Event_Coverage

DG says GG for GB

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And so we've reached the end of the line. With Great Britain Nationals coming at the end of the season, it looked as if there might not be much room for innovative deckbuilding. Perhaps Limited would hold the key to the title? Not so, as the hard work of Dan Gardner paid the highest of dividends. After twelve rounds of Swiss action, he bested Mark Glenister, Mick Edwards, and finally Chris Rossiter, to take the title. He's joined on the official GB Team by Rossiter and Peter Mottram, who defeated Edwards in the 3rd/4th Playoff. Edwards' consolation prize is a spot in the Worlds starting lineup. Congratulations to Edwards, Mottram, Rossiter, and of course to Dan Gardner, the Great Britain Champion of 2009!



Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Daniel Gardner   Daniel Gardner, 3-1        
8 Mark Glenister   Daniel Gardner, 3-1
       
4 Mick Edwards   Mick Edwards, 3-0   Daniel Gardner, 3-0
5 Gregory Squire    
       
2 Peter Mottram   Peter Mottram, 3-1
7 Peter Dun   Chris Rossiter , 3-2
       
3 Christopher Rossiter   Christopher Rossiter, 3-1
6 Richard Smith    


3rd Place Playoff  
Peter Mottram Peter Mottram, 3-1
Mick Edwards


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
  • by Rich Hagon
    Finals
    Chris Rossiter v Dan Gardner

  • by Steve Sadin
    3/4 Playoff
    Mick Edwards v Peter Mottram

  • by Steve Sadin
    Semifinals
    Chris Rossiter v Peter Mottram

  • by Rich Hagon
    Semifinals
    Dan Gardner v Mick Edwards

  • by Rich Hagon
    Quarterfinals
    Chris Rossiter v Richard Smith

  • by Richard Moore
    Quarterfinals
    Peter Mottram (Elf-Combo) v Peter Dun (UW Lark)

  • by Richard Coates
    Quarterfinals
    Mick Edwards v Gregory Squire

  • by Steve Sadin
    Quarterfinals
    Danny Gardner v Mark Glenister

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Player Profiles

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

 1.  Daniel Gardner
 2.  Christopher Rossiter
 3.  Peter Mottram
 4.  Mick Edwards
 5.  Gregory Squire
 6.  Richard Smith
 7.  Peter Dun
 8.  Mark Glenister
Pairings Results Standings
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  • Top 8 - Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Name: Chris Rossiter

    Age: 20

    Profession: Poker player

    Other Magic Achievements: None

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    Combo Elves. It has very good matchups against everything except 5cc, which the sideboard is very strong against.

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 5-1

    Draft 1: 3-0

    Draft 2: 1-1-1

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    Talked to Osyp Lebedowicz, Mark Herberholz, Gabriel Nassif, and practiced on Magic Online.

    What do you have on your iPod?

    The Killers, The Strokes, Coldplay, Keane, The Cardigans.

    Have you ever met the queen?
    No, but I have met Princess Anne.




    Name: Mark Glenister

    Age: 38

    Profession: Contracts Management Officer

    Other Magic Achievements:

    10th Place PT Honolulu, made money at PT Valencia and PT Philadelphia

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?:

    Red-Green Aggro, Derf Derf

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 4-2

    Draft 1: 2-1

    Draft 2: 3-0

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    Lunch breaks with Steve Morton, a few sessions with Gordon Barnes, drafting online.

    What do you have on your iPod?

    I have no iPod, I gave it to my girlfriend

    Have you ever met the queen?
    No.




    Name: Peter Dun

    Age: 22

    Profession: Student

    Other Magic Achievements:

    5 Pro Tours, 2 GP Day 2s

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    WU Lark, it beats everything except combo elves. Baneslayer Angel is GREAT against Faeries

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 5-1

    Draft 1: 2-1

    Draft 2: 2-1

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    London and online Testing

    Have you ever met the queen?
    No, but I have met Princess Diana.




    Name: Mick Edwards

    Age: 21

    Profession: Student

    Other Magic Achievements:

    Point away from Day Two at Pro Tour Kyoto 2009

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    Naya Control. Can’t think why – it’s pretty terrible!

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 3-2-1

    Draft 1: 3-0

    Draft 2: 3-0

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    Tested with Team Leeds.

    What do you have on your iPod?

    Ska.

    Have you ever met the queen?
    No.




    Name: Richard Smith

    Age: 26

    Profession: Stress Engineer

    Other Magic Achievements:

    Qualified for the Pro Tour before winning at Friday Night Magic!

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    Kithkin, because even though some matchups (ie 5cc) are bad, if they stumble at all, you’ll still run them over. Plus, I’ve played it for MONTHS.

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 6-0

    Draft 1: 2-1

    Draft 2: 1-2

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    Nothing special. Just played the deck a lot and drafted on Magic Online. Thanks to the Newcastle and Norwich guys for helping though!

    What do you have on your iPod?

    What Ipod? I have ZZ Top’s “Tusk” in my head though.

    Have you ever met the queen?
    No. My entire school did, but I refused to go and wave at an accident of birth.




    Name: Daniel Gardner

    Age: 18

    Profession: Student/Pizza Delivery Boy

    Other Magic Achievements:

    Qualified for Pro Tour – Valencia 2007; 35th GP Birmingham.

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    Barnslayer combo deck. Because it slays all the barns.

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 5-1

    Draft 1: 3-0

    Draft 2: 2-1

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    I prepared with the OJ brothers and we decided Barnslayer was the best.

    What do you have on your iPod?

    Dizzee Rascal obv.

    Have you ever met the queen?

    No.




    Name: Greg Squire

    Age: 24

    Profession: Secret Midnight Hobo

    Other Magic Achievements:

    Won an M10 release event, lost in many PTQ top 8s.

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    Doran – it has fairly even matchups across the field, and really
    strong sideboard options.

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 4-1-1

    Draft 1: 3-0

    Draft 2: 2-1

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    Magic Online draft and standard testing with team GYRO, graciously
    hosted by Rob Glein.

    What do you have on your iPod?

    Matthew Good, Silversun Pickups, Boston, the awesome and
    underappreciated Ghost Hounds.

    Have you ever met the queen?

    No.




    Name: Peter Mottram

    Age: 25

    Profession: Aeronautical Stress Engineer

    Other Magic Achievements:

    A few Prerelease wins. Champs top 8.

    What Standard deck are you playing and why?

    Combo Elves. I had/borrowed the cards for it!

    What was your tournament record during the Swiss rounds?
    Standard: 5-1

    Draft 1: 3-0

    Draft 2: 2-1

    How did you prepare for GB Nationals? Who did you prepare with?

    Weekly drafts at Inner Sanctum, Cambridge. Goldfished the Combo Elves
    a few times, then played against Five-Color Control on the train
    here.

    What do you have on your iPod?

    I don’t have an iPod.

    Have you ever met the queen?

    No.

     

  • Top 8 - Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Dan Gardner
    Top 8 - 2009 Great Britain Nationals



    Chris Rossiter
    Top 8 - 2009 Great Britain Nationals



    Mark Glenister
    Top 8 - 2009 Great Britain Nationals




    Richard Smith
    Top 8 - 2009 Great Britain Nationals

     

  • Quarterfinals - Danny Gardner v Mark Glenister
    by Steve Sadin
  • Danny has been at the top of the standings for the entire weekend, picking people apart in Standard with his Baneslayer control deck that he worked on along side the Orsini Jones brothers and limited with powerful aggressive decks.

