Grand Prix Seattle 2009 

Magician Massicard Masters Multiple Mulligan Madness to Massacre the Metagame!

More than 1100 players came here to the beautiful Northwest in search of Pro Points and glory, and even those who fell by the wayside have fantastic stories to tell. As the Metagame of the main event developed, we found Faeries gravitating towards the top tables. By the time the Top 8 rolled around, it was an octet packed with big names and many copies of Cryptic Command. No fewer than five decks sporting the blue spells made it to the elimination rounds, but in the end only one, piloted by Home team hope Ben Lundquist, made it to the Final. There he faced Frenchman Yann Massicard with his Doran deck. Despite multiple mulligans, the Frenchman emerged victorious. While Faeries are right back at the top of the game, when it came to the crunch Doran ran and ran and ran. Congratulations to Yann Massicard, Champion of Grand Prix Seattle-Tacoma 2009!


top 8 bracket


(1) Luis Scott-Vargas

(8) Yann Massicard

(4) Charles Gendron Dupont

(5) Nicolay Potovin

(2) Paulo Vitor da Rosa

(7) Ari Lax

(3) Benjamin Lundquist

(6) Michael Jacob


Yann Massicard, 2-1

Charles Gendron Dupont, 2-1

Paulo Vitor da Rosa, 2-1

Benjamin Lundquist, 2-1


Yann Massicard, 2-1

Benjamin Lundquist, 2-0


Yann Massicard, 2-1


  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Ben Lundquist vs Yann Massicard
  • by Rich Hagon
    Ben Lundquist vs Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa
  • by Dave Meeson
    Charles Gendron Dupont vs Yann Massicard
  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Nicolay Potovin vs Charles Gendron Dupont
  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Luis Scott-Vargas vs Yann Massicard
  • by Rich Hagon
    Ari Lax vs Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Decklists
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Profiles
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 2 Blog Archive
    Featured Matches, Who's the Figure and more!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 1 Blog Archive
    Featured Matches, The Champion Challenge and more!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 1 Player List
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet


1. Massicard, Yann $3,500
2. Lundquist, Benjamin R $2,300
3. da Rosa, Paulo Vitor D $1,500
4. Gendron Dupont, Charles D $1,500
5. Scott-Vargas, Luis D $1,000
6. Potovin, Nicolay N $1,000
7. Jacob, Michael A $1,000
8. Lax, Ari M $1,000

pairings, results, standings


15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 6 5 4 3 2 1


15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Top 8 Player profiles


Name: Ari Lax
Age: 18
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Huntington Woods, MI
Pro Tour Experience: Top 16 PT Kyoto
Deck played and why: Faeries; Cryptic Command is the best thing to do in the format and Mistbind Clique leads to nuttier draws than Bloodbraid Elf. That, and Josh Wludyka mised my 5CB deck.
Best matchup: Reveillark
Worst matchup: Mono Red or Chapin’s Deck (5CB)
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): 2 (Seattle and Hawaii)
How many bags did you pack: Just my backpack


Name: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Porto Alegre
Pro Tour Experience: 4 PT Top 8’s
Deck played and why: Faeries; I didn’t like anything else and it’s my backup deck.
Best matchup: Reveillark
Worst matchup: Mono Red I guess
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): All of them, plus stops in Boston (twice), Madrid (twice), and Dallas (three times)
How many bags did you pack: One gigantic bag


Name: Luis Scott-Vargas
Age: 26
Occupation: Editor,
Hometown: Davis, CA
Pro Tour Experience: 2 PT Top 8, 5 GP Top 8
Deck played and why: Faeries; I didn’t know what else to play and had a mostly foil Faeries deck
Best matchup: UW Reveillark
Worst matchup: Nicolay Potovin
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): Two of the three (Barcelona and Hawaii)
How many bags did you pack: Two


Name: Charles Gendron Dupont
Age: 24
Occupation: Software Tester
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Pro Tour Experience: PT Atlanta 2004
Deck played and why: Red Burn; it was handed to me fifteen minutes before the tournament
Best matchup: Not Faeries, maybe 5CC
Worst matchup: Loxodon Warhammer
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): Stopped at 7-11 on the way here; no other stops
How many bags did you pack: None


Name: Yann Massicard
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Tours, France
Pro Tour Experience: Top 16 PT Kyoto, Top 32 PT Kuala Lumpur, Top 16 GP Strasbourg
Deck played and why: Doran; Tony Martins rocked with it in Barcelona
Best matchup: No idea -- I should playtest more!
Worst matchup: No idea
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): Barcelona and Hawaii
How many bags did you pack: A small one, I need to buy stuff, by the way!


