Lasse Nørgaard is the winner of Grand Prix Madrid 2008!

In the quarterfinals the player from Denmark first dispatched Geir Bakke from Norway and his monoblue deck. Then in the semifinals Nørgaard went up against the favorite, Swiss pro Manuel Bucher and his nearly mono-colored green deck, and still he prevailed.

Finally, the finals: In the battle against hometown hero Daniel Martin Bermejo, Nørgaard's deck and its withering capabilities saw him through a war of attrition. This story is finished but the understanding of the brand-new draft format is just at the beginning. This weekend we've seen mono-colored decks, different takes on draft archetypes, and a variety of strategies -- from the most extreme form of control to ultra-aggressive weenie decks. As the Magic year is heading towards Nationals , we are sure to see more of that in the near future!

top 8 bracket

Quaterfinals

(1) Nørgaard, Lasse [DNK]

(8) Bakke, Geir [NOR]

(4) Bucher, Manuel [CHE]

(5) Salas Martinez, Sergio [ESP]

(2) Christensen, Allan [DNK]

(7) Martin Bermejo, Daniel M [ESP]

(3) Fenaux-briot, Romain [FRA]

(6) Lindgren, Tommi [CHE]

Semi-finals

Nørgaard, Lasse 2-1

Bucher, Manuel 2-0

Martin Bermejo, Daniel M 2-0

Fenaux-briot, Romain 2-0

Finals

Nørgaard, Lasse 2-1

Martin Bermejo, Daniel M 2-0

Champion

Nørgaard, Lasse 2-1

EVENT COVERAGE

  • Finals: Lasse Nørgaard vs. Daniel Martin Bermejo
    by Tobias Henke
  • Semifinals: Daniel Martin Bermejo vs. Romain Fenaux-Briot
    by Dave Sutcliffe
  • Top 8 Decklists
    by Tobias Henke
  • Podcast: The Final Table
    by Rich Hagon
  • Quarterfinals: Manuel Bucher vs. Sergio Salas Martinez
    by Tobias Henke
  • 18:44 p.m. Top 8 Profiles
    by Tobias Henke
  • Feature Match: Round 15 - Frank Karsten vs. Daniel Martin Bermejo
    by Tobias Henke
  • Podcast: Putting the ID in Madrid
    by Rich Hagon
  • Feature Match: Round 14 – Steve Sadin vs. Simon Ritzka
    by Tobias Henke
  • 14:22 p.m. Limited Information on Tour
    by Tobias Henke
  • Podcast: Air Conditioning
    by Rich Hagon
  • 12:33 p.m. - Two Draft Decks
    by Tobias Henke
  • Feature Match: Round 11 – Antoine Ruel vs. Marijn Lybaert
    by Tobias Henke
  • 9:50 a.m. - Stories in Black and White
    by Tobias Henke
  • Day One Blog: Summer in the City, Most Wanted, Getting Rid in Madrid, Feature Matches, Podcasts, and much more!
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff

INFORMATION

     
1. Nørgaard, Lasse $4,000
2. Martin Bermejo, Daniel M $3,000
3. Bucher, Manuel $2,000
4. Fenaux-briot, Romain $2,000
5. Christensen, Allan $1,500
6. Salas Martinez, Sergio $1,500
7. Lindgren, Tommi $1,500
8. Bakke, Geir $1,500

pairings, results, standings

Pairings

15 14 13 12 11

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Results

15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Standings

15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Blog: 9:50 a.m. – Stories in Black and White

by Tobias Henke

In my experience it always pays to keep in touch with the judge staff at GPs. Throughout the weekend usually lots of interesting stories come up that are worth to be retold and of course there’s rules knowledge to be spread -- especially whenever there’s a brand-new card set. Let’s start with some simple (or not so simple, you decide!) questions:

How does a creature turn out that’s enchanted with Runes of the Deus and then becomes the target of Snakeform ? Well, afterwards it certainly is 1/1 and truly green. But does it have trample or does it not? It turns out, the correct but somewhat unintuitive answer is: yes, it does. The effect that grants the ability, the effect that removes all abilities, and the effect that changes the color all apply in layer five of the very much beloved layer system. And as the first effect depends on the third, it is indeed applied afterwards.

