gplyo12

Jund Jolts Jeremy
to the Top

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France, for the last couple of years, had Raphael Levy as its standalone bastion at the Grand Prix circuit. This weekend, he was flanked by his fellow Hall of Famers Gabriel Nassif and Olivier Ruel. For much of the day, it looked like both of these past masters of the game would make it to the final eight. In the end, Nassif was halted, but Ruel added a record 27th (!) Grand Prix Top 8 to his resume.

The rest of France also stepped up its game, with fully half of the Top 8 stocked with home talent. The final few matches were fought with tension and excitement, but in the end it was Jeremy Dezany who claimed the victory for France.

Modern proved to be a ton of fun and ultra-versatile, with enough archetypes running around the top tables to keep the most ardent deck tinkerer happy for weeks. Every color in Magic was there in the finals, but in the end the Black, Red and Green triumphed over the Blue and White.

Congratulations to Jeremy Dezany, our Grand Prix Lyon 2012 Champion!



Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Peter Dun   Jeremy Dezani, 2-0        
8 Jeremy Dezani   Jeremy Dezani, 2-1
       
4 Mathieu Hautot   Mathieu Hautot, 2-0   Jeremy Dezani, 2-1
5 Clement Sarton    
       
2 Olivier Ruel   Davide Colla, 2-0
7 Davide Colla   Emanuel Sutor, 2-1
       
3 Emanuel Sutor   Emanuel Sutor, 2-1
6 Jonas Köstler    







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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

INFORMATION
 1.  Jeremy Dezani $3,500
 2.  Emanuel Sutor $2,300
 3.  Mathieu Hautot $1,500
 4.  Davide Colla $1,500
 5.  Olivier Ruel $1,000
 6.  Peter Dun $1,000
 7.  Clement Sarton $1,000
 8.  Jonas Köstler $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
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Saturday, 6:32 p.m. - Matchup Madness

by Frank Karsten


Over 1000 matches of Modern have been played here in Lyon today. That provides a lot of raw data that an analytical crusader such as myself loves to sink his teeth in. On my flight to Lyon, I had prepared a spreadsheet that could automatically combine the metagame classification with the match results. (The metagame classification is a collection of rows stating "Gabriel Nassif: Affinity", "Olivier Ruel: Storm", etc., which I compiled this morning. A match result is, e.g., "Olivier Ruel defeats Gabriel Nassif in Round 13". By translating that to "Storm defeats Affinity" and adding up all of those Sunday match results, I could get an overview of how the various matchups panned out.)

Here are the matchup results I found between the five most popular decks today:


  Jund Robots Infect UW Mid-range Birthing Pod
Jund XXX 17-23 (43%) 16-14 (53%) 13-4 (76%) 8-6 (57%)
Robots 21-17 (57%) XXX 8-10 (44%) 11-4 (73%) 4-5 (44%)
Infect 14-16 (47%) 10-8 (56%) XXX 4-7 (36%) 7-2 (78%)
UW Mid-range 4-13 (24%) 4-11 (27%) 7-4 (64%) XXX 3-2 (60%)
Birthing Pod 6-8 (43%) 5-4 (56%) 2-7 (22%) 2-3 (40%) XXX

So, Jund played Robots a grand total of 17+23=40 times today, and Robots won 23 of those encounters (i.e., Robots is a 43% favorite in the matchup).

Looking at these numbers, it would appear that UW Mid-range and Birthing Pod are somewhat ill-positioned in the current field.




 

  • Top 8 Decklists
    by Frank Karsten




  • Davide Colla
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern


    Clement Sarton
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern






     

    Quarterfinals - Olivier Ruel (Storm) vs. Davide Colla (Robots)

    by Frank Karsten


    This quarterfinals threw together Hall of Famer Olivier from France and Davide Colla from Italy, playing in his first Grand Prix Top 8.

