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Tsumura Repeats in Toulouse!

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Kenji Tsumura is the 2006 Grand Prix Toulouse Champion.

A mere three weeks after his last title at Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur, Tsumura defeated Marijn Lybaert from Belgium for his second victory this month. Not only his own performance was impressive, the overall Japanese performance was as well: Of the four Japanese at the event, three made it to the top 8, and no European could beat them there - they only lost to each other.

This was the last Grand Prix using Ravnica block draft - while Ravnica still will be used for the Sealed Deck portion of the events, from Malmö on the second day will feature Coldsnap. So join us for new challenges in Malmö or St. Louis on July 22nd, or follow the coverage here on magicthegathering.com


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Thomas Didierjean (FRA)   Marijn Lybaert. 2-0        
8 Marijn Lybaert (BEL)   Marijn Lybaert. 2-0
       
4 Adrian Olivera (ESP)   Adrian Olivera, 2-1   Kenji Tsumura, 2-1
5 Olivier Ruel (FRA)    
       
2 Shouta Yasooka (JPN)   Shuuhei Nakamura, 2-0
7 Shuuhei Nakamura (JPN)   Kenji Tsumura, 2-1
       
3 Kenji Tsumura (JPN)   Kenji Tsumura, 2-0
6 Julien Soum (FRA)    


EVENT COVERAGE FINAL TOP 8 STANDINGS

  • Blog - 10:30 p.m. - Finals: Kenji Tsumura (JPN) vs. Marijn Lybaert (BEL)
    by Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Blog - 9:22 p.m. - Semifinals: Shuuhei Nakamura (JPN) vs. Kenji Tsumura (JPN)
    by Roel van Heeswijk
  • Blog - 8:41 p.m. - Semifinals: Adrian Olivera (ESP) vs. Marijn Lybaert (BEL)
    by Bram Snepvangers
  • Blog - 8:27 p.m. - Draft Report: Shuuhei Nakamura
    by Roel van Heeswijk
  • Blog - 7:44 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 7:23 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Shouta Yasooka (JPN) vs. Shuuhei Nakamura (JPN)
    by Roel van Heeswijk
  • Blog - 7:11 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Julien Soum (FRA) vs. Kenji Tsumura (JPN)
    by Julien Nuijten
  • Blog - 6:47 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Olivier Ruel (FRA) vs. Adrian Olivera (ESP)
    by Bram Snepvangers
  • Blog - 6:09 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Marijn Lybaert (BEL) vs. Thomas Didierjan (FRA)
    by Jörn Martin Hajek



  • Day 2 Blog Archive: The Judges, Artist on-Site, 8-0 Decklists, and more!
    by Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Round 12: Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 9: Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Day 1 Blog Archive: Players to Watch, Feature Matches, Teaching Cheating, Hotel Bathrooms, and more!
    by Jörn Martin Hajek
  • 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.  Kenji Tsumura (JPN) $2,400
 2.  Marijn Lybaert (BEL) $1,700
 3.  Shuuhei Nakamura (JPN) $1,200
 4.  Adrian Olivera (ESP) $1,000
 5.  Julien Soum (FRA) $800
 6.  Olivier Ruel (FRA) $800
 7.  Shouta Yasooka (JPN) $800
 8.  Thomas Didierjean (FRA) $800
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BLOG

 
  • Sunday, June 25: 6:09 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Marijn Lybaert (BEL) vs. Thomas Didierjan (FRA)


  • Marijn Lybaert

    For both players, this top 8 was their biggest success in Magic so far. They seemed little nervous in the beginning, but they quickly forgot about the audience and focused on the game.

    At first, they both had trouble getting any kind of offense going. Marijn had Beacon Hawk and Courier Hawk, while Thomas sat there with Lurking Informant and Nightguard Patrol. Marijn tried to spice things up with Conclave Equenaut, but Thomas had Last Gasp. He then also got Shrieking Grotesque, Blind Hunter, and Demon's Jester, and suddenly had momentum. Marijn played Train of Thought for four, and when Thomas played Delirium Skeins a little later, discarding three red cards he didn't have the mana for, Marijn could smiled and showed three lands. He was way ahead on cards now, and could get rid of Thomas' flyers one by one. Two Steamcore Weird did put him in front on the board as well, and Thomas had to hope he would topdeck something within a few turns. He actually got Azorius Guildmage, but hadn't realised that Marijn could counter it with his Soulsworn Jury. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, as Marijn just threw a huge Demonfire at Thomas the following turn.