Name: Nicolay Potovin
Age: 25
Occupation: Card player
Hometown: Moscow, currently in Minsk, Belarus
Pro Tour Experience: Always on Day 2, never in Top 8
Deck played and why: Faeries; it beats Swans and slow decks which could be answer for Tokens, also it’s not bad against current builds of BW Token deck like many people think, also a lot of experience with it
Best matchup: Swans, Reveillark, 5C Control
Worst matchup: 5C Beatdown, any red decks
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): Hawaii
How many bags did you pack: Just one =]


Name: Michael Jacob
Age: 25
Occupation: Gamer
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI
Pro Tour Experience: A lot of Day 2’s but no Top 8’s. Won Team Portion of Worlds.
Deck played and why: 5 Color Bloodbraid; Patrick Chapin convinced me to play it over UW Reveillark that I used to Top-64 Barcelona
Best matchup: 5-Color Control, token decks, Fae -- matchup is better than 50/50
Worst matchup: Mono Red and mirror
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): Barcelona to here to Hawaii
How many bags did you pack: Just one black backpack -- I know better than to check bags


Name: Ben Lundquist
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Gloversville, NY
Pro Tour Experience: yes
Deck played and why: Faeries; I usually play it and last week’s results from Barcelona made it better.
Best matchup: UW Reveillark
Worst matchup: Anathemancer
How many stops are you making on this trip (Barcelona, Hawaii, and San Paulo): Seattle and Honolulu
How many bags did you pack: Laptop, book bag, luggage bag

Top 8 Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff


Nicolay Potovin - Faeries

Sorcery (7)
4 Ponder 3 Thoughtseize
Enchantment (4)
4 Bitterblossom
Tribal instant (2)
2 Peppersmoke
60 Cards


Michael Jacob - 5Color Blood


Charles Gerndon Dupont - Boddy Red


Luis Scott-Vargas - Faeries

Planeswalker (3)
3 Jace Beleren
Sorcery (2)
2 Thoughtseize
Enchantment (4)
4 Bitterblossom
Tribal instant (2)
2 Peppersmoke
60 Cards


Ari Lax - Faeries

Planeswalker (3)
3 Jace Beleren
Artifact (1)
1 Loxodon Warhammer
Enchantment (4)
4 Bitterblossom
Tribal instant (3)
3 Peppersmoke
60 Cards


Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa

Planeswalker (3)
3 Jace Beleren
Sorcery (2)
2 Thoughtseize
Enchantment (4)
4 Bitterblossom
Tribal instant (2)
2 Peppersmoke
60 Cards


Ben Lundquist - Faeries

Planeswalker (2)
2 Jace Beleren
Sorcery (3)
3 Thoughtseize
Enchantment (4)
4 Bitterblossom
60 Cards


Yann Massicard - Doran

Quarterfinals: Ari Lax vs Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa

by Rich Hagon

Paulo Vitor Damo Da RosaFrom the same stable as Mike Jacob, and with a possible match against the Team World Champion awaiting the winner here, Ari Lax was in contention at the last Pro Tour in Kyoto right up to the final rounds, and now he cracks the Top 8 of a Premier Event for the first time. This is Paulo’s fifth trip to the elimination rounds, and he too is looking for his first title. The matchup is Faeries all the way, so expect plenty of Cryptic Command action.

Lax won the die roll and pulled out a turn two Bitterblossom off a mulligan to six. Paulo cast end of turn Scion of Oona, but Lax was ready with the Peppersmoke. Untapping, Paulo cast Jace Beleren, which Paulo quickly pushed to 5 loyalty. Lax continued to attack Paulo directly, ignoring Jace for now. Despite drawing a ton of cards, Paulo could only discard at the end of his turn, and the beatdown continued, with four Faeries dropping him to 10.

