Day 2 Blog Archive

Posted in Event Coverage on March 26, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast



Werner Cloete

Urgh, this is early. Correction. This is damn early. It feels like an hour earlier. Oh hell it is an hour earlier. The clocks went forward an hour last night so we all lost an hour's sleep.

Inevitably there were the expected casualties between the bars of Cardiff and the time change. Werner Cloete found a nice metal bar but was here the wrong side of 8. Another surprise absence was Helmut Summersberger. When I last looked the 7-man pods started from pod 4 today, although we had a couple show up in the nick of time.

BYE likes this time. After being savagely kicked around for most of yesterday morning BYE finally gets its revenge.

Sunday, March 26: 9:30 am - Sexy Cardiff

It has been pointed out that I may have unfairly denigrated Cardiff yesterday. This may be because I've been rather fortunate in my travels of late. I'm sorry, but a four hour train ride from the north just isn't as exciting as trips to Honolulu or Manila. I'm English anyway, making fun of the Welsh is a national pastime. We don't mean it. We're just envious of all those rolling green fields, gorgeous countryside and copious amounts of beer. Speaking of beer, Cardiff is really lively at night although after a massive meal with the staff all I could do was roll back to the hotel. Never fear, I'm sure I'll be back to my usual drunken and debauched self tonight.

Anyway so I've been ordered to sex Cardiff up a little so here's something for all those fans of Olivier Ruel out there. I'm never letting him near an ink stamp again.

SexyNot Sexy - Jonny Chapman

Sunday, March 26: 10:17 am - Draft One Coverage

Draft One

Since the clock went forward by an hour today and it's 8 o'clock in the morning this promises to be a long day for both players and reporters.

Draft pod one promises to be an interesting one. The United Kingdom is well represented with Quentin Martin, Nick West and Martin Dingler. There going to have a tough time though as this pod also features Pro Tour winner Geoffrey Siron, the "Fanatic" Karsten and long time pro Raphael Levy. The last two players are rather unknown: Wesimo Al-Bacha from Germany and 8-0 player Alex Yatsenko.

Geoffrey Siron and Frank Karsten were seated next to each other, with Frank on the right. The first booster immediately spelled trouble for both players as Geoffrey opened Ribbons of Night and Frank's only real pick was Disembowl.
Things didn't get better in the next 2 packs as Geoffrey drafted Drift of Phantasm. He picked the wall over a Peel from Reality, which I think is wrong since Peel got so much better with Guildpact and the Wall seems replaceable.
Frank picked up a Brainspoil and the Peel from Reality.
This is probably the problem with this format as the pro's seem to love drafting B/U/r.
Frank almost moved into green as he got a Drooling Groodion but the pick after he shipped a Transluminant, picking Dimir Infiltrator signaling that he also wanted B/U.

Table 1

Pack 2 was a bit more rewarding for the Fanatic as he got 2 Compulsive Research and 2 Snapping Drake.
Geoffrey on the other hand opened a Moroii. A nice first pick but after that and a Halcyon Glaze pack 2 totally dried up for him, mainly because Frank took all the goodies and they didn't come in doubles.

Pack 3 promised to be a good one for both players as everyone in the world seems to agree that the Izzet guild is far more powerful then the other 2 guilds in Guildpact.
And both pro's were rewarded in the first 5 picks as the boosters provided 2 good cards at least per booster.
Geoffrey netted 2 Douse in Gloom, 2 repeal and a Steamcore Weird.
Frank got some additional flyers, 2 Torch Drake's, and some removal, Douse in Gloom and Steamcore Weird.
After that the packs again dried up somewhat but still both players seem to have solid decks. Together with their skills they should be able to put down a 2-1 performance.

Sunday, March 26: 10:22 am - Round 9: Quentin Martin vs Alex Yatsenko

Well Quentin has been begging me to cover one of his feature matches all weekend. Now he's 8-0 going into day two I suppose I'd better oblige. His opponent Alex Yatsenko, is a Russian player who is familiar on the Grand Prix circuit as both a player and level three judge. My loyalty is actually torn for this match. Quentin is a fellow Englishman, but Alex always brings vodka to the judge meetings on the Friday before a tournament.

Quentin Martin

Both players are running blue black with a red splash for Martin and white splash for Yatsenko. They've also got some spicy Dimir rares to bring to the table including the guildmaster Szadek himself.

