Sunday, September 11: 12:15 pm - Quarterfinals: Wilco Pinkster vs. Douwe van Noordenburg
Wilco Pinkster (aka "Big Pinks", not to be confused with William Postlethwraith) is the more recognizable name in this quarterfinal matchup, as he won GP Paris. Since then, he accumulated enough pro points to make it to level 3. Douwe van Noordenburg has played on the Pro Tour once (in Venice) and he is regarded as a decent player in the Netherlands.
Wilco is playing a mono-green Tooth and Nail deck, with creatures like Troll Ascetic and Iwamori of the Open Fist in his sideboard. Douwe has a mono-red deck, sporting cards like Slith Firewalker and Arc-Slogger.
Douwe van Noordenburg
Wilco wasn't unhappy when he saw Douwe's decklist last night, because his opponent has no Shrapnel Blast, Jinxed Choker or other staple "red" cards he was afraid of. But when he playtested his matchup against your reporter Frank Karsten last night, the score was 13-3 in favor of the mono-red deck. But that result included way more turn 1 Sliths and turn 2 Arc Sloggers than statistics would suggest. Wilco felt that the games would come down to whether Douwe could get off to a blazing fast start or not. If Douwe stumbled, Wilco would have enough time to put a couple huge fatties in play and take over the game. Douwe felt that the matchup was around 50-50 and that the die roll would prove to be very important.
Douwe won the die roll and chose to play first. After a mulligan on Wilco's part, they were underway. Douwe started with an amazing turn 1 Chrome Mox, Slith Firewalker.
Wilco: "That's cheating! Frank did that way too often last night; I was hoping you weren't too skilled at that!"
Next up were a Genju of the Spires and a Frostling. The latter took down a Sakura-Tribe Elder, allowing Douwe to hit Wilco down to 8 life on his third turn. Wilco took his turn and drew he card. He reviewed his options, shook his head and scooped to this incredibly fast red beatdown.
Douwe 1 - Wilco 0
Wilco sideboarded: +4 Troll Ascetic, +2 Iwamori of the Open Fist, +2 Arashi the Sky Asunder, +3 Viridian Shaman, -4 Reap and Sow, -1 Sensei's Divining Top, -1 Tooth and Nail, -1 Kiki-Jiki, -1 Darksteel Colossus, -1 Sundering Titan, -2 Mindslaver
Douwe sideboarded: +2 Sowing Salt, +1 Zo-Zu the Punisher, +1 Genju of the Spires, +1 Hidetsugu's Second Rite, +1 Vulshok Sorceror, -3 Hearth Kami, -2 Yuki-Onna, -1 Shock
Wilco had to mulligan to 6 once again and started with turn 1 Sensei's Divining Top. Douwe apparently was very good at drawing Chrome Moxen, as he had one on turn 1 once again. After thinking for a while he decided to imprint Frostling and then passed the turn. Obviously, he had a Magma Jet to the dome at the end of Wilco's turn.
Wilco: "That could've been a lot worse!"
Douwe scryed into a much needed land and proceeded to apply pressure with Zo-Zu the Punisher and Molten Rain on Wilco's Urza land. Wilco, in the meantime, could not come up with an answer to the Goblin Legend. He was trying to improve his position with Sensei's Divining Top activations and two Sylvan Scrying's, but that didn't really help him.
Next up was a Slith Firewalker and the ensuring attack took Wilco down to 7 life. Wilco activated his Top and simply picked up his cards again. His hand consisted of uncastable 5+ mana cards; he didn't find any cheap creature despite looking at over 9 cards with his Top.
Wilco: "Huuuu, two Moxen for you and two mulligans for me."
Douwe 2 - Wilco 0
Wilco decided to keep his hand for a change, and Douwe didn't have a Chrome Mox this game. In fact, he didn't have any play whatsoever on turns 1 and 2. That's quite a difference with last games. Wilco was doing great in the meantime, with turn 1 Top, turn 2 Sakura-Tribe Elder and turn 3 Troll Ascetic.
Douwe then made his first play on turn 3: Seething Song, Arc Slogger. That was to be expected, since Douwe surely had to have something powerful in his hand. After all, he didn't take a mulligan.
Wilco then improved his mana with Kodama's Reach, while Douwe counterattacked that with Sowing Salt. He removed all Urza's Towers from the game, making sure that Wilco will never complete his Urzatron this game. Sowing Salt also gave him a peek at Wilco's hand; he looked at Tooth and Nail, Sensei's Divining Top, Eternal Witness and Oblivion Stone. Wilco had 5 lands in play at that point, but he started to ramp up to the crucial amount of 9 mana quickly by playing a land, Eternal Witness (recurring Sakura-Tribe Elder) and playing that Elder. Wilco was still at a healthy 20 life and had Troll Ascetic to hold Arc-Slogger at bay, so things were looking good for him. Since Wilco had tapped out to play spells, he attacked with Troll Ascetic as he wasn't going to chumpblock Arc-Slogger.
