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Juza's Safe Pair Of Hands

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It's a spectacular two Grand Prix titles in six weeks for Czech star Martin Juza, whose Grand Prix Portland victory is still fresh in the memory.

Martin "I don't feel like drafting poison" Juza's magnificent Infect deck swept through the Top8 without losing a game, a pair of Hand of the Praetors sending it over the top and ensuring that he didn't lose a single game as he closed in on victory. Yves Sele provided his greatest test in the final, coming close to actually milling Juza out with his Screeching Silclaw before the Phyrexian waves finally overwhelmed the Mirran defenses and the Swiss player was swept away.

From a long way out Juza had looked like a man marked for the win: locked onto his second trophy like a cruise missile through Sunday. A Top-8 packed with players who had already proven themselves adept at Scars of Mirrodin drafting found themselves helpless to prevent Juza hovering up all the Infect cards on the table and seizing the crown.

And that marks the end of a tremendous Grand Prix here in Bochum, which featured not only some terrific Grand Prix action but also a 512 player PTQ on Sunday that could well be the biggest PTQ ever held! From Bochum the Grand Prix train moves on to Nashville before steaming back to Europe for a stop in Florence at the end of November. Join us in there as the Pro season comes to a head - you won't regret it and we'll be glad to see you!


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Manuel Mayer   Geertjan Woltjes, 2-1        
8 Geertjan Woltjes   Martin Juza, 2-0
       
4 Sok-yong Lee   Martin Juza, 2-0   Martin Juza, 2-0
5 Martin Juza    
       
2 Yves Sele   Yves Sele, 2-0
7 Matthias Künzler   Yves Sele, 2-1
       
3 Julien Perez   Julien Perez, 2-1
6 Jonas Köstler    


Follow coverage of Grand Prix–Bochum in German at planetmtg.de.

EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER
  • by Tim Willoughby
    Finals
    Martin Juza vs Yves Sele

  • by David Sutcliffe
    Semifinals
    Yves Sele (CHE) vs. Julien Perez (FRA)

  • by Rich Hagon
    Semifinals
    Martin Juza v Geertjan Woltjes

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Quarterfinals
    Sok-Yong Lee vs Martin Juza

  • by Rich Hagon
    Quarter Final
    Matthias Künzler (Switzerland) v Yves Sele (Switzerland)

  • by David Sutcliffe
    Top 8
    Packs by Picks

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Player Profiles


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2: Complete Coverage
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1: Complete Coverage
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 1 Country Breakdown
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
 1.  Juza, Martin
 2.  Sele, Yves
 3.  Perez, Julien
 4.  Woltjes, Geertjan
 5.  Mayer, Manuel F
 6.  Köstler, Jonas
 7.  Lee, Sok-yong
 8.  Künzler, Matthias
Pairings Results Standings
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Follow coverage of Grand Prix–Bochum in German at planetmtg.de.

EVENT COVERAGE



 
  • Top 8 – Player Profiles

    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Geertjan Woltjes
    Name: Geertjan Woltjes
    Age: 31
    Hometown: Bilthoven, Netherlands
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    Revised Edition ... when was it?
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 9-1, Draft One: 2-1, Draft Two: 2-0-1 (unintentionally)
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    None.
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Is there something else to achieve?
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Sengir Vampire.




    Martin Juza
    Name: Martin Juza
    Age: 23
    Hometown: Pilzen, Czech Republic
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    2002, seriously from 2007
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 9-1, Draft One: 2-1-0, Draft Two: 2-1-0
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    Two Pro Tour top eights, five Grand Prix top eights.
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Waking up at 7 a.m. this morning.
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Big Furry Monster - so I can scare all the little kids.




    Mathias Künzler
    Name: Mathias Künzler
    Age: 30
    Hometown: Bern, Switzerland
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    Summer, '95
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 9-1, Draft One: 3-0, Draft Two: 1-1-1 (ID'd last round)
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    Grand Prix top eights at Vienna, Rimini and Birmingham.
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Working at the DracheNascht (card and board game store in Bern)
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Lhurgoyf, even Saffi is scared of him!




