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Danes Make Their Mark in Strasbourg

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Another weekend full of Magic is over. 1,365 players entered the fray Saturday morning, 172 of them made it through nine grueling rounds and came back on Sunday. Then, after another seven rounds, the top eight players gathered in the feature match area, including Pro Tour Avacyn Restored champion Alexander Hayne who came all the way from Canada and last year's Grand Prix Chicago champion Jacob Wilson.

But Hayne and Wilson were not the only ones who'd traveled far to play here in Strasbourg, France this weekend. For some it was all about the pro points. With the professional season drawing to a close, Pro Player Club levels were at stake as were spots on various World Magic Cup teams.

For others, it was the format. Legacy proved to be as popular as ever, and certainly as diverse. Throughout the weekend, we saw a number of innovative decks, whether it was a crazy Show and Tell/Dream Halls/Omniscience/Enter the Infinite concoction, a brew based on Helm of Awakening, or simply a new take on an old favorite like RUG.

The story of the tournament, however, was clearly the Danish version of Death & Taxes. The deck wasn't high on people's radar going into the weekend, but it sure is now. Teammates Michael Bonde and Thomas Enevoldsen both made it to the Top 8, playing the same version of the deck, with but three losses between them. Once in the Top 8, neither player lost another match except for the semifinal when Bonde lost the mirror match against Enevoldsen who went on to defeat Jacob Wilson in the final.

Congratulations to Thomas Enevoldsen, champion of Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Alexander Hayne   Alexander Hayne, 2-1        
8 Fabian Görzgen   Jacob Wilson, 2-1
       
4 Alexey Romanchuk   Jacob Wilson, 2-1   Thomas Enevoldsen, 2-1
5 Jacob Wilson    
       
2 Thomas Enevoldsen   Thomas Enevoldsen, 2-0
7 Christopher Brunner   Thomas Enevoldsen, 2-0
       
3 Michael Bonde   Michael Bonde, 2-1
6 Hove Thießen    







  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Strasbourg provided Matej Zatlkaj, Marijn Lybaert, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming at twitch.tv/magicprotour.



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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

INFORMATION
 1.  Thomas Enevoldsen $3,500
 2.  Jacob Wilson $2,300
 3.  Alexander Hayne $1,500
 4.  Michael Bonde $1,500
 5.  Alexey Romanchuk $1,000
 6.  Hove Thießen $1,000
 7.  Christopher Brunner $1,000
 8.  Fabian Görzgen $1,000
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  • Top 8 – Players

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Jacob Wilson

    Age: 18
    Hometown: San Francisco, California
    Occupation: Student, tennis coach


    Guild:
    Simic

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Grand Prix Chicago champion, made Gold level just from nine GPs.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    RUG Delver. I love cheap interactive spells. It's also the deck I have the most experience with.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    It's perfect.

    What preview card from Dragon's Maze is your favorite so far?

    The green-white two-drop StagTusk [Voice of Resurgence].




    Alexey Romanchuk

    Age: 29
    Hometown: Novosibirsk, Russia
    Occupation: Software developer


    Guild:
    Gruul

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    -

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Merfolk. Nothing is better than one-drop, lord, lord, lord, and lord. And most of the tier one decks play Islands.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    One more Spell Pierce probably.

    What preview card from Dragon's Maze is your favorite so far?

    I did not check the previews yet.




    Fabian Görzgen

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Bochum, Germany
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Gruul

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 8 at Grand Prix Amsterdam, Top 8 at the last German Nationals.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Four-color Punishing Maverick, because of Punishing Fire, Knight of the Reliquary, and awesome sideboard options.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    I would make some space for a second Qasali Pridemage in the maindeck or sideboard.

    What preview card from Dragon's Maze is your favorite so far?

    Ral Zarek.




    Thomas Enevoldsen

    Age: 25
    Hometown: G-Town
    Occupation: Law student/member of Team Rocket


    Guild:
    Not affiliated, mono-white

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Two Grand Prix Top 16s, Danish National champion twice.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Mono-White Control, the best deck in the format and only deck I can play.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?

    Replace one Sunlance and one Leonin Relic-Warder with one Relic of Progenitus and one Oblivion Ring.




    Hove Thießen

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Kiel, Germany
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Dimir

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Team America because I feel very comfortable with it. Seemed good during the last three days.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    I can't think of any.

    What preview card from Dragon's Maze is your favorite so far?

    This funny 1/4 Rakdos Demon [Master of Cruelties].




