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Koch Wins Grand Prix–Lyon 2010

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1,425 players entered the battlefield on Saturday morning to compete in the first showcase of the brand-new Rise of the Eldrazi format. 170 players went 7-2 or better and advanced to day two. Eight players made it to the elimination rounds. And at the end of it all only one player remained atop the standings. Florian Koch from Germany managed to completely annihilate the Top 8. First he beat Joakim Almelund from Sweden in two quick games, then he took down Belgian Peter Vieren, again 2-0. In the final he met fellow German player Tobias Gräfensteiner, and once more 2-0.

Koch first picked up Magic cards with Revised, and has been on the PTQ scene for some time, but it was not until this very year, at Grand Prix Oakland, that he scored his first Pro Player point. With a taste of success though, came a newfound hunger for success, that has propelled him to becoming a real challenger in the Rookie of the Year race.

Rise of the Eldrazi has shown itself to be a varied, skill-testing, and above all fun limited format, that has attracted players from all over the world. While it is Standard in two weeks in Washington D.C., there are bound to be plenty of Eldrazi there, and then we are off to San Juan. We hope you've enjoyed this event as much as we have. Until the next time we leave you in congratulating Florian Koch, our Grand Prix Lyon Champion!




Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
1 Marcello Calvetto [ITA]
Peter Vieren (2-1)
5 Peter Vieren [BEL]
Florian Koch (2-0)
4 Joakim Almelund [SWE]
Florian Koch (2-0) Florian Koch (2-0)
8 Florian Koch [DEU]
2 Vladimir Komanicky [CZE]
Tobias Gräfensteiner (2-1)
6 Tobias Gräfensteiner [DEU]
Tobias Gräfensteiner (2-0)
7 Bram Snepvangers [NLD]
Bram Snepvangers (2-1)
3 Lucas Blohon [CZE]

EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER
  • by Rich Hagon
    Podcast:
    Final In Four

  • by Rich Hagon
    Final:
    Florian Koch vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner

  • by Rich Hagon
    Semifinal:
    Bram Snepvangers vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Semifinal:
    Florian Koch vs. Peter Vieren

  • by Tobias Henke
    Quarterfinal:
    Peter Vieren vs. Marcello Calvetto

  • by Rich Hagon
    Quarterfinal:
    Bram Snepvangers versus Lucas Blohon

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Deck Lists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Player Profiles


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2: Blog Coverage, Podcasts, Featured Matches and more.

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1: Blog Coverage, Podcasts, Featured Matches and more.

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

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  • Top 8 - Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Joakim Almelund
    Name: Joakim Almelund
    Age: 20
    Occupation: pasta chef / student
    Previous Magic accomplishments: 1 pro point
    Where do you live? Gothenburg, Sweden
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? I don't since I just lose.
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play? 8-2 with blue-black
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play? 6-0 with blue-black
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft? What do I have to say? Blue-black
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend? 5/5 flying

    Lucas Blohon
    Name: Lucas Blohon
    Age: 20
    Occupation: soon-to-be student
    Previous Magic accomplishments: Top 16 PT Honolulu
    Where do you live? Prague, Czech Republic
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? In restaurant Horvek
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play? 9-1 with red-black
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play? 2-0-1 with BGr; 2-0-1 with UBr
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft? Not really
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

    Peter Vieren
    Name: Peter Vieren
    Age: 24
    Occupation: looking for a job
    Previous Magic accomplishments: -
    Where do you live? Oostduinkerke, Belgium
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? The Outpost
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play?9-1 with green-blue-red
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play?2-1 with green-red; 2-0-1 with green-white
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft?I'll draft anything. I like white the least
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Spawnsire of Ulamog... plus ultimate for five Eldrazi!