    Yves Sele
    Name: Yves Sele
    Age: 24
    Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    1998
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 9-1, Draft: 4-1-1
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    Pro Tour London top 64, second at Swiss Nationals 2003, fourth at Swiss Nationals 2005, fifth at Swiss Nationals 2009, five Pro Tours total.
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Staying healthy in life.
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Hand of the Praetors




    Jonas Köstler
    Name: Jonas Köstler
    Age: 20
    Hometown: Haar, Germany
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    I started with Planeshift, but only casual.
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 10-0, Draft One: 2-0-1, Draft Two: 1-1-1
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    I only started participating in tournaments last year, so I only managed to win a PTQ and 74th place at Grand Prix Gotheburg.
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Making 2,50 Euros every time I showed up at the Trambahn in Götheburg.
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Thieving Magpie




    Sok-yong Lee
    Name: Sok-yong Lee
    Age: 34
    Hometown: Hattingen, Germany
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    Around Revised.
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 8-1-1, Draft: 5-0-1
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    Hesse State Champion 1994
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Getting married successfully.
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Identity Crisis.




    Julien Perez
    Name: Julien Perez
    Age: 20
    Hometown: Angers, France
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    I seriously started this game three years ago.
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 8-2, Draft: 5-0-1
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    I won French Nationals this year
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Giant Oyster.




    Manuel Mayer
    Name: Manuel Mayer
    Age: 26
    Hometown: Tübingen, Germany
    When did you start playing Magic: The Gathering?
    Started during Invasion block, but became competitive at Time Spiral.
    What was your record (Sealed/Draft)?
    Sealed: 8-2, Draft: 6-0
    What are your previous Magic: The Gathering achievements?
    Every dog has it's day.
    What is your greatest previous non-MtG achievement?
    Enjoying life, making true friends.
    What Magic card would you dress up as for Halloween?
    Reaper King



     
  • Top 8 – Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Matthias Künzler
    Grand Prix Bochum 2010 - Top 8



    Sok-Yong Lee
    Grand Prix Bochum 2010 - Top 8


    Jonas Köstler
    Grand Prix Bochum 2010 - Top 8




     
  • Top 8 – Packs by Picks

    by David Sutcliffe
  • We've all been in drafts where we see a good card swing the whole way around the table to us at seventh pick, and the temptation is always there to think "What the hell are you guys doing - this card is awesome! How can it still be in the pack!?!". We might also make a quick mental calculation that at least four of the other players on the table are idiots for allowing this card to get to you.

    The truth, though, is often the exact opposite. The players on your table AREN'T idiots, and it's because they're not idiots that they left that card for you. Not because they think it's bad, but because they knew that their decks needed other cards more. The best way to show you this is to follow a booster pack around a table of good players… and it just so happens that we have a table of good players here in the Top8 of Grand Prix Bochum. These are players who have already proven their drafting skills twice today, and we'll leave it to them to justify why there was a 7th pick Myrsmith, or how Darksteel Sentinel can be picked at 9th in one booster and 3rd in another.

    Pack One

    The pick order for the first booster was: Kostler > Juza > Sele > Woltjes > Perez > Lee > Kunzler > Mayer

    Kostler) Oxidda Scrapmelter
    Juza) Ichor Rats
    Sele) Revoke Existence
    Woltjes) Snapsail Glider
    Perez) Sylvok Lifestaff
    Lee) Silver Myr
    Kunzler) Sky-Eel School
    Mayer) Genesis Wave

    After the booster had done a full lap of the table you could see clearly how each player had a different preference. Sky-Eel School was passed over by two blue players in favor of Revoke Existence and Silver Myr and there were still good cards left to come. With the last black player to see the booster taking a Snapsail Glider the Instill Infection was still there, and the Darksteel Sentinel had been passed over several times! As for Martin "I don't feel like drafting poison" Juza… Ichor Rats pick two signalled a change of plan!

    Kostler) Darksteel Sentinel
    Juza) Instill Infection
    Sele) Blackcleave Goblin
    Woltjes) Echo Circlet
    Perez) Vault Skyward
    Lee) Blunt the Assault

    At the end of the booster a quick tour of the table told me the following: Kostler was in red, Juza was all-in on Infect, Sele UW, Woltjes BR, Perez RG, Lee UW, Kunzler taking whatever blue Lee left him, and Mayer trying to make Metalcraft green.

    Pack Two

    Order of picks was reversed, with Kostler passing on to Mayer and so forth…

    Kostler) Copper Myr
    Mayer) Glint Hawk Idol
    Kunzler) Darksteel Sentinel
    Lee) Lumengrid Drake

    Let's pause it there. In the first pack Kunzler had passed the Darksteel Sentinel to take Sky-Eel School and yet here he was taking the Sentinel ahead of Lumengrid Drake. The implication was obvious - Kunzler needed artifacts more than he needed yet another flyer. The reverse was true for Lee, though. He had taken the Silver Myr on the first pass, and felt more comfortable taking the Metalcraft Drake than Kunzler this time around. It was a clear example of how a card's value for a player changes as the draft develops, and why 'pick orders' often don't make much sense when applied to a real draft.

