USA Crumbles, Canadians Claim Crown in Jersey!

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Guillaume Cardin is the 2006 Grand Prix New Jersey Champion!

After beating out over 900 players to make the elimination rounds, Guillaume Cardin had a tough road through the Top 8. His Green Mana/Black Mana deck took down John Pelcak, then Jason Imperiale to reach the finals. There he faced off against one of Canada's best and most famous players in Richard Hoaen. Hoaen's sliver deck powered through Player of the Year frontrunner Shouta Yasooka and made it the photo finish, but in the end Guillaume's Sengir Nosferatu and Scryb Ranger were too much to overcome.

Congratulations to Guillaume Cardin, champion of Grand Prix-New Jersey!



Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Richard Hoaen (CAN)   Richard Hoaen, 2-0        
8 Shouta Yasooka (JPN)   Richard Hoaen, 2-0
       
4 Andrew Stokinger (USA)   Timothy Aten, 2-0   Guillaume Cardin, 2-1
5 Timothy Aten (USA)    
       
2 John Pelcak (USA)   Guillaume Cardin, 2-0
7 Guillaume Cardin (CAN)   Guillaume Cardin, 2-1
       
3 Jason Imperiale (USA)   Jason Imperiale, 2-0
6 Gerry Thompson (USA)    


EVENT COVERAGE FINAL TOP 8 STANDINGS

  • Draft Viewer: Top 8 Draft
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 11:59 p.m. - Finals: Guillaume Cardin vs. Rich Hoaen
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 11:58 p.m. - Semifinals Showdown
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 11:49 p.m. - Quarterfinals Roundup
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 11:43 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 11:31 p.m. - The Top 8 Players Profiled
    by Noah Weil



  • Day 2 Blog Archive: Day 1 Undefeated Decks, Drafting with Rich Hoaen and Shouta Yasooka, Chillin with the Judge, and More!
    by Noah Weil
  • Info: Day 2 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Day 1 Blog Archive: Sealed Deckbuilding with Heezy and Saito, Artists on Site, Feature Matches, Photos from the Garden State, and More!
    by Noah Weil
  • Info: Day 1 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff
 1.  Guillaume Cardin $2,400
 2.  Richard Hoaen $1,700
 3.  Timothy Aten $1,200
 4.  Jason Imperiale $1,000
 5.  Gerry Thompson $800
 6.  John Pelcak $800
 7.  Andrew Stokinger $800
 8.  Shouta Yasooka $800
Pairings Results Standings
Final
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  • Sunday, Nov 12: 11:31 p.m. - The Top 8 Players Profiled
    by Noah Weil


  • Name:John Pelcak
    Age: 20
    Occupation: Student
    Previous Magic accomplishments: 1st GP Chicago, top 4 GP Madison, top 4 PT Charleston.

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 9-0, 2-1, 1-1-1

    What colors did you draft on the day? Blue/Black, Blue/Black

    Preferred draft strategy: Any combination of Blue/Black/Red

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Fury Sliver
    Blue: Telekinetic Sliver
    Black: Vampiric Sliver
    White: Quilled Sliver
    Green: Might Sliver

    Anything you felt was undervalued today? Black cards in general.

    Name: Jason Imperiale
    Age: 20
    Occupation: Student
    Previous Magic accomplishments: Once won a PTQ

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 7-1-1, 2-1, 3-0

    What colors did you draft on the day? Black/Red, Blue/Red

    Preferred draft strategy: Blue/Red

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Sulfurous Blast
    Blue: Fledgling Mawcor
    Black: Nightshade Assassin
    White: Knight of the Holy Nimbus
    Green: Tromp the Domains

    Anything you felt was undervalued today? Griffin Guide

    Name: Tim Aten
    Age: 14 1/2
    Occupation: Editor
    Previous Magic accomplishments: Losing miserably to Ben Zoz in the top 8 of this year's US Nats because he's the luckiest and I'm so unlucky blah blah blah.

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 7-1-1, 2-1, 3-0

    What colors did you draft on the day? Green/White with Red, Green/Red with White

    Preferred draft strategy: Either of the above

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Sulfurous Blast
    Blue: Careful Consideration
    Black: Sudden Death
    White: Griffin Guide
    Green: Tromp the Domains

    Anything you felt was undervalued today? Nope.

    Name: Gerry Thompson
    Age: 22
    Occupation: Self-Employed
    Previous Magic accomplishments: 4 GP top 8s

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 8-1, 3-0. 1-0-2

    What colors did you draft on the day? U/G/r, W/R

    Preferred draft strategy: Blue/X

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Sudden Shock…?
    Blue: Careful Consideration
    Black: Sudden Death
    White: Griffin Guide
    Green: Tromp the Domains

    Anything you felt was undervalued today? Not really.