Martin won the die roll and elected to go first. He followed a Signet with Gelectrode and then a Snapping Drake. Yatsenko was waiting with Convolute. The Russian finally made some aggressive moves of his own s Moroii entered play. Martin was able to deal with that with a second Drake and the Gelectrode.

Yatsenko had hit the control portion of his deck as a potentially devastating Bottled Cloister was met with an Induce Paranoia.

The game then went a little odd as Martin failed to find anything to go with his Gelectrode while Yatsenko had nothing better to do except pay four a turn to attack with a Tidewater Minion.

Martin finally put a stop to the Minion beats with Petahydrox. Yatsenko used the free mana to cast Izzet Guildmage and Souls of the Faultless. Martin sent his Weird Hill Giant into the Souls regardless so he could finish it off with the Gelectrode. Yatsenko lost the Souls but gained a six point life swing.

Life totals then turned out to be irrelevant as Yatsenko drew Glimpse the Unthinkable and copied it with the Guildmage to fireball Martin's library out of the game.

Yatsenko 1-0 Martin

For the second game Martin elected to have his opponent go first and was immediately rewarded with a mulligan. Unfortunately he then threw away his advantage by mulliganing to five.

It's the curse. I told him he should have id'ed that last round.

Neither players draw seemed like the quality this game. Yatsenko made three islands and a Cyclopean Snare and passed a few turns, desperate for a swamp. Martin found a Signet, but not a third land. He Transmuted a Muddle the Mixture into a second Signet.

Yatsenko found a Izzet Guildmage, but it only meant Martin knew he wasn't holding Convolute and it was safe to make the Bottled Cloister. From that point it was pretty much game as Yatsenko couldn't even find a swamp.

Yatsenko 1-1 Martin

Yatsenko was happy going first in the decider. Thankfully no mulligans affected this match. It was still a fairly slow start as both players were content to play draw-go for a while. For that game a player wants to keep laying land and Yatsenko was forced to blink first as he made a Vedalkan Transmuter.

Martin obligingly also decided to chip in to the decking plan as he laid his other powerful card drawing artifact, a Bloodletter Quill.

Yatsenko just added a Terrarion and was content to sit back on an Induce Paranoia, or at least I presumed so. Martin tried to bait with a Barbarian Riftcutter (yes, that is the 3/3 for 5). Yatsenko didn't care about the Barbarian. Nobody cares about the Barbarians, why do you think they get so angry. An Entrancer activation hit the other Riftcutter in Martin's deck.

A Wee Dragonauts was finally deemed worthy to soak up the Paranoia, and what a hit it was as Yatsenko milled Dismisser and Ogre Savant. The Entrancer then hit a Bottled Cloister and Petahydrox. 5 cards milled and not a single land. Ouch.

Martin looked to be in trouble here. He hadn't mustered enough offence and the Entrancer was eating his library. He threw the Riftcutter at the Entrancer with Fiery Conclusion. Martin now only had 10 cards left in his library. Not good times against an opponent with Glimpse the Unthinkable.

"Have to go for it." Yatsenko said, transmuting Infiltrator.

Martin was waiting with Muddle the Mixture. The game suddenly got interesting as Martin flopped out Mindleech Mass. Had Martin come back into it?

His library still looked vulnerable as Yatsenko summoned a second Entrancer and Orzhov Guildmage. This was developing into a very tight game.

Souls and the Guildmage threw themselves in the way of the Mass. Martin then completed the demolition of Yatsenko's board by fetching back Fiery Conclusion with a Chronarch.

"That was not good," Yatsenko said.

Alex Yatsenko

The Russian wasn't out of it yet though. Mindleech Mass slurped in only to be ambushed by Thunderheads.

"You got me," Martin said.

Then the Englishman summoned the Dimir headman himself. Szadek, Lord of Secrets entered the board. Typical English draft strategy, if in doubt take the rares.

This one was going to the wire. Martin was down to four cards in his library and just four life. Yatsenko took a hit from the vampire guildmaster, but then found a Wizened Snitches to hold off the legend for a turn.

The game went into extra turns but the Russian couldn't quite hold on. Yatsenko had got Martin down to three cards, three life and had dragged the game into extra turns, but then he ran out of flying blockers and the Lord of the Dimir blasted his library to smithereens.