 

Snakeform
Okay, you may say, it doesn’t matter anyway whether a 1/1 creature tramples. But as soon as you’re dealing with Shield of the Oversoul and indestructibility, you might reconsider..

Another question the busy judge staff had to answer more than once is what happens when a Spitemare is blocked by two creatures. Will its ability be triggered once or twice? -- Although it is dealt damage by two different sources all combat damage is lumped together into one package. So yes, it will only be triggered once.

Trigger once again. Flourishing Defenses killed a great many players yesterday, especially those relying on Puncture Blast as their removal. Unlike its twisted cousin Blowfly Infestation the Defenses will indeed be trigger three times from the Blast.

While surely no infraction another interesting tidbit of information is that one player had built a Shadowmoor-only deck. Twenty-two cards from the tournament pack, not a single one from his two boosters. The record for least Shadowmoor cards registered on the decklist, however, is held by a player who had completely failed to list any cards for his deck. Of course, that is a rules infraction.

Last but not least -- an interesting rule that’s totally not connected to Magic. There are actually signs on Madrid’s metro that explicitly forbid to sit on the escalator steps. As one judge remarked, “Nothing tells you more about the residents of a city than its prohibition signs...”


Feature Match: Round 11 – Antoine Ruel vs. Marijn Lybaert

by Tobias Henke

Antoine RuelThis match started with Lybaert complaining about the quality of his deck. “A straight 0-3.” Of course this elicited some witty remarks from Ruel, who claimed to have a good deck. He won the die roll, while Lybaert had to mulligan.

Lybaert had a Patrol Signaler on turn two, which received a Scar ; Ruel dropped two Ashenmoor Gouger s on consecutive turns...

And then the headjudge came over and pointed out that the round had, in fact, not yet started. The players had to reshuffle and start anew.

In this game, Ruel started with Emberstrike Duo into Ashenmoor Gouger into Harvest Gwyllion into Noxious Hatchling , whereas Lybaert only had Duergar Assailant and Recumbent Bliss to fend off the Duo and the Gouger respectively. When Ruel summoned Fang Skulkin and Nightsky Mimic , Lybaert shuffled it up for Game 3... ehm... two.

Antoine Ruel 1-0 Marijn Lybaert

Marijn LybaertAshenmoor Gouger is better than my whole deck,” Lybaert wailed.
Ruel shrugged. “I got three.”

This time Lybaert had some early defense in the form of Silkbind Faerie , but Ruel again brought the beats with Nightsky Mimic followed by Bloodied Ghost .

Next Lybaert played Wanderbrine Rootcutters ; Ruel certainly trumped that with Emberstrike Duo and Soul Rend on Silkbind Faerie . Lybaert’s Recumbent Bliss took out Bloodied Ghost and when Harvest Gwyllion enlarged Ruel’s Nightslky Mimic , Niveous Wisps tapped the latter.

At last Lybaert’s deck gave him some quality in the form of Restless Apparition and Murderous Redcap , which took down the Mimic. Meanwhile he played a Torture and slowly began working on Ruel’s 2/4.

Ruel only added a Fang Skulkin to his side and it already seemed that they were in for a long game... But then Ember Gale allowed him to get through for some damage.

With the Ember Gale out of the way Springjack Shepherd came in for Lybaert and supplied seven goats. Rather unfortunate for him, Ruel also had Chaotic Backlash ready, which came down for a whopping twenty-two points of damage to finish the game and match.

Antoine Ruel 2-0 Marijn Lybaert


Blog: 12:33 p.m. – Two Draft Decks

by Tobias Henke

 

Puca's Mischief
Looking around the playing tables, one can catch one glimpse or another of pure magic at work. For example Swiss pro Manuel Bucher could be seen with a white-blue creature enchanted with Steel of the Godhead and a green-red creature in play. However, this is not because of some magical mana base at work, but came about with the help of Puca’s Mischief . If you combine that with an aura card you can basically take control of one of your opponent’s permanents for free. The aura does not care at all which player it is controlled by, but will happily stay on the creature you enchanted and continue to do its enhancing there.