    Name: Shouta Yasooka
    Age: 22
    Occupation: Card Games
    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 7-2, 3-0, 2-0-1

    What colors did you draft on the day? UGW, UB

    Preferred draft strategy:

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Sulfurous Blast
    Blue: Fledgling Mawcor
    Black: Phthisis
    White: Griffin Guide
    Green: Sporesower Thallid

    Anything you felt was undervalued today?

    Name: Rich Hoaen
    Age: 21
    Occupation: Poker
    Previous Magic accomplishments: 1st GP Richmond, Top 8 PT Yokohama

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: Never lost a match.

    What colors did you draft on the day? U/R, U/W

    Preferred draft strategy: Any two without Green

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Firemaw Kavu
    Blue: Riftwing Cloudskate
    Black: Sudden Death(?)
    White: Griffin Guide
    Green: Might Sliver

    Anything you felt was undervalued today?

    Name: Guillaume Cardin
    Age: 23
    Occupation: Student
    Previous Magic accomplishments: 1st Canadian Nationals '06

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 9-0, 1-2, 2-0-1

    What colors did you draft on the day? W/G/u/r, U/G

    Preferred draft strategy: Reading signals

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Firemaw Kavu
    Blue: Careful Consideration
    Black: Phthisis
    White: Griffin Guide
    Green: Tromp the Domains

    Anything you felt was undervalued today? Green

    Name: Andrew Stokinger
    Age: 25
    Occupation: Magic card vendor at Pro Tours
    Previous Magic accomplishments: Top 8 GP Minneapolis, cast Coalition Victory Masters PT Nice, Booed twice when announced in the top 8 for GP Minneapolis

    Record Day 1, Draft 1, Draft 2: 8-1, 3-0, 1-1-1

    What colors did you draft on the day? Red/Blue, Red/Blue

    Preferred draft strategy: Five color Coalition Victory

    What do you think is the best uncommon of each color?

    Red: Sulfurous Blast
    Blue: Careful Consideration
    Black: Smallpox
    White: Griffin Guide
    Green: Tromp the Domains

    Anything you felt was undervalued today? Purple cards. People just don't know them like the old players.



     
  • Sunday, Nov 12: 11:43 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Noah Weil










  •  
  • Sunday, Nov 12: 11:49 p.m. - Quarterfinals Roundup
    by Noah Weil


  • With a bunch of quarterfinals to cover and me by my lonesome, I had to take the quick and dirty route and get snippets of the matches. These were, interestingly enough, absolute blowouts for one side or another: 2-0s across the board. An unusual outcome, but not as unlikely as the semis…

    John Pelcak against Guillaume Cardin in the top 8

    John Pelcak vs. Guillaume Cardin

    John was playing Blue/White evasives against Guillaume's Green/Black giant creature build. John was unfortunately short on disruption pieces. The first game was decided by John failing to get past land three. A large Mindstab took out John's options, and he died to Nantuko Shaman, Hunting Moa, Sporesower Thallid, and Might of Old Krosa.

    The second game was more of the same. Looter il-Kor and Amrou Seekers did early damage, but were quickly outclassed by Cardin's plentiful and larger creatures. Guillaume's final attack looked bad for him-


    Guillaume Cardin's attack

    Until he played double Strength in Numbers. That was too much damage to come back from and Pelcak lost the match.

    Gerry Thompson vs. Jason Imperiale

    Gerry Thompson fell in the R/U mirror match

    This was a match of the R/U mirrors. While it looked like a close on, Jason's advantages came from Slipstream Serpent and more tempo. Essentially, Jason's playing first let him unmorph his 6/6 before taking lethal. Gerry made a game of it, but was always a step behind.

    The second game had Gerry Thompson color screwed on all Mountains. Spiketail Drakeling from Jason took on an Undying Rage; basically an impossible situation for Gerry to come back from. No more mana meant no chance and Thompson dropped out of the quarters.


    Tim Aten vs. Andrew Stokinger

    Tim Aten vs. Andrew Stokinger

    The first game was another come-from behind Aten special. While a Blazing Blade Askari enchanted with Griffin Guide sounded good, Andrew was attacking for more with Dryads and a Wurmcalling token. A Phthisis winding down didn't look good for Tim either. Eventually, with an opponent at 8 life, Tim was forced into major chump block mode with an Empty the Warrens and a Griffin token. With one Goblin and Outrider en-Kor left, Tim cast an end step Sulfurous Blast to wipe his creatures off the board. Phthisis took off the last time counter…and was forced to hit one of Andrew's creatures. Between Penumbra Spider, Clockwork Hydra, and a 4/4 Wurm token, there was nothing Andrew could do but take 6 points and lose the game to his own spell.