    Mark, fresh off a 16th place finish at Pro Tour – Honolulu, was just barely able to squeak into the top 8 with 3 losses. Mark also brought an original deck with him to Nationals, a lightning fast Red-Green beatdown deck featuring Colossal Might.

    Mark Glenister
    While the players were poring over each others decklists began feeling pretty grim about his chances in the quarterfinals.

    “I have so many mediocre cards against you. If you can figure out how I should sideboard please let me know,” said Mark.

    “When I figure it out I’ll be sure to tell you,” quipped Danny.

    Mark won the flip and got things started fast with a Tattermunge Maniac and a Figure of Destiny. Danny’s first play was an evoked Mulldrifter. Mark cast a Colossal Might to knock Danny down to 6.

    Danny again did nothing to improve his board on his fourth turn, merely playing two Fieldmist Borderposts and passing the turn. Mark made a Boggart Ram-Gang threatening lethal damage, but Danny had a Path to Exile to keep himself in the game at a mere two life.

    Danny briefly hoped that his Baneslayer Angel might allow him to take over, but Mark had a Volcanic Fallout to deal the final two points of damage.

    Glenister 1 – Gardner 0

    “Alright, let’s see if I can find 11 cards to board out,” said Mark who was clearly happy to have started the match up a game.

    Game 2
    Danny started off with a mulligan prompting Mark, who was agonizing about his hand, to say “I wish I knew how low you were going to go...” before deciding to keep.

    “Risky business,” said Danny who then drew a two borderpost, no land hand forcing him to go down to 5 cards.

    Danny had a turn two Knight of the White Orchid and evoked Mulldrifter on turn three to get himself on the road to recovery.

    Mark’s first play was a turn three Great Sable Stag. Danny passed turn four without a play allowing him to Cryptic Command Mark’s Bloodbraid Elf (which flipped an Unwilling Recruit), drawing a card in the process.

    Danny Path to Exiled Mark’s Great Sable Stag on his next attack. After combat Mark cast a Figure of Destiny and a Manabarbs. In response to the Manabarbs, Danny used another Path to Exile to get rid of Mark’s freshly cast Figure.

    Danny attacked, knocking Mark to 14 and added a Burrenton Forge-Tender to his team. Mark had another Figure of Destiny, but pumping it would come at quite a price in the face of his own Manabarbs.

    When Danny attacked with both of his creatures Mark blocked the Knight of the White Orchid with his Figure and took four damage to make it a 4/4. Danny was ready with the Celestial Purge leaving Mark, who was on a mere 8 after the attack, with little room to maneuver.

    “I’m boarding Manabarbs out for the next game. This card is rubbish against you”

    A couple of attacks later and they were off to Game 3.

    Danny made no changes to his sideboard while Mark swapped out his two Manabarbs face up for a couple more burn spells.

    Glenister 1 – Gardner 1

    Game 3
    Danny was again forced to mulligan in game 3, but this time he was able to stay on 6 cards.

    Mark started off with a Tattermunge Maniac while Danny had the combo of Fieldmist Borderpost plus Knight of the White Orchid to put himself in pretty good shape moving forward.

    Danny Gardner
    Mark cast a Boggart Ram-Gang and was then forced to attack his Tattermunge Maniac into his opponent’s 2/2 first striker.

    A Glen Elendra Archmage from Danny was met with a Bloodbraid Elf from Mark. The cascader flipped up Manamorphose, which was then used to cast Jund Hackblade. But because of the first striking Knight of the White Orchid, Mark chose to attack with only his Boggart Ram-Gang.

    Danny passed with no play and Mark cast a second Jund Hackblade before attacking with all four of his three power creatures. Danny, who was on 12, thought for a bit before Path to Exiling the Boggart Ram-Gang, blocking a Jund Hackblade with a Glen Elendra Archmage and Bloodbraid Elf with Knight of the White Orchid.

    With Glen Elendra Archmage’s persist on the stack Mark Lightning Bolted the Knight of the White Orchid.

    Danny untapped, attacked for one and slammed down a Baneslayer Angel.

    One attack phase and one more Baneslayer Angel later and the players were off to Game 4.

    Glenister 1 – Gardner 2

    Game 4
    In Game 4 Mark had to start things off with a mulligan.

    And another mulligan.

    And yet another mulligan.

    “Keep,” shrugged Mark.

    Mark played a Figure of Destiny, which he pumped on turn two, but he failed to follow that play up with a second land.

    The second land also evaded him on turn three.

    Mark did play a land on his fourth turn, but he didn’t have a play until his fifth turn when his attempt at a Jund Hackblade got Cryptic Commanded.

    A Baneslayer Angel from Danny followed by a Glen Elendra Archmage was more than enough for Danny to advance to the semifinals.

    Final Result
    Glenister 1 – Gardner 3

    Danny Gardner advances to the Semifinals!

     

  • Quarterfinals - Mick Edwards v Gregory Squire
    by Richard Coates
  • Game 1

    Greg hails from Reading where he plays alongside such names as Calum Stephenson who made the finals of English Nationals in 2006, and has made the Top 8 today despite incurring two game losses from the Judging Team. “To even the field”, he boasts as he sat down to play his Doran aggro deck against Mick. Though he lives in Wolverhampton, Mick plays most of his Magic with Team Leeds, the stomping ground of Craig Stevenson, Callum’s vanquisher in the 2006 final.

    Gregory Squire
    Greg, the reigning Cube Champion of Reading, wanted to decide who goes first by Rock-Paper-Scissors, but Mick protested, and the die was brought out. This was in Mick’s favour, as he won, and decided to play. Mick led with Vivid Meadow, after Greg reluctantly mulliganed twice, and Greg responded with a tapped land of his own, in the form of Murmering Bosk. A 2/2 Figure of Destiny followed for Mick, with a Wren’s Run Vanquisher for Greg. The Figure attacked, and was joined by a Kitchen Finks after Greg declined to block.

    After the Finks was led down the Path to Exile, the Figure was hit by Greg’s Nameless Inversion. Ajani Vengeant entered the Battlefield to destroy Greg’s elf, who then responded with a Gaddock Teeg, preventing more high-cost hijinks.

    Bloodbraid Elf cascaded into Volcanic Fallout for Mick, and then attacked twice, blocked the second time by Greg’s Putrid Leech. After they dueled, and the Leech was pumped, Pyroclasm took out the Leech, and Wilt-Leaf Liege sufferd a similar fate at the hands of Volcanic Fallout and Pyroclasm. Damage from multiple Ajani Vengeant activations sealed the first game, and Mick took an early lead.

    Mick Edwards 1 – Gregory Squire 0

    Game 2

    After extensive sideboarding from Mick, who brought in his “Doran Plan” of Austere Commands, Firespouts, a Call the Skybreaker and the ‘Sideboard card of choice’, Great Sable Stag, we moved on to game 2, where Greg was on the play. Both players kept their seven, and Treefolk Harbinger fetched up a Murmuring Bosk to join the one played on Greg’s first turn. A second Harbinger tutored up a Doran, the Siege Tower, and Mick could only respond with Vivid Meadow and Reflecting Pool.

    The Harbingers were both hit by Lightning Bolts when they attempted to attack, and Mick brought the beatdown in the form of Great Sable Stag, the most played M10 card in Nationals. Protection from blue and black didn’t stop Greg’s Path to Exile, though, and after he attacked, Greg added a Putrid Leech, but both Doran and Leech were sent to the bottom of Greg’s Library by Mick’s Hallowed Burial.

