Sunday, March 27. - 6:41 pm: Crunch Matches
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 6:15 pm: Last Round Action
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 5:09 pm: Feature Match Round 14: Bernardo Da Costa Cabral vs. Holger Althues
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 5:01 pm: Feature Match Round 13: Julien Nuijten vs. Gert Coeckelbergh
by Frank Wareman
Sunday, March 27. - 3:50 pm: What's that card?
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 3:18 pm: BYE claims another victim
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 2:57 pm: Round 13 Draft Report: Julien Nuijten
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 2:16 pm: Feature Match Round 12 : Kai Budde vs. Wilco Pinkster
by Frank Wareman
Sunday, March 27. - 1:48 pm: Feature Match Round 12: Roustam Bakirov vs. Gert Coeckelbergh
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 1:09 pm: Feature Match Round 11: Philip Fetzer vs. Anze Avsec
by Frank Wareman
Sunday, March 27. - 12:36 pm: Feature Match Round 10: Kai Budde vs. Rogier Maaten
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27. - 11:48 am: Round 10 Draft Report: Kai Budde
by Frank Wareman
Sunday, March 27. - 11:07 am: Clocks 1, Sideboard 0
by Craig Jones
Sunday, March 27: 11:07 am - Clocks 1, Sideboard 0
It's Easter weekend so the clocks went forward at 2am last night. There were expectations that the odd player might get confused by this and we might lose them for the first draft tomorrow. As it turned out day two kicked off with only one player missing, a Dane who wasn't sure he'd made it and didn't stick around to check the pairings. He wasn't the only casualty as the other guy who failed to turn up for the draft was … erm … me.
Yep, someone forgot to put their alarm clock forward an hour. This of course was completely unrelated to the one or six pints I had last night. Nope, I forgot to change my clock. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now gimme a Red Bull!
Sunday, March 27: 11:48 am - Round 10 Draft Report: Kai Budde
We start this morning at 8.15… well at least that is what the clock says as we had to go one hour ahead due to the summer time shift. So for a lot of people here it is still 7.15. On table one Kai Budde is drafting in the pod with Rosario Maij, Philip Fetzer, Anze Avsec, Maximilian Bracht, Wilco Pinkster (winner of GP Paris), Stefan Petersen, he (seat 7) and Rogier Maaten.
We start off and the first booster opened shows Kai a Kumano, Master Yamabushi. No better way to start today. Next booster shows a Kabuto Moth for Kai and some nice black cards, which go to Rogier Maaten. Together with a Otherwordly Journey Kai manages to get some nice guys.
Next booster gives a Yamabushi Flame, Kodama's Might and a second Kodama's Reach. The 8th pick for Kai was more difficult. He got 8 cards with a Seshiro the Anointed and a Strength of Ceders. Not many green drafters in this draft, so Kai took the Seshiro as he already had a nice team of snakes and was expecting more in the last booster.
The Betrayers booster was not that great and gave Kai a Forked-Branch Garami, although he only had five spirits so far. A Sosuke's Summons and a Genju of the Ceders completed the deck. He finally made this:
Child of Thorns
2 Orochi Ranger
Kami of the Hunt
Kumano, Master Yamabushi
Seshiro the Anointed
Genju of the Ceders
2 Commune with Nature
2 Kodama's Reach
On Kai's left was Rogier Maaten who took all the nice black cards Kai passed and found some white coming from the left side. His deck looked good, running Eight-and-a-Half-Tails with 2 Waking Nightmare, Distress and a Honden of Night's Reach. Turns out this will be the next match as they are playing each other.
Sunday, March 27: 12:36 pm - Feature Match Round 10: Kai Budde vs. Rogier Maaten
Kai Budde and Rogier Maaten found themselves sitting together during the first draft. They managed to cooperate reasonably well as Budde finds himself with a solid red-green deck with both Kumano and Seshiro, while Maaten has a nice black-white deck with Eight-and-a-half-tails. Both players finished 3rd in their respective rooms and are in strong positions with their 8-1 records.