Of course his deck does not only sport two Puca’s Mischief , but a total of three auras too: Steel of the Godhead times two plus Recumbent Bliss . The latter will give his opponent a few extra life when traded by means of Puca’s Mischief , but that surely is bearable.

Besides these combo ambitions he runs a full beatdown suit as well: Three Nightsky Mimic and two Harvest Gwyllion allow for some flying 4/4 beats. And Steel of the Godhead can be put on one of five blue and white creatures for maximum gain, two of those being Thistledown Duo s for an even more serious thrashing.

He did make one mistake though, he admitted, not during the draft, however, but during deck construction. The Battlegate Mimic , which can’t be triggered at all, should have been a second copy of Zealous Guardian . “With double Duo and double Steel you can’t have too many blue-white creatures.”

Obviously Bucher dutifully swept his draft table 3-0. As one of his opponent’s exclaimed, “That deck is a monster!” And here’s the list:

Manuel Bucher

 

Also, Antoine Ruel’s deck, as seen in the feature match when he ran over Marijn Lybaert, raised some eyebrows. So here it is in all its glory:

Antoine Ruel


11:30 am - Podcast: Air Conditioning

by Rich Hagon

Yesterday was scorching both in and out of the building here in Madrid, with 1466 players reduced to 128 over nine rounds of Swiss action. Today, I know the air conditioning's working, because there's a Draft in here. In fact, there are several going on as I type. In our first show we bring you the story of the opening salvos of Day Two, and by the end a sum total of no players will be undefeated. This show also features a truly extraordinary commentary match between US titans Steve Sadin and Brandon Scheel. Unmissable.

Blog: 14:22 p.m. – Limited Information on Tour

by Tobias Henke

Steve Sadin is currently sitting at 30 points with two losses. He needs at least another two wins from the final three rounds of the Swiss to clinch a top 8 berth here. So we decided to take a close-up look at his drafting prowess in action. Join us in draft pod number three..

Sadin’s first booster revealed Oona, Queen of the Fae , with Wicker Warcrawler being the next best card. He took the rare. His second booster did contain Order of Whiteclay and Consign to Dream among others. He picked the latter and received a booster that was completely bereft of any third-pick worthy cards, except for Glamer Spinners .

Pick number four held a difficult decision. Black or white? He toyed with Faerie Macabre , but in the end decided on Barrenton Cragtreads . The next booster had no black cards at all and Sadin went for his second Consign to Dream . Next he picked Kinscaer Harpoonist over Merrow Grimeblotter and then Blowfly Infestation over Helm of the Ghastlord .

Steve SadinThe rest of the first Shadowmoor booster proved to be rather unexciting. He collected Torpor Dust , Oona’s Gatewarden , Cerulean Wisps , Prismwake Merrow , Deepchannel Mentor , Spell Syphon , and Cinderhaze Wretch , the majority of which certainly wouldn’t make his deck.

Meanwhile his neighbour on the right had taken Incremental Blight , Dusk Urchins , and one copy of Glamer Spinners for himself. Fortunately, he went in the direction of a white and black deck.

Now it was Sadin’s turn to open Incremental Blight . Following he picked Plumeveil over Briarberry Cohort , Scuttlemutt rather than Scar , and Thistledown Duo instead of a second Blowfly Infestation . River’s Grasp came his way next, then Turn to Mist and another Barrenton Cragtreads .

He picked a second Oona’s Gatewarden , passing Ghastly Discovery . His first pack came round again and it still held Sickle Ripper as well as Lurebound Scarecrow . But Sadin opted for Elsewhere Flask . He finished off the pack with another Prismwake Merrow , Loch Korrigan , Whimwader , Rattleblaze Scarecrow , and Leechridden Swamp .

And then came Eventide and Sadin was surely looking forward to reaping the rewards for staying in his colors. His first pick was not too spectacular though -- a Riverfall Mimic from an overall mediocre pack. But then Snakeform came along, followed by Overbeing of Myth , Merrow Levitator , and Wake Thrasher . For the rest of Eventide he was able to get his hands on Wistful Selkie , Wilderness Hypnotist , Oona’s Grace , and Crag Puca .

