Left to right, Hugo de Jong, Tom van Lamoen, Robert van Medevoort

Tom van Lamoen is the 2008 Netherlands National Champion!

Tom defeated Hugo de Jong in a five-game finals to earn the trophy and the spot as the captain of the national team. Joining Tom and Hugo on the squad for 2008 Worlds is Robert van Medevoort, who defeated Frank Karsten in the playoff for the final spot. Van Medevoort knows a thing or two about Worlds team play, having been part of the 2006 World Champion team with Julien Nuijten and Kamiel Cornelissen.

top 8 bracket


(1) Ruben Snijdewind

(8) Frank Karsten

(4) Jos Schreurs

(5) Hugo de Jong

(2) Victor van den Broek

(7) Tom van Lamoen

(3) Danny de Rooij

(6) Robert van Medevoort


Frank Karsten, 3-2

Hugo de Jong, 3-2

Tom van Lamoen, 3-1

Robert van Medevoort, 3-0


Hugo de Jong, 3-2

Tom van Lamoen, 3-2


Tom van Lamoen, 3-2

3rd Place Playoff

3rd Place Playoff

Robert van Medevoort

Frank Karsten

3rd Place

Robert van Medevoort wins 3-1!



  • Feature: Photo Essay Dutch Team 2008
    By Edwin van Eijk and Eelco van Ruth
  • Final: Tom van Lamoen vs Hugo de Jong
    by Eelco van Ruth
  • 3rd/4th Playoff: Frank Karsten vs. Robert van Medevoort
    by Erik van der Laan
  • Semifinal: Hugo de Jong vs Frank Karsten
    by Dustin de Leeuw
  • Semifinal: Tom van Lamoen vs Robert van Medevoort
    by Eelco van Ruth
  • Quarterfinal: Hugo de Jong vs. Jos Schreurs
    by Dustin de Leeuw
  • Quarterfinal: Through the Fire and the Flames
    Frank Karsten vs. Ruben Snijdewind
    by Erik van der Laan
  • Quarterfinal: Tom van Lamoen vs Victor v/d Broek
    by Eelco van Ruth
  • Top 8 Interviews
    by Erik van der Laan
  • The Ultimate Play the Game, See the World Story
    by Eelco van Ruth
  • Info: Top 8 Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Day 2 Coverage: Featured Matches, drafting with the pros and more from Day 2's coverage.
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Day 1 Coverage: Miss something? Check this page out for all of the Day 1 Coverage.
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff


 1.   van Lamoen, Tom
 2.   de Jong, Hugo
 3.   van Medevoort, Robert
 4.   Karsten, Frank
 5.   Snijdewind, Ruben
 6.   van den Broek, Victor
 7.   de Rooij, Danny
 8.   Schreurs, Jos

pairings, results, standings


12 11 10 9 8 7 6

5 4 3 2 1


12 11 10 9 8 7 6

5 4 3 2 1


12 11 10 9 8 7 6

5 4 3 2 1

Sunday 3pm. The Ultimate Play the Game, See the World Story

by Eelco van Ruth

This is going to be personal. But when I was writing a couple of Play the Game anecdotes yesterday, and told my gorgeous girlfriend Jennifer about some of them, she reminded me of the fact that we pretty much met through Magic; the Gathering. It’s kind of a cool story, so what the heck: I might as well write it all down, right ?

Von Dutch in actionThe story starts when I stopped working as the Country Coordinator for the Netherlands in 2004 and on some Dutch website (KVDeckmasters.nl) I promised to qualify for the Pro Tour on my first try when I would be able to play sanctioned matches again. The first try went horribly wrong, but with an enormous amount of luck two friends of mine and myself were able to qualify for Pro Tour Seattle in that same year. I have to mention Von Dutch, because in the PTQ we were able to qualify from, they were our last opponents in the swiss, and they agreed to scoop, because they were already in top-4.

We played the semi-finals, won and again we were faced with Jeroen Remie, Kamiel Cornelissen en Jelger Wiegersma in the finals. Von Dutch was qualified for that particular Pro Tour in pretty much 12 different ways, so they allowed us to take the slot. Jarno Spijker, Thijs van Aerde and I were qualified for the Pro Tour: our first.

The first one is always the sweetest, but in my case this was going to be even more special then I could ever have imagined.

We booked our flights in the worst possible way, because we arrived in Seattle on the day before the Pro Tour. Jetlag and the fact that you’re halfway around the world in a country larger then life is not a good thing for humble Dutchies, so the tournament itself was not too exciting. We went 1-5 and that win was a bye in the last round. Ugh.

The cool thing was the end of the tournament though: Jelger, Kamiel and Jeroen took home the big trophy and the even bigger check. We were there with at least 20 Dutchies and the cool thing was that Von Dutch decided to take everyone out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory on the other side of the street. And not only Dutchies were invited. At least another 20 other people were taken out to dinner and I really want to agree with everyone that the expression “Going Dutch” is based on wrong perceptions. Jelger, Kamiel and Jeroen picked up the check for each and everyone invited and I specifically remember Jeroen asking for doggy-bags for all the leftovers. He took everything outside and walked around the corner to bring all the leftovers to a couple of less-fortunate people hanging out there.

Right before dinner though, I saw Gijsbert “Gis” Hoogendijk, Jaap Brouwer and Paul Barclay hanging around outside the venue. I was also introduced to Paul’s lovely girlfriend Heather and we talked for a minute or two. Meeting Heather would change my life for good, because when my teammates and I were walking around Seattle the next day, we walked into Heather when she was having lunch and phoning a friend outside a building on the streets of the city center. It was quite a coincidence, so we stopped to have a chat with her and she asked us what our plans were. We were just pretending to be tourists and were thinking about going to see a movie later that afternoon.

“Cool. I’ll call a friend of mine and join you guys, because it’s Paul’s gaming evening, so I’m not needed around him too much.”

We went to see a movie and had a lot of fun and after Paul picked her up Heather asked us if we were going to attend Worlds in San Francisco later that summer. She was probably going there anyway and she was happy to plan some stuff with people that were probably not going to play too much Magic there anyway. We somehow gave her the idea that we were no hardcore Magic Pros and she was probably right...

Jarno and Thijs were not able to make it to San Fran, but a friend of mine, Julien Nuijten, made a big impression in Holland later that year and was on a winning spree that ended with him making top-4 in his first Grand Prix (Brussels) only losing to Kai Budde. From there on he made top-2 at Dutch Nationals only losing to Jeroen Remie and I was 100% certain that he was going to make a big impression at Worlds that year. I booked my flight to San Francisco and dropped Heather a line to tell her that I was going to make the trip. Her answer was:

“Cool. Now, listen carefully. My friend Jennifer lives right by San Fran and I’m going to hook you guys up. Questions ?”. No ma’am.

The KidI was present when Tom v/d Logt won the World Championships in Toronto and I was also there when Julien, at the age of 15, did the same thing in San Francisco. With Tom I was able to watch a lot of his matches and his top 8 run was one of the coolest bunch of matches that I would ever witness. I only saw Julien’s finals, because from the first day I met Jennifer, we were inseparable. We had a lot of fun hanging out in town and occasionally visiting my friends at the venue where Worlds was played. She made me laugh so hard that I almost chocked when we walked into Hans Joachim Hoh and I asked her if she would ever fall for a guy like Hans. “Not unless I tripped over his hair...”, was her split-second answer, Hans Joachim of course being some sort of a hard-rock, long-haired kind of metal dude.

On the day that Julien was playing in top-8, Jen had to go back to Los Angeles and I knew I was going to be with her for the rest of my life. I walked her to the bus that would bring her to the airport. I was not allowed to bring her, because she told me that Julien would be crowned champion later that afternoon and that it would be a shame to miss the ceremony. I was stupid enough to believe that, but I felt horrible when both Julien and Kamiel (who also made top-8) took us out to dinner.

At that point in my life I was about to open up a Gaming Center in the city center of Amsterdam and every second of my life from that moment on I regret not to have abandoned that idea and pursue a life with Jennifer not a little bit more active. Not that we didn’t see each other a lot, but because of the fact that the Gaming Center was not a very big success. We were a couple though, and my trouble with the Gaming Center didn’t keep us from having quite a lot of fun and enjoy a great love for each other.

At the end of 2006 Jennifer moved to Europe for a year and a large part of 2007 our live was literally all about Magic; the Gathering. We started out taking care of catering Grand Prix Amsterdam with a bunch of colleagues and when I moved to Luxembourg to help out a friend of mine with his online card trading business, we travelled all over Europe to sell cards at Grand Prix’ and the Pro Tours.

PT Valencia VenueWe started out at French Nationals and Grand Prix Strasbourg. We survived the heat of Florence and the floods of Valencia. In both those places we tried renting apartments instead of using hotels. Florence was ok, but Valencia was insane. We had some sort of gigantic penthouse on the 10th floor of a large complex and were able to see the shore in the distance. Jen cooked dinner for 6 of us, because for a bunch of Americans it was better to stay at our place and sleep on the floor then to use their youth hostel.

Krakow was the highlight of our traveling days, because we were there for almost a week. We were not able to get an airline ticket that would allow us to arrive on Friday and say goodbye to everyone on Sunday evening or Monday morning, so we had some time to enjoy Poland to the max. On the Tuesday after the tournament we had the time to visit Auschwitz and it had a gigantic impact on us all.

