Day 1 Blog Archive

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  • Blog - 10:20 p.m. - Decklists: Day 1 Undefeated Decks
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 10:02 p.m. - A Potpourri Of Providence
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 9:45 p.m. - Podcast: 1140 down to 128 by 10.15
    by Rich Hagon
  • Blog - 8:09 p.m. - Round 8: Tiago Chan vs. Nicolas Kientzler
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 7:14 p.m. - Podcast: Closing In on the Finish
    by Rich Hagon
  • Blog - 6:26 p.m. - Metagame Watch
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 4:55 p.m. - Podcast: Not just Avens, but Avon!
    by Rich Hagon
  • Blog - 4:27 p.m. - That Priceless Look On His Face
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 4:08 p.m. - Round 5: Robert van Medevoort vs. Kenji Tsumura
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 3:20 p.m. - Round 4: Eric Le Donge vs. Shuuhei Nakamura
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 2:38 p.m. - The Future of Magic
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 1:19 p.m. - The Professional Outlook
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 12:25 p.m. - Podcast: The Field Revealed
    by Rich Hagon
  • Blog - 11:15 a.m. - Podcast: GP Strasbourg Preview
    by Rich Hagon
  • Blog - 11:08 a.m. - Dealer Talk
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • BLOG

  • Saturday, May 19: 11:08 a.m. - Dealer Talk
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • The very last Damnation on sale.

    Round 1 has just begun, and players are eager to get their game in. We are preparing for a long day of Block Constructed, with nine rounds in each half of the tournament. Having three byes comes in handy, as the requisite record to make day two should be 7 wins, 2 losses.

    So what is everybody playing? We haven't had a closer look at the field yet, but Shane Riddington, working for Troll&Toad Europe, has the inside scoop on what sold well at the dealers' table this morning: "Aeon Chronicler, Serrated Arrows and Sulfur Elementals are selling very well." He also reported that the card that always got the asking price, no matter how high, was Damnation - although supplies were low on site, so that may have driven the price somewhat.

    Players pour over the dealer tables looking to complete their decks before the first round begins.

    Another hot seller was Willbender. "They're going out like crazy", Shane commented. Willbender is typically accompanied by Vesuvan Shapeshifter, so those decks seem to be around. Players were also buying Lotus Blooms, filling out their red-green big mana decks. Two surprise commons that sold well are Riftwing Cloudskate and Aven Riftwatcher. The Riftwatcher goes in the sideboards of the control decks decks to combat both White Weenie (if it's even present in the tournament).

    Eric Bertin from the second on-site vendor, Parkage, has a similar report. On his tables, the red cards were more prevalent: Greater Gargadon, Avalanche Riders, Detritivore and Sulfur Elemental are all going well. In addition, Vesuvan Shapeshifter and Harmonize were selling steadily. Top of his list were Aeon Chronicler and Aven Riftwatcher. It remains to be seen where these hot pies end up after the day is done.

  • Saturday, May 19: 11:15 a.m. - Podcast: GP Strasbourg Preview
    by Rich Hagon

  • Join resident expert Ben Coleman and regular host Rich Hagon as we head for another exciting weekend of Grand Prix action. With the identical format to Pro Tour Yokohama, will the BU Teferi decks rise to the top? Can white weenie regain it's dominance? Which amateurs will scythe their way through the metagame to make day 2 of this mammoth event? Join us on the preview show, and find out.

  • Click here for the Podcast!

  • Saturday, May 19: 12:25 p.m. - Podcast: The Field Revealed
    by Rich Hagon

  • As the tournament gets underway, split into two vast green and blue zones, we take a look at the two separate metagames that will help determine the winner. Aggro decks look like a straight down the middle divide between white weenie and mono-red, while it's no surprise that almost nobody with three byes is looking to Calciderm and Griffin Guide to help them. In the middle, GR decks abound, and then we're into the murky world of UB control, with some interesting twists and turns to keep things fresh. Tune in for The Field Revealed, as we talk to the men in the know, and break down the numbers. And there's a lot of numbers.

  • Click here for the Podcast!