Quentin Martin beats Alex Yatsenko 2-1

Sunday, March 26: 11:08 am - Round 9: Rogier Maaten vs. Bram Snepvangers

Rogier Maaten

These dutch pro's are playing in pod 4; quite the spicy one featuring other players like Julien Nuijten, Ben Ronaldson and Jose "must be nice " Barbero. Helmut Summersberger was supposed to be in this draftpod as well but like a couple of other players failed to make it in time this morning.

Game 1

Bram won the toss and elected to go first but quickly threw back his opening 7. So does Rogier and without further mulligans we're on our way.
Rogier worked his mana the first couple of turns with an Evles of Deep Shadow and a Civic Wayfiner, revealing he is only playing 2 colors as he merely searched a second Mountain.
Bram's board of Nightguard Patrol and 2 Ostiary Thrull get's annihilated by Sparkmage Apprentice, Galvanic Arc and a Pyromatics. Even his second Nightguard Patrol got Putrefied. This cleared the board for Rogier's army of small men and a Swine.

to Rogier

Game 2

After the first game's beating Bram still thinks it's best to let Rogier start this game. A strange decision if you ask me, but then again, Bram is a fairly unconventional player.
Still Bram's Transluminant is able to keep Rogier his men at bay.
This gives Bram time to get a body on the table for the first time in this match: a Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi.
To make matters worse for Rogier his only threat, a Burning-Tree Bloodscale receives a Pillory of the Sleepless and the game is over within a couple of turns.
Rogier did accomplish to force Bram to play another trick that game as he tried to shoot down some of Bram's men with a Pyromatics. Bram responded with a Seeds of strength but this way Rogier gained some additional information for the deciding game.


Game 3

Bram Snepvangers

Rogier still decided it was best to go first himself.
No mulligans again and Rogier had an Elves of Deep Shadow turn one and a turn 3 Gristelback. Again his board is forced to stay on defence against Bram's board of Ghost Warden and Veteran Armorer.
This time though Rogier's creatures actually allowed him to convoke a Siege Wurm in play on turn 4.
A Watchwolf from Bram still made Rogier think twice about attacking but he send his Wurm nevertheless.
Next turn Bram double blocked the Wurm with his Watchwolf and Armorer. Rogier had a Putrefy and Bram a Wildsize so all creatures died.
A Guardian from Bram again forced Rogier to send all his men at the cost of loosing one per turn, eventually putting Bram on 5 life.
Bram had a withstand to prevent him from falling to 2 life which would enable Rogier to deal the final point of damage with a Pyromatics he was probably holding.
Indeed Rogier was holding the Pyromatics as he had to play it next turn in order to stay alive.
Not for long though as Bram drew his Swamp, finally being able to cast some of his blacks spells that had been piling up in his hand.

2-1 to Bram Snepvangers

After the match I asked Bram why he let Rogier start. He thought that both players had fast decks and in such a matchup it's best to go second. I still disagree with him as Rogier's r/g deck is full of bloodthirst creatures which get a lot worse going second.

Sunday, March 26: 11:40 am - Seeing Double

Like a real-life Tomax and Xamot

This was a round 10 match that was pointed out to me. Nuno Costa and Frederico Costa are twins that have traveled over from Portugal. Portuguese Magic is enjoying some good results of late and these two are both riding high in the standings after drafting in the second pod.

And the result. Nuno won, or was it Frederico?

Sunday, March 26: 12:33 pm - Round 11: Olivier Ruel vs. Richard Edbury

Again a clash between old and new: Richard used to be called the best Welsh player and Olivier needs little introduction.
Both players have 8-2-1 records going in to this round and probably need 2 more wins in order to make top 8.

Olivier Ruel vs. Richard Edbury

Richard won the toss and elected to play first.
First play of the game was a compulsive research by Richard. He has to discard a Douse in Gloom and a Convolute indicating he didn't have any additional lands or Swamps.
Olivier's Snapping Drake was unable to attack since Richard had 2 Beltower Sphinxes in play.
Olivier did have 3 Vedalkan Dismissers but since Oli could only bounce 1 Sphinx a turn he still was unable to attack with his drake and Dismissers.
A turn later Olivier decided that it finally was time for an attack with his Snapping Drake. Beltower Sphinx stepped in front of the little Drake but Olivier had an Electrolyse. This forced him to mill himself for 5 cards along the process.
2 Veldalkan Entrancers came down for Richard which made it almost impossible for Olivier to deal damage and 2 turns later Ruel scoped in disgust.