Douwe then played Zo-Zu the Punisher, shot down Eternal Witness and Sakura-Tribe Elder with his Arc-Slogger and attacked with his 4/5 monster. That took Wilco down to 14 life.
Wilco played Oblivion Stone and passed the turn with enough mana open to regenerate his Troll. Douwe attacked with both his men, Shocked Wilco to 10 with his Arc-Slogger and played Hidetsugu's Second Rite for the win. Wilco wasn't able to play around that random one-of out of Douwe's sideboard, as Douwe had a Blinkmoth Nexus in play. If Wilco would've mana burned down to 13, then Douwe could've attacked with his Nexus and his other creatures, thereby still taking Wilco down to 10 life.
Douwe 3 - Wilco 0
Douwe van Noordenburg advances to the semi-finals and earns an invitation to Worlds!
Sunday, September 11: 12:22 pm - Quarterfinals: Rudy Meijer vs. Didier Deurloo
Didier is playing BlueTron and seems to be the favorite in this match against the mono green "Shoarma Inc." deck from Rudy. He has to keep the Trolls off the table, because that could get nasty with all Blanchwood Armors, Predator's Strikes and Might of Oaks.
Didier starts the match with a hand containing Annul, Oblivion Stone and 2 Thirsts.
Rudy plays a turn 1 Llanowar Elves followed by a Sakura-Tribe Elder and a Troll. Didier plays a Thirst, hoping to find some counter spells. His almost useless Annuls get discarded. Rudy Plays a Viridian Shaman, killing Didier's Solemn. When Didier plays his final urzatron piece he plays and booms his Oblivion Stone to clear the whole board including the Troll. Rudy plays Eternal Witness, retrieving his Shaman. Didier has a Triskelion to ping the Witness and his Top finds another Trisk. Rudy plays a couple of creatures, while Didier is looking for more answers. Didier discards his second Stone for his Thirst, leaving him with only the 2 Trisks to get rid of Rudy's creatures. Rudy's Shaman gets Condescended. Didier plays one of the best cards in his deck for this matchup: Vedalken Shackles. When a Meloku sees play, things start looking really bad for Rudy. Another Shaman gets countered, and Rudy scoops them up.
Rudy 0-1 Didier
Rudy boards in 3 Naturalizes and 3 Slugs. 3 Eternal Witness and all Stampeding Serow's get the axe.
Didier puts in 4 Culling Scales, and 2 Melokus, while siding out an Acquire, a Rewind, 2 Mindslavers and both Memnarchs.
Rudy throws his 0 land hand back, Didier keeps his 7.
Rudy starts of with an Elvish Warrior, and two Troll Ascetic's in a row get Condescended. A third Troll meets Mana Leak. Without his Trolls this game will get real tough, especially since most Witnesses are now in the board. Didier keeps scrying his deck by playing a few Serum Visions and discards a Stone to his Thirst for Knowledge to be able to complete his urzatron. Rudy tries to Shaman Didier's Triskelion, but it seems Didier has a counter for everything. Didier plays Shackles, taking over Rudy's Elvish Warrior. Rudy then has a Molder Slug, but that one is bounced at the end of turn. Rudy replays the Slug and Didier still hasn't got a counter. Didier sacrifices a Solemn to the Slug and takes over the Slug with his Shackles. Rudy plays another Slug, and the game could now be over soon. But then Didier topdecks a very good card in this matchup: Meloku, the Clouded Mirror. Didier uses Meloku to make 5 tokens and Rudy knows that the game just turned against him. He scoops.
Rudy 0-2 Didier
Rudy sides in his Arashi and all 4 Swords of Fire and Ice.
Rudy keeps a hand with a Naturalize and a few two drops. Didier starts with a Top, and uses it in his upkeep. Rudy plays a Elvish Warrior. Next turn, Blanchwood Armor gets Annulled. Rudy plays another Blanchwood Armor, but Didier Condescends it. Didier plays a Meloku, and Rudy plays a Sword of Fire and Ice, equips it, and attacks, leaving Didier at 8. Didier plays Shackles with 4 islands in play and takes control of the Warrior. Rudy's Viridian Shaman doesn't get countered, so the Shackles gets destroyed. Next turn both creatures attack and Didier chooses to block with Meloku. Predator Strike is used to kill the Legend. Didier's only way out now is a Triskelion, but Rudy still has the Naturalize from his opening hand. Time for Didier to scoop.
Rudy 1-2 Didier
Rudy starts with an Elvish warrior, but Didier starts the countering again by Condescending it. Rudy's Troll gets Leaked and Didier completes his urzatron on turn 4. The following turns make Didier's deck look like beatdown with a Meloku and 2 Triskelions entering play, while Rudy is only able to play a Troll and a Blanchwood Armor. Didier returns all his land, and attacks for the kill.
Didier wins 3-1 and assures himselves of a ticket to the World Championships
Sunday, September 11: 12:37 pm - Quarterfinals: Bas Postema vs. Frank van den Hanenberg
Both players have been in and out of the game for a long time, and they also have a lot of Pro Tour experience. They didn't really test a lot for this event, they don't play Magic too much at all, but they still managed to come out on top of the standings.
