Class of: 2009
Hometown: Aubervilliers, France
Debut: Pro Tour–Washington D.C. 1999
Lifetime Pro Points: 367
Antoine and his brother Olivier are the first siblings to be in the Hall of Fame ... No. 6 in lifetime Pro Points ... Along with Olivier, made first impression on Pro Tour as part of Black Ops ... Four Pro Tour Top 8s including win at Los Angeles 2005 ... 18 Grand Prix Top 8s, including two wins ... Won 2006 Magic Invitational, crafting Ranger of Eos as his prize.
Team competition has always seemed to play a large role in the career of Hall of Fame players, and Antoine Ruel is no exception. Antoine made a name for himself on the Pro Tour scene with his Hall of Famer brother Olivier and Florent Jeudon, winning Grand Prix–Cannes as team Black Ops. That finish, combined with an 11th-place finish at the first team Pro Tour in Washington D.C. (Antoine's PT debut), earned that team an invitation to play in the Magic: The Gathering Team Challenge.
"My first team Pro Tour we ended up 11th, losing to Kai [Budde]'s team," Antoine recalled of his inaugural Pro Tour experience. "He beat me there with Game 1 Masticore. When I thought he was Masti-locked, he played Time Spiral and destroyed me. Game 2 I was on 8 life, he had zero cards in hand, and I attacked with everyone to kill him next turn no matter what. He untapped and drew Time Spiral into Keldon Champion and Parch and killed me. Welcome to the Pro Tour. My first individual was the Rebel Pro Tour in New York—probably the worse PT ever. I went 1 win, 2 losses, and 2 draws, playing my first round against Adrian Sullivan. On the same weekend I was playing in the Team Challenge."
It was a special event for the ESPN cameras at Pro Tour–New York 1999–2000, and Antoine's team was the relatively unknown quantity coming in against teams featuring eventual Hall of Famers Rob Dougherty, Darwin Kastle, Dave Humpherys, Jon Finkel, and Alan Comer. Black Ops emerged on top, due in no small part to Antoine's victory over Jon Finkel in the finals.
"I was expecting to win this one more than the PT. In the semifinals, it was really tough," said Ruel of the televised event. "We were playing against [Alan] Comer / [Brian] Selden / [Kurt] Burgner. Comer did a very bad thing to us, and that added pressure for me. We eventually beat them and then [Jon] Finkel / [Steve] OMS / [Dan] OMS in the finals, thanks to Florent Jeudon, my old teammate, one of the players with the most skills that I have ever met. Without him, Oli and I would probably not be Hall of Famers."
Antoine would finish in sixth at the 2001 team Pro Tour in New York, but his first individual success would also be his first Pro Tour Top 8. At Worlds 2001 Antoine piloted a three-color Nether-Go deck list to a third-place finish at that event and the first of four Pro Tour Top 8s in his career.
Antoine took down a second-place finish at Pro Tour–San Diego 2004 before finally securing a win at Pro Tour–Los Angeles in 2005. He defeated Billy Moreno in the finals of that event, playing a Psychatog list. He had to navigate a shark-infested bracket to get there, defeating future Hall of Famer Tsuyoshi Fujita in the quarters and 2005 Player of the Year Kenji Tsumura in the semifinals. His play against Kenji is widely regarded as some of the finest ever seen on the Sunday stage.
In Game 2 of that match, Antoine had the mana and the opportunity to Force Spike a Mana Leak that would counter his Duress, but declined. Kenji, thinking the coast was clear, trotted his turn-three Psychatog out only to have it Force Spiked. There were many levels to the play as Antoine made it seem like he was considering the Force Spike which Kenji read as an obvious bluff.
With 18 career Grand Prix Top 8s to his resume and a pair of wins among them, only Alex Shvartsman and Antoine's brother Olivier have reached the elimination bracket of a Grand Prix more often than Antoine. While he does not travel to as many events as his brother—and let's face it, who does?—Antoine is every bit the worldwide ambassador for the game that his brother has been.
Antoine and Olivier share a special bond that goes beyond fraternity and into the realm of best friendship. Antoine's most recent Pro Tour Top 8 may have been the most poignant for him, as he and his brother Olivier became the first brothers to make the Top 8 of the same individual Pro Tour. They now become the first pair of brothers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"I have so many feelings, to be honest," said Antoine when reached for comment shortly after learning he had been inducted. "The Hall of Fame is the greatest Magic achievement possible. I am glad to join Finkel, Budde, obviously my little brother Olivier, and the others in this pantheon of the game ... a game which is not only been the best game, but has been such a huge part of my life over the last 13 years."
