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Grand Prix Lisbon 05 - Day 2 Blog Archive

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  • Sunday, April 24: 9:41 am - Day 2 Draft Photos


  • The first draft underway!

    Table one, hard at work.

    Not everyone is keen on watching the draft.

    John Avon is already swamped with autograph-seeking madmen.

    126 players trying to open a Jitte...

    ... and now they have to make a deck out of it.


     
  • Sunday, April 24: 10:33 am - Feature Match Round Ten: David Jensen vs. Luis Sousa


  • The always cool Luis Sousa.

    They both had to send their first hands back, but their second ones seemed good enough as they poured Black creatures unto the table. The Portuguese got stuck on two lands for a couple of turns and that gave Jensen a chance to race ahead.

    Jensen quickly took it, dropping his third land - the first Mountain - and going for Sousa's throat. The only thing the Portuguese had going for him was Nezumi Graverobber that he managed to flip into Nighteyes, the Destroyer.

    That wasn't nearly enough to slow down David Jensen. His Black-Red deck was now operating at full throttle. A couple of quick turns later Luis Sousa conceded with a fistful of Black and Red spells.

    David: "Sorry about that."
    Luis: "Well, you were also stuck at four."
    David: "Yeah, but I kept a one land hand."

    David 1-0 Luis.

    This time Sousa had enough lands in his first seven to operate the whole game. He came out smoking with Ashen-Skin Zubera and Akki Coalflinger before David had a chance to play a blocker.

    David: "First blood."

    David Jensen and his trusty Black-Red deck.

    Brutal Deceiver put a stop to those free swings and the Portuguese settled for a Frostwielder. Things calmed down for a couple of turns until Sousa used Befoul blow up a key blocker. He sent his crew in and David Jensen answered with two First Volleys, taking the Frostwielder away.

    Luis played out his whole hand and Jensen replied in kind. Soon the table was a true maze of Black and Red creatures. Without the Frostwielder to snipe, Sousa finally decided he had to make a move. He turned five of his creatures sideways and David Jensen leaned in to decide his blocking assignments.

    That swing brought him to a mere two. So he needed something big. He got it the shape of Ryusei, The Falling Star. Although good, that wasn't perfect. He was still outnumbered and Luis had a Kami of Fire's Roar that could mess the math even further.

    David: "Very close game."

    He dropped another blocker and gave Luis Sousa the turn. The Portuguese drew and stared at the two cards in his hand: lands. He was forced to give Jensen another turn. He put it to good use, finding another blocker and sending Ryusei in, bringing Sousa to eight.

    The Portuguese drew and leaned back. For a full minute he stared at the table. Jensen cracked a huge smile.

    David: "Are you slow playing the Ray?"

    Sousa shook his head and gave Jensen the turn again. Ryusei brought Sousa to three and he got another draw. His deck gave him… another land. He shook his head and extended his hand.

    Marcio Carvalho apparently can't be stopped. At all.

    David 2-0 Luis.

    The other table was a battle between Marcio Carvalho (playing Black-Red) and Jorge Luengo (playing Green-White), to be the last undefeated player in the tournament. They both started the day at 9-0 and, as any match involving Marcio, a large and rowdy crowd quickly gathered. Marcio took the round, 2-0, and is now the only undefeated player in the tournament.



     
  • Sunday, April 24: 11:41 am - The Sight And Sounds of the Second Draft


  • Bruno 'Pizza Tactician' Morgado drafting

    Table One hard at work in the second draft.

    Antoine Ruel showing his Ninja colors.

    Jeudon and Cabral locked in battle.

    Stan Van Der Velden: Dutch Superstar

    Cheating on the line to see John Avon.

    Rafael Svaldi, a Brazilian Judge doing European Judge certification.

    A wide view of the side event area.

    A lot of trading going on...

    The side events are extremely busy.


     
  • Sunday, April 24: 12:15 pm - Drafting with Anton Jonsson


  • Anton Jonsson is one of the few pro players who decided to make the trip to Lisbon. Now he's drafting on table one, hoping to take home some money and pro points back to Sweden. Going into the draft he was looking for B/W, in his opinion the strongest color combination, but he was not going to aggressively force it. Opening his first booster a Kodama of the North Tree was staring at him, flicking through the rest of the pack a Kitsune Blademaster made him think if he wanted to dedicate himself to green, a color not very well liked in this format. He decided to stick to his plan and start with the white card. Sending the "no green here" signal to his left. The pack he got passed contained a Takeno, Samurai General as the best white card and a Rend Spirit and Thief of Hope as the strongest cards in the pack. He decided to go for his preferred strategy and took the Thief of Hope. A couple of Skulking Death's later he managed to add both a white and black Honden to his ever growing stack of cards. With five cards left in the first pack he was looking at a white Zubera and a Kuro, Pitlord. Lacking dominating end game cards he actually took the Pitlord over the more easily played Zubera. His idea was to sideboard the Pitlord against slow opponents and hope to have the Honden out when he played it. In the end the Zubera wouldn't have made his deck, so it wasn't a lost pick.

