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Royde King of London!

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It was a tremendous Royal Wedding weekend in this epic capital city, but in the global melting pot that is London, it seemed somehow fitting that the winner came from the home team. Daniel Royde took two blistering games to win the Final, becoming only the fourth Brit to win a Grand Prix, leaving the gallant Frenchman Louis Deltour to leave with great memories and a runner-up berth.

More than seven hundred players ensured that the vibrancy and fun of Scars Limited lasted deep into the evening, with players spilling out on to the city streets in search of the bright lights and culinary delights of our great city.

Royde joins Sam Gomersall, Martin Dingler, and Craig Jones as Grand Prix champions from this sceptred isle.

Join us again very soon for Grand Prix Prague as the Magic circus continues its globe-trotting adventures. Congratulations to Kate and William, and also to Daniel Royde, champion of Grand Prix London 2011!

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
1 Raul Porojan Louis Deltour, 2-0
8 Louis Deltour Louis Deltour, 2-1
4 Kenny Oberg Martin Lindström, 2-1 Daniel Royde, 2-0
5 Martin Lindström
2 Andrea la Placa Daniel Royde, 2-0
3 Daniel Royde Daniel Royde, 2-1
7 Gennaro Mango Gennaro Mango, 2-1
6 Nicholas Taylor

EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER
  • by David Sutcliffe
    Finals:
    Daniel Royde vs. Louis Deltour

  • by Rich Hagon
    Semifinals:
    Gennaro Mango vs. Daniel Royde

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Semifinals:
    Martin Lindström vs. Louis Deltour

  • by David Sutcliffe
    Quarterfinals:
    Martin Lindström vs. Kenny Öberg

  • by Rich Hagon
    Quarterfinals:
    Andrea la Placa vs. Daniel Royde

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Top 5 Cards:

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Decklists

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Top 8:
    Player Profiles

  • by Rich Hagon
    Top 8:
    Drafting with Kenny Öberg


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2
    Day 2 Event Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1
    Day 1 Event Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
  1.   Daniel Royde $3,500
  2.   Louis Deltour $2,300
  3.   Martin Lindstrom $1,500
  4.   Gennaro Mango $1,500
  5.   Raul Porojan [DEU] $1,000
  6.   Andrea La Placa [ITA] $1,000
  7.   Kenny Oberg [SWE] $1,000
  8.   Nicholas Taylor [ENG] $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
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  • Top 8 - Drafting with Kenny Öberg

    by Rich Hagon
  • When you've successfully drafted Green-Black Infect twice, chances are you wouldn't mind doing it a third time. Beginning the day at 8-1, the Swede piled his way through assorted opposing strategies that, amongst other things, didn't have four Corpse Cur to call upon.

    So, what did booster one serve up? Hellkite Igniter. Oh well, time for a different plan then. Five picks in, Kenny had double Into the Core to go with his Igniter, and a pair of Green cards - Fangren Marauder and Rot Wolf. That presumably meant Mirran Mettle pick six. Presumably would be wrong, since he took Steel Sabotage. Okey-dokey. At least the red cards kept coming, including double Goblin Wardriver and a Kuldotha Ringleader.

    As we headed into booster two, Öberg was clearly red, but everything else was up for grabs. After an Arc Trail and Contagion Clasp, it was Myr time - Iron Myr, Copper Myr, Copper Myr, Gold Myr, Winder Myr.

    Well, except that last one, because it's in Cumbria.

    It looked as though Alpha Tyrannax was going to force the Green to be his path, but then that Steel Sabotage pick began to pay dividends.

    The back end of booster two saw plenty of usable Blue, including Scrapdiver Serpent, Bonds of Quicksilver, and 'blue' Neurok Replica.

    Even so, as we got ready for the final round of packs, he sat with thirteen red cards, and four each of blue and green.

    The choice was finally made with a third pick Darkslick Drake, with Neurok Replica and Neurok Invisimancer rounding out the second color.

    He took a pair of late Venser's Journal, which might buy him time to get as far as his Hellkite Igniter.

    One thing was for sure though - this wasn't in the realms of quad Corpse Cur...