Game 2

Olivier had to mulligan his opening hand on the play. His next 6 only yielded him 1 land but still he decided to keep. Not the best choice as by the time Richard had 2 Belltower Sphinxes in play Olivier still only had 1 land.
A highly frustrated Olivier Ruel scooped on turn 6.

Richard Edbury beats Olivier Ruel 2-0

Sunday, March 26: 12:40 pm - Who said the English can't draft

I caught you Knutson!

Martin Dingler and Lian Pizzey

"There are a scary number of English names in the Top 16 over in Cardiff. Wasn't that a Limited event?"

Are you dissing the English?

Well here's something for you. Pod One: Raphael Levy, Geoffrey Siron and Frank Karsten. Who 3-0'ed it. Martin Dingler. An English amateur.

Pod two: Jelger Wiegersma and Antoine Ruel. Who 3-0'ed it? Englishman Lian Pizzey.

Take that Knutson!

Sunday, March 26: 1:33 pm - Dragons for drafting

Dragons for Drafts

To commemorate the, well, Welshness of the event this weekend there is an added twist to the side events. Any player winning a draft gets to take home a little pet dragon. Win five drafts and you get to trade in five little dragons for a big dragon.

Aww. Don't they look cute? Wouldn't you just like to take a blowtorch to one.

Sunday, March 26: 1:52 pm - Dragon Challenge

Chris Stocking

There are a number of interesting side tournaments being held today to give those players who failed to make day two something interesting to do. Aside from the 128 player PTQ there is a special 15 card highlander dragon challenge. The rules are simple. Each player has a fifteen card highlander deck that is extended legal and must also include a dragon card. Each player has a three card sideboard. A player doesn't lose if they can't draw a card and the game continues until lethal damage is inflicted.

The prize for the winner is a very fancy dragon sculpture provided by Julian Jardine (who is currently still active in the main event). That lucky man eventually turned out to be Chris Stocking, with a deck that featured Leyline of Singularity, Hunted Horror, Hunted Dragon and apparently a lot of Chrome Mox / Glimpse the Unthinkable starts.

Sunday, March 26: 2:30 pm - Army of Dragons

Run away!

Hmm, I think they heard me diss Wales. I think they might also have heard me threaten one of their number with a blowtorch.

I think they went for reinforcements.

I think they're mad at me.

I'm very scared.

Sunday, March 26: 2:55 pm - Draft 2 report, pod 1

Draft 2

Draft 2 of GP Cardiff and the top 10 players are within 3 points of each other.
I've sat down next to Antoine Ruel and Roel van Heeswijk. Both players have 27 points going into the draft and most likely will need a 2-1 performance in order to make top 8.
Roel would be passing to Antoine this draft.

Pack 1

Roel opened a very strong pack featuring Faith's Fetters, Snapping Drake, Mark of eviction and Drooling Groodion. He picked the Fetters.
Antoine had no choise as his real option was first picking a Firemane Angel and he picked the Mark of Eviction up from Roel's pack.
That was about it for Antoine for the first pack. He only managed to draft a couple of Dimir cards but nothing spectacular. What he did manage was cutting blue which should set him up nicely for the next pack.
Roel in the meanwhile was struggling to find his colors, switching between Golgari and Boros but he did collect more playables then Antoine.

Pack 2

Antoine felt he would be rewarded this pack but the opposite was true.
He started with a Halycon Glaze and a Peel from Reality but his third pick was a horrible Dimir Infiltrator. Only a Compulsive Research came along to make Antoine feel a little better.
Roel finally decided that he was going to play w/g/b and drafted some solid cards from this second booster. He still needed something good though from Guildpact but he certainly was in better shape then Antoine was.
This was especially true since Antoine admitted after the draft that he thought Roel was drafting r/u.

Pack 3

Antoine Ruel builds his deck

Guildpact was going to prove itself to be really nice for Roel: he opened a Debtor's Knell, arguably the best rare in Guildpact. Then he picked up consecutive Shrieking Grotesque, Blind Hunter, Ostiary Thrull and Daggerclaw Imp.
Antoine must have felt to be in the biggest struggle of his magic career so far as he as well tried to draft the Orzhov guild in Guildpact. That didn't work out too well for Antoine as Roel picked up all the goodies from that guild


Roel seems to be fine and should be able to muster a 2-1 record.
Antoine on the other hand has much bigger problems; not only are his cards not very good but his manabase is most probably awful. I'd be surprised if Antoine manages to make it to the top 8.

