Round 7: Undefeateds Take Center Stage

Posted in Event Coverage on November 30, 2005

By Paul Sottosanti

The Ruel brothers are approaching legendary status with the impressive results they put up tournament after tournament. In fact, it almost seems like they take turns slicing through fields with careful precision. On Wednesday, Antoine managed to win all six matches, and he's looking to continue that streak here.

Werner Cloete was one of four undefeateds on Day One.

His opponent, Werner Cloete, is a member of the South African team found itself sitting in third place in the teams competition after Day One.

As they shuffled, they talked about how the draft had gone. Cloete seemed unhappy with the results, saying, "The first pack was good…but the second pack I got completely knackered. I thought I would get a lot more, because I was completely cutting off my colors. But nothing…"

Antoine grinned, evidently pretty happy with his own deck. "How does it feel to be 6-0?"

"Good…but it'd feel better to be 7-0. Still a very long way to go before you can celebrate, you know?"

"I like the feature match area though," Cloete continued.

"Yeah, me too, although the Japanese players said it wasn't very Japanese." Antoine paused and looked around. "Looks pretty Japanese to me, though."

Cloete frowned. "I actually hate the color combination I drafted."
"White-black?" asked Ruel.

He had to chuckle. "Not that bad."

Game 1

(Rows in blue are Antoine's turns.)

Turn # Attacks Blocks Results AL CL
3 Veteran Armorer and Skyknight Legionnaire None Cloete takes a quick four. 20 16
4 Golgari Guildmage, Selesnya Evangel and a Saproling None He returns the favor. 16 16
4 Veteran Armorer and Skyknight Legionnaire None Faith's Fetters on Scion of the Wild opens the way again. 20 12
5 Golgari Guildmage and a Saproling None Antoine takes the three. 17 12
5 Veteran Armorer and Skyknight Legionnaire Civic Wayfinder and a Saproling on the Armorer Armorer and Wayfinder trade. 17 10
6 Golgari Guildmage None Antoine takes two. 15 10
6 Flame-kin Zealot, Veteran Armorer, Thundersong Trumpeter, and Skyknight Legionnaire Saprolings chump the Zealot and the Trumpeter. Flame-kin Zealot pumps the entire team and Cloete takes six from two unblocked creatures. 15 4
9 Greater Mossdog (Trumpeter locked down the Scarab) Ordruun Commando on the Mossdog Gaze of the Gorgon takes down the Commando. A Viashino Fangtail pings Cloete at end of turn. 15 3
10 Greater Mossdog (Trumpeter locked down the Scarab) None Fangtail pings Cloete. 12 2
10 Skyknight Legionnaire and Sabertooth Alley Cat (paying for the ability) None (Trumpeter locked down Divebomber Griffin) Cloete can't find a way to stay alive. 12 0

Despite an early Selesnya Evangel from Cloete, Antoine got in for a quick 10 damage in the early game and then forced through another six with Flame-kin Zealot. While Cloete had stabilized the red zone with a Divebomber Griffin, his life was still in danger due to a fresh Viashino Fangtail. His Grave-shell Scarab couldn't attack due to a Thundersong Trumpeter, and he was making tokens too slowly to put any pressure on the French player. Eventually he succumbed to the Fangtail plus a duo of evasion creatures.

Antoine Ruel 1, Werner Cloete 0

Game 2

(Ruel in blue.)

# Attacks Blocks Results AL CL
3 Skyknight Legionnaire None Cloete takes the two. 20 18
4 Skyknight Legionnaire None Cloete takes another two. 20 16
5 Skyknight Legionnaire None And another two. 20 14
6 Skyknight Legionnaire None Yet another two. 20 12
7 Skyknight Legionnaire, Nightguard Patrol, Boros Swiftblade, Viashino Slasher, Conclave Equenaut Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi blocks the Swiftblade Rally the Righteous makes the team more than lethal. 20 0

"Splash! Splash! You can do it!" chanted Cloete, hoping against hope that Ruel would morph his deck into something less consistent. Antoine smiled but wasn't falling for it.

Antoine is undefeated in his last 14 rounds on the Pro Tour.

Antoine was content to sit back, build up a ground force, and peck away with a Skyknight Legionnaire for the first few turns of the game. Cloete, on the other hand, stumbled on lands for a turn but had an early Fists of Ironwood (on Ruel's Viashino Slasher) and then a Nightguard Patrol that was able to hold down the fort. However, on turn seven, he tapped out to convoke out a Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi, and Ruel then attacked with everything. He nudged the Guardian in front of Boros Swiftblade, but Antoine targeted it with Rally the Righteous.

Cloete paused as reality sunk in. "Am I dead?"

Indeed he was.

Final Score
Antoine Ruel 2, Werner Cloete 0

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