    Vladimir Komanicky
    Name: Vladimir Komanicky
    Age: 29
    Occupation: looking after global procurement of advertising for company
    Previous Magic accomplishments: a few Top 16/32s at GPs
    Where do you live? Luxembourg (but I'm Czech originally)
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? I don't play FNM.
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play?10-0 with UWr
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play?1-2; 2-0-1
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft?Not really, all combinations are strong.
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Artisan of Kozilek

    Florian Koch
    Name: Florian Koch
    Age: 29
    Occupation: In transition from studies to we will see what...
    Previous Magic accomplishments: No real accomplishments, best results are Top 64 at GP Oakland and Top 32 at Nationals.
    Where do you live? Aachen
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? SpielMix Aachen
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play?9-1 with blue-white leveler
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play?2-1 with blue-white; 2-0-1 with black-red
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft?Opening good rares helped in the previous drafts.
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Skeletal Wurm

    Tobias Gräfensteiner
    Name: Tobias Gräfensteiner
    Age: 22
    Occupation: tax consultant
    Previous Magic accomplishments: -
    Where do you live? Nuremberg, Germany
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Funtainment Nuremberg
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play?8-1-1 with RGB
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play?5-1 with red-black
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft?red
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Ulamog's Crusher

    Marcello Calvetto
    Name: Marcello Calvetto
    Age: 18
    Occupation: student
    Previous Magic accomplishments: Top 4 Nationals, Top 4 GP Rimini, Top 50 PT Kyoto
    Where do you live? Ivrea
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? at home
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play?10-0 with GWR
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play?3-0 with green-black; 0-3 with... a good deck
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft?Walls.
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Thaler knows.

    Bram Snepvangers
    Name: Bram Snepvangers
    Age: 34
    Previous Magic accomplishments: four PT Top 8, seven GP Top 8, three Nationals Top 8
    Where do you live? Houten, Netherlands
    Where do you play Friday Night Magic? The Joker
    What was your record on day one? What colors did you play?9-1 with green-red
    What were your records in the two drafts? What colors did you play?2-1 with RGW; 2-1 with RWB
    Do you have any preferences for the Top 8 draft?Big creatures!
    What was the biggest creature you have cast this weekend?Artisan of Kozilek (I didn't draw Kozilek and couldn't cast Emrakul.)  

  • Quarterfinal - Bram Snepvangers versus Lucas Blohon
    by Rich Hagon

  • The Dutch have been great for many years, and so has Bram Snepvangers. As for Lucas Blohon, just like his country, Magic success is a relatively new thing.(Yes, I know there was Jakub Slemr, but work with me here.) Bram will pass the 600 match mark at the Pro Tour in San Juan. That's not 600 lifetime matches by the way, that's 600 matches on the Pro Tour itself, which is bordering on ridiculous. Lucas is just starting out on that journey, but was part of the Czech National Team that saw Sunday action at Worlds in Rome last year.


    Both players opened on a Forest, with Bram accelerating first via Nest Invader, and then twice more with Growth Spasm. That got him his red mana with a Mountain, while Lucas showed black to be his number two color with a Swamp. The Mythic Rare Vengevine came hastily down for Bram, before Lucas raised shields with Kozilek's Predator, plus two Eldrazi Spawn tokens.


    Battle-Rattle Shaman granted his bonus to Nest Invader, and Bram made good use of the red zone. One Spawn bit the dust, and Lucas took four, leaving him already at just eight life. Boar Umbra on his Predator made it a potent potential blocker. Potential isn't reality, however, and Wrap in Flames both killed a Spawn, and rendered the Predator unable to enter negotiations. The four casting cost Falter effect had given Bram the lead.


    Snepvangers 1 – 0 Blohon.


    Lucas Blohon

    A long time elapsed before Lucas elected to keep his opening seven, but he still opened on a turn three Lavafume Invoker, with both his colors available. Ancient Stirrings failed to find anything Eldrazi-like, and Lucas added Rage Nimbus to the battlefield. Wildheart Invoker was the first man into play for Bram, with Lucas content to pass, presumably waiting to activate his Rage Nimbus.


    Wrong. When Bram announced combat, Lucas allowed the Wildheart to attack, and he took four. Up next for the Czech was Conquering Manticore, stealing Bram's freshly-played Stomper Cub, and piling in for seven damage, leaving Bram at eleven. He cast Irresistible Prey on his Stomper Cub, (once again on his own side of the board), added Battle-Rattle Shaman, and prepared for red zone action. In came the Invoker and Cub, with Lucas knowing blocking the Cub was compulsory, or indeed Irresistible. The Rage Nimbus died, and Forked Bolt complete a good turn for Bram by offing the Lavafume Invoker.