The resulting deck turned out to be -- rather unsurprisingly -- very blue:

Steve Sadin


Feature Match: Round 14 – Steve Sadin vs. Simon Ritzka

by Tobias Henke

Steve SadinSteve Sadin is playing a very controllish blue (and partly black) monstrosity, while his opponent from Germany, Simon Ritzka, is playing a hyper-aggressive nearly mono-red deck. This should be an interesting match-up... or so I thought at least.

Sadin won the die roll, which should give him an edge here. Additionally, Ritzka took a mulligan to six...

But he had a good start anyway, with Intimidator Initiate followed by Tattermunge Witch , Boggart Ram-Gang , and a conspired Giantbaiting with Iniitiate activation. Sadin went down to two and next turn’s attack did him in good and proper. A turn five kill against one blocker with a mulligan to six -- “What can I say. My deck is insane,” Ritzka commented.

Steve Sadin 0-1 Simon Ritzka

Simon RitzkaThis time Sadin hit the curve with Oona’s Gatewarden , a sideboarded Riverfall Mimic, Wake Thrasher and Wilderness Hypnotist. Meanwhile Ritzka played two each of Intimidator Initiate and Scuzzback Scrapper , as well as a Tattermunge Duo .

Then he proceeded to kill all of Sadin’s creatures save the Hypnotist by means of Ember Gale , put down Boartusk Liege , and won the game, match, and possibly a spot in the top 8.

The whole affair took about ten minutes...

Steve Sadin 0-2 Simon Ritzka

And for your viewing pleasure here is Ritzka’s decklist:

Ritzka


Podcast: Putting the ID in Madrid

by Rich Hagon

Let's be honest, the last round of Swiss can be an exercise in simple mathematics, where the chosen few get to sit down, smile at each other, shake hands, and confirm the final critical point that guarantees them a berth in the Top 8. Not this time. Find out how we reached Round 15 with 15 players still vying for a place at the final table, this time featuring astonishingly life-like impressions of 0/1 goats.

Feature Match: Round 15 – Frank Karsten vs. Daniel Martin Bermejo

by Tobias Henke
Frank Karsten

This is the last round, the final showdown. Frank Karsten from the Netherlands currently is at 36 points. His opponent from Spain, Daniel Martin Bermejo, is at 34. About 37 (more or less) is needed to finish within the top 8...

Bermejo won the right to play first and kept his initial seven. Karsten mulliganed to six who nevertheless the first play came from Karsten, with a Mistmeadow Skulk on turn two. His opponent topped that on his turn with Noggle Bandit . In came the Skulk and Curse of Chains turned off the Bandit. Bermejo retorted with Cold-Eyed Selkie .

Over the next couple of turns the board got clogged with lots of creatures on both sides and nothing moved forth nor back. The first action came about when Runes of the Dues enchanted Bermejo’s Scuzzback Marauders , eliciting a strangled “okay” from Karsten. The big trampling double striker went in uncontested and took 14 points out of his lifetotal.

Daniel Martin Bermejo

Turn to Mist took care of that, however, and again the game went into slow motion mode. It took an amazingly long time, but between Wickerbough Elder , Aerie Ouphes , and murderous Redcap Bermejo simply had the bigger and better creatures and slowly overcame Karsten’s defences, which mainly consisted of Barrenton Medic and tokens from Cenn’s Enlistment ...

Frank Karsten 0-1 Daniel Martin Bermejo

There were fourteen minutes left in the round when the second game began. This might have been getting close... If it wasn’t for Karsten’s mana flood. After Ballynock Cohort , Raven’s Run Dragoon , and Thornwatch Scarecrow (which got killed in passing by Wickerbough Elder) Karsten ran out of spells. He did have Cenn’s Enlistment and managed to stay alive for quite some time, but in the end the real creatures overcame their token cousins...

Frank Karsten 0-2 Daniel Martin Bermejo


Top 8 Player profiles

Allan B. Christensen

Allan B. Christensen

Hometown, Country: Aalborg, Denmark
Age: 25
Record on day 1: 8-1 (two byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 3-0
Record in the 2nd draft: 2-0-1

What is the best Eventide common?
Wickerbough Elder

What is the best draft archetype?
Whatever shows up.

