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Christensen Breaks Through in Gothenburg

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The letter I!t was an amazing weekend full of Magic here in Gothenburg, Sweden. 1,006 players entered the tournament on Saturday, 128 came back to draft on Sunday, and at the very end it all came down to one final booster draft in the Top 8. Here, Danish newcomer Oscar Christensen defeated all and took the title of Grand Prix champion!

This weekend marked the debut of the Return to Ravnica Block Sealed Deck format at the Grand Prix level, and it was only the second event, after the Pro Tour three weeks ago, to feature Dragon's Maze Booster Draft. And if one lesson could be gleaned from this tournament, it was that no strategy dominates; the age-old battle to balance power and consistency was fought at every turn here in Gothenburg. Navigating the intricate new Limited format, some players went with four or even five colors, others chose but two. Both extremes could be, and have been, succesful.

Take, for example, the final match of the weekend, where Christensen's blue-black-red control met straight Rakdos, as drafted and piloted by Mats Törnros of Sweden. This time, the control deck prevailed, but the games were close and the result could have easily been the other way around. Or look at Jan van der Vegt's two-color draft strategy which has been wildly succesful over the course of the weekend but abandoned him in the quarterfinals. The point is, there's still a lot of room to explore in the maze of Ravnica.

Of course, further exploration will be done right next week at Grand Prix Houston as well as all over the world at various FNM locations and on Magic Online. Meanwhile, the coverage team says good bye from Sweden, and congratulations to Oscar Christensen, champion of Grand Prix Gothenburg 2013!


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Thoralf Severin   Thoralf Severin, 2-0        
8 Mark Dictus   Mats Törnros, 2-0
       
4 Mats Törnros   Mats Törnros, 2-1   Oscar Christensen, 2-1
5 Michal Gajewski    
       
2 Oscar Christensen   Oscar Christensen, 2-0
7 Jan van der Vegt   Oscar Christensen, 2-0
       
3 Robin Steinborn   Robin Steinborn, 2-1
6 Antti Varhimo    


  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Gothenburg provided Matej Zatlkaj, Simon Görtzen, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming at twitch.tv/magic.







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EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
 1.  Oscar Christensen $3,500
 2.  Mats Törnros $2,300
 3.  Robin Steinborn $1,500
 4.  Thoralf Severin $1,500
 5.  Jan van der Vegt $1,000
 6.  Mark Dictus $1,000
 7.  Antti Varhimo $1,000
 8.  Michal Gajewski $1,000
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  • Top 8 – Player Profiles

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Jan van der Vegt

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    Occupation: Student/streamer
    Guild: Dimir, eh, Azorius

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    MOCS competitor, finished in the money at Pro Tour San Diego, lost a bunch of Grand Prix win-and-ins.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Ætherling, BGuwr (five-color green) and I went 9-0.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Haunter of Nightveil or Deadbridge Chant, UBg, 2-1.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Carnage Gladiator, Rakdos, 2-0-1-




    Oscar Christensen

    Age: 17
    Hometown: Copenhagen, Denmark
    Occupation: Play Magic and go to the gym
    Guild: GRUUL

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Advent of the Wurm, Boros Reckoner, Chaos Imps, or Clan Defiance.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Rakdos, Rakdos Cackler.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Azorius, Way of the Thief.




    Thoralf Severin

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Berlin, Germany
    Occupation: Student
    Guild: Azorius

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Worlds San Francisco Top 25, sixth at MOCS.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Lavinia of the Tenth, URwg.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Street Spasm, UGr.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Double Explosive Impact, GRw.




    Mark Dictus

    Age: 43
    Hometown: Antwerpen, Belgium
    Occupation: Outpost shop owner
    Guild: Gruul

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Top 8 at Grand Prix Brighton, Belgian champion 2006.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Beck & Call

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Gruul with white, Feral Animist, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Gruul, Feral Animist, 3-0.




    Antti Varhimo

    Age: 21
    Hometown: Espoo, Finland
    Occupation: Student
    Guild: Simic

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    This is my first big tournament, so literally none.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Not sure since it had so many ridiculous cards, but I'm going with Clan Defiance, Naya, 8-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Jund with Clan Defiance, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    BUG, probably Far & Away, 1-0-2.