Sunday, March 26: 3:24 pm - Gunslinging with the pros

How nice is it to beat a professional at a game? It's probably the best thing for a tennis player to beat Roger Federer once, or beat Gary Kasparov at chess if you like chess. Well wake up, it ain't gonna happen.

Antti Malin gunslings

Beating magic pro's on the other hand is far more easy. You just let them build a sealed deck, take your own highly tuned constructed deck, totally kick their asses, tell all your friends at home, and you even earn a booster along the process.

This is what gunslinging is about. 4 Level 3 or higher players sat down at a table today to play against everyone that wanted to game against them.

Bernardo da Costa Cabral, Anti Malin, Maximilian "bauer" Bracht and yours truly sat down to get asses kicked…. and apart from an occasional win we did get our asses kicked.

Sunday, March 26: 4:50 pm - Round 12: Martin Dingler vs. Wesimo Al-Bacha

Wesimo Al-Bacha

It's round 12 and we have two players on the cusp of top 8. Martin Dingler has been writing articles for a while about his attempts to make the Pro Tour and finally won a PTQ for Prague a few weeks back. Now he's determined to cash in his amateur status in style in the month or so it's left to him. As he has the most ridiculous red-green deck with two (yes two!) Rumbling Slum, Moldervine Cloak and Savage Twister I think he probably has a good chance.

His opponent is Wesimo Al-Bacha. Al-Bacha is also on 30 points and needs just a single win. Al-Bacha was one of the German contingent running Heartbeat at Honolulu and he managed a credible 19th place finish.

Wesim Al-Bacha won the die roll (beating a 19 with a 20) and elected to kick off. A Signet ramped him into Absolver Thrull. Dingler's mana acceleration was a little slower as he followed a Ledgewalker with a Starfletcher.

Al-Bacha took full advantage of winning the die roll as he used Pillory of the Sleepless to take the Starfletcher out of combat and added to his forces with Fists of Ironwood.

Then it was time for the Fatty boom-boom's to put in an appearance. Dingler made his first Rumbling Slum, Al-Bacha added a Golgari Rotwurm only for Dingler to have a Rotwurm of his own. Yikes. I went and hid behind my computer from all the scary monsters.

Still the damage was being done in little drips. Dingler was bleeding Al-Bacha with his Ledgewalker, Al-Bacha was bleeding back with the Pillory and the Slum was bleeding both players.

Then Al-Bacha made what seemed like a couple of mistakes to me. He chumped the Slum with a Saproling and then kicked himself for forgetting to sacrifice it to the Rotwurm. He then attacked his Rotwurm into a trade with Dingler's Rotwurm. As Dingler had a Golgari Guildmage it just gave him a target to sac the Pilloried Starfletcher to get the Rotwurm back from his graveyard.

The game was still pretty tight. Al-Bacha started to grab life back with a Mourning Thrull and just when it seemed like he might have run out of chump blockers he found a Ghor-Clan Savage. Dingler used Wildsize to take that fatty down and finally connected with the Slum. Al-Bacha Recollected his Rotwurm and it was getting interesting.

The life totals stood at 7 to 5 in Dingler's favor. He swung with the Slum, Ledgewalker and a Gruul Scrapper. Al-Bacha threw his re-heated Rotwurm in the way of the Scrapper and had Last Gasp waiting when Dingler pumped it with his Guildmage.

His return attack with the Rotwurm forced a chump block from Dingler's Guildmage. This was real high impact stuff.

With no cards in hand Al-Bacha went and drew a Drooling Groodion right off the top of his library. Dingler sent in just the Slum this time and the Mourning Thrull was used for chumping duties.

I thought the Groodion would be enough to swing it for the German but then Dingler laid a land and brought out both Shambling Shell and Siege Wurm!

Al-Bacha had to pass the turn and then Dingler crashed in with everything for the win.

Martin Dingler

Wow, that was a real slugfest.

Dingler 1-0 Al-Bacha

In contrast Game 2 was a complete blow out as Al-Bacha's found only red and green mana and couldn't cast anything in his hand. Dingler's lean Gruul killing machine went Feral Animist, Rumbling Slum (well he does have two of them) and Indentured Oath.

In contrast Al-Bacha had the wretched choice of actually having to put Fists of Ironwood on one of those just so he could get some chump blockers.

He didn't even have them as Dingler Savage Twistered for 1 and stormed in to book his place at the final table.

Martin Dingler beats Wesimo Al-Bacha 2-0.

