Sunday, Sept 10: 2:44 p.m. - The Top 8 Player Profiles
Jeroen is a player who doesn't need much introduction, he's one of the 5 pro's on the train who placed this year. His previous winnings include 3 Pro Tour top 8's, including winning 1, 3 Grand Prix to 8's and 4 Nationals top 8's, including winning one two year ago. He's also known for being the funniest pro player to use a saproling token.
Jeroen is playing the Dutch blue-green aggro deck that only 4 players played this weekend. Wessel Oomens told me to put his name in the coverage again, he finally designed a deck good enough to place 2 out of 4 players playing it into the top 8.
He isn't really confidant about his matchup (about 40-60), he thinks the most important card in the matchup is Umezawa's Jitte: "The one who draws Jitte wins."
If Jeroen could be a magic card, he would be a Spike Feeder.
Even though Rogier hasn't made a pro tour top 8 yet, he's known as one of the best players Holland has to offer. He has 3 Grand Prix top 8 and 3 nationals top 8's on his name, including winning the nationals in 2003.
Rogier is playing the deck he's been playing for almost a year now: Heartbeat combo. He tested the quarterfinal matchup against Kenji last night, and he thinks his odds are about 30-70.
Jasper "Bongo" Bongaards
Jasper is one of the three rising stars in this top 8, his best result so far is a 17th place at Grand Prix Hasselt.
He's playing a Snake/Glare deck, he netdecked a normal snake deck, and tuned it himself. He thinks his matchup is about 60-40.
Frank is another one of those players in the top who doesn't really need introduction. He got two Pro Tour top 8's, including a second place at last year's world championships, about 7 Grand Prix Top 8's, and is a feature writer for Wizards. this is the fifth time he's in the nationals top 8, and he's playing the deck he said he would play in his article a few weeks ago: Structure & Force (UWB Counterbalance control, the Japanese are even worse at making decknames than Wessel Oomens). He and Julien tested at Roel van Heerwijk's place, but Julien mana flooded each game they tested. Frank thinks the matchup is a little in Julien's favour in game 1, and a little in frank's favour after sideboarding.
If Frank could be a magic card, he would be a Krosan Cloudscraper (because of the Diek-factor.)
Julien is probably became the most famous Dutch magic player ever when he won the world championships at the age of 15. Since then he showed us he's no one-day fly by making 5 Grand Prix top 8's, and of course placing for top 8 on the nationals this year. He's playing the Wessel deck (Go Anan is the best player.dec), and he already tested against Frank.
If Julien Nuijten could be a magic card, he would be a Dominating Licid.
Jasper de Jong
Jasper de Jong is mostly known in Holland for winning the Open Fries Championship (the only tournament that's more important to win than the nationals). Jasper also won 350$ on a Grand Prix by going 3-11 (he was in a team with Julien Nuijten and Roel van Heeswijk). He didn't play magic for half a year. He went to a FNM last week, where he played a snake deck with Ninja of the deep Hours. When he won a couple of games with just a Ninja and some counters, he decided to play Ninja-Erayo.
And if Jasper could be a magic card, he would be a Fraction Jackson.
Robert v/d Medevoort
Robert is also known as a player to watch the next couple of years, he played 3 Pro Tours in the last 2 years, and he already qualified for Pro Tour Kobe. He didn't test for the Quarter finals, but he did comb his hair.
If Robert could be a magic card, he would be a Predator Strike.
Kamiel has been on the train for a couple of years now, and he makes top 16 in almost every Pro Tour he plays. He got into the top 8 5 times, including 1 win, and he made about 6 Grand Prix top 8's. This is the second time he made top 8, and National Champion is about the only title yet to claim for him. He's playing a Sea Stompy deck he made by combining deck from the Japanese Nationals, and he thinks his chances in the Quarters are about 55-45.
If Kamiel could be a magic card, he would be a Brainstorm…
Sunday, Sept 10: 3:30 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Jeroen Remie vs. Kamiel Cornelissen
These two giants of the dutch Magic scene are facing each other today with blue-green decks, but Kamiel has also got red added in there. Kird Apes and Seal of Fire speed up the deck quite a lot, so he probably has the edge in this match. It is still a game of Jitte though, that card can and probably will be the dominating factor in this match.