    Michal Gajewski

    Age: 30
    Hometown: Warsaw, Poland
    Occupation: IT developer
    Guild: Izzet

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Top 16 at Grand Prix Malmö.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Esper, Stab Wound, 7-2.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Collective Blessing, BWG, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Voidwielder, UBR, 2-0-1.




    Mats Törnros

    Age: 28
    Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
    Occupation: System developer
    Guild: Gruul

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    19th at Pro Tour Atlanta, 19th at Grand Prix Barcelona.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    7-1-1, Bant, Angelic Skirmisher.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    3-0, Gruul, Madcap Skills.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    2-1, Gruul splashing black, double Madcap Skills.




    Robin Steinborn

    Age: 21
    Hometown: Berlin, Germany
    Occupation: Student
    Guild: Dimir, Simic, Golgari

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    13th at Grand Prix Bochum, 13th at Grand Prix Lille, some other money finishes at Grand Prix.

    What was the best card in your Sealed Deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Descration Demon/Dreg Mangler, GBW, 8-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Beetleform Mage/Frostburn Weird, 3-0, UGR.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Of course Pack Rat! All colors, GBU splashing RW, 1-0-2






     

  • Top 8 – Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff











  •  

  • Sunday, 5:33 p.m. – Talking Draft Strategy with Jan van der Vegt

    by Tobi Henke

  • The letter J!ust after he had won his win-and-in match for this Grand Prix's Top 8, I had the chance to chat with Dutch up-and-coming pro Jan van der Vegt about his general approach to drafting the Return the Ravnica Block. At Pro Tour Dragon's Maze one of the bigger stories were two-color decks, and Jan drafted one of those here this weekend to great success, finishing the Swiss rounds in first place.

    "I usually try to draft a Return to Ravnica guild. By about pick five or six of the Dragon's Maze pack, one often gets very clear signals what guild is open," explained Jan. "Most people seem to prefer the Gatecrash guilds for the two-color approach, because then you can cut the guild you want to draft, sending signals rather than receiving them. But there are so many ways how that can go wrong: Maybe the person to your left picked up two good Gruul cards early and will stick to it no matter what, or will even switch into your guild at the beginning of the second booster, because that's still kind of early enough, or a three-color drafter will throw a wrench into things."


    Jan van der Vegt

    What guilds in particular? "Selesnya and Rakdos are good, but the best one is Azorius," said Jan. "It seems somewhat underdrafted and also fliers are so amazing in this format. Wind Drake is actually a strong card."

    And what if the two-color strategy doesn't work out? "Well, of course, there's always the five-color control deck as a fall-back," Jan admitted with a shrug. "I have drafted a lot of those too, I regularly second-pick Guildgates for example. Sometimes there just isn't a two-color in the packs. It still is a multicolor block after all."




     

  • Sunday, 7:25 p.m. – Top 8 Drafting with Mark Dictus

    by Frank Karsten

  • The letter M!ark Dictus (a 43-year old game shop owner from Belgium) sat down for the second Grand Prix Top 8 draft of his career, having made the semifinals of Grand Prix Brighton in 2009. Let's get to his picks!

    Pack 1: Dragon's Maze

    Pick Mark's choice Other relevant options
    1 Punish the Enemy Warped Physique, Boros Battleshaper, Alive//Well, Korozda Gorgon
    2 Zhur-Taa Druid Haazda Snare Squad, Orzhov Guildgate, Wind Drake, Krasis Incubation, Trostani's Summoner
    3 Give//Take Bronzebeak Moa, Carnage Gladiator, Battering Krasis, Viashino Firstblade
    4 Battering Krasis Pilfered Plans, Spike Jester, Dimir Guildgate
    5 Kraul Warrior Selesnya Guildgate; Melek, Izzet Paragon
    6 Feral Animist Boros Guildgate, Trashing Mossdog
    7 Golgari Guildgate Maze Rusher, Fatal Fumes, Wind Drake
    8 Fatal Fumes Gruul Cluestone, Rakdos Drake
    9 Korozda Gorgon  
    10 Maze Behemoth  
    11 Orzhov Cluestone  
    12 Maze Abomination  
    13 Drown in Filth  
    14 Mutant's Prey  
    15 Clear a Path  

    "I like the 7-drops, but not as a first or second pick," Mark told me afterwards. "In the first booster, Punish the Enemy was the best card. In the second booster, I faced a difficult choice, but the tempo you get from Zhur-Taa Druid is absolutely insane. Also, I like green a lot in this format. My third pick was easy: the +3/+3 part of Give & Take is just insane in this format."

