Semifinal: Patrick Mello vs. Olivier Ruel

Posted in Event Coverage

By Pete Norris

Patrick Mello Olivier Ruel might be the most eccentric player on the Pro Tour. Renowned for his furry mascots and occasional bizarre dress sense, Olivier really does bring the French flair to the European Grand Prix Circuit.

Patrick Mello, by stark comparison, is one of the most German people you will ever meet, efficient, analytical and very talented player, this matchup was all about artistic flair versus cold efficiency.

The pair have played three times before, at Grand Prix Madrid and Worlds (won by Olivier) and Pro Tour Barcelona (won by Patrick).

Before they started their match, the pair checked with the judge to see if they could agree to just play one game, but Rune said he'd rather they played the games and someone won two. After that Olivier offered that they only play one game and both players mulliganned to zero, to which Patrick commented: "I think Olivier is on some kind of drugs"

Olivier won the dice roll and decided to go first.

Game1

Both players kept their opening hands.

Olivier opened with a Flood Plains and a Land grant revealing Orb, Dryad, Land Grant, Foil and Sleight of Hand. Patrick played a Flood Plains of his own, and passed the turn. Olivier started to get aggressive making the very threatening Quirion Dryad on turn 2, before Land Granting again, revealing the Merfolk Looter he had just drawn.

Patrick untapped, played a land and Brainstormed, looking to turn it into an Ancestral Recall with his Flood plains. He shuffled back two irrelevant cards, and used Swords on the Quirion Dryad. Olivier untapped and cast Sleight of hand, before resolving a Meddling mage naming Powder Keg. Mello drew a Keg from the top of his deck, and smirked to himself, before passing the turn. Olivier untapped, attacked for two with the Meddling Mage and played a Merfolk Looter.

Mello desperately needed to find a Swords for the Meddling Mage, and tried using an Impulse and Brainstorm at end of turn to find one, but to no avail, although his search had yielded two more Brainstorms and a second Impulse. He untapped, played a land, and passed the turn, looking to search some more at end of turn.
The beats continued as Olivier chose not to use the Looters ability but instead attacked for three before attempting a Winter Orb. Patrick Counterspelled, and Olivier Gushed in Response, redrawing two cards he had put back from an earlier Brainstorm, before attempting to Foil the Force of Will. Patrick Impulsed again in response, but the Foil resolved and the Orb hit play with Patrick all tapped out.

Patrick looked to be in a little trouble this game, and started looking for answers with a main phase Brainstorm, which yielded very little.

Olivier then made a second Looter, activated his first and attacked Mello down to twelve.

Patrick tapped out to make Oath of Druids on his turn, knowing Olivier had no Dazes in his deck. Olivier attacked back to put Patrick on eight, and Patrick Oathed in upkeep hoping to not get the Morphling, and was grateful to Oath up the Spike Feeder.

Olivier, somewhat perplexed by the Oath of Druids, started searching for bigger creatures with his Looters, but couldn't find anything to get past the blockers Mello was accumulating. He passed the turn to Mello.

Mello Oathed up the Morphling, and then got aggressive himself, attacking with the Feeder, to put Olivier on nineteen, before ending his turn. Olivier tried for a second Meddling Mage on his turn, almost certainly about to name Swords to Plowshares, and Patrick was forced to Counterspell. Olivier Looted in response, but it was to no avail and the Mage was countered.

Patrick Oathed up a Spike Weaver, and this time both Morphling and Feeder attacked taking Olivier to fourteen. With only two mana untapped though, there was nothing else to do, and he passed the turn.

Olivier once again started searching for something to deal with Patrick's attack force, and the Looters yielded a Mystic Enforcer, which Olivier tried to cast. Patrick Impulsed in response for Swords, Counter, Counter, Force of Will. He took the Force of Will and attempted to counter the Enforcer. The Enforcer was Countered, but Patrick questioned what Olivier had kept, since he had discarded his only other Enforcer to the Looter.

Patrick then took his turn and attacked with all the boys leaving Olivier on six. Patrick then passed the turn. Olivier could do very little, needing to block, and so passed the turn right back.

Patrick predictably attacked with everyone, and Olivier attempted to Swords the Weaver in the attack step, which Mello didn't fight over. Olivier then spent a lot of time figuring out how to block, and the Looter blocked the Morphling, and activated before dying.

Olivier then untapped and said, "Come on Gush, I don't know how it can possibly help me, but I'd like a Gush."

He didn't draw a Gush and lost to a flying Morphling the next turn.

Patrick 1 - 0 Olivier

Game 2

Olivier was going first once again, and opened in customary style with a Flood Plains. Patrick did nothing, but play a Land. Ollie went for a Tundra in upkeep, and tried for a Meddling Mage, Patrick Pyroblasted, and Ollie Forced back. Ollie named Powder Keg, and Patrick bitterly whined "I need a holiday after this... Oath is just ugh"

Olivier RuelPatrick played a land, said 'go', and successfully countered Olivier's Winter Orb. Ollie revealed his Interdict technology in order to cast a Land Grant, and cast Gush on his next turn, followed by Sleight of Hand. He attacked Mello to eighteen before Brainstorming claiming "I want threshold". Patrick responded with an Impulse, and took Oath of druids over the Counterspell. Olivier's Brainstorm resolved, and he ended the turn, looking a little upset about his draw.

Patrick tried for his Oath of Druids, with no counter backup, and it resolved. Olivier took his turn and attacked before making a 4/4 Werebear. Patrick Oathed up a Morphling in upkeep, and shuffled from a Gaea's Blessing.

This match was effectively over, unless Ollie could somehow keep his Meddling mage alive, and force down a Winter Orb. It didn't look good. Ollie did manage to resolve a 6/6 flying Mystic Enforcer, while Mello continued to Oath up a Monster every turn.

Ollie said, "If you beat me, and I think you're about to do it, I'm not gonna watch your final." Referring to the Oath on Oath Mirror between Kai and Patrick, if Patrick. won.

Patrick continued attacking with the Morphling, until Olivier blocked with the Meddling Mage so he could activate the Oath. He Oathed up a Meddling mage, and again named Powder Keg. He then cast a Land Grant, revealing his hand, but unfortunately all of his Forests were in the Graveyard after the Oath. His Mystic Enforcer Resolved, and Patrick started putting counters on his Morphling. At this point it was apparent that the match was over, but stubborn to the last, Olivier waited for Patrick to kill him. The Morphling flew in for five a turn, then six a turn, until eventually all of his blockers were gone, and Olivier was dead.

Final Result: Patrick 2 - 0 Olivier

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