gpwar13

Wenzel Wins in Warsaw

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The letter E!arly on Saturday morning, 984 players descended upon Warsaw to test their mettle in Standard. A week after the World Championship and the World Magic Cup had set the stage, most of them entered the fray with Jund midrange or Gruul aggro, and as a result these decks were well-represented in the Top 8. Many of the top players, including World Champion Shahar Shenhar, signed up with UWR Flash, but none of them got quite as far. Besides Jund, Gruul, and UWR, there was a large variety of other archetypes running around the top tables as well. We've seen Tyrant of Discord and Conjurer's Closet in the same deck. We've seen Demonic Rising plus Mutavault. We've seen the resurgence of Bant Hexproof and Zombies. And we've seen all kinds of different flavors of red-green being represented, from Craterhoof Behemoth to Predator Ooze variants.

In the end, though, it turned out that Arbor Elf, Domri Rade, and Thundermaw Hellkite were the cards that nobody had an answer to—at least when it was Wenzel Krautmann asking the questions. Krautmann's Top 8 matches went blisteringly fast. Flinthoof Boar, Hellrider, and Thundermaw Hellkite entered the battlefield tapped and attacking, and defeated opponent after opponent. In the finals, he faced off against Rookie of the Year Felipe Tapia Becerra, but the Chilean's puny Zombies were no match for Krautmann's red and green haste creatures.

Congratulations to Wenzel Krautmann, champion of Grand Prix Warsaw 2013!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Jérémy Dezani   Jérémy Dezani, 2-1        
8 Przemek Oberbek   Felipe Tapia Becerra, 2-1
       
4 Yann Robin   Felipe Tapia Becerra, 2-0   Wenzel Krautmann, 2-1
5 Felipe Tapia Becerra    
       
2 Michal Kolacinski   Michal Kolacinski, 2-1
7 Denniz Rachid   Wenzel Krautmann, 2-1
       
3 Wenzel Krautmann   Wenzel Krautmann, 2-1
6 Niklas Ramquist    











  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Warsaw provided Marijn Lybaert, Raphael Levy, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming at twitch.tv/magic.


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
 1.  Wenzel Krautmann $3,500
 2.  Felipe Tapia Becerra $2,300
 3.  Jérémy Dezani $1,500
 4.  Michal Kolacinski $1,500
 5.  Niklas Ramquist $1,000
 6.  Yann Robin $1,000
 7.  Denniz Rachid $1,000
 8.  Przemek Oberbek $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
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  • Top 8 — Players

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Wenzel Krautmann

    Age: 31
    Occupation:
    Hometown: Tübingen, Germany

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Three Grand Prix Top 8s.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Red-Green Dragon. Awesome deck!

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    None.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Arbor Elf and Elvish Mystic.




    Yann Robin

    Age: 25
    Occupation: Student
    Hometown: Clermont Ferrand, France

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    /

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Naya Dorks. It's good against Jund, Blue-White-Red, and Kibler Aggro.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Probably add another white source, like the second Sacred Foundry instead of the second Mountain.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Thundermaw Hellkite. Not close.




    Denniz Rachid

    Age: 26
    Occupation: Student
    Hometown: Kungsbacka, Sweden

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Two Pro Tour Top 8s. Zero Grand Prix Top 8s — now one.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Bant Hexproof. Lost my luggage, so I just took a friend's backup deck. Thanks Ludde Londos!

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Maybe add another Fog, Mending Touch, and two other cards to the sideboard and take out Advent of the Wurm.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Geist of Saint Traft, you will not be missed, though you served me well.




    Niklas Ramquist

    Age: 26
    Occupation: Programmer
    Hometown: Uppsala, Sweden

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Not much. PTQ Top 8s and 34th at Grand Prix Florence. Second place at MOCS.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Hexproof. It can get goddraws and has a decent matchup against Jund and Blue-White-Red.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Feeling pretty good about it at the moment. Probably should have a third Fog in the sideboard.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Geist of Saint Traft.




    Przemek Oberbek

    Age: 33
    Occupation: PhD student at Warsaw University of Technology, owner of Polish Magic website psychatog.pl
    Hometown: Warsaw, Poland

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Two-time national champion, Top 8 Grand Prix Warsaw 2001, Top 32 Pro Tour Prague years ago.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Black-Green Rock. Just a nice deck versus the metagame. It won five games against Red-Green Kibler, won against Blue-White-Red, Hexproof, and Elves/tokens. Still, it's only a coinflip versus Jund.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    I'd probably cut one Primeval Bounty from the sideboard to fit in one more hard removal for Olivia Voldaren/Thundermaw Hellkite. Putrefy will do the job.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Liliana of the Veil.