When five Faeries entered the red zone, Peppersmoke dealt with one, but Paulo still fell to six, all on the back of that turn two Bitterblossom on the play from Lax. At end of turn, Paulo cast Mistbind Clique, looking to start an advantageous counterspell war. Lax cast Agony Warp on the Mutavault, and that meant the Mistbind Clique had nothing to Champion when it arrived. Sower of Temptation met Spellstutter Sprite, and Paulo passed with Lax in great shape.

In came the team, and although Paulo offered a Terror, Lax had the counter, and was quickly one game away from the semi-finals.

USA 1 – Brazil 0.

One down in games, Paulo began with a mulligan, but Lax too started with just six, and then – disaster – five. Thoughtseize from Paulo revealed Thoughtseize, two Spellstutter Sprite, Broken Ambitions and a land, while Lax’s Thoughtseize found Mistbind Clique, two land and a Loxodon Warhammer. Broken Ambitions and the Loxodon Warhammer hit the respective graveyards, before Paulo cast a second Thoughtseize to lose a Spellstutter Sprite, and the second Sprite from Lax met with Broken Ambitions. On the top for Lax? Bitterblossom, which he could cast unopposed.

Ari LaxPaulo kept laying land and passing the turn, and things were beginning to look bleak for the Brazilian star. Sower of Temptation looked to steal a faeire, and Lax’s Scion of Oona was immediately dealt with by Peppersmoke from Paulo. As the Brazilian continued to try to stabilize, Lax ran out Jace Beleren, netting him an extra card. Now three Faeries plus Jace faced the Sower of Temptation.

The Sower aimed at Jace, so Lax not unreasonably put a token in front of it. Jace Beleren for Paulo invoked the Too Many Jace rule, and we were back at Tokens v Sower, a race Paulo wasn’t winning. The Sower dropped Lax to 10, and that became 9 in upkeep. In came three Faeries, and Mistbind Clique from Paulo saw Lax respond with Peppersmoke. A second Peppersmoke didn’t get there however, as Paulo had Scion of Oona, which he promptly Championed. Lax took the chance to get Plumeveil into play before passing back.

Now the Brazilian was back in the game, with Lax at 8 staring at Sower and a big fat flying Mistbind Clique. Paulo added to the problems as a second Sower of Temptation stole Lax’s Plumeveil and turned the American flying force into chump blockers.

Lax passed back with no action, and for the first time in the entire match it looked as if Paulo might be getting somewhere. One life at a time Lax was dribbling away to nothing off his own Bitterblossom, and he soon scooped up to prepare for a Game 3 that both players hoped would see their decks function rather better than a strange, strange second encounter.

USA 1 Brazil 1.

For the decider, Lax would be on the play, and would thus have the first opportunity to aim for the Holy Grail of Faeries – Thoughtseize into Bitterblossom. He mulliganed to six, and went down to five. Was he searching for the perfect opener, or just in big trouble? Well, five was a yes, but Paulo’s seven was a no. Six was sufficient, and we were go. Where were the early turns going?

Lax: Land go
PV: Thoughtseize! Take Bitterblossom!
Lax: Land go
PV: Land Bitterblossom!

Holy wow!!!!! That’s a lot of exclamation marks, but that’s a blockbuster opening from Paulo. On turn four, Paulo attempted Mistbind Clique. Lax used floating mana to kill a token with Peppersmoke, but the Clique effectively robbed him of a turn. Now Scion of Oona came down for Paulo, and Lax appeared to have no answer. Smash came the Mistbind and Scion, and Lax was at 7, and the concession was moments away.

Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa 2 – Ari Lax 1.

Quarterfinals: Luis Scott-Vargas (Faeries) vs. Yann Massicard (Doran)

by Brian David-Marshall

Game 1

LSVBitterblossom from Luis Scott-Vargas was matched by Qasali Pridemage from Yann, who had mulliganed on the draw. He attacked into the Faerie token for three. He attempted Gaddock Teeg after combat but LSV was quick with Broken Ambitions -- revealing a Maestrom Pulse for Yann and a land for LSV. Yann shuffled the Pulse back in with Treefolk Harbinger for Doran which drew LSV a card when he used Cryptic Command to counter it a turn later. After both players traded attack steps the life totals were 11 to 16 in Yann’s favor -- but the Faerie tokens were mounting and the Pridemage that could deal with the Bitterblossom was the only thing resembling an offense for the French player.