    Thomas Didierjan

    Game 2 looked better at first for Thomas, as he had Boros Guildmage, Demon's Jester, and Last Gasp for Marijn's Lurking Informant. However, Marijn then showed Celestial Ancient and Conclave Equenaut, and Thomas wished he hadn't used that Last Gasp so early. Thomas could add Poisonbelly Ogre and Nightguard Patrol to his forces, and could at least keep the two flyers from efficiently attacking. He then tried for a little bluff, attacking with the Jester and the Patrol, but Marijn just blocked them, and they died. He had Macabre Waltz for them though, so it may have been worth the try. Marijn got another copy of the Equenaut, and when he accidentally drop Demonfire on the table after drawing it, things looked grim for Thomas. The last flying blocker was removed, and the flyers just needed twp attacks to secure the win.



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 6:47 a.m. - Quarterfinals: Olivier Ruel (FRA) vs. Adrian Olivera (ESP)


  • Olivier Ruel

    Game 1

    Olivier wins the die roll and chooses to play first. Olivier makes the first play after Adrian takes a mulligan: a turn two Coiled Oracle. Adrian plays an Aquastrand Spider, a Seal of Doom and a Sporeback Troll; Olivier has a Vigean Hydropon, another Coiled Oracle and a Gristleback. A bloodthirsted Ghor-Clan Savage dies to the Seal of Doom, but Adrian is still being overwhelmed with more and bigger creatures. Until he plays a Savage Twister to clear the board, that is.

    Olivier plays new creatures, a Minister of Impediments and a Scatter the Seeds. Adrian, already low on life, kills the Minister of Impediments with Wrecking Ball, but he has no answer to either the first or the second Scatter the Seeds (which Olivier used again with Izzet Chronarch).

    Game 2

    No mulligans this time. Adrian leads with the Aquastrand Spider, which gets traded for a Dryad Sophisticate. A second Aquastrand Spider gets some damage in, and a Wrecking Ball on a Simic Growth Chamber slows Olivier down while the Spider is joined by a Mortipede and a Sporeback Troll. Mortipede dies to Olivier's Wrecking Ball once he has 4 mana, but he is already too low on life to survive the Gleancrawler that comes next.

    Game 3

    Adrian Olivera

    Olivier plays first, and again no one mulligans. Olivier is off to a fast start with a turn 3 Simic Ragworm. Adrian plays two Aquastrand Spiders and makes one a 3/3, only to have it killed by a Wrecking Ball. Olivier's Izzet Chronarch for Wrecking Ball fails because of a Cremate. More creatures are played, and Olivier takes 6 damage when a blocked 5/5 Bramble Elemental gets even bigger with a Wildsize. Then comes Gleancrawler again, and with a Might of the Nephilim it gets big enough to kill all of Olivier's creatures. Only the 5/5 Bramble Elemental survives, and it takes the game and match for Adrian.

    Adrian Olivera - Olivier Ruel 2-1



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 7:11 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Julien Soum (FRA) vs. Kenji Tsumura (JPN)


  • Kenji Tsumura

    Game 1

    Julien played first and had a slow start with a fourth-turn Ordruun Commander without any white sources, but Kenji used Convolute on it while he played Mourning Thrull and built up some defense with a Drift of Phantasms. Julien played and sent in Indrik Stomphowler, but Kenjij wasn't afraid to block it with his wall, which allowed Julien to clear Kenji's board of Mourning Thrull, Drift and a newly cast Petrahydrox with Pyromatics for three. Kenji shrugged and used Twisted Justice next turn to get rid of the Stomphowler, drawing four cards. Julien followed up with Assault Zeppelid, Surveilling Sprite and Scorched Rusalka, but the bigger guy was killed by Disembowel and Kenji built up an army of his own with Mausoleum Turnkey and the Petrahydrox. Momir Vig came down for Julien and the Sprite chump-blocked Turnkey, and Kenji took care of the legend with Steamcore Weird. Snapping Drake was found and played on the next turn, and when Kenji played the right half of Research//Development in Julien's end step all Julien could do was shrug and give Kenji three cards, as he was already behind on the board. Kenji had again refilled his hand while Julien was out of gas, and when Ogre Savant came down, Julien didn't waste any time and grabbed his sideboard.