Sergio Salas Martinez

Sergio Salas Martinez

Hometown, Country: Rubi, Spain
Age: 28
Record on day 1: 7-2 (two byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 3-0
Record in the 2nd draft: 3-0

What is the best Eventide common?
Snakeform

What is the best draft archetype?
Green-white

Manuel Bucher

Manuel Bucher

Hometown, Country: Luzern, Switzerland
Age: 21
Record on day 1: 8-1 (three byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 3-0
Record in the 2nd draft: 1-0 + two IDs

What is the best Eventide common?
Snakeform

What is the best draft archetype?
Mono red beatdown

Tommi Lindgren

Tommi Lindgren

Hometown, Country: Hombrechtikon, Switzerland
Age: 29
Record on day 1: 7-1-1 (two byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 3-0
Record in the 2nd draft: 2-0-1

What is the best Eventide common?
Wickerbough Elder

What is the best draft archetype?
Green

Geir Bakke

Geir Bakke

Hometown, Country: Oslo, Norway
Age: 31
Record on day 1: 7-1-1 (no byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 3-0
Record in the 2nd draft: 2-0-1

What is the best Eventide common?
Snakeform

What is the best draft archetype?
G/x Fat

Romain Fenaux-Briot

Romain Fenaux-Briot

Hometown, Country: Paris, France
Age: 18
Record on day 1: 8-1 (three byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 2-1
Record in the 2nd draft: 2-0-1

What is the best Eventide common?
Unmake

What is the best draft archetype?
Mono red

(“Special dedication to Troll2Jeux, Jerome Lacheure, and Bastien Perez.”)

Lasse Nørgaard

Lasse Nørgaard

Hometown, Country: Brabrand, Denmark
Age: 23
Record on day 1: 9-0 (two byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 2-1
Record in the 2nd draft: 1-1-1

What is the best Eventide common?
Wickerbough Elder

What is the best draft archetype?
Blue-green or blue-red

Daniel Martin Bermejo

Daniel Martin Bermejo

Hometown, Country: Madrid, Spain
Age: 30
Record on day 1: 7-1-1 (two byes)
Record in the 1st draft: 2-1
Record in the 2nd draft: 3-0

What is the best Eventide common?
Noggle Bandit

What is the best draft archetype?
Mono red

Quarterfinals: Manuel Bucher vs. Sergio Salas Martinez

by Tobias Henke
Manuel Bucher: a man of many Wisps

Both players kept their opening seven, but didn’t look too happy doing so. Martinez started with Elvish Hexhunter and Ballynock Cohort , Bucher had Nurturer Initiate and very descent Wisps indeed. He followed it up with Medicine Runner , Drove of Elves , and later Fang Skulkin , while Martinez laid Rune-Cervin Rider . The race was on.

But Bucher’s army was gaining weight much quicker when he summoned Wickerbough Elder and activated his Initiate, leaving Martinez at ten. Suddenly, Martinez didn’t dare to devote more than the lone Rune-Cervin Rider to attacking. As a consequence Bucher also became more careful and only send the Drove of Elves . With the help of yet another Viridescent Wisps (and associated Initiate action) Martinez went to four. The return attack left Bucher at seven.

Bucher tried to teach the Initiate some Power of Fire , but it died to Mercy Killing . Not for long though, as it was immediately retrieved by Desecrator Hag . Martinez had to begin chump-blocking but brought his opponent to five, threatening a lethal attack with the Rune-Cervin Rider on the very next turn, if the top card of his library was his sixth land.

Bucher didn’t have a choice -- he recast Nurturer Initiate , summoned Groundling Pouncer, and attacked with the whole team. Martinez, however, had Aethertow waiting. He blocked, conspired... and then he died. What he at first didn’t realize was that Bucher’s token (the one from Mercy Killing ) had been pumped with the Initiate. This way Medicine Runner and the token delivered the final four points.

Manuel Bucher vs. Sergio Salas Martinez 1-0

Sergio Salas Martinez defends against the Wisp army with Twinblade Slasher

Martinez went first once again. Only, he had to take two mulligans first.

