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Day 1 Blog Archive

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


  • Blog - 9 p.m. - Reporter's Log: Additional
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 7:45 p.m. - 8-0 Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 7:30 p.m. - Last Round Action
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 6:10 p.m. - Round 7: Bernardo Da Costa Cabral vs. Kai Budde (“Land go, land go, land go, land go ..... zzzzzzzzz”)
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 5:15 p.m. - New Pro Player cards
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 4:30 p.m. - Round 6: French on French and Sane Tog vs Mad Tog
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 3:30 p.m. - Round 5: Frank Karsten vs. Kai Budde ("Karsten recovers from a slight case of over-dredging")
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 3 p.m. - Round 4 Action
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 1:39 p.m. - Any Islands, anyone?
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 1 p.m. - Round 3: Tuomo Nieminen vs. Svend Geertsen ("Too Many Facts")
    by Craig Jones
  • Blog - 12:02 p.m. - Day One Deck Breakdown
    by Craig Jones

  • BLOG

     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 12:02 p.m. - Day One Deck Breakdown
  • Deck Number
    Boros Deck Wins 53
    UB (Ruel) Tog 36
    Madness Tog 30
    Affinity 29
    Aggro Rock 23
    Control Rock 22
    GUB (Loam) Tog 22
    Heartbeat-Desire 20
    Scepter-Chant 16
    Goblins 12
    Tooth and Nail 8
    Slide 8
    Madness (no Tog) 7
    Balancing Tings 5
    BW(U) Solution-type 5
    Zoo II 5
    Wake 3
    Mono-Black control 3
    Red Deck Wins 3
    White Weenie 2
    GW Madness 2
    Elemental Bidding 2
    Domain 2
    Reanimator 2
    Troll-a-Tog 1
    Dragonstorm 1
    Rogue 21

    Hmm, I notice I’ve been a bit slow with the first blog entry. There is a good reason, honest. While the first few rounds have been taking place I’ve been working through the deck lists. Boy is the current Extended format diverse. Boros Deck Wins is the most popular day one archetype and seems to have cemented its place as the replacement for the old Red Deck Wins. After that it’s wide open. LA has clearly had an influence as I’ve seen a lot of copies of both Billy Moreno’s and Antoine Ruel’s decklists. Goblins, once a powerhouse, is barely in attendance today.

    Here’s the breakdown for all of you out there with an interest. I’ll do the same tomorrow and it will be interesting to see which decks gave the greatest return.

    Only one Grave-Troll Psychatog deck? Do you people not realize how powerful that deck is (2-5-1 performances on Day Two not withstanding, cough cough).



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 1 p.m. - Round 3: Tuomo Nieminen vs. Svend Geertsen ("Too Many Facts")
  • Usually it’s round four when the big guns come out but this round was just too tempting to ignore. Tuomo Nieminen is one of the top Finnish players and is the current National Champion. Svend Geertsen is one of the top Danish players from a while back but has been quiet in recent times. Geertsen is running the Aggro Rock deck Raphael Levy ran in LA last weekend while Nieminen is running the Heartbeat combo.

    Svend Geertsen

    Geertsen led off with an Overgrown Tomb and Birds of Paradise that enabled him to slip a Troll Ascetic in on turn two. Nieminen led off with an island and finally tipped off what he was playing with a Tribe Elder. The Tribe Elder got in the way of an Ascetic and then Geertsen followed up with a second Troll. Duress netted a Fact or Fiction and revealed an unexciting hand of Early Harvest and Moment’s Peace. Nieminen ripped a Heartbeat of Spring off the top and put it into play as Geertsen made a third Troll.

    Nieminen didn’t seem to have much gas but the Moment’s Peace in hand would buy him at least another two turns. A second Duress plucked the Early Harvest from Nieminen’s hand. He drew and passed the turn and then flashbacked the Moment’s Peace to prevent taking 9 damage from the Trolls.

    The Finn needed to make a move soon. A Recollect fetched back Fact or Fiction. The Split was very easy for Geertsen – second Fact or Fiction or four land. Nieminen had to ponder his options. He was at 13 and could take another hit unless Geertsen ripped a Sword.