    After that, Mark cut the Gruul cards, and cut them hard. Also worthy of note is the Korozda Gorgon that came back to him as a 9th pick, foreshadowing that Golgari would be open in the Return to Ravnica booster.

    After the booster, I looked to Mark's left and right to see what his neighbors were doing. A glance to Mark's left revealed that cutting Gruul had worked out well: the two drafters to his left were on White-Red-Black and Black-Red. Mark's right neighbor, in the meantime, was drafting a Blue-Black-White deck.

    Pack 2: Gatecrash

    Pick Mark's choice Other relevant options
    1 Firemane Avenger Crowned Ceratok, Warmind Infantry, Prophetic Prism
    2 Devour Flesh Zarichi Tiger, Hands of Binding
    3 Gruul Guildgate Scorchwalker, Devour Flesh
    4 Massive Raid Five-Alarm Fire, Deathcult Rogue
    5 Zhur-Taa Swine Crocanura
    6 Orzhov Charm Adaptive Snapjaw, Simic Guildgate
    7 Verdant Haven Knight Watch
    8 Smite Millennial Gargoyle
    9 Sapphire Drake Wildwood Rebirth
    10 Primal Visitation  
    11 Last Thoughts  
    12 Shattering Blow  
    13 Mark for Death  
    14 Spire Tracer  

    "The second booster was really bad. Unfortunately, I didn't see many Gruul cards. I didn't get many good cards at all," Mark said after the draft.

    Indeed, despite his left neighbors not being in Gruul, the packs were not kind to Mark. After a speculative Firemane Avenger pickup, Mark had to settle for mediocre cards out of weak packs, and he only got a Zhur-Taa Swine for his efforts of cutting off Gruul.

    Pack 3: Return to Ravnica

    Pick Mark's choice Other relevant options
    1 Chorus of Might Centaur's Herald, Ash Zealot, Hellhole Flayer, Centaur Healer
    2 Lotleth Troll Dreg Mangler, Viashino Racketeer, Common Bond
    3 Giant Growth Sluiceway Scorpion, Knightly Valor
    4 Selesnya Guildgate Spawn of Rix Maadi, Cobblebrute
    5 Gatecreeper Vine Chorus of Might, Stonefare Crocodile
    6 Korozda Guildmage Rites of Reaping
    7 Stonefare Crocodile Trestle Troll
    8 Rubbleback Rhino Transguild Promenade
    9 Ash Zealot Grisly Salvage
    10 Golgari Charm Catacomb Slug
    11 Sluiceway Scorpion  
    12 Hussar Patrol  
    13 Sundering Vitae  
    14 Rites of Reaping  

    So Gruul hadn't really worked out as well as Mark had hoped. But Golgari was clearly open, as exemplified by the late Korozda Guildmage and Rites of Reaping that he received in the Return to Ravnica booster.

    At the conclusion of the draft, Mark had cards all over the place. Would he be able to run Zhur-Taa Druid, Lotleth Troll, and Firemane Avenger in his deck?


    Mark Dictus building his deck.

    Mark took all the time available to him to figure out how to piece together his deck. Eventually, he chose to go with all 4 colors, but to cut Zhur-Taa Druid. "I wouldn't be able to cast it on turn 2," Mark explained. This was the deck Mark eventually registered:


    "I would have been happier with 2 colors. Now I'm playing all the good cards, but in 4 colors," Mark said after building his deck. Things didn't working out for him in the quarterfinals: he fell at the hands of Thoralf Severin.