     

  • Top 8 – Player Profiles

    by Tim Willoughby
  • Top 8 Profiles

    Raul Porojan

    Raul Porojan

    Age: 23

    Occupation: Student, Basketball coach

    Hometown: Freiburg, Germany

    Past Magic achievements: 2 Grand Prix top 8s, a couple of top 32 finishes

    Record on day 1: 9-0

    Best card in your sealed deck: Fulgent Distraction out of the sideboard

    Record on day 2: 5-0-1

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? I opened Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon in one draft and Massacre Wurm in the other...

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? The free ones, because they're free!

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? No, I always cry at weddings.

    Andrea La Placa

    Andrea La Placa

    Age: 29

    Occupation: Consultant

    Hometown: Milan, Italy

    Past Magic achievements: Getting back into the game after having all my cards stolen, and a mention to the cab driver, who got me here in time to play in the first place.

    Record on day 1: 7-2

    Best card in your sealed deck: I guess Etched Champion – he saved me a few times, so props to him.

    Record on day 2: 6-0

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? I opened bombs. My expectations for the top 8 draft is to chump block and die…

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? I'm excited to see how Standard will reshape itself, no card in particular

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Yes, in the queue for customs (really English).

    Daniel Royde

    Daniel Royde

    Age: 23

    Occupation: Electrical engineer

    Hometown: London, England

    Past Magic achievements: having more Grand Prix top 8's than Dan Gardner

    Record on day 1: 8-1

    Best card in your sealed deck: Myr Turbine

    Record on day 2: 4-1-1

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? Terrible white aggro

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? I've not seen any of the cards yet

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Just the vows.

    Kenny Oberg

    Kenny Oberg

    Age: 26

    Occupation: Software engineer

    Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden

    Past Magic achievements: Pro level 6, creator of Tezzerator, winner of GP Gothenburg, 5th at Pro Tour Berlin, 9at at Pro Tour Amsterdam, 5th GP Hannover, 29th at GP Paris (with a 13-3 record)

    Record on day 1: 8-1

    Best card in your sealed deck: Sunblast Angel

    Record on day 2: 4-1-1

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? I drafted infect in both drafts. For the top 8, I'll draft what's open, but it wouldn't hurt if it was infect again.

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? Torpor Orb – broken!

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? No

    Martin Lindstrom

    Martin Lindstrom

    Age: 24

    Occupation: Meatball chef

    Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden

    Past Magic achievements: GP top 16, 2 Nationals top 8s

    Record on day 1: 7-2

    Best card in your sealed deck: Flesh Allergy

    Record on day 2: 5-0-1

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? First draft I started out as infect, then went into dinosaurs. Second draft I forced infect. For the top 8, I'm looking to draft infect (obviously).

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? Torpor Orb – abusable!

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Nope…

    Nicholas Taylor

    Nicholas Taylor

    Age: 26

    Occupation: Xtremetrades.co.uk

    Hometown: Chelmsford, England

    Past Magic achievements: Couple of Nationals top 8's, and currently opening a game store

    Record on day 1: 9-0

    Best card in your sealed deck: Spread the Sickness

    Record on day 2: 3-2-1

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? Strategies?!?! My plan is to draft black, but I am happy to sway from that plan.

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? Karn Liberated – it's the only card I know

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? No, busy working!

    Gennaro Mangon

    Gennaro Mango

    Age: 24

    Occupation: Student

    Hometown: Napoli, Italy

    Past Magic achievements: 2 top 8's Italian Nationals

    Record on day 1: 8-1

    Best card in your sealed deck: Thrun, the Last Troll

    Record on day 2: 4-1-1

    What strategies did you draft today? What are your plans for the top 8 draft? I drafted all that they left me.

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? Karn Liberated

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? No!

    Louis Deltour

    Louis Deltour

    Age: 19

    Occupation: Student

    Hometown: Paris, France

    Past Magic achievements: 4th at French Nationals 2009

    Record on day 1: 9-0

    Best card in your sealed deck: Sword of Body and Mind

    Record on day 2: 3-3

    What strategies did you draft today? I drafted red/white super aggro with Kuldotha Rebirth in draft one and blue/black/green card advantage in draft two. I like to stay open in draft, as I see signalling as very important in this format

    Which cards from New Phyrexia are you most excited about, and why? Deceiver Exarch. I love playing combo in constructed, and the combo with it and Splinter Twin is going to change the stakes of Standard

    Did you watch the Royal Wedding? No, I was too busy drinking apple juice


     

  • Top 8 – Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Martin Lindstrom
    Grand Prix-London 2011 (Draft)


     

  • Top 5 Cards

    by Tim Willoughby
  • Grand Prix London is in the books, and with another big tournament showcasing the Scars of Mirrodin and Mirrodin Besieged limited format, we have a whole new set of cards to show you as the top cards of the weekend. While the real story was the players and their plays, they simply couldn't have happened without these cards.