Kamiel has won the die roll and opens with a Steam Vents, followed by Kird Ape and a Forest to give it some body. Jeroen makes 2 Llanowar Elves in a row. Kamiel's first attack switches the Ape for a Ninja to draw an extra card, then the Ape gets replayed.
Jeroen has a turn three Meloku, quite an opening!
A Jitte makes sure that Meloku doesn't stay for long on the board though, because Jeroen decides to block the Ninja. Another Meloku the next turn for him though, so no problem there except that his Elves die after the next attack. Trygon Predator is next in line for Kamiel. Meloku and a "Jeroen Remie"-token block the Kird Ape, Kamiel tries to kill the Meloku with Jitte counters but Plaxmanta saves the day for Jeroen. Remand couldn't prevent that because Jeroen also had a Spell Snare!
Llanowar Elves for Kamiel goes to the red zone on the next attack, being killed in the process but gaining 2 Jitte counters. The Predator is next to go in, building up to 4 counters on the Jitte. Jeroen makes more tokens and alpha strikes on his next turn, so Kamiel decides to kill some of those tokens leaving 1 alive together with the Meloku and a Plaxmanta. Kamiel goes down to 14, while Jeroen is now at 10 life points.
Kird Ape joins the party but that doesn't matter because the Jitte advantage will do in Jeroen anyway. Two turns later Jeroen doesn't find a Jitte of his own and knows the game is over.
Kamiel 1 - Jeroen 0
Sideboarding for game 2
+2 Naturalize, +2 Threads of disloyalty, +3 Hinder, +2 Higure, the Still Wind
-2 Remand, -3 Ninja of the Deep Hours, -4 Plaxmanta
+1 Seal of Fire, +1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror, +4 Rumbling Slum
-2 Remand, -4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
Jeroen will start the second game and both players keep their opening 7. Llanowar Elves for Jeroen is killed by a Seal of Fire, while a Birds for Kamiel is countered by Mana Leak. A second bird makes it to the table though. Trygon Predator is the first beatstick on the table and Kamiel has 2 Ohran Viper's on the next 2 turns for some card advantage.
Jeroen then can ninjitsu a Higure into play, fetching a ninja of the Deep Hours.
A third Viper for Kamiel is quite insane and Kird Ape would like to have a part of the pie too. Jeroen's Ohran Viper is countered and his Higure dies in the next attack. He can't break out of the card advantage Kamiel has so it's time to scoop them up.
Kamiel 2 - Jeroen 0
Sideboarding for game 3
+2 Naturalize, +4 Threads of disloyalty, +2 Hinder, +2 Higure, the Still Wind
-2 Remand, -4 Ninja of the Deep Hours, -4 Plaxmanta
+1 Seal of Fire, +1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror, +4 Rumbling Slum
-2 Remand, -4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
Jeroen can start again and this game both players don't take any mulligans either. Kamiel has the better start though with a Birds of Paradise, followed by another Birds and 2 Kird Apes on turn 2. Jeroen just has another land for 2 consecutive turns, taking damage from the Kird Apes.
Turn 5 he finally plays a Meloku, but that one is Remanded. Jitte and another Kird Ape for Kamiel, next turn the Jitte is Naturalized but Jeroen is going down in a hurry anyway.
Trygon Predator for Kamiel is countered. Jeroen has Meloku, but Kamiel topdecks one himselves too so the game ends right there.
Kamiel beats Jeroen 3-0
Sunday, Sept 10: 3:48 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Robert van Medevoort vs. Rogier Maaten
Robert plays a BGw discard based deck against Rogier's Heartbeat. The discarding deck should be the huge favorite because Heartbeat doesn't like all those Okiba-Gang Shinobi's and Hypnotic Specter's it will be facing. Robert is a very good player, but Rogier's skills are probably even better. Can he use that to beat the odds.
Rogier won the die roll and chose to play first. Both players took a mulligan, and Robert played an Ohran Viper on turn two, followed by an Okiba-Gang Shinobi (returning the Viper) on turn three. Rogier played a Heartbeat of Spring and a Drift of Phantasms to be able to block the Ninja. Robert turned out not to have any discard for Rogier's one remaining card, so he just played a bunch of creatures. Rogier just drew a card and passed, Robert attacked again and Rogier's life total dropped to 8. Rogier had one more turn. He played a Sensei's Divining Top, activated it, and conceded.
Robert leads 1 - 0.