The year ended at GP Stuttgart and from there Jennifer and me flew to the USA and prepare Jen’s return home. Taking a year off work is fun, but at one point you must face the fact that bills need to be paid. After a great Christmas holiday, I had to return to Luxembourg, which is not too bad, because friends awaited me there to make me feel less sad about having to leave my cutie in the US. Mathias Derruau, you’re the best of all: you know why, mate.

The story has a happy ending, of course.

I’m about to return to the Netherlands and join the army again: before I tried to open up my Gaming Center, I was an army officer for the Dutch Army and my goal is to qualify for a permit to live in the US and be with Jennifer for the rest of my life. That’s not going to be easy and we’ll be apart for quite a while before that will actually work out. In the meantime I’m going to be a little bit less active in traveling around the world playing Magic. But don’t be surprised if you find sanctioning requests in the Tournament Locator for boosterdraft tournaments around the world where the Dutch Army is active...

In the meantime, I’ll start with Amsterdam. Tournament Organizers Bram Snepvangers, Teun Zijp and me are going to make use of the options the Wizard Play Network has to offer to bring more tournaments to the Amsterdam/Utrecht area.

And now for the conclusion of this rather long piece of text. It’s not so much that I want to make a point here, but it’s at least some sort of proof that “Play the Game, See the World” can have a little bit more of an impact then someone might think when they read those 6 little words for the first time. It’s obvious that for some people these words are quite valuable. And I can proof it. Here’s another couple of words:

Jennifer Amy, will you marry me and be my wife ?

I’m comfortable writing those words. My only fear is I shouldn’t have brought up Hans Joachim in an earlier anecdote... She made a joke about him, but you’re never sure with those metal guys... They always end up with the beautiful girls.

Enjoy playing the game, seeing the world and starting adventures of your own.

Sunday, 12:59 p.m.: Top 8 Interviews

by Erik van der Laan

Name: Robert van Medevoort
Magic Online nickname: rvdm
Age: 22
Occupation: Student in Laws
Other Magic Accomplishments: Dutch Champion last year and Dutch vice-champion the year before, Team World champ with Kamiel Cornelissen and Julien Nuijten, 2nd place GP ?.
Playing deck and why: Reveillark, the testing results against mono-red was really good, and I expected that a lot. It really plays well against creature decks in general.
Favorite card in constructed: Mulldrifter
Favorite common card in Sha/Eve Limited: Scuttlemutt
Last songs played on MP3 player: No clue, but I listen to a lot of different music. Most are rock.

Name: Danny de Rooij
Magic Online nickname: Eindhoven
Age: 19
Occupation: Student in Psychology
Other Magic Accomplishments: Junior Super Series Champion Netherlands
Playing deck and why: RDW, testing went really well and I lost little. Besides, it’s just the most consistent deck.
Favorite card in constructed T2: Figure of Destiny
Favorite common card in Sha/Eve Limited: Power of Fire
Last songs played on MP3 player: Something rock & roll, to wake up with.

Name: Jos Schreurs
Magic Online nickname: zjoske
Age: 31
Occupation: ICT business analysis
Other Magic Accomplishments: won a prerelease, PT Göteborg 2001 champion
Playing deck and why: Reveillark, I just thought it’s good enough to roll with.
Favorite card in constructed: I only play constructed at Nationals, so I don’t have one really.
Fravorite card in SHa/Eve Limited: Burn Trail
Last songs played on MP3 player: I don’t have one! I just turn on the radio and hope to hear some nice female voices...

Name: Hugo de Jong
Magic Online nickname: rayjinn
Age: 26
Occupation: Consultant for online marketing
Other Magic Accomplishments: Not making day 2 at a Grand Prix with 3 byes.
Playing deck and why: Swans, it has a good matchup against RDW and Reveillark.
Favorite card in constructed: Elsewhere Flask!
Favorite card in Sha/Eve Limited: Desecrator Hag
Last songs played on MP3 player: I can’t say! But in general I like to listen to 80’s rock.

Name: Frank Karsten
Magic Online nickname: I don’t play online.
Age: 24
Occupation: Student in Operations Management and Logistics
Other Magic Accomplishments: 2nd at a World Championships, a PT top 8, couple of GP top 8’s, 2 times on the Dutch team.
Playing deck and why: Mono-red, because I didn’t have much time to test, but it’s easy and it seems to be good. I did take care of putting a lot of 1-ofs in my sidedeck.
Favorite card in constructed: Deus of Calamity (picked out randomly out of his sidedeck), it’s Diek!
Favorite card in Sha/Eve Limited: Scuttlemutt (artifacts first!)
Last songs played on MP3 player: Sigur Ros – Untitled (6), Sigur Ros – Untitled (7), Sigur Ros – Untitled (8) from the album ()

Name: Ruben Snijdewind
Magic Online nickname: blaat_kwadraat
Age: 27
Occupation: Engineer
Other Magic Accomplishments: I went 11-0 at Grand Prix Eindhoven, but still missed top 8; making the money at PT LA with a Future Sight combo deck.
Playing deck and why: Swans Assault with Zur, it’s my own build and in my testing it’s been good against red, which I expected to see much. But let’s see if that comes true, Frank (Ruben’s quarter final opponent) thinks the matchup is good for him as well.
Favorite card in constructed: Constructed is boring! But...Reflecting Pool (getting a compliment from Frank for his choice).
Favorite card in Sha/Eve Limited: Silkbind Faerie
Last songs played on MP3 player: Ayreon - 01011001

Name: Victor van den Broek
Magic Online nickname: Hydrogen Cyanide
Age: 27
Occupation: IT Consultant
Other Magic Accomplishments: 3rd and 9th places at European Championships, 5th on aTeam PT, 3rd at a Team Masters.
Playing deck and why: Mono-red, because that’s the only deck I needed zero metagame knowledge for.
Favorite card in constructed: Mountain
Favorite card in Sha/Eve Limited: Everything that kills a critter (after some discussion with the crowd: “Power of Fire“)
Last songs played on MP3 player: I’ve no MP3 players, but at the moment, I listen to music from a big festival in the Netherlands, Lowlands.

Name: Tom van Lamoen
Magic Online nickname: Tom van Lamoen
Age: 22
Occupation: Student Communication
Other Magic Accomplishments: I won about 10 prereleases.
Playing deck and why: Swans control without Seismic Assault, I’ve had good results with it earlier and it fits in the metagame well, now that we’re without Faeries.
Favorite card in constructed: Cryptic Command
Favorite card in Sha/Eve Limited: Power of Fire
Last songs played on MP3 player: Disturbed - Indestructible

Quarterfinals: Tom van Lamoen vs Victor v/d Broek

by Eelco van Ruth

Victor v/d Broek currently is more active in another cardgame, the one that uses a lot of Aces and hearts. However, he was able to borrow a deck and play a couple of drafts on Magic Online. Tom did a lot more testing in the area he lives and his friends are here to cheer on him. Only if he wins, of course. Victor plays Monored and Tom made up some strange UR Controlish Swans deck which features Swans of Bryn Argoll without Seismic Assault.

Game 1:

Victor mulligans and starts the game in his turn 3 with an Ashenmoor Gouger that walks into a Rune Snag. A Figure of Destiny sticks to the board, but when Tom ends his 5th turn a little later, the Figure is already evolved into an 8/8. The lifetotals are 20 to 16 in Tom’s favor, however, because turn 4 and 5 coughed up 2 Swans and one started attacking immediately. The 8/8 is blocked, obviously, and Victor draws a lot of cards. No Demigods of Revenges are discarded, so the next turn the Swans attack, it’s pretty much over, because Tom also has 2 Incinerates to finish off Victor.

While sideboarding a couple of friendly words are exchanged, but it’s obvious that Vic’s red deck didn’t deliver so far. Tom makes a remark about it: he thinks it’s pretty cool that he was able to survive the first game without taking any damage.

Game 2:

Victor takes another mulligan and Tom tries to figure out if Victor is trying to make it extra easy for him. Victor claims that he would never do that. The next subject that needs to be discussed is the drafts they were in. They were podded together in both drafts and shared the matches equally.

After Vic’s mulligan another slow game starts for the monored player. Magus of the Moon is the first to hit the table and it sticks, because Tom only has basic snow-lands.

When Victor plays a bigger man, a Demigod, Tom wastes 2 Skreds on it. It seems like a lot of resources, but two Ancestral Visions are suspended and the first will arrive from Limbo the very next turn.

Magus and a Venser are traded for a Pyroclasm, the Venser, Shaper Savant bouncing a Deus of Calamity first. When the Deus tries to enter play again, a Cryptic Command is played. Vic’s second Demigod triggers the effect to find any buddies in the graveyard, but a couple of Dragon’s Claw triggers are neglected. When two Pyroclasms are played to get rid of the two fliers, the triggers are put on the stack for a change.

Victor responds by playing a Deus of Calamity and a Blood Knight.

Another Vision is suspened and the first Swans of Bryn Argoll hits the table. Victor welcomes it with a Flame Javelin. A lot of cards end up in Victor’s hand and in his next attackstep the Deus is blocked by the lonely Swans to prevent lands to be destroyed.

After that attack Victor tries to fill the board with creatures: 2 Figure of Destinies are played, one is countered and an Ashenmoor Gouger tries to copy that effort.