    1. Fangren Marauder

    This powerhouse 5/5 showed itself to be a staple of the Dinosaurs draft archetype, turning around games that seemed unwinnable, through a brutal combination of lifegain and hefty attacking power. Fangren Marauder also has great synergy with Gnathosaur, its Mirrodin Besieged best bud, who can eat artifacts as necessary to ensure that the controller's life total is more likely to go north than south.


    2. Corpse Cur

    It is said that the infect decks with Mirrodin Besieged in the mix are typically a little slower and more controlling than those seen with just Scars of Mirrodin. In a format like that, Corpse Cur, with its ability to rebuy on whichever infect monsters might have traded early is invaluable. Kenny Oberg had perhaps one of the most bonkers infect decks I've ever seen this weekend, with a full four copies of Corpse Cur, for an unending chain of infectious monsters that none could fight off.


    3. Massacre Wurm

    Raul Porojan did not pick up a loss in the Swiss portion of Grand Prix London, and one of the big things that he credits with it is the raw power of this black beast, which showed up in his second draft, and proved adept at killing all and sundry of creatures, and inevitably players. The most memorable play was using Massacre Wurm to off a full set of Myr tokens from a Quicksilver Gargantuan copy of Myr Battlesphere. Powerful stuff.


    4. Strata Scythe

    This powerful rare is simply bonkers in infect strategies, allowing one swing to frequently be lethal. Shuhei Nakamura was doing it in sealed deck, and eventual champion Daniel Royde found himself doing similar tricks in the final draft of the day. It hits harder than just about any other equipment, and does so fast too.


    5. Corrupted Conscience

    This uncommon proved to be an excellent answer to many of the best rares in the format this weekend, taking a big creature of an opponents, and if anything making it even scarier in the hands of the stealer. Did you know that in a pinch it can even just be used to give one of your own creatures infect so that you can attack for the win if needed? Not everyone did at the start of the weekend, but by this Sunday evening, a few players had fallen to such mischief.



     

  • Quarterfinals – Andrea la Placa (Italy) vs. Daniel Royde (England)

    by Rich Hagon
  • Two first-timers in the Top 8 come to do battle after the final draft of Grand Prix London 2011. Inevitably there was home-town support for Daniel Royde, but since this is Britain, such support would inevitably be well-mannered.

    Game 1

    La Placa opened with a mulligan to six, compounded by the fact that Royde elected to draw first, putting him two cards ahead. The Italian still had a turn one play, casting Goblin Gaveleer off his opening Mountain. That was the only land he had, however, relying on the top of his deck for more.

    Not turn two. Not turn three. Glissa's Courier for Royde was met with a raised eyebrow from la Placa, who found a Plains to go with his Mountain, casting Silverskin Armor. Royde replied with Contagious Nim, and hit with the Mountainwalking Courier.

    Stuck on two land, la Placa equipped his Gaveleer with Silverskin Armor before passing the turn. Necrogen Scudder arrived for Royde, after his Courier had once again entered the red zone. This time la Placa sent his Gaveleer into action, and when Royde blocked with Contagious Nim, la Placa had Burn the Impure. Suddenly, Royde was eight to thirteen behind, despite the Italian's mana problems.

    Necrogen Scudder attacked la Placa to ten, with Royde tapping out for Molder Beast. With still no third land, the writing was on the wall, and la Placa swept up his permanents.

    la Placa 0 - 1 Royde.

    Game 2

    "So, I try to start again" said la Placa. "This time I hope to be lucky."

    It didn't seem as if a third land would be too much to ask for, and at the very least la Placa was ready to keep his opening seven. Plains led to Signal Pest turn one, while Forest was less exciting from Royde. Trigon of Rage came courtesy of a second land for the Italian, a Mountain securing his access to red mana. Carapace Forger - a long way at this early stage from Metalcraft - arrived as a 2/2 for Royde.

    La Placa wasted no time activating his Trigon, making his Signal Pest a little bit angry, to the tune of three damage. Nevertheless, there was no third land for the Italian. No wonder the Signal Pest was angry. Where was the support?

