Round 1 - Wielfried Ranque vs. Antoine Menard (English)

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Mark Wraith

These players have both been to multiple Pro Tours in the past, and Ranque had a good result at the recent Pro Tour Tokyo. They drafted together in Pod One, where unbelievably for a first draft at a National Championship, every single player had competed in at least one Pro Tour. The other players in this draft were Xavier Petit, Sylvain Lauriol, Philippe Mongauze, Alexis Dumay, Steve Queroub, and Frederic Courtois, so every match was a potential feature match!

Game One

The game started out fairly unspectacularly with a Galina's Knight from Antoine and a Kavu Recluse from Wielfried. These were the only things played until the fifth turn, when Menard attempted a Sea Snidd. Ranque had an Annihilate to remove it, but was unable to do anything himself without a source of blue mana, and the two creatures continued to trade blows.

Antoine played a Fact or Fiction giving him a second Galina's Knight, and a Silver Drake, which he took over Hunting Drake. When Ranque once again failed to draw an Island, Menard had the game firmly in hand - Ranque enchanted his Recluse with Sinister Strength in an attempt to get it past the Galina's Knights, but Antoine Recoiled it in response, and continued to beat-down with the Knights, bringing Ranque to ten. Antoine had a Repulse in his hand as well, but ended the game with his Knights without using it as the Kavu Recluse could not block them.

Antoine Menard 1 - Wielfried Ranque 0

Game Two

This time Ranque had his blue mana, but it quickly transpired that he had little else. He played three Islands in a row before Probing without kicker to try and find a different color of mana. Antoine played a second turn Samite Pilgrim, but nothing else. The Probe had given Wielfried a Mountain, but he still couldn't play a single spell without a Swamp. Antoine's hand was full of reactive cards such as Hunting Drake, and Recoil. He did manage to draw and summon a Disciple of Kangee on his sixth turn, putting a little more pressure on Ranque to find a playable spell.

Ranque drew a Flametongue Kavu, and used it to target the Disciple. Antoine thought for a while about using Recoil on the Disciple in response, although this appeared to gain little. Eventually he did nothing, and had to allow the Kavu to remain in play, since using his Hunting Drake on it would be counter-produictive. Finally Ranque played a target for the Hunting Drake, a Rogue Kavu, and Menard did not hesitate this time. The Flametongue couldn't get past the Drake with the Pilgrim in play, so Wielfried just replayed his Rogue.

Antoine had a second Hunting Drake in his hand, so once again the Kavu found itself on the top of Wielfried's library. The Drakes began to attack, and Ranque had to use Rushing River to return his own Flametongue Kavu and Menard's Samite Pilgrim just to have a chance to kill one of them. Antoine had an Exclude this time, and the flyers continued to attack.

Wielfried finally drew the Swamp he needed, but by this time it was too late to do anything except delay the inevitable by putting Mourning on one of the Drakes. Antoine Recoiled his own Drake, allowing him to send Rogue Kavu to the top of Ranque's library for the third time this game, and played a Crimson Acolyte to stoptany attempt of Wielfried to kill the Drakes. Ranque had to concede, and it was little surprise that Antoine managed to win this match, his deck seemed well-built to beat Ranque with the Hunting Drakes, Acolyte, and Samite Pilgrim.

Antoine Menard 2 - Wielfried Ranque 0

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