  • Saturday, May 19: 1:19 p.m. - The Professional Outlook
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • Rogier Maaten

    While the players without byes are slogging through the first three rounds, the pros relax with a casual draft. Rogier Maaten from the Netherlands was watching a group of French pros playing out their draft matches and voiced his thoughts on the metagame he expected for the GP: "It's pretty hard to say, probably U/B, White Weenie and the R/G decks." Rogier also expected the R/G pilots to get more creative with their big mana decks than just copying a list off the PT Yokohama results, and not much carbon copying overall: "The decks here will be different from those at the Pro Tour." His deck is an adaptation of a list that Kenji Tsumura - who is also here - sent to him.

    Rogier himself has not just relied on his Yokohama preparation. In fact, most of the Pros have put in some testing for the GP: "If you want to get to a high level, 4 or 5 in the Players Club, you need to play in the Grand Prix." No player will become Player of the Year on the strength of Pro Tour success alone.

    Olivier Ruel expected "everything but White Weenie" in the field. Even if the decks are around, they'll be mostly in the hands of amateurs, says Ruel. "There won't be many after round 3. If I am 5-0 or 6-0, I might not have to play against WW at all." He also put in testing for the GP, almost exclusively on Magic Online. His deck is an adapted Tsuyoshi Fujita creation. The changes? "I cut everything that's good against White Weenie." Olivier fully expects to win the GP. "There are two types of tournaments, the ones you test and prepare for, and the ones where you are jetlagged and not really prepared, and just want to make some money. This GP is in the first group."

    PT Yokohama Champion Guillaume Wafo-Tapa has come with his tried-and-true creation that won him the tour, as expected. "I tested Mono-Blue, but it wasn't good enough," said the champion. Nonetheless, his deck holds a special surprise that I am not yet at liberty to reveal. Look back later in the day for this information, as we fully expect Guillaume to make day two.

    Reigning Rookie of the Year and PT Yokohama T8 finisher Sebastian Thaler had a different plan in mind. His look at the metagame: "There will be a lot of Mono-Red and R/G decks, even though the versions with Lotus Bloom are not as good. U/B/w with Pull from Eternity wil also be there, unlike U/G Shifter. Nobody plays White Weenie anymore. It is not really good against U/B/x, and not really good against Mono-Red either."

  • Saturday, May 19: 2:38 p.m. - The Future of Magic
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • Podcaster Rich Hagon interviewing JSS champ Morgane Kelterbaum.

    The European pro circuit has a new mainstay: Her name is Morgane Kelterbaum, 13 years old. Morgane had won the Junior Super Series in Geneva, and she's here to prove she can play Magic. Her deck of choice is White Weenie, something most pros eschew, and it has carried her to a 2-1 record so far. We'll see how the youngest female competitor in the GP fares before the cut and if she makes her first day 2 appearance. Meanwhile, the pros are about to enter the tournament. Next stop: Feature match area!

  • Saturday, May 19: 3:20 p.m. - Round 4: Eric Le Donge vs. Shuuhei Nakamura
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • Game 1

    Will I kill you now? Eric Le Donge wants to take out his level 6 opponent.

    Play the game, see the world, they say. Shuuhei certainly has been doing that, going to almost every GP possible with his partner in crime Kenji Tsumura, and here he was in Strasbourg, facing his first match of the day. Winning the die roll made an easy choice for the level-6-pro, who played first. His opponent Eric Le Donge already had one match under his belt after two byes.

    It was Le Donge who dominated the pace of the first game after Shuuhei resolved his mulligan to six. Going second, he opened with Essence Warden, Mire Boa, and a Gaea's Anthem that Shuuhei declined to stop. Double Uktabi Drake joined the assault with Primal Forcemage, and just like that, Shuuhei, stuck on Island, Swamp and Dreadship Reef, scooped up his cards. He had Extirpate to extract the Mire Boa he had previously dispatched with Sudden Death, so he got a good look at Le Donge's deck before he sideboarded with his U/B/w control deck.

    Eric Le Donge 1 - 0 Shuuhei Nakamura

    The Japanese pro was now tasked with not losing his first round of the tournament against the fast mono-green beatdown Le Donge was putting on. The Frenchman seemed confident, but Nakamura remained just as stoic. Sideboarding proceeded in silence.

    Game 2

    Shuuhei chose to play first again. No mulligans, and the Japanese player started off with an Island. having UU up when Le Donge went for his first play, a Scryb Sprite. The Frenchman saw the danger of letting the control deck develop, but his Primal Forcemage was met by Cancel, and Shuuhei's guard was up when he filled his hand with a main-phase Careful Consideration. Discarding two Islands showed that his hand was either full of business, or full of superfluous mana.