    Carapace Forger replied, with Royde dropping Glissa's Courier. One turn late - too late? - the third land duly appeared for la Placa, allowing him to cast Kemba's Skyguard, and get back to twenty life. He sent in Signal Pest and Kemba's Skyguard, pumped it with Trigon of Rage, and dropped Royde down to eleven. Copper Carapace completed the turn.

    Courier and Forger replied, before Royde showed Creeping Corrosion, getting a monumental three-for-one in the process. Everything except Kemba's Skyguard hit the graveyard, leaving Royde in a fantastic position. Strata Scythe fetched up a Swamp, which would grant a +3+3 bonus. Royde attempted to equip his Carapace Forger, which Burn the Impure stopped. In came the Courier, and the Italian was at ten.

    Blisterstick Shaman is pretty good at killing creatures, but la Placa used it to push Royde to ten, and then to eight with Kemba's Skyguard.

    When Royde tried to equip his Courier, it resolved successfully, and now the Italian was at four.

    "I am at four. You are at eight. I think you are winning."

    La Placa extended a generous handshake, and Royde was off to the Semi Final.

    Andrea la Placa 0 - 2 Daniel Royde.


     

  • Quarterfinals – Martin Lindström vs. Kenny Öberg

    by David Sutcliffe
  • After Rich had watched Kenny Öberg draft, it seemed apt for us to follow Öberg into his quarter-final against fellow Swede Martin Lindström. At least the pair guaranteed that one Swede would reach the semi-final, and while Lindstorm was relatively unknown Öberg was closing in on his second Grand Prix title in little over six months, following his hometown victory in Gothenburg last year. Öberg's draft had seen him change plans through the draft, despite being heavily red he had been forced to 'audible' out of green as his secondary color, picking up a blue splash in it's place. Would that compromise prove fatal?

    Game 1

    Öberg made the more positive start of the two Swedes, with a Goblin Wardriver followed by a Contagion Clasp to kill Lindström's Riddlesmith, and a Darkslick Drake. Lindström mustered a Neurok Replica and Serum Raker to his side, but that combination was unable to prevent Öberg from attacking with both his Wardriver and Drake to deal another 3 damage.

    Stacking up behind his artifacts, Lindström played a Soliton and felt comfortable enough to attack with his Serum Raker. Unfortunately for Lindström, Into the Core proved as brutal as it so often does, and on the next turn Öberg exiled both Lindström's Neurok Replica and shiny new Soliton. With his opponent defenseless, Öberg struck home hard, dealing 7 damage and dropping Lindström to 8 life.

    A Galvanic Blast from Lindström removed Öberg's Wardriver, limiting the damage he took in Öberg's attack, but it was likely to prove futile. An Arc Trail removed Lindstorm's Serum Raker from play, leaving Lindström defenceless once again, and Öberg's motley collection of Darkslick Drakes and Neurok Replicas swept to a comfortable 1-0 lead.

    Martin Lindström 0 – 1 Kenny Öberg

    Game 2

    The second game began in a more measured manner, with both Swedes playing a mana Myr then turtling up behind defensive artifact creatures – a Neurok Replica for Öberg and a Rust Tick for Lindström. That meant it was time for the big guns, Öberg played his Kuldotha Ringleader, while Lindström played an equally-large Gnathosaur!

    This was blow-for-blow so far, but once again it was Kenny Öberg who had the cards that would break the deadlock. First his Into the Core accounted for Lindström's Rust Tick and Mana Myr, and then Öberg hurled his Hellkite Igniter onto the battlefield. The Ringleader and Igniter cut a swathe across the red zone, reducing Lindström to 5 life.

    Kenny Öberg

    Lindström needed a big answer to Öberg's big threat, but fortunately he found one in the shape of Volition Reins! Öberg's Hellkite bent to Lindström's will and switched sides, although the big dragon stayed on defense for the first turn, once Lindström had stabilised the ground by trading his Gnathosaur for Öberg's Kuldotha Ringleader he felt confident enough to being eating away at Öberg's lifetotal.

    Öberg had an answer to the Volition Reins – a Neurok Replica that could return the Hellkite back it's rightful owner – but there was just one problem. Actually there were six problems – exactly the same number as the number of Mountains Öberg controlled, but he still had no Islands to actually active the Replica with.

    Öberg tapped the top of his deck, but that wasn't an Island either, and Lindström's stolen Hellkite levelled the match!