    Game 1

    Olivier got to play first as a result of being the higher seed in the Swiss standings, but had to mulligan down to 6 in search of a keepable hand. He led off with Gitaxian Probe, which revealed 2 Inkmoth Nexus, Darksteel Citadel, Cranial Plating, Steel Overseer, Signal Pest, and Memnite. Not a bad hand from Colla; it represented a turn 4 kill, and Olivier knew he would have to try to win on his fourth turn.

    A topdecked Mox Opal from Colla changed that equation, as it allowed him to equal Cranial Plating on his second turn already and attack Olivier down to 13 life.

    Davide Colla rocking the Robots.

    Could Olivier go off on turn 3? Well, since he only had Past in Flames, Seething Song, and Pyromancer Ascension, but no further card draw spells, the answer to that was no.

    Olivier reluctantly passed the turn and, sure enough, a bunch of additional artifacts came down on the next turn. Davide managed to take the game with an impressive turn 3 kill.

    Olivier Ruel 0 - Davide Colla 1

    Game 2

    Now it was time for Davide to take a mulligan down to 6. Gitaxian Probe from Olivier revealed Ethersworn Canonist, Arcbound Ravager, Cranial Plating, Steel Overseer, Inkmoth Nexus, Blinkmoth Nexus. Not the most explosive draw, and without a white source for the potentially devastating Ethersworn Canonist.

    Olivier, however, failed to draw a second land, and had to discard his next two discard steps. In the meantime, Davide was building up his army of Robots, with double Steel Overseer turning them into respectable threats.

    Olivier Ruel, hoping to draw an Empty the Warrens

    Dead to an attack next turn, it was time for Olivier to draw a land. He slammed the top card of his deck on the table, and it was Misty Rainforest! This allowed him to go Pyretic Ritual, Desperate Ritual, Shatterstorm. Now Davide only had an Inkmoth Nexus and a Blinkmoth Nexus left.

    Over the course of the next few turns, it looked like Olivier was actually playing a control deck.

    Steel Overseer? Grapeshot.

    Arcbound Ravager and Cranial Plating? Another Shatterstorm.

    Memnite? Grapeshot.

    Ethersworn Canonist? Lightning Bolt!

    Rest in Peace came down for Davide, meaning that any Pyromancer Ascension or Past in Flames shenanigans from Olivier would be taken out. But Olivier was not planning to win the match with those graveyard-reliant cards. In fact, he had boarded most of them out in anticipation of graveyard hate. His game plan was to make a ton of Goblin tokens with Empty the Warrens.

    But to succeed with that plan, you actually need to draw an Empty the Warrens, and Olivier mostly encountered a slew of land instead. By the time he had finally found an Empty the Warrens, multiple Inkmoth Nexus boosted by Master of Etherium had already poisoned him.

    Olivier summed up the game nicely as follows: "That was the worst mana screw and mana flood of the entire tournament ... in the same game!" Disappointed but another Top 8 appearance richer, he extended his hand and wished his opponent good luck in the semifinals.

    Olivier Ruel 0 - Davide Colla 2

    Davide Colla advances to the semifinals!




     

    Top 8 - Player Profiles

    by Tobi Henke



    Peter Dun

    Age: 25
    Hometown: London, England/Brussels, Belgium
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Orzhov

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Build Elves with Glimpse of Nature, Enduring Ideal, and Eldrazi Ramp. Also Top 8 at UK Nationals 2008.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Splinter Twin with Grim Lavamancer. Lavamancer is very good versus all aggro decks, Jund, and creature-based combo decks like Infect, Twin, Affinity. The deck has a high velocity and is immune to Spell Snare since it has no 2-drops.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    Grim Lavamancer/Mizzium Skin.

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    Maindeck was perfect/Duress.




    Emanuel Sutor

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Saarbrücken, Germany
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    Nothing worth mentioning, but since you asked:
    two Pro Tour qualifications and one money finish at a Grand Prix.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Blue-White Angels, because it has a decent Jund match-up , no really bad match-ups in the format, and a lot of play to it. It's kind of like a (better) blue-white Jund deck.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    The flash creatures combined with all the instants making it really hard for opponents to play around everything/no sideboard card in particular. (Blue-white just has really good sideboard cards in general.)