     

  • Sunday, 8:30 p.m. – Top 8 Draft Graphical Overview

    by Frank Karsten

  • The letter T!he picture below described the draft seating, the direction in which the Dragon's Maze and Return to Ravnica packs were passed, and the colors that all players drafted.


    Clearly, red was overdrafted: All players except for one dabbled in red. Blue and black, on the other hand, were drafted by only three and four players, respectively. Notably, eventual champion Oscar Christensen was in the Dimir colors. Apparently, reading the table and moving into the underdrafted colors is a great strategy for winning a Grand Prix!




     

  • Quarterfinals – Roundup

    by Tobi Henke


  • Antti Varhimo 1-2 Robin Steinborn

    The letter T!he match between Antti Varhimo and Robin Steinborn, was the first to finish, and to no one's surprise, as this pairing pitted Varhimo's straight Boros deck against Steinborn's Boros/Rakdos hybrid. In the first game, Steinborn curved out with Bomber Corps, Hellhole Flailer unleashed, Court Street Denizen, and Viashino Firstblade. Varhimo never had a chance. In the second, Steinborn mulliganed to three cards, evening the score. And in the third game, Steinborn accelerated into Maze Rusher with the help of Crypt Ghast and had sufficient detaining capabilities, in Azorius Arrester and Lyev Decree to carry the advantage to victory.


    Jan van der Vegt 0-2 Oscar Christensen

    The letter M!eanwhile, Oscar Christensen's blue-black-red deck had succesfully deployed Mirko Vosk, Fluxcharger, Mindeye Drake, and Isperia's Skywatch to even keep Jan van der Vegt's army of Bird tokens from attacking. Nothing moved on the board, except for Christensen's Lobber Crew, slowly whittling away at van der Vegt's life total. Christensen then ended the game by activating the first ability of his Duskmantle Guildmage and hitting van der Vegt with Breaking & Entering. For the second game, van der Vegt had a sweet start of Sindic of Tithes, Centaur Healer, and Bronzeback Moa but lost the Syndic to Devour Flesh, then couldn't get past Woodlot Crawler, and soon lost to Mirko Vosk.


    Mark Dictus 0-2 Thoralf Severin

    The letter I!n the third quarterfinal, Thoralf Severin and his blue-green-red deck beat Mark Dictus and his Golgari deck (splashing Boros) 2-0. In one game, Dictus didn't have an answer for Severin's Ghor-Clan Rampager until it was way too late; in the other he mulliganed down to five cards, while Severin opened strong on Shambleshark, Deathcult Rogue, and Ghor-Clan Rampager. Dictus fought back valiantly with Korozda Guildmage and Lotleth Troll, but Severin's Chorus of Might decided the damage race in his favor.


    Michal Gajewski 1-2 Mats Törnros

    The letter T!his leaves the match between Michal Gajewski who had drafted blue-red-green and Mats Törnros on Rakdos. The latter rushed the former with Rakdos Shred-Freak, Ember Beast, Riot Piker, and Gore-House Chainwalker, even managing to disable Runner's Bane via Civic Saber, and took the lead. After mulligans, however, Törnros lost the second game. For the third, it was Gajewski turn to mulligan. He kept a five-card hand with one Mountain, one Island, blue and red three- and four-drops, then proceeded to draw four green cards straight. When he found a Forest, Törnros's Carnage Gladiator had made it almost impossible for Gajewski to come back into the game, and Act of Treason made it totally impossible.




     

  • Semifinals – Mats Törnros vs. Thoralf Severin

    by Frank Karsten

  • The letter W!ell, that didn't take long. Mats Tornros and his blazingly fast Rakdos deck defeated Thoralf Severin in 2 quick games.

    In game 1, Törnros' had Shadow Alley Denizen, Gore-House Chainwalker, Gutter Skulk, and Wight of Precinct Six over the course of his first four turns: an impressive amount of pressure. Severin never had the opportunity to muster a defense. When Törnros found his fourth land and Carnage Gladiator came down, it was over.