The Gouger is met with 2 Rune Snags and Victor gladly pays 6 mana. It was Tom’s last card, but he topdecks another Swans. That Swan is also greeted by a Flame Javelin and more cards end up in Vic’s hand.

His next play is pretty devastating: Everlasting Torment. Both Swans are vulnerable to any kind of damage now, because damage cannot be prevented anymore. The Dragon’s Claw is also neutralized, because players are not able to gain life anymore, so effectively Tom’s board position is not worth too much anymore. He is still at 22 life, but with about 12 power worth of creatures on the table, on Vic’s side, it’s a waste of time to try and topdeck another 6 Pyroclasms.

Game 3:

Victor has a turn 2 play for the first time today: a Blood Knight. The 2/2 is killed end of turn with an Incinerate. Vic’s next plays are Figures. Two actually, but his landdrops stopped at 2, so it’s either not doing too much or try to build up some pressure with the risk to walk straight into a Pyroclasm.

Tom doesn’t have the card, but does have the Swans again. Vic gladly plays a mainphase Incinerate for it to dig for some lands. He finds one and passes the turn.

Tom’s next play is Skred on his own Swans and double Dragon’s Claw.

Swans attack and 1 turn later the Swans attack again with the help of a Mutavault. Vic is at 10 now and Tom at 13. The next time the 2 Figures attack, Tom takes 6 and drops to 7, but when Victor tries to play a Skred on the Swans with the purpose to dig for some more answers, it’s met with a Cryptic Command that also bounces the biggest Figure.

That causes Victor to think for quite a while. Eventually he settles for a Ashenmoor Gouger and Tom just adds another 2 life to his total, which now is 11.

Tom attacks for 4 with the Swans again. Victor is at 6 now and in burnrange of any set of Incinerates. Victor has to Skred the Swans to try and find an Everlasting Torment. When he is able to play one, a Cryptic Command takes it down. Two Figures try to enter play next and one is Rune Snagged.

Tom doesn’t have any burnspells, because his next attempt to kill Vic is to attack with Swans and a Mutavault. The lone blocker Vic was able to resolve throws itself in the way of the animated land, but Victor drops to 2. When his next drawstep doesn’t improve his situation, game 3 is over.

Game 4:

Only half an hour or 40 minutes in the (untimed) round, but we’re already starting game 4. Eventhough Tom’s deck tries to be some sort of control deck; it is still able to beat hard and fast.

Victor starts off with another mulligan and Tom jokes that it’s his own fault for playing such an inconsistent deck.

Another slow start for Victor with his first play on turn 3: Magus of the Moon. It delivers the first blood of the game, because Tom does nothing. He clearly waits for his Ancestral Vision to resolve and a Swan to arrive. He does however have a Cryptic Command to bounce the Magus of the Moon and draw a card.

The Magus is replayed and a Pyroclasm takes it out of the game. When Vic tries an Everlasting Torment, it’s countered with Flashfreeze. A Swan is met with a lot of warm feelings from Victor: he plays an Incinerate on it to fill up his hand and from those new cards an Ashenmoor Gouger is made.

The Swan attacks and a friend is added to the board. Victor attacks into the untapped Swans and draws 18 cards, because he Skreds into Skred. Who thought Fact or Fiction allows cardadvantage ? Everlasting Torment is one of the cards played from all those cards drawn.

At of turn Vic has to discard about 11 cards, but he has 8 lands in his next turn and a handful of goodies. His first play is an Incinerate on one of the Swans. Tom has 5 cards in hand, but one of them is Venser and the Torment is attempted to be bounced. In response, Vic Flame Javelins his other Swans, but Tom has Cryptic Command for it. Victor’s last mana is spent on another Flame Javelin to at least try to finish off one Swan.

He is low on life though, so when Tom is able to find an Incinerates with the help of Ancestral Vision, the match would be over, because the Venser was able to survive all the burn in the last turn.

Tom untaps and draws cards. There is indeed an Incinerate among them, so that makes it 3-1 for Tom. His friends cheer for him in a somewhat quiet fashion, because some of the other matches are still continuing. Tom is a little less quiet, because he is extremely happy to visit Memphis later this year !

Tom van Lamoen wins 3-1.

Quarterfinal: Through the Fire and the Flames

by Erik van der Laan

Ruben Snijdewind fires his Swans up to a quick 2-0 lead.The quarterfinals in this tournament are quite decisive. The winner gets a trip to Memphis for the World Championships, alongside the chance to win it all, while the loser has to satisfy himself with a couple of boosters. If you somehow didn't know Frank Karsten yet, you must have now, as he's been covered quite a lot throughout the tournament. Ruben Snijdewind plays an original version of the Swans deck, using Glittering Wish to get access to the pieces he's missing (except, of course, for the mono red Seismic Assault).

Game 1

Frank starts off with a double mulligan and lays down a Figure of Destiny, which gets pumped and bumps in for 2. Ruben just plays some Vivid-go. Another attack comes in, this time the Figure grows to 4/4, bringing Ruben down to 14. He asks Karsten for the amount of cards in his hand (how brutal, after a double mulligan!) and lays a Seismic Assault, using two lands to take down the Figure, one being a Dakmor Salvage which is important in getting the combo with Swans of Bryn Argoll rolling.

Frank kind of rebuilds with a Magus of the Scroll, while Ruben Ponders and Seizes Karsten Thoughts of a Demigod, leaving just a land in Karsten's hand. "Hmm, another Demigod would make me go to 1..." Karsten doesn't topdeck it though, even worse, he gets a second land which he isn't happy with as now he can't even activate his Keldon Megaliths. A Swans come down for Ruben and he does the combo. As these matches are untimed, Frank wants to see him do it - Ruben draws cards, dredges Dakmore Salvages, resolves some Gaea's Blessing triggers and stacks some more, eventually gaining enough lands in hand to finish Karsten off.

Karsten 0 - Snijdewind 1

"I was a little bit scared of that Demigod - just in case you would've topdecked one!"

Game 2

Frank Karsten tries to get a read on his opponent.Frank does some math as he observes his hand, but in the end both players keep. "I'm at least laying down this one (playing a Lotus Bloom), but choosing the land is always difficult! ...Well, this one is always good turn 1!" Ruben comments on his Reflective Pool with irony. A Gemstone Mine makes it a whole lot better, allowing Ruben to Ponder. "Aieeh, he keeps them on top, always a bad sign!" Thoughtseize reveals 2 Moutains, a Rekindled Flame, Flame Javelin and Ashenmoor Gouger, which gets ditched by virtue of being fat. Mogg Fanatic beats bring Ruben down to 16 and a Stigma Lasher tags along.

With the Lotus Bloom ticking down, Ruben plays a Seismic Assault and looks to get another combo out quickly. He has some turns left, but not that many, as Frank now has two Fanatic to have some more reach, along with the burn in his hand. Ruben has the Swans of Bryn Argoll and shoots it with some lands, drawing 14 cards in total but surprisingly not finding what he needs. "Ok, now I'm going to have to think some.' A Lotus Bloom is suspended. Ruben does have another land, a Gemstone Mine, which gets thrown at the Swans but he again fails to draw the Dakmor Salvage he's looking for. Ruben goes into the tank, then decides to Beseech the Queen for the Dakmor Salvage, having it at long last.

Now able to do the dredge&draw, he finds a second Salvage; with some help of Gaea's Blessing, Ruben manages to bring the game to a fiery end.

Karsten 0 - Snijdewind 2

Game 3

Ruben Snijdewind is on cloud nine now, 2-0 up against one of the Netherlands' finest players and just one game away from that ticket to Memphis. His feet crash down on the ground soon enough though, as this game Ruben has to take the double mulligan. Frank 'just' mulligans one time, but Ruben warns Karsten: "I have the ultimate hand!" Brute force, Flame Javelin, Magus of the Moon and Keldon Megaliths are getting revealed by a Thoughtseize, gaing Frank a laugh from the crowd at his 1-off sidedeck techs. In the end Ruben actually decides to get rid of the Brute Force, making Frank pump his fist. Robert van Medevoort, already through to the semis, drops by and predicts Frank to win on that card, so Ruben's taking no chances there - even though prophecies haven't turned true for Frank anyway, at least not this weekend.

Frank gets a Figure of Destiny and a Blood Knight going, but is stuck on two lands. Luckily, his deck can cope a lot better with that than Ruben's. Another Thoughtseize reveals that Frank topdecked another Figure, to go along with the Javelin and Magus of the Moon, which gets to see his final eclipse. Pyroclasm clears the board, and the 2 Loti come into play. "Kind of nasty that you drew that Figure, my whole plan resolved around you not having an additional threat!" Ruben tells Frank as the Figure bashes for 4. "His name is Zur...the chumper!" Ruben announces the legend which has to block, courtesy of knowing the Javelin in Frank's hand and being on 8 life left. A Gaea's Blessing allows him to draw another card but to no avail: "Let's play another game!"

Karsten 1 - Snijdewind 2

Game 4

This is how the 'think tank' looks like.Just as you think it can't get worse, there is another double mulligan, this time Frank being the victim even though he still is able to play a first turn Figure of Destiny. Ruben suspends a Lotus Bloom and plays a Vivid Land, which he uses to Ponder on the second turn. "I'm going to keep them for sure, but I don't know the order yet" Ruben warns Frank for the strength of his topdecks coming the next two turns. He plays another Vivid land and passes. Figure gains a level while receiving an ally in Mogg Fanatic. A Glittering Wish comes true for Ruben as Swans of Bryn Argoll fly over to his hand, Ruben ready to get the key creature into play but being kind of shaky in the mana base, consisting of not so Moon-happy Vivid lands. There is still a Lotus bloom looming over the battlefield, however.