    Opening the second booster revealed a Nezumi Cutthoat and a Cage of Hands, he took the Cutthroat. The next booster netted him another black flyer in the form of He Who Hungers. With his soulshifting spirits he decided a Devouring Greed, revealed to him in the next booster, would make a nice addition to his deck. The fourth pick he got a better end-game dominator than the Pitlord in the form of Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang, taking it over a Indominable Will. The Betrayers booster netted him another end game card in Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens. Picking up three Kamis of False Hope, two Okiba-Gang Shinobi and a Throatslitter whiloe the Betrayers boosters where going around the table to finish his deck.





     
  • Sunday, April 24: 12:36 pm - Double Feature - Round Eleven: Vasco Grossman and Joao Martins vs. Ruel Brothers


  • Vasco 'Oldtimer' Grossman taking a beating.

    The theme for the round is "Ruel Brothers vs. the Portuguese." The Ruel brothers once played a Portuguese Grand Prix final, and Antoine took that title. Today he doesn't really look like the quieter brother. His deck seems to follow what we call the Andre Valentim school of drafting: Draft big, powerful, expensive spells and somehow survive until turn 4-5.

    Grossman is an old-school Portuguese player, known for his good national results and for his impeccable sportsmanship. The best comment you can make about him comes from one of Portugal's top Pro Tour player: "He's the only person whose deck I never shuffle."

    Grossman's Blue-Red deck opened with a turn two Ninja of the Deep Hours while Antoine waited for turn three to laugh and drop Goblin Cohorts and Hearth Kami.

    Antoine: "I don't think I can win any game with this deck. Our card pool was very, very bad."

    He kept laughing at the cards he drew as he missed land drops - he was stuck at three - and Vasco's army grew. Finally the French found his fourth land and blinked. Yamabushi's Storm and Crushing Pain reduced Grossman's army to rubble.

    Ruel sent his crew in and Grossman dropped double Mystic Restraints to lock them down as he's Ninja of the Deep Hours kept on pushing. The French dropped Deathcurse Ogre and two Frost Ogres with flair.

    Grossman's eyes bulged and he did his best to slow things down. Between his Ninja and the Blue Honden (that's Honden of Seeing Winds) he kept drawing extra cards, looking for help. But his deck kept giving him lands. Toils of Night and Day and some chump blocking delayed the beating but nothing short of a cataclysm could stop Ruel's trucks.

    Antoine 1-0 Vasco.

    This time Vasco didn't have such a fast start, playing his first creature - Ninja of the Deep Hours - on turn four. By then Antoine Ruel was already rolling, with two creatures out and Befoul ready.

    Antoine Ruel getting into the block's spirit.

    Teller of Tales finally convinced the French to stop his "all out" attacks. He kept sending Ronin Houndmaster in alone until he found Crushing Pain. That allowed him to go back to "all out" attacks.

    With his opponent completely mana flooded, Antoine Ruel ended the game in a couple of turns.

    Antoine 2-0 Vasco.

    Vasco: "I should have mulliganed this hand."

    On the other table Olivier "The Loud One" Ruel faced off against Joao "Random Toni" Martins. By the time this match finished they still hadn't started. Joao Martins somehow had managed to lose a card and mess up his decklist. Since I had the time, I sat down to follow their match as well, so you get two Features in the same round.

    Olivier: "It's noon and I still haven't played Magic today. I had a first round bye."

    Olivier 1-0 Joao.

    Finally they fixed the problem, with a game loss for Joao. They shuffled up with Martins' friends joking about his lost card. Apparently he's now being blamed for all the missing rares in their drafts.

    Olivier's Black-Green deck came out with creatures on the first two turns. On his third turn Martins finally moved, playing Hired Muscle. Then Ruel started missing land drops, staying with two Forests and one Swamp.

    The Portuguese sensed the problem and preyed on it. Eye of Nowhere and Horobi's Whisper slowed down Olivier's army. The French did find a fourth land but soon was down to an unimpressive Hana Kami on the table.