Bas was playing a mono-green Tooth build with a Plains and some Circle of Protection: Red in the sideboard, while Frank was sporting a mono-red agro deck almost completely copied from the Japanese Nationals finalist. He told me that the only change he made, replacing Electrostatic Bolt with Guerrilla Tactics, had been a mistake.
Bas was pretty confident; he told me that he was up 18-2 in games against red decks. Obviously this isn't actually accurate, Frank and I thought that the matchup is about even. Both players are also quite skilled, so this should be a tough match.
The game before sideboarding should favour Frank, because Bas doesn't have access to the CoP: Red yet, so he would just have to try and keep up with the fast red deck. After sideboarding though, he does have access to three CoP's, but Frank also has Pithing Needle to take care of that.
Bas won the die roll, which should be huge in the matchup. He sent back his no-Forest hand, but his second hand wasn't much better as it had Mindslaver, two copies of Tooth and Nail, Eternal Witness and some lands. "It's top 8 again", he said. "I told you that you would mulligan twice", Frank replied with confidence. Frank also told Bas to concede so they would have more time to make it a fun day anyway. Apparently they don't like to play Magic too often.
Bas' five-carder was even less exciting, as Kiki-Jiki was in it. He settled on a good four-carder and he was finally good to go. Frank kept his opening seven, normally it would probably be a mulligan as it was a pretty slow hand, but with Bas going to four he kept it anyway.
Bas had two Talisman of Unity and Sylvan Scrying to complete his Urzatron set. Frank had a Hearth Kami, Zo-Zu and another Hearth Kami in the meanwhile. His confidence dropped now though, as Bas had enough mana for Tooth and Nail by turn five. "I told you I would play Tooth on turn four", he said. The table judge corrected him since it was already turn five, to which Bas replied that he was unfortunate to have missed a land drop. After all the chatter Bas decided on a Triskelion and Darksteel Colossus, and Frank tried to find some good cards with a Magma Jet, taking Bas down to 7.
When Frank played an Arc-Slogger on his turn, Bas indicated that he forgot about that card when he played his Tooth, and had to draw his way out of the situation now, holding only a Kiki-Jiki. He did, he drew which was probably the best card in that situation: Mindslaver. He played and activated it before attacking with Darksteel Colossus, and after having asked the judge a couple of rulings on trample, he conceded.
Bas: -1 Kiki-Jiki, -1 Boseiju, -1 Sundering Titan, -2 Mindslaver, -1 Eternal Witness
+3 CoP: Red, +1 Plains, +1 Tel-Jilad Justice, +1 Viridian Shaman.
Frank: -1 Vulshok Sorcerer, -2 Sword of Fire and Ice, -3 Seething Song, -4 Arc-Slogger
+2 Shatter, +4 Molten Rain, +3 Pithing Needle, +1 Genju of the Spires.
Frank, clearly unhappy about the previous game, said that Bas was very lucky, despite taking three mulligans, and that he should have taken Bas' luck into consideration when he analyzed the matchup.
Frank got to play first this game and he's the one taking a mulligan now. He had Frostling on turn one, but no plays after that until turn three, with a Chrome Mox and Slith Firewalker. Bas didn't have a quick start either, but he did have Viridian Shaman to leave Frank with only one land. The Shaman traded for the Slith, and Frank found a Blinkmoth Nexus but still had no play. Bas completed his Urzatron set on turn four with a Reap and Sow, while Frank still didn't have a lot going on, finding another Nexus but only attacking with one of them and Frostling. Bas kept developing his mana with another Reap and Sow, and also had a Sensei's Divining Top to improve his draws with. If anything would get out of hand, he had an Oblivion Stone to take care of some things for him. Frank found his second Mountain, so he could play Molten Rain and take out one of the Urzatron pieces.
Bas had Sylvan Scrying to re-complete his Urzatron and set up enough mana for Tooth and Nail on the next turn, and Frank still didn't have anything exciting as he just attacks with both his Blinkmoth Nexus. Oblivion Stone took out the Frostling and Bas' Tooth and Nail got Darksteel Colossus and Triskelion. Eternal Witness got back the Tooth and Bas was ready to take the game again. The Triskelion was Shattered, but it didn't matter anymore as Bas' second Tooth made sure that Frank couldn't make a comeback.
Frank took another mulligan; his draws weren't too hot. If he has an explosive draw, Bas can only win with a very fast Tooth or Circle of Protection, but he doesn't necessarily have to win if he gets one of those. His second hand was a lot better than his previous draws: Turns one to three were Frostling, Hearth Kami and Molten Rain on Bas' Urza land. He followed it up with a Zo-Zu, while Bas only had some lands. Frank actually played his fourth land after he played Zo-Zu, causing him to take two points of damage when he shouldn't have. He just laughed it off and wins the game before Bas could even cast his first spell.