Sunday, March 26: 5:42 pm - Round 13: Raphael Levy vs. Roel van Heeswijk

Both players have 30 points and one win should be enough for either to make top 8
Roel was very unpleased with how his draft went, which you can read about more here.
Raphael seemed more confidant going into the round.

Loxodon Gatekeeper

Game 1

Both players were a little confused whether or not Roel said heads or tails while flipping the coin. Roel assured Raphael that he said heads so Roel got to start.

He wasn't too happy though that he won the flip as he shipped his opening hand back after thinking about 2 minutes. He also thought some time about keeping his second hand before shipping it back as well.

Nothing much has happened until Raphael let Roel discard 2 cards with a Consult the Negrosages which was painful as Roel only started this game with 5 cards.

Roel returns the favor with a Shrieking Grotesque, which immediately got burned down by a Steamcore Weird.

Roel now only has one card in hand and things look good for Raphael… until Roel revealed his Debtor's Knell; way to make for a double mulligan.
Luckily for Raphael there are no fattie boombooms in either graveyards.
Roel kept the pressure on with a Screeching Griffin and a Loxodon Gatekeeper.
Especially the last one proved to be a big problem for Raphael as he was already low on lands.

Seeing that he doesn't have outs against the Knell Raphael decides it's better to save some time for the next games.

to Roel

Game 2

Now it's time for Raphael to start and mulligan. First play of the game was a turn 3 Cloudstone Curio from Raphael. A card that perfectly matches the kind of deck Raphael normally plays.

Roel's first play was a Castigate revealing Ogre Savant, Necroplasm, Douse in Gloom and Clinging Darkness. The Savant get's removed from the game since it could spell a lot of trouble for Roel as there is a Curio in play.

Douse hit's a Screeching Griffin and Roel came back with Blind Hunter and Ostiary Thrull. Raphael is getting tricky with a Strands of the Undead on his Necroplasm; this might allow him to kill Roel his 4 mana creatures as Necroplasm could survive it's own ability.

Things started to look even worse when Raphael played a Clinging Darkness on the Blind Hunter enabling him to return his Strands. Strands get's replayed but in respons Roel Disembowls Raphael's Necroplasm which totally turns the tables. Now Raphael is left with no permanents except for lands and a Cloudstone Curio and Roel get's to keep his creatures.

Most obviously Roel had the Debtor's Knell next turn and Raphael extended his hand wishing Roel good luck in the top 8.

Roel van Heeswijk beats Raphael Levy 2-0 and advances to top 8.
Raphael will need to win his last round match in order have a good shot at top 8.

Sunday, March 26: 6:33 pm - Round 14: Richard Edbury vs. Loeb Davy

Richard Edbury

Richard, as you probably now from the previous coverage, is one of the best Welsh players. Davy is a very good player - living in Poland, but coming from France. If he manages to win this game, he might be in the Top 8 (which would be his first Top 8 ever). Richard also hasn't had any Top 8 GP appearances, but his average finish at a PT level is 58th, which is pretty nice. If Richard wins, he is definitely in.

This match is therefore a "Deathmatch" for the Top 8 at GP Cardiff. Davy started pretty fast with Ghost Warden and a Wayfinder. Richard had to discard on turn 2, since he played Orzhov Basilica. Later, he played Pillory on the Wayfinder and then Dimir House Guard. Davy, in the meantime, played Rootkin Ally and Transluminant.

Richard did not manage to put anything else on the board and Rootkin Ally attacked once for 6 and then again for 5. Davy sent in another big monster - Siege Wurm and Richard scooped.

Richard chose to start in the 2nd game.

Richard had to think a lot, but then decided to keep. Davy kept too and the match began. Richard played Golgari Rot Farm on turn two, followed by Watchwolf on turn 3 (taking 1 mana burn). Davy played Selesnya Signet on turn 2 and a Wayfinder on turn 3. Richard played two small creatures during his next turn - Elves of the Deep Shadow and Transluminant and attacked with his Watchwolf. Davy, in his turn, played Root Kin Ally (again like in the previous match), but now Richard saved his Pillory for it.

The cards are really similar to the previous match, since Davy played again Siege Wurm. The difference is that Richard had some defence now, currently strengthened with Drooling Groodion. Davy answered with Oathsword Giant and attacked with his Siege Wurm for 5. The life totals were 11 to 9 for Richard. Next turn, Richard "got rid of" the Siege Wurm with Clinging Darkness.