Maaten went first but managed to pick up a very slow draw as he passed turn four still with no play. In the meantime Budde had opened with Commune with Nature and then followed with Orochi Ranger, Kodama's Reach and then Forked-Branch Garami.
Maaten made his first play with a Rend Spirit on the Garami. He followed up with his first creature, Takero, Samurai General. Budde took that out of the game with Yamabushi's Flame and then kept swinging with a team that gained more recruits in the form of Child of Thorns and Orochi Sustainer.
Maaten took down the Ranger and gained some time with Candles Glow. He was well behind on the clock though as Budde replaced the Ranger with a Frost Ogre. A Silverstorm Samurai managed to ambush a creature but it wasn't enough as Maaten fell to Budde's fast horde with four land still in his hand.
Budde 1-0 Maaten
Budde had to mulligan his first hand in the second game. His first turn saw a Commune with Nature, netting only a lowly Matsu-Tribe Sniper. Maaten had found one of his rares as Eight-and-a-half-tails entered play. He followed it with Kitsune Blademaster to put the German juggernaut under pressure.
Budde's board was a less impressive Sniper and Loam Dweller as Maaten locked up the lands with Hokori, Dust Drinker.
The Loam Dweller stepped up to block Eight-and-a-half-tails, only for Maaten to save it with Candles Glow. A Genju of the Cedars with mana to activate it put a stop to the Dutchman's offense. Budde added a Ranger as both players stared off and waited for a breakthrough.
Budde digged out his plains with a Kodama's Reach but Hokori had slowed the game down to a crawl. Maaten dropped a Takenuma Bleeder, but that wasn't about to bust through Budde's Genju.
Maaten found a threat first as he summoned a Painwracker Oni. Budde had virtually all his mana untapped now, could he deal with the demon? The life totals stood at 10 to Budde, 22 to Maaten. The unblockable demon would do the job for the Dutchman in two turns.
Budde dropped a powerful legend of his own, Seshiro, but this game wasn't looking too hot as Maaten came in with the Painwracker to drop Budde to 5. The German player drew a card that wasn't able to deal with the demon and then we were off to a decider.
Budde 1-1 Maaten
In the deciding game it was Maaten's turn to mulligan. Budde got another quick start as Orochi Sustainer entered play and was followed by a Houndmaster. Maaten's second turn play was also really good as Eight-and-a-Half Tails entered play. The Dutch player considered his options on turn three before stripping a Frost Ogre and Otherworldly Journey from Budde's hand with Waking Nightmare.
Budde dropped an Orochi Sustainer on turn four and asked if Maaten was about to drop Hokori. Thankfully the Dutch player had transferred it to his sideboard for this game. He was firmly on the defensive but not in any danger as Eight-and-a-Half-Tails and Kitsune Diviner held off a Forked-Branch Garami and Houndmaster.
Budde tried to up the threat level with Seshiro. Maaten seemed uncaring as he dropped Silverstorm Samurai at end of turn and sent it in for 3 damage.
Budde thought hard on his following turn. Maaten had six mana open. Guessing Seshiro was unlikely to survive, Budde sent in only the Houndmaster and Seshiro. Sure enough, Seshiro was offed with a Rend Flesh while Eight-and-a-Half-Tails absorbed the Houndmaster damage. This tapped the Dutch player out though and allowed Budde to finally get rid of the annoying fox with a Yamabushi's Flame. Maaten replaced it with Takeno to keep the German player firmly under the cosh.
Budde went for his shy Kumano with Commune only to find a lowly Orochi Ranger instead. Both Rangers bought him a couple of turns as they threw themselves in the way of Maaten's attacking samurai.
Unfortunately those couple of turns were not enough and the German juggernaut had no option but to extend his hand in concession.
Rogier Maaten beats Kai Budde 2-1
Sunday, March 27: 1:09 pm - Feature Match Round 11: Philip Fetzer vs. Anze Avsec
Two players with a still unbeaten record paired up against each other. Both started off with 3 byes and went 7-0. Drafting at table 1 Philip wound up with a solid Red-Black build with some strong guys, one of them being Kumano, Master Yamabushi, the second drafted on table one, and removal. Anze is next to Kai Budde the other green player with a quick red/green deck with a good spirit base.