    But why give him another turn. He cast Early Harvest, untapped and then cast the Fact with the floating mana. The second Fact was a monster. Gifts Ungiven, Mind’s Desire, Nostalgic Dreams, Cunning Wish and a land. Geertsen thought for a moment and then gave up, instead shuffling the cards face down into a pile of two and a pile of three. Nieminen took the pile with Cunning Wish, Dreams and Land. Wish fetched a third Fact or Fiction from the sideboard. Nieminen took the big pile and cast a massive Nostalgic Dreams to fetch back Early Harvests and Mind’s Desire. The spell count for the turn stood at seven already. Geertsen decided enough was enough and went to his sideboard.

    “Your deck’s boring,” Geertsen said.

    Nieminen 1-0 Geertsen

    Geertsen stumbled with a mulligan to six. If he drew a second black source his first turn Birds would ramp into a second turn Hypnotic Specter. Geertsen didn’t draw the land. He went to Naturalize a Divining Top and then stopped mid-cast when he realized it was a bad idea. Nieminen called a judge over for clarification and it was determined that Geertsen hadn’t correctly announced the spell and wouldn’t have to go through with it, but should be a little more careful in future. Instead Geertsen netted a Fact or Fiction from Nieminen’s hand with a Cabal Therapy.

    Geertsen’s deck continued to give him grief as that second land wasn’t forthcoming. He made first a Jitte and then skipped turn four without that land. Nieminen dug another from his deck with Tribe Elder and then cast Gifts Ungiven at the end of another fruitless turn from Geertsen.

    Raphael Levy had told me this was supposed to be a good match for Aggro Rock, especially after boarding. My guess he was probably assuming the Rock deck would draw more than one land at some point.

    The Gifts gave Geertsen a choice of Fact or Fiction, Early Harvest, Nostalgic Dreams and Deep Analysis.

    Tuomo Nieminen

    “I hate this card,” Nieminen said, referring to Gifts Ungiven. “It’s too good, but it’s difficult to play.”

    Geertsen gave him the Deep Analysis and Dreams. Nieminen wasn’t in any hurry. He passed the turn with only a look with the top in upkeep.

    The Danish player finally found a swamp and attempted to cast Withered Wretch. Nieminen thought for a while and then sent it back with Remand. Geertsen had only one forest open. Would this provide the opportunity to allow the Finnish champion to go off? He laid a sixth land and dropped the Heartbeat of Spring onto the table. He thought for a while before fetching Early Harvest with a Cunning Wish. He untapped his mana, drew three cards with Ideas Unbound, untapped his lands again, cast Nostalgic Dreams....

    Geertsen had had enough at this point.

    Tuomo Nieminen beats Svend Geertsen 2-0.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 1:39 p.m. - Any Islands, anyone?
  • Kai Budde, showing an off-limits Forbid.

    Kai Budde is undoubtedly the greatest Magic player the world has seen, but this little gem goes to show that even best can sometimes slip up. Budde’s been a little quiet of late, even foregoing the recent Pro Tour in Los Angeles. Denmark is just across the border though and so the German Juggernaut decided to put in appearance. Kai is running the Psychatog deck that splashes green for Life from the Loam. Unfortunately there was a slight error with his deck list. While Forbid would be insane with Life from the Loam there is the small problem that Forbid is no longer legal in post-rotation Extended. Nice combo though.

    For the error Kai has the disadvantage of having to start out with a game loss and would have to replace the offending cards with basic land. As there was only one Forbid it shouldn’t be too hard for the German star to bounce back. Sure enough, he shrugged off the game loss and won his fourth round matchup.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 3 p.m. - Round 4 Action
  • Jørgensen, left, fell in a close match to Levy.

    After getting lucky with round 3, round 4 ended up being a bit of a damp squib as all the big name players managed to miss each other. I pitted a couple of Danish players against Raphael Levy and Jelger Wiegersma and let them get on with it while I got caught up.