No mulligans this game, and Robert had a better play for turn two this time: a Hypnotic Specter. Rogier played a Kodama's Reach and put his Mountain into play. A Castigate from Robert revealed a Heartbeat of Spring, Maga, Traitor to Mortals, Research // Development, Drift of Phantasms and a Savage Twister. Robert chose the Savage Twister to be removed. Rogier drew and played another Kodama's Reach. Robert attacked and returned a Birds of Paradise for an Okiba-Gang Shinobi, and Rogier was running out of cards. He only had a Drift of Phantasms left, and he drew and played a Sensei's Divining Top and the Drift. Robert attacked, but didn't have anything to play on his turn. Rogier played a Heartbeat of Spring, Robert attacked again, and Rogier had a final turn to draw something. He didn't and conceded.
Robert leads 2 - 0.
Again, no mulligans, and for the first time, Robert did nothing on turn one. A Castigate revealed a Forest, two Bottled Cloister, Recollect, Muddle the Mixture and Kodama's Reach. Robert chose the Kodama's Reach (Rogier only had two Forests in play). Rogier drew and played another Kodama's Reach, while Robert played Ohran Viper. Next turn, Rogier played his Bottled Cloister and Sensei's Divining top, and Robert played Cranial Extraction for Early Harvest. Rogier continued to develop his mana and his hand. Robert just played mana creatures, but Rogier was still at 19 life. Rogier played a Heartbeat of Spring and Savage Twister. Robert attempted to save his Ohran Viper with Gather Courage, but it got countered by Muddle the Mixture. Robert plays Okiba-Gang Shinobi and Umezawa's Jitte.
Rogier played a second Heartbeat, played Recollect for Muddle the Mixture, transmuted it for Research // Development and played that to return three Early Harvest and a sideboard card to his deck. He then transmuted his Drift of Phantasms for another Drift of Phantasms to get rid of 3 bad cards on top of his deck and played his second Bottled Cloister. Robert played another Cranial Extraction, this time for Invoke the Firemind, and attacked. Rogier played Weird Harvest for two Drift of Phantasm, Maga, Traitor to Mortals and a Sakura-Tribe Elder. He then transmutes for two Early Harvest. Robert conceded.
Robert leads 2 - 1.
Robert took two mulligans and found a Birds of Paradise for turn one, but he had no play for turn two. Rogier played Sensei's Divining Top on turn one and two. Robert drew and played a Castigate on turn three and removed Bottled Cloister. Robert drew his second black mana for a Hypnotic Specter, but Specter and Birds died to Pyroclam. Robert played Loxodon Hierach. Rogier transmuted for Heartbeat of Spring, but chose not to play it and keep mana open to use Sensei's Diving Top. Robert played Cranial Extraction for Heartbeat of Spring. Rogier had two Muddle the Mixture left in his hand. Rogier drew and played Drift of Phantasms. Robert played Mortify, but it got countered. Rogier transmuted the other Muddle the Mixture for Research // Development and he played it at the end of Robert's turn to return Heartbeat of Spring to his deck.
A few turns later, Rogier found a Heartbeat of Spring, played it, and played an Early Harvest, but Robert just drew his final Mortify and responded by destroying Heartbeat of Spring. Rogier didn't have enough mana to win and used the remaining mana for his Sensei's Divining Top. He was still at 20 life and in no danger. Two turns later, Rogier played a Heartbeat of Spring, Early Harvest and Maga, Traitor to Mortals for 34.
Tied 2 - 2.
No mulligans, and Robert played Elves of Deep Shadow on turn one. Rogier had a Sensei's Diving top and Sakura-Tribe Elder. Robert didn't have a second land and played another elf. Turn three Robert played Castigate for Weird Harvest. Rogier used his Sensei's Divining Top but couldn't find a third land, and now Robert played a Hypnotic Specter. Rogier sacrificed his Elder, found a Kodama's Reach with Sensei's Divining Top and played it. Robert played and equipped Umezawa's Jitte to the Hypnotic Specter and attacked.
Rogier played two Early Harvests, transmuted Muddle the Mixture for Savage Twister and played Savage Twister for 7 to kill all of Robert's creatures and leave him without black mana, but Robert used the counters from Umezawa's Jitte and played his Gather Courage to save the Hypnotic Specter. Rogier had lost most of his cards and was still facing the Hypnotic Specter. He could not recover and conceded two turns later.
Robert wins 3 - 2.