    Felipe Tapia Becerra

    Age: 27
    Occupation: Informatic
    Hometown: Santiago, Chile

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Rookie of the Year 2012–2013, Top 25 Pro Tour Montreal, third Grand Prix Quebec.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Zombie Jund. I like this deck and Lotleth Troll is broken.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    None. Maybe in the sideboard.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Lotleth Troll really is broken.




    Jérémy Dezani

    Age: 23
    Occupation: Student/Magic/tennis
    Hometown: Orleans/Paris, France

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Grand Prix Lyon 2012 winner, Grand Prix Paris 2010 Top 8, Grand Prix Verona 2013 Top 4, Top 50 last Pro Tour, and built Kessig Bant for Melissa DeTora/French team in Montreal.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Jund. I just play it because I have experience with it. It's really bad at beating Blue-White-Red or Esper but works wonders against green decks.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    I like the list, feels perfect for this tournament.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Huntmaster of the Fells. Removal/kill/lifegain, all in one card.




    Michal Kolacinski

    Age: 27
    Occupation:
    Hometown: Łódź, Poland

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    This is my first Grand Prix, I played without any byes, from round one. I had some minor local Magic accomplishments but nothing professional.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Jund. It's the best deck at the moment, has no bad matchups, is very flexible and consistent. Also, I play Jund in Modern and Legacy as well.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    None. The 75 are neat.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    The sideboard. I've seen plenty of Jund deck lists with a poor sideboard plan. My team and I have spent several hours on the sideboard options.




     

  • Top 8 — Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Wenzel Krautmann, Top 8
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard


    Przemek Oberbek, Top 8
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard




    Niklas Ramquist, Top 8
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard



    Felipe Tapia Becerra, Top 8
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard





     

  • Top 16 — Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff




  • Jakub Vojta, Top 16
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard


    Mattia Kirchler, Top 16
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard


    Toni Ramis Pascual, Top 16
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard


    Steve Hatto, Top 16
    Grand Prix Warsaw 2013 – Standard





     

  • Quarterfinals — Roundup

    by Frank Karsten

  • The letter M!ichal Kolacinski (Jund midrange) vs. Denniz Rachid (Bant Hexproof)

    In Game 1, Rachid assembled an Invisible Stalker with Ethereal Armor and Unflinching Courage. That's a 5/5 untargetable, unblockable creature with lifelink. Kolacinski tried to make it into a damage race with multiple Huntmaster of the Fells, but it's difficult to keep up with an 8-point life swing every turn, and Game 1 went to Rachid.


    Denniz Rachid (left) vs. Michal Kolacinski (right)

    In Game 2, Rachid lacked the enchantments to beef up his creatures, though he had a nice play: With Geist of Saint Traft on the battlefield, he played Silverblade Paladin and chose not to soulbond with the Geist right away. Instead, he soulbonded with a 4/4 Angel. This pushed through more damage, but it was not enough. Most of the creatures that Rachid had drawn quickly fell to Kolacinski's Olivia Voldaren. Rachid only had Selesnya Charm and Simic Charm in his deck to get rid of the legendary Vampire, but didn't draw any of them and succumbed.

    In game 3, Rachid lost his early offense to Bonfire of the Damned and Golgari Charm. Afterwards, Olivia Voldaren took over again. 1 counter, 2 counters, 3 counters, 4 counters, 5 counters. After the dust settled, only an 8/8 Olivia Voldaren and a 1/1 Gladecover Scout were left standing, with Rachid at 20 life and Kolacinski down to 3. Because Kolacinski still had Abrupt Decay in hand for any aura that Rachid might draw, he felt safe to go for the damage race. It worked: two turns later, at only 1 life, Kolacinski attacked for lethal.

    Michal Kolacinski defeats Denniz Rachid 2-1

    The letter J!érémy Dezani (Jund midrange) vs. Przemek Oberbek (Golgari midrange)

    In game 1, creatures were destroyed by removal spells left and right. Eventually, we got into a Liliana of the Veil standoff, where both players had the planeswalker in play. They took out each other's hand, and the game turned into a topdeck race. Though it wasn't a fair topdeck race, as Oberbek had Underworld Connections in play. Over time, it generated enough card advantage to hand the first game to Oberbek.


