gplon13

Simonot’s Simic Swarm
Sweeps London

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In taking the crown here in London, Timothee Simonot completed the set for his small group of friends, who have all now featured in a Grand Prix Top 8, with two titles among them. Louis Deltour was the runner up at the last Grand Prix London, Pierre Dagen made Top 8 just a couple of months ago in Bochum, and Jeremy Dezani had won Grand Prix Lyon just a couple of weeks earlier! By any measure, that makes for an incredible few months of Magic for these four musketeers!

Drafting a quick, consistent, and crucially TRICKY Simic deck saw Simonot cruise past his Semi-Final and Final opponents. If the ever-Evolving Cloudfin Raptors and Experiment Ones didn't get you, then he was more than happy to gain control of all your creatures with Simic Manipulator. Both Manuel Hauck and Bartlomiej Tomiczek brought Boros to the table, but neither could contain Simonot, the Simic mastermind.

Simonot becomes the first champion of Gatecrash, defeating a mammoth 1969 other players who had arrived on Saturday with hopes of getting their hands on the trophy now heading back to France. One of the largest Magic tournaments of all time was a perfect way to welcome Gatecrash to the game and we saw some new stars born, both in Simonot's cool victory and in cardboard as well.

The coverage train now rolls out of London, bound for Pro Tour Gatecrash in Montreal before heading all across the globe for seven packed weeks of Magic action. If Grand Prix London is anything to go by, we're going to be talking Gatecrash cards an awful lot in the coming weeks. But for now it's congratulations to Timothee Simonot, and roll on Montreal!

Au revoir!


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Jamie Ross   Manuel Hauck, 2-1        
8 Manuel Hauck   Timothee Simonot, 2-0
       
4 Timothee Simonot   Timothée Simonot, 2-1   Timothee Simonot 2-0
5 Per Carlsson    
       
2 Fabrizio Anteri   Bartlomiej Tomiczek, 2-1
7 Bartomie Tomiczek   Bartlomiej Tomiczek, 2-0
       
3 David Reitbauer   David Reitbauer, 2-1
6 Andreas Nordahl    







  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix London provided Tim Willoughby, Simon Görtzen, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming at twitch.tv/magicprotour.


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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

INFORMATION
 1.  Timothee Simonot $3,500
 2.  Bartomie Tomiczek $2,300
 3.  Manuel Hauck $1,500
 4.  David Reitbauer $1,500
 5.  Andreas Nordahl $1,000
 6.  Per Carlsson $1,000
 7.  Fabrizio Anteri $1,000
 8.   Jamie Ross $1,000
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  • Top 8 – Player Profiles

    by Tobi Henke


  • Manuel Hauck

    Age: 30
    Hometown: Mutterstadt, Germany (playing at Wizard's Well, Mannheim)
    Occupation: Mathematician


    Guild:
    Golgari

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Won several FNMs.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Assemble the Legion, Boros (Orzhov), 9-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Treasury Thrull, Orzhov/Boros, 3-0 with a bye at 9-1.

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

    Treasury Thrull, Orzhov, 2-0-1.




    Per Carlsson

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Uppsala, Sweden
    Occupation: Working at a game store called Prisfyndet


    Guild:
    Rakdos

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    3-10 in Gatecrash drafts before the Grand Prix. Seriously though, nothing noteworthy.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Frontline Medic although Firemane Avenger, Assemble the Legion, Foundry Champion, and Wrecking Ogre were good too ... 9-1 with Boros, splashing black.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Frontline Medic, Boros, 2-1.

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

    Skyknight Legionnaire, Boros, 3-0.




    Jamie Ross

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Dundee, Scotland
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Dimir

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Qualified for the Pro Tour when I was 14 years old.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    My sealed deck was bad. The best card for me was Stolen Identity.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    My first draft was Orzhov, Screeching Bat was my best card. I went 3-0.

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

    Dimir. Best card was Grisly Spectacle. I went 3-0.




    David Reitbauer

    Age: 30
    Hometown: Vienna, Austria
    Occupation: Financial controller


    Guild:
    Dimir

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Runner-up at Worlds 2009 in Rome. Team runner-up at Worlds 2007 in New York.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Simic with Simic Manipulator, 8-2.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Frontline Medic, Boros, 3-0

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

    Simic Manipulator and Consuming Aberration, Dimir, 3-0.