    Back to the pack…

    Perez) Molder Beast
    Woltjes) Ferrovore
    Sele) Platinum Emperion
    Juza) Nihil Spellbomb
    Kostler) Exsanguinate
    Mayer) Kuldotha Rebirth
    Kunzler) Vector Asp
    Lee) Plated Seastrider
    Perez) Golem's Heart
    Woltjes) Glimmerpost

    The first booster had been full of great cards, while this second one had seen a Copper Myr picked first out of the pack! But there was interesting choices here too, with Martin Juza preferring a Nihil Spellbomb over the potentially-infectious Vector Asp, while Lee will have been happy to see a Plated Seastrider circle all the way around the table. After the Lumengrid Drake the Seastrider was probably the only other card he actually wanted from the booster and could well make his deck!

    Pack Three

    Order of picks flipped pack to the original route around the table, Kostler to Juza etc.

    Kostler) Tumble Magnet
    Juza) Trigon of Corruption
    Sele) Gold Myr
    Woltjes) Perilous Myr
    Perez) Iron Myr
    Lee) Myrsmith

    And look at that order of picks! Myrsmith is considered by many players to be one of the best cards in draft, and yet it had gone three-quarters of the way around the table to Lee. Lee received his gift gracefully and gratefully, with a big smile, but in fact only one player ahead of him would have wanted the Myrsmith at this stage! The only white player to see the Myrsmith so far was Yves Sele, and he had needed the Gold Myr for his deck. It's also a clue to how much Sele wanted the mana Myr that he had picked it ahead of the Perilous Myr, and on the very next pick Woltjes took the Perilous Myr ahead of an Iron Myr! Players weren't picking from a mental list of 'best cards', but they were building a deck and taking the card their deck needed.

    Kunzler) Plated Seastrider
    Mayer) Vulshok Heartstoker
    Kostler) Oxidda Daredevil
    Juza) Throne of Geth
    Sele) Screeching Silcaw
    Woltjes) Psychic Miasma
    Perez) Tunnel Ignus
    Lee) Copperhorn Scout

    Aside from the Myrsmith the third round of packs revealed another quirk of the table. As I followed this booster around the table I had noticed that the booster to the left still had it's rare in - a Hand of the Praetors. Five picks out I made a mental wager with myself that the Hand would make it all the way around the table to Juza's Infect deck, and as the fateful booster reached the Czech pro I watched his face carefully as he flicked through it, card by card. Juza's face remained a mask of calm until suddenly I saw his eyes bulge, his mouth crease into a grin, and he wind milled a card onto his pile of picks. A 7th- pick Hand of the Praetors? Juza could be thankful that the Hand had circled the entire table to reach him… but it was always going to. From the moment that bomb rare was opened in the seat to his left it was his.

    And that's the truth of any draft. When you get a good card late it doesn't mean that your opponents have been bad… it means they've been good. When you receive Hand of the Praetors it's because you passed on Myrsmith, and when you get Perilous Myr it's because the player to your right needed to accelerate to his rare cards more than he needed to block on the ground. The Top8 draft was completed, and ahead of the quarter-finals I got a look at what the players had created:

    Jonas Kostler - Green/Red Metalcraft he had a slew of cheap artifacts and would hit Metalcraft very quickly. The standout card was Kuldotha Phoenix, but if he could get on the front foot his four Panic Spellbomb could make his offense hard to stop.

    Martin Juza - Juza's 7th pick Hand of Praetors was actually his second Hand! He had an Infect deck that was light on two-drops but packed enough Proliferate in the form of two Contagion Clasp and Throne of Geth to mean he could poison an opponent without actually needing to get his creatures across the table very often.

    Yves Sele - his Blue/White deck looked solid but uninspirational.

    Geertjan Woltjes - had a fighting Black/Red deck. It was light on removal but brought plenty of aggressive creatures, anybody who stumbled against Woltjes would be in trouble.

    Julien Perez - had battled it out with Woltjes for the red cards, but paired it with Green metalcraft.