Spellstutter Sprite snagged Wilt-Leaf Liege and Luis felt comfident enough in his airforce to put the fresh recruit each turn in the way of the Pridemage. Yann pointed a Maelstrom Pulse at the squadron of tokens but Luis was ready with another Broken Ambitions. Thoughtseize from LSV prompted Yann to use Path to Exile on Spellstutter Sprite rather than just discard it -- he had just a land in hand -- and they were soon on to Game 2.

Game 2

MassicardYann looked pleased with his starting seven but LSV had to send his back. Yann led off with Treefolk Harbinger for Doran and was able to attack for one when he played Pridemage on turn two. Luis had played Bitterblossom on his turn two and could do nothing to stop Doran from hitting the table. He Terrored the Pridemage while Yann was tapped out and let his Bitterblossom serve as a Forcefield until he founmd a way to deal with it. Yann played another Pridemage and disenchanted the tribal token generator. LSV had Sower of Temptation for the tapped Doran -- and still took three from the attacking Treefolk on Yann’s turn. Yann dealt with the flier thanks to Path to Exile and added Knotvine Paladin to the mix. LSV took advantage of his mana ramp to five to play Razormane Masticore but it did not keep Yann at bay. The French player attacked with everyone and LSV had to block the Doran. Yann showed him Zealous Persecution and they saw no need to take the game any further.

Game 3

Both players got to start Game 2 with seven cards -- although Yann kept a one-lander with Wooded Bastion and would need the top of deck to cooperate. LSV had two Islands in play on turn two so no Bitterblossom was forthcoming. He was able to FlashfreezeKnotvine Paladin. Yann -- who had ripped the land and played Noble Hierarch on turn one -- had been tiptoeing around Broken Ambitions. He was still able to use his remaining mana to tutor up Doran -- which resolved a turn later. LSV was on three Islands and took four from the Treefolk Harbinger. Yann did not expect his legend to live long and he used another Harbinger to find a back up copy. LSV passed the turn without a play and took a pummeling from the trees. His fourth land showed up a turn later but it was a Faerie Conclave that neither came into play untapped or made black mana for the Sowers or removal LSV was holding.

“Oh well, it happens,” shrugged LSV as he congratulated his opponent and wished him luck in the semifinals.

Final result: Yann Massicard wins 2-1 over Luis Scott-Vargas

Quarterfinals: Nicolay Potovin (Faeries) vs. Charles Gendron Dupont (Red-black Beatdown)

by Brian Daivd-Marshall

DuPontI only came over in time to catch Game 3 but I can tell you this... If you are wandering around a parking lot prior to an event and looking for a sleeved deck to play, ask for one with Mountains in it -- you just might get there. Charles Gendron DuPont was originally just going to sign up for this event to get the commemorative playmat and planned to register 2000 basic lands in a ode to Dan Bock. Instead he ended up canvasing the parking lot for a sleeved deck that he could actually play with for a few rounds. He ended up with an updated version of Boddy Red -- a pretty solid black-red beatdown deck that has done well in this region -- and couple that with him being a pretty solid player in his own right it was a case of right place, right metagame. Or something like that. The bottom line is any deck with Mountains is just brutal against an opponent that stumbles and that is exactly what Nicolay Potovin did in Game 3. He mulliganed down to six cards and kept a servicable hand but Dupont had all the tools he needed with a couple of Hellspark Elementals, Mogg Fanatic, Flame Javelin, and a couple of Incinerates to finish off the Russian player.

“Oh well,” sighed Potovin. “Maybe it will be my weekend in Honolulu.”