    Levy finished 14th in Los Angeles and is running close to the same Aggro Rock deck today. He needed a little luck in his feature match though as Martin Jørgensen missed an opportunity to kill the Frenchman in the second game. After this narrow escape Levy went onto pull the match back to 1-1 and then won the decider on the back of a Troll Ascetic and Umezawa’s Jitte.

    In the other feature match Kenneth Hansen’s red deck also took Jelger Wiegersma’s Tog deck to three games. In the decider the Dutchman managed to weather a hail of land destruction to send through a lethal Tog.


    Wiegersma fought off a tough opponent in Hansen.


     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 3:30 p.m. - Round 5: Frank Karsten vs. Kai Budde ("Karsten recovers from a slight case of over-dredging")
  • After the drought of decent matches last round we have a juicy match between Frank Karsten and Kai Budde. Unfortunately it’s Tog on Tog so be patient, we may be here for some time.

    An early Tog from Budde was met with Force Spike. This left the Dutchman the opportunity to resolve a Gifts Ungiven to start the Life from the Loam engine. Budde attempted to put in a spoke by using Cunning Wish to fetch a Coffin Purge. Unfortunately for him Karsten was waiting with another Force Spike and there was nothing to stop Karsten getting the engine up and purring. A second Tog was met with a Mana Leak and it looked like Budde was going to have a lot of trouble pulling this first game out of the hole.

    Kai Budde.

    Karsten aggressively went for Genesis. I’m not sure if this was correct as he had a mitt full of counters and it allowed Budde to Gifts for his own Life from the Loam engine. But I’m not a control player so what do I know.

    While Karsten clubbed with the Genesis he used his counters to keep Life from the Loam resolving. Budde fought for the first one and lost. He let the second Loam be countered and then put Pernicious Deed onto the table. Karsten used Gifts in response and went and fetched three counters and a cycling land. A Circular Logic dealt with the Deed and then Karsten went and drew 5 cards and a Life from the Loam off a combination of cycling lands and Deep Analysis. Genesis knocked Budde down to 6 but Karsten was without shields, having failed to find a counterspell. Budde wished for a Ghastly Demise. He thought about using it in Karsten’s upkeep but decided to wait until his own turn when he could possibly defend the Demise.

    Karsten knocked him to two but still failed to find any counter magic in his turn. Budde was down to two life but a Ghastly Demise/Coffin Purge Combination provided a permanent answer to Genesis. Karsten now only had a Stinkweed Imp and one remaining Psychatog to deal the last two points of damage. If Budde had an answer to the last Tog then there was a real chance Karsten would end up decking himself after exhausting his deck of threats.

    Sure enough that’s exactly what happened. Karsten found his last tog and managed to push it through Budde’s Counterspell and Mana Leak, but he then had nothing in the tank to stop Budde resolving a Pernicious Deed. Once the Deed blew there were no threats left in Karsten’s deck and Budde had managed to win despite discarding on turn four after failing to find a land.

    Budde 1-0 Karsten

    Anyone checking the coverage will know by now that Budde has the slight disadvantage of having to play with an extra Island over an illegal Forbid. Judging by these two games you never would guessed as Budde again failed to put a fourth land in play on turn 4.

    It started promisingly though as the German fired off a Duress and then Countered a Gifts Ungiven that Karsten cast in response.

    With only fifteen minutes on the clock Karsten needed to go aggro. He flopped Genesis onto the table and bashed Budde around for a couple of turns before a Deed and fifth land dealt with it.

    Karsten kept up the aggression, following with a Psychatog. Budde made a Wonder to block for a turn.

    Frank Karsten.

    Karsten showed two counters and asked if that was enough. Budde shook his head. Of course it wasn’t enough. Budde made his move when Karsten went for end step Gifts Ungiven. Smother backed up with two Counterspell was enough to send the Tog to the bin. It was only temporary though. Genesis fetched it back and now Budde was out of answers.