    Lucas still had a 5/5 flyer, and cast Consuming Vaporrs. The Battle-Rattle Shaman bit the dust, taking Lucas back to ten life, and, once he'd taken a hefty five points out of Bram's life total, he added Joraga Treespeaker before passing.


    Consuming Vapors was coming back again on the Rebound, and Bram had made Brimstone Mage knowing it was nothing more than Vapor fodder. The Manticore continued to pile in unopposed, and Bram sat at just one life. That was at least five too few, and he moved to game three.


    Snepvangers 1 – 1 Blohon.


    Bram Snepvangers

    Now it was Bram on the play, and turn two saw Grotag Siege-Runner as the first creature into play, with Nest Invader and token support up next. Lucas had nothing for his first three turns, which didn't seem a great start. With Spawn sacrifice, Bram made Brimstone Mage off just two land. It looked as if both players might have gambled on their opening hands.


    That seemed confirmed when Lucas discarded Beastbreaker of Bala Ged, and Bram continued to have no third land. Still, Grotag Siege-Runner, Nest Invader, and Brimstone Mage were a powerful force, and Lucas was down to eight. Consuming Vapors improved his situation, dealing with the Siege-Runner, and gaining him the two life. In came Nest Invader and Brimstone Mage, and Might of the Masses took Lucas to just three.


    Rebound time. Consuming Vapors sent the Nest Invader packing, with Lucas back to five. He played Battle-Rattle Shaman, which didn't last long, Bram having Forked Bolt for it. Ancient Stirrings didn't get Eldrazi, but did get land to complete the Dutch turn. With Lucas passing once more, the Brimstone Mage looked unopposed. Bram cast Battle-Rattle Shaman, and immediately granted the bonus to the Mage. It attacked as a 4/2, and Blohon was revealed to have no answer. Both players had stumbled in the decider, but Consuming Vapors hadn't quite been enough to keep the Czech man alive. It was the veteran from the Netherlands who advanced to the Semi Final.


    Bram Snepvangers 2 – 1 Lucas Blohon.


     

  • Top 8 - Deck Lists
    by Event Coverage Staff







  •  

  • Quarterfinal - Peter Vieren vs. Marcello Calvetto
    by Tobias Henke
  • The match-up here was blue-white against blue-white with a little splash of red for Calvetto. The Italian went first, but Vieren had the first creature in Halimar Wavewatch; not an immediate threat, but potentially devastating against Islands later on. However, it didn't look as if this game would be going that slow, when Calvetto took to the air with Knight of Cliffhaven.


    Meanwhile, Vieren had Kor Spiritdancer and enchanted it with Hyena Umbra to draw an extra card and create a 3/5 first striker. Calvetto had the answer at the ready, though. The Spiritdancer was relegated to do Guard Duty forthwith. Vieren cast Hedron-Field Purists, Calvetto cast Time of Heroes and Caravan Escort. Vieren put a counter on both Halimar Wavewatch and Hedron-Field Purists. Calvetto made another Knight of Cliffhaven and gave that a level boost as well.


    "Uh, I need more dice," said Calvetto, looking around for help. Seconds later helpful spectators had provided a total of 108 dice, in three handy boxes. Vieren summoned Deathless Angel, Calvetto summoned yet another Knight of Cliffhaven and an especially venerated Venerated Teacher. Now his board of three Knight of Cliffhaven, Caravan Escort, and Time of Heroes might have been enough for most decks in this format, but Vieren's blue-white control deck seemed like the perfect foil to the Italian's aggressive strategy. Deathless Angel received Mammoth Umbra and came over to spill the first of Calvetto's blood. Also, Vieren's Guard Duty took care of Calvetto's level-three Knight. Umbra and Duty meant two extra cards via Kor Spiritdancer.


    All Calvetto could do was add another counter to his level-two Knight and summon Champion's Drake. In other circumstances a fine creature, but fine just wasn't good enough in this case, as the 8/10 totem-armored and (if needs be) indestructible Angel sailed across the red zone. Calvetto soon figured he wasn't ever going to win this game anymore: "Yeah, yeah, that's enough."