Sunday, Sept 10: 4:13 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Frank Karsten vs. Julien Nuijten
We are facing a control deck against a tempo based beatdown deck in this match, so it would be nice if both players would be kind enough to play in a high tempo. On the pro tour slow-play warnings standings, Frank leads by a monstrous 7-1 against Julien.
Julien wins the roll, very important in this matchup.
Julien starts after a mulligan with 2 legendary lands and a main phase Plaxmanta ("the surprise is gone now"). Frank plays a Dark Confident, Julien attacks, and plays a Ohran Viper (fun fact: Julien told me Roel had a book on his shelf called Snail, written by a certain Ohran, must've been a sign). Frank reveals a land from the top (Julien: "Of course!"), and he plays a Court Hussar. Julien: "well I need to go land, Jitte now, right?" "that'll work". Julien's bluffing though, and attacks with both the Viper and the Plaxmanta. Frank double-blocks, both the Confident and the Viper die. Julien plays another Viper, Frank plays another Confident. Deja-vu, Julien attacks with both, Frank double-blocks again. The only difference is a Ninjitsued Plaxmanta. Frank Condemns the Viper, and Julien plays a Bop. Frank reveals another land with the Confidant ("Of Course"), and he transmutes a Muddle the Mixture into a Jitte, but doesn't play it at the same turn. The next turn, Frank "Of course!"-es again (another land). Julien tries to play a Plaxmanta, Frank has a Remove soul, but Julien can play yet another plaxmanta in the same turn. Julien tries to play a Trygan Predator next turn, but Frank has a Hinder. And again: "Of course", frank reveals a land. He also has a Meloku, and he still has a Jitte in his hand. This game seems to be over. Frank attacks with his Confidant, and Julien trades it with his Plaxmanta. Julien tries to kill a Meloku with his own "Maybe next time!" which meets Remand. Frank plays his Jitte and attacks with an equipped Court Hussar. Julien scoops it up the next turn.
Frank 1-0 Julien
Julien Sides in 2 Hinders and 2 Higures for 2 remand, a Mana Leak and a Simic Growth Chamber.
Frank boards in 2 Deathmark, 2 Last Gasp, an Umezawa's Jitte, an Orzhov Pontiff for 2 Hinder, 2 Counterbalance, a Sensei's Divining Top and a Remand
Julien wants to start again, but somehow, his first hand seems to look like an Erayo-Ninja deck hand. The six cards don't seem to work either, so he goes down to 5. Julien eventually keeps a hand with 3 land and 2 Pithing Needles, how lucky… he draws a Jitte, but that doesn't help him much either. Neither does the mana leak and the other lands he draws. He plays a Needle on Scrying Sheets, (Frank just played one). Julien tells Frank he plays a beatdown deck, but frank is the one who plays the first beat: Dark Confident. Julien plays an Umezawa's Jitte, but frank Hinders it. Frank reveals another creature with the confident: Court Hussar. Julien plays his first creature on turn 8: Llanowar elves. He tells Jeroen Remie (who's sitting on the table next to him) he resolves his creature, but Frank disagrees. He has a Remove Soul. Julien tries to Mana Leak it, but Frank has a Spell Snare for that. Frank then plays a Meloku, and makes 2 tokens in response to Julien's Pithing Needle the next turn.
Frank 2-0 Julien
Julien sides out a land for a Mana Leak, frank doesn't change anything.
Julien keeps his hand, and start with a turn 1 birds, turn 2 Ninjitsu. He makes a good play in playng a Birds, Frank has to tap out to Remove Soul, so Julien can play his Jitte. Julien equips the Jitte, Frank goes down to 12. Julien plays an untapped breeding pool, and attacks with the ninja. Frank Condemns it, Julien tries to Remand it, but Frank has a Spell Snare. Julien attacks with an equipped Trygan Predator, Frank goes down to 10. Julien plays a Pithing needle, Frank responds by saying "maybe I'm lucky, and you'll choose Jitte." He sacrifices his Court Hussar to Miren, The Moaning Well. Frank isn't lucky however, Julien chooses Sensei's Divining Top. Julien casts a Ninja of the Deep Hours the hard way and Frank tries a Jitte, but Julien has a spell snare which seals the game.
Frank 2-1 Julien
Frank sides in a Pontiff and a hinder for 2 remands, Julien doesn't change anything.
Frank starts, and takes a mulligan. And another one… Julien keeps his 7.