    Martin Lindström 1 – 1 Kenny Öberg

    Game 3

    The deciding game, then, and just like the first game it was Öberg on the offensive. A Volshok Heartstoke and Darkslick Drake were delivering the damage, while Lindström's Trigon of Corruption seemed too slow to help, and his Riddlesmith was immediately zapped by an Arc Trail. Lindström was quickly down to 9 life, and needing to find a defense.

    Surely with relutance, Lindström played his trump card – the Volition Reins – taking Öberg's Darkslick Drake. It was a huge card to play so early, and Lindström didn't evven see the full benefit from his place, as Öberg immediately returned his Drake to hand with a Neurok Replica and attacked again, dropping Lindström to 7 life.

    Lindström played his Soliton, but two artifacts was exactly the number that Öberg could exile with Into the Core. Again. And so he did. Again. The trigon of Corruption at least shrank Öberg's Vulshok Heartstoker to a 1/1 as it left, but that was scant consolation.

    Lindström's body language was a little defeatist as he played out his own big-hitter, a Flameborn Hellion that could attack but never defend. The Hellion was a big card though, and Öberg couldn't ignore it entirely – he took 10 damage before tying it down with some Bonds of Quicksilver, then played out his Darkslick Drake and a Palladium Myr, while Lindström played a second Soliton.

    The game was carefully poised now. Lindström was down to 3 life, and facing the Darkslick Drake, but he his Soliton was a match for Öberg's ground forces and he had been able to put his fellow Swede down to 10 life in return. What Lindström desperately needed was an answer to Öberg's Drake, and he immediately found that in the form of a Spine of Ish Sah – that was a rather expensive way of killing a 2/4 Flyer, but at least it got the job done!

    Martin Lindström

    On the next turn Öberg played a Vulshok Warleader but Lindström revealed a killer combination – playing a Kuldotha Flamefiend he sacrificed the Spine of Ish Sah to wipe away Öberg's board, and return his Spine to hand!

    The whole match hinged on that play – in one turn Öberg had gone from victory to impending defeat. Perhaps Öberg's only hope now was to pull a lethal strike from a Hellfire Igniter from the top of his deck. Protecting himself from that eventuality Lindström played a Serum Raker – the Raker not only provided a blocker against a surprise Hellkite, but it threatened to end Öberg's run in the Grand Prix on the next turn.

    Fighting for every draw step, every chance to draw his Hellkite, Öberg played a Contagion Clasp to put a -1/-1 counter onto the Serum Raker, then Proliferated to add a second counter and kill Lindström's flyer.

    That hadn't answered Lindström's Flamefiend though, and Öberg took another 4 damage on the next turn, dropping to 2. Lindström played a Soliton to ensure that he could win on the ground, then passed the turn.

    Öberg had one draw left, and it pretty much had to be the Hellkite Igniter. Tapping the top his deck for luck, Öberg flipped over his last chance... a Myr Sire. That wasn't a Hellkite Igniter, in fact it wasn't even close, and Öberg offered his hand in congratulations.

    Martin Lindström 2 – 1 Kenny Öberg


     

  • Semifinals – Martin Lindström vs. Louis Deltour

    by Tim Willoughby
  • The title of Grand Prix London champion was now tantalisingly close for both Martin Lindström of Sweden, and Louis Deltour of France. All they had to do was win this match, and one more, and they would be lifting the trophy. When you say it fast it sounds easy, but at this point in the day, there were no easy matchups left. There was also more information available than at any earlier point in the tournament. Each player studied the decklist of the other – there would be no surprises at this stage.

    Game 1

    Both players kept their openers, and Deltour, on the play, was quick to cast an Iron Myr off a Forest and a Swamp. He had a Blisterstick Shaman to kill a Riddlesmith from Lindström, but no third land. This left the Frenchman somewhat on the back foot, a Treasure Mage from Lindström found a Spine of Ish Sah, and after trading three drops with Deltour, Lindström followed up with Serum Raker.

    A Flesh-Eater Imp from Deltour gave Lindström pause. This was a flying threat that could end the game fast. The Swede used a Shatter on Deltour's Iron Myr, both putting a crimp on his mana, and stopping another potential point from Flesh-Eater Imp. Lindström seemed happy to race, with Oculus and a Soliton coming down for his side. Looking at his substantial land advantage, the Swede didn't mind taking a couple of poison a turn.