    “You might regret that”, Mick commented, when Greg cast a Behemoth Sledge, before he cast an Ajani for himself. Greg simply played a Chameleon Collosus, having finally found his fouth land. Austere Command destroyed both Collosus and Sledge, and Greg replied with Putrid Leech. Mick played another Stag, and powered Ajani up to seven counters, and after Greg can only muster a Behemoth Sledge, Mick then played the Planeswalker’s ultimate ability, destorying all of Greg’s lands. Figure of Destiny arrived for Mick and was swiftly made first a 4/4 Kithkin Spirit Warrior and then an 8/8. With Greg on 8, and with no lands to speak of, he quickly scooped them up.

    Mick Edwards 2 – 0 Gregory Squire

    Game 3

    Mick Edwards
    A fresh piece of gum was in order for Greg. “For some luck”, he added, before he decided to play first. After both players declined to mulligan, the first action came in the form of a Gaddock Teeg for Greg, while Mick made a 2/2 of his own by way of a Figure of Destiny. A tapped Gilt-Leaf Palace was Greg’s third land, and Mick happily took his third turn, attacking with the Figure, and making a Kitchen Finks, after he sensed that Greg was stuck on action.

    Great Sable Stag entered the battlefield, this time for Greg, who missed his fourth land. Mick, after attacking with the Finks, passed the turn with four mana open. After blocking the Great Sable Stag, the Figure succumbed to Greg’s Path to Exile. Mick’s Finks attacked again, and Firespout wiped out Greg’s board, leaving him with a 2/1 Finks, to which he added a Great Sable Stag.

    Gaddock Teeg was Greg’s play, still stuck on three land, though that didn’t stop a Path to Exile on the Great Sable Stag when he entered the red zone along with a Finks. Baneslayer Angel was Mick’s exciting play onto the nearly-empty board, but Greg responded happily with a Maelstrom Pulse. Greg’s happiness, however, quickly turned into desperation when another Angel was topdecked by Mick to join his Kitchen Finks. Still stuck on three land, Greg seemed to be out of options, and Doran wasn’t the force he ought to be when Greg cast him. The Angel attacked Greg, first to 3, and the next turn to zero, and the Match was Mick’s.

    Mick Edwards wins the match 3-0, and advances to the Semi-Finals.

     

  • Quarterfinals - Peter Mottram (Elf-Combo) v Peter Dun (UW Lark)
    by Richard Moore
  • A brief moment of confusion ensued as the players where seated as a passerby called out, “good luck Peter”. Peter Dun quickly thanked the well wisher before realising that he was in fact wishing good luck to his opponent. Dun, one of the troop of London players who had flocked to Brighton for the five days of gaming, remained vocal throughout the shuffling period, chatting animatedly with a gang of Londoners who had surrounded the feature match area to support him. Mottram’s supporters were almost as numerous but, like Peter himself, remained fairly quiet

    Game 1

    Peter Mottram
    Mottram opened up the plays in Game 1 with turn one Llanowar Elves, turn two Elvish Archdruid, about as good as it gets. The Londoner had a Knight of the White Orchid to hold the cheeky beats but Dun already seemed to be lacking in confidence for this game. A couple of Heritage Druids, followed by Ranger of Eos searching up two Nettle Sentinels continued the aggressive start, with Mottram adding a second Elvish Archdruid to the board to finish his turn. Dun could only muster up a hardcast Fieldmist Borderpost and quickly conceded to Mottram’s alpha strike on the next turn.

    Peter Mottram 1 – 0 Peter Dun

    Both players got on with sideboarding and shuffling, Dun politely requesting that his opponent not go off so quickly in the next game

    Game 2

    The second game began with Dun playing back to back Fieldmist Borderposts on the first 2 turns while Mottram played a Mosswort Bridge, opting to hideaway a Regal Force, and a Heritage Druid. Dun showed the power of the borderposts with a third turn Knight of the White Orchard fetching a plains since he had zero lands in play! The Cambridge player add an Elvish Archdruid to the board but Broken Ambitions from Dun put paid to that plan. Dun played out a second knight, which also found a plains, and a Mistmeadow Witch to search up yet more lands if needed. Dun began attacking with his knights, using Cryptic Command to counter Mottram’s attempted Cloudthresher at the end of the declare attackers step, netting himself a card in the deal.

    The Cambridge player had a Primal Command ready for the next turn though, returning a borderpost and finding himself a Ranger of Eos which found two more elves. Dun was only able to evoke a Mulldrifter and pass the turn over to Mottram with four mana available, who now had a whole bunch of elves, lands and cards in hand. A Nettle Sentinel hit the board bringing the total power up to ten, the magic number for the hideaway land, but Dun had the Path to Exile to prevent the appearance of the lurking Regal Force for the time being. Unfortunately for the Londoner, Mottram had another one in his hand which he promptly cast out granting him an additional five cards. A couple more 1/1 elves reached the board along with the Archdruid to power them all up. Dun simply untapped, drew a card, and passed the turn back. Finally the hidden Regal Force reached play, generating another nine cards. Path to Exile was then aimed squarely at the Mistmeadow Witch.

    “Cards in hand?” “Err...twelve.”

    Cryptic Command stopped the Path and tapped down Mottram’s team, He responded by floating fifteen mana (thank goodness mana burn has been removed), then casting another two Path to Exile, one hitting the witch, the other on the knight, leaving Dun with only one creature versus the two Nettle Sentinels that could potentially untap and attack, lethally if a Mirror Entity showed its face.

    “If you have Primal Command I will scoop,” declared Peter Dun. Mottram was happy to oblige.

    Peter Mottram 2 – 0 Peter Dun

    Game 3

    Llanowar Elves were once again the first play in Game 3 but this time Dun had a Meddling Mage ready on turn two, opting to deny Mottram use of his Primal Commands, with a backup mage naming the same card after the elf player had Path to Exile for the first one. Mottram had a Ranger of Eos to seach up a couple of Nettle Sentinels to go with his Heritage Druid but Dun had a third mage to prevent any Regal Force shaped plans and a couple of Mistmeadow Witches to provide some protection to the mages. Unperturbed, Mottram simply moved to a new plan - beatdown! Ranger and the two Sentinels rushed in to bash Dun for 7, then took down one of the witches while forcing another 5 through. Dun cast out a couple of Path to Exile on an Elvish Archdruid and a Nettle Sentinel before playing his fourth Meddling Mage, naming Path to Exile, and a Knight of the White Orchard to turn the board position to his favour – the knight doing all the work on offence and defence thanks to the witch.

    But Mottram just relentlessly continued to add elves to the board, a second Ranger finding the final Nettle Sentinel and a Llanowar Elves. The Meddling Mage denying Path to Exile bit the dust and Mottram managed to force through enough damage to drop Dun to 2 but the Mistmeadow Witch and Knight were making it tough for Mottram to force through the final points. A Sower of Temptation and a Mulldrifter appeared to stack the board greatly in Dun’s favour. Mottram could only add more 1/1s to the board, denied his more powerful cards by the pesky mages. The second Sower of Temptation was final nail in the coffin.

    Peter Mottram 2 – 1 Peter Dun

    “So, four Meddling Mages and I can win!” remarked the London player, delighted to have won a game but clearly not confident for the remainder of the match.