No mulligans were taken this game; both players quickly keeping their hands. Bas played a Sensei's Divining Top; Frank had a Frostling and thought long and hard before imprinting his Mox with a Genju. He played another Genju on his Mountain. Bas played his first Sakura-Tribe Elder of the match, which is also huge in the matchup. Frank simply killed it with the Frostling and attacked for six points. When he passed the turn he immediately showed that he wasn't happy with the way he played that turn, as he could have played Zo-Zu instead. This would deal three damage less (Bas would sacrifice the Tribe Elder in response, and play a land on his next turn), but he would also have Zo-Zu in play. He decided to play Zo-Zu on his next turn, and Bas told him that he played it correctly, while Frank was sure he didn't. "I meant that you played the Mountain before you played the Zo-Zu this time", he jokingly replied. Bas built up some defence with an Eternal Witness and two Tribe Elders. All is lost for Frank on the next turn, as he played his second Zo-Zu. No, I did not leave out the part where he attacked with Zo-Zu and traded for two Tribe Elders. There were no Mirror Galleries in play. He played his second Zo-Zu and Bas had to tell him that Zo-Zu was one-of-a-kind. Frank could only laugh about it and said that he probably should have tested more than the amount of games he had actually played before the event; 0. The rest of the game was only courtesy now; Bas had enough time to find his Circle of Protection, and finished the game off with Triskelion.
As a side note, after Game 2 Frank said that if he drew a Mountain, he could have played Zo-Zu on turn two AND turn three. Nobody said anything about this remark, as it is illegal to interfere with the match. From that point on Bas hoped that Frank would actually make this play. Oops.
End result: Bas Postema beat Frank van den Hanenberg 3-1
Sunday, September 11: 2:05 pm - Semifinals: Bas Postema vs. Douwe van Noordenburg
Bas, playing Tooth and Nail, has just beaten a mono-red deck in the quarters while Douwe, playing mono-red, was the winner against a Tooth and Nail deck in the quarters. This means that both players are now playing against the same deck they beat last round. Needless to say, they should have a lot of confidence going into this match.
Bas won the die roll and chose to play first. He looked at a hand with a complete Urzatron and Forests, but no business spells. He had to mulligan.
Bas:"Oh well, I'll just go down to 4 cards and then I'll play a turn 5 Tooth and Nail. I pulled that last match."
Douwe:"Sure, you'll be dead before you get to that point."
Bas:"Really? Have you seen your hand already?"
Douwe:"Yup. It's a good one!"
Bas then looked at a hand that was very low on land. On top of that, one of the two lands in his hand was Boseiju, who Shelters All. According to Bas this was "not the best against Tooth and Nail". He mulliganned and finally kept his 5-carder.
Bas started with Forest, Urza's Mine and Talisman of Unity, while Douwe had Genju of the Spires and Slith Firewalker on his first two turns.
Bas then played Urza's Power Plant and fetched Urza's Tower with Sylvan Scrying, showing that he would have access to 9 mana next turn.
Douwe attacked with his Genju and Slith, which put Bas down to 11 life. All Douwe could do now was to just pray his opponent would have no business card in his hand. His prayers were answered; Bas just passed the turn without a play. His hand consisted of three Forests. Bas's next draw step did not yield a Tooth and Nail, so they were on to game 2.
Douwe 1 - Bas 0
Douwe: +3 Sowing Salt, +1 Zo-Zu the Punisher, +1 Hidetsugu's Second Rit,e +1 Vulshok Sorceror, +1 Pithing Needle, +1 Genju of the Spires, -2 Magma Jet, -1 Seething Song, -1 Arc-Slogger, -2 Shock, -2 Hearth kami
Bas: -1 Boseiju, -1 Eternal Witness, -2 Mindslaver, -1 Kiki-Jiki, -1 Sundering Titan, +1 Viridian Shaman, +1 Tel-Jihad Justice, +1 Plains, +3 Circle of Protection: Red
No mulligans this game. Douwe had a very slow start; on turn 1 and 2 he just played Mountains and had no play. His first play was a turn 3 Molten Rain. Bas's board was Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Mine and Forest; Douwe chose to destroy the Forest. Bas was thankful he could keep his Urza lands because he completed the Urzatron next turn, played Talisman of Unity for green mana and used Sylvan Scrying to fetch a Forest. He took a mana-burn in the process because he mis-tapped his mana.
Bas: "Ai, that wasn't too skillful."
Douwe proceeded with more land destruction: Molten Rain on Urza's Tower. When Bas played Eternal Witness to get it back, Douwe had a third Molten Rain at the ready to destroy it once again. However, Bas had Reap and Sow to complete his Urzatron again.
The next play for Douwe was Slith Firewalker. Bas traded it with his Eternal Witness and told Douwe that the Slith would've been better if it had come out on turn 2.
Douwe played a couple red damage sources: Arc-Slogger, Zo-Zu the Punisher and Genju of the Spires. But Bas answered all of them at the same time with Circle of Protection: Red.
Bas then secured his position with Oblivion Stone. The next couple turns consisted of little action. Douwe attacked with his men, Bas prevented the damage and put fate counters on his permananets. Douwe eventually made some kind of breakthrough when he Molten Rained Urza's Mine, thereby breaking up the Urzatron. But Bas immediately responded with a new Urza's Mine on his turn. Once again, nothing happened for a couple turns.
