gppra14

Hrvatska's Horvat Crowned Master of Modern in Prague

  • Print

The letter W!e have been spoiled by great Magic the entire weekend here at Grand Prix Prague. 1,396 players came to enjoy the Modern format, with players ranging from local FNM'ers to seasoned pros practicing for the next Pro Tour. After 9 rounds on Day One the big story was a deck built around Fist of Suns and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Together with 184 others, it made it to the second day of competition. Among the eight who then fought valiantly enough to make it to the single elimination rounds, 9th ranked Jeremy Dezani was the biggest name. But he fell already at the first hurdle in the quarter-finals. Instead it was 27-year-old Croatian Vjeran Horvat who took his countries colors Red and White, added Blue and played well enough to claim the trophy. With a deck built around Geist of Saint Traft, removal and countermagic he defeated creature decks all weekend and his final opponent's Red/Blue Splinter Twin deck proved no different.

The Modern format also came out strong this weekend showing a variety of decks that hadn't made the big stage before. We leave the tournament halls with fond memories of Fist of Suns, Blue/Red Delver, Mono Green Devotion and even an Infect deck that made the top 16.

Until next time, we take off our Modern Hats, fill them with moth-balls and say... Congratulations to Vjeran Horvat, champion of Grand Prix Prague 2014!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Bernhard Wurmitzer   Marcel Kachapow, 2-0        
8 Marcel Kachapow   Marcel Kachapow, 2-1
       
4 Carlos Moral   Carlos Moral, 2-1   Vjeran Horvat, 2-1
5 Jeremy Dezani    
       
2 Vjeran Horvat   Vjeran Horvat, 2-0
7 Robin Dolar   Vjeran Horvat, 2-0
       
3 Andrej Rutar   Emanuele Giusti, 2-0
6 Emanuele Giusti    









What's being said about us...
Join the Conversation




  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Prague provided by Marijn Lybaert, Pro Tour Hall of Famer Frank Karsten, Simon Görtzen, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming.


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
 1.  Vjeran Horvat $4,000
 2.  Marcel Kachapow $2,700
 3.  Carlos Moral $1,500
 4.  Emanuele Giusti $1,500
 5.  Bernhard Wurmitzer $1,000
 6.  Andrej Rutar $1,000
 7.  Jeremy Dezani $1,000
 8.  Robin Dolar $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
Final

15
14
13
12
11
10
15
14
13
12
11
10
15
14
13
12
11
10

9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

 

  • Top 8 Decklists

    by Olle Rade



  • Bernhard Wurmitzer
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 Top 8 – Modern



    Carlos Moral
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 Top 8 – Modern



    Marcel Kachapow
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 Top 8 – Modern





     

  • Top 16 Decklists

    by Olle Rade

  • A'kos Kenyeres (9th)
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 – Modern


    Michael Teppa (10th)
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 – Modern



    Lech Dutkiewicz (12th)
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 – Modern



    Lukasz Szplit (14th)
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 – Modern



    Maximilien Berger (16th)
    Grand Prix Prague 2014 – Modern




     

  • Top 8 Profiles

    by Tobi Henke


  • Bernhard Wurmitzer

    Age: 32
    Hometown: Villach/Graz, Austria
    Occupation: Actor


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Won a FNM tournament.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Green-Red Tron because I haven't played since the last Modern Grand Prix and I liked it back then.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Cut one Wurmcoil Engine from the main deck and change the Stone Rains in the sideboard to something different.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Obviously, Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Tower plus Karn Liberated.




    Emanuele Giusti

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Arezzo, Italy
    Occupation: Writer for MTGMadness


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Three Grand Prix Top 8s, won two.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Jund because I think it's the best deck in the format.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Maybe cut two Slaughter Games for Sowing Salt.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Lightning Bolt.




    Marcel Kachapow

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Düsseldorf, Germany
    Occupation: Economics student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Tempo Twin because it has quick consistent draws, enough good match-ups, and it's the only deck I could borrow/had cards for.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    The Jund match-up is very bad if the opponent is good, so maybe changing to more combo in the board or play another deck like Affinity.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Snapcaster Mage.




    Robin Dolar

    Age: 21
    Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Grand Prix Vienna Top 8.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Jund with white. It seemed like a better version of Jund.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Minus one Timely Reinforcements for another Jund Charm.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Liliana of the Veil.




    Carlos Moral

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Chiclana, Cadiz, Spain
    Occupation: Video game tester


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Played some PTs, cashed a couple of other Grand Prix ... nothing important really.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Blue-Red Delver. I believe this is the best deck in the format.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    I would probably play less Vendilion Cliques, but that is such a great card that it's rather difficult to take out.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Gitaxian Probe and Young Pyromancer.