Frank brings Ruben down to 13, using his third turn to making the Figure even bigger again. "Now I'm going to use the think tank." Usually it's Frank who likes to spend some time in there, trying to find the ultimate play, but now it's actually Ruben who needs to think his possible actions through. Eventually, Ruben decides to put Pariah on the Figure of Destiny, and uses the Lotus Bloom to put down the Swans. "I could've played the Pariah on the Swans, leaving Frank with only one out...but a lot of ways to pick up his whole deck!" The Pariahed Figure goes Hara Kiri, but Frank has another 4/4 in Ashenmoor Gouger. "Only three cards left?" The Swans go aggressive, beating Frank down to 16, while Ruben again doesn't want a 4/4 to live and throwing it in an Oblivion Ring.

"Hmm, it's getting crowdy at the other side!" Ruben fears his plan to go aggressive is thwarted by Frank adding Blood Knight and Magus of the Scroll to his army. "I liked to race here but now we're not gonna get to it!" Ruben puts his Swans on D and blocks the Magus as Frank comes in with his team. Brute Force acts as an Ancestral Recall, drawing three more cards for Frank. They contain another Figure and Mountain, Ruben draws and passes and gets a Flame Javelin to his face for his inactivity. The team comes in, the Figure gets blocked and Frank shows another Flame Javelin for the win.

Karsten 2 - Snijdewind 2

Game 5

Is Frank karsten able to come back from a 0-2 start, with many a mulligan, to take the match in the fifth? We will see in this last game of an exciting match.

"Is this some kind of a joke?" Ruben asks out loud reviewing his hand. The joke's deemed good enough though. Frank rolls a die, which comes up with a 1. "Ok, I keep!" "That's bluff!" "We'll just...see who wins..."

Coming back from the ashes, Frank karsten wins 3 to 2!Frank's hand is revealed quickly by a Thoughtseize and contains a Mountain, Mogg Fanatic, Incinerate, Magus of the Moon, Ashenmoor Gouger and Flame Javelin, a lot of goodies for Ruben to choose from. With a sigh, Ruben laments how difficult the choice is and resides in the think tank for a while. He does have 2 Lotus Blooms ticking down, promising a quick end if he can manage to get the combo in his hand, but Frank also got a Figure of Destiny already in play and isn't without options either.

"Just get the fat out of there" as Ruben points at the Gouger. Figure levels up and a Mogg Fanatic once again joins him in a fight destined for legends. Glittering Wish gets a Swans of Bryn Argoll for Ruben, with both Blooms on 1 counter. The Figure grinds some more and comes in with the Fanatic, bringing Ruben down to 13. "Ooh!" a surprising Gaea's Blessing draws a card for Ruben. "Yes, that makes it all much more easy."Ruben uses his first Bloom to play a Swans of Bryn Argoll and passes. Of course, Frank sends the team in once again, the Figure gets blocked by the Swans allowing Frank to draw 4. It actually forces Frank to discard as he has 8 cards in hand, putting a Mountain in the bin, probably a first for him in this tournament.

A Firespout tries to clear the board but of course leaves the Swans alive, drawing Ruben three. He slams down the Seismic Assault, and goes into shooting mode. "Yes, let's make it some more difficult!" Ruben shouts out as he draws his two cards. Ruben uses his last land to Ponder, and decides to shuffle. He finds some lands, but doesn't draw enough to finish it. Frank does have enough burn, finishing Ruben off with an Incinerate and double Flame Javelin and coming back from an 0-2 start to a 3-2 victory!

Karsten 3 - Snijdewind 2

Quarterfinal: Hugo de Jong vs. Jos Schreurs

by Dustin de Leeuw

Game 1:

On the third and final day of the Dutch Nationals, Hugo de Jong and Jos Schreurs meat each other for the Quarterfinals. After some intensive shuffling and studying of the respective deck lists, a die is rolled and Jos chooses to play first. He starts by suspending a turn 1 Greater Gargadon, while Hugo just plays a Vivid Creek and a Reflecting Pool. Jos plays a turn 3 topdecked Coldsteel Heart naming White, Hugo makes an EOT Telling Time. In his own turn, he uses Beseech the Queen to fetch a Seismic Assault. Turn 4 seems to be a blank for Jos, but he has a trick up his sleeve: In response to Hugo's Thoughtseize, he casts a Careful Consideration, discarding some of his centerpieces: Aven Riftwatcher, Mulldrifter and another Careful Consideration. Hugo casts a Pithing Needle naming Gargadon, then his special tech hits the board: A surprising Elsewhere Flask.

Jos makes a Reveillark, Hugo once more seizes Jos' Thoughts, now picking the second Lark in his hand. Finally, a creature moves into the red zone, bringing Hugo down to 12 (remember he lost already twice 2 life from the Thoughtseizes). After the attack, with still just a single Lark on the board, Jos Wrath of Gods the entire board and returns Mulldrifter and Body Double a.k.a. Reveillark to play. When Hugo casts a Swans of Bryn Argol and discards a Dakmoor Salvage to Seismic Assault the Swans, Jos asks him to show him the exact combo, which Hugo does.The first card he dredges into the GY appears to be a second Dakmoor Salvage FTW.

Game 2:

Jos carefully studies his sideboard, Hugo quickly selects 7 cards he can easily play without: a playset of Firespouts and 3 Elsewhere Flasks. In come 2 additional Extirpates, 3 Krosan Grips and 2 Pithing Needles. Meanwhile, the surrounding crowd increases to a little more than 10 spectators waiting for another Magic event to start and even some judges gather around.

After boarding, Jos starts slowly with a Mind Stone and Wheel of Sun and Moon, targeting Hugo. After the match, Hugo explains that the Wheel actually helped him: This way he can draw his entire deck to make the kill even safer. Alas, during the course of the game he keeps on forgetting to put cards in a timely fashion on the bottom of his library, which eventually leads to a warning from Head Judge Richard Drijvers.

Hugo is Telling Time again, immediately putting a Seismic Assault into the hand, but then has a hard time deciding which to put on top and which on bottom: Dakmoor Salvage or Pithing Needle. Eventually, he decides to topdeck the Needle. The freshly drawn Assault immediately hits the board and Hugo passes the turn. Jos doesn't do anything but dropping a land, Hugo then sets a clock by Beseeching a Swans. However, he still needs at least one Dakmoor Salvage to start up his combo, so the game goes on for a while with both players unable to go off, but annoying each other with Thoughtseizes, Vensers an Glen Elendra Archmages. The crowd of spectators grows much faster than the number of cards in both players 'graveyards, with some 25 people watching, wondering and wandering around.

When Hugo is tapped out, Jos makes a Magus of the Moon, crippling Hugo's manabase. When in the next turn Jos counters a Seismic Assault, Hugo immediately scoops for a 1-1. Meanwhile the tournament in the adjacent room has started, so the crowd has shrunk visibly. No sideboarding this time, so on we go to Game 3!

Game 3:

Hugo on the play starts with a turn 3 Seismic Assault, while Jos accelerates with a Mind Stone. When Hugo makes a Swan, Jos bounces it with Venser, Shaper Servant. It resolves, but immediately after resolution catches a Dakmoor Salvage from Seismic Assault. There is quite a bit of rumor in the room, when at another table a fist thick stack is built. Compared to that, a stack consisting of Hugo's Thoughtseize, Jos'Venser and in response to that a Telling Time from Hugo seems ignorable, but actually Jos made a perfect play here: Bouncing the Thoughtseize assures him he can conceil his gameplan at least another turn, because Hugo's manabase does not allow him to cast the Thoughseize again the same turn. After this stack has completely resolved, a Needle hits Gargadon and Jos has another blank turn.

Hugo replaces his draw with dredging the Dakmoor, meanwhile almost putting a topdeck Gaea's Blessing into his GY. The Wheel prevents anything from happening, because the Blessing never actually hits the GY! Nevertheless, Hugo starts comboing out, soon finding a Krosan Grip to get rid of the Wheel and Jos scoops for a 2-1 in Hugo's Favor.

Game 4:

This is a very fast round: Jos is able to completely cripple Hugo with a turn 3 Magus of the Moon on the play. Hugo casts a Seismic Assault, but never draws another land to discard. Magus starts beating Hugo, who scoops with a deep sigh and a hand full of Green, Blue and Black spells, with just "Mountains" on the board. 2-2 that is, so time for some additional boarding before game 5 starts.

Game 5:

Jos sends back a very land heavy hand, then keeps a shaky 6; a Mind Stone that can be "cycled" makes the hand just playable. Hugo makes a turn 3 Seismic Assault, turn 4 Beseech the Queen that walks into a Pact of Negation. Jos does nothing but paying for the Pact and passes the turn. Hugo makes a Swan on turn 5, but they too get Pacted. Finally, on his 6th turn, Hugo successfully casts a second Swans from his hand and that immediately seals the game: a Dakmoor from the hand reveils a close to ideal opening hand an Hugo wins with a close and exciting 3-2.