Julien plays a turn 1 Birds, and tells Frank to Deathmark it. He does. Julien plays another Birds, and tells Frank to try and remove that one as well. He does: Orzhov Pontiff. Julien only has 2 land. Frank plays 2 court hussars in the next to turns, Julien Remands 1 of them, draws his third land, and plays a Ohran Viper. Frank replays his Hussar, and Julien plays a second Ohran Viper and attacks witn both on the next turn. Frank tries to Condomn one, but surprise surprise, Julien has a Plaxmanta. Frank tries to Remove Soul it, but Julien also has a Mana Leak. Frank triple-blocks, so one of the Vipers die. Frank plays a Jitte, and is able to equip and attack at the same turn. Julien plays a Pithing Needle, Frank takes 2 life in response and pumps his Court Hussar once. Frank plays another Court Hussar, finds a Dark Confident in the top 3 cards, and plays that one as well. Julien plays a Meloku, and Frank Pulls "The Kamiel" (topdecking a Meloku the turn after you opponent plays it). Julien plays a Predator, and frank does a couple of Top Tricks at the end of his turn. Julien attacks with his Birds, and "Of course!" he has a Ninja of the Deep Hours. Luckily for Frank, he finds a condemn on the top. Julien tries to Mana Leak it, but Frank also has a Spell Snare. Julien replays the Birds. The next turn he attacks with the Birds of Paradise again, this time it's Higure. Julien makes both his ninja's unblockable and attacks. He searches for another Higure, and draws a Birds. Frank sacrifices his Orzhov Pontiff, but can't seem to find anything with his top, so Julien does the same the next turn, he searches for a Ninja of the Deep Hours (he's all out of Higure's). Frank checks his top, and draws a Dark Confident with it (he's a 5 life). He sacrifices his Court Hussar to the Miren, killing 3 birds.
Frank thinks about his outs, Julien says he might pull the "Frank" (playing 2 legendary creatures, named after Frank van de Hanenberg, who played 2 Zo-Zu's during last years top 8) and scoops.
Frank 2-2 Julien
Frank takes a mulligan, and starts with a turn 1 Sensei's Divining Top, Julien has a turn 1 Llanowar, but Frank has a Deathmark. Frank tries to play a Court Hussar, but Julien has a Mana Leak. Frank tries another one the turn after, but Julien has the "Maybe next turn.". Frank tries again, but Julien has a Mana Leak this time. The next turn, Julien plays a Meloku, The Clouded Mirror. He attacks with it the next turn, Frank tries to condemn it, Julien plays a Plaxmanta, but Frank also has a Spell Snare. Frank uses his Scrying Sheets to ("Of course!") reveal a Snow-Covered Island. He really needs to topdeck an answer though, he's at five life, only has a Dark confident in play, while Julien has 2 Trygan Predator, 2 Meloku tokens, and a Birds of Paradise. Julien keeps beating though, so Frank scoops it up.
Julien beats Frank with 3-2.
Sunday, Sept 10: 4:34 p.m. - Semifinals: Julien Nuijten vs. Kamiel Cornelissen
Kamiel is piloting a fairly straightforward Sea Stompy deck with Seal of Fire main deck. Julien also is running "Go Anan is the best player" designed by yours truly. This deck is based on Sea Stompy but I figured that running red didn't make much sense. I believe this version of the deck is better although it slightly lacks power in the mirror.
Prior to this semi final Kamiel crushed Jeroen Remie, who was also running the same deck as Julien. Still both decks feature the most important cards in the mirror match which are Meloku, Ohran Viper and Jitte.
Julien won the die roll and obviously elected to play first before taking the good old trip to Paris.
No Elf or Birds for either player and both players seem to be happy playing "draw go" for the first couple of turns.
Ohran Viper from Julien gets remanded for a turn and Kamiel played his own Snake a turn later.
Things got worse for Julien as he is stalled on 3 lands while at that time Kamiel played a Meloku, which leaves Julien with little outs.
Julien tried to fight back with a Jitte but Kamiel played 2 Jitte's of his own during his next turn making this game ending fairly brutal.
1-0 to Kamiel
Julien is off to a much better start this game with a turn one Birds of Paradise. Kamiel again fails to make a first turn play, but this time he doesn't get away with that easily as Julien has the turn 2 Viper.
Juul's Birds decides life will be better as a Ninja. Kamiel had a Viper of his own and both Snakes trade again.