    Sok-Yong Lee - Lee's deck looked crazily good. A pair of Soliton and a pair of Heavy Arbalest gave him the 'machine gun' combo reliably, and if that didn't work then his Blue/White deck also had Contagion Engine and Steel Hellkite. Lee's biggest problem was that he would face Juza's poison deck in the quarter finals.

    Matthias Kunzler - trapped next to Lee, Kunzler had been forced to abandon the white flyers but picked up black as he had a clear run on that color. Necrogen Scudder and Necrotic Ooze supported blue flyers, but the legacy of beginning in white was his three-color mana base for a pair of Arrests.

    Manuel Mayer - did not seem happy, but had somehow wound up with a pair of Genesis Waves! He had been picking up all the green that Perez had left for him several picks earlier, and had yet another ground pounding heavy-hitting green deck.



     
  • Quarter Final – Matthias Künzler (Switzerland) v Yves Sele (Switzerland)

    by Rich Hagon
  • Swiss watch.

    Thought I'd get the obvious one in early.

    Sele got things underway with Plains, opposite an Island and Nihil Spellbomb for Kunzler. If the early lands were to be believed, Blue-White for Sele would face Blue-Black. Sele's 2/2 flying Kemba's Skyguard got the damage going, with turn four Auriok Replica the follow-up. Rusted Relic for Künzler was blank for now, allowing Sele to attack unopposed. Sky-Eel School arrived on schedule for Sele, and the army – and pressure – was building.

    Moriok Replica turned on Metalcraft, making the Rusted Relic the real deal, at least for now. Sele didn't care, using Neurok Invisimancer to grant, you know, invisimancery to Auriok Replica, crashing in for seven total, and leaving Künzler at just seven. The sound of Neurok Replica hitting the table sounded remarkably like the proverbial name in the coffin.

    After one of the longest pauses in recent memory for a four mana spell, Künzler put us all out of his misery with Lumengrid Drake, bouncing the Sky-Eel School back to Sele's hand. Not something you want to be doing particularly, but desperate times call for desperate measures. There was nothing desperate about Sele, as he activated his Neurok Replica, looking to bounce Moriok Replica, leaving Künzler the choice of sacrificing it in response. He was happy to take it back to hand, but less happy to see Trigon of Rage preceding a lethal attack.

    Sele 1 – 0 Künzler

    Matthias Künzler v Yves Sele

    In a move that was simultaneously rubbish for flavorful reporting and the improvement of my German language skills, the players remained silent between games, possibly contemplating Martina Hingis, army knives, and Nico Bohny (Switzerland's three best-known exports).

    Künzler opened game two, with Sele the one to start a card down. Glint Hawk Idol on turn two more or less improved on the entire contents of game one for Künzler, with Sele sending it beyond the grave with Revoke Existence. Künzler now appeared to be Black-White, with his blue mana noticeably absent. Sele used the time to cast Rust Tick, and then Ghalma's Warden, a long way off Metalcraft at this stage.

    You had to feel for Künzler, who continued to find no land, watching his fourth Grand Prix Top 8 appearance potentially going the way of the first three, all of which ended at the quarter final stage. On the plus side, Sele had no third creature, instead opting for Trigon of Rage, a curious post-combat play that left him activation mana open. All was explained when Künzler tried for Clone Shell, Sele using the mana to Disperse the artifact, sending who-knows-what to who-knows-where (the Imprinted card from the Clone Shell.)

    In came the Sele team, with Künzler now at thirteen, Neurok Invisimancer adding to Künzler's woes. A sixth land, that still wasn't an Island, felt like the last chance, unless he had a cunning Darksteel Sentinel on the way. That would only work if Sele attacked with his Rust Tick, however...

    ...which he did, allowing exactly the play I described. Just call me clairvoyant, why don't you? Künzler's Sentinel blocked the Rust Tick, while Sele used Twisted Image to turn around Ghalma's Warden, leaving Künzler at just seven. Kemba's Skyguard? Just one more in an uncreasingly unfair parade of beats.

    In came the Darksteel Sentinel with Vigilance, while Arrest at least dealt with Kemba's Skyguard. That left the Neurok Invisimancer to attack for five with the Trigon of Rage, unless Künzler had an answer in the form of black removal...

    ...like the Grasp of Darkness he used to kill the 2/1 unblockable man. Golem Artisan followed for Sele, who was clearly surprised that he wasn't already waiting for the semi final to start. Revoke Existence put paid to the Golem Artisan, with Clone Shell making a reappearance, setting us up for another moment of mystery somewhere down the line.