    Game 4

    Once again the Llanowar Elves were the first out of the gate, followed by an Elvish Visionary and a Mosswort Bridge, hiding away another Mosswort Bridge. Dun started with back to back Fieldmist Borderposts and a Knight of the White Orchard, taking full advantage of the land search. The next spell for Mottram was a Primal Command, sending a borderpost to the top of Dun’s deck and a Ranger of Eos to the hand. The Ranger was met next turn with a Cryptic Command, as was the Primal Command the turn after. Dun had a Mulldrifter to draw two more cards but was trumped by Mottram’s Regal Force for three. An Elvish Archdruid joined the party and elemental and elves swung in. Dun had a Plumeveil ready which was met by a Path to Exile from the elf player but a second wall followed eating the Nettle Sentinel. Another Archdruid started to make things look really bad for Dun until he untapped and cast a Baneslayer Angel. Mottram was able to bring the total power of his army high enough to use his Mosswort Bridge and hideaway a new card but couldn’t manage anything more. The flying creatures swung in and reduced the Cambridge player to 3 life and Dun used his Mistmeadow Witch to draw two more cards from his Mulldrifter before passing the turn, Mottram currently dead on the board and needing to find something.

    Peter Dunn
    And find something he did! First a Ranger of Eos to assemble some Nettle Sentinel/Heritage Druid mana generation then a freshly hidden Primal Command, bringing his life to a much healthier 10 and searching up a Regal Force netting another seven cards. More elves hit the board, covering Mottram’s side of the feature match table, along with another Regal Force, this time with twelve green creatures in play. A couple of Path to Exile aimed at the Mistmeadow Witch and the Regal Force targeted by its final activation kept the possibility of being decked to a minimum and a final Primal Command shuffled the elf player’s deck back together and made sure that Dun wouldn’t be drawing anything exciting next turn. Dun untapped, evoked a Mulldrifter and attempted a Broken Ambition for 0 on it, planning to scry an extra card, but Mottram had the Guttural Response to prevent it. Dun drew the two cards from the drifter and extended his hand in concession.

    How often does a match end with a player casting a counterspell on his own spell, only to have his opponent counter that?? Could be a first!

    Peter Mottram defeats Peter Dun 3 - 1

     

  • Quarterfinals - Chris Rossiter v Richard Smith
    by Rich Hagon
  • The biggest matches in Magic are about to commence. Sure, you want to win the Pro Tour, but once you’ve made the final, you’re already guaranteed many thousands of dollars. That isn’t the case here in the quarter finals of Great Britain Nationals. Four winners will go to Rome for Worlds, four will leave...with nothing. That means that twelve rounds of effort come down to this a shootout for, as they say, all the marbles.

    Chris Rossiter
    While Steve Sadin, Richard Coates and 2005 National Champion Richard Moore bring you all the action elsewhere, I’ll be bringing you the story of Combo Elves, piloted by Chris Rossiter, against the small white men of the Kithkin deck, chosen by Richard Smith. In truth, the matchup doesn’t look great for Smith, as both players readily acknowledge. It’s basically that he’s just faster than I am. He doesn’t care if I get him to 2 life... Thing is, Magic doesn’t always play out like the theory. Let’s see if it does.

    Figure of Destiny began the match for Smith, with Rossiter taking an opening mulligan. Forest and Nettle Sentinel opened his account. In came the Figure of Destiny, and Rossiter chose to let it through rather than trade with the Nettle Sentinel. One damage came through, and Knight of Meadowgrain was the turn two play for Smith. Two mana for Rossiter meant Devoted Druid, and we were back with the Kithkin.

    In came Smith’s monsters, and Rossiter took four, down to 15. Goldmeadow Stalwart arrived, revealing a second, which arrived at discount price courtesy of Wizened Cenn. Smith was doing all he could to end things as quickly as possible, but Rossiter seemed unperturbed as he brought out Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid to take his monster count to four.

    The Wizened Cenn arrived right on cue to boost the Kithkin kamikaze squad, and the two Goldmeadow Stalwarts, Knight of Meadowgrain and Figure of Destiny powered in for an unblocked 12 damage. Rossiter fell to 3, but as Smith said, Right, now I can relax for twenty minutes...

    Rossiter began his turn with Elvish Archdruid...and that was it! A second Wizened Cenn landed for Smith, and five enormous Kithkin irritants smashed into the red zone, against a Combo Elves board that were a lot more Elves and a lot less Combo. At the end of a full set of desperate blocks, the Elves board was empty, and two Goldmeadow Stalwarts still sat in play, with Wizened Cenn backup.

    Unsurprisingly, that was sufficient, and we were off to Game 2.

    Smith 1 Rossiter 0.

    Both players seemed to Sideboard quite straightforwardly:

    Smith

    -3 Elspeth
    +3 Ethersworn Canonist

    Rossiter

    -1 Burrenton Forge-Tender
    -2 Elvish Visionary
    +3 Path to Exile

    On to Game 2, and Rossiter would be on the play. Nettle Sentinel opened against Goldmeadow Stalwart. Rossiter had no turn two play, but Smith did, hitting with the Stalwart for two, and then bringing out the Knight of Meadowgrain that Rossiter had already seen him reveal on turn one.

    Elvish Archdruid was the turn three play for Rossiter, and his Nettle Sentinel came in for three. Four damage came back the other way, and the Knight of Meadowgrain swung the life totals to 19-14 in Smith’s favor. He then doubled his board position with a second copy of both Knight of Meadowgrain and Goldmeadow Stalwart.

    Rossiter cast Primal Command, gaining him seven life, and searching out a Heritage Druid. Smith made a less than aggressive addition, in terms of red zone at least, with Ethersworn Canonist, but that was potentially huge in the match for the only one spell a turn ability. Rossiter fell to 15 before casting Ranger of Eos, fetching a pair of Nettle Sentinels.

    M10 Rare Honor of the Pure boosted Smith’s team, but he left Ethersworn Canonist at home. Still, Knight of Meadowgrain plus two Goldmeadow Stalwarts represented enough damage to force Rossiter to block, trading a Stalwart for his Ranger of Eos. Now the life totals stood at 26-9, and the Canonist was starting to look like trouble for Rossiter. Also looking like trouble for Rossiter was his pace of play, with a Slow Play warning being issued after a series of prolonged bouts of inaction. His one play for the turn was Regal Force, netting him three cards, and as Smith observed, If he draws Path to Exile, I’m in trouble.

    Windbrisk Heights plus Spectral Procession was Smith’s offering, and Rossiter untapped with a full grip of cards, still knowing that Path to Exile was essential...

    And in his hand.

    Heritage Druid...Nettle Sentinel...tap three Elves.....Nettle Sentinel...untap Nettle Sentinels....five Green....Regal Force.....draw seven cards....

    At this point, you only need to know one piece of information.

    Fizzle? Or Game?
    Fizzle? Game?
    Fizzle?

    Game.

    Smith 1 Rossiter 1.

    Kithkin began what was now a best of three match with Windbrisk Heights. Llanowar Elves seemed like a better start for the Elves Combo. Knight of Meadowgrain turn two met Heritage Druid, Llanowar Elves, and an Elvish Archdruid for Rossiter. Quite the second turn.

    In came the Knight of Meadowgrain, which Rossiter happily took two from. A second Knight of Meadowgrain came down, and Smith completed his turn by casting Path to Exile on the Elvish Archdruid. Rossiter took the opportunity to find a Plains to power his own Path to Exile should he need it later in the game.

    Richard Smith
    Elvish Visionary drew him a card, and then the Heritage Druid powered out a Ranger of Eos, fetching Rossiter more ammunition in a pair of Nettle Sentinels. He wasted no time in casting them, and ended the turn in a massively powerful position. Smith could only attack in what appeared to be futile fashion, despite leading the damage race 26-14. He added Goldmeadow Stalwart and Figure of Destiny, but it was hard to see even that could be enough.

    The previous turn, Elvish Visionary had drawn Rossiter one card. Now, Regal Force drew him seven. Let’s play that game again, shall we?

    Fizzle? Game?
    Fizzle? Game?

