Final - Kenny Öberg vs. Anton Jonsson

Posted in Event Coverage on August 29, 2010

By Rich Hagon

Rich Hagon combines a deep knowledge of the players of the Pro Tour with a passionate love of the game. He's a regular commentator for Pro Tour and Grand Prix live video coverage, and is the official Pro Tour Statistician. He has been covering Magic events since 2006.

1,001 players began their Grand Prix Gothenburg journey. Most of them weren't Swedish, but everyone else needn't have bothered. Home turf has been thoroughly defended, and how, with both finalists representing the home country. Both have a fine pedigree, with Öberg coming to prominence as 'The Tezzerator', building the devastating deck that took him to the Pro Tour Berlin top 8 in 2008.

Jonsson's Infantry Veteran was quickly trumped by Öberg's Garruk's Companion. Pacifism was thrown – literally – by Jonsson at the 3/2 Trampler, leaving the path clear for the Veteran to attack for the first damage of the match. Öberg found a use for the Pacified Companion, casting Fling to aim it at Jonsson's freshly-cast Cloud Elemental. Augury Owl went into Scrying action for Jonsson, who was playing at a brisk pace in front of a huge home crowd.

Kenny Oberg radiated icy coolness in the final

Five mana in the semi final had generally meant Acidic Slime from Öberg, and that was the case here, although the land destruction was at least partly negated by Jonsson having Terramorphic Expanse at the ready. Infantry Veteran pumped the Augury Owl, with Jonsson suspiciously passing the turn with four mana open. Prodigal Pyromancer resolved, however, the counterMagic failing to materialize.

Big Moment – any time a Planeswalker hits the battlefield it's a big deal. Ajani Goldmane granted permanent bonuses to both Infantry Veteran and Augury Owl, with the Veteran pumping once it was busily in the red zone. Suddenly Öberg's Prodigal Pyromancer wasn't looking so powerful against a board that was no longer made up of 1/1s.

Big Moment number two - Volcanic Strength on Acidic Slime made it 4/4. Same turn, Big Moment number three – Pyroclasm from Öberg. He added Cudgel Troll, while Jonsson couldn't get past four mana. Augury Owl would be a little help, as would Aether Adept for the Cudgel Troll, but Öberg seemingly had all the answers, with Combust and Fireball allowing him to take the lead.

It turned out that the really Big Moment of the game had been that Acidic Slime.

Kenny Öberg 1 – 0 Anton Jonsson

The trophy was within reach for Anton Jonsson

With a mulligan to six, Jonsson needed a bit of help. At least Infantry Veteran was a good start, but without anything to follow. Öberg was next up, with turn three Sacred Wolf. Foresee brought Jonsson plenty of choices, quick to send three cards to the bottom and collect one good plus one mystery card. Sacred Wolf and Infantry Veteran traded, leaving Öberg to run out Cudgel Troll. Against blue-white, Öberg didn't really need to fear removal. Instead, Jonsson had Scroll Thief, which looked an unlikely source of card advantage.

In came the Cudgel Troll, Öberg repeating his five mana trick with Acidic Slime. Jonsson this time was content to Excommunicate the Slime, apparently unafraid of more land destruction. Terramorphic Expanse again allowed him to keep access to blue mana, but there was little evidence that he was gaining the upper hand in this must-win game two.

WOW! Öberg had another Acidic Slime in hand, killing the last Island on Jonsson's side of the battlefield. When was the last time Land Destruction won a Premier Event? Well, it won this one, as Jonsson put the Island in the graveyard and reached across the feature match table to grasp his countryman's hand in gracious defeat.

Kenny Öberg 2 – 0 Anton Jonsson

His final foe vanquished, Kenny Öberg is the Champion of Grand Prix Gothenburg 2010

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