    Sky-Eel School for Sele threatened aerial domination once more, as Künzler found an Island for Vedalken Certarch. Without Metalcraft. Not especially worth the wait, really.

    The Sky-Eel School attacked for six, and now Künzler was at just one life, with Auriok Replica surely leaving him next to no options. For five mana, he cast his last card in hand, a Sky-Eel School, which forced him to draw and discard Rusted Relic. Neurok Replica from Sele.....bounce the flyer...game over.

    Yves Sele 2 – 0 Matthias Künzler



     
  • Quarterfinals – Sok-Yong Lee vs Martin Juza

    by Tim Willoughby
  • This matchup saw top Czech pro Martin Juza facing down against German local Sok-Yong Lee. Each had had a pretty reasonable draft, with some explosive potential from their decks.

    Juza had a quick start in turn one Darksteel Axe, followed by turn two Ichorclaw Myr. This threatened a terrifying amount of poison on the third turn, and there was little that Lee could do about it. He had a Silver Myr and a Lumengrid Drake by the time that Juza attacked, but none of his team fancied blocking, meaning that he was at 3 poison in no time at all. Even Plated Seastrider, normally an all-star against infect decks, did not look good enough.

    Martin Juza vs Sok-Yong Lee

    Juza had just two lands, but a dominating board, which only got scarier when Plague Stinger joined the party. Seastrider had to chump block, which was great for Juza. Lee cast a Flight Spellbomb, and was forced to crack it straight away for the card rather than waiting on using it to make something fly for real value. He did find a Plains, finally showing his second colour. A good start. He used it to cast Revoke Existence on Ichorclaw Myr, choosing the creature over the Axe which would otherwise be hard to remove.

    Juza simply cast a Contagius Nim and passed. To this Lee had a Soliton and a Glint Hawk, returning his Myr. The Soliton could be potentially very dangerous if Lee could get to one of his two copies of Heavy Arbalest. This combo on its own, if it happened, would dominate Juza's board in next to no time.

    Juza was still light on land, casting another Contagious Nim for his turn. Lee played out options, and eventually just recast his Silver Myr and passed.

    "You're waiting for that land huh?" asked Lee.

    The look on Juza's face as he thought through his turn showed that he was more than a little irked at not being able to play his big spells in the game. He cast an Infiltration Lens. At least if he attached that and attacked, even if he lost a creature in the process, he'd get some cards.

    That Lee was aware Juza was looking for lands meant that there was even less reason to block. He took another poison, putting him at four in total. After combat, it seemed that Juza had been playing with everyone's heads, as he laid his fourth land and used it to cast Contagion Clasp, killing Lee's Silver Myr. Lee just had a Necrogen Censer for his turn. No Arbalest yet...

    Plague Stinger got an axe in addition to its Infiltration Lens. It swung in along with both Contagious Nim. With Contagion Clasp on the board, and enough mana to use it, Juza was now in a place where he could start to threaten to proliferate for the win. Lee thought long and hard about his blocks. He put his drake in front of Plague Stinger, and Soliton in front of Contagious Nim.

    After combat, Juza played a Throne of Geth.

    "It's good!" was the only response from Lee.

    "Now it is good" retorted Juza, casting a Fume Spitter.

    Martin Juza

    It seemed that it wasn't just Juza who had a proliferate plan. Lee cast a Contagion Engine, which did off many of Juza's creatures, but in response he sacrificed his spitter to get a counter on Glint Hawk, then used his own proliferate, with Throne of Geth, to wreak havoc on Lee's board and his poison total. Subsequent proliferation from Juza, along with a small attack from a 1/1 Contagious Nim was enough to take us to game 2.

    Sok-Yong Lee 0 - 1 Martin Juza

    For game two, on the play, Lee took a mulligan, while Juza seemed calm in his keep, gazing at his hand as if he could not wait to burst into action.

    As Lee drew his six card hand, he winced a little, but kept. There was no second land there, and he missed one drop, before seeing Juza cast Plague Stinger. A land came the following turn, allowing Myrsmith, but with Juza following up with Ichor Rats, it seemed that there was every reason for Lee to worry. He cast an Ichorclaw Myr of his own and used his Myrsmith.

    The following turn Hand of the Praetors showed its face, allowing Plague Stinger to get in for two.

    Lee started mumbling to himself that he needed to top deck well.

    "I don't think you have any card that deals with this" declared Juza as he cast a second Hand of the Praetors, before attacking with Plague Stinger and Ichor Rats. The rats got chump blocked, and Lee went to 8 poison.