    Still not sure? How about if I tell you he played another Regal Force, and this time drew eleven additional cards? That’s not a guessing game any more. That’s a massacre.

    Smith 1 Rossiter 2.

    With Smith on the play in Game 4, Rossiter took a mulligan, and then again, falling to five.

    Goldmeadow Stalwart, show Knight of Meadowgrain, pass.

    Forest, pass.

    Swing for two, cast Mutavault, pass. Rossiter to 18.

    Forest, Llanowar Elves, pass.

    Activate Mutavault, attack for four, Rossiter to 14, pass.

    Elvish Archdruid and Llanowar Elves, leaving two cards in hand.

    Attack for two, Rossiter to 12. Windbrisk Heights, Path to Exile the Elvish Archdruid, Rossiter finds Plains. Smith passes.

    Devoted Druid, attack for two, Smith to 18, pass.

    Oh, alright then, it looks like this isn’t going to be one of those every play of every turn kind of games. Seems that the double mulligan has really hurt Rossiter.

    Smith pumped his Stalwart with Wizened Cenn, but that was still his only action. Seven mana later, and Rossiter had his first Regal Force of the game, drawing him four cards. Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid came down before Rossiter handed over. Regal Force is good. What a shocker lamented Smith, with typical British understatement. He knew he was in desperate trouble, and Knight of Meadowgrain wasn’t about to change that.

    Rossiter opened his turn with a second Regal Force, this time for seven cards. He still had plenty of mana available, and the only saving grace for Smith was that there was only a single Nettle Sentinel in play. Manamorphose drew Rossiter yet another card while boosting his mana, and the Elvish army continued to grow. Devoted Druid...Elvish Archdruid....the Devoted Druid took one for the team, and another Elvish Archdruid hit play. Rossiter passed the turn with twelve monsters in play, against just three for Smith.

    Was this the end of the road? Smith passed the turn, and Rossiter felt confident enough to show him Mirror Entity. Moments later, the expected outcome had come true. After a mountain of near-misses, Chris Rossiter knew that he would be going to his first Pro event, and it would be the 2009 World Championship.

    Richard Smith 1 Chris Rossiter 3

     

  • Semifinals - Dan Gardner v Mick Edwards
    by Rich Hagon
  • With the pressure off, both these players knew that their place on the ‘plane to Worlds was guaranteed. Now, the challenge was to win two more matches, and go to Rome as the flagbearing Champion of our Island nation.

    Mick Edwards
    After a mulligan to five from Edwards, we were away, with Gardner opening on a Plains and a Fieldmist Borderpost. Fire-Lit Thicket started things for Edwards. Meddling Mage on turn two was set to Figure of Destiny, and Mutavault from Edwards was his only play of the turn. Knight of the White Orchid saw Gardner search out a Plains, before attacking with the Meddling Mage. No third land for Edwards was a truly bad sign.

    In came the Gardner squad for four, and in Mick’s drawstep he cast Vendilion Clique, seeing a ton of no action. Now Gardner attacked for seven, cutting Edward’s life total in half. A Fieldmist Borderpost ended the turn. Edwards simply passed, and although he had a Mutavault to try and put up a defence, Gardner had Path to Exile ready, and a brutal opener was at a lightning-quick end.

    Dan Gardner 1 – Mick Edwards 0.

    Jungle Shrine met Fieldmist Borderpost as the second game got underway. Vivid Crag plus Figure of Destiny followed for Edwards, while Gardner replayed a Plains. The Figure became a 2/2, and dealt the first damage of the match for Edwards. Gardner laid a land and passed, but Vendilion Clique was his upkeep play. Edwards revealed Firespout, 2 Lightning Bolts, Gutteral Response, Reflecting Pool, and Ajani Vengeant, which Gardner sent packing.

    Edwards drew....and cast Ajani Vengeant! The Vendilion Clique quickly went to Gardner’s graveyard, after the most fortunate of topdecks. The Figure of Destiny became a 4/4 and piled in unopposed, putting Gardner to 12 against 23 for Edwards, thanks to Ajani. A full price Mulldrifter drew Gardner two cards, and Edwards used one of his two Lightning Bolts to keep the board clear.

    The Figure of Destiny did another four damage, while Ajani Vengeant ensured Gardner’s Mystic Gate wouldn’t untap. Great Sable Stag added to the board, but Gardner wasn’t done, busting out the M10 standout, Baneslayer Angel. It wasn’t enough. Firespout to the air, Lightning Bolt the Baneslayer Angel, activate the Mutavault....and that was approximately that. We’d had two games, and both had been blowouts.

    Gardner 1 – Edwards 1.

    It was back to mulliganville for Edwards, starting with six. Gardner, opening with the full team, wasted no time in playing Burrenton Forge-Tender, and attacking with it on turn two. Mutavault hit back the other way, and it was soon 18 apiece as Gardner just laid land. When Edwards attacked with Mutavault, Gardner Flashed out a Vendilion Clique, allowing Edwards to keep a hand of triple Reflecting Pool, Ajani Vengeant, Firespout, Great Sable Stag and Hallowed Burial, before trading with the Mutavault.

    Gardner made a Glen Elendra Archmage, while Edwards could only lay a Figure of Destiny. When he attempted to make it 4/4 the following turn, Celestial Purge was ready from Gardner, and it looked like we were heading for more hard work from Edwards. Gardner attacked with his Archmage and Forge-Tender, and Volcanic Fallout didn’t look to do much for Edwards. When Gardner slammed the mighty Baneslayer Angel onto the board, it was clear that there was no way back, and in super-fast time we were looking to a Game 4, while the other semi-final, featuring approximately two trillion Elves, was still in Game 1!

    Gardner 2 – Edwards 1.

    Up against the wall, Edwards at least started with a full grip, starting with Vivid Crag opposite a Fieldmist Borderpost for Gardner, who had the first creature with Burrenton Forge-Tender on turn two. Out came the Vendilion Clique right on schedule, and this time Edwards showed Baneslayer Angel, Rugged Prairie, Fire-lit Thicket, Lightning Bolt, Volcanic Fallout, Ajani Vengeant, and a Mountain. Gardner sent the Baneslayer Angel away, and Edwards drew...

    Elspeth, Knight-Errant.

    As a spectator was heard to observe, “Hot rips, baby.” Which I think means he was impressed.

    Elspeth began the business of churning out Soldier tokens for Edwards, and when the Vendilion Clique looked to deal with her, Edwards cast Lightning Bolt. The Burrenton Forge-Tender got in the way, but it wasn’t good enough, as Edwards responded with a second Lightning Bolt. He really wanted his Planeswalker to survive. Gardner threw down another flyer, this time the 4/3 Reveillark, but Edwards could happily attack into it, with Gardner aware of the Volcanic Fallout in hand.

    Dan Gardner
    A third Soldier joined the team, while Gardner’s Reveillark finally completed the task of dealing with Elspeth. In came the Soldiers, dropping Gardner to 15. Edwards offered up Ajani Vengeant, and Gardner took his next turn to pile in with Reveillark and add another huge threat in the form of Baneslayer Angel. Neither of his monsters would die to the Volcanic Fallout, so Edwards used Ajani Vengeant to prevent the Reveillark from untapping the following turn. He made a Baneslayer Angel of his own, and passed the turn in what was rapidly becoming comfortably the best game of the match.

    Knight of the White Orchid allowed Gardner to search up a Plains. The two Baneslayer Angels traded, as Gardner looked to assault Ajani Vengeant. Despite the trade, he seemed happy, and the reason was revealed when he added a second Baneslayer Angel. Hallowed Burial reset the board, with Burrenton Forge-Tender coming back off the Reveillark trigger.

