Round 9 Feature Match: Lucien Bui vs. Bram Snepvangers

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

This heralded the start of the creature stall era.

These two veteran Pro Tour players were trying to bounce back to the top places at Valencia. Bui was "not very happy" about his deck, while Bram's was rumored to be just "plain brutal".

Game One

Bram opened up with a Thunderscape Apprentice and a Nomadic Elf to Lucien's own Nomadic Elf and a Kavu Scout. Bram dropped a Quirion Sentinel and trades it for the incoming Kavu Scout.

That was not the end of Bui's army because he then played a Horned Kavu, bouncing the Lone Elf, a Thornscape Apprentice and a Samite Guardian. The Guardian's damage-preventing ability would have been a real problem if it had not been immediately engulfed in Tribal Flames. A Might Weaver joined Bram's side while Lucien replayed his Nomadic Elf.

We then had a comical attack phase with both players being extremely careful about the phases only to end with Bram not attacking with anything! Lucien, on the other hand, wanted blood: his Elf went in and was blocked by the Weaver, but he got First Strike. That would have spelled the demise of the Weaver, but Bram used a Explosive Growth to save it and kill the elf.

That cooled Bui a bit and he then casted an Allied Strategies (for two) looking for more threats. We then had an extra rule moment when Snepvangers drops a Lair and in response to its ability sacrificed it for an Harrow it away after consulting the judge.

Lucien locked the Elf under a Shackles to keep his Horned Kavu going but Bram then played a bigger blocker: Radiant Kavu. Everyone had to read it and jokingly Bram said "Doesn't seem to have much of an ability against you". This heralded the start of the creature stall era.

In the next two turns Lucien added a Llanowar Knight and a Wayfaring Giant (a 4/6 at the time) and Bram got himself a Yavimaya Barbarian and a Thunderscape Master. That Master was huge problem for Bui so he sent both the giant and the Kavu before the Master got active. Bram had to block in a very tricky situation, especially after having his apprentice tapped.

The giant is blocked by the Weaver, Barbarian and Elf while the Kavu is stopped by the Master and the Radiant Kavu. Bui's Apprentice gave the Giant first strike but Bram had a Growth to killed it and ended up losing only the Master and the Barbarian.

Then Bram's deck kicked in and he dropped a bomb: Nemata, Grove Guardian. That and a Darigaaz's Charm finished Bui off.

Bram 1 - 0 Lucien

Game Two

After some vicious speed shuffling they were off to game two at a supersonic pace.

The game started off with Snepvangers playing defensively while Bui poured creature after creature. His Samite Guardian was the first victim of Bram's Reckless Assault (which he was surprised to get as a third pick during the first pack).

Bui's next creature is a Sparkcaster that could have been troublesome if Bram hadn't promptly used a Tribal Flames. The second Slimy Kavu and a Pincer Spider come into play the next turn. We were in for a creature stall when Bram played a Quirion Sentinel, Radiant Kavu and Storm Kavu (which looked scary given the amount of white and red mana on the Dutch side of the table). On the Frenchman's side a 5/7 Wayfaring Giant was summoned in to stop the threatening Kavu.

The two behemoths crashed into each other on the next turn and after a flurry of tricks (first strike to the giant, Gaea's Might and some pumping on the Kavu) the Storm brought down the white monster. This spelled the end for Bui has Bram's deck started showing off: Sabertooth Nishoba and Nemata, Grove Guardian.

Lucien's Stratadon and Crimson Acolyte barely managed to slow the horde down.

Final Result: Bram Snepvangers 2 - 0 Lucien Bui

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