Loeb Davy

The breakthrough came with Primeval Light (yes, you don't see this card played very often…, but it destroys all enchantments target player controls), and the result was a destroyed Pillory, Fist of Ironwood and Clinging Darkness! Davy then attacked with the Wurm and the Ally dealing Richard 5 more damages (6 - 9 to Davy). In Richard's turn, he only attacked with a flying token from the Transluminant that blocked Ally last turn

In Davy's next turn, he tried to kill the token with a Trophy Hunter, but it got sacrificed to Drooling Groodion, giving -2/-2 to Oathsworn Giant. At end of turn Richard also sacrificed another token to kill the Oathsworn Giant. The board was: Richard had 4 creatures - Elves of the Deep Shadow, Watchwolf, Drooling Groodion and a token. Davy had Siege Wurm, Rootkin Ally, Civic Wayfinder, Trophy Hunter, Conclave Equenaut and three tokens. Moreover, he played Golgari Rootwurm before the attack. Then he attacked with everything (except the Rootwurm). Richard had to think this through, since he was on 5.

Richard could not find any way out and the Rootwurm dealt the last point of damage.

Unfortunately, even with a win, it was not enough for Davy to get in the TOP 8…

Sunday, March 26: 6:55 pm - Round 14: Jules Jardine vs. Bram Snepvangers

Bram is actually in with a draw but Jules Jardine is not sure, so they'll have to play for fame and glory. Even with a loss Bram still might be in if his tiebreakers prove good enough.

Game 1

First action is on Jules with a Wild Cantor and a Suforger. Meanwhile Bram has a Lurking Informant and enchants the Sunforger with a Faith's Fetters.

After getting bounced by Bram's Ogre Savant Jules finally got to attack with Greater Forgeling. Then things got messy: Bram double blocked with his Ogre and the Informant and when Jules tried to Wildsize his Forgeling this was denied by Bram with Bathe in Light. Time for plan B for Jules: he aimed a Cleansing Beam at the Lurking Informant which was answered by Bram with a Withstand. When the dust cleared only the Lurking Informant remained standing.

A Savage Twister from Jules took out Bram's board of Informant and Tidewater Minion. Bram was not out of gas though as he came up with a Living Inferno. Jules thought he had the answer again as he Recollected his Savage Twister and made a chump blocker.

Back to Bram to come up with tricks: he first shot down the chump blocker, untapped his Living Inferno with To Arms! and smacked Jules to the face with the help of Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion.

This put Jules at 3 life and made him concede next turn as Bram just played two additional creatures after the Savage Twister.

Snepvangers 1-0 Jardine

During sideboarding Jules decided that he didn't want to run the risk of not qualifying for Prague so eventually gave Bram the draw he needed to certainly make top 8. Jules still has an outside shot on top 8.

Sunday, March 26: 7:40 pm - Last round action

Hmm, this was a complex one to figure out. Usually a few ID's and then straight knockouts between tables 4 and 5 are enough to settle a top 8, but this one was all over the shop.

Wiegersma - Hopkins

Martin Dingler and Wesimo Al-Bacha were both in win, lose or draw and obligingly scooped to Raphael Levy and Antoine Ruel. Roel van Heeswijk, a limited player rated highly in the Netherlands but not so well known on the world stage, and Quentin Martin, he who managed to both brave and defeat the English curse were the only table safe to draw.

Once the ID's and concessions were all sorted out that left things a little clearer. Bram Snepvangers needed a draw, but Jules Jardine needed a win to be certain. They only played one game and after Snepvangers battered him with a double-striking Living Inferno he decided to take the ID and chance it through the tie-breakers.

Richard Edbury was guaranteed to be through with a win against Davy Loeb, while the Pole's tie-breakers meant a win would place him 9th or 10th.

Table 9 between John Hopkins and Jelger Wiegersma was actually also in play. Like Jardine the winner needed to hope Edbury lost. Hopkins came out on top in that match.

In the end the last remaining Welshman fell and both Hopkins and Jardine had to bite their nails on tie-breakers. Hopkins had a point on Jardine but once all the results had come in the tall Scotsman had leapfrogged the Englishmen by a meager percentage point.

With Jardine snaffling the last berth by the narrowest of margins there is still a Welsh connection in the top 8. Jules was originally born in Wales before he moved up north to Scotland.

Three British players in the top 8 of a limited Grand Prix. I must be dreaming.

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