    Game 2

    Julien Soum

    Julien played first again and both players started with six cards and Surveilling Sprites. They promptly traded and both players played bounce lands and a four drop: Ordruun Commander (again, just a 4/1) for Julien and Mausoleum Turnkey for Kenji, returning the Sprite. Flight of Fancy made the 4/1 a lot more impressive but only for a turn, as Kenji replayed his Surveilling Sprite, nullifying the flying Commander, and added Drekavac to his force. Ogre Savant for Julien returned the Sprite again, clearing the sky for the Commander, and then traded for the Turnkey, dropping Kenji to 12 and Julien to 14. Kenji didn't feel like exposing himself to another solution or delay for the Sprite, and decided to permanently deal with it with a Clinging Darkness, also adding Petrahydrox to join the lone Drekavac. Vigean Hydropon for Julien wasn't very exciting, and the Snapping Drake following it was Repealed to clear the way for Kenji's creatures, dropping Julien to 8. He replayed Snapping Drake and bounced Petrahydrox with Pure, but on the next attack Julien dropped to 5 while he blocked Surveilling Sprite, but Kenji chose not to draw a card, Consulted himself to leave him only one card left in his hand: the lethal Cackling Flames.



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 7:23 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Shouta Yasooka (JPN) vs. Shuuhei Nakamura (JPN)


  • Shouta Yasooka

    Shouta informs me just before Shuuhei arrives that he has a very bad deck, and he shows me his two copies of Nettling Curse in disgust. Opinions about this cards are mixed.

    Even though both players are Japanese, they are technically not allowed to speak Japanese because the table judge has to be able to understand everything that is said. However, they still use some Japanese terms now and then, which greatly speeds up the game.

    Shuuhei starts with a Minister of Impediments, but fails to play both land and spell on his third turn. The Japanese share a joke as the Ministers makes a nice combo with To Arms, tapping both Shouta's walls (Souls of the Faultless and Benevolent Ancestor) at end of turn.

    The game continues as Shuuhei plays a Blind Hunter and an Enemy of the Guildpact. Both receive a Nettling Curse, which prevents them from attacking for a turn. Shouta seems unable to find a red mana source so he can't force them to.

    Shuuhei Nakamura

    However, Shuuhei soon starts to take the life loss for granted because he keeps adding more creatures to the board (including another tapper in the form of Ostiary Thrull), and the only creature Shouta manages to get out receives a Pillory of the Sleepless. After some fast turns in which a lot of damage is dealt Shouta concedes.

    Shouta starts Game 2 with a Frenzied Goblin, but only manages to follow it up with a turn 4 Vesper Ghoul. Shuuhei is faster with a Shrieking Grotesque follow by a Blind Hunter. The latter one receives a Lightning Helix, but Shuuhei keeps adding flyers to the board. Shouta's only spell for the rest of the game, a castigate, doesn't even resolve because of a Spell Snare. Within 10 minutes since the start of the match, Shouta has to scoop up his cards and Shuuhei Nakamura proceeds to the semi finals.

    2-0 for Shuuhei Nakamura



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 7:44 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks











  •  
  • Sunday, June 25: 8:27 p.m. - Draft Report: Shuuhei Nakamura


  • Nakamura, left, sits at the Top 8 Draft Table

    I talked to Shuuhei before the draft and he said he likes to draft Black/White, for example the black/white/red deck he drafted in the top8 of PT Prague a month ago.

    The draft started with a hard choice, Lightning Helix, Compulsive Research, or Belltower Sphinx. After thinking long, Shuuhei opted for the flyer.The next booster contained another Research and after some thinking he took it over Viashino Fangtail.

    He went for white in the next booster with Veteran Armorer over Strands of Undeath and the safer but worse Flight of Fancy. A 4th pick Civic Wayfinder taken over another Flight of Fancy made him think about green though. I know Shuuhei dislikes Karoo lands, so I was only slightly surprised when he took Terraformer over Selesnya Sanctuary. Selesnya Evangel and Carven Caryatid seemed to pull him further into green. A very late Twilight Drover surprised him, and he took it over Conclave Phalanx to keep graft madness open.

    Shuuhei wasn't very happy with his deck so far, and after the draft he told me he made a mistake with taking any green but the Wayfinder (there was a Watery Grave in the same booster as the Evangel)

    The first Guildpact booster offered one of the best rares in the format, Debtor's Knell, and Shuuhei happily took it. With a second pick Pillory of the Sleepless and a Blind Hunter next Shuuhei moved away from green into his favourite guild Orzhov. The switch got rewarded with a Shrieking Grotesque and a Ostiary Thrull next (over another Grotesque). The 6th booster offered nothing less than what is considered by some the best common in Guildpact: another Pillory. Ostiary Thrull (over Orzhov Basilica), Ghost Warden, Vacuumelt and To Arms! made sure he had more than enough playables.

