Mike Tessier vs Jordan Aisaka

Jordan Aisaka and Mike Tessier are both well known and well respected member of the Seattle Magic Community.  When Mike challenged Jordan to a conquest style showdown, we jumped at the opportunity to host the match.

Both have won invites to Mox Boarding House’s Legacy Preservation Series Invitational, both commentate Legacy Events with a vast knowledge of the format, and both were looking to battle.

Jordan Aisaka is known for his Jeskai Stoneblade deck.  He has experience with a vast number of decks which he streams on his Twitch channel AisokaMTG.  From 5-0’ing with a Budget Burn Deck to multiple wins with his unique take on Jeskai Stoneblade, Jordan has been an inspiration to players in Seattle and around the globe.  When I heard the showdown was Conquest Style, I was predicting Jeskai Stoneblade, OmniSneak, and some Pile Control deck.  I was pretty close (and I’m guessing Mike Tessier had similar predictions).  Jordan brought Jeskai Control, OmniSneak, and Grixis Delver.

Mike Tessier is known for his take on Blood Moon Stompy and Death & Taxes.  Rumor has it if a card is available in foil, it’s in Mike Tessier’s collection.  His deck’s shimmer with the shine of 1,000 stars, but the value of his decks are nothing compared to his voice and commentating finesse.  Known for his vast knowledge and regularly hosting CardKingdom’s Legacy streams, he has won the hearts of many fans along with multiple Legacy tournaments.  When I heard the showdown was Conquest Style, I was predicting Death & Taxes, Blood Moon Stompy, and OmniSneak.  Mike Tessier brought Merfolk, Eldrazi, and Grixis Pyromancer.

The Showdown

There’s a minimum of 3 matches in Conquest, with the possibility of 5.  These 2 powerful players went up going to 5 matches with multiple close calls.  I highly recommend watching the Video on Demand.  Round 1 starts ~54 minutes in.

Round 1: Jordan’s OmniSneak vs Mike’s Grixis Pyro

Both players started off strong.  Jordan rolled a 2, becoming stuck on the draw.  Mike’s list had Gitaxian Probe and Cabal Therapy main.  Mike was able to attack the hand, but Jordan was able to find a Cunning Wish, which helped find Intuition to get a Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[c] for the win.  At 15 life, Mike had no way out to the flying spaghetti monster.  Game 1 goes to Jordan.

Games 2 and 3, Mike showed his knowledge of the format and skillful card choices.  [c]Inquisition of Kozilek, Gitaxian Probe, Cabal Therapy, and Young Pyromancer did what they do best.  Jordan was stuck with lands in hand while Mike established a fast clock.

Round 1 goes to Mike.

Round 2: Jordan’s Omnisneak vs Mike’s Merfolk

If you think Merfolk isn’t competitive think again.  Merfolk does well at many events.  With cards like Master of the Pearl Trident, Merfolk eats Blue Control decks for breakfast.  With Chalice of the Void and Counterspells for days, Merfolk eats Combo Decks for lunch.  In the hands of Mike Tessier, a Legacy Challenge might as well be an all-day buffet.

Jordan was on the play.  Game 1, Mike kept a slow hand against a combo deck.  Mike’s hand had multiple Lords to establish a fast clock, but a turn 3 Griselbrand and Emrakul let Jordan take the game.

Game 2, Mike was able to land an Aether Vial and put in multiple Merfolk Lords.  Jordan couldn’t compete with the clock or countermagic and wound up sinking.

Game 3 was super close.  Mike played a great defense.  Jordan kept trying to land a Defense Grid, but with Echoing Truth and creatures like Cursecatcher, Jordan was stuck against the wall.  With a skillful top deck, Jordan puts in an Omniscience to cast Emrakul.  If Mike had 1 more permanent, he would have got there, but instead, Mike got got.

With 3 life remaining, round 2 goes to Jordan.