    Budde 1-1 Karsten

    Yep it’s another control-on-control mirror. A lot of sweat and struggle for an hour and it still ends in a draw. At least it seemed that way as they started the decider with only five minutes remaining on the clock. Budde found all of his Wishes in the first few turns. Force Spike claimed the first. The second was blown on a Coffin Purge to prevent a Deep Analysis from being flashed back. A second Duress ripped out the third Wish and cleared the way for Karsten to first drop a Psychatog and then drop the hammer with Llawan, Cephalid Empress.

    Unfortunately Llawan was in French so although I know it’s a savage kick in the nuts, I can’t remember exactly why it’s a savage kick in the nuts.

    A retroactive glance at Gatherer confirms she returns all opponent’s blue creatures to their hand and stops opponents from casting blue creatures.

    As I said, a savage kick in the nuts.

    Karsten’s Tog quickly went lethal and there wasn’t even the need for extra turns.

    Frank Karsten beats Kai Budde 2-1.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 4:30 p.m. - Round 6: French on French and Sane Tog vs Mad Tog
  • Round 6 threw up another couple of juicy feature matches but as I haven’t yet been able to whip up some lackeys I had to miss the start in order to catch up.

    I told Raphael Levy and Olivier Ruel to make up something interesting and they duly obliged. Apparently Levy (Aggro Rock) lost Game 1 to Ruel (Affinity) because he named Forbid with Cabal Therapy. I don’t know about you but I think they might be lying.

    Levy and Ruel battled into Game 3.

    Game 2 was interesting. Ruel shut down Sword of Fire and Ice with a Pithing Needle only for Levy to Putrefy it and then bust through a Sworded up Birds of Paradise. A second Putrefy on Cranial Plating hamstrung most of Ruel’s offence and the game fell to Levy soon afterwards.

    On the other table Jelger Wiegersma’s Tog deck paired off against the Billy Moreno special piloted by Andre Delere. Delere got in early beats with a Rootwalla in a long protracted first game but eventually Wiegersma was able to Putrefy and Deed his threats and attack back with a lethal Tog.

    Game 2 seemed to go much the same way. An early Aquamoeba was Putrefied and I returned in time to see a lethal Tog marching into the red zone with Counterspell back up for Delere’s attempted Smother.

    Delere couldn’t stand up to Jelger’s assault.

    Jelger Wiegersma beats Andre Delere 2-0

    In the other feature match things weren’t going to well for Levy. His deck had stalled on 2 land and while he had a Dark Confident in play, Ruel had busted out of the blocks with Frogmite, Worker and Erayo.

    Birds and Llanowar Elves got Levy back into the game but a key moment occurred when Ruel countered a Putrefy on a Myr Enforcer with Disrupt. Ruel then ripped a Cranial Plating to send a Blinkmoth Nexus in for lethal damage.

    Olivier Ruel beat Raphael Levy 2-1.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 5:15 p.m. - New Pro Player cards
  • The World Champ lends a hand.

    Are you unhappy that the first round of Pro Player cards passed you by? Well, why not make your own? Julien Nuijten of course already has a card ... being the World Champion will do that for you. But that hasn’t stopped him from being busy with some photoshoppery. So magicthegathering.com is now proud to present the all-new player card for Dutch superstar, highest Dutch finisher at PT Los Angeles and all-round hero Ruud Warmenhoven. Ladies, still your beating hearts, your idol is now available in cardboard form. See your nearest Dutch World Champion for further details.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 6:10 p.m. -Round 7: Bernardo Da Costa Cabral vs. Kai Budde (“Land go, land go, land go, land go ..... zzzzzzzzz”)
  • Normally this would be an elimination match as both Bernardo Da Costa Cabral and Kai Budde have picked up a loss and a draw. However the low turnout combined with the three bye factor might mean that the loser could still sneak in with two losses and a draw. It’s not exactly something you’d want to bet your house on so both players will be wanting a win here. Unfortunately it’s another Tog on Tog mirror (how else do you think they picked up draws) and again we might be here for some time.

    Budde couldn’t afford another loss.

    The beginning of the game saw the slow development you’d expect from two control decks. Da Costa Cabral cast Life from the Loam on turn two but after that was content to sit back and wait until he ran out of land to play. An early Tog was met with Putrefy. The only other play was a Pernicious Deed from Budde.

