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Live Coverage of 2004 Grand Prix Zurich

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The letter I!t's been a long, hot weekend and everyone is just about aching to leave this tournament. But they still have one battle to win. Will the hometown hero Manuel Bucher, he of "mulligan to five and still steamroll you" quarterfinals keep the trophy home or will Marco Cirigliano, he of "I love playing tricks with Crystal Shard while cruising through the tournament" fame make the Italians every more noisy than they are right now?

Stick around for the final battle.

Game 1:
Things did not start well for the young Swiss. He had to take a mulligan and Marco took the time to tell the Italian support crew to lower the noise level.

A first turn Cloudpost, second turn Sylvan Scrying for a second Cloudpost promised a quick trip to the "expensive spells" zone for Bucher. They played "land go" like true professionals for a few more turns until Cirigliano missed his fifth. That forced him to discard.

Like a true killer Bucher went for the throat, playing Eternal Witness to recover Sylvan Scrying. Condescend forced the Swiss to tap out for the Scrying and Marco pushed two bad cards (i.e. not land) to the end of the deck.

Still stuck at four he played a main phase Thirst for Knowledge, discarding Crystal Shard and getting his fifth land. The first Witness attacked and a second one showed up to give the Scrying another turn in the stack.

Another Thirst for Knowledge gave the Italian his sixth land at the cost of Oxidize and Condescend. The Witness duo attacked and Leonin Abunas joined the party.

Solemn Simulacrum gave Marco one more land and generated a stack battle. Two Tel-Jilad Justices and a Echoing Truth later Thoren was gone. Bucher brought forth the pain dropping Cirigliano to eight before trying a Tooth and Nail with entwine.

The Italian stared at his hand and started laughing.

Manuel 1-0 Marco.

Game 2:
They both kept their hands and again Bucher had turn one Cloudpost. They didn't blink until turn four when Bucher played Sylvan Scrying with mana for the Condescend. Cirigliano used the counter away just to scry ahead.

The alarms went of when despite this the Italian missed his fourth land drop but he got it a turn later. By then Bucher had seven mana. Things were about to get tricky.

Marco dropped Thoren to fetch another land, tapping out in the process. Bucher took this red carpet to play an entwined Reap and Sow breaking one of Marco's two Forest.

The Swiss played his own Thoren fetching his Plains. That made a great juicy target for Cirigliano's Tel-Jilad Justice.

As a strange omen the bells on a nearby church began to toll away.

Bucher tried Mindslaver and Marco cirigliano smiled. Although he had Lost Word he seemed not to be very interested in using it. Finally he decided he had to. This tapped him out. Obviously Manuel Bucher unleashed an entwined Tooth and Nail.

The crowd burst in laughter when he got Darksteel Colossus and Bringer of the White Dawn. The Italian Thoren walked into the Colossus and the Italian extended his hand.

Marco Bucher, and his curiously named deck ("Witney's Beers") takes Grand Prix Zurich 2004!

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