It was a battle of the multi-colored decks when Lars Rosengren of Germany took on Italian Davide Vergoni in the final match of the weekend at Grand Prix Utrecht. One would leave with the title, the honor of winning the largest Magic tournament held on European soil and the trophy to go with it. They would both however leave with an experience of a lifetime after an amazing Magic Weekend.
In a format where the discussion so far has been which two colored streamlined archetype is the strongest, the finalists were running four- (Vergoni) or even five-colored (Rosengren) green based decks. It would be interesting to see wether Rosengren's five copies of Tribal Flames could beat Vergoni's three Arrest, two Helium Squirter, Mirran Crusader and Pelakka Wurm.
”Gewinnst du?,” Lars German friends asked him as he shuffled up for the first game.
”Keine Ahnung,” was his honest reply as the match started.
Wayfarer's Bauble was a fitting opener for the match after Rosengren won the die roll and it allowed him to find his third colored mana before Vergoni has had the chance to play anything but Forests.
Rosengren followed in true five-colored fashion, and cast Matca Rioters as his first threat. It was however met by Arrest from Vergoni. Viashino Slaightermaster was his follow-up, but it faced the same destiny when Vergoni had second copy of Arrest.
Helium Squirter was Vergoni's first lamb to the slaughter of red removal. A Blinding Souleater his second. And it wasn't until he hit seven mana to cast his third threat that Lars Rosengren looked to be anything but in control with his red removal plan. The creature? Pelakka Wurm. Not only did it gain the Italian seven lives, but it was also out of reach for both Fiery Fall and Tribal Flames. And should Rosengren kill it, Vergoni would get to draw a card in the process.
Rosengren chose to take seven damage from the Wurm before feeling forced to use both Fiery Fall and Tribal Flames to get rid of it. Vergoni did get to draw a card though, and could refuel with Scute Mob and Alloy Myr on his side of the table.
A third Tribal Flames took out the Scute Mob, and Rosengren had found another Marca Rioters to try and get back on the offense. But Vergoni calmly untapped, cast his third Arrest on the Rioters and summoned a 5/5 Skyreach Manta.
Lars Rosengren and Davide Vergoni
Fiery Fall took out the Mantra, and Rosengren surely hoped that he had now removed the last of the Italians threat, if only for a turn or two.
Vergoni again untapped stone-faced, not giving away any hints on whether he was holding something great. He sure did though, as he summoned Kozilek's Predator, and sacrificed the Saprolings for mana, to end his turn with a freshly cast Ulamog's Crusher. On his turn, Rosengren couldn't pack up his cards faster.
”I'll start again,” the Tribal Flames-wielding German exclaimed for the second game.
And it would be a game where Tribal Flames did play the key role. But maybe not in the sense you would expect.
Roseberg's first seven cards had nothing but Mountains for mana, which prompted an instant mulligan. Verdani, still looking cool as a cucumber kept his seven.
Davide Vergoni Celebreates his Grand Prix Utrecht Championship
Six cards looked better for Rosenberg, and they were off.
A second turn Rampant Growth was the first play of the game for Verdani. Continuing the five color show that they both had started hours earlier in the Top 8. Lars met by landcycling a Fiery Fall to get a Forest to go with his Plains and Mountain opener. On his turn he added his trademark Matca Rioters. Which so far had been more like quiet protesters than actual Rioters.
Verdani didn't have Arrest this time, but a Sunlance served the same purpose, and Rosenberg's plans of a five color riot were once again back to the drawing board.
Judging from Rosengren's hand it looked like he was once again on the all-removal-plan. As he couldn't present a threat more potent than a Sickleslicer on his next turn. He did however have two copies of Tribal Flames to take care of Verdani's first few threats.
The problem? He still only had three types of basic lands. So when Verdani summoned a Skyreach Manta and then an Etched Oracle, both as 4/4:s, the German found his life total dropping quickly.
The germ from Sickleslicer stayed home to block, but Verdani had a sweet play on his turn, when Spread the Sickness both took out the blocker, and grew his creatures to 5/5.
Tribal Flames is a hell of a card. But when your opponent has 5/5 creatures and you only have three types of basic lands, they just aren't good enough. Lars Rosengren bravely took out one of them with Fiery Fall, but dropped to one life in the next attack, and when another creature joined Davide Vergoni's side of the table, he knew that it was over and extended his hand in defeat.
In the end, a great finals that displayed both the strength, and the weakness of the five color archetype of Modern Masters 2015 Edition. And a very fitting way to end the Magic Weekend in Europe.
30-year-old Italian Davide Vergoni is the Champion of Grand Prix Utrecht 2015!