    Tapped out, Shuuhei had to let the second Primal Forcemage through and went for yet another main-phase Consideration, discarding Urborg and Prismatic Lens. Again tapped out, Le Donge saw his chance, played double Uktabi Drake, slapped down Might of Old Krosa and swung in for 17, taking Shuuhei to one lonely life. Tendrils of Corruption fueled by Urborg brought the Japanese out of lethal range, Temporal Isolation off a single Plains incapacitated Le Donge's left-over Drake (the other one didn't survive the echo), and Serrated Arrows took out Scryb Ranger.

    Shuuhei was back to 7 and looked to be in control of the game. He shrugged off Mire Boa. Le Donge attempted to push through with Scryb Ranger plus Stonewood Invocation, but Shuuhei's Morph turned out to be Vesuvan Shapeshifter that turned 1/1 Flying and blocked the enhanced Sprite. Mystical Teachings from the Japanese found Cancel, but neither Essence Warden nor Mire Boa seemed worth to spend it on.

    Shuuhei had another Tendrils of Corruption, going back up to 13, and Mystical Teachings in the yard to flash back. Le Donge was out of options, and he looked the part. His deck's momentum was gone. When Shuuhei flashed in Teferi to block Essence Warden, the game was virtually over. Le Donge tried for Gaea's Anthem to at least deal some damage, but Shuuhei had Disenchant! Tutoring for Sudden Death, Shuuhei tolled the death bell for Le Donge. Of course, the Japanese player had to go through the motions of Careful Consideration, Damnation, Tendrils of Corruption on Le Donge's post-Wrath Timbermare, and bringing out another Teferi, but the game was over.

    Eric Le Donge 1 - 1 Shuuhei Nakamura

    Game 3

    The Japanese road warrior on the defense.

    Le Donge shook his head. "Nice comeback, from one life", he complimented Shuuhei, but he clearly was unhappy about that turn of events. He would have to hit hard and fast in the decider. Playing first would help there, and confidently, Le Donge kept his opening seven, just as his opponent did.

    Essence Warden was met by Terramorphic Expanse from Shuuhei. Le Donge thought about his turn-two play, but made none, giving Shuuhei time to get his mana up. The Expanse went for a Plains, joined by Dreadship Reef. Le Donge had held back for flashing in Scryb Ranger end of turn, and the Ranger plus Might of Old Krosa took Shuuhei to 13. The Japanese did not have Cancel mana up yet, and Le Donge pressed home next turn with a full-scale attack bolstered by Stonewood Invocation. Shuuhei went to 5 life. But Le Donge was left with just one card in hand, having expanded his resources. The two-countered storage land would provide Cancel mana for the Japanese, and Shuuhei was thinking about a play to see him safely out of danger. "Go" was his choice.

    Le Donge had Gaea's Anthem and attacked… for the win? No, as Shuuhei had Disenchant and fell to just 2 life instead of dying. His mana base of 2 Island, 1 Swamp, 1 Plains and three counters on the storage land fueled an emergency Damnation, with Cancel mana up. Le Donge was unfazed. He tapped four mana and risked Timbermare, daring Shuuhei to Cancel or die. The Japanese held his bluff for about two seconds, then scooped up his cards to lose his first match of the day.

    Eric Le Donge 2 - 1 Shuuhei Nakamura

    After the match, an unhappy Shuuhei presented his sideboard options. Disenchant, Tendrils, Temporal Isolation, Serrated Arrows, Strangling Soot and two looked like a smorgasbord of options, but the timely Timbermare had breached the defenses.

  • Saturday, May 19: 4:08 p.m. - Round 5: Robert van Medevoort vs. Kenji Tsumura
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • A multitude of morphs meant mere misery for Robert van Medevoort.

    It was Japanese superstar Kenji Tsumura versus Robert van Medevoort, 2nd place finisher at the 2006 Dutch Nationals, in a matchup of the control decks. The weapon of choice for many pros today is the blue-black Teferi shell, although some have struck Teferi from the roster altogether, fearing too many Word of Seizings and opposing Teferis.