    Andreas Nordahl

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Trondheim, Norway
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Esper!

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Two-time Norwegian national champion, team Worlds runner-up 2011, ninth at Grand Prix London 2011.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Skarrg Guildmage, Naya Ramp, 10-0.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Rubblebelt Raiders, Gruul, 2-1.

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

    Gideon, Champion of Justice, Esper Control, 2-1.




    Fabrizio Anteri

    Age: 22
    Hometown: Caracas, living in London
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Azorius

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Five Day 2s out of five Grand Prix played.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Lord of the Void, green-black with a free red splash, 10-0.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Skarrg Guildmage, Gruul, 2-1.

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

    Ground Assault, Gruul, 1-0-2.




    Timothée Simonot

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Paris, France
    Occupation: Writing for the French Magic magazine Lotus Noir


    Guild:
    Simic

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Three Pro Tour Top 50s.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Wrecking Ogre, Gruul, 9-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Merciless Eviction, Orzhov, 2-1.

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

    I played five rares and two mythics! I guess, if I have to choose one it would be Master Biomancer. Blue-black splashing red and green, 3-0.




    Bartlomiej Tomiczek

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Gdynia, Poland
    Occupation:


    Guild:
    Golgari

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    I managed to wake up on time for Day 2.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Frilled Oculus. Orzhov.

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

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

    Shambleshark, the Fish Crab.




     

  • Top 8 – Decklists

    by Tobi Henke



  • Fabrizio Anteri, Top 8 Draft
    Grand Prix London 2013









     

  • Sunday, 7:41 p.m. – Top 8 Draft: Andreas Nordahl

    by David Sutcliffe

  • Before the Top 8 draft began Norway's Andreas Nordahl shared with me the key component of his plan to win Grand Prix London – go Orzhov.


    "When you look at the power level of the cards on their own it seems pretty obvious that red is the strongest color, and the good red cards go really deep. But it's very easy to clog up the ground in this format and then red doesn't get through. I've also got no experience of playing Simic so I'd prefer to play Orzhov – you have to really get the nuts cards to make it worthwhile as Dimir. There's a lot of value in being flexible, though, and not committing too early to a guild"

    Orzhov was the plan, so let's see how it worked out for the Norwegian...

    Pack One

    Daring Skyjek > Death's Approach, Cartel Aristocrat, Slaughterhorn, Zhur-Taa Swine
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Daring Skyjek > Orzhov Keyrune, Scab-Clan Charger
    Guardian of the Gateless > Skinbrand Goblin
    Balustrade Spy > Devour Flesh
    Aerial Maneuver

    After six picks the Orzhov plan was still alive, but Skinbrand Goblin had come from a pack with virtually no black or white options.

    Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
    Dimir Guildgate
    Millennial Gargoyle > Death's Approach
    Furious Resistance
    Riot Gear
    Way of the Thief
    Murder Investigation
    Forced Adaptation

    Out of that first booster Andreas Nordahl had taken some good white cards early on but not been able to really build on whether that white meant he was Orzhov or Boros, with picks like Lazav and the Dimir Guildgate in the middle of the pack that didn't seem likely to help at all. This fit with Nordahl's stated aim of being flexible, but perhaps he was being TOO flexible?

    Pack Two

    Assemble the Legion

    "This is when I was locked onto Boros", Nordahl told me after the draft, "I opened a big rare and wasn't going to have it as a splash in an Orzhov deck"

    Viashino Shanktail > Basilica Guards, Massive Raid
    Debtor's Pulpit > Boros Elite
    Assault Griffin > Orzhov Guildgate, Executioner's Swing
    Angelic Edict > Basilica Guards, Bomber Corps, Boros Charm
    Fortress Cyclops > Dutiful Thrull

    That completed a string of picks that were all in-color for a Boros deck, and all decent cards, but all completely opposite to what a Boros deck was typically trying to achieve: beatdown. With an average casting cost of 5 across those picks Nordahl has ensured that his deck had good cards, but also that it was dreadfully slow compared to the usual Boros rush decks.

    Syndicate Enforcer
    Scorchwalker
    Act of Treason
    Shielded Passage
    Aerial Maneuver
    Skyblinder Staff
    Zarichi Tiger
    Guildscorn Ward

    The second pack had once again tailed off with some functional but uninspired cards, like Shielded Passage and Act of Treason. Nordahl had honed in on Boros, but this was precisely the strategy he had hoped to avoid!

