Day 1 Blog Archive

Posted in Event Coverage on September 9, 2007

By Wizards of the Coast




For the first time ever in Italian Magic, more than 1000 players have converged on the beautiful city of Florence for the latest stop on the European Grand Prix circuit. In amongst the throng are many of the world's finest players, on the hunt for extra Pro Points as the race for Player of the Year ratchets up another notch. With Grand Prix in every corner of the globe, big Japanese names are here once again to do battle with their European rivals, not forgetting some surprise names from North America. Join us throughout the weekend for a stonking 18 rounds of Block Constructed action.

Click here to download! - 14.5Mb MP3

Saturday, Sept. 8: 10:41 a.m. - Internet Love Story

by Jörn Martin Hajek

No girl can resist this charming Frenchman

A very happy Olivier Ruel came by this morning. He told us an extremely romantic story about a girl he met at GP San Francisco, who asked him to marry her. He said yes! She even put a love song up on the internet for him. You can find it on YouTube.

Saturday, Sept. 8: 11:30 a.m. - Their First Tournament

by Jörn Martin Hajek

Martin and Gero from Germany, ready for battle

There are always some players who choose to have their first tournament be a Grand Prix. Usually, these players are local - they heard about this big tournament from their friends or in the store, and they decide to show up. For Martin Breuer and Gero Harkämpfer, the story was quite different: The German radio station Big.FM held a competition in one of their shows, and Martin and Gero managed to win to free trips to Italy. While they had a little trouble with the hotel and with their decks (they didn't know what format it was until they showed up), they are very excited to get the opportunity to compete with such a big crowd of people. Unfortunately, they both lost their first game, but they are quite confident that they will pick up a win or two somewhere along the way.

Saturday, Sept. 8: 12:06 p.m. - Podcast: Bye Bye Bye

by Rich Hagon

As the morning sun continues to blaze down on this gorgeous city, more and more players are joining the action. First man into the ring from our Pentagram of the Mages is German Andre Mueller. We also get the lowdown on the weekend metagame, as top trader Shane Riddington tells us which cupboards are bare. Rounds 1 to 3, in one easy low-cost installment. Download now!

Click here to download! - 12Mb MP3

Saturday, Sept. 8: 1:43 p.m. - Round 4: Dan Paskins vs. Hironobu Sugaya

by Jörn Martin Hajek

Hironobu Sugaya

Time Spiral block has done a lot of strange things. It even colorshifted Dan Paskins! The Brit who is famous for only playing red decks is here with a deck he likes to call Blue Deck Wins. It features small creatures, Unstable Mutation, and Psionic Blast, so it may actually be very much like playing a red deck from old days.

Hironobu Sugaya took the trip all the way from Japan. He may be best known for the Sliver Deck he played when he qualified for Japan Nationals. He brought a version of the popular Justice/Predator deck.

Dan misses a land drop in turn 2, but still manages to get a 4/4 flyer into play - Flying Men enchanted with Unstable Mutation. Hironobu plays the more conventional Tarmogoyf, and follows up with Kavu Predator. Dan is forced to lock his mana up for Drifter il-Dal, but if Hironobu does not play to many spells himself, the two creatures may be enough to go all the way. However, Sugaya manages to cast another Kavu Predator and a Calciderm and when the Flying Men die from their Mutation, Dan scoops up his one Island. He later tells me he has the Psionic Blast that would have finished the game.

Dan Paskins - Hironobu Sugaya 0-1

Dan Paskins

Again, Dan has a blazing fast start, this time with Drifter il-Dal and Unstable Mutation. Hironobu
gets a Kavu Predator, and Dan seems to be out of gas - but in fact, he has Delay times two, which he uses to keep Fiery Justice and Disintegrate away, and his Drifter on the table. When the Drifter dies, Hironobu is only on three life. Dan plays Gossamer Phantasm, and it looks like that may be enough - but Hironobu has Llanowar Reborn in play and moves a graft-counter to it, and the Phantasm dies. Soon after, Dan dies to a bunch of creatures, and another Disintegrate.

