By Kai Budde
Both Ryan and Olivier are well known players on the pro tour. Ryan just finished 2nd with the Canadian national team at the world championships team event, made top 8 at PT-Chicago 98 and finished 2nd at GP San Francisco. Olivier is member of the quite famous French team Black Ops. Together with his brother Antoine and Florent Jeudon they finished 1st at both the team challenge in NY and the GP in Cannes.
I clearly favored Olivier in that match-up as Ryan would have problems with Oliviers Flowstone Overseer and Alexi, Zephyr Mage while Ryans only really great card was a Troubled Healer.
Ryan won the coin toss and elected to play first.
He opened with a turn 2 Pygmy Razorback which was stopped by Olivier with a turn 3 Flowstone Wall. Olivier then followed up with an Oraxid and a Rootwater Commando while Ryan only dropped a couple of lands. On his 5th turn he dropped a Thresher Beast which he traded for the Oraxid and a Lunge along with the Razorback for the Commando. After that both players proceeded to draw and play a lot of lands - Ryan drew 12 and Olivier 10. When Olivier drew his Alexi, Ryan had his splashed Seal of Doom ready. Unfortunately he had no answer when Olivier drew his Flowstone Overseer a couple of turns later and was forced to concede.
Ryan elected to go first again and got off to a blazing start with turn 2 Pygmy Razorback, turn 3 Coiling Woodwurm, turn 4 Pious Warrior and turn 5 Defender en-Vec. At first things looked really bad for Olivier as he missed his land drop in turn 4 after dropping a Flowstone Wall and a Rootwater Commando. He got his land on turn 5 though and dropped a Zepara Minotaur and a Saprazzan Outrigger on turn 6 while Ryan played a Vinthara Elephant. Ryans offense got Olivier down to 10 but then he stabilized and while Ryan drew a couple of lands Olivier got 2 Lunges and more creatures, tapped all of Ryans creatures with Ensnare, attacked for 15 with five assorted creatures and used Lunge on his own Flowstone Wall and Ryan to deal the final two points and proceeded to the semifinals where he will meet David Williams W/U deck.