    Pack 3

    Firemane Avenger

    If you're going to play a guild you want to avoid, you may as well open two powerful rares for it! The Firemane Avenger would sit well alongside Assemble the Legion!

    Court Street Denizen
    Firefist Striker
    Stomping Ground > Devour Flesh, Death's Approach
    Pit Fight
    Towering Thunderfist
    Dimir Charm
    Skyknight Legionnaire

    Those were not the cheap Boros creatures that Nordahl must have been hoping for, and the Norwegian was left scrabbling for playable picks as the draft came to an end.

    Act of Treason
    Dinrova Horror
    Clinging Anemones
    Furious Resistance
    Structural Collapse

    As Nordahl disconsolately dropped his card pool onto the table it was clear he wasn't happy with the draft – he had cards, but not really a cohesive deck.

    "My deck's fine, I guess, but it's really clunky. I got locked into it early on and just couldn't see a way out. I think it can win, because I've got cards that win games, but... it's just really clunky. A Boros deck should be all at 2 and 3 mana, and I'm all at 4 and 5".

    An unhappy Andreas Nordahl started sleeving his deck, with very few options available in his chosen guild colors and far too many wasted picks with black mana symbols on them. The Norwegian would have work cut out of him to progress through the Top 8 and win Grand Prix London, not least in his quarter final matchup against the experienced David Reitbauer!




     

  • Quarterfinals – Round-Up

    by Tobi Henke

  • The match between Andreas Nordahl and David Reitbauer was featured in all detail by our friends on video, leaving us with three quarterfinal matches, recounted here in not quite as much detail.

    Left to right: Jamie Ross (Orzhov) vs. Manuel Hauck (Boros)

    In game one, Ross kept a slow hand, while Hauck came out fast with Truefire Paladin and Boros Elite. He couldn't capitalize on that, though, when he failed to draw a fourth land. Guardian of the Gateless, Homing Lightning, and Knight Watch were all stuck in Hauck's hand, and to make matters worse, he also lost his Truefire Paldin, when Ross cast Aerial Maneuver on his blocking Basilica Guards. Meanwhile, Ross himself didn't put up much of an offense. Various extort creatures managed to get Hauck down to 7, but when lands finally did arrive on Hauck's side, the sheer volume of spells he had accumulated quickly overwhelmed Ross.

    For game two, Ross started with Thrull Parasite, Kingpin's Pet, Gutter Skulk, Cartel Aristocrat, and more Kingpin's Pet. "That was just too much extort," as Hauck put it, when he picked up his cards for game three.

    Here, Hauck opened on Truefire Paladin, Bomber Squad, and Ordruun Veteran, whereas Ross got stuck on three Plains, and remained there for the rest of the match. His single spell this game, Basilica Guards, couldn't quite compete with that.

    Jamie Ross 1-2 Manuel Hauck

    Left to right: Timothée Simonot (Simic) vs. Per Carlsson (Simic splashing Rakdos)

    Simonot went off to a quick start with Shambleshark, Deathcult Rogue, and Drakewing Krasis (turning Shambleshark into a veritable monster at 4/3). Carlsson's first creature was Scab-Clan Charger on turn four, and that just wasn't enough.

    Cloudfin Raptor into Frilled Oculus into Drakewing Krasis gave Simonot a sizable early offense once again. Carlsson fought back valiantly, though, entering the race with his ground creatures. For a moment it looked as if Carlsson had actually turned the game around when he cast Dinrova Horror, but Simonot only redoubled with Sapphire Drake. Not to be outdone, Carlsson trumped that smoothly with Clan Defiance, killing two creatures and winning the damage race soon after.

    Both players mulliganed to six, a mishap that appeared to be harder on Simonot's deck which was much more dependent on a strong opening. Unfortunately for him, this time it was Carlsson who had the quick start, with Gyre Sage, Disciple of the Old Ways, and Slaughterhorn. Simonot only had Disciple of the Old Ways (without red mana), Shambleshark, and Experiment One (unfortunately in this order). He was also missing a fourth land, while Carlsson cast Drakewing Krasis and started to beat down. Lands and a Scab-Clan Charger did arrive on Simonot's side of the board, just in time, as Carlsson sped up his clock with Keymaster Rogue (returning Slaughterhorn). In a sudden turn of events, Simonot now turned his zero fliers into three via Sapphire Drake, putting a second counter on both Shambleshark and Experiment One. Soon he was the one attacking, while Carlsson's Drakewing Krasis was held back on defense. Carlsson tried to ambush Simonot with Totally Lost on Sapphire Drake during combat, but that backfired spectacularly when Simonot had Mystic Genesis: Not only was Totally Lost countered, Simonot also got a 5/5 token which turned Shambleshark 5/4 and Experiment One 4/4. Carlsson was suitably impressed, then dead.