    Andrej Rutar

    Age: 34
    Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Occupation: Manager


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Two 9th places at Grand Prix. 9th wherever possible.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Ajundi. Dolar suggested we should play it and I have a foil Liliana.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    No changes to the main deck. Maybe cutting Timely Reinforcements.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Deathrite Shaman and Liliana of the Veil.




    Jérémy Dezani

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Paris/Orléans, France
    Occupation:Magic/tennis/biology


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Pro Tour Theros champion, five GP Top 8s (Vienna, Warsaw, Paris, Verona, and 1st in Lyon).

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Junk. White's better than red I think. I only miss Lightning Bolt. White sideboard cards are pretty good.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Maybe one less Spellskite.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Lingering Souls.




    Vjeran Horvat

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Cakovec, Croatia
    Occupation: IT developer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Nothing.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Blue-White-Red Geist. I played it for a long time.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    No changes, although Aven Mindcensors didn't do much.

    What is the most important card in your deck?
    Geist of Saint Traft.






     

  • Quarterfinals Round-up

    by Olle Rade

  • Bernhard Wurmitzer (Urzatron) vs. Marcel Kachapow (Splinter Twin)


    Marcel Kachapow vs. Bernhard Wurmitzer

    The most lopsided matchup of the top 8 unfortunately also had the most predictable outcome. Bernhard Wurmitzer could only watch as Marcel Kachapow Remanded his second turn Expedition Map and followed up with Deceiver Exarch into Splinter Twin, attacking him on his fourth turn with a billion 1/4 monsters. In the second game Wurmitzer had high hopes when casting a third turn Karn Liberated, while holding two more copies in his hand. However the first copy was met by mana Leak, the second by Remand, and then a Snapcaster Mage to flashback the Mana Leak followed by a second Remand and a Vendilion Clique to finally discard the third copy from his hand. Although the match went on for a few more turns it was essentially already over.


    Marcel Kachapow 2-0 Bernhard Wurmitzer


    Vjeran Horvat (Blue/White/Red) vs. Robin Dolar (4-color Jund)


    Vjeran Horvat vs. Robin Dolar

    Robin Dolar, fresh off a top 8 in Vienna had been piloting his 4 color Jund with expertise the entire weekend. Unfortunately Vjeran Horvat came well prepared for the matchup. Having played it seven times already he only had a single loss against the archetype and he soon displayed why. A ton of removal backed up by Snapcaster to reuse it he managed to remove all of Dolar's creatures and finish the first game quick with a Thundermaw Hellkite. Croatian Vjeran Horvat took down game two in similar fashion, although it looked like Dolar's Fulminator Mages might be able to keep him off vital mana. When they didn't he had no problem casting both removal, Snapcaster Mage, Geist of Saint Traft and Cryptic Command.

    Vjeran Horvat 2-0 Robin Dolar

    Andrej Rutar (4-color Jund) vs. Emanuele Giusti (Jund)


    Emanuele Giusti vs. Andrej Rutar

    In the Jund-mirror that many might expect to be a long and grindy matchup the games finished surprisingly quick. Andrej Rutar took a small gamble in the first game, keeping a 2-land hand, and when he never saw a third land Emanuele Giusti was quick to put him out of his misery. In game two Giusti was throwing out cheap creatures while Rutar had more clunky spells in Fulminator Mages and Liliana of the Veil. Giusti's two copies of Scavenging Ooze were able to control the size of opposing Tarmogoyfs, and an unanswered Dark Confidant found both lands and an Olivia Voldaren that sealed the Jund deal.


    Emanuele Giusti 2-0 Andrej Rutar


    Carlos Moral (Blue/Red Delver) vs. Jeremy Dezani (Junk)


    Carlos Moral vs. Jeremy Dezani

    Ah the best also lasted the longest. The fourth quarter-final displayed some excellent games between (9) Jeremy Dezani and Spanish Carlos Moral. In his debut top 8 he managed to take the first game of the back of two Young Pyromancer. Dezani could only kill one of them and was soon swarmed with Elemental tokens, almost in chock when he realized how powerful the Young Pyromancer is against his deck. For game two he took command early, and in the end two Tarmogoyf was too hard for his Blue/Red opponent to deal with. The decider was a display of how poorly Liliana of the Veil matches up against Young Pyromancer. As Dezani found no other removals Moral had no trouble casting instants to create Elemental tokens to feed Dezani's Lilianas while attacking with the Pyromancer and adding Delver of Secret and more tokens to the board. In the end Dezani gave a look that in writing would have translated to "Nice deck".

    Carlos Moral 2-1 Jeremy Dezani




     

  • Semifinals - Emanuele Giusti vs. Vjeran Horvat

    by Tobi Henke

  • Here three-time Grand Prix Top 8 competitor, and two-time winner, Emanuele Giusti met newcomer Vjeran Horvat. The Italian pro player may have been the favorite judging by previous Magic credentials, but who was ahead in the match-up wasn't as clear. Giusti was piloting Jund, his Croatian opponent had brought a blue-white-red deck with Geist of Saint Traft as its centerpiece.

