunity to resolve a morbid Brimstone Volley, putting life totals at 4-6 in Joe's favor. Jarrod draws his card in a last ditch effort, but is unable to find anything of use.
Joe 2, Jarrod 0.
"Man…Sorin!" laments Jarrod.