    Timothée Simonot 2-1 Per Carlsson

    Left to right: Bartlomiej Tomiczek (Orzhov splashing red) vs. Fabrizio Anteri (Gruul splashing black)

    Tomiczek accelerated into Knight Watch with Orzhov Keyrune, and followed it up with Basilica Guards and Horror of the Dim, all while Anteri was stuck on one each of Forest, Mountain, and Swamp, with just a Slaughterhorn and a Greenside Watcher to show for it. When Anteri finally drew land, he deployed some serious monsters including Zhur-Taa Swine, more Zhur-Taa Swine, Ripscale Predator, and even Rubblehulk. Alas, it was too late. After all the damage, Anteri had taken earlier, extort and Tomiczek's Balustrade Spy took game one.

    The second game started slowly with Verdant Harvest and Ivy Lane Denizen for Anteri, followed by a turn-five Rubblehulk. Rubblehulk met Angelic Edict, but Scab-Clan Charger turned Ivy Lane Denizen 4/5 and was itself turned 5/7 with Primal Visitation. If Anteri's deck cooperated, Tomiczek's creatures were apparently no match.

    Sadly, game three was marred by mulligans. Tomiczek went to five cards, keeping Orzhov Guildgate, Plains, Mountain, Gift of Orzhova, and Death's Approach; Anteri went to six: Greenside Watcher, Mugging, Ivy Lane Denizen, Act of Treason, and two Mountains. Anteri only needed one Forest to turn this into a real game, but Tomiczek's Balustrade Spy milled a Forest, and Anteri never saw another. He died to Boros Keyrune, Urbis Protector, and Sunhome Guildmage.

    Bartlomiej Tomiczek 2-1 Fabrizio Anteri




     

  • Semifinals – Timothee Simonot vs. Manuel Hauck

    by David Sutcliffe

  • Manuel Hauck won the die roll and put himself on the play, confidently keeping his opening seven cards while Timothee Simonot was forced to mulligan an unexciting opening hand of five lands, Drakewing Krasis and Sapphire Drake.

    Both players made rapid starts to the match, with Simonot's Simic deck ramping up through Experiment One and Cloudfin Raptor, while Hauck played a pair of Bomber Corps. The threat of the Corps was real, but Simonot played a Drakewing Krasis to Evolve both his creatures out of range of the Bomber Corps, and go onto the offensive. Hauck struck back with his two Bomber Corps and Simonot decided it was important to prevent his opponent building a Battalion, throwing his Drakewing Krasis at one of the Corps. Hauck seemed happy enough with the trade as well, replacing the lost Bomber Corps with an Orduun Veteran.

    Simonot's curve stumbled for a turn, but Hauck only passed the turn right back to his opponent as well, leaving Simonot the chance the Evolve both his creatures once again after playing a Sage's Row Denizen. A 3/3 Experiment One and 2/3 Cloudfin Raptor attacked to deal the first sizeable piece of damage of the match, leaving the scores 18-12 in Simonot's favour.

    Could Hauck hit back? Simonot was defenceless, but apparently Hauck wasn't playing the typically aggressive Boros deck and spent the turn playing Guardian of the Gateless and holding both his Bomber Corps and Ordruun Veteran back from the red zone!

    Play passed back to Simonot, but the Frenchman passed it right back to Hauck – clearly unwilling to tangle with the Guardian of the Gateless. Hauck attempted to add a Towering Thunderfist to his team but it was countered by Spell Rupture and the players remained locked in a peculiar stalemate. It was Hauck who again attempted to break the deadlock, and this time his Basilica Guards resolved unhindered.

    Simonot revealed that he had drawn a Sapphire Drake, and that gave both the Experiment One and Cloudfin Raptor yet another +1/+1 boost, as well as Flying. Sending the Experiment One into the red zone Simonot decided to test the waters – the Guardian of the Gateless blocked and gained First Strike thanks to Furious Resistance, but Simonot simply pulled two +1/+1 counters off the Experiment to regenerate it.