    Przemek Oberbek (left) vs. Jérémy Dezani (right)

    In game 2, Dezani got out Garruk, Primal Hunter and Olivia Voldaren. Oberbek mustered Descration Demon, but sacrificial Beasts made sure it wouldn't be entering combat. After a while, Dezani's cards just had more impact on the game, and the match was tied at one game apiece.

    Game 3 was a long and hard-fought affair. Early on, Oberbek seemed to have the upper hand with Demonic Rising and Primeval Bounty. In particular, Oberbek had the combo of Demonic Rising plus Mutavault. By animating Mutavault in the first turn only, he got two two 5/5 Demon tokens out of his enchantment. Despite that impressive synergy and the card advantage provided by Primeval Bounty, Oberbek drew into a land clump, got down to a low life total, and was threatened by Dezani's Kessig Wolf Run and Scavenging Ooze. In a crucial turn, Oberbek missed the final Swamp needed to kill the Ooze with Mutilate, which allowed the Ooze to tick up and up and up. After many turns with complex combat math, Dezani's mana sinks overpowered Oberbek's enchantments, and Dezani was ecstatic that he had managed to pull it out.

    Jérémy Dezani defeats Przemek Oberbek 2-1

    The letter F!elipe Tapia Becerra (Jund Zombies) vs. Yann Robin (Naya Midrange)

    In Game 1, Tapia Becerra played Falkenrath Aristocrat while Robin was stuck on 3 lands. A Blood Artist and a Geralf's Messenger later, the" zombie" deck (note: actually only 1 Zombie in play) had taken the first game. While sideboarding for the next one, a nervous Tapia Becerra started whistling.


    Yann Robin (left) vs. Felipe Tapia Becerra (right)

    In Game 2, Robin's second-turn Loxodon Smiter faced off against Tapia Becerra's second-turn Lotleth Troll. Robin added Avacyn's Pilgrim and Borderland Ranger to his board, attacked with all of his creatures, and activated Gavony Township. That was a big turn. But Becerra was not to be outdone. He had removal spells to take out some of Robin's creatures and, crucially, he turned his Lotleth Troll into a great blocker. He discarded Olivia Voldaren, he discarded Falkenrath Aristocrat, and he tossed out another creature. It may have been tough to see them hit the graveyard, but he got a 5/4 regenerator out of it. The huge Lotleth Troll first held off Robin's offense, and eventually attacked for the kill.

    Felipe Tapia Becerra defeats Yann Robin 2-0

    The letter N!iklas Ramquist (Bant Hexproof) vs. Wenzel Krautmann (Kibler Gruul)

    In Game 1, Ramquist started by enchanting his Geist of Saint Traft with Unflinching Courage and Rancor. Krautmann traded it for two Flinthoof Boars, but all the attacking Angels had already put him down to 4 life, and Ramquist got back his Rancor. Ramquist then had Gladecover Scout as a follow-up creature and Spell Rupture for Krautmann's follow-up. It was good enough to take the first game.


    Niklas Ramquist (left) vs. Wenzel Krautmann (right)

    In Game 2, we got a damage race: Invisible Stalker with Unflinching Courage and Spectral Flight (i.e., a 5-power lifelinker) faced off against triple Flinthoof Boar. It was a close race, but haste creatures are quite adept at winning damage races. In the deciding turn, Krautmann needed another haste creature or Ghor-Clan Rampager to win the race. He had the Rampager, and they went on to Game 3.

    Game 3 again featured a damage race. Ramquist's board featured Fiendslayer Paladin plus Rancor, while Krautmann's most important creatures were Flinthoof Boar, Hellrider, and Strangleroot Geist. The damage race was close, but then Ramquist drew Ajani, Caller of the Pride. This forced a decision. He could put a +1/+1 counter on his Fiendslayer Paladin to protect it from Bonfire of the Damned, but risk losing to a haste creature. Or he could give it double strike to win the damage race even against a haste creature, but risk losing to Bonfire of the Damned. After doing the calculations, Ramquist gave double strike to his Fiendslayer Paladin, and Krautmann was holding Bonfire of the Damned.