Philip Fetzer vs. Anze Avsec.
Philip started the match with a laugh. He kept his hand, but was not that happy with it. Only playing lands up till turn 4 is not a great start, while Anze had a turn 3 Order of the Sacred Bell and turn 4 Frost Ogre with the help of a Orochi Sustainer. Turn 5 brought no more than a Hideous Laughter to prevent Philip from dying, but was not enough to last next turn. He had Kumano, Master Yamabushi and Patron of the Akki in his hand but was missing a second mountain.
Philip 0 Anze 1
Philip started this one again and was again faced with a bad 7 cards, and decided 6 would be better this time. The six are not great, but made a start with a Blademane Baku and an Akki Coalfinger. Anze attacked on turn three, confidant of a good result. Philip however saw a great opportunity to offer his Akki to a Patron of the Akki, for only three mana. This wrecked Anze´s team and in combination with a three-time-hitting Hanabi Blast, victory was certain for Philip.
Philip 1 Anze 1
Anze started and kept his seven. Philip seemed very unlucky this match as he was required to take another mulligan. After going to six and quickly after to five we could start. Philip had a good start with a quick Nezumi Cutthroat, which could give Anze some trouble. A Pain Kami won´t solve this as Philip had his Hanabi Blast ready. Exchanging some hits, Philip was down on 10 while Anze was 12. Now Anze shows a Hanabi Blast to return the favour. This one hit one guy and immediately got picked out of 4 by Philip, while Anze was unable to find Philip´s Blast in three cards. A Frostwielder on Philip´s side would probably finish the game as Anze´s deck provided only lands and 1 power guys. Getting Anze down to 2 the Hanabi´s Blast finished Anze in a close game.
Philip 2 Anze 1
Sunday, March 27: 1:48 pm - Feature Match Round 12: Roustam Bakirov vs. Gert Coeckelbergh
After the end of round 11 Roustam Bakirov came up to me and asked if he could be featured. This is unusual as I'm usually asked by players (mainly British for some reason) not to feature them. Well he asked nicely so here we go.
The common perception is that most judges don't play, or at least not very well. Bakirov is a level two judge who also has a top 8 credit from back at Grand Prix Moscow. That alone should be grounds for being barred from the judge's guild, but it doesn't seem like Bakirov is satisfied with that. He's 10-1 and looking for another top 8 finish. Gert Coeckelbergh is one of the top Belgian players and also has a 10-1 record. Bakirov has a red-white deck while Coeckelbergh has a blue-black deck with a lot of evasion.
Coeckelbergh won the coin flip and after a mulligan led off with Teardrop Kami and then Nezumi Cutthroat.
"Please go away," Bakirov said, removing both of the Belgian's creatures from the game with Yamabushi's Storm.
Coeckelbergh took to the skies with Mirror-Mage and Mirror-Guard, but couldn't find a way through Bakirov's Kabuto Moth. A Kitsune Healer followed by Honden of Cleansing Fire put the Russian into a commanding position.
It called for drastic action and so Coeckelbergh returned three of his land to bounce the Moth and get in for 5 damage. He added a Skullsnatcher. Bakirov replayed the Moth and brought out a second with it to further compound Coeckelbergh's problems.
A Kami of Tattered Shoji and then a Brutal Decevier started nibbling at the Belgian's lifetotal while Bakirov's kept climbing through the white Honden.
Realizing his board position was hopeless Coeckelbergh scooped and went to his sideboard for Game 2.
Bakirov 1-0 Coeckelbergh.
Coeckelbergh led off with an early Cutthoat. Bakirov came back at him with a Hearth Kami and then slammed the brakes on Coeckelbergh's offense with a Ghostly Prison.
The Belgian built up his army with Kami of Twisted Reflection, Ninja of the Deep Hours and Sire of the Storm. Bakirov built up with a Kitsune Healer and a Ronin Cliffrider that was very dangerous against a deck with a lot of one toughness monsters. Coeckelbergh hadn't drawn many this game and so the Cliffrider only took down the Cutthroat when it attacked. Coeckelbergh swung back with a Sire of the Storm and ninjitsued out a second Ninja of the Deep Hours.