In those 13 years it was his historic Top 8 alongside his brother that stood out as one of his most treasured moments on the Pro Tour.
"The announcement for the Top 8 of the first Pro Tour–Honolulu. I came in 8th on the second tiebreaker. Oli was in the Top 8 already and we jumped into each other's arms and shouted like crazies!" recalled Ruel. "Then, of course, my win in Los Angeles. Someone from the staff told me he had never seen someone as happy to win a tournament as I was."
"I would like to thank Wizards for creating the Hall of Fame to reward the players' successes and contributions to the game. I have played so much and dedicated my life to Magic. That recognition from my peers and from the important people in Magic makes me happy and proud. It is a great reward for all the time spent and dedicated to Magic."
THE POWER OF ANTOINE
Antoine Ruel - Nether-Go
Creature (3)3 Nether Spirit
Sorcery (2)2 Duress
Instant (30)4 Accumulated Knowledge 4 Counterspell 2 Crosis's Charm 3 Fact or Fiction 4 Fire // Ice 3 Opt 2 Spite // Malice 2 Tsabo's Decree 4 Undermine 2 Urza's Rage
Artifact (2)2 Tsabo's Web
Land (23)8 Island 4 Salt Marsh 3 Shivan Reef 1 Sulfurous Springs 4 Underground River 3 Urborg Volcano
Sideboard (15)2 Duress 2 Engineered Plague 2 Lobotomy 3 Meekstone 2 Pyroclasm 1 Teferi's Response 3 Tsabo's Assassin
Blue (21)4 Accumulated Knowledge 4 Counterspell 3 Fact or Fiction 4 Fire // Ice 3 Opt 2 Spite // Malice 1 Teferi's Response
Colorless (28)8 Island 4 Salt Marsh 3 Shivan Reef 1 Sulfurous Springs 4 Underground River 3 Urborg Volcano 2 Tsabo's Web 3 Meekstone
2 (17)4 Accumulated Knowledge 4 Counterspell 4 Fire // Ice 2 Tsabo's Web 2 Pyroclasm 1 Teferi's Response
6 (2)2 Tsabo's Decree
Uncommon (21)4 Salt Marsh 3 Urborg Volcano 2 Crosis's Charm 4 Fire // Ice 2 Spite // Malice 2 Engineered Plague 2 Lobotomy 2 Pyroclasm
Rare (26)3 Shivan Reef 1 Sulfurous Springs 4 Underground River 3 Nether Spirit 2 Tsabo's Decree 2 Tsabo's Web 4 Undermine 3 Meekstone 1 Teferi's Response 3 Tsabo's Assassin
Antoine Ruel - Blue-green Madness
Instant (4)4 Circular Logic
Sideboard (15)1 Quiet Speculation 1 Roar of the Wurm 4 Envelop 1 Howling Gale 2 Krosan Reclamation 1 Ray of Revelation 3 Spellbane Centaur 2 Standstill
White (1)1 Ray of Revelation
Blue (26)4 Aquamoeba 3 Wonder 4 Careful Study 4 Circular Logic 3 Deep Analysis 2 Quiet Speculation 4 Envelop 2 Standstill
Green (22)4 Arrogant Wurm 4 Basking Rootwalla 4 Wild Mongrel 4 Roar of the Wurm 1 Howling Gale 2 Krosan Reclamation 3 Spellbane Centaur
2 (16)4 Aquamoeba 4 Wild Mongrel 2 Quiet Speculation 1 Howling Gale 2 Krosan Reclamation 1 Ray of Revelation 2 Standstill
5 (4)4 Arrogant Wurm
7 (4)4 Roar of the Wurm
Common (44)8 Forest 12 Island 4 Aquamoeba 4 Basking Rootwalla 4 Wild Mongrel 4 Careful Study 3 Deep Analysis 4 Envelop 1 Ray of Revelation
Uncommon (24)2 Centaur Garden 4 Arrogant Wurm 3 Wonder 4 Circular Logic 2 Quiet Speculation 4 Roar of the Wurm 1 Howling Gale 2 Krosan Reclamation 2 Standstill
Rare (3)3 Spellbane Centaur
Antoine Ruel - Old School 'Tog
Sorcery (1)1 Deep Analysis
Instant (31)3 Boomerang 4 Circular Logic 4 Counterspell 3 Fact or Fiction 4 Force Spike 1 Gifts Ungiven 2 Mana Leak 4 Mental Note 2 Opt 2 Smother 2 Thirst for Knowledge
Land (20)2 Cephalid Coliseum 7 Island 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 4 Polluted Delta 2 Stalking Stones 1 Swamp 3 Watery Grave