    Thoralf Severin (left) vs Mats Tornros (right)

    In game 2, it was Severin who was the early aggressor, with Deathcult Rogue and Cloudfin Raptor attacking. "But he never got green mana," Törnros summarized after the match. Törnros played Dead Reveler, Ember Beast, and Carnage Gladiator and simply started attacking. "I was a bit scared of Ætherize since I passed it to him in the draft." But as it turned out, Severin had nothing except for a bunch of uncastable green cards. When he finally found a Forest, it was too late.




     

  • Semifinals – Robin Steinborn vs. Oscar Christensen

    by Frank Karsten

  • The letter T!his one took a bit longer, but Oscar Christensen's high-impact spells defeated Robin Steinborn's White-Red-Black deck in two games.

    In game 1, Christensen had the defender team of Murmuring Phantasm and Lobber Crew to stave off Steinborn's early attacks. Christensen's plan of winning the game with Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker seemed to be thwarted by Steinborn's Launch Party, but it immediately entered the battlefield again due to Breaking & Entering. Steinborn didn't have a removal spell for the second incarnation, and was quickly milled to death.


    Oscar Christensen (left) vs Robin Steinborn (right)

    In game 2, Christensen again had the same defenders holding the fort. Steinborn used Shadow Slice plus Lyev Decree to push through a lot of damage, but didn't manage to deal 20. Steinborn then hit a bunch of lands. "I think I was pretty lucky, since my opponent drew too many lands," Christensen said after the match. At some point, having Explosive Impact, Isperia's Skywatch, and Breaking & Entering in hand but needing a sixth land to play them, Christensen chose to play Dimir Charm on himself. "I figured, why not", he mentioned. It worked out well: He found a land in his top three cards. A few turns later, his 6-mana haymakers had taken the game, and the match.




     

  • Finals – Oscar Christensen vs. Mats Törnros

    by Tobi Henke

  • "Break you ...?" asked Oscar Christensen in the final moments of this final duel of the weekend, revealing Breaking & Entering. Mats Törnros held his opponent's gaze for a bit, then nodded, "Sure." And with that, Christensen won the game and match to become the champion of Grand Prix Gothenburg 2013, to the deafening cheers of his friends.

    But it was no easy path that led to this triumph. At the beginning of the match it seemed as if Christensen's control-oriented blue-black-red deck might be at a disadvantage in the fight against Törnros's straight-up Rakdos.

    "How many have you got?" Christensen asked in disbelief when faced with two Carnage Gladiators on the fifth turn of the first game. Törnros just smiled. "At least two," Törnros answered, with a third copy still somewhere in his deck. Meanwhile, Christensen had missed his fourth land drop, and when he made it, he was still missing blue mana. He never stood a chance.


    Mats Törnros

    So game one was utter carnage, literally, and Christensen now found himself down one game, with his back against the wall.

    The second game, however, saw the traditional roles curiously reversed. Here it was Christensen's Duskmantle Guildmage who led the beatdown. Christensen followed it up with Bane Alley Broker and Bane Alley Blackguard, while Törnros only had two 1/1s in Wight of Precinct Six and Gateway Shade.

    But once again Carnage Gladiator came down on turn four, and a second one joined its colleague on turn five. The Gladiator attacked, and Christensen didn't dare block with his freshly-summoned Mindeye Drake—a good choice as Weapon Surge was waiting in Törnros's hand. Instead, the 2/5 flier continued what Duskmantle Guildmage and Bane Alley Blackguard had started, getting Törnros down to 9.

    Of course, two Carnage Gladiators on the opposing side didn't just sit there. Trying to win the race, Törnros attacked with all of his creatures, but, unfortunately, managed to deal exactly zero points of damage thanks to Christensen's overloaded Downsize. Mindeye Drake put Törnros at 7.

    And again Törnros attcked with all of his creatures. Even though Christensen cumpblocked both Gladiators, their triggers along with Gateway Shade and Wight of Precinct Six dealt a whopping 8 damage, half of Christensen's life total at this point. He wouldn't survive one more attack. Luckily, he didn't have to. His Explosive Impact put Törnros at 2 and Mindeye Drake finished the job just in time.