    Game 1

    Robert led with Shadowmage Infiltrator, Kenji had Careful Consideration, and obviously both players were keen on establishing their mana bases. Kenji twitched first, laying down Mystical Teachings against Medevoorts full grip. The Dutchie let it through, and Kenji searched for Sudden Death to put Jon Finkel out of business.

    Five cards in Kenji's hand matched by six cards for Robert promised action. Van Medevoort had a Morph, Kenji counted the Dutchman's mana, and finally gave his OK for the mystery creature to come in. Medevoort immediately swung in with his Phyrexian Totem, signaling Willbender. When Kenji targeted the Totem with Tendrils of Corruption, the Willbender-Morph let himself get corrupted instead.

    It was Kenji's turn to act, and he refilled his hand with Careful Consideration. The next Totem attack took the Japanese to 13. When Kenji went to take counters off his storage land at the end of Medevoort's turn, the Dutchman responded with Teferi. Kenji had Dismal Failure, stopping Medevoorts shenanigans, and dispatched a Shapeshifter and Dreadship Reef out of the Dutchman's hand with Haunting Hymn. Suddenly, Medevoorts card advantage was gone, and Kenji suspended Aeon Chronicler with one counter.

    Medevoort saw his only hope in action, chunked in with the Totem, taking Kenji to 3. But now the Chronicler was in play, seven cards in Kenji's hand, and Medevoort sensed problems looming. Kenji kept his hand at seven and flashed a Teferi into play at the end of Medevoort's next turn. The Dutch Cancelled, only to have it Cancelled back. Medevoort needed to get some play in and baited with a Morph. Kenji took it, expanded another Cancel, and Medevoort tried Damnation. But no, Kenji tapped out, showing Draining Whelk, and while Medevoort could now cover the Aeon Chronicler in Strangling Soot, the game was over.

    Robert van Medevoort 0 - 1 Kenji Tsumura

    Game 2

    Van Medevoort chose to play, and both players had identical Terramorphic Expanse openings, only Kenji's Unhinged Swamp looked nicer than Robert's Time Spiral one. A Morph for Medevoort fell to Premature Burial, and Kenji called on the help of Shadowmage Infiltrator Jon Finkel. Robert had his second Morph of the game, and it would not be his last. Kenji played Urborg, representing Tendrils of Corruption, and swung in with Finkel. His read was good, because the Morph turned out to be Vesuvan Shapeshifter, falling prey to Kenji's Corruption.

    Yet another Morph from Medevoort, and both players Cancelled. The players were now trading piece for piece, the match resembling a chess match. Kenji searched for Sudden Death with Teachings to dispatch the Morph (a Vesuvan Shapeshifter). Robert had Damnation and his fourth Morph (Willbender) this game. Kenji had a Damnation of his own to kill it.

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner: Kenji Tsumura pecking at the board, counting Robert's lands.

    Careful Consideration from Medevoort brought a small frown to Kenji's face. Robert had his fifth Morph (Willbender), which stuck only for a second, because Kenji had Damnation after searching out Cancel with Mystical Teachings.

    Morph #6 (Vesuvan Shapeshifter) from Robert fell to Kenji's Cancel. The Japanese tapped out for a Factory token, and Robert had Teferi in response. Of course, what else could happen than Kenji holding the Damnation to kill it!

    Kenji had 15 mana available to him between his lands and storage lands. His trusty Richad Hoaen tokens started to appear off a Factory, and Medevoort, who had spent most of his resources, was running low on fuel. He killed Kenji's Urborg with Urborg and attacked with Phyrexian Totem, denying Kenji the ability for a huge Tendrils of Corruption. Kenji fell to 12, and Robert went to 6 from Rich Hoaen beats. The Dutchman was dead next turn unless he'd find Damnation or a flash blocker. He had a 1/1 Draining Whelk, but Kenji presented Tendrils of Corruption to kill it and Robert van Medevoort extended the hand.

    Robert van Medevoort 0 - 2 Kenji Tsumura

  • Saturday, May 19: 4:27 p.m. - That Priceless Look On His Face
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • What in all the worlds has happened to Aaron Brackmann that he had to put on a frown this massive? Well... he is playing a mono-red aggro deck, and his opponent had two Jedit's Dragoons in play. When that opponent unmorphed Vesuvan Shapeshifter to copy a Dragoons, gaining another 4 life in the process, Aaron put on the face seen in the picture. He still won the match.