    Christopher Brunner

    Age: 22
    Hometown: Neu Wulmstorf, Germany
    Occupation: Student


    Guild:
    Selesnya

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Nothing. This my first Constructed Grand Prix, fourth overall.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Sneak & Show, because it does pretty unfair things very often!

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    Maybe cut the Preordain for a Sensei's Divining Top cause it's better in the late game.

    What preview card from Dragon's Maze is your favorite so far?

    I like Maze's End. Could be interesting in some decks.




    Alexander Hayne

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Westmount, Quebec, Canada
    Occupation: Magic pro player


    Guild:
    Dimir

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Pro Tour Barcelona winner, Grand Prix Montreal finalist, Rookie of the Year, Top 8 at the Players Championship

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Canadian Threshold. It was the deck I was most comfortable with and I have never failed to cash with it.

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
    No changes for this tournament. I liked my build a lot for the metagame.

    What preview card from Dragon's Maze is your favorite so far?

    Ral Zarek. I love blue planeswalkers.




    Michael Bonde Pilgaard

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Aarhus, Denmark
    Occupation: Student, member of Team Rocket


    Guild:
    Azorius

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 10 Grand Prix San Diego, Top 22 Grand Prix Bilbao.

    What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
    Mono-White Control (Team Rocket deck) because it only loses to "Tin Fins" and has a good or perfect matchup against the meta. Also, Thomas got me playing it!

    What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?




     

  • Top 8 – Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Alexey Romanchuk
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 –Legacy




    Jacob Wilson
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 –Legacy


    Christopher Brunner
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 –Legacy


    Alexander Hayne
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 –Legacy






     

  • Top 16 – Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Jan Van der Vegt, 9th
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 – Legacy



    Stefan Schütz, 11th
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 – Legacy


    Andrea Mengucci, 12th
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 – Legacy



    Andreas Petersen, 14th
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 – Legacy



    Thiago Rodrigues, 16th
    Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013 – Legacy




     

  • Quarterfinals – Hove Thießen vs. Michael Bonde

    by Tim Willoughby

  • Michael Bonde of Denmark was pretty stoked coming into his top eight match with Hove Thießen. "Now I get to go to the Pro Tour in Dublin with Thomas!" Bonde's countryman Thomas Enevoldsen, who won a WMCQ just the other week, was already qualified, and now they would be travelling together.

    Both Bonde and Enevoldsen are playing Death and Taxes, the mono-white control deck that has a great matchup against much of the combo heavy Legacy metagame. For this matchup, Bonde was against BUG, but still had plenty of strong sideboard options.

    Having finished higher in the Swiss, Bonde got to go first and started on an Æther Vial, which would greatly improve his ability to power out key creatures past countermagic. Thießen had a turn one Delver of Secrets, but no answer to a second Æther Vial from Bonde (though he did have a Daze to stop the third).


    Hove Thießen

    Delver of Secrets flipped into Insectile Aberration, while Bonde snuck in a Mother of Runes with Æther Vial. That Insectile Aberration soon fell to Swords to Plowshares, and Bonde plopped a Phyrexian Revoker into play, naming Pernicious Deed, just in case.

    "You should have checked my decklist" smiled Thießen, knowing that Bonde had swung and missed. It didn't seem to matter too much though, as simply having a 2/1 wasn't the worst anyway. Tarmogoyf came down for Thießen, while Bonde had a Rishadan Port to slow mana development a little.

    Æther Vial got Mirran Crusader into play, which soon started swinging. While Thießen had a second Tarmogoyf, he had nothing that could block the Crusader, and dropped to 17. An Abrupt Decay took out one Æther Vial, but not before it could deploy an Aven Mindcensor, potentially making future fetchlands far worse.

    Mother of Runes ensured that Bonde had great blockers for Tarmogoyf, while nothing was stopping Mirran Crusader or Aven Mindcensor. This was a race the Danish player was winning, and with the writing on the wall, the German player was soon scooping up his cards.

    Hove Thießen 0 – 1 Michael Bonde

    Thießen was quick to keep his seven, but Bonde had a little thinking to do. Eventually he decided to take a mulligan. It was a one lander, and when he peeked, having elected to mulligan, he saw that second land he'd been looking for right on top. The six looked worse, meaning that on the draw, Bonde would be on five.

    "This is a good hand!" cheered Bonde.

    "That is a good card" he remarked as he saw a Delver of Secrets from his opponent, which soon flipped.