    His deck seemed to be getting very good, but it all depended on the Azorius cards in the last booster. He gets a Minister of Impediments first, followed by Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Ocular Halo, Silkwing Scout (over Macabre Waltz) and a Freewind Equenaut . After that, the good cards stopped and Shuuhei had to be content with Enemy of the Guildpact, Spell Snare, Riot Spike and Overrule.

    The deck didn't turn out as good as it looked after the Guildpact booster, but it still might be good enough to win or at least reach the finals.

    After the first match, Shuuhei explained his Orzhov common pick order to me. He likes Pillory of the Sleepless best, followed by Blind Hunter. So far everyone I know agrees, but he continues the list with Ostiary Thrull over Shrieking Grotesque, then Ghost Warden followed by Mourning Thrull. Withstand and Absolver Thrull share the next spot, but Shuuhei says he takes Guardian's Magemark over either sometimes as well.



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 8:41 p.m. - Semifinals: Adrian Olivera (ESP) vs. Marijn Lybaert (BEL)


  • Game 1

    Marijn chose to play first. Marijn played Beacon Hawk, Adrian played Aquastrand Spider and Dryad Sophisticate. Both players took some damage, when Marijn forgot to untap his Beacon Hawk and took two damage for it. Then he played Steamcore Weird, Conclave Equenaut and a Faith's Fetters on the Sporeback Troll, while Adrian just drew more land. He did have another Aquastrand Spider, which became 3/3 but died when it attempted to trade for the Conclave Equenaut. The Conclave Equenaut, however, survived with a Withstand. A 2/4 Starfletcher finally stopped the Conclave Equenaut. Some damage was still coming through with the Beacon Hawk and the Steamcore Weird, while the Conclave Equenaut was being blocked by the Starfletcher. Then a Savage Twister cleared the board, but Marijn won with a Demonfire for 11.

    Game 2

    Adrian played first. No Spider this time; the first creature was Marijn's Torch Drake. Adrian's first play was a turn four Greater Mossdog, followed by a second on turn five. Soulsworn Jury blocked a Greater Mossdog and Galvanic Arc killed the other. Adrian played an Aquatic Spider, and a Flash Foliage blocked the Torch Drake for a turn, but Adrian chose not to graft it with the Spider. After combat, the Spider died to Steamcore Weird. Adrian finally did some damage and played a bloodthirsted Ghor-Clan Savage. The Torch Drake still did a lot of damage, so Adrian had to do something. He played a Gleancrawler, knowing it would be countered by the Soulsworn Jury. Next turn, he was now able to get another Aquastrand Spider into play with only 1 life left. Marijn had a Faith's Fetters for the Spider, and Torch Drake dealt the final point of damage.

    Marijn Lybaert - Adrian Olivera 2-0



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 9:22 p.m. - Semifinals: Shuuhei Nakamura (JPN) vs. Kenji Tsumura (JPN)


  • Kenji Tsumura

    Before the match, both players got to see each others decks. To be able to make the right sideboard decisions Shuuhei quickly checked the number of targets (7) for his Spell Snare.

    Shuhei started play with a Shrieking Grotesque, while Kenji's Signet seemed to have ramped him into nothing. However, Shuuhei's next creature was met by a Convolute. Kenji's Petrahydrox got answered by Ostiary Thrull, but the Thrull got Disembowled. Both players kept adding creatures to the board and trading them in combat just as quickly. On turn 8 Shuuhei dropped a Debtor's Knell with both players on 10 life, turning Kenji's game into a race. Kenji attacked with his Petrahydrox and emptied his creature-loaded hand. Shuuhei's free creature didn't keep him from conceding after not drawing an answer.