    Gardner slammed yet another Baneslayer Angel onto the table, with the words, “I can rip as well you know.” Ajani Vengeant dealt the Angel three damage, and Volcanic Fallout looked to complete the job. Gardner used the Forge-Tender to protect his Angel, and then the Baneslayer was able to dispose of Ajani. The game was hugely swinging Gardner’s way.

    Could Edwards fight back? Four mana brought out another Ajani Vengeant, and he refused to let the Angel untap. Gardner landed Mulldrifter, drawing two cards, and cast another, meaning he’d seen five cards that turn. Knight of the White Orchid dropped Ajani to two Loyalty, which then kept the Baneslayer Angel at bay for another turn. Edwards was trying everything, but Gardner was drawing cards left, right, and centre.

    Glen Elendra Archmage resolved, and a flying pair of Mulldrifters offed the Ajani. It looked like we were on the verge of knowing our first finalist, even though the life totals were 27-25 in Mick’s “favor”. At end of turn, Vendilion Clique came down, targeting Gardner, allowing him to swap a Borderpost for something – hopefully – better. He added Reveillark to the board.

    With an overwhelming air force, Gardner pondered his options. Cryptic Command bounced the Figure of Destiny and drew Gardner a card, before he piled in with an astonishing array of beatiness. Eighteen points of damage piled in, dropping Edwards to just 9 life. He attempted Hallowed Burial, but the Glen Elendra Archmage put paid to that plan. Edwards would go on to the massive 3rd/4th placed Playoff for the final Team berth, while Gardner would prepare for the Championship battle.

    Dan Gardner 3 – Mick Edwards 1.

     

  • Semifinals - Chris Rossiter v Peter Mottram
    by Steve Sadin
  • Chris and Peter both sat down for their Semifinals match in good spirits. They had already guaranteed themselves invitations to Worlds in Rome and they were now playing for a guaranteed spot on the Great Britain National Team.

    The only concern in their minds was that they were about to begin a painstakingly slow Combo Elves mirror match and in just twelve hours time round one of Grand Prix- Brighton was set to begin.

    Would they be able to finish their match in time?

    Game 1
    Peter won the roll and started with a Mosswort Bridge while Chris had a Llanowar Elves. On his second turn Peter made a Llanowar Elves of his own and a Windbrisk Heights.

    Chris Rossiter
    Chris had a Devoted Druid that Peter matched with a Devoted Druid of his own along with a second Llanowar Elves.

    Chris cast a Ranger of Eos which he used to fetch a Heritage Druid and a Nettle Sentinel, threatening a big next turn.

    Peter cast Primal Command putting a land on top and fetching a Ranger of Eos before passing the turn and hoping that Chris wasn’t yet capable of doing anything degenerate.

    Chris cast a Regal Force, drawing five cards, and then passed the turn.

    Peter cast a Ranger of Eos grabbing a Nettle Sentinel and a Heritage Druid. He played out the one drops and followed it up with a Heritage Druid enabled Elvish Visionary and Elvish Archdruid.

    His next turn was going to be BIG.

    But first Chris had a chance to go.

    And boy did he go.

    A Ranger of Eos for two more Nettle Sentinels meant that Chris was going to be netting a lot of mana for each of his spells. And there were a lot of spells.

    Elvish Visionary, Heritage Druid, Elvish Archdruid, Primal Command, Regal Force drawing 11 cards, Elvish Archdruid, Elvish Archdruid, Llanowar Elves, Devoted Druid, Primal Command, Regal Force drawing 16 cards, Nettle Sentinel, Heritage Druid, Elvish Archdruid, Devoted Druid, Elvish Visionary, Elvish Visionary, Elvish Visionary, Cloudthresher, Devoted Druid.

    And finally a Primal Command fetching Mirror Entity.

    Chris discarded a bunch of lands and then passed the turn to Peter.

    Peter was able to cast two of his own Regal Forces and do a bunch of things, but it wasn’t nearly enough to stop Chris’ 27 creatures.

    Turns played – 11
    Total time – 32 minutes

    Time until the Grand Prix – 688 minutes

    Chris 1 – Peter 0

    Game 2
    Both players started the game off with a Llanowar Elf into a turn two Elvish Archdruid.

    On his third turn Peter cast a Heritage Druid, a second Llanowar Elves and a Primal Command returning a Forest and fetching a Ranger of Eos.

    Chris made two Elvish Visionaries and a Nettle Sentinel before passing the turn to Peter.

    On his fourth turn Peter played Elvish Visionary, Ranger of Eos, Nettle Sentinel, Nettle Sentinel, Regal Force drawing 8 cards, Heritage Druid, Elvish Archdruid, Llanowar Elves.

    And finally Primal Command fetching a Ranger of Eos.

    Then it was Chris’ time to get big.

    Regal Force drew him 6 cards...

    ...but it didn’t offer him a Heritage Druid so he could only make a Nettle Sentinel before passing.

    Regal Force drew Peter 12 cards, a flurry of elves came down and then a Primal Command fetching Elvish Archdruid provided Peter with a lethal attack and the match was tied at one game a piece.

    Turns played – 9
    Minutes played - 24

    Time until the Grand Prix – 664 minutes

    Chris 1 – Peter 1

    Game 3
    Chris kept his opening hand and started with a Heritage Druid while Peter had a Llanowar Elves. Chris had a Devoted Druid on his second turn while Peter made a Mosswort Bridge and a Heritage Druid.

    On his third turn Chris got things going with an Elvish Visionary, an Elvish Archdruid and a Heritage Druid.

    Peter Mottram
    Peter began to set things up with a Ranger of Eos for two Nettle Sentinels.
    Chris untapped and rolled out Heritage Druid, Primal Command, Regal Force drawing 7 cards and an Elvish Visionary before passing the turn to Peter.

    Peter could only cast his two Nettle Sentinels before passing the turn.

    Even though Chris was unable to finish going off after casting Regal Force on his previous turn, Chris was more than able to do his opponent in when he regained access to all of his mana.

    A Ranger of Eos fetching two Nettle Sentinels, another Ranger of Eos fetching the third and fourth Nettle Sentinels, a Primal Command for a second Regal Force which drew 13 cards, a stack of Elves, a Manamorphose giving Chris access to WW, a Mirror Entity and a Path to Exile on a blocker was more than enough for Peter to concede.

    Turns played – 9
    Minutes played – 19

    Time until the Grand Prix – 645 minutes

    Game 4
    Peter opened with a Windbrisk Heights while Chris had a Llanowar Elves. Peter had a turn two Devoted Druid which Chris attempted to trump with an Elvish Archdruid.

    If it looked like peter was off to a slow start, that all changed on his third turn when he ran out a Heritage Druid, a Nettle Sentinel, two Elvish Visionaries and a Llanowar Elf.

    Chris cast a Devoted Druid followed by a Primal Command that got rid of Windbrisk Heights and fetched a Regal Force.

    Peter had a Regal Force which drew him seven cards. Those seven cards let him play a Llanowar Elves, a Heritage Druid, an Elvish Visionary and a Path to Exile for Chris’ Elvish Archdruid.

    Chris cast his Regal Force for a lowly three cards before passing the turn.

    Peter was unable to go off, but he did manage to cast two copies of Ranger of Eos along with four Nettle Sentinels, both assuring that he would be able to combo off should he ever draw a Primal Command or a Regal Force and that he would be able to beat Chris to death with his many creatures so long as Chris didn’t do anything particularly impressive on his next turn or two.