    Wenzel Krautmann defeats Niklas Ramquist 2-1




     

  • Semifinals — Jérémy Dezani vs. Felipe Tapia Becerra

    by Tobi Henke

  • The letter J! érémy Dezani playing Jund in a Grand Prix Top 8 is nothing new, he's done it before and before, but facing him now was Felipe Tapia Becerra, the 2012–2013 Rookie of the Year from Chile. And Tapia was playing Jund as well, even if his particular version had little in common with the midrange deck piloted by Dezani. Tapia led an army of Zombies and a few select Vampires into battle.

    Dezani opening with two Farseeks might have given him an advantage in some other matchup—here it was way to slow. Deathrite Shaman, Lotleth Troll, Geralf's Messenger, and Lifebane Zombie had taken game one in no time, despite Dezani's Thragtusk.


    Jérémy Dezani (left) vs. Felipe Tapia Becerra (right)

    The second game began in similar fashion, with Tapia taking an early lead with Lotleth Troll, Dreg Mangler, and Gravecrawler. This time, however, Dezani succesfully halted the offense, with Scavenging Ooze, Tree of Redemption, and Olivia Voldaren. Tapia took care of the Olivia problem with the help of two Tragic Slips (one on his own Gravecrawler), but Huntmaster of the Fells provided a good replacement for Dezani. For the next couple of turns there was no progress on the table, or movement for that matter, both players just piled up further creatures on each of their sides. A clogged-up board clearly wasn't to Tapia's advantage. Sooner or later Dezani was bound to find Bonfire of the Damned. He did and evened the score.

    The final game was pretty one-sided again. When Tapia pulled ahead with the deadly combination of Geralf's Messenger and Falkenrath Aristocrat, Dezani needed to trade away both his Vampire Nighthawk and his Bonfire of the Damned just to get rid of the Messenger. Tapia replaced the Zombie with his own Vampire Nighthawk, all the while relentlessly grinding down Dezani's lifetotal with Falkenrath Aristocrat. The latter tried to put a stop to all of that with Olivia Voldaren, but immediately lost the Vampire queen to the witch queen Liliana of the Veil. It didn't take long for Falkenrath Aristocrat to finish the job.




     

  • Semifinals — Wenzel Krautmann vs. Michal Kolacinski

    by Tobi Henke

  • The letter G!ermany's Wenzel Krautmann had come close to winning a Grand Prix several times before, closest last year at Grand Prix Moscow where he made it all the way to the finals. Would he make it to yet another Grand Prix final here? Standing in his way was Polish newcomer Michal Kolacinski. The latter was playing Jund, the former brought an almost exact copy of Brian Kibler's Gruul deck.

    A mulligan to five left Kolacinski at a severe disadvantage in the first game. Nevertheless, with the help of Lifebane Zombie, Putrefy for Krautmann's Thundermaw Hellkite, and a Huntmaster of the Fells which soon turned Ravager of the Fells, he stabilized at 11 life. Krautmann's Hellrider and a bloodrushed Ghor-Clan Rampager stole the game anyway.


    Wenzel Krautmann (left) vs. Michal Kolacinski (right)

    Liliana of the Veil and Doom Blade meant that in game two Kolacinski was the one who had the first creature that stuck around. Actually, the first two even, in Huntmaster of the Fells and its trusty Wolf token. Krautmann tried racing with Hellrider, but when Huntmaster number one transformed and was joined by Huntmaster number two, he was overrun eventually.

    Strangleroot Geist, Flinthoof Boar, Hellrider were Krautmann's plays on the first four turns of the final game. Krautmann clearly meant business. Despite having to deal with Kolacinski's Scavenging Ooze and Liliana of the Veil, he had already won by turn five.




     

  • Finals — Wenzel Krautmann (Domri Gruul) vs. Felipe Tapia Becerra (Jund Zombies)

    by Frank Karsten

  • The letter E!arlier this year, Felipe Tapia Becerra triumphed over Wenzel Krautmann in the quarterfinals of Grand Prix Quebec City. In this final match of the weekend, could Krautmann turn the tables?

    The Players and the Decks

    Wenzel Krautmann is an experienced player from Germany with several Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt. Notably, he had made it to the finals of Grand Prix Moscow last year, but so far, however, a win had eluded him.


    Felipe Tapia Becerra

    Rookie of the Year Felipe Tapia Becerra from Chile is on a tear as of late. After leading his team to a 10-place finish at the World Magic cup, he stayed in Europe for another week to play in this Grand Prix, and made it all the way to the finals.