Sideboard (15)1 Stalking Stones 1 Smother 2 Darkblast 4 Duress 3 Ghastly Demise 1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror 2 Razormane Masticore 1 Skeletal Scrying
Blue (32)1 Wonder 3 Boomerang 4 Circular Logic 4 Counterspell 1 Deep Analysis 3 Fact or Fiction 4 Force Spike 1 Gifts Ungiven 2 Mana Leak 4 Mental Note 2 Opt 2 Thirst for Knowledge 1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Multi colored (4)4 Psychatog
Colorless (26)2 Cephalid Coliseum 7 Island 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 4 Polluted Delta 2 Seat of the Synod 3 Stalking Stones 1 Swamp 1 Vault of Whispers 3 Watery Grave 2 Razormane Masticore
Common (38)7 Island 2 Seat of the Synod 1 Swamp 1 Vault of Whispers 3 Boomerang 4 Counterspell 1 Deep Analysis 4 Force Spike 2 Mana Leak 4 Mental Note 2 Opt 4 Duress 3 Ghastly Demise
Uncommon (20)3 Stalking Stones 4 Psychatog 1 Wonder 4 Circular Logic 3 Smother 2 Thirst for Knowledge 2 Darkblast 1 Skeletal Scrying
Rare (12)1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 4 Polluted Delta 3 Watery Grave 1 Gifts Ungiven 1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror 2 Razormane Masticore
Antoine Ruel - Critical Mass
Creature (19)2 Keiga, the Tide Star 3 Kodama of the North Tree 3 Llanowar Elves 3 Meloku the Clouded Mirror 4 Sakura-Tribe Elder 4 Wood Elves
Sorcery (1)1 Time of Need
Land (23)5 Forest 4 Island 1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge 1 Miren, the Moaning Well 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers 3 Overgrown Tomb 1 Swamp 2 Tendo Ice Bridge 4 Yavimaya Coast
Sideboard (15)1 Mana Leak 1 Putrefy 3 Cranial Extraction 3 Iwamori of the Open Fist 3 Naturalize 4 Threads of Disloyalty
Blue (17)2 Keiga, the Tide Star 3 Meloku the Clouded Mirror 4 Hinder 4 Mana Leak 4 Threads of Disloyalty
Black (3)3 Cranial Extraction
Green (21)3 Kodama of the North Tree 3 Llanowar Elves 4 Sakura-Tribe Elder 4 Wood Elves 1 Time of Need 3 Iwamori of the Open Fist 3 Naturalize
Multi colored (4)4 Putrefy
Colorless (30)5 Forest 4 Island 1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge 1 Miren, the Moaning Well 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers 3 Overgrown Tomb 1 Swamp 2 Tendo Ice Bridge 4 Yavimaya Coast 3 Sensei's Divining Top 4 Umezawa's Jitte
6 (2)2 Keiga, the Tide Star
Common (28)5 Forest 4 Island 1 Swamp 3 Llanowar Elves 4 Sakura-Tribe Elder 4 Wood Elves 4 Mana Leak 3 Naturalize
Rare (33)1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge 1 Miren, the Moaning Well 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers 3 Overgrown Tomb 2 Tendo Ice Bridge 4 Yavimaya Coast 3 Kodama of the North Tree 3 Meloku the Clouded Mirror 4 Umezawa's Jitte 3 Cranial Extraction 3 Iwamori of the Open Fist 4 Threads of Disloyalty
Antoine Ruel - Owling Mine
Creature (4)4 Kami of the Crescent Moon
Sideboard (15)2 Pyroclasm 4 Cerebral Vortex 1 Evacuation 3 Gaze of Adamaro 1 Goblin Flectomancer 1 Mana Leak 3 Twincast
Blue (29)4 Kami of the Crescent Moon 4 Boomerang 4 Exhaustion 4 Eye of Nowhere 4 Gigadrowse 4 Remand 1 Evacuation 1 Mana Leak 3 Twincast
Colorless (30)11 Island 2 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 1 Mountain 4 Shivan Reef 4 Steam Vents 4 Ebony Owl Netsuke 4 Howling Mine
1 (4)4 Gigadrowse