  • Saturday, May 19: 4:55 p.m. - Podcast: Not just Avens, but Avon!
    by Rich Hagon

  • We're past the halfway mark here in France, and all the Pros are (mostly) showing the rest of the field why they ARE Pros. Meanwhile, away from the table, we meet much-loved Magic artist John Avon for a great conversation that takes us all inside the world of an incredible, and humble, talent. Unmissable if you love art, pretty special even if you don't, join us right here on our third show from Strasbourg.

  • Click here for the Podcast!

  • Saturday, May 19: 6:26 p.m. - Metagame Watch
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • A look at the blue top tables - on table 8, Gabriel Nassif (FRA) is battling Dimitri Reinderman (NLD).

    A 1140-man tournament is not easy to cover because there are so many people in the room. It's easy to miss developments in the blue half while looking for stories among the green tables. To get a better sense of what exactly was going on, and how predictions of the pros hold up, I tallied the top tables of each half.

    The blue half's top 18 players, all on 16+ points, were predominantly sporting blue-black decks with a splash, mostly for white cards. The green half's top 20, on the other hand, was biased towards red-green decks, also mostly with a splash of either black or (more common) blue.

    Here's the tally:

    R/G/(x) - 10
    U/B/(x) - 10
    Mono Red - 6
    U/G Shifter - 4
    White Weenie - 4
    Mono Blue - 2
    U/R Gargadon - 1
    R/W Blink - 1

    Tomoharu Saito also sports a base blue-black control deck.

    The U/B decks with splash were mostly piloted by known pros. Frank Karsten (currently undefeated) has a copy in his hands, as do Kenji Tsumura, Gabriel Nassif, Tiago Chan, Tomoharu Saito and Pierre Canali, just to name a few.

  • Saturday, May 19: 7:14 p.m. - Podcast: Closing In on the Finish
    by Rich Hagon

  • As the day wears on, and more big names fall by the wayside, each match becomes more and more important. In this show, we take you through rounds 5, 6 and 7. Stuart Wright gives his advice on ID'ing into Day Two, and we get some great and revealing insights from the outstanding French player that is Antoine Ruel.

  • Click here for the Podcast!

  • Saturday, May 19: 8:09 p.m. - Round 8: Tiago Chan vs. Nicolas Kientzler
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • Tiago Chan

    Local matador Nicolas had come into this match with a clean record of 7-0, and a win or draw here would put him through to day 2 and in a good spot to start a run at the top 8 tomorrow. Portugal's level 6 Tiago Chan started the match with 19 points, needing a win here to get above to the coveted 21 points, which were the minimum points to advance into day 2, and not even a safe bet at that.

    Game 1

    Nicolas headed off with Wall of Roots, giving Tiago a moment of pause as he adjusted his game plan in his head and went to fetch a Plains with his Terramorphic Expanse. Nicolas had a morph to his Wall, while Tiago was setting up long-term card-advantage with Shadowmage Infiltrator, dealing the first damage of the match. Nicolas had a second morph, which turned out to be Vesuvan Shapeshifter trying to block Finkel with Finkel. Tiago had Temoporal Isolation to clamp the Shapeshifter down, and suspended Aeon Chronicler for a turn.

    Tiago brought the Chronicler into play, and the currently 6/6 went on offense. Nicolas' Wall of Roots bit the dust. Tiago had the upper on cards and threats, strengthening his position with Urborg and Mystical Teachings for the inevitable Tendrils of Corruption, taking out the second morph. That was Fathom Seer, but Nicolas declined to unmorph it, rather using his two Islands to cast Riftwing Cloudskate. That sent the Chronicler back to Tiago's hand.

    The Portugese was still drawing extra cards off his Shadowmage Infiltrator and added a second one to his small army. He had enough gas to Cancel an attempted morph (Willbender) from Nicolas and looked confident to win the first game of the match.

    When the Frenchman had yet another morph (this is becoming somewhat of a catch-phrase), Tiago flashbacked Teachings in response to get Cancel. But Nicolas' blue-green deck had delivered a Mystic Snake, and the French could add two monsters to his side, the morph and the Snake. Tiago reset the board with Damnation, revealing the mystery man to be Fathom Seer, and again Nicolas declined to draw extra cards. He instead had double morphs to rebuild. The first, a Shapeshifter, was hit by Draining Whelk from Tiago (which gained no counters), the second one stuck.