    When Soliton attacked in, Deltour used an Instill Infection to shrink Soliton slightly, and draw him a card. Lindström didn't seem to mind. He had the mana he needed to cast Spine of Ish Sah, and off Deltour's only creature.

    Things looked bleak for the Frenchman, and while Molder Beast presented a token defence for a turn or two, it did not seem enough to turn the game around. A Go for the Throat killed Serum Raker, and while Lindström ditched a land to it, a disgusted Deltour had to discard a Necrogen Scudder.

    Louis Deltour

    Blisterstick Shaman dropped Deltour to just two. He would need something big to get back in the game, and found it in Fangren Marauder. A second Fangren Marauder soon followed. If an artifact were ever to hit the graveyard, then Deltour would gain enough life to make a nuisance of himself. In the meantime, he had a pair of 5/5 creatures, who were soon joined by an Alpha Tyrannax. Deltour might have been at 2, but now he had an attack force that Lindström had to worry about. He dug with Oculus, but did not find the answer he needed. Somewhat sheepishly, Lindström scooped up his cards.

    Louis Deltour 1 – 0 Martin Lindström

    Game 2

    Deltour mugged for the camera before game two. "This is my secret tech from Bastian Perez" he smiled, clearly feeling good about having somehow got out of jail in the previous game. For game 2, things looked tough though, as he found himself taking a succession of mulligans, eventually settling on a hand of five cards.

    A Nihil Spellbomb began things for Deltour, and he had running lands off the top of his deck to let him cast Phyrexian Rager on turn three. Being a blue/red deck, Lindström's card drawing was not quite as painful, coming in the form of Riddlesmith followed up by Leaden Myr to loot.

    The Rager and Riddlesmith traded, and Deltour followed up with a Blistergrub. He tried for a Palladium Myr, but did not get to untap with it thanks to a Galvanic Blast from Lindström. Considering his mulligans, Deltour seemed to have a great draw, getting to keep attacking, and playing a Tumble Magnet to help him keep up the good work.

    A Serum Raker came from Lindström, whose start had not seemed too exciting. Deltour was quick to up the ante with a Fangren Marauder. The Necrogen Spellbomb still in play now had all sorts of spicy abilities, and the Marauder would make racing tough. Lindström was well aware of all of this, and quick to use Volition Reins to steal the 5/5, forcing Deltour to use Go for the Throat to kill it.

    The race was quite close at this point, thanks in no small part to some tenacious attacking by Lindström's Leaden Myr. The Swede threatened to break this parity though by casting a Gnathosaur. He then had a Spine of Ish Sah to go with it, killing Deltour's only creature. In the face of Spine of Ish Sah recursion, and hefty attacks, the Frenchman was quick to reach for his sideboard. This match would go to game three.

    Louis Deltour 1 – 1 Martin Lindström

    Game 3

    For the rubber game, Deltour elected to draw first, valuing the extra card in this matchup. For this game neither player had a mulligan, but it was Lindström who had the faster start, with Riddlesmith into Rust Tick. Deltour's first creature was a Blisterstick Shaman to take out that Riddlesmith.

    Lindström did not seem too worried. His Rust Tick was the better of the 2/1 in combat, and soon thereafter the Swede had a Trigon of Corruption with which to control the board. The Trigon put a -1/-1 counter on Blisterstick Shaman, while an Instil Infection from Deltour downsized the Rust Tick.

    Martin Lindström

    Deltour went to the air with Necrogen Scudder, while Lindström remained comfortable on the ground with Gnathosaur. It seemed the dinosaur would be a while before it entered the red zone, as a Molder Beast came from Deltour, who even had a Nihil Spellbomb with which to pump his beast if needed. Lindström had other plans though, aggressively trading off creatures. He then cast a Serum Raker and passed.

    Attacks from Necrogen Scudder (which was corrupted a little by Lindström's Trigon) levelled the life totals at 13 apiece. This looked to be a race that Lindström was winning, but with Deltour fast approaching six mana, nothing could be deemed certain – his deck being loaded with dangerous six drops. The first six drop that Deltour plucked from his hand and put on the board was Alpha Tyrannax. It soon got into the red zone, and Lindström had a little think. He was at 13, to Deltour's 7, but he blocked with his Rust Tick just in case, needing just 3 more swings with flyer to end things.