Still, he did have Forest and Twinblade Slasher on turn one, followed by Elvish Hexhunter , but sadly no second land. Meanwhile Bucher made a Nurturer Initiate , a Medicine Runner , and enchanted the former with Presence of Gond , which in somewhat reverse logic killed the Hexhunter .

On the next turn Martinez finally found a land, but didn’t have a play; Bucher cast Stalker Hag , a serious threat, and Farhaven Elf , a serious mana boost in a game, where he was way ahead already. He summoned yet another Nurturer Initiate on the following turn and charged into the red zone with all of his guys. The Twinblade Slasher grew to 3/3 and blocked the attacking Initiate. Bucher revealed Viridescent Wisps , for a little extra damage as well as pumping the Initiate to 3/3 size as well.

Without any creature and only two lands, Martinez sadly shook his head and then his opponents hand in concession.

Manuel Bucher defeats Sergio Salas Martinez 2-0 and advances to the semifinals.


Podcast: The Final Table

by Rich Hagon

Here it is then, the culmination of two days of fierce competition, great cards, great people, great city. No need for more words, let's cut to the chase and let the action do the talking. Thanks for listening, and see you soon!

Top 8 Decklists

by Tobias Henke

Allan Christensen

 

Sergio Salas Martinez

 

Manuel Bucher

 

Tommi Lindgren

 

Geir Bakke

 

Romain Fenaux-Briot

 

Lasse Nørgaard

 

Daniel Martin Bermejo


Semifinals – Daniel Martin Bermejo vs. Romain Fenaux-Briot

by Dave Sutcliffe

Two players who had swept aside their quarterfinal opponents in double-quick time faced off here for a slot in the final of Grand Prix Madrid. Daniel Bermejo, from Madrid, in Madrid, and for Madrid, is flying the flag for the home country and appears to have developed a legion of fans here to watch this penultimate match.

If you feel you haven’t heard much of either of these two in their quarterfinals it’s because there wasn’t much to say. Both these players utterly destroyed their opponents within minutes as they struggled to find mana, so this may prove be the first true test of the decks that they respectively drafted. Fenaux-Briot is completely mono-red, making cards like Blistering Dieflyn a real threat if it sticks around, while Bermejo has UR and adds some blue tempo effects to a slightly less direct offense.

Romain Fenaux-Briot blazes his opponent with Blistering Dieflyn

Bermejo started the fight for the home team with a Briarberry Cohort and a Fang Skullkin , while Romain replied on his turn with the dangerous double-striking Hearthfire Hobgoblin. Undeterred Bermejo added a Clout of the Dominus to his Briarberry and attacked, showing the aggressive streak that saw him through the quarters. But the Frenchman, Fenaux-Briot, attacked right back at him with the Hobgoblin and followed that up with Mudbutton Brawlers .

A Selkie Hedge Mage bounced the Hobgoblin back and bought Bermejo some critical tempo but he could still only attack with the Cohort in the air as Romain’s ground creatures were too large. Romain, looking to take advantage in the race, played Scuzzback Marauders and attacked again - the race was already tight with Bermejo on 13 and Romain on 14. Bermejo swung his Briarberry and Skullkin, taking Fenaux-Briot to 9 – the Frenchman had decided not to block because he clearly had plans for those Marauders and in his next turn they received the Fists Of The Demigod only to be shot down as soon as they entered the red zone when Bermejo commanded his archers to Fire At Will . Fenaux-Briot was undaunted though, and returned his Hearthfire Hobgoblin to play. 9 life to 10 already, and furious action.

Bermejo attacked again with his 3/3 Briarberry Cohort . 6 life to 10, and for the first time left all his mana open to pass the turn, which made his opponent pause... Fenaux-Briot had already run into a Fire At Will, what other instants could be lurking in the Spaniard’s hand to ambush him? Romain thought, pondered, then shrugged his shoulders and decided he didn’t care - alpha strike, all in from the Frenchman, and 11 lethal damage headed Daniel Bermejo’s way. A Fang Skullkin dived under the Hobgoblin but there was no repeat of the Fire At Will trickery and he took 7 damage, dropping to 4. Right now a Flame Javelin would do it for Fenaux-Briot, but all he could add to the assault was a Blistering Dieflyn , and even that was countered. 6 life to 4, Bermejo drew a card, shuffled his hand, but quickly realised he could only get his opponent to 2, and couldn’t withstand another assault. It was sideboarding time and France took the lead.