    Unable to profitably attack against Simonot's oversized Simic creatures, Manuel Hauck turned to Plan B, or rather Plan E: Extort. The German summoned a Knight of Obligation, which sat alongside his Basilica Guards as a real threat should the game drag on.

    Simonot had been guarding his Simic Manipulator in hand, safe from Hauck's Bomber Corps, but now saw an opportunity to gain an advantage and played the dangerous Simic wizard. On paper the Manipulator was vulnerable, but Simonot had drawn Shambleshark, which could be played with Flash to give the Manipulator +1/+1. Hauck took the bait and attacked with his Bomber Corps, Ordruun Veteran and Knight of Obligation, and Simonot sprung the trap – playing the Shambleshark in response to Battalion and placing his blocks!

    It was a painful turn for Hauck, who lost both his Ordruun Veteran and Bomber Corps, while only managing to kill a Cloudfin Raptor, while Massive Raid accounted for Simonot's Sapphire Drake.

    Simonot's tricksy Shambleshark had broken the deadlock and Hauck was vulnerable: the Frenchman played a Deathcult Rogue to add a second +1/+1 counter to the Simic Manipulator then took control of Hauck's Knight of Obligation, then added a Frilled Oculus to his growing swarm. From a stalemate just a turn earlier it was now seven creatures vs two, and Hauck needed some serious help, but while the German still had Guardian of the Gateless it was too dangerous for Simonot to attack with all his might and he had to be content to swing the Shambleshark for 4 instead.

    Hauck drew a Boros Elite, and Simonot drew a gamebreaker – a Gridlock tapped Hauck's creatures and cleared the way for a massive alpha strike, taking the first game for Timothee Simonot!

    Timothee Simonot 1 – 0 Manuel Hauck

    For a Simic-Boros matchup that first game had been an unusual cat and mouse affair but you had to tip your hat to Timethee Simonot, whose rope-a-dope trick with Simic Manipulator and Shambleshark had ultimately made the difference.

    A mulligan hadn't harmed Simonot's chances in the first game and he began the second in similar fashion. Across the table Manuel Hauck made a stuttering start, with a High Priest of Penance on the second turn but then missing his third and fourth land drops, to leave his Boros deck with only two land and no Mountains!

    Simonot must have smelt blood in the water – he played Simic Manipulator, then a Frilled Oculus to allow him to steal Hauck's High Priest of Penance. Things were rapidly going wrong for the German, and although he found a third land he was already 3-0 down on creatures, and with the real danger of the Simic Manipulator stealing anything he could actually play. If the German had a silver lining it was that Simonot was hardly able to deliver convincing beatdown with his 1/1 Priest and 1/3 Frilled Oculus, meaning Hauck would have time to recover from his poor start.

    Hauck played a Basilica Guards but Simonot was waiting with the perfect answer, casting his Shambleshark with Flash to give the Manipulator +1/+1, then immediately claiming the Basilica Guards as his own! Things were rapidly going from "awkward" to "flat-out bad" for Hauck although he managed to play Knight of Obligation on his next turn, while Simonot only had a Drakewing Krasis to give his Manipulator a single +1/+1 counter, and couldn't immediately steal the Knight.

    That was only a temporary reprieve for Hauck, and when Simonot played Crocanura on his next turn the Simic Manipulator was able to place the hoodoo on Hauck's Knight of Obligation as well.

    Six creatures played none and a glance at Simonot's hand revealed that he was holding a Mystic Genesis handy in case Hauck had any surprises up his sleeve. It wasn;t necessary, and the German offered his hand in congratulations – Timothee Simonot advanced to the Final of Grand Prix London!

    Timothee Simonot 2 – 0 Manuel Hauck




     

  • Finals – Timothee Simonot vs. Bartlomiej Tomiczek

    by David Sutcliffe

  • Simonot won the dice roll and wasted little time in getting his Simic offense rolling, with an Experiment One being joined by Frilled Oculus – Tomiczek had no second turn play and was quickly taking damage as Simonot wasn't slow to start pumping his Oculus. Arrows of Justice accounted for the Experiment One on the next attack, but Tomiczek was already down to 12 life and Simonot replaced the Oculus with an unblockable Keymaster Rogue!

