Round 3: Frederic Courtois vs. Pierre Malherbaud

Posted in Event Coverage on May 3, 2003

By Mark Wraith

Pierre is the only player to win French Nationals twice, as well as having had a few top 32s on the Pro Tour. Frederic has come tenth at a team Pro Tour and a Grand Prix, and is also notorious from Cephalid Sea Food Restaurant (one of the top clans on Magic Online) whose message is 'Featuring Grand Prix top 32 Frederic Courtois.

Game 1

Pierre went first and made a morph and a Skirk Outrider. This was a red-green mirror match. Fred played a turn three Wirewood Savage and a turn four Wirewood Herald. Pierre's play of just a morph on his fifth turn suggested his hand wasn't that great.

Courtois dropped a Tephraderm and drew a card from the Savage. Malherbaud made both Elvish Vanguard and Symbiotic Elf. The Vanguard was killed by Crested Craghorn as Courtois drew another card from the Savage. Malherbaud had no answer or the card advantage, all he could do was drop an Elvish Warrior.

When Courtois played Krosan Vorine and Wellwisher, drawing yet another card, Pierre conceded. The board was looking very bad for him, but the concession seemed a little premature since both players were still on twenty life.

Frederic Courtois 1 – Pierre Malherbaud 0

Game 2

Pierre mulliganed a hand containing five lands and two off-color morphs, whistling as he did so. He seemed in surprisingly high spirits given the kicking he had received in Game 1. He began with an Elvish Vanguard. Frederic stalled on two lands and all he could cast was a Wellwisher.

Pierre beat down with a morph and the Vanguard as he was also short on land. If he drew a fourth it would be game over as he had Canopy Crawler in hand, but he had to cycle a Barkhide Mauler to find one so it could only be cast as a 3/3.

Courtois drew his third land giving him a choice between Wirewood Savage (pumping the Vanguard), or a morph. He played the Savage which was immediately Shocked. Pierre played an Elvish Warrior as well, increasing his Vanguard to 4/4, and Fredric scooped.

Frederic Courtois 1 – Pierre Malherbaud 1

Game 3

Canopy Crawler
Frederic got off to a quick start with a second turn Stonewood Invoker, third turn morph, and fourth turn Vorine. The Invoker traded with Pierre's off-color Riptide Biologist. Malherbaud's fourth turn was pretty good, though. He made a Canopy Crawler and amplified it with Barkhide Mauler, Crested Craghorn, and a second Crawler!

Frederic could actually kill the Crawler since his morph was Patron of the Wild. He also dropped a Wirewood Herald. Pierre played the second Crawler as a 4/4, then traded his Craghorn for Fred's Tephraderm. He also had a Shock for a Wirewood Savage. Courtois used a Wirewood Herald as a chump-blocker, but unfortunately, didn't use it to search his library for an elf. "Don't write this," he pleaded to no avail. Pierre started attacking with a Skirk Outrider and a Barkhide Mauler which were all but impossible to block because of the Canopy Crawler. Fred played a few chump blockers but as all he drew was Elves, nothing was capable of dealing with the potentially 6/6 attackers, he was soon forced to concede.

Final Result: Pierre Malherbaud defeats Frederic Courtois 2-1

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