Former European champion Noah Boeken broke a bit of a lean patch recently with a win in GP Barcelona. His opponent, "broken" Jens Thoren is on a charge at the moment with back-to-back Top 8 finishes in PT San Diego and PT Osaka. The Swede is currently second in the PT player of the year race.
"I'm playing broken Jens with a broken deck," Boeken said, knowing his opponent had Overrun and other good green cards.
As well as the Overrun Thoren also had Beast Attack and two Wild Mongrel. Torment hadn't helped out his red-green deck though and he was forced to run fillers like Nantuko Calmer and Krosan Constrictor. Noah Boeken has a reasonable blue-black deck.
Importantly Boeken got to start first. He started the damage race with a Fledgling Imp while Thoren came back at him by busting out an unblockable Krosan Constrictor through the help of a Werebear.
The Imp nibbled away and a Faceless Butcher was on hand to take care of the first half of Thoren's Beast Attack. A Cephalid Sage chumped the second Beast for a turn and Boeken countered a Nantuko Calmer with Circular Logic to keep the pressure manageable.
Scrivener fetched back the Logic and Boeken swung back with the Imp and Butcher to knock Thoren to 8 life.
The Swede replied by nipping off the Scrivener with a Firebolt and sending the Beast in to knock his Dutch opponent down to 12.
The all out attacking cooled as Thoren brought in a Mad Dog and Boeken made a Looter. This left Boeken with only a swmap and island open and at end of turn Thoren made the strange play of taking out the Imp with a Sonic Seizure.
The reasoning became clear in his turn. The Imp was Boeken's only active madness outlet and Thoren wanted to clear the way for his Overrun. Boeken didn't have enough mana to cast Logic but he had a Rites of Refusal in hand and was able to counter the Overrun anyway.
Thoren summoned an unthreatening Mad Dog while Boeken brought in a Looter. This left him with only a swamp and an island open and at end of turn Thoren made the strange play of trying to remove the Imp with a sonic seizure, discarding seton's desire.
It didn't matter though as Thoren reached threshold and Boeken couldn't deal with a 4/4 Werebear, Beast token and swampwalking Constrictor.
Jens Thoren 1-0 Noah Boeken
Before Game 2 Boeken asked for extra basic lands for his "special tech". He also commented about how he'd never seen Thoren take a mulligan only for the Swede to start game 2 with precisely that
"Jens took a mulligan, it's news" Boeken said, jumping up from the table.
As the first game Thoren didn't get the Chatter start but dropped a turn 1 Mossfire egg instead. On turn two he cast Rites of Spring to fetch two land and dropped a Basking Rootwalla into play.
The Swede hadn't had a particularly fast start as all he did on the next turn was pump the Rootwalla and use a Firebolt to return a Skywing Aven to Boeken's hand.
Boeken also had a temporary hiccup as he'd stuck at three land and one of those was surprisingly a forest. He found a second swamp in time to handle Thoren's Constrictor with a Butcher. Thoren followed the Constrictor with an equally exciting Nantuko Calmer. A couple of Squirrels from a Chatter pumped out his forces a little.
Boeken was stuck with only one island and a choice.
"Do you have the Overrun?" Boeken asked.
"I can't tell you that," Thoren replied.
"You haven't got it," Boeken decided and tapped his only island to summon a Cephalid Looter.
That guess proved horribly wrong as Thoren tapped 5 mana for the broken spell. But Boeken wasn't finished as he revealed what the forest was for.
"There's the sideboard, right there!" Boeken whooped as he tapped the forest and played Moment's Peace, completely nullifying what should have been Thoren's match winning attack.
A return attack dropped Thoren to two and Boeken countered Thoren's flashback Firebolt with the logic. Thoren had to bounce the Aven and a Sonic Seizure did that. It only bought him one extra turn though and that wasn't enough.
Thoren 1-1 Boeken
Thoren had an awful draw. He cracked his Mossfire egg on turn two and ended up having to take mana burn. Nothing came out of his aggressive deck on turn 3 either and he had to wait until turn 4 when a Mad Dog appeared and he Firebolted Boeken's Hydromorph Guardian.
Boeken was steadily loading up his graveyard with a millikin but his attack force was a rather unexciting Filthy Cur.
The Mad Dog briefly became scary for a turn when it was enchanted with Seton's Desire but Boeken had a Faceless Butcher to swiftly deal with that menace.
Thoren looked to have fizzled before he'd even started as he sat there with only a Werebear as Boeken attacked with a Skywing Aven and Faceless Butcher. It continued to get worse for the Swede as hefty Mindslicer beefed up the offence facing him.
The Swede drew a Beast Attack off the top but that ambush was thwarted by a Waste Away and the attack dropped Thoren to 2 life. He needed an answer to the Skywing Aven and didn't draw it, revealing a hand that had Overrun and a lot of land.
Final Result: Noah Boeken beat Jens Thoren 2-1
Pro Tour Nice, First Booster Draft
Pro Tour Nice, First Booster Draft