Bas:"I think you have no outs. You don't run Sowing Salt, do you? Hmm, actually I don't remember. I should've studied your decklist."
Douwe:"Who knows, who knows…"
Bas eventually decided that it was time to finish the game. At the end of Douwe's turn he blew up his Oblivion Stone and then he cast a huge Darksteel Colossos. Douwe still hadn't found an answer to the Circle of Protection and two attacks later, Bas had won the game.
Douwe 1 - Bas 1
Douwe played first and no one had to mulligan. Douwe had a fast start in turn 2 Slith Firewalker, but Bas managed to stall the beatdown for a while with Sakura-Tribe Elder. He also had a Sensei's Divining Top for library manipulation. Douwe then stalled on lands. He didn't have a third land and played nothing on his turn 3. When Bas played Eternal Witness, Douwe saw his opportunity to play Magma Jet and scry for a land. He found one and played Seething Song, Arc Slogger. Bas uttered some curses under his breath. He played Eternal Witness (recurring Sakura-Tribe Elder) and the Elder on his turn.
Douwe killed both those creatures with his Arc-Slogger and bashed. While removing cards with the Slogger, Bas saw a Sowing Salt. "Oh, you do run that card! Wow!" Bas apparently didn't put too much effort in studying the decklists.
Anyway, it was Bas's turn again. He made the exact same play he made last turn: Eternal Witness and Sakura-Tribe Elder. And sure enough, Douwe made the same play too: Arc-SloggerShocked both those creatures.
Both creatures attacked and they put Bas on 2 life. Douwe smiled.
Bas:"Do you have Magma Jet?"
Bas:"Oh, then you must have Shock!"
Douwe then calmly tapped three mana and played Molten Rain on an Urza land.
Douwe van Noordenburg
Douwe 2 - Bas 1
Bas:"Noooo, I'm not going to lose to mono-red here, am I? I had only lost 2 games to the deck prior to this match, including playtesting!" This reporter would like to point out that Bas, who had actually more or less retired from Magic, didn't playtest much.
Bas played first and both players kept their hands. Bas had a turn 2 Sylvan Scrying and immediately put a Plains in his hand.
Douwe: "That's a clear signal on your intentions." Bas: "I should've doubted for a while, thereby making you wonder whether I had it already".
Sunday, September 11: 2:19 pm - Semifinals: Wessel Oomens vs. Didier Deurloo
Wessel had an interesting story coming into the top 8. Last year, he started 3-0 in the constructed part, and then lost the first three rounds of draft. This year, he did the same exact thing, except that he won out after that and made it into the top 8. He's won six matches in a row to get here, and he thinks he has a fine matchup here. "I do know the Legend-rule", he said, referring to Frank's double-Zo-Zu in the quarterfinal match. Didier finished seventh at Team GP Bochum and fifth at Team PT Seattle, indicating that he's a good team player and would be a fine addition to the national team. He thinks the matchup is around fifty-fifty.
"For every time you play Slith Firewalker on turn one against me, you owe me a beer!", Didier said. "Is that a trade offer? I'll accept", was Wessel's response. Didier's deck doesn't have a lot to get rid of a Slith if it's in play that quickly.
Didier won the die roll and kept a six-card hand. Wessel had to take it down to five, and Didier asked if Wes was mulliganning to the beer.
Both players spent their first two turns Scrying, Wes with a Magma Jet and Didier with two Serum Visions. Wessel's first business spell is a third-turn Zo-Zu. Didier had Thirst for Knowledge which found him a Solemn Simulacrum to play on his next turn. Wessel had more good spells now; Genju came down to make one of his Mountains somewhat scarier and Jinxed Choker came down to put the game on a clock. Didier had Triskelion, but he used all of its counters when Wes played his maindeck Pithing Needle. The Needle still named Triskelion, and Wes attacked with a Blinkmoth Nexus. Meloku came down for Didier, and the life totals were now 7 for Didier and 6 for Wessel, with 4 counters on the Choker. "I have to draw Shrapnel Blast this turn, I guess", Wessel said. He did, but Didier had Mana Leak to stop it.
Didier 1 - Wessel 0
Wessel: -4 Frostling, -2 Guerrilla Tactics
+1 Jinxed Choker, +1 Pithing Needle, +3 Shatter, +1 Sword of Fire and Ice
Didier: -1 Thirst for Knowledge, -2 Solemn Simulacrum, -2 Mindslaver, -2 Memnarch, -1 Acquire, -1 Rewind
+4 Culling Scales, +3 Kajin of the Vanishing Touch, +2 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Wessel played first and had Slith Firewalker on turn one. He followed it up with a Hearth Kami, while Didier set up Culling Scales on turn three with Serum Visions. Wessels had Shatter for the Culling Scales, and Didier scooped up his cards before he even played his fourth land.