    Bonde's hand didn't seem the worst though, having a Swords to Plowshares which drew a Force of Will (pitching Force of Will) from Bonde. Thießen, for his turn, played a Winter Orb and attacked. Normally Death and Taxes is the deck that is putting the hurt on opponents' mana, but in this case the orb had Bonde on lockdown. A Daze was just enough to stop a Mirran Crusader, and Insectile Aberration soon had the Dane down to just eight life.

    An Æther Vial got hit by Abrupt Decay, and it seemed the follow-up copy might be a little late to the party to get Bonde back in the game. Soon he was on just two life, and drawing thin to get back in the game. With a wince Bonde drew his card for the turn. No help there. This match would be going to a decider.

    Hove Thießen 1 – 1 Michael Bonde

    "So you took a mulligan game one, I did on game two. Twice. That means it's your turn again, right?"

    It seemed Bonde's joking question was remarkably prophetic, as Thießen was down to six cards on the draw in the deciding game. He still had a turn one Delver of Secrets though, while Bonde's first play did not come until a little later.

    Delver of Secrets flipped at the first opportunity and got stuck in, after which a Ponder came from Thießen, who elected to keep the cards on top and draw one rather than shuffling. Bonde's first play wasn't until turn three – a Stoneforge Mystic fetching Batterskull, with enough mana up to play around Daze.

    Bonde had plenty of land, hitting each of his drops for the first four turns, and the same could be said of Thießen. That early flipped Delver of Secrets put Thießen well ahead in the damage race though, having Bonde at 11 life by the time that Stoneforge Mystic activated. Thießen had a Vendilion Clique in response, to stop that activation from doing a whole lot. Force of Will protected the 3/1 flyer from a Swords to Plowshares, after which Flickerwisp gave Bonde a second shot at getting Batterskull into play, by flickering his own copy of Stoneforge Mystic, to fetch Umezawa's Jitte.


    Michael Bonde

    Engineered Plague on Elemental killed off Flickerwisp, and Bonde cast the Umezawa's Jitte and equipped it, such that a swing would let him kill of Vendilion Clique. Bonde was on the ropes, but with an active Jitte, could get back in the game. Thießen had a second Delver of Secrets, but both soon fell to the Jitte, meaning that Bonde was the only one left with creatures on the board.

    Thießen was out of cards in hand, and while Bonde was on two, he had just about wrestled control of the game. Abrupt Decay dealt with the Jitte, but it was too late, the damage had been done. Thalia joined Bonde's team, and he went about his slow beatdown. Soon Thießen was at six, scratching his head and trying to work out what had gone wrong. Abrupt Decay killed off Thalia, but soon Wilt-Leaf Liege replaced it. A desperation Brainstorm came from Thießen, but it didn't find him what he needed. Thießen extended his hand, gracious in defeat.

    Michael Bonde defeats Hove Thießen two games to one.




     

  • Semifinals – Thomas Enevoldsen vs. Michael Bonde

    by Tobi Henke

  • Even at the beginning of this semifinal I could already tell you what the matchup in the final was going to be. I couldn't tell you who would be playing then, but the matchup was decided. Over in the other semifinal Alexander Hayne with RUG was playing against Jacob Wilson with RUG, here the two teammates Thomas Enevoldsen and Michael Bonde were both playing Death & Taxes.

    Game 1

    Enevoldsen started with Mother of Runes, Bonde had Swords to Plowshares. Next, Enevoldsen had Umezawa's Jitte, but his Thalia, Guardian of Thraben met another Swords to Plowshares. His Phyrexian Revoker, however, stuck around while Bonde summoned Aven Mindcensor.


    Michael Bonde

    Bonde added Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to his board, Enevoldsen added Mother of Runes and a second Revoker. When Bonde cast his own Mother of Runes, Enevoldsen finally decided to make use of his Umezawa's Jitte. He equipped Phyrexian Revoker, used Karakas on Bonde's Thalia, and when Aven Mindcensor blocked his Phyrexian Revoker, granted the latter protection via Mother of Runes.

    The Jitte became active, killed Bonde's team and accumulated some more counters, but then Bonde put a stop to it with his own Jitte, binning both. Afterwards he replaced his Mother of Runes. Unfortunately, in this Mother's war his wasn't any help against the two Phyrexian Revokers. In the end, Bonde lost Aven Mindcensor and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben just to get rid of one of them.

    Meanwhile, Bonde kept casting and recasting Mangara of Corondor, which was continuously returned to his hand by Enevoldsen's Karakas. He was already running out of creatures (and life) when Enevoldsen put a final nail in his coffin with a pair of Flickerwisps.

