Jacob Wins 2019 Magic Online Championship

Longtime Magic Online grinder comes out on top of tri-format event.

Michael Jacob won the 2019 Magic Online Championship on Sunday, using Selesnya Company in Modern and Mono-Green Devotion in Pioneer to claim the trophy over a stacked Top 4 bracket.

Jacob was able to snag the last spot in the Top 4 as one of seven players at eight wins after fourteen rounds, joining Matti Kuisma, Logan Nettles, and Oliver Tiu for a Sunday playoff. To make the elimination rounds, players had to battle through six rounds of Vintage Cube, four rounds of Modern, and four rounds of Pioneer.

Jacob had to face the top seeded Kuisma in the semifinals, who he lost to in the last round of Swiss on Saturday. Things went Jacob’s way this time, winning both matches of Modern and Pioneer to prevent a third match of what would have been of Kuisma’s choosing. Nettles defeated Tiu in a tight three-match set on the opposite side of the bracket, setting up a finals of two storied American Magic Online grinders.

In what would be a marathon match spanning three matches and a max nine games, Jacob took the first match using Selesnya Company to beat Jund Midrange 2-1 thanks to some beatdowns from a pair of Auriok Champions, dodging all of Nettle’s removal. Nettles responded in the next match, where his Sultai Midrange deck bested Jacob’s Mono-Green Devotion in Pioneer by preventing him from getting out to a quick start or leveraging his planeswalkers.

The third and deciding match was worth $20,000 and Nettles, as the higher seed, picked Pioneer as the final format of the tournament. Jacob opened up with two pieces of mana acceleration allowing him to land an early Nissa, Who Shakes the World to run away with Game 1. Nettles responded in Game 2 with a timely Elder Gargaroth that allowed him to take over a lowly battlefield from a much slower draw from Jacob forcing a final game.

The ultimate game turned out be one for the ages as both players did their thing with Jacob ramping out an early Vivien, Arkbow Ranger and with Nettles meticulously answering all of Jacob’s threats but falling behind to the planeswalkers as a Karn, The Great Creator joined the opposing side of the battlefield. Nettles mounted his defenses and cycled Shark Typhoon for a evasive threat, allowing him to find a topdecked Murderous Rider for Jacob’s Elder Gargaroth allowing him to begin attacking down the planeswalkers. The game reached a state of parity with each player looking for threats and Jacob was able to find another Gargaroth followed by another Vivien after bricking on two lands. Nettles failed to find the subsequent answers as Jacob finally set up a game-ending Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger to finish the match and secure the first-place prize of $50,000.

Check out the Pioneer and Modern decklists.