    "This is bad. This is really really bad."

    Yes it was. Lee drew, and conceded. He just couldn't fight the sickness.

    Martin Juza wins 2-0!



     
  • Semifinals – Martin Juza v Geertjan Woltjes

    by Rich Hagon
  • When you're facing a Level 8 mage, it probably pays to play the cards, not the man. That was the challenge facing Gertjan Woltjes of the Netherlands, going up against Martin Juza of the Czech Republic.

    With both players looking at their opponent's lists before the game began, there was no surprise when Juza opened on turn two Plague Stinger, nor when Woltjes used Grasp of Darkness to send it packing. Contagious Nim was infect creature number two for Juza, which faced off against Necropede for Woltjes. Instill Infection ensured that the Contagious Nim would at least get in for one poison damage, a fact that might be key, with Juza relying on Proliferate later in the game.

    Martin Juza

    Vulshok Replica singularly failed to hang around, with Contagion Clasp and Cystbearer a powerful turn for the Czech, who now had a recognisable route to victory with the Contagion Clasp, even if Woltjes could deal with the Infect team. Trigon of Corruption from Juza suggested very strongly that he couldn't, Woltjes now up to five poison and without a creature in play. He did have Trigon of Rage and Tumble Magnet, with the latter possibly allowing the former to be useful down the road.

    Necrotic Ooze seemed unlikely to do too much, especially as Juza had Proliferate at end of turn, shrinking the Ooze to 2/1, and making it decidedly vulnerable on the following turn. Die it duly did, and Woltjes followed soon after.

    Juza 1 – 0 Woltjes

    The man from the Netherlands was forced to look at six cards to begin game two, which did at least begin reasonably with turn two Iron Myr against no play from Juza. Necropede and Perilous Myr joined in, meaning Juza would certainly have some work to do before commencing the poisonous path to victory. Ichor Rats didn't need to attack to Infect, opening the bizarre possibility that Juza could fall behind on poison to the Necropede across the table. With Snapsail Glider and Trigon of Rage, the Dutchman couldn't have handpicked a better start after his mulligan.

    Geertjan Woltjes

    Ichor Rats traded for Perilous Myr and two damage, with Juza content to use Corpse Cur to, er, re-Cur his Ichor Rats. Snapsail Glider piled in for five in the air thanks to the Trigon of Rage, and Woltjes seemed quite happy to take two poison. Perhaps Ichorclaw Myr and Cystbearer would change that? Not next turn, at least, with a repeat of the five flying damage leaving the Trigon at one counter, and Juza at eight life.

    The Czech man equipped Ichorclaw Myr with Darksteel Axe, Woltjes choosing to block the Corpse Cur and then take out the Ichorclaw Myr once his Necropede died. It was starting to look as if it was Juza who would win the race. That thought was confirmed with the arrival post-combat of Ichor Rats, taking Woltjes to nine poison, and leaving him no outs.

    While Woltjes could look back on a fabulous weekend that qualified him for his debut Pro Tour in Paris 2011, Juza advanced to within a match of his second Grand Prix title of the season.

    Martin Juza 2 – 0 Geertjan Woltjes



     
  • Semifinals – Yves Sele (CHE) vs. Julien Perez (FRA)

    by David Sutcliffe
  • Julien Perez began his semi-final with a huge gamble, hanging onto a one-land opening hand that needed only a second land to make it work. Unfortunately for the Frenchman that second land was a looooong time in coming. In fact it arrived in the second game. After discarding five cards the Frenchman conceded defeat moments before Sele's Myr and Skyguards dealt lethal damage.

    Yves Sele 0 - 1 Julien Perez

    "I guess you had Myr in your hand?"

    "Two Myr, one Palladium", Perez replied. Most of his hand had cost just two mana - a single land in his first couple of draws would have transformed the game, but a Grand Prix semi-final is a bad time to be gambling that the mana gods will favor you.

    It was Sele's time to have a long think about his opening hand at the start of the second, although he eventually decided to hang onto his initial seven. Perez ran out a Mimic Vat and followed it with an Oxidda Scrapmelter, with Sele using a Disperse to save his Glint Hawk Idol. It was all that the Swiss player could do, in truth - his lands had cursed him in this second game and he had already missed two land drops to remain trapped with only two mana.