Jos stays to enjoy watching the other matches, while Hugo proceeds to the next round. His opponent is already known to be Frank Karsten, and shortly after they face each other at Hugo's table. Read on for a resume of that match!

Semifinal: Tom van Lamoen vs Robert van Medevoort.

by Eelco van Ruth

Robert is the reigning champ. He really wants to win today and he starts with trash talking to Tom from the moment he sits down. He claims that the airline ticket to Memphis has to be paid for up front by the winner, but of course everyone knows that the local importer, PS-Games, picks up that check.

Game 1:

Tom starts out with a mulligan but his next hand is quite ok. He is able to start out with an Ancestral Vision and Robert's first play is Coldsteel Heart. More artifact mana is added to his board in the form of Prismatic Lens. The first countermana of the match is spent on a Cryptic Command targeting a Careful Consideration and the Coldsteel Heart.
When Robert plays it again and passes the turn, the turn is immediately passed back and when Robert tries the same Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir enters play without problems.

Tom starts beating with the 3/4 a couple of times and also plays an Incinerate on an attempted Sower of Temptation.

Wrath of God takes care of the Teferi and when Robert follows it up a little later with Body Double, conveniently the Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is chosen as a target. With 3 other Ancestral Visions on suspend, that's a wise choice. The first Ancestral blanks, but Tom's drawstep provides him with a Skred. Bonded Fetch tries to find some sort of countermagic, but the Body Double gets killed.

Robert tries to dig for a Reveillark with two evoked Mulldrifters, but all that he is able to muster is an Aven Riftwatcher.

Tom resolves his next Ancestral Vision and finds a Swans of Bryn Argoll. The Riftwatcher takes one for the team and provides Robert with 2 cards. One of the cards found is a Sower of Temptation and the Swan switches sides. Tom plays another Swan though. When Robert tries to make a Body Double, a Venser returns the spell from the stack to Robert's hand. Also an Incinerate takes out the Sower at the end of Robert's turn, so when Tom starts his turn 2 Swans and a Venser are eager to commence beating Robert in the face.

Robert has to try and return creatures to the board and his first attempt is Body Double. It walks into a Rune Snag, the first of the game. Robert simply pays 2, but Tom puts the second Rune Snag on the stack after the first one resolved. Robert puts the Body Double in his graveyard and evokes a Reveillark next. Tom has a third Rune Snag ready: resolving 3 Ancestral Visions made that happen for him.

Game 2:

Robert is really looking forward to sideboarding in this match. He claims that Tom doesn't have anything to board against him, while he has at least 5. Tom replies with the statement that his deck is much too awesome already, but he was able to find at least 2 cards in his sideboard that should be able to disrupt Robert's plans.

Robert starts with evoking 2 Mulldrifters and one of them is Rune Snagged. When Tom tries to bounce a Prismatic Lens at the end of one of Robert's turns, it's clear to Robert that Tom tries to resolve the "draw a card" part of the spell preferably, so he reacts with a Venser on his own Lens.

Tom rips a land off the top of his deck though and Robert attacks with his Venser when the turn is passed. At the end of Tom's next turn though, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is put into play though. Robert doesn't have an answer, so when Teferi attacks and a Swan is added to the board at the end of Robert's next turn a real race is on.

Robert is able to resolve a Reveillark and suspends a Greater Gargadon. The Reveillark is killed in Tom's next mainphase and two Mulldrifters return to play. Tom has Pyroclasm for all the 2/2's and attacks for 7 to put Robert to 7.

Robert untaps and starts thinking about his next play. He asks Tom if he has a counterspell and Tom answers with a "Yes.".

Robert tries to put a Wrath of God on the stack and when Tom's only response is a Rune Snag (for 4), Robert is more then happy to pay 4 mana. Tom has 1 red mana left and Skreds (for 5) his own Swan to fill up his hand. Robert is still alive.

His own turn starts with playing a Mutavault, but at least Teferi is gone and the Gargadon is relatively safe again. Without a play the turn is passed back to Robert.

Robert untaps and plays one of his sideboard cards: Sacred Mesa. When Tom tries to bounce the enchantment at end of turn with the help of Venser, Robert builds 3 Pegasus tokens.

In Tom's next attack (with Venser and Mutavault), instead of blocking with some tokens, Robert chooses to sacrifice his tokens and 1 land to make a blocker in the form of Greater Gargadon. It seems like a bad play, but Tom bites the bait and plays Teferi in response to the Gargadon actually trying to resolve. When Robert has Pact of Negation for Teferi and Tom has Rune Snag for the Pact, Robert simply allows everything to resolve and take 4 damage from the attacking Venser and Mutavault.

In his next turn Robert must go off with his Body Double-Reveillark-Mulldrifter-Venser-Gargadon-Aven Riftwatcher- Bonded Fetch combo and he does. That's the short version.
The long version is that Robert suspends another Gargadon, plays a new Body Double copying his Reveillark and when the copy resolves, he sacrifices his BodyLark to his Gargadon. Without actually resolving that ability, he then makes his Body Double return to play (because of the leave-play ability of the copied Reveillark) and makes him also bring a friend. First that task is left to Venser, bouncing a permanent on Tom's side of the table. Also in response the Venser and the Body Double (which copies the Lark again) get sacced again, and that action is repeated until Tom has no permanents.

Next, instead of Venser, Mulldrifter takes the stage and Robert keeps drawing his cards until the next threat is in his hand. His weapon of choice is another Greater Gargadon and both the 9/7's are taken out of suspension to attack for 18. Since Tom is at 16, that will do the trick.

Game 3:

We're already in turn 5 of the 3rd game when I'm done typing the long version of Robert's deck beating Tom's. Robert's first play is a relatively new card: Glen Elendra Archmage. The first action Ms Archmage gets is countering a Pyroclasm. Robert also has a Sacred Mesa and when Tom attempts to make a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, Robert play a Pact of Negation with Pegasus mana open. When end of turn a Pegasus appears on the board, it's killed immediately with an Incinerate. Due to Pact commitment, Robert has to let go of the Sacred Mesa.

When Robert is able to untap again, his next play is Body Double with only Teferi as a target. Tom has Venser, Shaper Savant for it when it's on the stack and Robert takes that window of opportunity to cast another Archmage. He has 3 potential non-creature counterspells in the table, but he is tapped out.

Tom has to try and do something about the Archmages and tries to bounce one of them with a Cryptic Command in his mainphase. Skred on the other Archmage pretty much taps him out, so Robert is able to resolve a Body Double targeting Teferi.

Tom has to try and kill the Teferi. A Skred for only 3 Snow-covered lands will not do it, and when he attacks with Venser and 2 Mutavaults, he blocks a Mutavault with a flashed Glen Elendra Archmage and takes the rest of the damage. He drops to 6, but it looks like Robert is in total control of the game.

Tom is pretty surprised when another mainphase Cryptic Command resolves and is able to bouce the Body Doubled Teferi. Venser and Mutavault try to deal 4, but Robert has a Venser of himself and takes out the opposing Venser and bounce the Mutavault. Body Double xeroxing Teferi again is next and gets to attack when Tom only casts a Swan.

The Swan stays put, because it's not wise to have Robert draw too much cards. Tom's next turn makes him go for it, because another Venser bounces the Body Double/Teferi again. Mutavault and Swans attack and Robert blocks the Swan and drops to 4.

Robert Wrath of Gods the board next and plays Body Double making it an Archmage. The Archmage is put to use to counter a Cryptic Command and returns as Teferi. When Tom tries to attack with some Mutavaults, a Mulldrifter is put into play with the help of Teferi on instant speed and more mana is used to play another Body Double making Swans appear on Robert's side of the table. Attacking for 6 is more then enough to kill Tom is this game.

Game 4:
It's clear that both players are clearly enjoying this match. A lot of things happen and especially Robert's deck is capable of generating an enormous amount of weird come into play and leaves play interactions. Judges are always standing by to make sure no triggers are missed, but both players don't seem to miss too much themselves.

Turns 1 are used to suspend stuff: Greater Gargadon on one side of the board and Ancestral Vision on the other. Robert evokes Mulldrifter next and before Mully buys it, it is eaten by Gargy.

Tom tries and end of turn Cryptic on Prismatic Lens to try and tap Robert out or make him loose the mana resource race. Robert resolves a Careful Consideration instead of countering the Cryptic, and his graveyard fills with Venser, Shaper Savant and Reveillark.

Tom simply suspends his third Ancestral Vision and plays Venser end of turn to bounce the replayed Prismatic Lens once more. That makes Robert discard the Lens because of having too much cards in his hand and with 6 lands in play, Tom makes his first Swan.

Robert should consider Wrath of Goding the board maybe, but with countermana open it would not be too wise. When he ends up playing another Lens and the Wrath of God to clear the board, Tom is a little disappointed that he clearly was not able to bluff the countermagic. The Wrath of God resolves, making Robert frown a bit. Lucky.

The turn is passed again, with no action from Tom, and when Robert plays a Sacred Mesa, a Cryptic Command counters and bounces the Prismatic Lens for the 12th time. Bonded Fetch is played next and resolves.

Tom doesn't like the 0/2, so a Pyroclasm is played to kill the puny 0/2. Robert replaces it with a Glen Elendra Archmage and when that spell is countered with a Cryptic Command, Robert thinks it's wise to attempt and Pact of Negation the Cryptic. Rune Snag taps Robert out, because it was only the first.