    Tomiczek played a Zarichi Tiger but Simonot's offense kept coming, with the Keymaster dropping the Pole to 9 life before Simonot added a Simic Manipulator and re-cast his Frilled Oculus to put a +1/+1 counter on the killer rare. Simic Manipulator had been the card that Manuel Hauck had been unable to stop in the Semi-Finals, and now Simonot was planning to use it once again to take a quick lead in the Final!

    Bartlomiej Tomiczek

    Tomiczek dipped into the tank searching for answers before emerging with an Orzhov Keyrune and a Gift of Orzhova onto his Zarichi Tiger. The Gift was a real gamble, because if Simonot could get three counters onto his Manipulator the Pole would quickly find the Tiger heading back in his direction!

    Tomiczek attacked with the Tiger, climbing back to 12 life only to drop back down to 7 on Simonot's next turn. With the Frenchman's lands completely untapped Tomiczek had to act, but also had to fear any tricks from the Simic player's hand. Tomiczek had to try, though, but his Knight Watch was countered by Mystic Genesis! The 5/5 Ooze was enough convince Tomiczek the game was up, and Simonot eased into a 1-0 lead.

    Timothee Simonot 1 – 0 Bartlomiej Tomiczek

    Bartlomiej Tomiczek stared at his opening seven cards long and hard before choosing not to mulligan. It made for a brave call, choosing to keep a hand of red and white mana sources and black removal. If the Pole drew a Swamp his hand would come alive, but fail to draw one and this could be one of the quickest final games of all time.

    Timothee Simonot

    Simonot was determined that it would be the latter, and came roaring out of the blocks with a Cloudfin Raptor and Disciple of the Old Ways, then Drakewing Krasis.

    The pressure was undoubtedly on but skipping his third land drop left Tomiczek in trouble and missing the fourth drop as well meant the Pole had virtually no route out of trouble. The game was up and Simonot completed the rout in five unopposed turns to claim the title of champion of Grand Prix London and the first champion of Gatecrash!

    Timothee Simonot 2 – 0 Bartlomiej Tomiczek




     

  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix London 2013

    by Tobi Henke

  • These were the cards that were most discussed, that led the charge, decided matches, and shaped this Grand Prix.



    5. Madcap Skills

    Several players, even in the Sealed portion of the tournament, ran as many as four one-drops in their decks, and this very aggressive approach to the format was by no means exclusive to Boros decks (though it certainly helped with Battalion)—Gruul decks were invited to the party as well. In either archetype, it often was Madcap Skills which single-handedly turned a one-drop into a savage beating, that as early as turn two. Not to mention the smashing combination with Armored Transport. Kenny Öberg did mention it, saying: "If they don't block the Transport they're dead really quickly, and if they do block it ... it's like a double chump!"






    4. Slaughterhorn

    If he were allowed to pick one common to have five copies of in a Gatecrash sealed pool, Pro Tour Dark Ascension quarterfinalist Denniz Rachid would choose Slaughterhorn. "I believe this may in fact be the correct answer here," he said, making note of the all-important versatility. A decent-sized creature or a Giant Growth was just what was needed to break the ages old problem facing aggro decks, of wanting the maximum number of combat tricks to keep up the pressure but also having enough creatures to start the pressure in the first place.







    3. Kingpin's Pet

    By general consensus, Kingpin's Pet is the strongest of all the extort creatures, and a key player in giving the Orzhov deck the ability to deal early damage, to then finish opponents off via extort. A large number of Basilica Guards will drain all life too, eventually, but Kingpin's Pet definitely gets there faster and more reliably.












    2. Simic Manipulator

    David Reitbauer called it the best card in his sealed deck and in his second draft deck, partly responsible for putting him in the Top 8. In the Top 8 itself it was then Timothée Simonot's turn to manipulate. He didn't need Simic Manipulator to win his quarterfinal, but the card dominated in the semi, especially when he surprised an attacking (and pinging) Bomber Corps with Shambleshark to allow his Manipulator to survive at 1/2.









    1. Mystic Genesis

    Mystic Snake was a good card back in the day. Countering a spell, any spell, and getting a 2/2 creature for free? That's kind of unfair. Nowadays we have Mystic Genesis and that's reaching a whole new level of unfair. During the Top 8, we saw champion Timothée Simonot countering Totally Lost and later Knight Watch. Countering a spell and getting a 5/5 creature for free? That's a beating!











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