    Game 1

    This was a very long and grindy affair and was decided on who could generate more "value." As it turned out, the blue deck could, even though Giusti's Scavenging Ooze made it impossible for Horvat to take full advantage of his Snapcaster Mage and Restoration Angel. Giusti got Horvat down to 8, but then the Croatian took control of the game.

    Following that, Snapcaster Mage brought Giusti all the way down to 9, was then joined by Celestial Colonnade, and Lightning Bolt took game one for Horvat.

    Game 2

    After intial trade-offs early on, Thrun, the Last Troll was soon staring down a Geist of Saint Traft. A race between the two untargetables developed which, in the end, was decided by the fact that Horvat had burn and Giusti didn't.

    "The key moment was when I chose not to block Thrun," said Horvat afterward. "I would have lost against Lightning Bolt at that point but knew I could win on my next turn with Thundermaw Hellkite and my own Lightning Bolt."

    Emanuele Giusti 0-2 Vjeran Horvat




     

  • Semifinals - Carlos Moral vs. Marcel Kachapow

    by Tobi Henke

  • In the second semifinal match to finish, Marcel Kachapow sat down at the table with his Tempo Twin, an updated version of the Splinter Twin deck Patrick Dickmann had already used to win the last Modern Grand Prix in Antwerp a couple of months back.

    Facing him was Carlos Moral, playing Blue-Red Delver, a new-ish deck no one had on the radar before this weekend. That should, and probably is, going to change in the future ...


    Carlos Moral vs. Marcel Kachapow

    Game 1

    Although Moral couldn't apply any early pressure, he, at one point, resolved Young Pyromancer and managed to keep it active for several turns, really showcasing the power of the young'un. An army of Elemental tokens swarmed the battlefield and stormed to victory.


    Marcel Kachapow

    Game 2

    This was quite a different affair. Moral had Delver of Secrets, Lightning Bolt for Kachapow's Grim Lavamancer, and then Snapcaster Mage to flashback-kill a second Lavamancer too. The game seemed to go in a similar direction as the first.

    All changed, however, when Kachapow cast and resolved Batterskull. The equipment was impossible for Moral to race and even more impossible (if that's possible, eh?) to handle conclusively. When he was forced to Vapor Snag an equipped Snapcaster Mage, well, that was a pretty good indicator things were going downhill for Moral.


    Carlos Moral

    Game 3

    The final duel was all about value and Kachapow had a definite advantage here, with Electrolyze and Snapcaster Mage to recast it. Although Moral fought back with Remand and Snapcaster Mage to generate some extra cards himself, he never really got his foot in the door. Without at least some early pressure, Kachapow's deck appeared to be well-prepared to fight Moral's strategy.

    Carlos Moral 1-2 Marcel Kachapow




     

  • Finals - Marcel Kachapow vs. Vjeran Horvat

    by Olle Rade

  • The table has been set, the silverware laid out and the decks have been shuffled. When 1,394 other players have been eliminated only two remain to play for the title at Grand Prix Prague. 25-year old German Marcel Kachapow takes on Croatian Vjeran Horvat, two years his senior. When it comes to Magic though, age is actually nothing but a number.

    Horvat deck has been notorious for defeating Jund and Junk strategies all weekend, but it remains unclear how his Blue/White/Red deck matches up against Kachapow's tempo based Splinter Twin deck. Surely creatures with Flash would prove crucial in the matchup, allowing both players to get pressure on the board while being able to keep mana up for countermagic and removal.


    Marcel Kachapow

    Lightning Helix took out Kachapow's Grim Lavamancer, that was the first thing on the board. Being stuck on two lands however it looked like Horvat might be in trouble. Remanding a Pestermite allowed him to draw an extra card, finding the crucial third land, while the Pestermite came back on the battlefield. A fourth land from the cap wearing Croatian enabled a Vendilion Clique at the end of Kachapow's turn.

    Kachapow responded with a Clique of his own, seeing a Thundermaw Hellkite in Horvat's hand, which could be devastating if he found the fifth land to cast it.
    "Not the mana to cast it, eh?," exclaimed Kachapow.

    "Waiting at the top of my deck," responded Horvat, earning a smile from the German.

    Kachapow elected to let him keep the Thundermaw in hand, and the fifth land was, indeed, waiting on top getting Horvat his second red source to cast the Thundermaw Hellkite, killing both of Kachapow's fliers, and attack for 8.

    "I forgot that it deals one damage to my guys, that wasn't so smart," said Kachapow and packed up for game two.