Bakirov dropped Cage of Hands on the untapped Ninja, chucked a Frostling at the Kami of Twisted Reflection and sent his Cliffrider in with a Brutal Deceiver and Hearth Kami in support.
The game was going badly for Coeckelbergh. He was gaining cards from the Sire but was severely behind on tempo. He was at five life and facing off against five monsters with only the Sire. The next turn was better as he dropped three monsters into play.
Bakirov swung in with everything except for the Healer regardless. The red zone was shaping up for a bloodbath. Coeckelbergh managed to take down the Cliffrider at the cost of most of his blockers. With the Cliffrider gone he could now play his one toughness guys and a swarm hit the table. Another attack dropped the Belgian to a precarious 1 life, even more so as Bakirov had an Ember Fist Zubera on the table. It seemed inevitable now and sure enough an unanswered red Honden ended the game a couple of turns later.
Roustam Bakirov beats Gert Coeckelbergh 2-0.
Sunday, March 27: 2:16 pm - Feature Match Round 12 : Kai Budde vs. Wilco Pinkster
Kai started of with a Genju of the Cedars on one, Orochi Ranger on two and fetching lands with a Kodama's Reach on three. Wilco easily matched this with a Humble Budoka and a Takenuma Bleeder. On turn five Kai made a Seshiro the Anointed with one snake in play. Wilko has the Bleeder attacking and turning into a Okiba-Gang Shinobi to get a Reach and a land out Kai's hand. While Wilco was running a bit low on lands with 4 in play, Kai had drawn plenty, using the Genju to get the advantage getting Wilco down to 4. With only the possibility of chumping the Genju of the Cedars, Wilco sees it is best to go to Game 2.
Kai 1 Wilco 0
Second game started with Kai. He had not found any lands in his opening hand and decided another 6 would probably be better. It turned out that lands seemed rare in his deck as the next six did not include any, so five it is. Next is Wilco, his starting hand turned out to be 6 after a mulligan. The game starts quickly with some creatures when Waking Nightmare on turn 3 took out Kai's hand. This did not stop his deck however. With three different lands in play he got a Kabuto Moth and a Orochi Sustainer from his deck. Wilco got some guys out, but needed to get rid of the Moth. It finally fell to a Pain Kami. A second Glacial Ray spliced on a Soulless Revival got the Pain Kami back and a blocker out to put Kai on 8. A topdecked Genju of the Cedars took Wilco to 4. With the Genju looking threatening, Kai went in to get a guy down to go for the kill next turn. However the Genju won't decide the game as Wilco attacked with all and managed to get a Strength of Cedars on an unblocked Pain Kami.
Kai 1 Wilco 1
The third game started off quickly, while Kai was complaining his Kumano has not showed up in any game. A Commune with Nature could not find it yet. The game goes on quickly and on turn four it stalls out with Wilco's Kashi-Tribe Reaver keeping Kai's team at home. A Sokenzan Bruiser next turn deals with Kai's life total with the Reaver still defensive. When Wilco finally found his swamp, he made his Takenuma Bleeder and a Nezumi Graverobber, while Kai was only able to get more lands out. The mountainwalker was slowly eating Kai´s life, putting him on 2. Finally the Legend decided to show up to take care of the last game. Kumano, Master Yamabushi took care of the mountainwalker immediately with Kai having all these lands available. Untapping next turn proved lethal as the Kumano gunned down Wilco's team. Only way out for Wilco was the second Glacial Ray, which did not show up in two draws. Kai got the last guys down and attacked for the match.
Kai 2 Wilco 1
Sunday, March 27: 2:57 pm - Round 13 Draft Report: Julien Nuijten
One more draft to go to filter the field to a top 8. While Rogier Maaten seems alone amongst a table of relative unknowns on the top table the second table is straight up insane as it features Kai Budde, Julien Nuijten and Bernardo Da Costa Cabral.
