Round 9 Feature Match: Noah Boeken vs. Olivier Ruel

Posted in Event Coverage

By Mark Wraith

Game 1

Noah, who played second, made the first threat of the game with a turn one Tidal Visionary. His second land drop was a Terminal Moraine, however, so he'd have to wait a couple of turns to start dropping white cards.

He followed it up with a Faerie Squadron, and Olivier played a Shackles on the Visionary. Noah commented "Gating creature?" drew a Plains, and then used Silver Drake to return the Visionary to his hand, netting card advantage from the Shackles. "You're good," joked Boeken, as he started to attack with the Drake.

Without a Forest, Olivier couldn't play anything better than a Rampant Elephant and a Lashknife Barrier, while Noah played a Sea Snidd, and a Galina's Knight. When Ruel was on fifteen life he drew the fifth land necessary to cast Angel of Mercy, but Noah had the answer, using his Sea Snidd to make his Terminal Moraine into a Swamp, and removing the Angel with Exotic Curse.

Olivier still didn't have a Forest, so he could only watch on as the Silver Drake and the Sea Snidd started to hit home. He played a Samite Pilgrim but it only served as a chump-blocker for the Snidd.

The Frenchman did finally draw the Forest, saying as he played a Charging Troll, "This is a bit too late. It would have been good on turn four". The Silver Drake brought Olivier to six, so he enchanted his Troll with an Armadillo Cloak. It didn't do him much good, as Noah blocked with his Galina's Knight and used the Tidal Visionary's ability to turn the Troll red.

Now Noah's Stormscape Apprentice became active, so that was the final action of the Charging Troll this game. Noah hit home once more and Olivier scooped.

Game 2

Olivier chose to play first in the second game as well, hoping to get a better draw including a Forest perhaps. He looked at the first card of his deck when he drew his hand, and jokingly showed Noah the Forest, saying, "I'll keep this", even though he had seen only one card.

Once again Olivier tapped out for a third turn Shackles, on a Stormscape Apprentice, but this Noah didn't have a gating creature - he merely added another couple of 1/1s to the table - Metathran Zombie and Tidal Visionary.

Ruel foiled any notions they might have had of attacking by playing a Charging Troll, but the Troll couldn't get past the Metathran Zombie. After Noah regenerated the Zombie, Olivier played a Shackles on it as well, and a Llanowar Knight.

The Charging Troll was now in a position to attack as Boeken's creatures - a Sea Snidd and a Tidal Visionary, could not block the Troll. However, Noah did manage to find an answer to it immediately afterward, as he played a Galina's Knight, and could block by turning the Troll red with his Visionary.

The Frenchman merely had a lot of land in his hand, and could only watch as Noah played a Ravenous Rats, and cast Exotic Curse on his Charging Troll, leaving him with just a Samite Pilgrim and a Llanowar Knight in play. In order to try and hold off the beats Olivier transferred his Shackles from the Metathran Zombie to the Sea Snidd.

He also managed to take out the Galina's Knight with his Llanowar Knight via a Gerrard's Command. Still, though, he drew land after land, and Noah rebuilt his creature base with a Shoreline Raider and a Disciple of Kangee. The Disciple sent the Shoreline Raider flying in for two damage, although Ruel soon put a stop to that with his Benalish Trapper.

Olivier cast Armadillo Cloak on his Knight and attacked, but such aggression was unfortunately short-lived, as Noah played Shackles on it. Next turn Oliver got in seven more damage, since he had Gerrard's Command to both untap and pump his Knight. This brought Noah to five, and since Olivier had Canopy Surge in his hand, he needed to get in only one more damage.

Noah attacked with his Tower Drake and his Shoreline Raider, and made the Raider fly with his Disciple of Kangee. He played a Faerie Squadron as well, and this left him with the Squadron and three ground based blockers. Ruel tapped one of the ground blockers, cast the Canopy Surge to kill the Faerie and bring Noah to one, and attacked with his three one power creatures for the game.

Game 3

Noah decided to play first, obviously still surprised to have to play this game after it looked almost certain he would win the last - Olivier almost needed two specific cards - the Gerrard's Command and Canopy Surge to have any hope of killing Boeken.

Noah needed to take a mulligan, and they played quickly as there were only ten minutes left to play the game. He started with a turn two Sunscape Familiar, and Olivier had to discard on his second turn as he used Treva's Ruins to return his land to his hand.

Olivier brought out a Riptide Crab and a Charging Troll, while Noah found an Island to cast his Tower Drake. However it was clear Olivier was in the best position when he enchanted the Troll with an Armadillo Cloak, and Noah had no answer, and had to take five.

Since he had nothing but one Island and five Plains, he had enough white mana to enable the Tower Drake to survive the 5/5 Charging Troll's attack, and Ruel merely gained five life for a couple of turns until he was able to play a Vodalian Serpent with kicker.

Noah lapsed into thought but did nothing on his turn, and the Olivier attacked with everything again. Boeken had nothing to do except take six, going down to nine. He played Shackles on the Vodalian Serpent, meaning that he couldn't block the Troll with his Drake this turn, and used Pollen Remedy instead to avoid losing any life.

Next turn Noah had enough white mana again to block the Troll, but he got a nasty surprise as Gerrard's Command gave it +3/+3, Noah took two more damage going down to seven and the Drake died.

Finally Boeken top-decked a Swamp, but all he could do was Exotic Curse the Troll, making it into a 2/2. With time running out it looked like he might be able to survive, as he finally played some larger creatures - a Silver Drake and a Cavern Harpy.

In Oliver's next attack he lost a Riptide Crab and brought Noah down to five, and won on his next turn since he played an Explosive Growth with kicker on his one unblocked creature.

Final Result: Olivier Ruel defeats Noah Boeken, 2 - 1

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