Round 3: Jordan’s Stoneblade vs Mike’s Merfolk

Game 1, both players were fighting to get their equipment into play.  Jordan, with his Stoneforge Mystic, was able to get Batterskull into play without worry.  Mike was able to land multiple True-Name Nemesis followed up by his Merfolk friend Master of the Pearl Trident.  Jordan tried his best to remove the Lord, but Merfolk runs 8 main deck Lords that grant Islandwalk.  Mike was able to deal more damage than Batterskull’s Lifelink ability could recover from.

Jordan led Game 2 off with a Grim Lavamancer, a card that normally punishes slower Go-Wide creature decks.  Tessier was able to land multiple True-Name Nemesis, which could compete against the Grim Lavamancer, Sword of Fire and Ice and Umezawa’s Jitte.

With True-Name Nemesis and multiple Lords, Mike take’s round 3.

Round 4: Jordan’s Stoneblade vs Mike’s Eldrazi

Mike show’s his second Chalice deck.  Knowing Jordan is a Blue Mage at heart, Tessier’s choice of Eldrazi and Merfolk were great.

Game 1, Jordan has a Council’s Judgment to answer Mike’s early Chalice of the Void.  Mike is able to recover playing another Chalice and a Walking Ballista to follow it up.  Walking Ballista will allow Mike to shut down Jordan’s Spellstutter Sprites, while Cloud Post will allow Mike to replenish Ballista’s counters.  Mike finds his Tower of the Magistrate, a Land that gives any target creature protection from artifacts.  This allowed Mike to shut off all the equipment Jordan found with Stoneforge Mystic.  Jordan, with a deck unable to do what it wants to do, loses Game 1.

Game 2, Jordan is able to control the board for the most part.  Landing a Blood Moon slows down Mike’s deck immensely.  Equipping Batterskull to multiple creatures allows for Jordan to clear the board.  Jordan holding Force of Will, allows a Reality Smasher to resolve.  Mike plays slightly greedy attacking with the resolved Reality Smasher.  Not knowing about Jordan’s Force of Will, Mike attempts to resolve a Walking Ballista.  This time, Jordan does not allow the spell to resolve.  One of the big things to learn with Force of Will is you Force what will kill you.  Jordan was at a high enough life total where Reality Smasher wasn’t a problem.  Jordan is able to find a Vendilion Clique, which will win him Game 2.

Game 3, Mike has a slow hand.  Mike is able to resolve a Thought-Knot Seer gaining information about Jordan’s hand, and removing a Council’s Judgment (but seeing a Snapcaster Mage, Disenchant, and Stoneforge Mystic).  Jordan is able to cast a Stoneforge, following it up with a Vendilion Clique, which he suits up with a Batterskull.  Things looked bleak for Mike.  Getting an Eye of Ugin allows for Mike to find Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.  Mike misplays targeting Batterskull and Vendilion Clique, when Jordan had a Stoneforge, Clique, and Batterskull in play.  Jordan is able to bounce the Batterskull in response and put it back in off the Stoneforge.  Mike almost has the game, but Mike is somehow convinced he has to attack this turn to win, thinking he’s safe playing a Walking Ballista.  Jordan is able to Disenchant the Ballista, flash in Snapcaster Mage, suit him up, and swing for the win.

Jordan demonstrates his Jedi Mind Trick Skillz to steal Round 4.

Round 5: Jordan’s Grixis Delver vs Mike’s Eldrazi

Game 1, Jordan was able to Wasteland Mike early on.  Landing multiple Young Pyromancers allowed for Jordan to establish a fast enough clock to race the Eldrazi menace.  Mike couldn’t establish a board, drawing lock pieces instead of threats against Jordan’s growing board state.  Jordan was able to keep control of the board taking Game 1.

Delver is really weak to Chalice of the Void, which can be seen in Game 2.  Game 2, Mike lands a Chalice and Thorn of Amethyst.  Mike is able to swing with an Eldrazi Mimic and Thought-Knot Seer while Jordan is locked out of the game.

Game 3, Jordan is on the play.  Mike winds up mulling down to 5.  Jordan starts off with a Wasteland and Daze in hand, which allows him to prevent Mike from casting his big spells.  Getting out a True-Name Nemesis, wasting Mike’s lands, and countering Mike’s threats allow for Jordan to take Game 3.