It allows Tom to untap and play a Swan of Bryn Argoll with 5 mana open. Pyroclasm makes a Mulldrifter effect work for Tom and he draws 2, clearly enjoying his window with Robert having to pay the Pact effect.

The turn is passed and the Swan attacks for 6 with the help of Mutavault and when Robert tries to resolve his Gargadon with Archmage backup (which was played in between turn changes), the Archmage is Incinerated first, to allow Tom to safely Skred the Gargadon.

A small countermagic war starts and stops immediately when Robert doesn't have too much instants and Teferi joins Tom's side. That allows him to attack for 9 and make Robert's lifetotal 1. Of course Tom has an Incinerate.

Game 5:
Robert starts to mulligan again and Tom claims not to have a good hand either. He doesn't mulligan though, so it's suspected that he only has 3 Ancestral Vision in his hand. Robert's next hand is ok, so we're off.

Indeed Ancestral number 1 is suspended first and Robert tries to keep up with evoking Mulldrifter. The fliers walks into a Rune Snag. It seems to be the good play, because it promptly halts Robert's landdrops. Tom starts attacking with 1 and in his next turn with 2 Mutavaults and Robert is already at 10 life. In between a Mulldrifter that actually does resolve still doesn't provide a 3rd land, so Tom activates 2 Mutavaults again to attack Robert into Incinerate range. It taps Tom out.

Robert taps out too, because a Reveillark hits play. The Bonded Fetch was tapped to draw an extra card, so Tom's board of 3 Mutavaults and a Incinerate in his hands should be able to do the trick.

The Incinerate gets Pact of Negationed and because mana is not tapped carefully, Tom is not able to attack for the win. No Venser to bounce one of Robert's 5 lands either.
Robert is able to pay for his Pact and has to pass the turn. Tom tries to steal the Bonded Fetch with Sower of Temptation, but the defender is eaten by Greater Gargadon.

Next, a bunch of Mutavaults is animated to try and finish the job, but Robert sacs his Reveillark to return 2 Mulldrifters. Tom allows the Mulldrifters to hit the board, but wants to tap the blockers before they actually are able to do blocking duty. Robert has another Pact for it. The Mulldrifters are allowed to trade for 2 Mutavaults, but 1 of the animated lands makes Robert go to 1.

With the Pact trigger to be paid for, Robert is tapped out again, but this time no permanents are over to block any attackers. When the last Mutavault tries to sneak in the last point of damage, the Gargadon eats up 5 of Robert's 6 lands, but Tom has Venser ready.

Final score: Tom van Lamoen beats Robert van Medevoort 3-2 and is the first to make the Dutch Team for Worlds 2008. Robert will have to play against the loser of the match between Frank Karsten and Hugo de Jong.

Semifinal: Hugo de Jong vs Frank Karsten.

by Dustin de Leeuw

Game 1:
Hugo is quite confident about the match: his Swans should not have too many problems facing Franks Red Deck. Hugo wins the dieroll and easily keeps his hand, Frank has a little harder time deciding whether he should keep his hand with just 2 lands and the expensive Demigod of Revenge, together with Skred and Ashenmoor Gouger. After some Pondering, he keeps his hand and Hugo immediately opens with a real Ponder. Frank in time hits his 3rd landdrop to make a turn three Gouger to accompany his Blood Knight. Hugo sends out the Queen to find a Seismic Assault, but clearly confuses the Head Judge Richard Drijvers by not removing any of the counters of his many non-basic lands. Then Richard sees the Elsewhere Flask in Hugo’s Graveyard and the game continues.
Frank gets stuck on 3 land, but manages to cast a Figure of Destiny and keeps open 2 mana; not to pump the Figure, but to Incinerate Hugo down to 9 lifepoints. Franks attacking Blood Knight dies to a discarded Dakmoor Salvage, but Ashenmoor Gouger and the 1/1 Figure beat Hugo down to 4. Flame Javelin quickly seals the game, so 0-1 for Hugo vs. Frank.

Game 2:
Out go the life consuming Thoughtseizes and techy Flasks, in come Damnations and Krosan Grips, in anticipation of Franks Pithing Needles. Hugo has an easy keep, Frank needs some thorough calculations before keeping a not so aggressive hand. However, his start looks promising with a Pithing Needle naming Seismic Assault on turn 1. Nevertheless, Hugo fetches a Seismic with the Queen and casts it on turn 4.
2 Attacks from Franks Ashenmoor Gouger and some pain from Shivan Reef have brought Hugo down to 11. An Everlasting Torment from Franks sideboard in a headache causing situation. After some Pondering (mentally, not playing any cards!), he passes the turn. Frank adds a hasty Demigod of Revenge to the team and attacks. After a Krosan Grip on the Needle, Hugo is able to discard 2 lands to weaken both attackers (notice this is the second time that sideboard tech from the opponent actually helps him!). Untapping at a mere 5 life, Hugo clears the board with a Firespout, but now it is time for some real fast action. A Swan hits the board, but Hugo is unable to go off this turn. Frank hits him EOT with a Flame Javelin, having no more cards left in hand. Frank untaps and uses his Keldon Megalith to ping Hugo’s last lifepoint away for a 0-2 score.

Game 3:
Hugo needs some time before he decides to mulligan, then uses some time to shuffle his deck thoroughly. Frank can’t hold it anymore and asks the judge for permission to use the bathroom. Richard provides him with a nice escort; Hugo jokingly states this is necessary to protect Frank from his team members, but luckily Frank returns from the bathroom, clearly relieved and no damage taken.
Hugo mulligans down to 6, just to see the exact same hand minus one card, so this one too is sent back. His fiver is kept, and then it is Franks turn to take a mulligan. After a lot of thoughts, he keeps his hand and Hugo starts with a tapped Vivid Land. Frank opens with a Figure of Destiny, but after the first turn it becomes clear why this hand deserved some pondering: For a couple of turns Frank stays stuck on this one land.
Hugo casts a Gaea’s Blessing to improve his hand and discards a land to his Seismic, killing the poor Figure. Frank immediately replaces the Figure with a fresh one, that suffers the same destiny as the first. Turn 5, he finally hits the second land drop, making a Magus of the Scroll and a Mogg Fanatic. Franks critters have beaten down Hugo to 12, and despite his manascrew he still holds a full grip of cards. Hugo slowly reaches his combo while Beseeching a Swans, but time is ticking as Frank finally hits the third land drop, makes a Gouger and after attacking with it (Hugo down to 7) drops his 3rd Figure. Hugo gets temporarily crippled by a Magus of the Moon, which forces him to discard a pricy land to kill it. Hugo’s Swans hit the board and Frank trades his Gouger for 4 more cards, amongst which is a Flame Javelin but unfortunately no Incinerate to finish the game right there and then. He trades the Javelin for 4 more cards, finding his 4th (!) Figure. Frank discards 2 excessive cards and passes the turn to Hugo. He starts his combo, quickly revealing 2 Dakmoor Salvages, but Frank asks him to perform the sequence as often as needed to actually kill him, thus seeing as much of Hugo’s post-board build as possible. 1-2, but Frank has gained some important information so he decides to board another 2 cards.

Game 4:
Frank on the play easily keeps his hand, Hugo exclaims “This hand I never playtested!” A Vivid Marsh, 2 Gemstone Mines, Firespout, Damnation, Krosan Grip and Seismic Assault are kept, but a first drawn Gemstone Mine doesn’t make Hugo too happy. Frank opens strong again with Figure and Needle on Seismic Assault. The Figure grows fast and puts Hugo on a measly 14 life at turn 3, but Damnation clears the board. Frank Incinerates Hugo down to 7, but has nothing on the board and just 2 cards in hand. Still, the clock is ticking, as Hugo doesn’t have any Dakmoors yet. He draws a Swans, but carefully keeps it in his hand: a Skred for 4 new cards means almost certainly game, set and match for Frank. Instead, he makes Seismic Assault and next turn, he Grips the Needle (kids, don’t try this at home!). Now Frank seems flooded with 5 Snow-Covered Mountains and a Keldon Megaliths on the board, just 1 card in hand. Frank draws and plays his 6th mountain and passes the turn. Hugo makes the Swans and kills Frank, but has to show him almost his entire deck in the process. Franks mythical flood results in an exciting 2-2,

Game 5:
Frank mulls to 6 and keeps a reasonable hand of 3 Mountains, 2 Blood Knights and a Magus of the Moon. Hugo mulls to 6 too, keeping 2 Vivid Creeks, 2 Krosan Grips, a Damnation and a Seismic Assault. Quite a crippled game to decide who will go on to the finale! Hugo has a perfect draw, 2 consecutive lands and Beseech the Queen to fetch the Swans. Meanwhile, Frank has found yet another Figure of Destiny, but Hugo is still at 16 lifepoints. When the Figure swings in for 4 and a Javelin hits Hugo to the dome, the clock is ticking and Hugo uses his Damnation to sweep the board. When he plays Telling Time, Hugo once again puts it into his graveyard instead of putting it on the stack and receives a second and last warning for thus game play error from the Head Judge. The Time resolves and EOT, Frank casts his last card from the hand: Flame Javelin, leaving Hugo at no more than 4 life. If Frank now topdecks another Flame Javelin, it’s game, but once again the topdecked Figure doesn’t bring home the point. In Hugo’s upkeep, the tiny Figure grows to 2/2 and consecutively to 4/4, but Hugo is able to cast the Swans and starts his combo with just 1 Dakmoor Salvage in hand. SO this semifinals is decided on topdeck skills: Frank did not manage to find a burnspell in time, but Hugo discards a couple of lands from his hand to the Swans, each time drawing 2 new cards. The third time, he finds the second Dakmoor and starts killing Frank. He has to go through all the motions with the Head Judge closely watching every single step, but makes no errors and wins this very, very close match with 3-2. Frank now has to play Robert van Medevoort for a place in the National Team, while Hugo will fight Tom van Lamoen in the finale of these Nationals!