    Peter Vieren 1 – 0 Marcello Calvetto

    Peter Vieren

    And again Calvetto had no play on his second turn, while Vieren led with his Kor Spiritdancer. Calvetto had Knight of Cliffhaven on turn three, but Vieren retorted with Halimar Wavewatch as well as Hyena Umbra, drawing a card and turning his Spiritdancer once more into a 3/5 first-striking monster. Calvetto could only level up his Knight, attack and search up another Plains with Evolving Wilds, while Vieren cast Guard Duty, drew another card, summoned Caravan Escort, and boosted it up to level one.


    Turn five Calvetto had another Knight and no other play, whereas Vieren's Aura engine was performing increasingly well: Totem-Guide Hartebeest searched up Mammoth Umbra. Calvetto got a temporary relieve in the form of Gravitational Shift, as his opponent's offense was entirely ground-based; however, Mammoth Umbra transformed the Kor Spiritdancer into an 8/10 vigilant, first-striking attacker. At least, until it attacked. Then, Gravitational Shift scaled it back to 6/10.


    But now Calvetto played a card, that made Vieren wince in pain: Oust! Both Umbras went to the bin, and Kor Spiritdancer sulkily went and hid in the library. Vieren summoned Makindi Griffin, but that didn't stop Knight of Cliffhaven from attacking. Due to Gravitational Shift the Knight was 4/3 to the Griffin's 4/4. From this airborne scuffle the Knight did Emerge Unscathed, though, so Vieren needed to come up with a contingency plan... which as it turned out, he already had. Kor Spiritdancer was redrawn, replayed and got back to work instantly, netting a bonus card for Guard Duty. For a short moment, Calvetto's two Knights of Cliffhaven were both on Guard Duty, then Emerge Unscathed's rebound freed one of them.


    On the other side of the table, Halimar Wavewatch got three level counters. Calvetto tried to kill it with Flame Slash, but didn't realize it was 0/6. Some very hefty Italian cursing ensued, to the amusement of those who understood it.


    Next, Champion's Drake entered the battlefield for Calvetto, Deathless Angel for Vieren. Mammoth Umbra turned the Drake into a 7/7 monster, 9/7 while attacking, and as Vieren didn't have mana up to provide indestructibility, he simply had to take it, and fell to four life. Together with Knight of Cliffhaven, the Drake threatened lethal damage on the very next turn. Vieren's Deathless Angel could grant indestructibility all it wanted, what Vieren really needed now, was another flying creature. He found one in Frostwind Invoker. Calvetto, though, had Skywatcher Adept and thus, three flyers to Vieren's two. The latter didn't draw anything to change the compelling calculation...


    Peter Vieren 1 – 1 Marcello Calvetto


    Marcello Calvetto

    Vieren played first and had Halimar Wavewatch on turn two. Calvetto's deck apparently decided to not malfunction for the first time in this match and actually gave Calvetto one of his many, many two-drops: Knight of Cliffhaven.


    Vieren leveled his Halimar Wavewatch, then cast Makindi Griffin, followed by Frotswind Invoker. Meanwhile, Calvetto took his Knight up a level, attacked, then in the face of Vieren's 2/4 blocker simply cast another one and took that up to level one as well.


    The two Knights were painstakingly upgraded to level three. The first was rewarded with Narcolepsy. All the while Halimar Wavewatch went to five, then started the beatdown. Vieren had a second Narcolepsy for the second Knight, whereas Calvetto had Oust for the Wavewatch.


    Vieren recast the Wavewatch two turns later and started to reload it with counters. Calvetto had Emerge Unscathed to free both of his Knights and suddenly the race was back on. What's quicker? Two 4/4 flyers or a 6/6 Islandwalker. Two details were crucial in the outcome of this. First, the 3 life so graciously given away by Oust. And second, the way Narcolepsy's upkeep trigger interacts with protection from blue. Calvetto had in fact cast Emerge Unscathed during his upkeep in response to Narcolepsy's ability. This does of course destroy the Aura, but the creature is going to be tapped one last time anyway. Calvetto was not happy, when the judge gave him this bad news.


    Soon after he was even less happy...