Didier 1 - Wessel 1
Didier's opening seven satisfied him, but Wes had to take a mulligan. He played Hearth Kami on turn two, but not before imprinting a Chrome Mox with Shatter to play around Condescend. Didier had a Mana Leak to counter it anyway, but he didn't have any countermagic left so Slith Firewalker was in for Wes. He did have Thirst for Knowledge, allowing him to complete his Urzatron on his fourth turn, and used it to play Kaijin of the Vanishing Touch and Culling Scales. Wessel attacked with the Slith into the Kaijin, keeping it safe in his hand, and two turns later the Culling Scales had destroyed the Mox and itself. Didier followed it up with Vedalken Shackles with two Islands in play, but Wessel had the Shatter for it. This left Didier with only lands in his hand and in play, so Wessel could safely replay his Slith. Didier untapped, drew and played Meloku, but Wessel got rid of it with a Pithing Needle naming the Legend and then Shrapnel Blast, sacrificing a Mox. Didier made three tokens, two of which traded with Slith Firewalker a turn later. Wes played a Jinxed Choker, but didn't have a lot of other spells left and Didier had a lot of mana at hand, so Didier decided to try and finish the game off with the Choker. He repeatedly removed counters from and added counters to the Choker, but had to be careful for Shrapnel Blast when Wes played his second Choker. He did not this time and Wessel's own Chokers killed him again.
Didier 2 - Wessel 1
Wessel quickly kept an opener that would cost him another beer. Didier mulliganned, and said that he felt that he would earn another beer this game. He was right, as Wes had Slith on turn one again. Didier had a Serum Visions on turn one for the fourth game in a row, and Wes joked that Didier was soooooooooooooo lucky. "You should have put a beer on each turn one Serum Visions as well", Didier replied. Wes followed it up nicely, first with a Genju and then a Zo-Zu the Punisher. Kaijin of the Vanishing Touch returned the 3/3 Slith, but Didier simply couldn't keep up with Wessel's explosive draw.
Didier 2 - Wessel 2
On to the deciding game and another handshake was exchanged. Didier quickly kept, but Wessel thought long about his hand. Eventually he decided to keep. Didier lead off with three different Urza lands and a Culling Scales on turn three, while Wessel had Blinkmoth Nexus and Chrome Mox to play two Hearth Kami and Shatter on the Culling Scales. He didn't have a third land though, but Didier didn't have any blue mana either. He did have Triskelion, which took care of the Hearth Kami, and Wessel destroyed it with Magma Jet. Didier played Oblivion Stone, with still only three Urza lands in play. Wes played another Mox as a third land, and destroyed Didier's Urza set with a Molten Rain. Didier drew Top which on its turn provided him with an Island. Wessel speeded things up with Jinxed Choker, and things started to get really tense now. Wessel drew Pithing Needle, wanting to name Oblivion Stone, but it got Annulled. Didier tried to find some lands to blow up his Stone, but the Choker put him on a short clock. A Shatter for Wes tried to take out the Stone, but it got Mana Leaked. When Didier finally had enough mana to blow up the Stone, he had to take off the counters from the Choker, and died off it on the next turn.
End result: Wessel Oomens wins 3-2 over Didier Deurloo and earn himselves a place in the finals!
Sunday, September 11: 3:40 pm - 3rd/4th Playoff: Bas Postema vs. Didier Deurloo
Didier thinks that this matchup slightly favors his UrzaTron Blue deck, but Bas thinks that it's fairly even. He's playing a normal Tooth and Nail build with two Dosan and a Defence Grid in his sideboard as highlights against Didier's deck. Didier has some more counters and more importantly Boseiju to knock out Bas' Boseiju.
Bas won the die roll and played first. Both players started to build up their UrzaTrons, Bas had a Top and Didier had Mana Leaks for Bas' two Sylvan Scryings, one of them was returned by an Eternal Witness. The first real spell was Didier's Vedalken Shackles, but it wasn't around long enough for Didier to activate it, as Bas destroyed it with Viridian Shaman. Bas' third attempt to resolve Sylvan Scrying succeeded, and he got Boseiju in play with it to make sure his other spells would resolve. In the meanwhile Didier played Oblivion Stone and Triskelion to take control of the board. The Trisk took care of the Shaman and the Witness, but Bas was developing his mana rapidly, he played an Entwined Reap and Sow to complete his Urzatron. Didier has no play, and Boseiju made sure that Bas' Tooth and Nail resolved. The Tooth searched for Darksteel Colossus and Triskelion, and put Sundering Titan and Kiki-Jiki in play. Some confusion for Didier here, as he put a mana in his mana pool, intending to blow up his Oblivion Stone, but the Sundering Titan chose which lands to destroy when the effect resolved. This way Didier did not have enough mana to use his Oblivion Stone, and returned Sundering Titan to Bas' hand with Echoing Truth instead. Bas made another copy of the Titan with Kiki-Jiki, which left both players with no coloured mana, but Didier had only one mana left, and Bas had the Urzatron set and Boseiju. Didier couldn't get back in the game, and when he accidentally scryed for three instead of two, he scooped the game after some confusion.
