Sylvain Lauriol vs. Frank Karsten
We had a few minutes to walk around the tournament area while Lauriol changed his sleeves.
This created a problem. Frank had Darksteel Citadel and Blinkmoth Nexus. He wanted to know if the Explorer would produce any type of mana at this point. Three judges and two minutes later he got his answer: "no".
His next draw wasn't amazing because he sat there for a good minute mouthing some sort of math trying to figure out what he should do. Eventually he played a second Ravager and Disciple of the Vault.
The Explorer chumped the incoming Ravager and Sylvain tapped out to play Troll Astetic. Again Karsten stopped to think about it. He settled on giving the big Ravager a Cranial Plating.
The Troll took one for the team. Oxidize and Tel-Jilad Justice took out both Ravagers on the following turn. The Disciple grabbed the Plating and brought Lauriol down to fifteen, along with the Nexus.
A second Eternal Witness brought back the Justice once again, and the Dutch was now down to a single land, Disciple and Plating. Things looked grim for Frank Karsten.
Sylvain 1-0 Frank.
Again Lauriol sent his hand back. Karsten made Zvi proud: he played a turn one Aether Vial. He use it on his second turn playing a free Arcboun Worked and Cranial Plating.
Sylvain's first move was Tel-JIlad Chosen, a great blocker in this situation. Frank agonized for a full minute before settling on Thoughtcast and Myr Enforcer. The French reached three mana and began his artifact-hating crusade: Shaman on the Plating.
Terror took the Chosen away and the Enforcer smacked Lauriol around. The French bounced back with another Chosen and Sylvok Explorer. His opponent attacked Blinkmoth Nexus and dumped his hand: Frogmite and Disciple of the Vault followed by another Disciple and Cranial Plating.
Sylvain: "Cards in hand?"
Sylvain: "You don't need them."
He cycled Chromatic Sphere to find another Arcbound Worker and played it. Sylvain moved his hands like a madman doing blocking math. His "combo" of Beacon of Creation tokens and Firsborn gave him a good shot at Karsten, even with his opponent at unblemished twenty.
His French math class eventually ended and he turned his whole team sideways. It was Frank Karsten's turn to murmur.
Frank: "I'll move some creatures around."
Sylvain: "No problem, just warn me when the blocking is done."
It didn't take him long. He sank to seven, and Lauriol fell to eleven before playing Troll Astetic to hold the fort. It was Karsten's turn to stare at his army and mutter. In the end he decided he couldn't attack, merely playing a second Nexus.
Lauriol made up his mind quite quickly this time. He send his 3/2 Tel-Jilad Chosen in, trading it for a Disciple. Again the Dutch had no play. Slowly, Sylvain Lauriol sent his team in.
Three creatures went through bringing Karsten to a mere one, while Lauriol fell to nine. A Pulse of the Tangle gave the French an extra blocker. Frank sent his three creatures in. Lauriol started doing the math."
Frank: "Let me just speed this up, I'll use Vial to play Atog, sacrifice everything with damage on the stack."
Sylvain checked the math and conceded. They had three minutes left in the round.
Sylvain: "You want to try it?"
Frank: "Of course."
Sylvain: "Judge, how many minutes do I have to shuffle between games?"
Karsten need a fast hand, and he didn't get it. His first creature was a turn two Arcbound Ravager with a Tel-Jilad Chosen already on the table. Surprisingly Lauriol sent his Chosen in and Oxidize the Ravager.
Out came the dreaded Plating and still stuck at two mana, Sylvain again sent his Chosen in. Atog and Ravager showed up while Sylvok Explorer bailed the French out of his mana problems just has time ran out.
Karsten's Nexus grabbed Cranial Plating and smacked Lauriol down to eleven. He wasn't happy about that. He played Eternal Witness and made the right blocks, Karsten couldn't sneak the final damage points in with Glissa killing Disciple of the Vault with first strike damage before icing the double-Plating carrying Nexus.
Frank surveyed the table and extended his hand. Sylvain Lauriol refused, muttering in French.
Sylvain 1-1 Frank.