Round 12 Feature Match: Olivier Ruel vs. Bram Snepvangers

Posted in Event Coverage

By Mark Wraith

Once again Olivier is towards the head of the field at the end of a Grand Prix, probably needing a 2-1 record to make it through. Bram went 3-0 in his first pod to catch up considerably, but he must be hoping the same thing doesn't happen to him here as in Valencia, where he also went 3-0 in his first pod before going 0-3 to miss top 16 in his second pod.

Game 1

Olivier was satisfied with his opening draw - he had some land and some creatures at least, whereas Bram had to take a mulligan. Unfortunately his second hand was even worse, and he was down to five cards in hand before even a spell had been played. He had to keep his five cards hand, though, and even made the first play of the match, a Nomadic Elf on his second turn.

Olivier played a Verduran Emissary and a Pincer Spider, while Bram played a Viashino Grappler followed by a Stun to get through five damage. He played a Meteor Storm and if he hadn't double-mulliganed, it would be difficult to see Olivier winning from here.

Even with the double mulligan Bram seemed to be doing OK, Olivier had five red cards in hand but so far had seen only three Forests and a Swamp. Luckily for Olivier, he drew a Mountain immediately after Bram played a Stone Kavu and looked like he might start attacking.

This Mountain enabled him first to play a Mire Kavu, and then Darigaaz's Charm on the Stone Kavu. Bram looked confused, as he could use his Nomadic Elf to produce the white mana necessary to pump the Kavu's toughness, while Olivier merely looked embarrassed.

Bram cast Exotic Curse on the Mire Kavu, and attacked - bringing Olivier down to ten. Ruel played a Voracious Cobra to try and hold Bram off, as he was looking threatening with Stone Kavu, Nomadic Elf, and Viashino Grappler. Of course, this wasn't enough since Bram could activate his Meteor Storm to remove a blocker. He did so, and his attack brought Olivier down to three, who conceded after his draw phase.

The Frenchman looked pretty unhappy as they moved into the second game - his mistake with the Charm may well have cost him that duel as he could have killed something else such as a Nomadic Elf with it instead.

Game 2

This time it was Olivier who was forced to mulligan - his hand contained only one Forest, and six red or black cards! Bram was happy with his this time round. Despite his Mulligan, Ruel managed to play a third turn Pincer Spider, and on the fourth turn both a Thornscape Familiar and a Quirion Explorer.

Bram had so far just played a Hooded Kavu, but he had all his colors of land and cast Tribal Flames to remove the Familiar. He attacked with his Kavu and Olivier acted in kind, bringing Bram to 15 with Olivier on 18. Ruel forced Bram to discard a card with Ravenous Rats, while he himself had to discard two to the Thunderscape Battlemage.

His top-deck was quite good though, and he got in another three damage with a kicked Pouncing Kavu. That was as much as it dealt, though, Bram blocked it with his Battlemage next turn and cast Explosive Growth on the Mage.

Bram also weakened Olivier's Pincer Spider considerably, with an Exotic Curse turning it into a 0/1, and began to attack. His Nomadic Elf was double-blocked, but Ruel had nothing but land in his hand and soon had to concede as Bram played a Stone Kavu and a Thornscape Familiar.

After conceding Ruel looked at the top six cards of his library and they were all land as well, so even if he had survived a few more turns he had no chance.

Final Result: Bram Snepvangers defeats Olivier Ruel 2 - 0

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