Posted in GRAND PRIX UTRECHT 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 10, 2014

By Oliver Gehrmann

Both of these players have played each other many times before and they exchanged quite a few pleasantries and stories of battles long gone past prior to the match. Just one handshake later, however, the gloves came off and it was on between Thoralf Severin and Florian Koch!

Severin went with Blue-White Control while Koch had gone with Black-White Midrange. Severin said: "I already know what's coming... Thoughtseize, Pack Rat, good game..."

Koch took an early peek at Severin's hand.

Things didn't take such an ill turn for Severin, though. While Koch did have the Thoughtseize, he couldn't follow it up with a Pack Rat on his turn 2. It hit play a little later after he had drawn into it with the help of Underworld Connections, but Severin saw it coming and his Dissolve dealt with it right away.

Severin suddenly found himself in the driver's seat when he cast Jace, Architect of Thought. Koch was able to deal with it over the course of two turns with two copies of Mutavault. Severin drew, dropped a land and he then cast Elspeth, Sun's Champion - "who invited her to the party?" Koch complained. "You saw it earlier, but you didn't take her," Severin replied. "No one could have predicted you would draw that many lands!" Koch shot back.

Another Thoughtseize then revealed the other "lucky draws" that Severin had:

Severin certainly couldn't complain about his draws!

After Koch sent the first Elspeth, Sun's Champion to the graveyard, Hero's Downfall made sure the second followed her. Severin found yet another threat: AEtherling and three time was indeed the charm since Koch was all out of answers!

Thoralf Severin takes the lead!

A little while later during sideboarding, Koch was still complaining about Severin's draws. "It's a true show of skill when you draw better than the person that draws two cards per turn," Severin joked, adding insult to Koch's injury.

Florian Koch wanted to remain undefeated and add another title to his resume!

"Up until yesterday, I had Savage Summoning in my sideboard," Severin joked. "I always wanted to play it together with AEtherling." Koch only shook his head; he must have believed that if anyone could make it work, it was Severin.

After that exchange, Koch was quick to keep his opening seven while Severin thought long and hard whether to keep his hand. Koch encouraged him: "You'll draw into it anyway. Come on man, you're one game ahead!"

Severin had gambled and lost!

Severin went for the gamble, Koch cast Thoughtseize, that cost Severin Detention Sphere, his only immediate answer to Pack Rat, said creature hit play on Koch's second turn and just three short turn laters, an army of Rats tied the score!

Florian Koch ties the score!

"Well, at least the games with Pack Rat don't take too long," Severin said, before adding: "So that's how you win your games."

Koch replied: "Well, I don't want to have it like that all day long, but if it happens every once in a while, I'm more than happy with it."

Severin kept his hand one more time while Koch went down to six. His hand was lacking threats, though, and when he attempted to go searching for them with Underworld Connections, Dissolve made sure that wouldn't succeed.

Over the course of the next turns, Severin started to pull ahead with a Jace, Architect of Thought that first got him Supreme Verdict (a land and Elspeth, Sun's Champion were sent to the bottom of his deck) and then a fresh copy (sending two lands to the bottom). Severin replaced his Planeswalker the very same turn and this time it got him Mutavault and a Temple of Mystery (Supreme Verdict got sent to the bottom). Severin now had to discard cards at the end of his turn!

Duress cost Severin Syncopate!

"Jace seems to be quite popular today," Koch mused when he took a peek at Severin's hand where the last two copies were waiting to make an appearance on the field. The next few turns, Koch tried hard to get back into the game, but Severin had enough answers, all the while continuing to work through his deck.

Koch was fighting an uphill struggle and when Severin found Detention Sphere to deal with Underworld Connections, it was far from an even fight. Koch decided that his only chance was to shift gears and try to attack with Mutavault directly before Severin found a card that would put him infinitely ahead: Sphinx's Revelation.

While he put up a valiant effort, in the end, it wasn't enough. When Severin only placed a land and he passed play right away, Koch saw the writing on the wall. "Did you finally find one?" - "Well, it was about time."

Koch attacked with both copies of Mutavault and when Severin announced that he would now get to draw 10 cards and gain 10 life, Koch immediately extended the hand!

Thoralf Severin remains undefeated!

Thoralf Severin is the only remaining undefeated player in competition!