Round 12: Carlos Barrado vs. Franck Canu

Posted in Event Coverage on March 24, 2002

By Rui Oliveira

One of Spain's more recognizable players Carlos Barrado won Grand Prix Madrid a long, long time ago. In the last millennium to be more exact. With NecroDonate. It was THAT long ago. From then on he has kept a very high level of finishes. Canu is also a name that always pops up when anyone comments about French players.

Game 1

The Spanish came out with a second turn Crypt Creeper while Canu decided to go for the bigger, yet trickier, Rotting Giant. A Reckless Charge gave the Creeper enough courage to attack on the next turn.

After some deliberation Canu launched Last Rites for three getting Whispering Shade, Morbid Hunger and Anarchist for his trouble. Down to one card Barrado added Pardic Lancer to the equation while Franck dropped Cephalid Broker and started sifting through his deck.

Carlos dropped a Dirty Wererat and attacked with his creatures. Canu dropped to twelve but on the next turn used a Morbid Hunger to get rid of the Wererat before it got out of hand and gained three life.

An Ember Beast came into play to help Barrado increase the pressure but Canu has now in control: a second Hunger took out the Pardic Lancer and a Crippling Fatigue taking out Crypt Creeper.

An Innocent Blood and Ghastly Demise later none of them had any creatures. Barrado found Barbarian Outcast and Flashbacked the Reckless Charge to bring the French down to eight.

Franck considered the cost of Flashbacking the Fatigue and decided it was worthy. He killed the Outcast going down to five. Then they took a break from playing spells and drew land for a while until Canu cheered when he top decked a Dirty Wererat.

Another Outcast, this time with Shade's Form on it, put a stop to any Wererat nonsense. Canu was now at eight, after Flashbacking the remaining Hunger, and Carlos at twelve. The Wirecat couldn't block the Outcast so the French needed an answer and he needed it right there and then.

He had Patriarch's Desire. That solved the problem. The Outcast came back, along with Cabal Torturer, but the Form was gone. Canu's situation looked worrying but he had Firebolt and enough mana to flash it back and kill both creatures.

When he added Whispering Shade to his strike force Barrado's eleven life points didn't sound very reassuring. However the Spanish wasn't out of weapons yet: he played a Gravedigger and got back his own Shade.

At three life and facing another Shade Canu needed to kill it or win the game on this turn. He attacked with both creatures, the Gravedigger took a bow in front of the Wererat, and the Shade dropped Carlos all the way down to six.

He played a Mesmeric Fiend but that couldn't stop the Swampwalking Shade. Carlos Barrado untapped and finished the game.

Carlos 1-0 Franck

Game 2

Hyped by his topdecked Gravedigger on the first game Barrado came out with a second turn Barbarian Outcast but Canu had the Innocent Blood for it. Again the French went for the third turn Last Rites – for three - but Barrado only had lands and Shade's Form.

The Spanish topdecked a Dirty Wererat and Canu clapped. Thankfully for him he had another Blood to solve. A Mesmeric Fiend stole Ghastly Demise from Barrado and a Cabal Torturer showed up to screw up his Crypt Creeper.

Despite this hard treatment from the French, Barrado still press on. He played a Barbarian Outcast but Canu dealt with it as well. Franck Canu was displaying an incredible amount of control and with the table all but locked down the best Carlos Barrado could do was try to cling on as long as possible.

With six untapped Swamps Barrado finally found a way to stop Canu: Whispering Shade. With his life now at nine Barrado was still out of Canu's grasp and maybe wait for a way to solve his problems.

Afraid to block, Barrado let the Giant his him one more time. This along with the Hunger's Flashback brought him down to three. His Shade attacked Canu down to fifteen and Barrado got ready to use the Temporal Insanity in his hand.

Canu sent his whole crew in and watched his treacherous Giant block the Torturer. He then played a Cephalid Broker only to watch it suffer a Ghastly Demise. Barrado dropped a Crypt Creeper and Dirty Wererat and passed the turn, his Shade unable to finish the game right away and essential to stop any attack.

Sensing that he needed more creatures to breakthrough Frank Canu played Mindslicer and a Dirty Wererat of his own. The Spanish dropped Organ Grinder and attacked with his Wererat trying to make up for lost time.

The French chumped with his Fiend and used a Crippling Fatigue to reduce the number of available blockers. Barrado had one less blocker than the attackers and at two life that makes all the difference.

Carlos 1-1 Franck

Game 3

After two very long, and certainly not slow, games they retouched their sideboards and raced to finish the match with less than six minutes in the clock.

In a trip down the memory lane of the second game Barrado had a second turn Outcast and Canu had Innocent Blood. Then the Spanish player had Creeper and Canu AGAIN had a Blood. Then came the turn three Last Rites for three getting all the spells in Barrado's hand.

Did you read the second game? Then you know a topdeck is coming! Barrado pulled a Whispering Shade and he was back in business! Or at least he thought. Canu probably had more removal than creatures and he continued to smash through anything the Spanish played.

Before long Barrado was attacking with a Creeper and Wererat while Canu retaliated with a Whispering Shade and Pardic Collaborator. When he reached Threshold Barrado played Cabal Torturer hoping to slow down the French.

Their pace was absolutely amazing making it quite hard to keep up with everything. They kept up until time ran out. With Barrado at fifteen and Canu at eight it would be hard for any one tem to win this last game.

The Collaborator ate up the Wererat and Carlos made his last gambit: Morbid Hunger to bring Canu down to three. He had enough lands to flash it back so Canu needed to finish the game now or find a way to get that Hunger out of the graveyard.

Without time restrains the French thought long and hard about all the possibilities looking for an opening. He attacked Barrado and killed all his creatures with Crippling Fatigue and Innocent Blood. While impressive that wouldn't save it.

Barrado untapped drew, and without even looking at what he had drew, tapped out to flashback Morbid Hunger for the match. It was a match full of topdecks with three very close, and extremely interesting to watch, games.

Final Result: Carlos 2-1 Franck

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