    Peter Vieren 2 – 1 Marcello Calvetto

     

  • Semifinal - Florian Koch vs. Peter Vieren
    by Tim Willoughby

  • Florian Koch

    "You were the only person to beat me yesterday" remarked Koch with a smile as he sat down against his semi-final opponent, Peter Vieren of Belgium, who had faced an epic battle to reach this point in the top eight.

    "That means he knows how to do it!" called out some Belgian voices from the crowd. Koch smiled a little. The game was most certainly on. There were no wishes of good luck, but Koch did wish that his opponent have fun. Once you hit the top four of a Grand Prix, that is probably fair enough.


    Vieren had the first play of the game, in a turn one Caravan Escort. He levelled it up on turn two and got stuck in to take Koch to 18. Koch's red/black deck was not replete with early plays, and Koch merely played and and said go for the first three turns.


    A Venerated Teacher from Vieren threatened to make Caravan Escort a 5/5 faster than Koch really wanted. He played a Last Kiss on the Human Knight in order to make sure that never happened.


    Koch's first creature of the match was a Bloodrite Invoker, which soon traded with Venerated Teacher. A Kor Line-Slinger came from Vieren, and was soon given a target by the German in Pawn of Ulamog. This pairing tap danced their way through the combat step, and after combat, a Bala Ged Scorpion got rid of the Line-Slinger. Scorpions don't dig on dancing.


    Vieren was the picture of calm. He had a 3/3 Frostwind Invoker to replace the tapper. It would be equally good at dissuading creatures from the red zone, and at some point could choose to attack. Koch chose to off this new threat with Induce Despair, revealing Ulamog's Hatcher. Koch attacked in, to put Vieren to 16. It was with a small exhalation that Vieren played Guard Duty on Pawn of Ulamog. He wasn't super happy about using removal on so small a creature, but was equally not willing to take more damage from it. When Ulamog's Hatcher came down, it was struck by a bout of Narcolepsy. Koch was ahead and beating in, but it was a slow process.


    A second Bloodrite Invoker came from Koch, and it too was hit by Narcolepsy. Koch chuckled a little to himself. The 8 mana activated ability didn't care about the enchantment, and slowly but surely he was creeping toward that amount of mana. Makindi Griffin seemed a fair blocker for Vieren, but he was still on the back foot, and an Escaped Null from Koch was not the sort of creature that Vieren really wanted to be blocking.


    Soon the decision was not in his hands. A Vendetta cleared Vieren's side of the board, and made attacking easier. Vieren played a Guard Duty on Bala Ged Scorpion. Now there was just Escaped Null to attack with.


    "I need my rare" declared Vieren, who knew he was running low on answers.


    "Your rare would be good enough?" enquired Koch

    Vieren drew for his turn and conceded soon after. While Escaped Null was not the quick beatdown, it was beatdown enough when backed up by an activation of Bloodrite Invoker.


    Florian Koch 1 – 0 Peter Vieren


    Peter Vieren

    For game two Vieren elected to draw first, causing a raised eyebrow from Koch. Neither player had a play in the first couple of turns, with the first creature being Bloodrite Invoker. There was another one the turn after from Koch, leading to a nice beatdown plan to put Vieren to 11.

    The first play of the game from Vieren was a Totem-Guide Hartebeest, fetching Narcolepsy. The antelope was soon hit by a Vendetta, allowing Koch to attack Vieren down to 5. Vieren had plenty of cause to worry. Koch had not missed a land drop, and was up to six lands. While Repel the Darkness held off an attack, as did Narcolepsy, Koch did have his seventh land. An active Invoker would be a threat which Vieren could not easily answer. Vieren played an Enatu Golem, which Koch soon killed with Induce Despair. He was now up to 8 mana, and Vieren looked forlornly at the other side of the board. He extended his hand.


    "There is no way I can defeat an active Invoker" remarked Vieren, whose enchantment based removal was not up to stopping the 8 mana abilities. He wished Koch luck, in the final, and rounded up his Belgian supporters for the bus ride home.


    Florian Koch defeats Peter Vieren 2-0!

     

  • Semifinal - Bram Snepvangers vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner
    by Rich Hagon


  • Bram Snepvangers

    While Bram is a Magic legend, some of you may know less about his opponent. His brother Daniel recently appeared in the Sunday spotlight at Pro Tour: San Diego, while Tobi has two National Team appearances in the last three years, reaching the Semi-Finals in 2007 and 2009. This is his first Top 8 at the Grand Prix level, while Bram is here for the eighth time, still in search of his first Grand Prix victory.