    Game 2 was a lot less eventful as Aten ran out Griffin Guide, Castle Raptors, and Ironclaw Buzzadiers. Stokinger's G/B deck couldn't put up defenses in time and Tim won a simplistic second game.


    The best Askari ever

    Rich Hoaen vs. Shouta Yasooka

    Shouta Yasooka versus Rich Hoaen

    Shouta had drafted a very strong G/W deck…which was absolutely terrible against Rich's slivers. Temporal Isolation is a very poor answer to Fury Sliver, as Shouta discovered. Each game Yasooka would deal some early points, but unhindered, Hoaen would establish ultimate sliver boards. Fury + Might Slivers were always good enough for big damage.


    The slivers were impossible to contain

    With the speedy quarters done with, Imperiale faces off against Cardin and Tim Aten will play against Rich Hoaen



     
  • Sunday, Nov 12: 11:58 p.m. - Semifinals Showdown
    by Noah Weil


  • Jason Imperiale vs. Guillaume Cardin

    Squall Line and Hunting Moa play well together

    Game 1: Jason started his match in poor shape, taking a mulligan and then a massive Mindstab. Guillaume came out perfectly with a second turn Thallid Shell-Dweller, Gemhide Sliver, Scarwood Treefolk, and Scryb Ranger. After his power Mindstab, Guillaume felt safe to cast Sengir Nosferatu. Jason did the best he could, but down cards it was hard to beat the resilient vampire. A Hunting Moa counter on the Nosferatu brought the end that much quicker. A final Spiketail Drakeling attempted blocking duty, but Guillaume had his Squall Line, removing the blocker and dealing the final points.

    Game 2: As simplistic as the previous game was, this one was even less interactive. Guillaume on the draw attempted a keep with Nantuko Shaman and two lands. No more lands showed for four more turns. Jason meanwhile had the perfect curve, with a second turn suspended Errant Ephemeron, and three, four, and five drops. Even with land Guillaume would have had a hard time coming back from that, but without mana he stood no chance. Still at 20 life, Jason took the second game of the match.

    Two Strength in Numbers is too many

    Game 3: Guillaume again kept a two-land start, but this time it involved two drops. Shell-Dweller started accumulating tokens, and an Ashcoat Bear dealt a few points. Jason's mulligan gave him a slow hand, slower than he could handle given Guillaume's start. A Wormwood Dryad, for some reason not sided out, hit play and started to deal damage. Next turn it was joined by Sporesower Thallid. Finally, Jason cast his first spell, a Kjeldon Halberdier. Guillaume made a saproling at the end of Jason's turn and attacked with everything on his. Jason made the correct block of Halberdier on Dryad, but Guillaume had not one but two Strength in Numbers. Jason couldn't come back from that beating and conceded the semifinals to his opponent.

    And Aten against Hoaen? Well Tim decided to concede to his good friend Rich. According to Tim, Rich needed the points more and Tim simply wasn't interested in more travel at this time. Tim Aten fell on his sword so Rich could move forward in the tournament. With the semifinals out of the way, we were set for an all Canadian finals of Guillaume Cardin versus Rich Hoaen!



     
  • Sunday, Nov 12: 11:59 p.m. - Finals: Guillaume Cardin vs. Rich Hoaen
    by Noah Weil


  • Here we are at round 18, the Grand Prix finals. Two very long days have led to this, an all Canadian finals. On one side was Guillaume Cardin, the current Canadian National champion. On the other was Rich Hoaen, winner of GP Richmond and author of the popular "Drafting with Rich" column on StarCityGames. These two have decisively demonstrated their mastery over Time Spiral limited. The question now is, does Guillaume's Green/Black have what it takes to beat Rich's Slivers?

    Can you spot the combo on the board?

    Game 1: Rick kicked things off with a second turn Candles of Leng and one of his best creatures, the timeshifted Essence Sliver. Guillaume straight casts a Nantuko Shaman and attacks with it the next turn. Rich fake-blocks with the sliver, but decides to take the damage to 17. Of course the next turn Rich gained that life right back as he dealt three to his opponent. A blank slate in Venser's Sliver followed after, as well as one of Rich's two Greenseekers. Scarwood Treefolk held off the creatures for a turn, but Fury Sliver soon after prompted a Venser's attack.