    Thomas Enevoldsen 1-0 Michael Bonde

    Game 2

    Bonde had Mother of Runes on turn one, Enevoldsen had Æther Vial. On turn two, Bonde summoned Stoneforge Mystic and searched for Umezawa's Jitte.

    However, Jitte died to Jitte and when both players searched up another copy each, the new Jittes were poised to meet the same fate, too. It didn't come to that, though. Enevoldsen rather put a Batterskull onto the battlefield via Stoneforge Mystic, while Bonde cast another Mother of Runes, then took out Bonde's Jitte with Oblivion Ring.

    So now Enevoldsen was up one Umezawa's Jitte—potentially devastating considering Bonde's two 1/1 creatures, if only said 1/1s weren't Mother of Runes. No colorless or flying creatures meant Enevoldsen could just as well keep Umezawa's Jitte stowed away in his hand. Just to be safe, Bonde also named Umezawa's Jitte with his Phyrexian Revoker.

    Bonde had Mangara of Corondor. Enevoldsen diabled it with Phyrexian Revoker, and later he summoned a Mother of Runes of his own. Soon the board was bogged down with lots and lots of small ground-bound creatures including four Mother of Runes (three on Bonde's side).


    Thomas Enevoldsen

    The turning point came when Enevoldsen drew Flickerwisp and exiled his Phyrexian Revoker. Upon re-entering the battlefield the Revoker revoked the Mother of Runes ability. This allowed Enevoldsen to shoot Bonde's own Revoker (naming Umezawa's Jitte) with Gut Shot. Suddenly, Umezawa's Jitte was active again and wreaked havoc on Bonde's creatures.

    Bonde made a half-hearted attempt to get back into the game with Cataclysm—which left Bonde with a Jitte-equipped creature and himself with a creature that soon died to Jitte. This clearly was no winning move, and although some combination of Swords to Plowshares and Bonde failing to get another creature onto the table for a very long time could have turned things around, in reality it only delayed the inevitable. And even that just slightly

    Thomas Enevoldsen defeated Michael Bonde 2-0 and advanced to the final.




     

  • Finals – Thomas Enevoldsen vs. Jacob Wilson

    by Tim Willoughby

  • After a bizarre turn of events whereby both Thomas Enevoldsen and Jacob Wilson found themselves playing mirror matches against friends from their own part of the world, for the finals of Grand Prix Strasbourg, the matchup was a little more diverse.

    Enevoldsen, who won the first WMCQ in Denmark, is also now the Pro Point leader for his country – something that has left at least one of his friends in Denmark very happy indeed, as it means his slot my pass down. Jacob Wilson, who has travelled significantly further in to be in Strasbourg (all the way from California) already has one Grand Prix trophy back home, from Grand Prix Chicago in 2012, and was keen to add to it.


    Jacob Wilson

    Enevoldsen was on the play, having finished higher in the Swiss portion of the event, and led off immediately with a turn one Æther Vial, which resolved, and met a look of mild discomfort from Wilson. There was a Volcanic Island and Ponder from Wilson, though the land soon fell to a Wasteland from the Danish side of the table.

    Playing for time was fine for Enevoldsen. His Æther Vial ticked up each turn, meaning that he had the potential to pop out ever larger threats with each passing turn. There was a Swords to Plowshares on Delver of Secrets from Wilson, and a second Wasteland to render the American without permanents.

    While Wilson had a Scalding Tarn, a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben on upkeep (thanks to Æther Vial) meant that there was not much Wilson could do on his turn. From here, Wilson had no more lands, potentially signalling a quick game. While Enevoldsen had just one land of his own, that didn't seem to matter too much, as he had both a threat on the board, and an Æther Vial on three counters.

    At the end of Wilson's second main phase, Enevoldsen powered out Flickerwisp with his Æther Vial, flickering the artifact itself, in order to reset the counters on it. He then attacked in with his squad, keen to end the game fast if he could.

    Wilson, finally with a second land, was able to use Lightning Bolt to off Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and in turn make cards like Ponder (which followed the next turn) a little more efficiently costed.

    That Ponder led to a shuffle from Wilson, who wasn't greatly impressed with the cards on top of his deck. A Brainstorm followed. Soon Wilson was able to get a creature on the board in the form of Delver of Secrets, and was able to protect it from Swords to Plowshares with a Daze. Meanwhile Enevoldsen played a Phyrexian Revoker (virtually a dead card), naming Delver of Secrets with it, mocking his own creature in the process.