Julien's draw proved to be quite a saucy one as he had another Viper and a Meloku.
Kamiel tried to fight back with a Rumbling Slum and a Meloku of his own but playing second made this game an awful lot harder, especially when Birds decides secretly being a Higure is also nice.
Life totals at the moment were 13 to 7 in Julien's favor and since Rumbling Slum seems to backfire at Kamiel, Julien decided not to block the big dude in order to kill Kamiel in his next upkeep.
This time around it is Kamiel's turn to play first and Julien had to mulligan his opening 7 and 6.
Kamiel kept a very questionable 7 though which I think he should have mulliganned.
I think it featured something like 2 Jitte, 3 lands and Meloku but don't pin me on that.
The first play of this game was a turn 4 Llanowar Elves from Kamiel and Julien remarked "a typical beatdown match this is".
When Kamiel played a Rumbling Slum, Julien saw a window to play a Meloku. This left him tapped out though and Kamiel happily accepted the opportunity to play and equip Jitte to his Slum.
Julien tried to fight the uphill battle against the Jitte with 2 trygon Predator's.
In a desperate attempt Julien tried to bluff and attacked with all of his guys but Kamiel didn't buy it and simply blocked with his equipped Birds of Paradise.
2-1 to Kamiel
Julien kept his opening 7 and once again Kamiel didn't have a turn one play. This time he decided to mulligan them though because he was playing second.
Julien kicked off with a turn one Llanowar Elves, followed by Kamiel's Birds.
The Llanowar Elves accelerated into a Trygon Predator while Kamiel only seemed occupied with Birds and Elves in the beginning of this game as he casts 2 more and flamed Julien's with a Seal of Fire.
Meloku from Kamiel get's banished by a Meloku from Julien and Kamiel is left with lands and mana Elves.
His next is amazing though as Jitte showed up and all of a sudden things start to look bad for Julien.
With Higure Julien still keeping the pressure on Kamiel, Julien still would need to find a Jitte of his own soon.
A Channeled Arashi and Higure got rid off 2 Birds and 4 counters on the Jitte but still Kamiel is left with his Jitte, with 2 fresh counters on it, and his trusty Llanowar Elves.
When Julien finally decided to 'Graig Jones' windmill the top card of his deck it is a Jitte.
Much ado about nothing though, as Kamiel was holding 2 additional Jitte's.
Kamiel Cornelissen defeats Julien Nuijten with 3-1
Sunday, Sept 10: 4:51 p.m. - Semifinals: Robert van Medevoort vs. Jasper Bongaards
Trashtalking has started, just after the four players decided to split a small portion of their money to the unlucky fourth player who won't make the team. Robert plays BGw ninja-discard while Jasper has UG Snakes.
Robert wins the die roll and opens with Birds, Hyppie. Jasper Has Sakura-Tribe Scout and a karoo. A second Hyppie for Robert is even better, especially since Jasper does nothing more than play a second karoo. Patagia Viper is discarded along with a Spell Snare, but Jasper has another Viper which he plays on the following turn. Putrify clears the airway for the Hyppies and Castigate empties Jasper's hand totally.
Hyppie number three enters the playing field just after mentioning that Coat of Arms would be a nice card for the snake-player. Jasper doesn't find any outs, so he scoops them up.
Robert 1 - Jasper 0
-3 Loxodon Hierarch, -2 Ink eyes, -1 Gather Courage, -1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
+4 Deathmark, +2 Cranial, +1 Castigate
-2 Coiling Oracle, -1 Sakura-Tribe Scout
Jasper is to play first and no mulligans once again. Robert is the first to play an Elves of the Deep Shadow followed by an Ohran Viper, while Jasper makes a Tribe Elder and Coiling Oracle revealing Jitte. Castigate takes a look on the next turn revealing not one, not two but three Jittes, but Robert obviously chooses to remove Sosuke's Summons from the game. Another Oracle finds the fourth land and Jasper plays one of those Jitte's. Robert keeps swinging with the Viper and plays a second copy.
Coiling Oracle goes in with a Jitte and together with the counters kills a Viper. Sakura-Tribe Elder is next in line for Jasper, who chumps the remaining Viper in the next attack. The Elves are ninjitsued for an Okiba-Gang, so Jasper has to discard Jitte and Remand.