Julien Nuijten, far right.
I took up position behind the current World Champion to see how he drafts this format. The first booster gave Nuijten a couple of standout blue spirits. He took a Teller of Tales over Sire of the Storm and was then passed a Mirror-Guard. No decent blue cards arrived in the third pick and so Nuijten looked to make black his second colour with Rend Flash. The fourth pick was also slim pickings as he had to make do with an Eye of Nowehere over Kami of the Waning Moon. Things improved with a second Mirror-Guard and Pull Under. A Waking Nightmare and a couple of counterspells rounded out an okay first booster.
On his right Bernado Da Costa Cabral had taken a first pick Yamabushi's Flame and then gone heavily into green. He had both Sachi and Sosuke and a bunch of snakes. He could only smile when his second booster had Seshiro waiting at the bottom.
Things started to go wrong for Nuijten in the second booster as the good cards completely dried up. His first pick was a lowly Cruel Deceiver and although he picked up a Teller of Tales second his third pick was just a Nezumi Ronin. He then took a couple of white cards, Indomitable Will and Samurai Enforcers, to maybe give himself more options. There wasn't much of anything for him in this round of boosters though as later picks netted him a Floating-Dream Zubera and Moonring Mirror.
Betrayers was better as he got a Kira first pick and was then passed the choice of Yukora, the Prisoner, Horobi's Whisper and Scourge of Numai. Nuijten took the Whisper and then followed up with a Ninja of the Deep Hours and Genju of the Falls.
Da Costa Cabral managed to get Sosuke's Summons for his snake theme deck but had to turn down the Patron in favor of a Torrent of Stone.
Despite an unimpressive 2nd booster Julien Nuijten still has a bunch of fliers and a smattering of removal.
Sunday, March 27: 3:18 pm - BYE claims another victim
Draft 2 Deck
Everyone knows BYE. It's the poor kid every player loves to be paired up against. Yet no matter how many savage beatings BYE receives it always comes back for more. And sometime this eternal whipping boy can rise up and tear a player's throat out.
Lasse Nørgard of Denmark didn't realize he'd made day two and so didn't show up in time for the first draft. Rather than drop he waited around and took his place in the second draft. That's another scalp to BYE.
Sunday, March 27: 3:50 pm - What's that card?
One of the new warriors in Saviors of Kamigawa.
Hanging around the venue are a large selection of banners featuring artwork from the Kamigawa sets. While the artwork for Shisato, Oyobi and Final Judgment might be familiar to most players there was also some that was new. So just who's this guy then? We'll just have to wait until Saviors arrives to find out.
Sunday, March 27: 5:01 pm - Feature Match Round 13: Julien Nuijten vs. Gert Coeckelbergh
Gert started and played a Blademane Baku. Julien's defense was a Floating-Dream Zubera to get that one, while having his flyer team of a Genju of the Falls and a Kira, Great Glass-Spinner out. On turn four Gert missed a land drop while looking at ways to get rid of the Kira. The Genju and Kira got him to 15. With a fresh island Gert made a Soratami Mirror-Mage, which held back the Kira. The Mirror-Mage died to a Horobi's Whisper as the flying team brought Gert down to 2. Adding a Soratami Mirror-Guard to Julien's board finished this game.
Julien 1 Gert 0
Julien Nuijten, left, vs. Gert Coeckelbergh.
Gert decided that Julien starts and he did with a mulligan. Without lands his deck would not perform well so going to five was also necessary. Topdecking a land and a Floodbringer kept him in the game however, but things were not improving. Gert opened slowly with a River Kajin, only on turn five a Teller of Tales and six a Patron of the Akki. Meanwhile Julien was still struggling with his deck to get a third land out. He finally found it and used Horobi's Whisper on the Patron, staying on 13 life. Ninja of the Deep Hours got Gert some extra cards, while Julien was still stuck at 3 land and missing a second island. Nothing more came so Julien scooped.