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    I chose my cards very deliberately.




    David Colla

    Age: 20
    Hometown: Parma, Italy
    Occupation: Shop assistant


    Guild:
    Selesnya

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Some PTQ Top 8s, day two at Grand Prix Milan.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Robots, because Mattia Rizzi gave me that the morning of the tournament.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    Arcbound Ravager, he wins on its own.

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    All tournament long, I never boarded in Ethersworn Canonist.




    Jonas Köstler

    Age: 22
    Hometown: Fürth, Germany
    Occupation: Having the best girlfriend in the world


    Guild:
    No guild!

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 8 at GP Bochum, Barcelona, and Lille. Sixth place at Team Grand Prix San Jose.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    RUGW Pod. I just love to durdle with Birthing Pod.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    Birthing Pod. Not close.

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Tormod's Crypt.




    Olivier Ruel

    Age: 31
    Hometown: Lille, France
    Occupation: Bartender, local wrestling federation manager


    Guild:
    No guild affiliation

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Lots in the previous decade, a National Top 8 since then.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Blue-Red Storm, because I couldn't manage a good enough version of my five-color control decks. It's good to play a deck with which you don't get insulted by opponents on Magic Online when you cast Snapcaster Mage and Rest in Peace on the same turn. Less stylish, of course, but probably producing better results.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    I could pretend it's Increasing Vengeance so I didn't just copy but improve the Finkel-Martell deck. In truth, though, it's definitely Empty the Warrens. Actually, the best is probably Manamorphose, but Empty was the best surprise.

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    Shatterstorm, I really wish I had Shattering Spree instead, and at least three of them. Not that Shatterstorm is bad, but Shattering Spree is just better.




    Clément Sarton

    Age: 31
    Hometown: Grenoble, France
    Occupation: Industrial engineer


    Guild:
    Izzet

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    P?
    ro Tour Kobe 2006, several French Nationals.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Robots, because I didn't test a lot.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    Arcbound Ravager.

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    Torpor Orb.




    Jérémy Dezani

    Age: 22
    Hometown: Orleans/Paris, France
    Occupation: Student, cube drafter


    Guild:
    Orzhov

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 8 at GP Paris 2009, Top 32 at GP Paris 2011, Top 64 at GP Brussels and Lyon in 2010.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Jund, because I love to play mirror matches, and because with Jund you can win every match-up.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?
    Deathrite Shaman/Darkblast.

    What was the worst card in your deck/sideboard?

    Abrupt Decay because it doesn't kill Treetop Village or Inkmoth Nexus/Melira, Sylvok Outcast.




    Mathieu Hautot

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Le Havre, France
    Occupation:


    Guild:
    Dimir

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 64 at GP Amsterdam, played in Pro Tour Hollywood.

    What deck are you playing and why did you choose it?
    Blue-Green-Black.

    What was the best card in your deck/sideboard?

    Damping Matrix.




     

    Quarterfinals - Jonas Köstler (Birthing Pod) vs. Emanuel Sutor (Blue-White)

    by Tobi Henke


    In this all-German quarterfinal, Jonas Köstler was clearly the more experienced player, with three previous Grand Prix Top 8s to Emanuel Sutor's none. Experience may have favored Köstler, but when the players discussed their match-up while pouring over their opponents' deck lists, it appeared Sutor might be at a more tangible advantage in that regard.

    Game 1

    Both kept their opening seven. Köstler led with Birds of Paradise, and followed it up with Avacyn's Pilgrim, Noble Hierarch, and Avacyn's Pilgrim, all on turn two. Both laughed at the explosive start that somehow failed to accomplish much of anything.

    Jonas Köstler

    Sutor's first play of the match was Blade Splicer, but that was enough to stop all of Köstler's creatures as well as a freshly-cast Kitchen Finks. On Sutor's turn, the first-striking 3/3 Golem went to attack. When Köstler dared to attack with his Kitchen Finks, however, Sutor had Restoration Angel, blinking Blade Splicer and creating another token, which ate Kitchen Finks.