Patagia Viper then creates some more chumpers, but is killed by Putrify on the next turn. All Roberts men are turning sideways once again and the Shinobi is double blocked by two tokens. Hyppie appears on the arena and the turn is passed over.
The Hyppie blockes Jasper's last creature equipped with a counterless Jitte, and dies to one -1/-1 effect. Robert has another Hyppie and Chord of Calling fetches a Scout for Jasper at EOT. He can go in with the Scout one time before it is Deathmarked, and with no creatures on his side of the board the game is over in no time.
Robert 2 - Jasper 0
Jasper plays first and takes the mull, and opens with Tribe-elder and Jitte. Robert has Birds of Paradise and Ohran Viper, followed by Cranial Extraction on Glare of Subdual. Jasper shows two Patagia Viper's and a Seshiro so no harm done there. One Viper makes it into play on the following turn and Robert then Castigate's the Seshiro away seeing Meloku added to the mix. Meloku comes out to play on the next turn obviously because all those discard spells are not friendly to cards in hand. Robert doesn't have much this game and Jasper can make the second Patagia Viper. When Coat of Arms appears on the table next turn we can shuffle up once again.
Robert 2 - Jasper 1
Robert opens with a bird and Castigate's a Patagia Viper. Elder is the first card for Jasper while Robert makes a Jitte. Jitte is cancelled out by Jasper's copy of the Legendary artifact, so Robert makes a Ohran Viper on the following turn. Another Jitte for Jasper and the Elder goes in, dies to the Viper and both mana producers die to -1/-1 effects because Robert is short on lands. He finds two lands in a row and Cranial hits 2 Coat of Arms out of Jasper's hand. Roberts' second Jitte kills Jitte and another Jitte means he now has a huge advantage. Okiba-Gang makes Jasper discard the rest of his hand and a second Cranial removes the newly found Sosuke's Summons from the game. That's enough for Jasper to present his hand.
Robert beats Jasper 3-1 and proceeds to the finals!
Sunday, Sept 10: 5:18 p.m. - Finals: Robert van Medevoort vs. Kamiel Cornelissen
Welcome to the championship of the world, also known as the Dutch National championships. In a top 8 filled with star power, one unknown player has risen to the top, and he goes by the name of Robert van de Medevoort. This little known PTQ player has showed that despite being confused by the colors of his ninja deck, the black boys can roll with the best of them as well. Who cares about Deep Hours and Higure when your Okiba Gang is being lead by a triplet Ink-Eyes (one in the board)? After upsetting Rogier Maaten with his one main deck Gather Courage, everyone is curious if he can use the card to full shock effect again. In the other corner we have one of the, maybe the, best player in the Netherlands. With infinite top 8's on the PT scene, he is looking to convert his second national's top 8 and win it all. Sporting the well known Von Dutch T-shirt, how can he really lose? He clearly had the hardest part of the bracket, and looks to have the match up advantage, but let's be honest… It's all about the Jitte boyz and girlz.
Before the first game both players are looking at each others deck list, when Kamiel sheepishly asks if Robert isn't playing a Shizo Death's Storehouse. When Robert answers no he looks in my direction, and shrugs, full blown Kamiel style. Guess the threat of Blood Moon outweighs the lovely lady Ink-Eyes bringing the fear in hearts of men everywhere…
Robert wins the roll, and decides to start it all. His hand of Gather Courage, Godless Shrine, and 5 other spells that of course do not matter, gets shipped back, but his second hand is fine. I don't think I have ever seen kamiel play a turn one creature, and his opening hand lacks one again, but he keeps anyways. Turn 2 Castigate by Robert starts the game, nabbing a Trygon Predator out of Kamiel's hand over Leak, Remand and Umezawa's Jitte. With Kamiel rolling on dub counters, the game stalls for a bit, with Robert trying some Hierarchs and friends, which get Remanded, while Kamiel drops just the Jitte, to make it safe from Castigate. Kamiel then peels a Viper off of one of the Remands, and has the mana to back it up with countermagic. Robert draws his 5th land just in time though, and gets rid of Kamiel's Jitte with his own, saving it from Mana leak. His specter though gets mana leaked, to make sure the way is free for the Reborn Ophidian. Kamiel is apparently out of counters or just doesn't care about his opponent's hand, and drops a Meloku and makes a man. Hierarch finally resolves, but just trades with the Viper. Robert has the second Jitte though, and as we all know, a Ninja's Sword/Knife thingy cares little about Meloku. Robert also has a second Elephant, to make sure he can use it. Kamiel plays a newly cast viper, making the Jitte not look that scary, but like a true master Robert drops two more guys! The jitte counters kill some Illusion tokens, Kamiel keeps making them and attacks, and draws a Trygon Predator in the end to destroy the Jitte and end the Game with the Broken Clouded Victory.