    Game 2 started about the same with Kenji playing a Signet and shuuhei a Benevolent Ancestor. Shuuhei was more cautious this time, but played a Minister of Impediments anyway when Kenji's had four open mana. Kenji didn't have the Convolute, but on his next turn a Steamcore Weird took care of the tapper. Both players started drawing cards to find a creature, Shuuhei with a Compulsive Research and Kenji with a Train of Thought for 3.
    Kenji's Steamcore Weird received a Pillory of the Sleepless to allow Shuuhei's Grand Arbiter Augustin IV to attack, but a Disembowel made sure both players were still on 20 on turn 8.
    The game got interesting when Shuuhei tried to play an Ocular Halo on his Benevolent Ancestor, meeting a Perplex on the stack. Shuuhei decided to discard his hand (Spell Snare, To Arms! and Ghost Warden) to be able to draw better spells, but Kindle the Carnage prevents that, clearing the annoying Pillory in the progress and almost discarding Kenji's whole hand as well.

    Shuuhei Nakamura

    Shuuhei's draw, a Terraformer, got 3-for-1-ed by a Twisted Justice, but he drew some creatures before Kenji could really apply pressure. A Blind Hunter traded with Mourning Thrull and Surveiling Sprite to clear the passage for Shuuhei's Silkwing Scout. The Scout got Kenji down to 6 before Cackling Flames tried to kill it. An Induce Paranoia prevents this, but still the attack is stopped because Kenji had found a Helium Squirter. Both players added some creatures to the board, but all Kenji's creatures were suddenly gone when Shuuhei played his Vacuumelt. Kenji had no answers to the lethal combat damage and conceded.

    Game 3 started with Kenji playing a Development when both players only had a 1/1 each. He didn't get any cards from it. Shuuhei killed one token with a Riot Spike and defended with a Benevolent Ancestor. The remaining token looked dangerous though, as Shuuhei's 1/1 got removed by a Steamcore Weird. He searched for answers with a Compulsive Research, but seems to find none. The wall got Repealed, and Shuuhei dropped down to 8 life. A Shrieking Grotesque, Belltower Sphinx, and Veteran Armorer stabilized the board, but Kenji continued dealing damage with a swampwalking Sewerdreg. Vacuumelt gave Shuuhei some time, and he found a Minister of Impediments (protected by a Veteran Armorer against Kenji's Rakdos Ickspitter). Soon Shuuhei could start attacking himself, but this seemed exactly what Kenji was waiting for. He threw his Steamcore Weird in from of the attacking Enemy of the Guildpact, and on his own turn he got it back with a Mausoleum Turnkey. The Weird ended his cycle in play again, killing Veteran Armorer. The Minister of Impediments was suddenly very vulnerable to Rakdos Ickspitter, and without his tapper, Shuuhei died the next turn to the unblockable Sewerdreg.

    Kenji Tsumura won 2-0 and proceeded to the finals.



     
  • Sunday, June 25: 10:30 p.m. - Finals: Kenji Tsumura (JPN) vs. Marijn Lybaert (BEL)


  • Tsumura uses camouflage to blend-in to his environment.

    The players started off a little slow, the first creature was a Helium Squirter by Kenji, that was promptly enchanted by Galvanic Arc and died. Next up was a Conclave Equenaut for Marijn, but Kenji had Convolute. They both got some less interesting creatures into play after that. Marijn had a Beacon Hawk, but it was the only creature dealing damage for quite some time, as the rest of the creatures neutralised each other. At some point, he decided it was going to slow, so he played Steamcore Weird to the dome, Steamcore Weird to the dome, Peel from Reality on Steamcore Weird, and Steamcore Weird to the dome. Together with a lot of attacks from the little Hawk, that actually was enough to win the game.

    Game 2 was a lot kinder to Kenji, who got Steamcore Weird, Mourning Thrull, Mausoleum Turnkey, and Rakdos Ickspitter, all of which he used to deal damage and kill Marijn's first three creatures. Marijn got his Weirds as well, but Kenji reloaded with Research//Development, and just kept on playing creatures after that, so Marijn didn't really stand a chance in this game.

    Marijn Lybaert had his best weekend yet.

    Marijn had to mulligan in Game 3, but an Azorius Chancery made up for the lost card. Kenji had the stronger start with Surveilling Sprite, Ogre Gatecrasher and Ogre Savant, but Marijn showed Goblin Spelunkers, Conclave Equenaut, and Steamcore Weird, keeping him in the game, although he was a behind in the damage race. Marijn was a little light on the mana, and Kenji skillfully took advantage of that, giving Marijn a bit of card advantage, but gaining a lot of Time Walks with bounce and counters, while relentlessly dealing damage to him. Marijn could stabilize the board at four life, but by then Kenji had played Rakdos Ickspitter, and four turns later Marijn extended his hand, congratulating the 2006 Grand Prix Toulouse Champion Kenji Tsumura.



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