    Julien Perez

    Perez pressed onwards with a Myr Galvaniser and Iron Myr before Sele finally found a third land and summoned a Palladium Myr. The Swiss player would have mana next turn, but would it be too late? The answer was yes - Perez put down a Rusted Relic that was simply too large for anything Sele could bring to his aid. Sele went deep into the tank has he attempted to formulate an escape plan, but there was nothing that could save him from an imminent and certain death, and Perez levelled the match!

    Yves Sele 1 - 1 Julien Perez

    "It's now fair because of the lands we both missed". offered Sele - the two players would have to hope that the deciding game of their semi-final would be one decided by their skill rather than their opponent's misfortune.

    Yves Sele

    Finally the two players got into a game without mana concerns. Sele led the way with a Glint Hawk Idol that he began to pump to scary proportions with his Trigon of Rage, but Perez was not far behind in the race by playing a Leaden Myr and Myr Galvaniser so that he could punch back on the ground. Sele found perhaps the best possible use for the much-maligned Twisted Image but turning Perez's Wall of Tanglecord from a 0/6 to a 6/0 and drawing a card into the bargain, then played an Auriok Replica and continued his aerial assault, putting the Frenchman to 10 life.

    A Rust Tick was Perez' response, before equipping his Leaden Myr with a Sylvok Lifestaff and sending it into the fray. Sele couldn't afford to have Perez gaining 3 life at this stage in the race and accepted the damage from the Myr to drop to 10 life himself. Another hit from Sele's 5/2 Glint Hawk put Perez to just 5 life, but with his Rust Tick now available it could be the end for the Glint Hawk's damage.

    Sensing his chance to enter the endgame Perez played a Molder Beast, but at the end of his turn Sele revealed the last card in his hand - a Disperse for the Rust Tick! The Glint Hawk wouldn't be tapped, and instead it swooped down to deal the final 5 points of damage and send Yves Sele into a final showdown with the Phyrexian infestation of Martin Juza!

    Yves Sele 2 - 1 Julien Perez



     
  • Finals – Martin Juza vs Yves Sele

    by Tim Willoughby
  • The finals of Grand Prix Bochum are all about the BlackBorder.com team. Between Czech star Martin Juza and Swiss Yves Sele, this final is definitely limited edition rather than core set. Juza's deck, a terrifying infect concoction including a pair of copies of Hand of the Praetors had ripped its way through both the quarter and semi-finals. Could Sele stop him from getting a second Grand Prix title? He certainly hoped so.

    Each player shuffled intently, in the prelude to the storm.

    "Which faction did I choose at the start of the weekend? I'm pretty sure I chose the good guys. Are these the good guys? They seem pretty good to me." Juza pointed at the various infect monsters in his deck. Slowly but surely he was being infected by the new order of things.

    Sele won the roll, and chose to keep. Juza's hand was a little slow, with 4 lands, Blackcleave Goblin, Throne of Geth and a Trigon of Corruption. He decided he could do better and shuffled them back in.

    The six was better, and Sele led with an Island, He had a Glint Hawk Idol on turn two, which Juza matched with an Ichorclaw Myr. It was only the third turn, and Sele was already faced with some tricky decisions. He played a Plains and a Strider Harness before attacking, content to take a little poison damage on the swing back. Juza's turn was lightning fast. Attack, Contagious Nim, go.

    Strider Harness and Glint Hawk Idol were not exactly a combo. Yves added to his board with an Auriok Replica, which promptly got equipped, but stayed back. Again Juza's line of play was simple. Hand of the Praetors, attack. Sele traded his replica for the now 3/3 Contagious Nim, and took two poison from Ichorclaw Myr.

    While the type line on Hand of the Praetors reads zombie, it was the worst nightmare of Sele's deck, affording Juza a massive boost to his potential to infect. Sele cast a Neurok Invisimancer, and a Gold Myr before swinging with Glint Hawk Idol and passing. The Invisimancer died to Instill Infection, which allowed Juza to swing with his Ichorclaw Myr and Hand of the Praetors. Gold Myr chump blocked the infect lord, and Sele was up to 5 poison. Halfway there.

    Sele cycled a Twisted Image, looking for an answer, but then passed the turn with five mana up. Juza cast an Ichor Rats, giving Sele two poison counters (one thanks to his lord) and attacked. He then cast a Throne of Geth, which prompted the concession.

    Martin Juza 1 - 0 Yves Sele

    All in all, the shuffling had taken longer than the game for game one, and Sele probably spent as long again sideboarding. He knew he was facing a monster, and had to do whatever he could to fight it.