    Now Sutor had two 3/3s and one 3/4 flier and was beating down hard. Köstler bought time by chumping with his Finks and regrowing that via Eternal Witness. But those were only stop-gap measures, not solutions. Köstler's deck finally gave him those with Zealous Conscripts and his own Restoration Angel, but it was too late. Sutor's Dismember, Snapcaster Mage, and Dismember flashback left the attackers and blockers mismatched enough for Sutor to punch through the final points of damage.

    Jonas Köstler 0-1 Emanuel Sutor

    Game 2

    Köstler went first, had Noble Hierarch, followed by Kitchen Finks, then more Noble Hierarch and Wall of Omens. Once again, Sutor's first play came on turn three, this time a Vendilion Clique which picked Birthing Pod out of Köstler's hand. But this time, Köstler was already smashing in with 5/4 Kitchen Finks (thanks to double Noble Hierarch) and even redoubled with Restoration Angel.

    Sutor was forced to chump with Vendilion Clique and use Dismember just to stay alive at 4, while Köstler summoned Thrun, the Last Troll. On his turn, Sutor did actually have Supreme Verdict to clear the board ... if not for Thruns regeneration.

    Jonas Köstler 1-1 Emanuel Sutor

    Game 3

    For the first time, there was no mana acceleration for Köstler. Instead, he began the match on Wall of Omens and Kitchen Finks. At end of turn, after Köstler had used Misty Rainforest, Sutor summoned Aven Mindcensor.

    "That was bad," admitted Sutor. Köstler could only agree: "Tobi, you need to mention in the coverage that I didn't deserve to lose." Done.

    Emanuel Sutor

    However, Köstler wasn't exactly losing just yet. Sutor had a Restoration Angel, but so had Köstler, and he also got a Birthing Pod past Cryptic Command with the help of Dispel.

    Next, Path to Exile took out Köstler's Angel, clearing the path for Sutor's fliers, which soon were joined by Vendilion Clique. Köstler was forced to try and use Birthing Pod, sacrificing Kitchen Finks, but the top four cards of his library (the limitation imposed by Aven Mindcensor) proved uncooperative. The next attack brought Köstler to 4. He drew his next, possibly last card, thought long and hard, then picked up his cards.

    Jonas Köstler 1-2 Emanuel Sutor

    Congratulations to Emanuel Sutor for advancing to the semifinals and qualifying for Pro Tour Gatecrash!




     

    Semifinals - Jeremy Dezani (Jund) versus Mathieu Hautot (BUG)

    by Frank Karsten


    At first glance, the two French players in this semifinals appeared to be playing the same decks. Indeed, they were both running the same black-green base: Deathrite Shaman, Dark Confidant, Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil, and Inquisition of Kozilek. But they opted for a different third color. Hautot runs Vendilion Clique, Snapcaster Mage, and Mana Leak, whereas Dezani has Lightning Bolt and Bloodbraid Elf.

    Which would be better; the blue cards or the red cards? Let's find out!

    Game 1

    Hautot led off with a turn 1 Deathrite Shaman, while Dezani cast Inquisition of Kozilek on his first turn. Given the choice between Liliana of the Veil and Threads of Disloyalty, he chose to discard the planeswalker.

    An Inquisition from Hautot revealed Blightning and Dark Confidant, and he chose to send Blightning to the graveyard. Makes sense, as Dark Confidant didn't appear to pose a problem with the Threads of Disloyalty still lurking in Hautot's hand. Nevertheless, Dezani fearlessly cast his 2/1 creature. He showed why when he destroyed Threads of Disloyalty with Abrupt Decay on the subsequent turn.

    Mathieu Hautot

    A topdecked Liliana from Hautot got rid of the Dark Confidant. After a Treetop Village attack dealt with Liliana, the sole nonland permanent left standing was Hautot's Deathrite Shaman, which started nibbling down Dezani's life total.