Daniel Martin Bermejo 0 – 1 Romain Fenaux–Briot

And that was exactly why their semi-finals were so rapid. Both players have extremely aggressive decks and simply refused to accept that they needed to be defensive. You’ve heard of unstoppable force versus unmoveable object, but this was unstoppable force versus unstoppable force!

Fang Skullkin and Briarberry Cohort again lead Bermejo’s comeback in the second game, while Romain invested his second turn in a Sootstoke Kindler that gave his third-turn Hearthfire Hobgoblin haste, and put Bermejo firmly on the back foot. That would be true if Bermejo had a back foot, and he forged another attack by adding the Clout Of The Dominus to his Briarberry Cohort , and back into the redzone went Bermejo’s forces. Romain had also left his back foot at home, and dropped a Slinking Giant , the Sootstoke Kindler gave it haste and the 4/4 headed directly into the red zone without passing Go or collecting $200. Bermejo’s archers answered the call to Fire At Will and the attacking Hearthfire Hobgoblin died, but the Giant ensured the Spaniard was still being battered and he was 12-14 down on life by the fourth turn. But as ever Bermejo’s answer was to attack, attack, attack, and his entire team bashed back at Fenaux-Briot, followed up by Boggart Arsonists . Fenaux-Briot refused once more to hold anything back to defend and charged straight back with his Skulking Giant , adding a Cinder Pyromancer . It was 8 life apiece after just five turns of frantic action!

Bermejo remained equally relentless in his assault, and for only the second time in the entire match a blocker was assigned when Fenaux-Briot’s Sootstoke Kindler took down a Fang Skullkin. The Spaniard led now by 8 life to 6, but with the Cinder Pyromancer pinging at the end of turn it became 7 life to 6. Fenaux-Briot’s turn, ping from the Cinder Pyromancer, 6 life to 6, he then cast a Rage Reflection that untapped the Pyromancer, threatening to make it 6 life to 4. Banking on the Pyromancer to get the job done Fenaux-Briot finally held back his Giant to defend, knowing he was only one turn from the Cinder Pyromancer winning the game! The turn passed back to Bermejo who sent his 3/3 Cohort over one more time, and almost sheepishly revealed a Burn Trail from his hand. That was the extra damage he needed, and with an almighty cheer from the Spanish crowd he levelled the match after yet another bloodthirsty game!

Daniel Martin Bermejo 1 – 1 Romain Fenaux-Briot

Daniel Martin Bermejo crushes with Murderous Redcap

For the first time in the match it was Romain Fenaux-Briot to start off, and he began with the dangerous Sootstoke Kindler on turn. Bermejo, also for the first time, had nothing to cast on his own second turn so all eyes turned to Fenaux-Briot and what threat he would be able to summon up and give haste to... and he had....... nothing, not even a third land! As he reluctantly passed the turn back to Bermejo there was an audible gasp of excitement from the Madrid crowd that the their champion might have an easy run into the final. Bermejo laid a land, and passed back again, but for a second turn Fenaux-Briot could only watch his chances of success diminish further into the distance as he failed to pull a land. Mudbutton Brawlers finally began the Spaniard’s assault, and when Fenaux-Briot drew and discarded for a third consecutive turn a Gravelgill Axeshark joined Bermejo’s team. Five turns in and Bermejo was ahead by 2 creatures to none, five lands to two, and the excitement among the onlookers was building that their man was going to get the job done.