    "Almost your entire sideboard seems to be for this matchup," established Horvat between games, while deciding to bring in some goodies of his own in the form of Counterflux, Damping Matrix, Wear//Tear and a Batterskull, replacing 2 Lightning Helix and 2 Geist of Saint Traft.

    Frustration began to show on Kachapow when he saw his opponents hand of 3 Path to Exile and 2 Cryptic Command when he got a peek at it with a Vendilion Clique. Mana denial became his plan instead. A Molten Rain took out a land, recurring it with Snapcaster took out another. Tectonic Edge kept Horvat even further from mana to cast Cryptic Command.


    Vjeran Horvat

    A few turns later Kachapow's his board was reduced to a single Snapcaster and no cards in hand, but with Horvat at dangerously low 2 life. Horvat tapped out on his turn to cast a Vendilion Clique, and a Molten Rain from the top of Kachapow's deck dealt the last 2 points.

    The third game started with a lesson in one of the hardest decisions in Magic, a veeery tough mulligan decision for Vjeran Horvat. After already going to six cards on the play he stared down on Glacial Fortress, Tectonic Edge, Snapcaster Mage, Restoration Angel, Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix. Would you have kept? He took a long time before deciding to, and was instantly rewarded by drawing an Arid Mesa in his first draw step.

    His flow of lands allowed him to answer Kachapow's Vendilion Clique with a Restoration Angel, before two Tectonic Edges took out two os his lands. But once again an Arid Mesa came to the rescue from the top of his library. It allowed Horvat to find a Mountain to Lightning Bolt the Vendilion Clique, and 5 attacks later with his Angel he could finish off Kachapow with a Snapcaster and a Lightning Bolt.

    Vjeran Horvat defeats Marcel Kachapow 2-1




     

  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Prague 2014

    by Tobi Henke

  • These were the cards that shaped the tournament, that sparked discussions and were the most debated, the cards that won games and turned Grand Prix Prague into an event to remember ...



    5. Deathrite Shaman

    People hardly ever talk about Deathrite Shaman anymore but it continues to be one of the defining cards of the format. Whether it's about mana acceleration or graveyard removal or delivering the final points of damage—or most often all three—Deathrite Shaman remains a firm four-off in a number of decks, likely a fifth to a quarter of all decks that saw play on Day Two here in Prague for example. The battle between Deathrite Shaman and Snapcaster Mage in particular is always exciting. This weekend, the blue decks trumped the green and black decks, but Deathrite Shaman will surely be back.





    4. Fist of Suns

    Even in the early rounds on Saturday, Fist of Suns was the one card everybody seemed to be talking about. With a certainly not shy but rather vocal proponent (as well as pilot) like Jan van der Vegt, it didn't take long for news to spread. And it may just be van der Vegt found the missing piece of the puzzle that is the Goryo's Vengeance deck. Others had long been using Through the Breach (of which van der Vegt was only running one copy in the main deck) as an alternative to the reanimation spell, but actually being able to cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn proved a definite improvement.





    3. Young Pyromancer

    When my colleague Olle Råde wrote his "A–Z of Modern" and was looking for an entry for the somewhat pesky letter Y, we actually debated the merits of Young Pyromancer in Modern. Neither one of us could have guessed then that the card would have such a big impact on the tournament. It was a key card in the blue-red Delver deck which, despite seeing very little play, put four people in Day Two, two in definite Top 8 contention, and finally ended up once in the Top 4, in the hands of Carlos Moral. If anything, Blue-Red Delver could very well be the breakout deck of the weekend.





    2. Geist of Saint Traft

    There are a lot of versions of Blue-White-Red floating around in Modern. A few are very aggressive with lots of burn spells and Steppe Lynx, some others are very much geared toward playing the control game and even manage to leave all creatures aside in favor of planeswalkers and big spells like Sphinx's Revelation. Most players went with an approach that's located somewhere on the vast middle ground between the two extremes. So did eventual champion Vjeran Horvat, and the creature to make it all work was Geist of Saint Traft. He called it the most important card in his deck, and the Geist certainly did deliver.





    1. Snapcaster Mage

    Posing for the final photo of the day, Vjeran Horvat decided three of his cards needed to be part of the picture: One was the Thundermaw Hellkite which had won him one game each in the quarterfinal, the semifinal, and the final; then there was his beloved Geist of Saint Traft; but at the front was Snapcaster Mage which had not only played a crucial role in his triumphant deck but also featured promimently in Carlos Moral's Blue-Red Delver and finalist Marcel Kachapow's Tempo Twin. Snapcaster Mage only put twelve copies in the Top 8 but it's telling that, once there, no Snapcaster Mage deck lost except against another Snapcaster Mage deck.






    • Planeswalker Points
    • Facebook Twitter
    • Gatherer: The Magic Card Database
    • Forums: Connect with the Magic Community
    • Magic Locator