    But Nicolas was out of cards in hand, and on 11 life. Tiago started cranking out Assembly-Worker tokens from Mishra's Factory, whittling away at Nicola's life with the 1/1 Whelk. Re-Suspending Aeon Chronicler promised more punch, especially since Nicolas was only able to say "go". Tiago played Careful Consideration, bringing his hand size up to 8, growing the Chronicler and taking down the game.

    Tiago Chan 1 - 0 Nicolas Kientzler

    Game 2

    Nicolas Kientzler

    28 minutes were left on the clock, and Tiago clearly worried about another draw. At 6-0-1, another draw would put him on the bubble in the last round of the day. Things were not looking good for the Portugese when he mulliganed his first hand of seven away. The six were not quite to his liking, as Tiago furrowed his brow, but being on the draw, he kept nonetheless. Nicolas began the dance with two Riptide Pilferers, one of which fell victim to Tiago's Strangling Soot. Still, the discarder had gotten Mystical Teachings and Tendrils of Corruption out of Tiago's hand, and a second copy of Tendrils to kill it was foiled by Mystic Snake from Nicolas.

    Tiago rebuilt with Careful Consideration. The decision what to discard apparently wasn't easy, but Terramorphic Expanse and Prismatic Lens finally hit the bin. The Pilferer took an Island out of Tiago's hand, who tried Shadowmage Infiltrator. That met a Cancel. By now the Portugese was down to 8 life. Without a way to stop Nicolas' morph on its way to play, Tiago flashed in Teferi to block and kill the Pilferer - only to see that the morph was a Vesuvan Shapeshifter, copying the Pilferer and still making him discard. Nicolas emptied the board, as the Shapeshifter copied Teferi a turn later and the two killed each other in mutual dislike. When Nicolas revealed two Sulfur Elementals, Tiago - on 7 life - conceded.

    Tiago Chan 1 - 1 Nicolas Kientzler

    Game 3

    The fates hit Tiago full in the front teeth in game 3, when he looked at his opening seven, frowned and dropped three copies Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth on the table. His next six were acceptable, and Tiago kicked into gear with Terramorphic Expanse. Five minutes were left on the clock, and while Nicolas could certainly live with a draw, Tiago had to try and get the job done to avoid a nerve-wracking final round of day 1.

    By Tiago's turn two, three Terramorphic Expanses had been played, with all the shuffling that comes with it. The match would likely not finish on time, but both players tried to make it happen and picked up their pace. Tiago had Shadowmage Infiltrator, Nicolas a Snapback to wave Finkel a temporary good-bye. The French suspended Riftwing Cloudskate, Tiago followed suit with Aeon Chronicler. That got Canceled when it tried to come into play. Tiago thought hard about how to tap his mana, and Canceled the Cancel to serve for seven. He received a slow play warning, though, because he took too long to figure out how to tap his lands correctly.

    The Portugese was a little upset, and then the Chronicler got Sanpbacked to his hand. Tiago made Finkel instead of re-suspending, Nicolas made Sulfur Elemental, and his Riftwing Cloudskate kicked into play to return an Island. When Tiago's finally re-suspended Chronicler wanted to come into play, Nicolas had Mystic Snake, and it looked as if he might just be able to bring Tiago down from 10 to 2 with one attack from his entire team - but the Portugese had Damnation.

    Next play was yet another morph from Nicolas, which Tiago wanted to cover in Strangling Soot. Nicolas' response: Sulfur Elemental, and unmorphing Fathom Seer, for cards this time. Tiago's Tendrils got Canceled, the Elemental threatened to take him down, but Tiago had another Tendrils, gaining six life and going back to 15. In a flurry of activity, Tiago Canceled Nicolas' Riptide Pilferer and then played Vampiric Sliver to finish the match, if possible.

    Tiago Chan (left) went to full time and more to grab a much-needed victory.

    Nicolas had yet another morph to block with when time was called. Seven extra turns would determine the outcome of the match, seven, because under the new tournament rules, a warning doesn't give extra time to a match, but two additional extra turns. With three cards in hand, Tiago started the first extra turn. His attack with the big Sliver was met by an unmorphing Vesuvan Shapeshifter, blocking and killing the big guy.