    While Delver of Secrets flipped, and had the potential to block Flickerwisp to keep Wilson alive just one more turn, Enevoldsen wasn't keen to let the game drag out any. A second Flickerwisp cleared a path, and Enevoldsen took game one in decisive fashion, bringing himself within just one game of Grand Prix victory.

    Thomas Enevoldsen 1 – 0 Jacob Wilson

    After sideboarding, both players had a few key cards to make the matchup change a little, though before the match had begun, Wilson had confided that he didn't think it was great for him. Rough // Tumble and Sulfur Elemental would both be instrumental in making things a little better for the Californian, who had only slept about 8 hours across the whole weekend, but Umezawa's Jitte seemed pretty good on the other side, along with the likes of Sun Lance to replace a fairly impotent Phyrexian Revoker.

    On the play, Wilson led with a Nimble Mongoose, and had a Force of Will (pitching Force of Will) to stop a Mother of Runes from Enevoldsen. A Tarmogoyf follow-up, and Daze on Stoneforge Mystic put him well ahead in the second game in a way that seemed a total transformation compared to game one.

    Ponder with no shuffle was next from Wilson, who soon had Enevoldsen at 14 life from attacks. A Mirran Crusader from the Dane resolved though, and would require a red removal spell to deal with. Forked Bolt was exactly the answer Enevoldsen didn't want to see, and he was fast on just seven life, facing down yet another Nimble Mongoose.

    Swords to Plowshares took out Tarmogoyf, but those two copies of Nimble Mongoose grew to 3/3 apiece as Wilson got threshold by using his Wasteland on one of Enevoldsen's. On just seven life Enevoldsen had to do something fast and decisive. Thalia looked unlikely to be enough, and after Wilson committed a Tarmogoyf to the board, Enevoldsen was quick to scoop up his cards. The finals of Grand Prix Strasbourg would come down to a deciding game.

    Thomas Enevoldsen 1 – 1 Jacob Wilson

    For the last game of the tournament, Thomas Enevoldsen would be on the play. He drew his seven cards one by one, and was quick to send his hand back. This was not the one to take down the tournament with. Wilson was slower to evaluate his hand, which was clearly a close call to do the same. Ultimately, neither played elected to start on their opening seven, but each six seemed good enough.


    Thomas Enevoldsen

    Enevoldsen's start was a Mother of Runes, while Wilson had a turn one Misty Rainforest for a Volcanic Island, which in turn allowed a Lightning Bolt on Mom before she could get to work. Rishadan Port tapped down Volcanic Island, before falling to a Wasteland.

    Enevoldsen had to take a point of pain to cast his Stoneforge Mystic (as he was using a Horizon Canopy to do so), but didn't seem to mind. Fetching an Umezawa's Jitte was a pretty big play, and one he was happy to be able to make in any case. Wilson passed the turn with Volcanic and Tropical Island untapped. He could represent a large number of instants, but Enevoldsen didn't have to worry about too many, as he could simply passed the turn and use Stoneforge Mystic. A Wasteland from Wilson threatened to cut the legs out from under Enevoldsen, who was stuck with just two lands, one of which was that Horizon Canopy.

    Æther Vial (cast off the Canopy) was hit by a Force of Will, after which Enevoldsen showed he had a Mother of Runes. The Canopy was hit by Wasteland, and the Mother by Lightning Bolt.

    Gitaxian Probe revealed Umezawa's Jitte, Leonin Relic Warden, Wilt-Leaf Liege, Swords to Plowshares and Flickerwisp in Enevoldsen's hand. He was stuck on mana, and in a bad way. While he drew a Mother of Runes, his lack of lands looked damning. Wilson didn't have a win condition, but could cast whatever he drew.

    Wilson cast Delver of Secrets. While Enevoldsen found a second land, he can't have been happy to see that Delver flip to a Lightning Bolt. Stoneforge Mystic put Batterskull into play, but it was soon dealt with by a Krosan Grip. Swords to Plowshares on Insectile Aberration was stopped by Force of Will, and while Enevoldsen was able to get his Umezawa's Jitte into play with Stoneforge Mystic, the Mystic then had to trade with Insectile Aberration to get counters on the Jitte. The last counter on Jitte killed off a fresh Delver of Secrets, leaving Enevoldsen ahead on the board in every way but lands. His life total was just two though – not an exciting place to be against a deck with burn spells. Jacob Wilson cast Ponder and chose to shuffle. If he wanted to find a burn spell, it would have to be fast, before Umezawa's Jitte could gain Enevoldsen any life.