3rd/4th Playoff Frank Karsten vs. Robert van Medevoort

by Erik van der Laan

It might not seem like much, but this is still an important match for the players: it decides who gets on the Dutch team and has an extra day of raking up some pro points. Robert van Medevoort was on the team for the last two years, but Frank Karsten has also been on the team for two times, so both players are fighting for a third appearance. They wish each other good luck: “Let’s make this a good one!”
Game 1
Robert starts the game but is not happy with his hand: “This looks like garbage...(after peeking the top cards of his deck) this actually is garbage!” His second hand is a keeper, while Frank is happy with his 7, a rare feat for his top 8 matches. The first few turns are unexciting as both players have lands that come into play tapped, though Frank manages to squeek a Mogg Fanatic in turn 2. Robert trumps that with an Aven Riftwatcher, which Frank then trumps with a big 4/4 Ashenmoor Gouger. Frank decides to toy a little bit around with Robert, asking when he actually plays his Careful Consideration – Robert of course knows to play it in the main phase. A Body Double and a Coldsteel Heart hit the bin.
Frank Karsten tries to come back one more time.Frank comes in with both the Mogg Fanatic (which was held back last turn) and the Gouger; the Mogg Fanatic blows up in Roberts face after getting blocked by his Riftwatcher. Frank has quite the replacement in another Ashenmoor Gouger, the two 4/4’s ready to rumble Robert’s life to zero. However, Robert has a Reveillark which forces Frank into the think tank, lamenting how it came right in time. A Demigod of Revenge comes down, but Frank has to keep his army back, disgusted by having to play this passively. Robert has a Body Double which impersonates an Aven Riftwatcher and brings his life total back to 21. A Skred deals with it (Robert mentions how he’d rather had the Reveillark killed), but Robert’s grasp on the game gets tighter and tighter.
Frank changes gear as he unleashes a second Demigod, sending in his complete team worth 18 points of damage. Of course, Robert makes sure the Reveillark dies in blocking, bringing back the Body Double (acting as a Reveillark) and Aven Riftwatcher. Wrath of God clears Frank’s side of the board, while Robert gains some more life because of the Riftwatcher-Body Double-Reveillark shenanigans. Robert looks to have the game, bringing Frank down to 8 while being on a healthy 16 himself. However, Frank lowers that to twelve with an end of turn Flame Javelin, then during his own turn plays a third Demigod of Revenge! Robert is unfazed, plays a Venser bouncing one of them and securing his win on the next turn.
Karsten 0 – Van Medevoort 1
Game 2
Both players keep their hands and play land-go for the first turn. The second turn Frank has a Stigma Lasher, which is a huge threat to Robert’s life gain plans and which Robert is unlikely to be able to deal with this early. Indeed, Robert has just a Coldsteel Heart set on blue and the Lasher comes in, joined by an Ashenmoor Gouger post-combat. A Sower of Temptation seduces the Gouger to the other side, but as Robert puts it: “I feel something’s gonna die...” And so it was to be; the Gouger found an Incinerated Sower definitely less attractive to stay alongside of.
Frank considers whether he wants to overcommit his board, fearing a Wrath of God from Robert. ‘Just’ a Mogg Fanatic comes down, but Robert seems to have it in great esteem: “Oooh, a bomb!” Robert just plays a Reveillark and passes; unafraid, Frank sends in the team and has a Flame Javelin as a Sower of Temptation tries to unsettle things again, by virtue of a dying Reveillark. Robert refills his hand with a Mulldrifter, life totals being 20-13 in Frank’s advantage.
A Mogg Fanatic takes out the Mulldrifter during the next series of attacks, but Robert just plays another good blocker in a second Reveillark. At the end of turn a Sulfur Elemental jumps in, one of the 1-of sidedeck cards from Frank. Robert goes down to 9, but Robert has the board advantage, having a Sower, Mulldrifter and a Stigma Lasher thanks to another dead Reveillark, while Frank just has a lowly Figure of Destiny.
Robert’s engine gets close to working as he suspends a Greater Gargadon, making sure Frank will never get his Stigma Lasher back. His Figure gets double blocked by Mulldrifter and the Lasher, the Drifter hits the graveyard. Another of Frank’s 1-ofs shows up, a Rekindled Flame, and Robert is put down to a dangerous 5 life. A Runed Halo shows up for Robert, naming the Demigod of Revenge, which was a long time coming but just in time prevented from doing anything useful. Frank indeed has it and plays it anyway, keeping it on D...but not for long, as another Sower is able to seduce a Demigod as well. Frank has to topdeck his way out of this but fails to do so, and is now behind 2-0.
Karsten 0 – Van Medevoort 2
Of course, Van Medevoort’s victory is far from assured, as Karsten manages to get back from an 0-2 position to a 3-2 victory in his quarterfinals against Ruben Snijdewind. Is he able to pull this feat again?
Game 3
Robert starts out with a Greater Gargadon while Frank pounds right away with a Blood Knight and an Ashenmoor Gouger. The latter gets Condemned however, but Frank builds on with a Magus of the Scroll and a Sulfur Elemental at the end of Robert’s turn, who just suspended another Gargadon. Hoping to end this game quickly, a Mana Barbs comes down, making Robert pay doubly for his moves. Of course, it hurts Frank in the process, but that is quite irrelevant in this matchup.
“Take 4, gain 2” is the action that an Aven Riftwatcher produces, coming down after Robert was stuck on 2 lands for a turn. Frank sends in his team, and has a Flame Javelin to end the game in response to the life gain link triggered by a dying Aven Riftwatcher.
Karsten 1 – Van Medevoort 2
Game 4
Robert van Medevoort manages to get a top 3 National finish three times in a row.Robert instantly keeps, trying to diminish Frank’s hopes of getting back into the match. However, he did the exact same thing in a match during the swiss, in which his first play was a turn 5 Reveillark (a game naturally lost by Van Medevoort), so it may not say that much about the strength of his hand either. Frank also seems to consider this, “So, then... I also keep!” Robert builds his mana with a Coldsteel Heart on white. Frank attacks with a Figure of Destiny, keeping it 1/1 so he can play a Stigma Lasher, wary of the fact that a Wrath of God may come down the next turn, but also of the fact that if the Lasher connects, he has a big advantage in the matchup.
Robert just plays a land and passes, signaling a Condemn. “You and your stupid one-ofs!” Frank complains ironically, and attacks anyway, getting the Lasher Condemned as expected. Robert follows up with a Riftwatcher while Frank summons a Blood Knight, bringing life totals to 22-17 in Frank’s advantage. An Everlasting Torment is just late, but still prevents Robert to gain any more life during the game as long as he doesn’t deal with it.
In the meanwhile, Frank has been calling Robert’s hand and thus was not at all surprised at his Reveillark turn 5; Robert, enthusiastic: “There is the Reveillark!” Frank, sighing: “yeah, I already knew...anyways, you’re on 17?” Will he be able to burn Van Medevoort all the way down to 0? Not yet, as he just has to pass some turns playing draw-go, trying to build up a hand full of fiery death. At the same time, a Body Double joins Robert’s team, just as Frank also had expected. “But it came from the top!” Robert senses he’s getting this game under control and loosens up a little, playing around with Frank’s expectations.
The Body Double gets in some hits while Frank tries to draw his way out of his trouble. The writing’s on the wall when he has to use his burn to prevent himself from dying, instead of making his opponent do so. Not much later, Robert won the game and the match!
Robert van Medevoort wins 3-1 from Frank Karsten and joins the National team for the third consecutive time!

Finals: Tom van Lamoen vs Hugo de Jong.

by Eelco van Ruth

Both players are quite satisfied with the results in this tournament so far. Of course, they both want more. It's going to be a Swans mirror and both players have a lot less then traditional builds. Hugo supports at least the combo version of the deck, but he doesn't play Vendillion Cliques or Lotus Blooms in the maindeck. For the Cliques he has a realistic explanation: he thinks that it's quite strange to play Cliques in the first game, before people are usually sideboarding Extirpates and Krosan Grips.

Game 1:

Hugo keeps a hand with 4 cards due to mulligan action. On both turn 2's, the action starts: Tom chooses to attack for 2 with a Mutavault and Hugo plays an Elswhere Flask. Not that any manafixing was needed, because his lands are Vidid Creek and 2 Gemstone Mines.

When Hugo's next turn starts with tapping Creek for blue mana and saccing the Flask to make swamps, Thoughtseize is played (without having to remove Gemstone counters) and countered with Rune Snag, and with the remaining mana a Telling Time is resolved.

When the turn is passed and Hugo tries to resolve a Pithing Needle, a Cryptic Command counters the Needle and bounces one of Hugo's Creeks. Instead, a Graven Cairns is played and a Beseech the Queen fetches a Seismic Assault.