On his sixth turn Fenaux-Briot finally found a third mountain but you could tell that he knew it was a long way back into the match. He cast a Hearthfire Hobgoblin but as Bermejo dispatched it with a Murderous Redcap there were whoops and hollers of delight from the partisan crowd. The Frenchman, back to the wall, found himself 17-11 down on life and desperate to make a creature stick so he could stop haemorrhaging life points. The best he could manage was a Mudbutton Brawlers, but the one thing he must have known by now was that nothing so petty would stop Bermejo from going for the jugular. A Scrapbasket didn’t seem the strongest play that the Spaniard could make, but when he added a Clout Of The Dominus to it, and turned the rickety scarecrow all colours that humble Scrapbasket was suddenly a 5/4 hasty beatstick and Bermejo drove his entire army into the red zone. They traded Mudbutton Brawlers but Fenaux-Briot dropped to 3 life regardless, could only muster a Dieflyn to chumpblock with on his next turn, and was crushed in a one-sided game that did not do justice to a compelling semi-final.

Daniel Martin Bermejo 2 – 1 Romain Fenaux-Briot

Not that the many people watching cared for the manner in which it had happened, though. Daniel Martin Bermejo, the local boy from Madrid, has stormed into the final to resounding cheers and applause. Like the Spanish national football side at Euro 2008, he’s done it playing in red and blue, like the Spanish national football side he’s done it with a very aggressive and attacking style of play, and the only question remaining now is if he can repeat their success in the final and complete a famous victory!


Finals – Lasse Nørgaard vs. Daniel Martin Bermejo

by Tobias Henke
Lasse Nørgaard

This is it. One more match to determine the champion of this 1466-player event. Will it be Lasse Nørgaard from Denmark or hometown hero Daniel Martin Bermejo from Madrid? The former is playing a black-red deck with a small splash for white, while the latter is with blue-red.

The game started slow with Nørgaard trading his Spiteflame Witch for Bermejo’s Stream Hopper . The next action came on turn four with Nørgaard’s Harvester Gwyllion . Bermejo had Scrapbasket , but that was taken down by Puncture Bolt , as was his Gravelgill Axeshark , this time by Recumbent Bliss. Finally Sootwalkers from Bermejo stuck to the board.

For a few turns the Gwyllion was left unblocked, before Bermejo took care of it with Curse of Chains . Now it was the Spanish player’s turn to deploy an evasion creature: Boggart Arsonists . Only, when that attacked for the first time, Nørgaard smartly activated his Elsewhere Flask to block the pesky plainswalker.

Next up, the game underwent a phase of extreme attrition, with Nørgaard’s many wither creatures literally wearing down Bermejo’s defenses, especially when his Rendclaw Trow died, died again, and was reanimated with Desecrator Hag just to do it all over.

Lasse Nørgaard 1-0 Daniel Martin Bermejo

Daniel Martin Bermejo

Bermejo chose to draw first, but still had the first play in Crag Puca . Nørgaard summoned Smoldering Butcher , but Bermejo killed it with Murderous Redcap . Rendclaw Trow and Lingering Tormentor established Nørgaard’s theme of Extreme Withering , while Bermejo laid a Selkie Hedge-Mage .

Nothing was moving on the board. Bermejo, however, got some movement into his hand, when he cast and conspired Ghastly Discovery . This found Stream Hopper , which he subsequentally enchanted with Clout of the Dominus . Nørgaard’s lifetotal was moving downwards in packages of three, three, three... Oh, and then three two more times, as Bermejo finished the game with a conspired Burn Trail to set the score at...

Lasse Nørgaard 1-1 Daniel Martin Bermejo

Local hero Bermejo started the game with an amazing line-up of scarecrows -- Fang Skulkin , Scarecrone , and Scrapbasket . Nørgaard only had Rendclaw Trow and Lingering Tormentor . But then thing took a turn for the bad. Incremental Blight wiped Bermejo’s side of the board clean. He tried to rebound with Murderous Redcap and Stream Hopper , but Nørgaard redoubled with Grief Tyrant , then Faerie Macabre .

Bermejo had fallen too far behind, behind in cards, in life, in creatures. A few more attacks brought him down to three and Lasse Nørgaard of Denmark flashed Puncture Blast .

When the next attack brought Bermejo to three Puncture Blast finished it off.

Lasse Nørgaard defeats Daniel Martin Bermejo 2-1 to become the champion of Grand Prix Madrid 2008! Congratulations!

Lasse Nørgaard defeats Daniel Martin Bermejo 2-1!

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