With skilled play from both players, Jordan Aisaka takes round 5 and the showdown.

Jordan Aisaka’s Decks

Jordan's Jeskai Stoneblade

MAINDECK (60)
Arid Mesa
Flooded Strand
Island
Plains
Scalding Tarn
Tundra
Volcanic Island
Grim Lavamancer
Snapcaster Mage
Spellstutter Sprite
Stoneforge Mystic
Vendilion Clique
Brainstorm
Council’s Judgment
Force of Will
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Spell Snare
Swords to Plowshares
Batterskull
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte

SIDEBOARD (15)
Blood Moon
Containment Priest
Flusterstorm
Grim Lavamancer
Meddling Mage
Red Elemental Blast
Surgical Extraction
Disenchant

Jordan Aisaka's Grixis Delver

MAINDECK (60)
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Wasteland
Deathrite Shaman
Delver of Secrets
Gurmag Angler
True-Name Nemesis
Young Pyromancer
Brainstorm
Daze
Force of Will
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Spell Pierce
Stifle

SIDEBOARD (15)
Abrade
Cabal Therapy
Diabolic Edict
Flusterstorm
Grim Lavamancer
Liliana, the Last Hope
Price of Progress
Pyroblast
Surgical Extraction
Toxic Deluge

Jordan Aisaka's OmniSneak

MAINDECK (60)
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Island
Mountain
Volcanic Island
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Lotus Petal
Griselbrand
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Show and Tell
Omniscience
Sneak Attack
Brainstorm
Ponder
Preordain
Spell Pierce
Flusterstorm
Cunning Wish
Force of Will
Split Decision
Intuition

SIDEBOARD (15)
Surgical Extraction
Trickbind
Echoing Truth
Intuition
Defense Grid
Through the Breach
Kozilek’s Return
Eladmari’s Call
Firemind’s Foresight
Release the Ants
Blood Moon

Mike Tessier’s Decks

Mike Tessier's Drazi

MAINDECK (60)
Eye of Ugin
Eldrazi Temple
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Wastes
Cloudpost
Vesuva
Karakas
Tower of the Magistrate
Mishra’s Factory
Eldrazi Mimic
Matter Reshaper
Thought-Knot Seer
Reality Smasher
Oblivion Sower
Endbringer
Walking Ballista
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Dismember
Chalice of the Void
Sorcerous Spyglass
Umezawa’s Jitte

SIDEBOARD (15)
Leyline of the Void
Mindbreak Trap
Thorn of Amethyst
Unstable Obelisk
Ratchet Bomb
Warping Wail
All is Dust

Mike Tessier's Grixis Pyro

MAINDECK (60)
Bloodstained Mire
Island
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Young Pyromancer
Gurmag Angler
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Brainstorm
Cabal Therapy
Gitaxian Probe
Inquisition of Kozilek
Lightning Bolt
Ponder
Preordain
Echoing Truth
Force of Will
Crosis’s Charm
Fire // Ice
Engineered Explosives

SIDEBOARD (15)
Dead // Gone
Engineered Explosives
Pyroblast
Surgical Extraction
Bitterblossom
Counterspell
Rakdos Charm
Izzet Staticaster
Kolaghan’s Command
Volcanic Fallout
Unsubstantiate
Darkblast

Mike Tessier's Merfolk

MAINDECK (60)
Cavern of Souls
Mutavault
Wasteland
11 Island
Vendilion Clique
Phantasmal Image
Cursecatcher
Lord of Atlantis
Master of the Pearl Trident
Silvergill Adept
True-Name Nemesis
Daze
Force of Will
Umezawa’s Jitte
Chalice of the Void
Aether Vial

SIDEBOARD (15)
Sorcerous Spyglass
Dismember
Echoing Truth
Grafdigger’s Cage
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Manriki-Gusari
Negate
llawan, Cephalid Empress
Venser, Shaper Savant

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