Final result: Charles Gendron Dupont wins 2-1 over Nicolay Potovin

Semifinals: Charles Gendron Dupont (BR Aggro) vs Yann Massicard (Doran)

by Dave Meeson

You can tell that these gentlemen are somewhat unaccustomed to the bright lights of the finals when the topic of the pre-game banter is where to put things on the fancy playmat Wizards provides for feature matches. Dupont took his place in the Top 8 with an Incinerate off the top to take out Travis Clark in the final round, and then dispatched Nicolay Potovin after dropping the first game to his Faeries deck. Yann Massicard knocked out Luis Scott-Vargas, playing Faeries, to get to this spot after being able to draw the last rounds of the Swiss. Both would probably rather be playing either of the other Faeries players in the Top 4.

Game 1

MassicardMassicard’s turn-one Noble Hierarch got aggressive on turn two, sailing past Dupont’s Figure of Destiny unmolested. Dupont played his aggro game, making a Hellspark Elemental and sending it and the Figure off to fight. A Knotvine Paladin joined Massicard’s side of the board, holding the Figure in check for a turn as Dupont found a third land, but no other aggressive options.

Path to Exile removed the Figure from the picture permanently, and Doran, the Siege Tower made an appearance for its namesake deck. Dupont responded with a Volcanic Fallout to clear away the smaller creatures from Massicard’s board, and then untapped and topped the Treefolk with a Terminate. The two players traded removal, as Dupont’s new Figure of Destiny met a Maelstrom Pulse. A fresh Boggart Ram-Gang teamed up with an Unearthed Hellspark Elemental to slam into Massicard’s blank board, dropping him into single digits before being Pulsed away as well. But it was low enough -- Dupont flashed him another 7 points of burn, and Massicard scooped for Game 2.

Game 2

I just noticed that Dupont is wearing an Incinerate pin. I want an Incinerate pin.

Yann just noticed it as well, and asked Dupont about it. “I topdecked it to get into Top 8,” said Dupont. A good luck charm, then. Well, it’s certainly not been hurting while he’s been playing in the Top 8.

Dupont started out with a mulligan to six. A first-turn Noble Hierarch from Massicard led to turn-two Doran, which Dupont handily dealt with via a Deathmark. Massicard’s follow-up to the big Treefolk was Dauntless Escort, while Dupont went on a short offensive stint with a Hellspark Elemental. Wilt-Leaf Liege arrived to plump up Massicard’s team, and he attacked with both of his remaining creatures to take Dupont to 14. Dupont untapped and forced Massicard to use his Escort by pointing a Flame Javelin at the Liege. The Liege, stil in play, received some more creatures to pump up, a Qasali Pridemage and a second Treetop Village. Dupont had no immediate play and was facing, by my count, at least 16 damage incoming.

Massicard spent a few minutes trying to figure out what the correct play was. Dupont had five mana available and no blockers. Massicard activated both Treetop Villages to attack -- and Dupont’s hidden play never materialized, instead taking the lethal damage and tying the match at one game apiece.

Game 3

DuPontDupont quickly kept his hand for the final game of the match. Massicard was not so quick, and thought for a good few minutes before keeping as well.

A first-turn Figure of Destiny grew a little and attacked on the second turn, past Massicard’s third turn-one Noble Hierarch of this match. No Doran this time, though; Massicard had to be content with a Knotvine Paladin. Dupont attacked again with the Figure, and added an Anathemancer to his team before losing the Figure to a Path to Exile.

Wilt-Leaf Liege arrived the next turn for Massicard, and inflated the attacking Knotvine Paladin to a 5/5. Dupont recruited another Figure of Destiny but seemed resigned, asking Massicard if the cards in his hand were “good.” Good enough to be a Doran, I guess, as the legendary Treefolk joined Massicard’s squad the following turn. The Liege and a 6/6 Knotvine Paladin went into the red stripe in the middle of the board, taking out the Anathemancer as he dove bravely into the jaws of danger.

Dupont grew his second Figure into a 4/4 and added a third. Again, Dupont had mana available and this time had blockers as well, causing Massicard to go deep into thought before declaring his attackers. Knotvine Paladin, Wilt-Leaf Liege, and Doran himself finally were declared as attacking, and Dupont put both of his blockers in front of the 2/7-actually-7/7 Treefolk. He hoped to grow the second Figure and survive at exactly one life; Massicard instead played Zealous Persecution to cover that last point and advance to the finals.