    A Fangren Marauder messed up some of Lindström's maths on who was the beatdown. He had an end of turn Bonds of Quicksilver for Alpha Tyrannax, but that Fangren Marauder threatened to gain Deltour quite a bit of life. A Neurok Replica didn't seem quite the right answer to the Marauder, and when Deltour played a Sylvok Replica, the threatened lifegain was even bigger. Worse still, the Sylvok Replica could destroy Bonds of Quicksilver, leaving the Frenchman with more dinosaurs that could attack.

    Nihil Spellbomb was finally cashed in by Deltour to stay alive, draw a card and get rid of Lindström's graveyard. Then the Sylvok Replica brought Alpha Tyrannax back in the game. Now Lindström was forced to use his Neurok Replica to keep monsters at bay – a proposition that gets a lot worse when doing so gains your opponent five life. Suddenly Deltour was at 16, and not remotely worried about a three power flyer. Lindström had a desperation Oculus blocker, but it didn't seem nearly enough, when Deltour powered out a Genesis Wave for six. He hit with all six, getting a Fangren MarauderDross Ripper, Palladium Myr, Tumble Magnet, Swamp and a Forest. This was more than enough for Lindström, who could Shatter the Tumble Magnet, but could not deal with the monsters, or the 10 life that Deltour would gain for dealing with just one of the Frenchman's permanents.

    Louis Deltour wins 2-1 advancing to the finals of Grand Prix London!


     

  • Semifinals – Gennaro Mango (Italy) vs. Daniel Royde (England)

    by Rich Hagon
  • It's fair to say that Daniel Royde's Quarter Final wasn't a classic.

    His Italian opponent, Andrea la Placa, found far too few lands to be competitive, and it was a comfortable victory for the Englishman. Now another Italian stood in his way in the form of Gennaro Mango.

    Game 1

    Royde won the die roll, and once again the curse of the mulligan struck the Italian.

    Swamp and Nihil Spellbomb opened for Royde, with turn two Flensermite the first Italian play. Royde passed, allowing the Flensermite to deal the first damage of the match in the form of the first of ten potential poison counters. Carapace Forger completed the turn. Royde cycled his Nihil Spellbomb, and then drew off Ichor Wellspring.

    In came the Italian team, Royde now at eighteen life, and two poison.

    Another passed turn from Royde, and now it was sixteen and three poison. Bladed Pinions equipped the Flensermite, and Mango passed.

    Still nothing from Royde. Still attacks from Flensermite and Carapace Forger. Twelve life, five poison.

    Finally Royde pulled the trigger on Black Sun's Zenith, leaving an empty board, which he began to fill with Necrogen Scudder. Dross Ripper was the Italian reply. Royde was ready with Grasp of Darkness, allowing his Necrogen Scudder to attack. Now it was the Italian's turn to pass without action, and he fell to eighteen on the next Scudder attack. Royde added Molder Beast, and there was nothing but sighs from Mango, as he passed once more.

    Daniel Royde

    Eight damage went unanswered. Now Mango was at ten, and still he passed.

    In came the English team once more. Virulent Wound reduced the damage from Necrogen Scudder, but Mango was still at three. Royde cast Prototype Portal, imprinting Myr Turbine. Mango simply picked up his cards, and Royde was one game away from the Final.

    Mango 0 - 1 Royde.

    Game 2

    Guess what? Royde kept his seven for game two, Mango didn't.

    The Italian opened on a Forest, adding Swamp and Livewire Lash turn two. Carapace Forger was Royde's first play, while Mango landed Flensermite. Royde added Contagious Nim, while Mango equipped the Flensermite with Livewire Lash, and then Mirran Mettle dealt a killing blow (via Lash) to Contagious Nim. Just like that, Royde was at five poison.

    In that context, three life for Necrogen Scudder wasn't a big deal.

    Nihil Spellbomb tapped him out to end the turn. Core Prowler hit the table for Mango, Molder Beast for Royde. The table was starting to get congested. With Livewire Lash now equipped, the Core Prowler traded for Carapace Forger. As it died, the Prowler sent Royde to six poison, with Mango equipping his Flensermite.

    After nothing from Royde, the Flensermite came in, this time trading for Necrogen Scudder, gaining the Italian three life. Cystbearer followed up, and yet again the Lash got equipped. Ichor Wellspring drew Royde a card, but with only Molder Beast his position was precarious.