After the game, I talk to the head judge and find out that graft doesn't actually target, so the Phantasm would have lived. A little to late for Dan..

Hironobu Sugaya beats Dan Paskins, 2-0.

Saturday, Sept. 8: 3:07 p.m. - Round 5: Antoine Ruel vs. Enrico Torazza

by Jörn Martin Hajek

Enrico is a local player from Italy. He doesn't travel a lot to go to Magic tournaments, but he likes to go to the Italian GPs. Actually, he made top 16 last year in Torino - and he got to play Antoine twice in that tournament, so the two know each other.

Enrico brings the Pickles deck, while Antoine has opted for the popular blue-black Teachings deck.

I have to find the players at the regular tables, because they haven't realized they have a feature match.
After some moving, we are ready to go.

Enrico gets some beatdown going, with Riftwing Cloudskate and a secret morph, while Delay'ing Antoine's card advantage spells, Careful Consideration and Haunting Hymn. But when Antoine uses Slaughter Pact to get rid of the morph (a Vesuvan Shapeshifter), there is not really much pressure on him any more. His spells get to resolve, and he gets way ahead in cards. Enrico gets his own card advantage spells with a built-in Delay - he suspends two Ancestral Visions. They will give him a chance to gain the momentum. Before they resolve though, Antoine manages to get in a few hits with two Shadowmage Infiltrators. One of them draws him a Detritivore, and it is just enough to keep Enrico from gaining too much advantage from the Visions. When a Triskelavus appears on his side of the table, the game ends quickly.

Antoine - Enrico 1-0

Antoine hasn't realised yet that his sideboard left him

The players proceed to sideboarding. Or at least, they try to: Antoine can't find his sideboard. We all agree that he had it before we moved to the feature match area, and as it is not at their original table, it must have vanished into thin air. A judge is called over, and Antoine will have to continue without a sideboard in this game. Luckily for him, because of the circumstances, the standard penalty of a game loss is downgraded to a warning.

The second game is faster as the third. It starts with Enrico suspending Aeon Chronicler, and basically the card advantage from that, plus the big monster that follows, decide the game prematurely. Antoine can only shake his head in disgust thinking about the three Pull from Eternity that he could have sideboarded in. When Enrico finds a Triskelavus to go along with his Academy Ruins, Antoine quickly scoops to have time for Game 3.

Antoine - Enrico 1-1

The two players have 8 minutes to finish the last game, and Antoine gets some Shadowmage Infiltrator beatdown going. But a timely Brine Elemental and the fact that the Infiltrator only deals one damage per turn ensure Enrico the draw.

Antoine Ruel draws with Enrico Torazza, 1-1-1.

Saturday, Sept. 8: 4:14 p.m. - Disqualifications

by Jörn Martin Hajek

A few players have been disqualified today. Two of the disqualifications were basically the same story: A judge is called to the table. The opponents give different stories about what happens. The head judge is called over, and now one of the players changes his story. That's a big no-no when dealing with judges: If you change your story, you either lie now, or you lied to the other judge. And lying to the judge is an automatic DQ. So next time a judge comes over: Tell him the truth, even if he rules against you.

Saturday, Sept. 8: 5:29 p.m. - An Old Mistake

by Jörn Martin Hajek

Architecture can be dangerous to Magic players

Since people have been playing poker in the Wild West, scrupulous players have been trying to place their opponents in front of mirrors. By that, they were hoping to see some cards they were not supposed to see without the victim noticing. An old, and fairly simple trick.

Today, before the first round, nobody realised that the way the windows here at the site are set, it was actually possible for half the players on the first ten tables to see their opponents cards in them! Luckily, one of the more ethical players pointed this out to the judges, and the first row of tables hasn't been used since then...