Yann Massicard defeats Charles Gendron Dupont, 2-1

Semifinals: Ben Lundquist vs Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa

by Rich Hagon

Having vanquished the much-vaunted Five Color Blood deck piloted by Mike Jacob, Lundquist now faced the Faeries mirror against Brazilian Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa. PV had already navigated his way past another Faeries mirror, using the perfect combo of Thoughtseize and Bitterblossom to win the decider against Ari Lax.

On the play, Paulo mulliganed, and mulliganed....and mulliganed. Not the optimal start, to put it mildly. Ben also began with a mulligan, but stayed at six. Finally, we were away.

LundquistSix land entered play without incident, but when Paulo missed his fourth land drop Lundquist attempted Scion of Oona at end of turn, which Paulo had Broken Ambitions for. Lundquist had no turn four play, but went for a second Scion of Oona at end of turn, which was terminated with Peppersmoke.

Mutavault became Championed by Mistbind Clique, but Paulo used Cryptic Command to bounce it before coming out with Thoughtseize. The Clique went to the graveyard, leaving Lundquist with Spellstutter Sprite, Broken Ambitions and a land. He also had two Mutavaults, which activated and dealt a hefty four to Paulo, leaving him on 12.

Jace Beleren was next for Ben, and he was able to draw an extra card, knowing that he had Spellstutter Sprite to flash out and block Paulo’s Faerie Conclave. However, Paulo was able to flash out a Spellstutter of his own, and when the dust settled Jace was gone.

Back came Lundquist, Championing Mutavault with Mistbind Clique. Somehow Paulo had edged his way back into the game, as four mana bounced the Clique and Spellstutter Sprite attacked. When Mutavaults looked to trade, Lundquist flashed out the Mistbind Clique, but Paulo had Broken Ambitions as his one card in hand.

With the life totals at 14-8 in Ben’s favor, Paulo continued to be aggressive. In came Faerie Conclave, Mutavault and Spellstutter Sprite, and Ben elected to bring out his own Spellstutter to block and trade with the Conclave. Now 11 played 8, and Ben fired up double Mutavault, ignoring Paulo’s Terror with his own Broken Ambitions. Now Paulo stood at 4, so it was time for just the Spellstutter to attack. 10-4.

Rare for a Control mirror, everything was on the board, with neither player able to force an opening. Paulo had Spellstutter and Mutavault, Ben two Mutavaults and a Faerie Conclave, all waiting to go to war. And all staying at home, until Paulo dropped Ben to 9 with a lone Spellstutter. This was all about mana management, leaving mana for counterspells yet still needing the threat of manland activations to keep the opposition honest. One for the purists, you might say.

Ben made Jace Beleren and drew immediately. That was critical, because it left Paulo needing to go on offense, without which he would be swarmed under Jace card advantage. In Ben’s upkeep, Paulo went for Mistbind Clique, which resolved. Another bonus card went into Ben’s hand, with Jace at just one loyalty. Paulo added Sower of Temptation, and Jace stopped being Ben’s friend. Now the life totals stood at just 4 each. Was Paulo about to win Game 1 off just four cards on the play? Seriously?

Ben had Cryptic Command lined up to tap Paulo’s creatures. He activated his two Mutavaults and announced his attack. Paulo had a Cryptic Command of his own, but Ben had one last counter when it really mattered. Broken Ambitions was rarely more aptly titled, as the Mutavaults finally turned sideways, and sent us to Game 2 with Lundquist one to the good.

Ben Lundquist 1 – Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa 0.

Da RosaThis time both players kept, and we started the Game 4 cards better off than the opener. A turn two Thoughtseize from Paulo saw a balanced hand of Cryptic Command (which bit the dust), Spellstutter Sprite, Remove Soul, Agony Warp, and three land. Lundquist sneaked the Sprite into play, and went for Thoughtseize himself, evening up the information war. Cryptic Command, two Scion of Oona, Spellstutter Sprite and Peppersmoke were tasty spells, but revealed that Paulo was looking for land. Ben took the first Scion, and Paulo was quick to cast the second. That in turn fell victim to Agony Warp, but not before multiple interactions that left the graveyards busier than before.