    Tiago had Finkel next, not a big threat, but also suspended Chronicler, which was quite a threat. Nicolas, at 10 life, now faced defeat, taking 4 damage and going down to 6. He tried a morph, which Tiago let pass through, only to kill the Shapeshifter that hid there with Sudden Death. Another attack took Nicolas to 1 life, and now Tiago was on his way to clinch the victory… Nicolas drew his card, saw an Island and Tiago had the match!

    Tiago Chan 2 - 1 Nicolas Kientzler

  • Saturday, May 19: 9:45 p.m. - Podcast: 1140 down to 128 by 10.15
    by Rich Hagon

  • An epic day here in Strasbourg has come to a close, and 128 players are left standing going into what promises to be a titanic day two. Top stories abound, but we're only at the halfway mark. Nine rounds have let the good, the better, the lucky and the plain daft wend their way through the metagame to attack the summit on Sunday. With a great mix of established names and young guns on the rise, tune in tomorrow for more tales from the floor from yours truly and ace reporter Ben Coleman.

  • Click here for the Podcast!

  • Saturday, May 19: 10:02 p.m. - A Potpourri Of Providence
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • Spectators could watch Antoine Ruel kick out Kenji Tsumura in the feature match area.

    The last round is over, and what a round it was! Good and bad, tears and laughter, only as far away as the next table. Threading my way through the packed aisles full of spectators, I encountered a couple of pros players. Jelger Wiegersma was the first to finish his match, earning himself a 2-0 win and 21 points, landing square in the middle of the day 2 pack on 24th place in the green half of GP Strasbourg. Rogier Maaten had 22 points after his 2-0 win, also in day 2.

    The Japanese contingent had bad and good news to digest. Bad news first for the overseas contingent: Kenji Tsumura and Shuuhei Nakamura are sitting on the sidelines tomorrow. Kenji was kicked out of day 2 by Antoine Ruel in an elimination match (Antoine made it as 35th in blue), Shuuhei lost his last round 1-2 and missed out on 19 points. On the other hand, Shouta Yasooka and Tomoharu Saito made it in, Yasooka on the back of a last-round win, Saito despite his last-round loss, both on 21 points.

    A pro we haven't featured all day was Arnost Zidek, who made day 2 with a 2-0 win over Stu Shinkins. "This is the fourth time we had to play against each other for day 2," commented Zidek. The English had to take heavy beatings, as Stuart Wright also did not make day 2. He walked past with a look of utter misery on his face, mumbling "I screwed up", before he disappeared into the gloom of his distress. Also out was Raphael Levy, who lost his last round but shrugged it off. The man has been on a run recently, and everybody's streak peters out eventually. "It's fine, no problem," he said while watching Vincent Lemoine lose against Shouta Yasooka.

    Gabriel Nassif has his work cut out for tomorrow, but on 23 points, he still has a chance to top 8.

    On the German side of things, PT Kobe winner Jan-Moritz Merkel celebrated a 2-0 win and his first GP day 2 ever, having won four matches in a row. Simon Görtzen secured a day 2 spot with a 2-0 success, saying "thanks to Aaron Brackmann, who built my deck." Wesimo Al-Bacha finished rount 9 with 2-1, rising to a 7-2 total and 33rd place in the blue bracket.

    With just two minutes left on the clock, Frenchman Gabriel Nassif was one game up. He had Detritivore and Aeon Chronicler in play against an empty board and attacked for the win and a safe spot in day 2 just as I walked past. Among the vast majority who didn't make it in, the blue bracket had far more pro casualties: Shuuhei and Kenji, Sebastian Thaler, Amiel Tenenbaum, Welshman Nicholas Lovett, Raphael Levy, Andre Müller - those were the top names in the blue top 100 who didn't make it. The green bracket had Ruud Warmenhoven, Satoshi Miyamoto, Stuart Wright and Stewart Shinkins among the spectators up to the hundredth place.

  • Saturday, May 19: 10:20 p.m. - Decklists: Day 1 Undefeated Decks
    by Staff

  • Patrich Lutz – R/G/b Ramp
    9-0, GP Strasbourg Day 1

    Ron Cadier – White Weenie
    9-0, GP Strasbourg Day 1

    Christoph Huber – U/G Shifter
    9-0, GP Strasbourg Day 1

    William Cavaglieri – U/B Pickles
    8-0-1, GP Strasbourg Day 1

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