    I could use adjectives such as riveting and exciting, but I’d be lying. This was classic, glacial, nobody blink, control upon control.

    The turns were fairly easy to report. A player laid a land and said go, or a player discarded down to seven and said go.

    A brief squabble on who had Deed control ended up with both players having two Deeds in the graveyard. Bernardo’s Tog fell to Smother and then it was back to the waiting game.

    Help, it’s turn 22 and there’s only been about three spells cast in the whole game. If there’s a tog mirror in the top 8 tomorrow I may be forced to level the building with high explosives to preserve my sanity.

    Turn 25 and Da Costa Cabral went for his second Psychatog. Budde aimed a Smother at its head. There followed a brief Counterspell war with the end result that we were back to where we started, but with fewer cards in each player’s hands. Budde used a Gifts Ungiven to thin some useless Force Spikes and sac lands out of his deck.

    A Tog is on the table! A Tog is on the table!

    Turn 26 and Da Costa Cabral went for Psychatog number three. Another counter war followed but this time the Tog stuck. The Tog was on the table! The Tog was running into the end zone!

    Sorry a brief moment of excitement there.

    Budde cast Cunning Wish but could do nothing more exciting than shuffle two Smother back into his library with Krosan Reclamation. He shuffled two Pernicious Deeds back into his library in upkeep.

    Da Costa Cabral announced, “I’m all in.” Unfortunately for him Budde had drawn Smother and that was enough to give the German Game 1.

    Budde 1-0 Da Costa Cabral

    Budde had taken a 1-0 lead in a previous round only for Karsten to overhaul him with just twenty minutes remaining on the clock. Could Da Costa Cabral keep his tournament hopes alive and do the same?

    Both players boarded in Duress for Game 2 and Da Costa Cabral drew first blood as he netted Budde’s Duress with his own.

    In the control matchup both players want to continue to lay land. Unfortunately for the Belgian he ran out of land after three turns. A Duress was Countered. Da Costa Cabral Leaked back only to net nothing more exciting than a duplicate Pernicious Deed in Budde’s hand.

    Cabral mounted a late assault, but it wasn’t enough.

    Budde got a Tog to stick, but only for one non-lethal attack. Da Costa Cabral’s Tog never even arrived as it ran into a second Mana Leak. Budde got the security of a Pernicious Deed in play. Da Costa Cabral used Gifts Ungiven to find the Life from the Loam engine but dredge can be a two-edged sword in this matchup. The first dredge put a Psychatog, Deed and Logic into the graveyard. At least Da Costa Cabral could get his mana sorted now.

    He started cycling to try and get card advantage over Budde. A Wretch got into play and started munching Budde’s graveyard. Budde didn’t consider the Wretch enough of a threat to blow the deed. His game plan again seemed to be to try and exhaust the threats from his opponent’s deck and let them deck themselves with dredge. A Cunning Wish fetched back a previously eaten Counterspell.

    Sooner or later he was going to have to do something about the Wretch. A Putrefy solved that little problem while still giving him the security of the Deed in play. The pressure to win the game was all on Da Costa Cabral at the moment. Gifts Ungiven gave Budde more goodness.

    Time was called as Budde popped a Deed on Da Costa Cabral’s Withered Wretch. This left the way open for the Belgian to finally summon Meloku, the Clouded Mirror. Unfortunately it was too late. Da Costa Cabral won the counter war to force it into play, but didn’t have enough land left over to return to generate enough attackers to win the game in the last turn.

    Kai Budde hangs on to a 1-0 victory over Bernardo da Costa Cabral.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 7:30 p.m. - Last Round Action
  • Well we’re halfway into the last round and the top 64 is shaping up. Olivier Ruel is playing Rogier Kleij of the Netherlands on table one and Jelger Wiegersma is playing Pasi Virtanen of Finland on table two. The winners of those matches will have the honor of going into day two with perfect 8-0 records.

    Players could see the cut in sight during Round 8.