    Skinrender killed the Molder Beast, and the defences were fatally breached, the Cystbearer dealing the final four poison counters at a stroke.

    Mango 1 - 1 Royde.

    Game 3

    Sphere of the Suns began the final game for Royde, Flensermite for Mango. Thanks to the Sphere, Dross Ripper arrived a turn early, Mango having to leave the Flensermite back. Dross Ripper attacked unpumped, Royde preferring to ramp into Molder Beast ahead of schedule.
    Gennaro Mango

    After Mango added Core Prowler, Royde thought hard. His Molder Beast could trade for both potentially, and still trample over. His Dross Ripper could get through unmolested. With Mango tapped out, it felt like a big moment, not least because the last counter could be coming off the Sphere of the Suns. Royde duly removed the counter, cast Revoke Existence on the Core Prowler, and sent in the team. Eight damage dropped the Italian to nine, and Royde completed an epic turn with Strata Scythe, a Swamp meaning any equipped creature would get +4/+4, with the promise of more to come.

    Mango, well and truly under the gun, had Blightwidow to shore up his defences. The Molder Beast had Strata Scythe to make it truly gigantic. In it came, as a 10/8 trample machine. The Flensermite blocked before Mango cast Mirran Mettle. Even with the lifegain, he still took four damage, and there was still a 7/5 trample machine on the other side, waiting to dream-crush.

    Dross Ripper for Mango. Enough? In came the Molder Beast, and Royde's Dross Ripper for company. Mango thought up multiple blocks, ending with Blightwidow in front of Molder Beast, and Dross Rippers hopefully trading. When Royde pumped his Ripper, that trade didn't happen.

    A victory for Mango didn't happen either. Not against that savage Molder Beast.

    Gennaro Mango 1 - 2 Daniel Royde.
     

  • Finals – Daniel Royde vs. Louis Deltour

    by David Sutcliffe
  • When the Final Standings were posted after the swiss rounds, no player was more happy than Louis Deltour. Shouting wildly and punching the air, Deltour was ecstatic to have wrapped up 8th place as the only player on 36 points to make it into the Top 8. The reason why Deltour's tiebreakers were better than any of the other players on 36 points was also the reason why Deltour felt so elated to have defied the odds – two of his three defeats had come at the hands of the unstoppable Raul Porajan. Aside from his two games against Porajan, Deltour was arguably the form player in the Grand Prix! Fate had put Deltour back into a quarter-final grudge match against Porajan, and the Frenchman had exacted revenge at the third attempt.

    His opponent, Daniel Royde, had also escaped being eliminated at the hands of Raul Porajan. The only black mark on Porajan's copybook (before his quarter-final defeat to Deltour) and been his draw against Royde in the final round. From that point onwards, though, Royde had eased his way through the Top 8 and into the final, where he would defend English pride one more time against the French.

    Game 1

    Englishman, Daniel Royde, wasted little time in demonstrating exactly why he had spent so long waiting for Deltour to join him in the final – his deck was lethal. A Necrogen Scudder and Glissa's Courier were soon joined by a Molder Beast on the battlefield and Deltour was under immediate pressure. The Frenchman's 'Dinosaurs' deck was full of powerful creatures, but it really only got going once he had hit six lands, and all Deltour had to defend himself against Royde's early horde was a Sylvok Replica.

    Aiming a Grasp of Darkness at Deltour's Replica, the Englishman boosted his Molder Beast to 7/3, and then he sacrificed his Nihil Spellbomb to boost his beast further. A 9/3 beast, a 3/3 Scudder and a 2/3 Courier were more than enough to put the defenceless Deltour into the ground and Royde had taken a swift lead!

    Daniel Royde 1 – 0 Louis Deltour

    Game 2

    After the two players shuffled up between games, Deltour made a brave call, choosing to draw rather than play despite witnessing Royde's aggressive deck.

    It was a decision that the Frenchman never had time to regret – his Wall of Tanglecord was no defense against Royde's Blistergrub, and when Daniel Royde played a Strata Scythe to give his Blistergrub +6/+6, Deltour had no answer.

    The Blistergrub slipped past all of Deltour's defenses, and the Grand Prix London final ended in a sudden blowout finish.

    Daniel Royde 2 – 0 Louis Deltour

    Congratulations to Daniel Royde, Champion of Grand Prix London 2011!

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