    A while later, a new Dark Confidant came down for Dezani, and Hautot did not have a way to remove it this time around. In short order, the card advantage generated by Dark Confidant become overwhelming. Dezani was drawing two answers to every threat Hautot found: Lightning Bolt dealt with Creeping Tar Pit, another Lightning Bolt dealt with Deathrite Shaman, Liliana of the Veil dealt with Vendilion Clique and Deathrite Shaman, etcetera

    A couple turns later, Dark Confidant had handed the game to Dezani. Drawing two cards per turn is a good strategy in the game of Magic!

    Jeremy Dezani 1 - Mathieu Hautot 0

    Game 2

    Dezani started with two Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant, but they didn't stay on his side of the board for long. Disfigure and Abrupt Decay dealt with two of them, and the last one was stolen with Threads of Disloyalty.

    Hautot then moved into mana denial mode, with double Spreading Seas taking out Dezani's access to black and red mana. Unable to cast any spells, Dezani could only shake his head and continually pass the turn, while Dark Confidant, Deathrite Shaman, and Vendilion Clique slowly whittled him down to 0 life.

    Jeremy Dezani 1 - Mathieu Hautot 1

    Jeremy Dezani

    Game 3

    This game could be summed up as follows: Hautot had the Dark Confidant advantage early on, but got down to a dangerously low life total quickly. Next, two hasty cascading Bloodbraid Elf from Dezani turned the game around. All in all, the red cards had proven to be better than the blue ones in this matchup.

    To get a more complete feel of all the discard spells, Darkblast dredging, Obstinate Baloth foiling Liliana of the Veil, Dark Confidant playing decisions, and more, you can check out the magicprotour archives on Twitch.tv, as this match was covered on video with excellent commentary by Simon Görtzen and Matej Zatlkaj.

    Jeremy Dezani 2 - Mathieu Hautot 1




     

    Decklists of the 9-16 Place Finishers

    by Frank Karsten


    Kenny Oberg, 9th place
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern




    Mario Zuñiga, 12th Place
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern


    Emilien Wild, 13th Place
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern


    Edouard Mérieux, 14th Place
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern


    Gabriel Nassif, 15th Place
    Lyon Grand Prix - Modern





     

    Finals - Emanuel Sutor (Blue-White Angels) vs. Jérémy Dezani (Jund)

    by Tobi Henke


    That was it. One more match. So far both players, Frenchman Jérémy Dezani and German Emanuel Sutor, had succesfully navigated sixteen rounds of Swiss, their respective quarters, and their semis; now only the other one stood in the way to the title.

    Game 1

    Sutor had won the right to play first by way of his better finish in the Swiss rounds and did so, leading with Seachrome Coast and Dismember on Dezani's first-turn Deathrite Shaman.


    Next, Dezani's Inquisition of Kozilek revealed Blade Splicer, Spell Snare, Vendilion Clique, Wall of Omens, a land, and Geist of Saint Traft, which hit the bin. On turn three, Sutor weighed his options, but decided against any main-phase action. Neither did he use Vendilion Clique at the beginning of Dezani's turn, prefering to keep up Spell Snare just in case. This plan turned awry, however, when Dezani hit him with Blightning. Sutor responded with Vendilion Clique, then discarded Wall of Omens and Blade Splicer.

    While the Clique delivered the first points of combat damage, Sutor lost his last card, Spell Snare, to Thoughtseize, clearing the way for Dezani's Tarmogoyf.

    Lightning Bolt killed Vendilion Clique, but Sutor's Haunted Moorland started to churn out 1/1 fliers. The little ones were soon joined by Celestial Colonnade, and Dezani's lonely Tarmogoyf had trouble keeping up. In fact, the only thing which could still turn this match around (Sutor even held back with two 1/1s to get around Bloodbraid Elf cascading into removal) was double Lightning Bolt.