    Out of the name players Frank Karsten, Julien Nuijten, Raphael Levy and PT LA winner Antoine Ruel are through win or lose. Kai Budde, minus a way to actually win the mirror other than decking after the removal of his illegal Forbid, finds himself embroiled in yet another mirror match to decide whether he continues to day two. As I walked past Budde again wanted to point out how his deck continued to fail to make a land on turn 4 despite the addition of a basic Island.

    The feature matches for this round were both elimination matches. Amiel Tenenbaum and Wessel Oomens are both out of lives and it’s madness versus Boros deck wins. In Game 1 Oomens ran out of steam. Game 2 was very close with Oomens' Fledgling Dragon hitting threshold and finally outgunning Umezawa’s Jitte. The third game was a bit of an anti-climax as Tenenbaum had a poor draw and quickly fell to Oomens' Jitte.

    Wessel Oomens survives to day two with a 2-1 win over Amiel Tenenbaum.

    Oomens and Tennenbaum were on the bubble.

    On the other table Jose Barbero was up against Lars Dam from the host nation. In the first game the Argentinean’s affinity stat wasn’t fast enough to prevent Dam going off with his Heartbeat combo. Game 2 looked like curtains for Barbero. Moment’s Peace bought two turns against his large Ravagers, but then a couple of cheeky Disrupts hit a couple of keys spells and it was time for a decider.

    On the top tables Olivier Ruel won out against Rogier Kleij and ends the day 8-0. The Frenchman is looking for a big finish here to try and make up some ground on his rival, Kenji Tsumura, in the Pro Player of the year race. Tsumura has a five point lead and is also in day two of GP Kitakyuushuu, also taking place this weekend. Ruel will have one eye on how that Grand Prix pans out as he attempts to pick up his third GP title of the year tomorrow. His first opponent tomorrow will be Pasi Virtanen, who won out in the other top of the standings clash.

    Barbero was on the ropes against Dam.

    Back to the other feature match and it doesn’t look good for Barbero. His affinity deck had only mustered a Frogmite and Cranial Plating while Dam’s Heartbeat deck had a Heartbeat of Spring in play, a lot of land and a ton of cards in hand. As time is called Barbero is sitting back with that “Am I dead yet” look familiar to all players on the wrong side of a combo going off. I went over in time to see Dam Wish for Opportunity, RecollectNostalgic Dreams, cast Early Harvest.... Lets just leave it at that.

    Lars Dam eliminates Jose Barbero with a 2-1 win.



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 7:45 p.m. - 8-0 Decklists


  • Olivier Ruel - Erayo Affinity
    Grand Prix-Copenhagen, 8-0 Day One


    Pasi Virtanen - Affinity
    Grand Prix-Copenhagen, 8-0 Day One



     
  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 9 p.m. - Reporter's Log: Additional
  • Well it’s 9 o’clock here and technically day one should be over. I’ve written up the 8-0 deck lists, I’ve done the recap for the day, but bizarrely day one is not actually over.

    This is what has happened as best I can tell. On table 85 Maciej Majewski is playing against Christian Soellner. From what I’ve heard Majewski, playing some form of Heartbeat combo, cast a spell and then Heartbeat of Spring. Soellner reacted by Naturalizing the Heartbeat of Spring, which is technically out of sequence as priority first has to go back to Majewski. Majewski then cast Tendrils of Agony to do the final 6 points of damage to Soellner. Soellner countered one of the storm copies with Circular Logic and announced it was a draw. Majewski was about to pick up his cards when a spectator pointed out that the Naturalize, which was cast out of sequence in the first place, made the storm count 3 and the Tendrils still lethal despite the Logic.

    Okay, so what we officially have is a mess, which the judges are still trying to sort out.

    The unfunny part: Neither player can make day two and the result of this match doesn’t affect the tournament in any way as all players on 6-2 or better advance to day two, while everybody else (including Kai, who was unlucky enough to draw yet another tog mirror in the last round) doesn’t.

    I’m giving them five minutes and then I’m going across with an Uzi.

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