Didier: -2 Vedalken Shackles, -3 Triskelion, -2 Echoing Truth, -1 Island
+2 Meloku, +2 Rewind, +2 Boseiju, +1 Annul, +1 Acquire
Bas: -3 Talisman of Unity, -1 Triskelion, -2 Oblivion Stone, -1 Darksteel Colossus
+2 Dosan, +1 Viridian Shaman, +1 Tel-Jilad Justice, +2 Creeping Mold, +1 Defence Grid
Didier started with Boseiju and a Top on the next turn. Bas had two Sakura-Tribe Elders, and thought about sacrificing them, but he didn't, and he put Didier down to 15. When Didier tapped out for Solemn Simulacrum, the Tribe Elders did get some lands. Bas drew a sixth land and Entwined Reap and Sow, replacing Didier's Boseiju for one of his own. Didier had another Boseiju to take out Bas' copy, but Bas resolved another anti-countermagic card: Defence Grid. He played Reap and Sow to get his second part of the Urzatron. Didier just played the second part of his own UrzaTron but had no play. Bas resolved a Sylvan Scrying to complete his UrzaTron, and then played Tooth and Nail with Entwine, leaving three mana open to pay for Mana Leak. Tooth and Nail put Kiki-Jiki and Sundering Titan in play, and the team took out most of Didier's mana sources. He quickly conceded.
Bas took a mulligan and Didier started with Serum Visions and then the Divining Top. On turn two, Bas had to choose between resolving a Sylvan Scrying or playing Defence Grid, but he wanted to play around Annul, so he played the Scrying and got Boseiju with it. The next turn he played the Boseiju and chose again not to play the Defence Grid yet. When Didier tapped out for Solemn, Bas played Reap and Sow, destroying one of Didier's two UrzaTron pieces. Didier had a different game plan though: he played Meloku, putting Bas under some pressure. He got an Okina with Sylvan Scrying, and busted out Viridian Shaman, destroying the Solemn. Meloku put Bas at twelve, and Acquire searched Sundering Titan out of Bas' deck. This put Bas under real pressure, he faced a Meloku and a Sundering Titan with only two-thirds of the UrzaTron and one green source in play. He settled for Reap and Sow to complete his UrzaTron and played Defence Grid. He had to draw a green source now so he could play an entwined Tooth and Nail, but he didn't and died the next turn.
Didier: +2 Echoing Truth, -2 Solemn Simulacrum
Bas: No changes
No mulligans on either side this game, and both players started with a Divining Top. Didier used his Top in his upkeep, allowing Bas to resolve Dosan the Falling Leaf. Didier tried to draw some good spells with two Thirst for Knowledge, and Bas was assembling his UrzaTron. He found all of the pieces and a Mindslaver. He quickly stood up and ran to Didier's side of the table, kicking Didier out of his seat. In his enthusiasm Bas makes several mistakes and forgets some of the cards Didier had in his hand, but he had fun anyway. On Bas' next turn, he played Eternal Witness to get back Reap and Sow, and destroy Didier's Urza land, leaving him with only three mana. "I think this wasn't the most optimal way to play this turn", Bas said, "But at least you didn't play the last turn very good either" Bas joked. Didier's Echoing Truth sent back Dosan, but it got right back into play, no trouble there. "I keep outplaying myself here", Bas said. Didier hit his fifth land and Acquired Mindslaver. "If I win this game, it's your fault", Didier told Bas. Bas activated his Top, and when he looked at the second card, he said "Ding", and everybody knew that the rest of the game was only courtesy. Tooth and Nail busted out Sundering Titan and Kiki-Jiki, and the game was over.
Bas Postema beat Didier Deurloo 3-1 and became the third Dutch team member!
Sunday, September 11: 4:04 pm - Finals: Wessel Oomens vs. Douwe van Noordenburg
The finals of these Dutch Nationals is underway and two mono-red decks will battle for the title. Douwe seems to hold the advantage, because he has 4 Arc-Slogger's (amazing in the mirror) in his deck, while Wessel plays Jinxed Choker (awful in the mirror) instead.
Douwe won the die roll and played first. Douwe kept, but Wessel had to think for a while. He only had one land and a Chrome Mox, but the spells he had in his hand were amazing for this matchup: three Frostling, Hearth Kami and Magma Jet. Eventually Wessel decided to keep it.
Both players had a turn 1 Frostling. Wessel:"How lucky, you only play three!"
The 1/1s traded right away on the first attack. The next turn showed that both players didn't have amazing draws. Douwe passed on turn 2 without a play, while Wessel missed a land drop and just made a Frostling. It was Shocked right away.
On his third turn, Douwe played land, Chrome Mox (imprinting Zo-Zu) and made a Genju of the Spires. It immediately attacked, dealing the first damage in the game.
Wessel still hadn't found a second land, and just made Chrome Mox (imprinting Genju of the Spires) and Hearth Kami.
Wessel:"How many cards do you have in your hand?"