    Oscar Christensen

    Now the score stood at one win each, and it all came down to the third. Here, Törnros stumbled on his mana. Stuck on two Mountains, he lost his Gore-House Chainwalker to Devour Flesh, then didn't do anything for a couple of turns. He even had to discard.

    Meanwhile, Christensen had no red mana, but he did have Duskmantle Guildmage and begun the slow process of beating down for 2 points a turn. He sped that up a little by activating the Guildmage's first ability, followed by Dimir Charm's third mode. Two Swamps made their way to Törnros's graveyard, though now he did topdeck a third Mountain, cast Viashino Racketeer, and finally found a Swamp.

    But it was too little too late. Soon, Christensen activated Duskmantle Guildmage's first ability one last time, then pointed Breaking & Entering at Törnros, making him lose all of his remaining life total and claiming the title of Grand Prix champion!




     

  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Gothenburg

    by Frank Karsten



  • 5. Feral Animist

    This card can do a ton of damage for the low, low cost of three mana. Top 8 competitor Mark Dictus named it as the best card in both of his 3-0 Gruul draft decks. He combined it with Ghor-Clan Rampager to turn the 2/1 into an impressive 12-power trampler to win game after game. It just goes to show that the synergies in this Limited format run very deep. Players such as Mark who recognized the value in cards like Feral Animist were rewarded over the course of the weekend.









    4. Azorius Guildgate

    Mana fixing is a top priority in the multicolored Ravnica Block Limited format. In the Sealed deck portion, most players started by checking how many Guildgates they got. In the draft portion, several players were going as far as taking Guildgates first-pick. One of the biggest advocates of mana consistency was Kenny Oberg, who made Day 2 with an ultra-consistent blue-white deck featuring 3 Azorius Guildgates. While some players are weary of running come-in-play tapped lands, Kenny didn't have to take many mulligans and was always able to cast his spells. But Guildgates are not just for fixing: we saw plenty of off-color Guildgates being played over the weekend to turn on Saruli Gatekeepers and the like.





    3. Verdant Haven

    Verdant Haven saw a lot of play over the course of this weekend as an enabler for the five-color mages. It fills three important roles simultaneously: fixing mana, accelerating into the expensive haymakers, and staying alive. The Green enchantment was one of the centerpiece's of Jan van der Vegt's 9-0 Sealed deck; it allowed the Dutchman to cram his best cards from all five colors into his deck. Verdant Haven also allows for some sweet combo potential: Jan's fastest wins came from draws that provided turn 1 Guildgate, turn 2 Greenside Watcher, turn 3 Verdant Haven on the Guildgate, into turn 4 Trostani's Summoner. How is that fair?





    2. Carnage Gladiator

    This weekend, we saw Rakdos annihilating anyone at a moment's notice, and we saw Carnage Gladiator showcased in the way it is meant to be: absolutely punishing opponents who stumble on early drops and mana. A 4/2 regenerator for 4 mana wouldn't be a bad deal by itself, but its ability to make blocking into a nightmare is just insane for any aggressive Rakdos deck. When you're on the receiving side of Carnage Gladiator, it doesn't matter what you do. Block or don't block; your life total will go down regardless. In the Top 8, Mats Törnros had as many as three copies of Carnage Gladiator in his blazingly fast Rakdos deck. They quickly carried him to the finals, but in the end it was still Oscar Christensen who took the trophy with our number one card.





    1. Breaking & Entering

    It doesn't matter whether it's Round 1 or Round 18; when you're playing Magic, you are continually learning about new interactions. While drafting in the Top 8, Oscar Christensen didn't notice the interaction between Breaking & Entering and Dimir Guildmage right away. It wasn't until a game in the quarterfinals when he worked it out. With his opponent at 8 life, he used the first ability of Duskmantle Guildmage followed by the Dimir part of Breaking & Entering to win the game out of nowhere. In the semifinals, he used the Rakdos part to get back his eventually game-winning Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker. And in the crucial game 3 of the finals, the exact same situation as in the quarterfinals happened again. With Mats Törnros at 8 life, Oscar Christenen again had Duskmantle Guildmage plus Breaking & Entering, and took the title of Grand Prix Gothenburg champion.






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