    They both struggled for a few turns, with Joao merely replaying his Hired Muscle, and Olivier finding Scuttling Death. The Muscle tag teamed to let Ninja of the Deep Hours enter the game and then tried to trade with the Scuttling Death. That led to a tricky exchange when Olivier used Hideous Laughter to clean the whole table, including his Death.

    Olivier: "I messed up. That was a bad play. I thought I would keep the Death."

    Joao 'Random Toni' Martins had some decklist problems.

    They both quickly bounced back playing two creatures each. Ruel sent his crew in and used Roar of Jukal and some splicing to keep his creatures on the table. In fact his splicing tricks soon got out of hand, with Rend Fleshes and Kodama's Might flying about, constantly messing Joao Martins blocking plans.

    Still, soon the table was down to a single creature: Olivier Ruel's Hana Kami. Martins played Callow Jushi and Soratami Caretaker and started digging for help.

    Ruel drew and smiled: Out came some more splicing, this time including Horobi's Whisper. The crowd groaned. Olivier's splicing machine was back on track but he still couldn't find a huge creature to send in.

    Martins found another creature and Ruel's Hana Kami ran along to fetch Hideous Laughter. That cleared the stage for Olivier's next creature: Dripping-Tongue Zubera. Although not a huge creature it presented some sort of a problem for Joao Martins, now at three.

    The Portuguese played Mistblade Shinobi and took one hit. The French played Venerable Kumo. When the Shinobi dove in, Ruel used Horobi's Whisper to send it away. Rend Spirit sent the Kumo away and Ruel played Hana Kami.

    Martins was hanging on at two life points. He needed an answer, and he needed it quickly. He drew and leaned in. He checked Ruel's graveyard. He rescanned his hand… and played Sire of the Storm.

    The overworked Hana Kami brought back the overworked Horobi's Whisper to solve that problem. Try as he might Joao Martins couldn't seem to find a way to keep Olivier's revolving deck down long enough to gain control of the game.

    Finally he played Uyo, Silent Prophet and tricked Olivier into sending his two remaining creatures in. He bounced the token with Psychic Vortex and blocked the smaller creature. Suddenly he was back into the game and his deck gave him two extra creatures, although one of them was Takenuma Bleeder not brilliant when you are at one life.

    He swooped in for some damage and Ruel fell to five. The French drew one final card: Scuttling Death. He sacrificed it to kill a creature and get back the Hana Kami. On the next turn Frederico Bastos - in the crowd - laughed when he saw the card the French had drawn.

    Olivier Ruel played two games in the first three rounds today.

    Olivier: "Interesting."

    He let Joao play another creature and spliced two Hideous Laughter to clean the table with a huge groan from the crowd. Finally the French played Matsu-Tribe Sniper to end the game.

    Olivier 2-0 Joao.



     
  • Sunday, April 24: 1:51 pm - Round 12: Frederico Bastos vs. Vasco Grossmann


  • Both these players barely made day 2, and are currently 1-1, but only one of them can salvage a respectable record from this draft. Frederico Bastos is a known Portuguese Pro Player and former national champion. Vasco Grossman has a couple of Pro Tour appearances and has a 2nd place finish at Portuguese Nationals. He lost that final to Frederico.

    The two players are friends and have a good idea about each other's decks. Frederico has a solid Black/Green deck featuring Kokusho while Grossmann has an amazing Blue/Red deck, but lost the previous round to mana flood, to Frederico's despair.

    Game 1

    Bastos and Grossman reminisce about the good old days.

    Frederico played first and came out quickly with consecutive drops of Orochi Leafcaller, Orochi Sustainer and Villainous Ogre. Grossman played Graceful Adept, a substitute of River Kaijin, but the extra point of thoughness of the Kaijin would allow him to block the Ogre.

    Grossman solved the Ogre with Mystic Restrains #1, and also had Mystic Restrains #2 for the next creature. Frederico was left with Orochi Leafcaller and Orochi Sustainer. Grossmann cast Honden of Seing Winds, so Frederico played Befoul on Graceful Adept, to clear the way for an attack. He had to kill Grossman before being overrun by the card advantage from the Honden.

    Midnight Covenant was one of the last chances for Frederico. With the Orochi Leafcaller, Frederico could have as much black mana as he had lands, but Grossman returned the enchanted creature to the hand with Phantom Wings. At precarious 4 life, Grossman gained control of the board. He only had to find a way to end the game. With the Honden, that wasn't difficult. Kiki-Jiki and Jetting Glasskite were enough for Frederico concede.