Saturday, Sept. 8: 6:13 p.m. - Podcast: It's Pro Time!

by Rich Hagon

It's time for the Pros to make their entrance. Join our intrepid band of five Big Names from around the world as they embark on what could be an extremely long and arduous journey to the GP summit. Great insight from Frank Karsten, Antonino de Rosa and more as the players position themselves for a run at day two.

Click here to download! - 14.2Mb MP3

Saturday, Sept. 8: 6:17 p.m. - Round 8: Mario Pascoli vs. Kenji Tsumura

by Jörn Martin Hajek

Antonino de Rosa calls him "the best player no one knows", but judging from the large crowd that came to see this match, Mario Pascoli is famous in Italy. Which is not so surprising, since he won his second Italy National Champion title earlier this year.

Kenji Tsumura is also a player some people may have heard about, though he is not as well-known as Mario - at least not in this crowd...

Kenji and Mario getting ready for Game 1

Kenji was playing the well-known Pickles deck, while Mario packed a version of the Haze of Rage deck Kenji played in San Francisco.

Kenji resolved an early Ancestral Visions in Game 1, and immediately took the lead with it. Mario got a few early creatures in play, but they were not so fast that they did any significant damage, and so Kenji would just trade cards one for one with him, and still remain an advantage due to the Visions, and later Serrated Arrows. It never seemed close, until Mario "went off": he played Uktabi Drake, Uktabi Drake, Summoner's Pact for Uktabi Drake, Uktabi Drake. Together with some suspend and a little action from Kenji's side, this resulted in a storm count of seven for his Haze of Rage. But Kenji calmly blocked, and used all resources available to him to stay at four life, with a stable board position. Mario never drew anything to finish him off, and finally fell to the massive card advantage Kenji had created.

Kenji vs. Mario 1-0

Game 2 was a lot quicker than Game 1. Mario got the ultimate combo going - Gaea's Anthem and Kher Keep. A Kavu Predator soon joined, and Kenji was forced to play Damnation. Mario had a Tarmogoyf to follow up, and Kenji had to throw a lot at it to get rid of it. He had already lost quite a bit of life at this point, and when Mario got his Haze of Rage storm count up to seven, using only his own spells, Kenji quickly scooped and started shuffling for Game 3.


The two players were a little short on time for Game 3, so they tried to play fast. Kenji got the suspend-buddies Ancestral Visions and Riftwing Cloudskate, while Mario tried his luck with a pair of Kavu Predators. The Grove of the Burnwillows seemed dangerous in combination with them, but Kenji got to bounce the Predators three times (the Cloudskate, Vesuvan Shapeshifter, and Venser, Shaper Savant all worked together), so he still had a comfortable life total and kept them at a manageable size. He soon stopped attacking, and obviously played for the draw, but managed to keep a fair pace. Mario found a Stormbind and the third Kavu Predator, but Kenji kept his forces at arms length until time ran out.

Kenji Tsumura vs. Mario Pascoli 1-1-1

Saturday, Sept. 8: 6:58 p.m. - Decklists: Day 1 Undefeated Decks

by Staff

Mido Kagawa

Download Arena Decklist

Masami Kaneko

Download Arena Decklist

Tiago Chan

Download Arena Decklist

Marco Cammilluzzi

Download Arena Decklist

Fried Meulders

Download Arena Decklist

Saturday, Sept. 8: 7:31 p.m. - Podcast: Big Developments

by Rich Hagon

Boy oh boy, these GPs turn into an absolute carveup in the final rounds. With four of the top five in the Player of the Year race here in search of Pro Points, all four were in a strong position going into the final three rounds. Could the stellar quartet of Tomoharu Saitou, Kenji Tsumura, Shingou Kurihara and Raphael Levy keep their hopes alive into Day Two play? Download now for the answers, and join us again tomorrow as 128 become 1 - the Champion of GP Firenze 2007.

Click here to download! - 14.5 Mb MP3

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