Paulo resolved Bitterblossom, while Ben resolved Jace Beleren. Now we were off to the races, with Paulo down at 6, looking at a hefty 17 for Lundquist, who also had those two Mutavault and Faerie Conclave ready to get it on. Cryptic Command for Paulo met Cryptic Command the other way, and now Paulo was down to 4, 3 in his upkeep.

He passed back with no play, and Ben sacrificed Jace Beleren on the altar of more card draw. Both Mutavaults activated and attacked, forcing Paulo to double chump block with his Faeries. Just 2 life now for Paulo, who aimed for Jace, and got there. He drew an extra card, while Ben ran out Plumeveil end of turn, an apparently innocuous play.

Untap, upkeep, draw...Ben cast Thoughtseize and Paulo had no answer. He extended the hand, and Ben Lundquist was through to his third Grand Prix final, in search of the trophy and a place in Magic history.

Ben Lundquist 2 – Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa 0.

Finals: Ben Lundquist (Faeries) vs. Yann Massicard (Doran)

by Brian David-Marshall

After 17 rounds of play and 1125 other players had been left by the side of the road the title of Grand Prix Seattle Champion would belong to either American Ben Lundquist playing Faeries or France’s Yann Massicard playing Doran. Both of their deck choices were directly influenced by the events from last weekend in Barcelona when Cascade Swans made its dramatic entrance. The introduction of a full fledged combo deck in the Standard metagame opened a door for Faeries. Control decks are traditionally good against combo and the fact that with such a successful debut for Swans, players would have to devote hate that had usually been reserved for Faeries to the combo deck instead, meant the skies were clear for Faeries to swoop in. There were 29 Faeries players on Day Two and Ben was the last of the five that reached the Top 8 standing.

Yann also chose his deck based on the results from Barcelona when his friend Tony Martins made the Top 16 of the 1500+ person event with the deck and yet another friend made the Top 32. Of the three players that ran the deck this weekend, only its creator failed to make Day Two.

Game 1

LundquistYann sent his first three hands of the Finals back and started on the play with only four cards. Ben considered mulliganing a hand with lands, two Broken Ambitions, Cryptic Command, and Jace but decided to keep it in the face of his opponent starting with such a diminished hand. The only problem was that the hand Yann kept had two lands and Gaddock Teeg. It was followed up by Qasali Pridemage and Ben took three. The American played Jace Beleren and quickly drew a card. Yann split his attackers between Jace and Ben and then played Noble Hierarch and Treefolk Harbinger for a Forest. Ben just played his fourth land and passed the turn. Yann was showing no signs of having started the game with four cards and played Wilt-Leaf Liege and attacked for nine damage. Ben drew his next card and slumped. A cheer erupted from the European cheering section as Yann took Game 1 from Faeries despite starting the Game 3 cards in the hole.


Game 2

MassicardYann had two more mulligans to start the second game and was facing down a turn two Bitterblossom from Ben, which let the American Spellstutter Sprite Yann’s first play -- Doran. Ben attempted to Mistbind Clique but Yann was ready with Path to Exile for the 4/4 flier and was able to keep two lands available to play Gaddock Teeg. Ben Deathmarked the legend, animated two Mutavaults, and Yann quickly picked up his cards, hoping to get a chance to show off what his deck could do with a full hand in Game 3.

Game 3

Both players started at full strength for the deciding game and Yann led off with Noble Hierarch. He topdecked a black source -- hey, after five mulligans he was due -- and was able to power out a turn two Seige Tower. Ben took six and Flashfreezed Yann’s attempt at Knotvine Paladin. Yann agonized over his turn four play and ultimately decided to play Wilt-leaf leiege over animating and attacking with Treetop. Ben had the Flashfreeze but took another six from the treefolk. There was no fourth land from Ben and Yann animated his Treetop and rumbled in for the quickest Finals victory I can ever recall outside of Eternal formats.

Final result: Yann Massicard overcame five mulligans to defeat Ben Lundquist two games to one and is the 2009 Grand Prix Seattle Champion!

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