    Peter’s Regal Force attacked and traded with Chris’ 5/5 monster and he passed the turn.

    Chris cast another Regal Force for three cards, but when the top of his deck failed to provide him with anything particularly impressive he conceded and the players were off to Game 5, still racing against time to finish their match in time for the Grand Prix.

    Turns played – 10
    Minutes played – 22

    Time until the Grand Prix – 623 minutes

    Game 5
    The final game began with Chris casting a Heritage Druid and Peter playing a Windbrisk Heights.

    On his second turn Chris cast a Nettle Sentinel, while Peter used his second turn to match Chris’ board with a Wooded Bastion powering out a Heritage Druid and a Nettle Sentinel of his own.

    On his third turn Chris cast a Llanowar Elves and a Primal Command for Nettle Sentinel. A play that threatened a very powerful next turn.

    Peter was able to deploy a Devoted Druid, a Heritage Druid and a Elvish Archdruid before passing the turn and bracing himself for whatever Chris could put together.

    A Nettle Sentinel helped power out the suspected Regal Force, but Chris didn’t have the mana to do anything else on that turn.

    Now was Peter’s big chance to get back in the match. He cast an Elvish Visionary and followed it up with...

    ...

    ...

    ...
    Nothing.

    A couple of Regal Forces, a bunch of elves and a Primal Command to ensure that Peter wouldn’t draw anything else meant that Chris Rossiter was on his way to the finals where he would face off against Danny Gardner for the title of National Champion.

    Turns played – 9
    Total minutes – 21

    Time until the Grand Prix - 602

    Final result

    Total turns played – 48
    Total time – 118 minutes
    Average turn length 147.5 seconds

    The players were able to finish their match with just over 10 hours to spare. Had it been a best of seven match it’s not clear that they would have made it.

     

  • 3/4 Playoff - Mick Edwards v Peter Mottram
    by Steve Sadin
  • Mick Edwards v Peter Mottram

    Peter walked into this much looking confident and focused despite just finishing a grueling two hour long Combo Elves mirror match against Chris Rossiter. Mick on the other hand had a good hour plus to collect himself and think about his upcoming playoff match.

    Game 1
    Peter started with a Llanowar Elves and an Elvish Visionary, but Mick had a Pyroclasm to take care of both of them.

    Peter had no play on his third turn giving Mick a chance to cast Kitchen Finks.

    Peter was far from behind in the game as he cast a Ranger of Eos fetching Heritage Druid and a Burrenton Forge-Tender, an absolutely crucial card against Mick’s burn heavy control deck.

    Mick had an Ajani Vengeant to lock down a land prompting peter to cast the two creatures that he had fetched up.

    Mick again locked down a land and Peter cast a Nettle Sentinel and another Ranger of Eos, fetching Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid. When Peter attempted to cast a second Nettle Sentinel, Mick responded by Lightning Bolting the Heritage Druid.

    On his turn Mick used Ajani Vengeant to destroy a Nettle Sentinel and then passed the turn.

    When Peter moved to enter his attack step Mick stopped him to cast Volcanic Fallout which Peter prevented with his Burrenton-Forge Tender. Peter’s subsequent attack allowed him to destroy Ajani Vengeant and activate Windbrisk Heights getting a Primal Command.

    The Primal Command put a Vivid Meadow back on top of Mick’s library and fetched a Nettle Sentinel. Another Primal Command which hit a Rugged Prairie and fetched a Regal Force left Mick in a pretty dire situation.

    However, it appeared as though Peter made a mistake when he was casting his Primal Commands. Had he used his first Primal Command on an untapped land and his second Command on the vivid land he would have left the already mana light Mick with only two mana on his next turn.

    But instead Mick was able to play an untapped land which gave him the mana to cast a Volcanic Fallout should he have one.

    Heritage Druid, Nettle Sentinel, Nettle Sentinel, Elvish Archdruid, Ranger of Eos, and Heritage Druid came down for Peter before he passed the turn.

    At the end of Peter’s turn Mick looked to punish him for his Primal Command mistake by casting a Volcanic Fallout to destroy every one of his creatures...

    ...only it turns out Peter hadn’t made a mistake when he was casting his Primal Commands.

    He was actually making a carefully calculated play.

    In response to the Volcanic Fallout Peter tapped a Forest and his Mosswort Bridge putting a second Elvish Archdruid into play and protecting all of his non Ranger of Eos creatures from the potentially devastating red instant.

    Mick drew and played his Vivid Meadow, and when Peter cast Regal Force Mick conceded.

    Mottram 1 – Edwards 0

    Game 2
    Mick and Peter both mulliganed to start Game 2.

    Peter had a Llanowar Elves and a Elvish Visionary to start Game 2 while Mick made his first play of the game in the form of a turn three Figure of Destiny.

    Peter’s third turn Ranger of Eos fetched him two Burrenton Forge-Tenders and gave him the third creature he would need to activate his Windbrisk Heights.

    Mick then played an Ajani Vengeant which he used to destroy the Llanowar Elves before passing the turn.

    Peter attacked his Ranger of Eos and his Elvish Visionary into Ajani Vengeant and Mick let his Planeswalker die without having his 2/2 Figure of Destiny block the Elvish Visionary.

    After combat, Peter played out his two Burrenton Forge-Tenders and a Devoted Druid.

    Mick cast an Elspeth, Knight Errant which he used to make a creature. On his turn Peter attacked with both Burrenton Forge-Tenders and Ranger of Eos. A Forge-Tender and a Ranger of Eos traded for the Figure and a soldier token and Mick got hit for a point of damage.

    But that wasn’t why Peter made his attack.

    Not in the slightest.

    After combat Peter cast a Devoted Druid and then activated his Windbrisk Heights to make a Regal Force which drew him five cards.

    Mick played a land and passed his turn and then Peter started to go crazy.

    Ranger of Eos, Burrenton Forge-Tender, Heritage Druid, Primal Command and Nettle Sentinel all found their way onto Peter’s board before he attacked Mick down to four life.

    On his turn Mick made a soldier token and tapped out for a Baneslayer Angel. And then Peter got back to the business of comboing off.

    A couple of Elvish Archdruids later and Peter was attacking for lethal damage.

    Mottram 2 – Edwards 0

    Game 3
    Both players again mulliganed to start Game 3, but while Peter was happy with his six Mick had to go down to five.

    Mick caught up on cards a bit when he used a Volcanic Fallout to destroy a Llanowar Elves and a Devoted Druid. Mick then added a Figure of Destiny to his board and used an Ajani Vengeant to kill Peter’s post Volcanic Fallout Devoted Druid.

    Heritage Druid, Nettle Sentinel and Nettle Sentinel came down for Peter, but Mick was ready with a second Volcanic Fallout that left the board empty except for Mick’s Ajani Vengeant which he bumped up to 2 loyalty counters.

    Peter played a Heritage Druid while Mick failed to make a play. Peter attacked his Heritage Druid into Ajani Vengeant but had no follow up play.

    A Baneslayer Angel for Mick was enough to end the game a couple of turns later.

    Mottram 2 – Edwards 1

    Game 4
    Peter had a Devoted Druid on turn two, which was immediately struck down by a Lightning Bolt. Mick tried to get an offense going with Figure of Destiny.

    A Burrenton Forge-Tender stopped the Figure dead in its tracks while Peter started to get things rolling with some Elves, but a Lightning Bolt and a Volcanic Fallout left Peter with only a Burrenton-Forge Tender.

    After the Fallout Mick cast a Kitchen Finks while Peter made an Elvish Archdruid.