Wessel's appraisal of the game state might have been off as Douwe played a land and Arc-Slogger. Wessel had no Shrapnel Blast; his only "answer" was to put out a couple chump blockers. They didn't last long. When Douwe played Arc-Slogger number 2 and Wessel still hadn't found an answer nor a second land, the game was over.
Douwe 1 - Wessel 0
Douwe: +2 Wand of the Elements, +1 Hearth Kami, +1 Vulshok Sorceror, +1 Yuki-Onna, +1 Shatter, -2 Genju of the Spires, -3 Zo-Zu the Punisher, -1 Molten Rain
Wessel: +2 Shatter, +4 Granite Shard, +3 Vulshok Sorcerer, +1 Pithing Needle, +1 Sword of Fire and Ice, -4 Molten Rain, -3 Jinxed Choker, -3 Zo-Zu the Punisher, -1 Genju of the Spires
Wessel, playing first, had to go down to 6 cards before the game was underway. Can you guess the start of this game? Turn 1 Frostling for both players. The same as last game! They traded right away. Wessel played another Frostling and a Granite Shard over the course of his next two turns. Douwe then started to destroy Wessel's permanents: Magma Jet for Frostling and Yuki-Onna for Granite Shard. Wessel answered that with Vulshok Sorceror, which dealt 1 to Yuki-Onna right away.
Douwe then played Wand of the Elements and proceeded to turn his Mountains into 3/3 guys. One traded with Frostling and a Vulshok Sorcerer ping. When Douwe found a Shock for Vulshok Sorcerer and Wessel stumbled on a land clump, the writing seemed to be on the wall. A couple turns later, Wessel had succumbed to an Onslaught of 3/3 Elemental creatures.
Douwe 2 - Wessel 0
Douwe:"I almost didn't attend this Nationals. My uncle died and his funeral could've taken place yesterday. Fortunately for me now, it was rescheduled to take place tomorrow."
Wessel:"Tough luck for me. My spirits are down now."
In the first couple turns of this game, the players traded cards one-for-one.
Wessel's Frostling traded with Slith Firewalker.
Wessel's Magma Jet traded with Douwe's Hearth Kami.
Wessel's Hearth Kami traded with Douwe's Chrome Mox and Wessel's Molten Rain traded with Douwe's Blinkmoth Nexus. Wessel probably wanted to make sure Douwe couldn't reach 5 mana for Arc-Slogger. Douwe was now down to 2 mana.
Some more creatures came out to play; Wessel cast a Frostling and Douwe made a Hearth Kami.
Then Wessel made an innovative play; while he still had Frostling in play he cast Genju of the Spires on Douwe's Mountain. Yup, he didn't target his own Mountain, but he chose Douwe's, ready to use his Frostling as a land destruction card.
Douwe:"I hadn't thought of that before! Nice! Hmm, well, now that I think of it, I should be able to do that myself as well!"
When Wessel activated his Genju, Douwe responded by playing Magma Jet on Frostling. Wessel responded by sacrificing it to kill Hearth Kami, but Douwe managed to keep his land this way.
Wessel had 2 Magma Jets at the ready for the next two creatures Douwe played, and thanks to the scry ability he found a Vulshok Sorcerer. Now he had a lethal combo in play: Genju of the Spires and Vulshok Sorcerer. Every turn he would play Genju on one of Douwe's Mountains, activate it, shoot it down with Vulshok Sorcerer and take the Genju back in his hand.
Wessel:"Inquest killer combo!"
It didn't take long before Douwe had no Mountains left. At that moment Wessel chose to make a conventional play: Genju on his own Mountain! He attacked a couple times with the 6/1 to finish the game.
Douwe 2 - Wessel 1
Douwe apparently liked that combo Wessel showcased last game so much that he decided to board a couple Genju of the Spires back into his deck. You can learn a trick or two in this final match of the tournament.
Douwe chose to play first and kept his opener, while Wessel went down to 6. Unsurprisingly, both players had a turn one Frostling and they traded right away. We've seen that before in this match.
Douwe followed that up with Hearth Kami on turn 2. Wessel then went deep into the think tank. On turn 2 his board consisted of two Mountains and his hand was 2 Chrome Mox, Shrapnel Blast, Genju of the Spires and Vulshok Sorcerer. He eventually decided upon playing Chrome Mox (imprinting Shrapnel Blast) and Vulshok Sorcerer. It dealt one damage to Hearth Kami. Douwe then made Seething Song, Arc-Slogger. Wessel, who had just imprinted Shrapnel Blast on his Chrome Mox, didn't draw an answer: his next two draw steps gave him Molten Rain and Frostling and couldn't come up with an answer to the 4/5 monster.
Wessel: "I thought you wouldn't have a third Mountain and Seething Song and Arc-Slogger in your hand. That's why I threw away Shrapnel Blast and decided to keep Genju of the Spires (which would probably be more useful throughout the game) in my hand."
Douwe:"I topdecked the Mountain. It was a good read, but I beat you nevertheless."
Douwe 3 - Wessel 1
Douwe van Noordenburg is the 2005 Dutch National Champion!