    With one Quarter Final still to complete, these two got down to business, with Bram taking his first Mulligan of the Top 8. Grotag Siege-Runner opened for Bram, while Tobi had three Forests before making the 1/5 Sporecap Spider, a nice early roadblock against potential Dutch aggression. Ondu Giant allowed him to find a Mountain, and he was happy to send the spider in to deal his first point of damage in the match.


    Kiln Fiend for Bram was good news, as his deck was packed with Fiendish triggers, while six mana from the German meant Akoum Boulderfoot, the ability killing Bram's Grotag Siege-Runner. Bram's new Vengevine had Haste, but would stay at home, staring across at the 4/5 Boulderfoot. The board looked increasingly cluttered, as Kozilek's Predator plus two Spawn joined Tobi's forces. Magmaw was big for Bram, but surpisingly not that much of a threat at this point.


    The theme continued. More men joined the German ranks. A second Ondu Giant, Daggerback Basilisk, Emrakul's Hatcher and three Spawn, another Daggerback Basilisk...Bram's new Stomper Cub seemed tame in comparison.


    Wildheart Invoker brought Bram's monster count to five, while Tobi had thirteen. However, five of those were irrelevant Spawn tokens. Irrelevant, that is to say, before Broodwarden turned them all into 2/2s. S M A S H spells smash, and all thirteen monsters piled into the fray, determined to eliminate Bram with a single swing. The details of the bloody battlefield are of less import than the outcome, which left Bram, starting combat at seventeen with five monsters, completing it on two life with just three creatures left. Still, at least there were only ten monsters ready to attack on Tobi's next turn...


    Snepvangers 0 - 1 Gräfensteiner


    Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Once again, Bram was forced to Mulligan before the start, and, once again, Tobi was content with his seven. Kiln Fiend was up first for Bram, and his turn three was Brimstone Mage. That's a pretty good opening on a Mulligan. Daggerback Basilisk was small but thoroughly poisonous for Tobi, forcing Bram to avoid attacking and instead levelling the Brimstone Mage. The Basilisk traded for Kiln Fiend, with a little help from the Brimstone Mage, before Wildheart Invoker created another problem for Bram, who had a Daggerback Basilisk of his own.


    Invoker and Basilisk traded, and Tobi ran out Broodwarden, the card that had won him the opening game. Brimstone Mage went to level two, while Tobi began the business of generating 2/2 Spawn tokens thanks to Growth Spasm. Still, one more level, and the Mage would be a serious headache.


    Spawning Breath got Tobi another Spawn, and he was clearly looking to race. In came the Broodwarden, dropping Bram to eleven, and eight mana brought out Ulamog's Crusher. The Brimstone Mage was starting to look pretty lonely from a Dutch perspective, as Bram sat on just four mana to Tobi's nine. Kiln Fiend joined the Mage, and Might of the Masses meant that Bram could deal with the Crusher.


    Then all hell broke loose.


    Tobi asked whether or not Bram was going to shoot the Crusher. Indeed he was. However, Bram believed they were at the end of turn, while Tobi was enquiring during combat. He promptly cast Artisan of Kozilek, returining the just-killed Ulamog's Crusher. Hmm. Much discussion ensued, because, moot though it was, Bram was unhappy about what he believed he heard. Oh boy, this is tough to explain. In essence, it revolves around the idea of miscommunication, and Bram felt somewhat hoodwinked by the way Tobi asked if he would be shooting the Crusher.


    Suffice to say that while the rumblings, as rumblings do, rumble on, it was the Crusher and the Artisan of Kozilek that progressed, along with Tobi Gräfensteiner, to the Final.


    Bram Snepvangers 0 - 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

     

  • Final - Florian Koch vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Florian Koch

    Coming into the finals, Florian Koch has had what feels like a pretty easy ride. The German, who had drafted a red/black deck on the careful instruction of his friend Sebastian Thaler, had not felt in any danger throughout the top eight thus far, not dropping a game. Going up against his countryman Gräfensteiner, he was keen to kick things off.