    As for the decks: we got a matchup between Tapio Becerra's Jund Zombies deck versus Krautmann's Domri Gruul deck. You only had to look at the plethora of aggressive creatures in these decks to know that the games would be fast. Lightning fast. And they were.

    The Games

    In game 1, Tapio Becerra had a fast start with double Deathrite Shaman and Gravecrawler.

    The Gravecrawler died, but after Lifebane Zombie came down, it threatened to return from the dead. Before that could happen, though, Krautmann played Scavenging Ooze and exiled the zombie. Krautmann's deck then provided him with all the goodies he needed. First a second red mana to play Thundermaw Hellkite. Then Domri Rade, which revealed Hellrider and Ghor-Clan Rampager on consecutive turns. The hits just kept on coming. Tapio Becerra fought back with a Tragic Slip for the Thundermaw Hellkite and a Brimstone Volley for the Hellrider, but Krautmann's haste creatures had already put the Chilean rooky down to a single-digit life total. When Krautmann bloodrushed his Ghor-Clan Rampager, it was over.


    Wenzel Krautmann

    In game 2, Tapio Becerra started with turn 2 Lotleth Troll, but missed his third land drop. Krautmann wasted no time: he had the impressive curve of turn 1 Elvish Mystic, turn 2 Scavenging Ooze, turn 3 Hellrider, and turn 4 Chandra, Pyromaster. Krautmann activated his Planeswalker to make sure that Lotleth Troll could not block and swung in with his team, putting Tapio Becerra down to 10. Tapio Becerra's next draw step did not provide an answer, and Krautmann rode his Hellrider to victory.

    Tapia Becerra, still smiling because he was happy to have made it to the finals, extended his hand and congratulated Krautmann on his victory.

    Wenzel Krautmann defeats Felipe Tapia Becerra in two fast games.




     

  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Warsaw 2013

    by Tobi Henke

  • The letter T!hese were the cards that shaped the tournament, that sparked discussions and were most debated, that won games and matches, and turned Grand Prix Warsaw into an event to remember...



    5. Ætherling

    There is no creature in all of Standard that even comes close to the mighty Shapeshifter when it's time to finish games. An unstoppable force, Ætherling took down countless opponents during the course of the tournament, often literally on its own. Mostly it found a home in a new breed of blue-white-red or blue-white control decks with very few creatures. Keeping Restoration Angel in your hand is tricky when everyone around you seems to be running Lifebane Zombie, so quite a number of players pre-empted the problem by having no Angel at all in the first place. The result was a more control-oriented approach — and a perfect fit for Ætherling.





    4. Geist of Saint Traft

    Bant Hexproof was one of the biggest stories of the weekend, putting three people through day one with perfect 9-0 records, being the fourth most-played deck on day two, and even placing two of its pilots in the Top 8. The Geist is arguably the most powerful of all the hexproof creatures in the format, and in their Top 8 profile, both Denniz Rachid and Niklas Ramquist called it the most important card in their deck.








    3. Scavenging Ooze

    Basically, everyone was in agreement that, of all the cards from Magic 2014 , Scavenging Ooze had the biggest impact on Standard. Lifebane Zombie may have taken a close second here, and surely the Zombie's influence was felt more immediately. But that's the point exactly: Scavenging Ooze's effect on the metagame was so profound that nowadays you hardly get to see any Unburial Rites anymore. Junk Reanimator was one of the most popular decks of this year's Standard season and now it's just gone. So the only reason you don't see Scavenging Ooze demolish Reanimator is, there is no more Reanimator.





    2. Lotleth Troll

    Rookie of the Year Felipe Tapia Becerra said it best when he claimed: "Lotleth Troll is broken!" And just to prove it, he made it all the way to the finals here in Warsaw. Whether it's the manaless boost ability, the trample, or the regeneration, not to mention graveyard and tribal synergies, the Troll is such a troll, always having another surprise in store for opponents on the wrong side of this monster. So let's repeat: Lotleth Troll is broken.








    1. Hellrider

    No one packs as big a punch and hits quite as quickly as the devil straight from hell. Brian Kibler's Gruul aggro deck had dominated the Trials on Friday, it then was the second most-played deck in day two, and in the end it also won the whole show in the hands of champion Wenzel Krautmann. One of the things that puts the current incarnation of Gruul above its competition is the fact that it can be both: lightning fast as well as surprisingly persistent over the long haul. Hellrider plays a role here and there, is often part of the blisteringly quick kills but also provides additional reach later on in the game.






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