Round 3: Noah Boeken (Netherlands) vs. Thomas Preyer (Austria)
By Alex Shvartsman
This matchup features some of the most talented young players in this tournament. Boeken has been steadily doing well at Pro Tours and Grand Prix over the last year. Preyer is currently leading the Rookie of the Year race, mainly thanks to his second place finish in Pro Tour: London.
Preyer managed to draft a really good red-white deck, featuring a pair of Ancient Hydras, Latulla and Laccolith Titan. Although Boeken's deck may be slightly weaker overall, it certainly has an advantage in this particular matchup. Boeken's deck is blue-white, featuring an impressive Rebel chain as well as a pair of Defender en-Vecs, Orim's Cure and other various tricks capable of giving the red mage a headache.
In the first game the two players traded some early damage, but Boeken managed to keep his Defiant Vanguard alive long enough to start searching with it. He brought out a pair of Trenching Steeds and went on to cast a Defender en-Vec. Preyer, who played out one of his best cards for this matchup - a War Cadence - did not have enough aggressive creatures to win this damage race and eventually fell to a swarm of Rebels.
In the second game things looked really good for Preyer, who managed to get a Latulla past Boeken's countermagic. Preyer was sitting with active Latulla and 8 mana on the table, when Boeken summoned a Lawbringer out of his deck at the end of Thomas' turn. Preyer pitched the two cards he was holding to kill the Lawbringer before it lost its summoning sickness, but he opted to only deal two points of damage to it, instead of the possible six - despite having already seen Orim's Cure in the first game. Surely enough, Boeken was able to save his creature with Orim's Cure and remove Latulla before it could do any harm.
Boeken totally shut down Preyer's offense with multiple pro-red creatures and Trenching Steeds while attacking with a Spiketail Drake in the air. A Troubled Healer on Preyer's side of the table bought him several more turns, but could not help alter the course of the game. Eventually Preyer ran out of lands and life points.
Boeken 2 - Preyer 0