    Dezani paused for extra dramatic effect, then slammed two Bolts on the table. The (mostly) French crowd watching the live webcast on a big screen nearby went ballistic.

    Emanuel Sutor 0-1 Jérémy Dezani

    Game 2

    The game started with Dark Confidant for Dezani which was immediately sent on a Path to Exile. Up next, Vendilion Clique was struck down by a Lightning Bolt, and a second Dark Confidant met the same fate as the first one.

    Finally, some creatures managed to stay on the battlefield for longer than a split second: Dezani summoned Tarmogoyf, while Sutor got a token off Haunted Moorland and cast Geist of Saint Traft.


    Tarmogoyf stayed on defense, but a third Path to Exile quashed any hopes of blocking. Geist, Angel, and Spirit smashed in for 7, putting Dezani at 9. The already heavily mana-flooded Dezani drew yet another land. He killed the Spirit token, but that was the least of his problems, as Geist of Saint Traft and its Angel brought him to 3. During the following draw step his deck didn't cough up an answer, and that was that.

    Emanuel Sutor 1-1 Jérémy Dezani

    Game 3

    Once again, the game started with Dark Confidant for Dezani; once again, it didn't live but met Dismember.

    On turn three, Dezani resolved Liliana of the Veil and started to deplete both players hands. Meanwhile, Sutor didn't have a third land. (The crowd started to get a little restless.) On turn four, Bloodbraid Elf cascaded into Deathrite Shaman. (The crowd began to cheer.) On turn five, a second Bloodbraid Elf cascaded into Tarmogoyf. (The crowd got louder and louder.) On turn six, Sutor extended his hand in concession, and as Dezani took the handshake, the crowd exploded into jubilation.

    Congratulations to Jérémy Dezani, winner of Grand Prix Lyon 2012!




     

    Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Lyon 2012

    by Tobi Henke


    These were the cards that shaped Grand Prix Lyon, that dominated matches, sparked debates, and in the end decided it all.




    5. Deathrite Shaman

    Return to Ravnica's most important addition to the format seemed to be everywhere this weekend. An absolute must-play in Jund, it boosted out Liliana of the Veil as early as turn two, provided some much-needed graveyard control, and even outright killed opponents. But it also found a home in countless other archetypes: Doran decks, Vengevine decks, even Gifts Ungiven decks. Manafixing that packs some punch? Everybody loves it.








    4. Past in Flames

    Many of Magic's best and brightest opted for Storm this weekend, Olivier Ruel made the Top 8 with it and Kenny Öberg finished in ninth place. When I asked the latter about the most powerful card in Modern, Öberg considered Past in Flames, and when I asked him about the most powerful card in his deck, there was no doubt about it.










    3. Inkmoth Nexus

    Robots and Infect were, respectively, the second and third most popular decks on Sunday, and Inkmoth Nexus was instrumental in both. The Robots basically used it as another Blinkmoth Nexus to combine with Cranial Plating, Steel Overseer, or Arcbound Ravager. And the Infect deck might not even exist if not for the Inkmoth. Impervious to all sorceries, inexpensive to activate, and often unblockable to boot, this is the card that pulled it all together.








    2. Blade Splicer

    This weekend's finalist Emanuel Sutor is a talkative guy, and what he talked most about throughout the day was just how big of an improvement Blade Splicer was. Older versions of his blue-white tempo deck ran Kitchen Finks in the three-mana slot. Both creatures combo well with Restoration Angel, but Blade Splicer does it a little better still, isn't susceptible to Deathrite Shaman's third ability, and is more aggressive.









    1. Bloodbraid Elf

    In the modern Modern version of the deck, the former signature creature of Jund is sometimes overshadowed by so many other amazing cards. After all, Jund is based on the idea of playing all the best cards red, green, and black have to offer, from Tarmogoyf to Lightning Bolt, from Liliana of the Veil to Abrupt Decay. But Bloodbraid Elf is where it all started, and Bloodbraid also was where this tournament ended when Jérémy Dezani rode two of the hasty 3/2s to victory.









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