Kamiel 1 - Robert 0.
Robert boards 4 Deathmark, amazing in this matchup, and the third Inky for the complete Okiba Gang and, oh me oh my, the Gather Courage. Looks like we won't be seeing any insane tricks with that card the next couple of games.
Kamiel boards the Slums for the Ninja's again, and also adds the 4th Seal of Fire and 3rd Meloku for 2 Remands.
Robert mentions that this is the first time he is behind this tournament, and decides to play again. Both players keep and Robert gets things rolling with turn 1 BoP, second turn Ohran Viper, where Kamiel finally plays a one drop, kird ape, followed by second turn Jitte. That Jitte gets destroyed with Roberts Sword, and he draws a card with his snake. A second Monkey from Kamiel stops the snake from attacking though, if only Robert had his Gather Courage!! Mortify's and Putrefy's on the monkey's are countered by Mana Leak and Remand, while Kamiel develops his board, and Robert is stuck at 2 Lands, a Bird and an Elf of deep shadow. This time Kamiel has the second Jitte, and plays it despite the putrefy in Robert's hand, but settles for killing a snake and a Bird. The board is now Overgrown Tomb, Elves of Deep Shadow, Vitu Ghazi vs. 5 lands and a Kird Ape. Viper gets Deathmarked, a Bird gets played, but Kird Ape keeps attacking for 2. No land for Robert means his attempts at spells get countered, while kamiel drops more men, Meloku, Trygon Predator, and mops up. Mana Screw takes Robert down this time, and it looks like he is in for a pretty big task. Beating the great Kamiel three games in a row.
Kamiel 2 - Robert 0.
Neither player change their sideboard plans, which makes me sad, cause who really wants to see a Gather Courage in the board, really?
Robert asks for more lands this time, and Kamiel jokingly reminds the kid known as RvdM that he isn't actually playing all that many. On the comment that more lands can be brought in (the Vitu Ghazi in the board), Kamiel just smiles and says: "Yeah, nice colorless lands".
Robert starts again, and this time Kamiel decides to go to Paris. Turn 1 Elves for Robert, turn 1 Bird for Kamiel… Both players just love their duals as every land comes into play untapped, and stings. Castigate reveals a monster mulligan hand of Jitte, Jitte, Leak, Kird ape and a second Breeding Pool. Kird ape gets removed, as RvdM's plan looks to be to deny Kamiel his Creatures, not his equipments. Kamiel Rips another Monkey like a Pro though, and Robert complains about why it had to be exactly THAT guy. Clearly signaling a Deathmark, A second Castigate gets rid of one of the Jittes, but there is still one left. Kamiel is stuck on three mana and chooses not to play the sword but lean back on his Mana Leak instead. The first attack of the game, by the Kird Ape, takes Robert to 12 already, nice lands, but he doesn't care as he plays his Jitte, which gets leaked and paid. Jitte Jitte Jitte, Jitte Jitte Jitte Jitte…. How about those Jittes? How are those Jittes? Jitte gets killed by a Jitte, and the board is two elves on the one side, bird, ape and 3 lands on the other. By this time we are playing empty handed magic, and that happens to be one of Robert's best skills, as he rips a Viper, followed by an elephant, and all kamiel has is another Kird Ape, Which teams with it's brother to block the Viper, which gets regenerated by Loxodon Hierarch's ability. Kamiel just draws Green guys, which get killed by Deathmarks, but on the last possible turn rips his 5th land to drop a Meloku! It is now Meloku versus Vitu Ghazi, but Kamiel is at 5, versus Robert at 14. Kamiel then shows that he is not just a great player by following that topdeck with a Jitte, and as so many games where the last Jitte wins, the same is true for this one. The gods must have wanted Kamiel to win this game, and his top-decks helped him, despite Robert drawing several extra cards, mostly mana critters, with his Viper. Of course more stuff happened, Slums get played, so do Illusion tokens, but all it comes down to is that the game is already won.
Kamiel wins three games to zero and finally will be crowned Champion of the Netherlands!
Ps, Jitte you.