2 (32)4 Kami of the Crescent Moon 4 Boomerang 4 Ebony Owl Netsuke 4 Eye of Nowhere 4 Howling Mine 4 Pyroclasm 4 Remand 1 Mana Leak 3 Twincast
5 (1)1 Evacuation
Uncommon (20)4 Ebony Owl Netsuke 4 Pyroclasm 4 Remand 4 Sudden Impact 3 Gaze of Adamaro 1 Goblin Flectomancer
Rare (30)2 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 4 Shivan Reef 4 Steam Vents 4 Kami of the Crescent Moon 4 Exhaustion 4 Howling Mine 4 Cerebral Vortex 1 Evacuation 3 Twincast
Antoine Ruel - Domain Zoo
Creature (24)4 Boros Swiftblade 4 Grim Lavamancer 3 Isamaru, Hound of Konda 2 Jötun Grunt 4 Kird Ape 1 Savannah Lions 4 Watchwolf 2 Wild Mongrel
Artifact (1)1 Umezawa's Jitte
Enchantment (1)1 Armadillo Cloak
Land (20)2 Bloodstained Mire 1 Breeding Pool 2 Flooded Strand 1 Godless Shrine 1 Mountain 1 Sacred Foundry 1 Steam Vents 2 Stomping Ground 1 Temple Garden 4 Windswept Heath 4 Wooded Foothills
Sideboard (15)1 Jötun Grunt 1 Armadillo Cloak 1 Umezawa's Jitte 3 Engineered Plague 3 Kataki, War's Wage 2 Krosan Grip 1 Loxodon Hierarch 3 Meddling Mage
Black (3)3 Engineered Plague
Multi colored (15)4 Boros Swiftblade 4 Watchwolf 2 Armadillo Cloak 1 Lightning Helix 1 Loxodon Hierarch 3 Meddling Mage
Colorless (22)2 Bloodstained Mire 1 Breeding Pool 2 Flooded Strand 1 Godless Shrine 1 Mountain 1 Sacred Foundry 1 Steam Vents 2 Stomping Ground 1 Temple Garden 4 Windswept Heath 4 Wooded Foothills 2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 (18)4 Grim Lavamancer 3 Isamaru, Hound of Konda 4 Kird Ape 1 Savannah Lions 1 Brute Force 1 Firebolt 4 Gaea's Might
2 (29)4 Boros Swiftblade 3 Jötun Grunt 4 Watchwolf 2 Wild Mongrel 1 Lightning Helix 3 Sudden Shock 4 Tribal Flames 2 Umezawa's Jitte 3 Kataki, War's Wage 3 Meddling Mage
4 (1)1 Loxodon Hierarch
Uncommon (29)4 Boros Swiftblade 3 Jötun Grunt 4 Kird Ape 1 Savannah Lions 4 Watchwolf 1 Lightning Helix 3 Sudden Shock 4 Tribal Flames 3 Engineered Plague 2 Krosan Grip
Rare (35)2 Bloodstained Mire 1 Breeding Pool 2 Flooded Strand 1 Godless Shrine 1 Sacred Foundry 1 Steam Vents 2 Stomping Ground 1 Temple Garden 4 Windswept Heath 4 Wooded Foothills 4 Grim Lavamancer 3 Isamaru, Hound of Konda 2 Umezawa's Jitte 3 Kataki, War's Wage 1 Loxodon Hierarch 3 Meddling Mage
ANTOINE RUELCAREER STATISTICS
BY EVENT TYPE
ANTOINE RUELCAREER HIGHLIGHTS
- Debuted at Pro Tour–Washington DC with an 11th-place finish alongside his brother Olivier and Florent Jeudon.
- Under the team name Black Ops that same team won Grand Prix–Cannes
- Black Ops earned an invite to the ESPN-televised Magic: The Gathering Team Challenge and won over heavy competition.
- Broke through for the first of four career Pro Tour Top 8s at Worlds 2001.
- He earned a Pro Tour championship at PT–LA in 2005 when he bluffed Kenji Tsumura to impale himself on a Force Spike.
- Has traveled around the world playing Magic and earned 18 Top 8 berths at Grand Prix-level play, with wins in Porto and Cannes
- Sixth on the all-time Pro Points list and third among players from France.
- Won the 2006 Magic Invitational and the win was commemorated with Ranger of Eos.
- He and his brother Olivier became the only siblings to share individual Top 8 berths when they both made the Top 8 of PT–Honolulu
- They become the only siblings to be inducted into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame.
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