    The Venser's hit and brought Rich to 26. Next turn all the major slivers attacked, prompting major combat decisions. Guillaume's creatures and pump spells managed to kill the colored slivers, but in the process brought Rich up to 49 life; not a bad place to be with Jayemdae Tome out. Guillaume, sensing weakness, began the slow assault on Rich's life total.

    Grand Prix finalist Rich Hoaen studies his options

    Hoaen: "Going to start climbing that mountain?"

    After Rich took the hit, his next play was a gigantic Pardic Dragon. At five life Guillaume managed to Squall Line it for four, but in the process went down to a single life point. With the life totals at one to 38, Rich had all the time in the world to find a finishing blow. He did exactly that in Greenseeker with Foriysian Totem, and took the first in the best of three match.

    Hoaen: 1
    Cardin: 0

    Guillaume, showing true perception, identified Rich's theme and brought in Venser's Sliver and Basal Sliver to compete. Rich remained satisfied with his original version.

    Game 2: Guillaume made the first move when his flashed Ashcoat hit an attacking Greenseeker. Undeterred, Rich made a Bonesplitter Sliver and Two-Headed Sliver. The Nantuko Shaman held off the slivers for a turn, long enough for Venser's from Guillaume to take the bonus.

    Hoaen: "Can my two-headed Totem block his two-headed sliver?"
    Carter: "No"
    Hoaen: "What if I activate it first?"
    Carter: "That would help but still no. Foriysian Totem is not two creatures"

    C-c-c-combo!

    With Rich on the defensive, Guillaume was free to start attacking and trading creatures. After Venser's traded with the Two-Headed, Rich abandoned the sliver plan and again played Pardic Dragon. Guillaume missed a bluffing opportunity by skipping an attack with Shaman. No one ever blocks with their dragon! Instead, Guillaume played a Sengir Nosferatu with one land up and sent the turn back to Rich. Hoaen immediately attacked with his Dragon, forcing Guillaume into consideration on whether he wanted to lose his Vampire or take big damage. Guillaume decided trading was the right course and preserved his life total. Next turn, Rich cast Strangling Soot on the Ashcoat Bear and attacked into a tapped Scarwood Treefolk. Guillaume had the response though, and insta-cast Scryb Ranger. The Ranger untapped the Treefolk, who ate a free creature. Having lost his major source of damage, Rich tried to hold on as long as possible but couldn't punch through the Scryb Ranger and Treefolk.

    Hoaen: 1
    Cardin: 1

    And just like that, these two were playing for it all. Well not all all; second place was still pulling in a hefty chunk of change. That trophy though, that was reserved for the winner alone. With the players shuffling and teamsters banging around in the back, the stage was set for the final game of this grand prix.

    Rich couldn't overcome his opponents sideboarded slivers

    Game 3: For this game, Rich Hoaen had a plan. A plan involving slivers, and plenty of them. Rich's first move was Greenseeker, and Rich used it to discard Pardic Dragon for color smoothing. This turned out to be an error in Judgment, although that wasn't revealed until much later.

    Rich's slivers started off with Watcher and Essence. Unfortunately for Rich, Guillaume drew his sideboard cards and retaliated with Basal and Gemhide Sliver, and later, a Venser's Sliver. Rich tried to deal damage when he could, but had a very tough time getting through the bonuses he was giving his opponent. Finally, with a 7/7 Fury Sliver out, Rich cast Two-Headed and Bonesplitter in one turn and attacked with all his large creatures.

    At this point, one had to wonder. Did Rich know that if his Fury Sliver died in combat the remaining creatures would not deal normal damage? For that matter, did Guillaume? The answer to both was no, although it's possible Rich would have made the same play. As it was, Rich's Might and Fury sliver traded with Venser's and Might of Old Krosa. With one less damage step, Rich gained less life than he was hoping for as well as dealing less to his opponent. The tide turned at this point, and Guillaume started trading his creatures whenever possible. Guillaume was perhaps slightly too defensive at this point, but considering his creatures were intrinsically strong, he may have had good reason. As it was, Rich's all-sliver plan got taken apart by Guillaume's own slivers. Had he kept the Pardic Dragon, the game may have played out far differently. Guillaume drew a Sengir Nosferatu off the top and ran it out, confident it was safe. Rich drew his final card and studied the board. With a sigh and a smile, Rich Hoaen offered his opponent the hand. Guillaume gave a shout, the audience applauded, and Grand Prix New Jersey officially came to an end.

    Hoaen: 1
    Cardin: 2

    Congratulations to Guillaume Cardin, Grand Prix New Jersey winner!

    Grand Prix champion Guillaume Cardin

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