    Mick finally drew a fourth land allowing him to cast an Ajani Vengeant that he used to try to destroy the Archdruid. Burrenton Forge-Tender came to its rescue.

    A second Elvish Archdruid and a Nettle Sentinel gave him the 10 power that he needed to activate Mosswort Bridge. The Bridge revealed a Ranger of Eos and Peter added two Burrenton Forge-Tenders to his hand.

    A Firespout again wiped Peter’s board and gave Mick some time to rebuild his Ajani Vengeant. Peter ran out his hand a turn later, deploying two Forge-Tenders, a Devoted Druid and a Nettle Sentinel.

    After Peter ran out his hand, the top of his library was kind to him, greeting him with a Primal Command that flipped Ajani back on top and fetched a Ranger of Eos. The Ajani got replayed and Peter cast his Ranger of Eos to get a Nettle Sentinel and a Heritage Druid.

    Two turns later, another Ranger of Eos fetched another Nettle Sentinel and another Heritage Druid. After playing out his creatures Peter had enough power to activate Mosswort Bridge for Primal Command.

    The Primal Command put Ajani back on top and netted Peter a Regal Force.

    Mick could only recast Ajani Vengeant allowing Peter the chance to go crazy with
    Regal Force drawing seven cards, a bunch of elves, a Primal Command, another Regal Force this time drawing twelve cards, some more elves and another Primal Command.

    The second Primal Command of the turn was enough for Mick and with that he conceded, graciously congratulating Peter on making the Great Britain National Team.

    Final result
    Mottram 3 – Edwards 1

     

  • Finals - Chris Rossiter v Dan Gardner
    by Rich Hagon
  • Chris Rossiter v Dan Gardner

    Across the feature match area, Peter Mottram and Mick Edwards are set to do battle for the 3rd spot on the GB Team for Worlds. Here, only one issue remains. Which of these two worthy contenders will be crowned the Champion? With UW Reveillark, Dan Gardner has powered his way to a 7-1 Standard record so far, while Combo Elves has been the weapon of choice for Chris Rossiter, who has had two losses so far in the tournament – both to Gardner...

    Gardner won the toss, and opened the Final with Glacial Fortress. Forest led to Llanowar Elves for Chris, who added Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel on turn two. With the Sentinel on the stack, Gardner took the chance to aim Path to Exile at the Heritage Druid, allowing Chris to search out a Plains. With no mana engine available, Chris attacked for one, and passed.

    Gardner also passed, but cast Vendilion Clique in Rossiter’s upkeep, finding Devoted Druid, Elvish Archdruid, Primal Command, Burrenton Forge-Tender and Forest in hand. The Primal Command went away, and Dan must have been hoping that Chris got less good fortune than Mick Edwards earlier in the Top 8, who’d found multiple Planeswalkers off the “Vendilion gamble”. Chris laid Elvish Archdruid and Devoted Druid, and passed back to Dan, who Evoked Mulldrifter before sending the Clique through the air.

    Once again, he had effects in Rossiter’s upkeep, this time using Path to Exile to remove the Elvish Archdruid from the game. He quickly spotted that he could have waited until Rossiter had drawn for the turn, marginally improving the chances of Rossiter finding a land. Chris added Burrenton Forge-Tender, and Glen Elendra Archmage was next for Dan, who was making a good fist of an opening game that was meant to go the way of the Elves.

    Five more points came across the red zone unopposed, and Knight of the White Orchid allowed Dan to thin his deck just a little more, searching out a Plains. Fieldmist Borderpost completed the turn, with Chris at 9, who had no action.

    Again, five damage piled in, and when Gardner laid a second Glen Elendra Archmage, Rossiter swept up his permanents.

    Gardner 1 – Rossiter 0.

    Both players were cagey about their Sideboard plans, largely revolving around whether or not Rossiter would actively switch from his Combo plan, or stick to his guns. Given that at least one of the players can possibly glimpse this screen, let’s just find out as we go. OK with you? Thanks.

    Great Sable Stag was the first play of the game from Rossiter, and Gardner Evoked Mulldrifter on his third turn. With eight cards in hand, he was forced to discard a second Mulldrifter. Elvish Archdruid was next for Rossiter, and the Stag attacked for 3. The following turn, the Elvish Archdruid joined the fray, and Gardner was down to 12. Rossiter added a Llanowar Elves, but at the end of turn Gardner had Cryptic Command to bounce the Elvish Archdruid, drawing him a card.

    Meddling Mage set to Elvish Archdruid ensured that the re-appearance of the M10 Rare would be, at least, delayed. He added Ethersworn Canonist, precluding the possibility of a full-on Combo splurge (that being the technical term, clearly.) The Great Sable Stag dropped Gardner to 9, while Devoted Druid was Rossiter’s solitary (non-artifact) spell for the turn.

    After Meddling Mage dealt the first couple of points to Rossiter, Gardner dropped his first mighty monster, the Baneslayer Angel. That lasted until just the end of turn though, as Rossiter fired it out of the game with Path to Exile. Now the Stag put Gardner to 6, and a second copy of the super-popular M10 card was steadily loosening Gardner’s grip. His response? A second Baneslayer Angel, and this time Rossiter didn’t immediately have the Path to Exile as the perfect answer. What he did have, however, was Oversoul of Dusk, which lasted less long than this sentence took to type, as Gardner’s Path to Exile bid it a swift goodbye.

    In came the Baneslayer for Gardner, creating a massive ten point life swing in his favor. Elvish Visionary took Rossiter one card nearer to a much-needed Path to Exile, but another turn went by without the white Instant, and now Rossiter was in trouble. He attempted an Oversoul of Dusk, but Gardner had the answer, using Cryptic Command to counter the massive monster, and tapping the Rossiter Elf squad. That was enough, and Gardner had a commanding lead.

    Gardner 2 – Rossiter 0.

    Llanowar Elves was the perfect opening for Rossiter, who added Devoted Druid on turn two, but failed to play a land. Gardner cast Meddling Mage set to Primal Command, and Rossiter found the land he was missing. With a counter on the Devoted Druid, he was able to run out an Oversoul of Dusk. Vendilion Clique on the following upkeep showed a second Oversoul of Dusk, two Gaddock Teag, Devoted Druid and Nettle Sentinel. The Clique sent the Oversoul away, and we were back to wondering whether the Clique might conceivably misfire. Elvish Archdruid and Nettle Sentinel came down, and Gardner stood at 15.

    An Evoked Mulldrifter followed, with the Vendilion Clique turning sideways to bring Rossiter to 17. This time Rossiter held nothing back, sending Llanowar Elves, Elvish Archdruid, and Nettle Sentinel, all in support of the mighty Oversoul of Dusk. Path to Exile offed the Archdruid, reducing the killing power of the other Elves, allowing Meddling Mage to tangle with Llanowar Elves, and live. Even so, Gardner took seven, and fell to 8.

    Another Mulldrifter was Evoked – Gardner had not choice, sitting at four mana – and his Vendilion Clique reduced Rossiter to 14. Gaddock Teag resolved, posing a problem for any Cryptic Commands, but Gardner had another Path to Exile for the Oversoul that was threatening to overwhelm him.

    In came the Clique yet again, and then the flying 3/1 was joined by Baneslayer Angel. Were we on the brink of a famous sweep to victory? Rossiter offered Elvish Archdruid and Devoted Druid, before passing. Gardner piled in with his flyers, and stood on the brink at 13-3 ahead.

    Rossiter drew....

    and extended the hand. He would go to Worlds in Rome as part of the GB Team, but, by three games to none, Dan Gardner was the Great Britain National Champion 2009!

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