Hugo is not too happy about having to figure out his next play. Hugo is halfway his combo, if he is able to resolve the Assault, and that will make the Swans Tom might want to play completely useless. He doesn't want to fake a counterspell, unless it's a Rune Snag, so he attacks for 4, putting Hugo to 16. The Assault makes it into play and Hugo clearly calls Tom's bluff. Then again: he is pretty much out of gas, so he should of course try his luck now, or give up: any more turns Tom gets will allow him to find counters.

When Tom simply attacks with the Mutavaults again after burning Hugo for 3 at end of turn, it's clear that probably only a Swan or a Pyroclasm hide in his hand. The Mutavaults are wasted by the Assault and Hugo is ready to steal the match, because he has a Swan. Tom knows the routine, but maybe should have checked for Gaea's Blessings in Hugo's hand before he scoops.

Hugo wins the first game, even though mulligans tried to prevent him from doing so.

Game 2:

It's time to comment on Hugo's suit. He clearly has a date with his lawyer at divorce court later this afternoon or he's in the mafia. Check the pictures and make up your mind in the forums.

This time it's Tom's time to play the mulligan game and has to take 2 of them. Hugo plays Pithing Needle and names Mutavault and there is no reaction from Tom.

Tom misses his 4th landdrop, but is able to suspend a Ancestral Vision. Hugo has a Telling Time. He states for the record that one of his sideboard cards ends up on the bottom of his deck.

Hugo's next turn a Beseech the Queen is countered with a Rune Snag. It appeared to be a decoy, because Hugo was more interested in resolving an Extirpate to check his opponent's hand and remove some countermagic from the game. The cards Tom has to show Hugo are Skred, Cryptic and Swan. The Swan is not played, so instead Hugo tries to make one in the next turn when Tom is not able to counter just yet.

Tom is finally able to find a red manasource, but the Hugo will try to have some more info about Tom's hand with an end of turn Vendillion Clique. The Clique is countered with the Cryptic Command and the Swan is bounced. In response of his own spell, Tom Skreds the Swan to grab 4 cards.

Hugo doesn't do too much in his own turn, because his Seismic Assault rules the board. When Tom tries an end of turn Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, the powerful wizard has to endure 4 damage from the even more powerful enchantment.

The next end of turn step Venser, Shaper Savant enters play and bounces the Seismic Assault. It even gets to attack the next turn and a morph creature is added to the board. It's probably a Fledgling Mawcor, usually sideboarded against Faerie matchups, but it attacks for 2 as well. Hugo has to make a blocker, so the Swans of Bryn Argoll are added to the board. Tom thinks that's a good plan and starts pointing a burn spell at it to fill his hand again.

When Tom passes the turn, Hugo is not afraid to attack and drops Tom to 10. The Beseech the Queen that follows is countered with Cryptic Command and the Swan is bounced before getting pinged by the Mawcor. Tom also has enough mana for an end of turn Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and Venser, Teferi and Mawcor attack for 7 to drop Hugo to 9. When Hugo's next play is Seismic Assault and Tom reacts with Flashfreeze, it's time to shuffle up for game 3.

Game 3:

Bathroom breaks. Hugo wants to let the world know that at one point during the game a second Pithing Needle was resolved and Arcbound Ravager was named. Sure.

Mulliganning is clearly an advantage, because the person mulliganning more has won each game so far. Both Hugo and Tom don't mulligan this game, so I have no clue who has the edge now.

Tom has an ideal opening in suspending Ancestral Vision, but no 3rd land. Hugo is in a lot better shape, resolving a Vendillion Clique to see a hand with quite some burn and countermagic. But no lands. His choice is not to make Tom draw an extra card, so it's obvious that the Seismic Assault that's on the stack next walks into a Flashfreeze.

Thoughtseize from Hugo takes care of one of Tom's Cryptic Commands, and the Clique attacks for 3. Tom finally finds a 3rd land and Skreds the 3/1 flier immediately.

That gives Hugo the opportunity to cast another Thoughtseize to remove a Rune Snag and a Clique to put a Venser, Shaper Savant on the bottom of Tom's library.

The next play for Hugo is Extirpate on Cryptic Command and 2 more of those are found in Tom's hand. Teferi, Rune Snag and some burn spells are left. When a Swan is tried in Hugo's next mainphase, it catches the Rune Snag. The Clique attacks for the last time, because some of the burn lights up the 3/1. Hugo is now out of cards and scoops his cards up, because Ancestral Vision is about to resolve and hand Tom even more goodies and another is already on 3 counters.

Game 4:

Speaking about Ancestral Vision: Tom starts out his next game with the powerful sorcery in suspension and also has a second land in his next turn. Hugo plays an end of turn Telling Time and tries his luck with a Seismic Assault in his 3rd turn. Hugo allows it to resolve, plays a land in his next turn and passes again. Hugo is also allowed to play Beseech the Queen and a Swan is found somewhere in his deck. End of turn he drops to 15 from an Incinerate.

Tom makes his 4th landdrop and has 3 blue mana available. He passes the turn again, while Hugo's next turn is spent playing a mainphase Telling Time. When nothing else happens, Tom makes Venser, Shaper Savant to bounce the Seismic Assault. Before it actually resolves, Hugo drops a land to kill the 2/2.

The Seismic is replayed and another end of turn Venser copies the last turn. A Dakmor Salvage kills the second Venser as well. Tom hits his 6th land and attacks for 2 with Mutavault, clearly revealing the fact that he doesn't have double counterspells in his hand. This is the perfect time for Hugo to get some more information about Tom's hand with help of Thoughtseize. That takes out a Cryptic Command and clears the way for Seismic Assault to resolve. It also clears the way for Tom to point 3 damage to Hugo's head.

The next turn marks the end of this game: Hugo resolves a Swan and tricks Tom into Skredding it to try and find a bounce spell when a Dakmor Salvage is discarded to go off. Hugo already has a second Dakmor and can combo out if Tom allows him. Tom again doesn't want to await the outcome, so it's 2-2.

Game 5:

Tom admits that his hand is both sick and broken. In normal life that would mean a visit to the hospital, but it's all good in Magic. Hugo keeps his hand and we're on our way to find out who will be the new Champ. In the meantime Frankie Karsten loses to Robert van Medevoort, so both Hugo and Tom welcome Robert into the team.

Tom suspends his 15th Ancestral Vision, and 2 Flashfreezes, a Mawcor and an island are revealed when Hugo plays a Vendillion Clique. There was also, for a brief moment, an Incinerate in Tom's hand. The island is played when he receives the turn. Not too much else happens.

Hugo plays Beseech the Queen to find a Thoughtseize, but cannot play the sorcery because of a Vivid coming into play tapped. That allows Tom to refill his hand when the Ancestral resolves. The morph is played and two blue mana stays open to unmorph if needed. Thoughseize makes Tom discard another Fledgling Mawcor. When a Swan is played next, a Rune Snag finds it in time to make it go away. The rest of Tom's hand was more 2 castingcost countermagic, so when someone questions Hugo's play; don't. He has to try and empty Tom's hand in some way, right ?

The Mawcor attacks the Clique by pinging and when Hugo tries to Beseech the Queen, the next Rune Snag is used. Hugo drops to 14 from a Mutavault joining the Mawcor in the attack. Thoughtseize makes one of the Flashfreezes disappear and when Tom tries to attack for 6, with the help of another Mutavault, the next spell on the stack is another Vendillion Clique. It's returned to Hugo's hand with Venser, Shaper Savant and Hugo has to bite the bullet. He drops to 6, but is able to resolve a Seismic Assault. When Tom gets passed the next turn the only question is: how much lands will Hugo have left in his hand ?! Mutavaults are being animated and alongside Venser been thrown at Hugo. Hugo drops his hand on the table, because no lands are there to be found. Hugo has a warm handshake for his future teammate though and we are able to congratulate Tom van Lamoen with his title !

Tom van Lamoen wins 3-2 and is team captain for the Dutch Team for Worlds in Memhis this year. As mentioned before, Robert van Medevoort won the play-offs. Hugo lost this match, but will make sure that at least one person of the team will be dressed exquisite, if he chooses to wear a suit again, of course...

That's it for me. I'll see everyone at Grand Prix Copenhagen next weekend.


Photo Essay Dutch Team 2008

By Edwin van Eijk and Eelco van Ruth

This little feature will allow you to meet the Dutch Team for 2008. The photos were made by judge Edwin van Eijk and while judging today he was able to shoot a lot more pictures. The coverage staff wants to thank him for his help and while we’re thanking judges, another name that needs to be mentioned is Henk Claassen. Being the scorekeeper of Dutch Nationals, Henk was also very busy this weekend with taking care of the Trial for Rimini on Saturday and the PTQ for Berlin on Sunday.

Another helpful soul was Jaap Brouwer. He took care of the pictures you’re able to see in yesterday’s coverage and other people that were really helpful this weekend were Kevin Grove and Peter v/d Brink.

I advance I’m thanking Frank Karsten, because he sat down with me a second ago and started writing a metagame article. I’m sure that he’ll make a more then fine piece of information, so thanks are in order.

It’s a little bit sour to have to show up for the quarterfinals and lose. That’s why I’ve added a couple of more pictures from our brave quarterfinalists.

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