Finals Feature Match: Jim Herold vs. Antoine Ruel

Posted in Event Coverage

By Mark Wraith

Both of these players were going for their third GP victory - interestingly they had each won both a team and an individual Grand Prix. Before they started they were allowed a few minutes to look at each other's decklist. Antoine seemed less than impressed by the Frenzied Tilling or March of Souls which Jim was playing.

Game 1

Antoine was going first, but he had to take a Mulligan. His six card hand was even worse, only one Plains and nothing he could cast without drawing another color of mana. With no land whatsoever in his five card hand, he had to go down to four, eventually keeping a hand with one Plains and three spells.

He didn't draw a second land and had to look on in frustration as Jim Herold got to five mana. Jim didn't cast anything except a Primal Growth until his fourth turn, and Antoine had chance to get a Forest and a second Plains.

Finally the German began playing creatures - first a Sunscape Battlemage, then a Kavu Climber, then a Stone Kavu - Ruel conceding on his seventh turn still without having played a spell.

Game Two

Ruel's opening draw in game two was only one Forest and six spells, but for the first time in the match he drew a playable hand after going down to six cards. His Stormscape Apprentice was killed by Assault, and the German missed a land drop of his own as he didn't play a third land until the fourth turn.

Antoine started the beatdown with a Razorfoot Griffin, a Glimmering Angel, and a Sulam Djinn, giving Herold little time to recover. He managed to do so slightly by finding a fourth land, and playing both Nomadic Elf and Mirrorwood Treefolk. The Treefolk traded with the Djinn, and the German went down to ten life.

Now Herold retaliated with his Nomadic Elf, and played a Stone Kavu as well. With nothing but three lands in his hand Antoine could only attack with his flyers to bring Jim down to six, and hope that Herold could not race him.

Unluckily for Antoine, Herold could, attacking for nine to put Ruel on nine, and Antoine drew another land to give him four lands in hand. This meant that he could only attack with the Glimmering Angel, and had to hold back with the Griffin and hope Jim could do nothing.

Herold attacked with both of his creatures, and when Antoine blocked with his Razorfoot Griffin on the Elf, Jim pumped the Kavu with his red mana, and played Explosive Growth on it as well to take the title.

Final Result: Jim Herold defeats Antoine Ruel 2 - 0

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