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Live Coverage of 2004 France Nationals

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The letter R!ound three sees a clash between two of the high-profile players here this weekend. Farid has not shown as strongly on the Pro Tour this season, while Antoine has a top 8 in San Diego. Antoine is playing Tooth and Nail and Farid has a March of the Machines deck, with Obliterate.

Game 1

Both players did nothing for the first few turns except lay lands - the only spell cast was a Wayfarer's Bauble. Antoine cast an Oblivion Stone around turn seven, and Farid started to dig through his deck with a Darksteel Pendant. Farid provoked a laugh from Antoine and the spectators when he used his Pendant, put the card on the bottom, and then used a Flooded Strand. Perhaps he would have been better advised to do those the other way around.

He finally found a Darksteel Ingot, and then Obliterated leaving the Ingot and Pendant as the only permanents. After the Obliterate he quickly played two Talismans and then a March of the Machines, Ruel couldn't cope with just an Urza's Tower in play, and the animated artifacts quickly attacked for the first game.

Antoine Ruel 0 - Farid Meraghni 1

Game 2

There was more action in the early turns of this game, Antoine played a couple of Wayfarer's Bauble and a Xantid Swarm, Meraghni made a Cabal Interrogator and a Darksteel Ingot. Antoine had nothing but land in hand anyway, so the Interrogator wasn't as good as it might have been. Ruel continued to draw nothing but lands and Reap and Sow or Sylvan Scrying.

Farid cast a few more mana artifacts, a March of the Machines and started to attack with two Ingots and a Pendant. Ruel drew a Triskelion which stopped one of the Ingots, but was facing lethal damage on the next turn. His potentially final draw produced a Tooth and Nail, he fetched a Sundering Titan and an Eternal Witness, the Witness returned Tooth and Nail to his hand. He had sided out one Colossus so the second Tooth also fetched a Xantid Swarm. Farid had seven toughness of indestructible cards so it would take a while to kill him.

Farid had Obliterate in hand but was short the mana to cast it - he had five lands and two Darksteel Ingots, but the Pendant served one up at the first opportunity. This left the way open for Farid's pendant to attack for the final two damage.

Antoine Ruel 0 - Farid Meraghni 1

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