    Vasco Grossman 1-0

    Game 2

    Unlike the fast paced first game, the action only begun at the fourth turn, where Frederico played Sakura Tribe Springcaller. Grossman tapped him with Mystic Restrains. Frederico played Orochi Sustainer and Waking Nightmare. He couldn't find any other creature, but his hand was loaded with removal.

    Then came the card Frederico least wanted to see: Honden of Seeing Winds.
    In the next turns, Grossman played creatures, Frederico killed them and attacked with Orochi Sustainer and Kami of Waning Moon. Frederico realized he wasn't winning this game against the Honden and conceded. The 2 creatures he had weren't big enough to win while his removal lasted.

    Vasco Grossman 2 - 0 Frederico Bastos



     
  • Sunday, April 24: 2:46 pm - Feature Match Round Fourteen: Luis Sousa vs. Raphael Levy


  • Luis Sousa got an eighth pick Hideous Laughter.

    Pro Tour circuit veteran Raphael Levy is not exactly known for his optimism. So when he explained to a friend that his deck was a pile of… well you get the idea… I didn't take it very seriously.

    Sousa's Green-Black deck came out with a turn one Bile Urchin but had a hard time finding a second creature, not getting anything on the table until a turn four Sakura-Tribe Springcaller.

    Meanwhile Levy was busy buying cards and setting up his Blue-Red deck. On the fourth turn he answered with Frostwielder. Unfazed the Portuguese kept pouring out creatures and sending everyone in. The French couldn't find a second creature to stem the bleeding and soon was forced to spend two Psychic Vortex just to keep things under some sort of control.

    Finally, at five, the Levy moved. Yamabushi's Storm and the Frostwielder reduced Sousa to a single creature and the French dropped two blockers. Luis drew, sent his Springcaller in and showed Raphael a Devouring Greed for just enough to take the first game.

    Luis 1-0 Raphael.

    Sousa kept a land heavy hand, played a turn two Humble Budoka but couldn't get his early attack going. Levy had quickly clogged up the floor and on turn four dropped the usual Frostwielder.

    When it comes to Red Legends, Raphael Levy is the man.

    The Portuguese bounced back and managed to breakthrough for some damage. Then Raphael Levy dropped Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit to a rowdy welcome from his French supporters. Sousa answered with Sosuke, Son of Seshiro.

    With Sosuke helping him out Luis Sousa kept dropping snakes and Levy kept coming up with a way to slow them down, while is Frostwielder snipped the Portuguese. Then the French found another legend: Ishi-Ishi, Akki Crackshot.

    Sousa was falling behind. He needed something to rebalance the table. He got it in the shape of Hideous Laughter. Levy frowned. But he could do nothing about it, except save a creature with Psychic Vortex.

    Free of any speed bumps, Sousa's snakes raced in. Mystic Restraint came right out to lock Sosuke. They went back and forth finding solutions to the new creatures for a few turns until Sousa drew Horobi's Whisper and Rend Flesh. He sent his crew in and used the removal spells to take Levy's crew out of the way.

    Luis 2-0 Raphael.

    Jensen and Abreu, staring at the table.

    Raphael: "I didn't know you had that Laughter."
    Luis: "You had to see it. I got it 7-8 picks."
    Raphael: "What? On the second pack. I thought the guy next to me had taken that!"

    On the other table David Jensen's Blue-Red deck faced of against Joao Abreu's Green-White deck.



     
  • Sunday, April 24: 2:58 pm - The Judges!


  • You can't have a Magic tournament without these guys.
    # Name Level
    1 Bruno Barracosa HJ 3
    2 Gijsbert E Hoogendijk HJ 5
    3 Federico Calò SK 2
    4 Jason B Howlett SK 2
    5 Diego Fasciolo 3
    6 George Michelogiannakis 3
    7 Rafael D Dei Svaldi 3
    8 Barthelemy Moulinier 2
    9 Carla Graca 2
    10 Cyrille Peuvion 2
    11 Dimitrios Sazonof 2
    12 Iago Lores 2
    13 Jean Baptiste Mathieu 2
    14 Joao Ramos Graca 2
    15 José P Martins 2
    16 Kevin Desprez 2
    17 Luca Simone 2
    18 Nick J Sephton 2
    19 Philipp Daferner 2
    20 Antonio Jesus Perez Polo 1
    21 Carlos Santos 1
    22 Javier Campo Diez 1
    23 Javier Rodríguez Acosta 1
    24 Luis Correia 1
    25 Luis Ribeiro 1
    26 Nicolás Glik 1
    27 Ricardo A Fonseca 2
    28 Alfonso Bueno 3
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