    Koch won the roll, but it was Gräfensteiner who had the first play of the game in Overgrown Battlement. Gräfensteiner’s heavy green deck, sporting some red for removal, could well use the acceleration. He cast Kozilek’s Predator a turn early, and hopefully tried to consign one of the tokens he got from it to the grumper when Koch played Bala Ged Scorpion. It was not to be though, and the wall was offed first.

    A Wildheart Invoker came next from Gräfensteiner, who looked on with interest as Escaped Null came out for Koch. He checked that he fully understood that the ability worked on attack and defence, before choosing to let his Kozilek’s Predator trade with the 1/2. Emrakul’s Hatcher ensured that Gräfensteiner’s side of the board was plenty busy, while all Koch had to work with was Bala Ged Scorpion and lands. One of those lands did power out a Vendetta on Gräfensteiner’s invoker though, meaning things were far from a lost cause.

    Gräfensteiner had to have some big things coming. He cast Growth Spasm for another Forest, and just shrugged as the Sporecap Spider he had just cast died to another Scorpion from Koch. Another Escaped Null came from Koch. Gräfensteiner wasn’t actually in much of a position to attack now, and lost his only creature with any power to a Vendetta. All those tokens didn’t even block when Koch ran in with his team.

    Gräfensteiner looked pleased with himself as he put a Broodwarden onto the board and swung, but his pleasure turned to dismay as Koch showed a third Vendetta to kill off Broodwarden and render the attack ineffectual. Koch followed with an Emrakul’s Hatcher of his own, and had a Last Kiss to off Spearback Basilisk. Was there no end to this man’s removal?

    Eventually Gräfensteiner was forced to start chump blocking with his Eldrazi Spawn tokens. He had colossal amounts of land, so there was no pressure to keep them back to cast spells with. Gräfensteiner was only drawing more lands, and soon he was out of tokens and scooping up his cards.

    Florian Koch 1 – 0 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Tobias Gräfensteiner

    For the second game of the match, Gräfensteiner had to take a mulligan on the play. This met a sage nod from Koch, who surely had to be mentally pumping the fist.

    In spite of being down a card, Gräfensteiner’s start was a good one. On turn two Overgrown Battlement came out, and it was followed the next turn by Spearback Basilisk. When Koch played Bloodrite Invoker, Gräfensteiner had Emrakul’s Hatcher.

    Koch found an Escaped Null, which blocked Emrakul’s Hatcher, while his Invoker fell to Spawning Breath. Once again Koch seemed a little on the back foot, but again he was unconcerned. He had a Lagac Lizard to trade with the Basilisk, and a Vendetta to kill a Wildheart Invoker from Gräfensteiner.

    Nirkanna Cutthroat was the next play from Koch, and he soon began to level it up and get stuck in. It was with some surprise that Koch had to Vendetta a token that blocked, when Gräfensteiner tried for a Might of the Masses to kill off the black leveller.

    The game was turning, and Koch played Valakut Fireboar, which would be quite the attacker if the board stayed clear. Gräfensteiner played a Sporecap Spider to keep the board off, but little could stop Nirkanna Cutthroat once it hit top level. The best that Gräfensteiner could do against that particular problem was to let it gradually whittle down his stock of Eldrazi Spawn tokens.

    Finally, Koch broke through all of the tokens, and played a Surreal Memoir to get back first one, then a second Vendetta. Gräfensteiner looked resigned to his fate. When those Vendettas killed off the rest of his team, he didn’t wait for the attack, he simply extended his hand.

    Florian Koch defeats Tobias Gräfensteiner 2 – 0, to become the Grand Prix Lyon 2010 champion

    Florian Koch with his three Vendettas.
     

  • Podcast - Final in Four
    by Rich Hagon
  • Multi

    It took a little longer than four minutes for the Final to be played out, but here at Grand Prix Lyon we've certainly got a cracking audio finale for you. Short but sweet, as they say. It's a tale of persistence rewarded, and an all-German clash of old-style black-red against cutting-edge Eldrazi ramp action. Join us again on the global Grand Prix scene, and make a date for Pro Tour San Juan, just three weeks away.

    Download MP3

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