Live Coverage of 2004 France Nationals

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The letter T!homas made top eight in the final European Championships in London last year. Bastien came very close to top eight in the Nationals of 2003, only losing in the last round to fall short. Thomas is playing Green-White with Astral Slides and Eternal Witness, and Bastien has a very strange red-green deck with a nice collection of morphs.

Game 1

Bastien's mulligan provoked a fist pumping 'One step closer to victory', from the voluble Thomas. He started with a turn two Slith Firewalker, turn three morph. Thomas cast Astral Slide on his turn three and then cleared the board with Wrath of God. This left Perez with only a Blinkmoth Nexus to attack. He summoned another morph which bizarrely was a Skirk Marauder. Thomas was visibly surprised when it unmorphed 'You're not supposed to play that'. The knowledge that his opponent had strange morphs would no doubt make his blocking decisions harder, after all the next morph could easily be a Battering Craghorn.

Thomas stopped the Skirk hitting with his Astral Slide, but he was taken even further aback when Bastien cast a Hammer of Bogardan at him. Regardless of the oddities coming at him, Thomas gained control when he drew an Eternal Witness, allowing him to bring back Renewed Faith every turn via the Astral Slide.

Bastien had drawn rather too many Mountains so he had little to do but bring back the Hammer and recast it. A second Astral Slide gave Thomas complete control, and on his next turn he drew a Plow Under. In combination with the Witness this meant that Bastien would spend the rest of the game drawing the same lands over and over. Rather than waste time he scooped.

Thomas Shaw 1 - Bastien Perez 0

Game 2

Bastien Magma Jetted on turn 2, and then cast a Caller of the Claw inThomas end phase on turn three to continue the trend of unusual creatures. He Electrostatic Bolted an Eternal Witness and started to burn suggesting he had Pulse of the Forge in hand. On his fourth turn he dropped a Specter's Shroud and equipped the Caller with it ! There was certainly no doubt that Bastien had gone to a real effort not to play a standard deck.

Shaw Oxidized the Shroud and then Creeping Molded Perez's City of Brass as Bastien was short on lands, reducing him to only two Mountains in play .In response Perez used a Pulse of the Forge to drop Shaw to nine. Shaw then cast Plow Under, Witnessed it and cast it again. The mana burn that Perez had taken came back to haunt him : Thomas drew Duplicant to remove Bastien's remaining morph - a Nantuko Vigilante, and soon attacked for the win.

Thomas Shaw 2 - Bastien Perez 0

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