After eight rounds these are the top two seeds. Van den Hanenberg is an unheralded player from Amsterdam who doesn’t bother to show up at PTQ’s much. He does go to the occasional Grand Prix though and when he does he usually ends up doing well. Karsten has stepped up his game a lot lately and it shows with a 6-0 run at the Masters Gateway in Chicago and a top 16 finish at Pro Tour Venice. He’s also had a lot of success in the Team circuit. His team, www.lowlandgames.com, is ranked third in the world right now.
Frank Karsten is 2-0 with his U/G deck while Frank van den Hanenberg lost a round to a double Timberwatch Elf, Canopy Crawler deck. Both are 7-1 going into this round and the winner here will have to win one match in his next draft to make the top 8.
Karsten won the die roll and chose to play first and came out strong with a turn two Elvish Warrior and a turn three Timberwatch Elf. All van den Hanenberg had was a morph off of three Plains. He found a Mountain and a Crude Rampart on turn four though, halting the beats for the moment. A Barkhide Mauler and a Mistform Dreamer allowed Karsten to go back on the offensive and a Wirewood Pride turned a trade into a Rout with the Mauler taking down the Crude Rampart and van den Hanenberg’s freshly cast Avarax. He was ritualistically savaged.
“I kept 5 land, Timberwatch Elf, Wirewood Pride”
Van den Hanenberg’s third turn strangely featured no creature in the morph format. It’s a thing most W/R decks seem to suffer from lately, a lack of quality morph creatures or rather, an overabundance of quality non-morph creatures. Dive Bomber saw play on turn four though but it didn’t feel like stepping in front of Karsten’s morph. Van den Hanenberg had no play on his turn five either, his hand being Crested Craghorn, Avarax, Gustcloak Harrier, Butcher Orgg with four lands in play. He drew land number five on turn six and entered his think tank. Karsten had an Ascending Aven, a morph and a Mistform Wakecaster in play at this point. After a while he settled for the Craghorn, provoking the morph and killing it with his Dive Bomber before blockers. He drew his sixth land the turn after that and was one land short of the Butcher Orgg that’d allow him to stabilize. Would he live to see it attack though? When his Craghorn provoked Karsten’s fresh morph his board position turned from bad to terrible as it turned out to be an Echo Tracer that bounced itself after damage. The Tracer came back down to bounce the Harrier van den Hanenberg cast as a blocker and although he managed to draw land number seven, a Tribal Golem finished him off with a little help from the Wakecaster turning into a Goblin and a Beast.