    Juza surveys his finals victim.

    There is only so much that you can do against monsters on Halloween though. That is when monsters are their most powerful. When asked what he would dress up as for Halloween if it were a Magic card, Sele had said Hand of the Praetors. As it was it was the Hand in Juza's deck that was putting him on.

    Both players kept in game two, and this time Sele had a turn one play, in Origin Spellbomb. Juza's first turn brought a Sylvok Lifestaff. There was nothing but a spellbomb activation for Sele, who looked on as Ichorclaw Myr joined Juza's board. Juza's myr disappeared thanks to a Revoke Existence from Sele, who had caught a break inasmuch as Juza had not yet drawn a third land. Sele played a Palladium Myr and passed after a small attack.

    When Juza did hit a third Swamp, it brought with it a Contagious Nim. Sele had made it to turn four without being poisoned, and when Juza elected to trade his Nim for Palladium Myr, it looked like he might make it even longer. Sele dropped Auriok Replica and Screeching Silcaw onto his side of the board to make up for the loss of his myr. Juza added Contagious Nim to his.

    With a flyer, Sele was able to plink in for a little damage, but Juza seemed unconcerned. He watched as an Ichorclaw Myr came for his opponent (after combat, such that there was no metalcraft). He cast an Infiltration Lens, double equipped his Nim, and ran in. Infiltration Lens meant that Sele was much less inclined to block, taking his first three points of poison of the game.

    All black borders all the time.

    The swing back milled Juza for four, and dealt him four. The cards that hit the bin were two copies of Hand of the Praetors, Contagion Clasp and Cystbearer. Given that only one of them would have been castable for Juza, he didn't seem to mind. Sele added a Neurok Replica to his board and passed. With the replica and Ichorclaw Myr to block with, and mana up for replica activations if necessary, he didn't seem in bad shape.

    Juza drew for his turn and swung in. Juza was on 13, while Sele had 3 poison. It was tricky to work out how the race was going, and Sele thought long and hard before blocks. Eventually he settled on a double block, which let Juza draw a whopping four cards. Now Juza had some thing to do, as he suddenly had a lot more options for his turn. He elected to put 3 counters on Neurok Replica, and letting his Nim die, gaining him 3 from Sylvok Lifestaff. He then used Throne of Geth to ditch his Infiltration Lens and finish off the replica while there wasn't a good target for Sele to bounce, and give Sele another poison counter, thanks to proliferate.

    After a little thought, Juza cast a Corpse Cur post combat to fetch back Hand of the Praetors. At the end of turn he discarded due to his suddenly ample grip. A Blackcleave Goblin was deemed the worst card, and hit the grumper to take Hand of the Praetors place. A reasonable trade.

    Sele cast a Golem Artisan for his turn and attacked with Auriok Replica, Screeching Silcaw and his 1/1 Myr token. He this time milled four lands from Juza's deck, In the face of the possible pump from Sele, Juza blocked Auriok Replica for the trade, and took three as Golem Artisan pumped the 1/1 Myr token to 2/2.

    Juza was on 13, and had 13 cards left in his deck. That Silcaw was suddenly not looking too silly, and Golem Artisan threatened quite a bit of damage the following turn from Sele, who had seven lands in play, and no cards in hand. Juza cast a Contagion Clasp and used it to make Golem Artisan a 2/2, before casting a Plague Stinger, and equipped his Lifestaff to it. Now Sele would have to think very hard about attacking in the air, as once his Golem succumbed, he would only have that Silcaw to defend the air.

    Sele cast an Auriok Replica and pondered attacking. He eventually went in with Auriok Replica, the Silcaw and his Myr. Juza blocked the Silcaw, stopping any milling for the turn, but taking a little damage from the other members of Sele's attack squad. He was on 12, thanks mainly to lifegain from Sylvok Lifestaff, which he finally sacrificed to Throne of Geth to get Golem Artisan down to 1/1 in size, and Sele up to five poison.

    Juza cast Instill Infection on Auriok Replica, then cast a Darksteel Axe and sacrificed it to Throne of Geth, to leave Sele on 6 poison, with just a Myr token and Ichorclaw Myr as his board.

    From here it was up to Juza to finish things off. He cast Hand of the Praetors and Contagious Nim, to put another counter on Sele. That's seven.

    A Fume Spitter to clear the path made the attack easily enough to finish the game. Sele extended his hand, and Martin Juza became Grand Prix Bochum champion!

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