    How many Grand Prix winners can you spot in this picture?

    Nimble Mongoose came down as a 3/3, but it wouldn't be much of a blocker in the face of a Mirran Crusader from Enevoldsen. The Crusader, with double strike, was just about the perfect creature to hold Umezawa's Jitte, getting four counters a turn, and presenting an inexorable clock that Wilson simply couldn't block. Jacob Wilson had been just two points away from victory, but this slipped away in a few swings of a sword, and soon enough, with a cheer from the crowd, Thomas Enevoldsen met Jacob Wilson's handshake as the winner of Grand Prix Strasbourg 2013!




     

  • Top Five Cards of Grand Prix Strasbourg

    by Tim Willoughby



  • 5. Show and Tell

    How much do you want to pay for your permanents? In Legacy, the answer is almost always less than four. What do you do if you want to play a permanent that costs more than four, like, oh, I don't know, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Griselbrand or Omniscience? You cast Show and Tell, and hope that your opponents big ideas aren't as big as your own. We've seen this powerful Urza's Saga sorcery afford its caster with massive advantages, as long as they dream big enough. If you're going to put on a show, make it a big one.







    4. Release the Ants

    The winner of the 'cards we did not expect to see cast once at this Grand Prix' award goes to this innocuous uncommon from Morningtide. The finishing piece of the puzzle to one of the Show and Tell decks, this one definitely has the cool factor when it comes to winning the game. The steps are as follows:

    1. Cast Omniscience, such that your other spells are free
    2. Cast Enter the Infinite, such that you have your deck in your hand, but for a lone Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on the top of your deck
    3. Profit. No, wait, what I mean is, cast Cunning Wish to fetch Release the Ants, then cast Release the Ants, to deal one damage, clash, and go back to your hand for winning that clash. Repeat step 3 as required.

    I guess that technically this plan is cold to your opponent having Draco on top of their deck. If that happened at any point in the tournament, we weren't told about it, and we'd really hope to have heard about that sort of thing.





    3. Flickerwisp

    Two copies of Death and Taxes in the top eight of Grand Prix Strasbourg, and one to the final – with Flickerwisp being a big part of that. Sometimes it does quite simple things, like taking out a blocker at a crucial moment. Thomas Enevoldsen managed that play in the finals. Sometimes it resets your own Æther Vial. He did that too. When you play it at instant speed using your Æther Vial it can be a very nifty trick – removing a permanent at just the right time. Regardless of what it flickers out, it is also a very serviceable 3/1 flying body, ideal for carrying equipment like Umezawa's Jitte or Batterskull – both big players in the Death and Taxes deck.





    2. Sensei's Divining Top

    Sometimes in Magic, drawing cards isn't good enough. When you need to ensure that you draw the right card, there are few resources handier than a Sensei's Divining Top to help smooth out the draws from the top of your deck. If that were all that the top were doing, it would be very good, but the one cost artifact from Champions of Kamigawa does so much more. It works with fetchlands, to let you get a lot of peeks at the top of your deck for the right card. It plays nice with Counterbalance to virtually lock some opponent's out of the game, by always having the right card on top to counter key spells. Sometimes, it is able to ensure that a key miracle (be it Terminus or Entreat the Angels) is on top of your deck at just the right moment. Possibly my favourite interaction with the card was in a combo deck where with the benefit of Helm of Awakening, the top became a virtual kill condition. With two copies, each costing zero mana to cast, they could be traded for each other on the top of their controllers deck, and cast to create a massive storm count, before the game ended with an absurd Grapeshot. You wouldn't need to be good at divining to realise that this card was going to come out on or near the top this weekend.





    1. Daze

    Force of Will is a very splashy free counterspell that has been used to good effect in all sorts of decks over the course of the Grand Prix Strasbourg weekend, but to my mind Daze is far more interesting. It is a card that we've seen interact neatly with Winter Orb in decks such as the one that propelled Hove Thießen to the top eight, it has been deftly played around in some cases, and walked right into in others. With mana costs as low as they typically are in Legacy, everyone is trying to be as efficient as possible, which means that Daze can prove a speed bump that will make life very hard for the unsuspecting player trying to play things fast and loose. With both Alexander Hayne and Jacob Wilson playing similar RUG Delver decks sporting the instant, it was certainly instrumental in shaping the story of Grand Prix Strasbourg.






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