Julien 1 Gert 1
Julien started with his trusted Genju of the Falls. He boarded in an extra island to prevent the previous disaster. His deck however is as stubborn as he is and still refused to give him a third land until turn 5. Losing his Island with the Genju on blocking he was again back at two lands. A third and fourth get in just in time as he spent two of his removal keeping Gert's guys at bay. Meanwhile Gert manages to get Julien down to five while Julien tries to come into this game. While his attempts were good Gert's Patron of the Akki turned out to be too much, as Julien could not deal with that and the remaining guys, being at 3 life.
Julien 1 Gert 2
Sunday, March 27: 5:09 pm - Feature Match Round 14: Bernardo Da Costa Cabral vs. Holger Althues
It's getting to crunch time with only two rounds remaining. The winner of this clash should be able to draw in, given good pairings. Both players are running red/green although Da Costa Cabral has a very strong snake theme to his deck with three of the legends including Seshiro.
Bernardo Da Costa Cabral.
Althues won the die roll and made his opponent go first. A Commune with Nature netted nothing more exciting than a Sustainer. A Kodama's Mighted Child of Thorns took down the first snake only for another to rear up in its place.
Althues dropped some quick fat in the form a Gnarled Mass and Kami of the Hunt but was only able to knock three points of Da Costa Cabral's life total before the Belgian stabilized the board with a Tenza, Godo's Maul equipped to an Order of the Sacred Bell.
Althues summoned another Child of Thorns and weighed up the pro's and con's of attacking before passing the turn.
A Tribe Elder went and fetched Da Costa Cabral's second color, a Mountain. He dug two more out of his deck with Kodama's Reach. A Moss Kami stomped into play for Da Costa Cabral. He equipped it with the Maul and sent it on the following turn to try and make a breakthrough. Althues took 6 and the Maul was passed back to a Springcaller.
With two Child of /Thorns it seemed like Althues must be able to punch through back, but at what cost? A Kami of Fire's Roar seemed a much better plan.
Moss Kami picked up the Maul and crashed through for another 6. Althues hadn't found an arcane spell or spirit so the Kami of Fire's Roar was not looking too helpful.
The Moss Kami swung in again and now Althues had to do something. He threw everything on top of the Kami and waited to see what happened. The Moss Kami got flattened for the cost of two Child of Thorns.
Da Costa Cabral continued with the offense as a Springcaller and Order of the Sacred Bell charged into the red zone. A Gnarled Mass block the Order and Althues fell to 5. He needed to fight back and counter-attacked with the Kami of Fire's Roar and Kami of the Hunt. Da Costa Cabral was on such high life he could afford to take it.
The Belgian took out a Brutal Deceiver with a Torrent of Stone and attacked. A Glacial Ray prevented the damage from being lethal by taking out a Ranger. Althues was down to 2 and a Sosuke's Summons left him facing more creatures than he could deal with.
Da Costa Cabral 1-0 Althues
Althues made Da Costa Cabral start again. Neither player had a play before turn 3, but Da Costa Cabral's looked the more ominous as he cast Sosuke's Summons. Da Costa Cabral has a lot of snakes in his deck. A Traproot Kami provided a fat enough end to hold the ground while he spawned an army.
While the snake spawning factory got working Althues dropped Budoka Pupil, Brutal Deceiver and Child of Thorns. He threw them into the red zone. A First Volley with a spliced Roar of Jukai ensured Althues guys lived. He got another to counters on the Pupil before flipping it into Ichigo.
Althues was running out of time as Seshiro showed up. It looked hard to see how he could punch through enough damage before Da Costa Cabral overwhelmed him with a horde of snakes. He summoned a Gnarled Mass and crashed in with the Deceiver, Ichigo and a Kami of the Hunt.
Althues lost his Roar of Jukai and a counter from Ichigo to take down a snake and Traproot Kami. Plenty more where they came from though as Da Costa Cabral cast Summons again and fetched it back with Matsu-Tribe Decoy.
Althues attacked again and Da Costa Cabral threw everything in the way of Ichigo. All he needed to do was be patient and wear his opponent down. Ichigo heroically took down three snakes as it went to the graveyard. Da Costa Cabral wasn't even below 20 life thanks to the Roar of Jukai.
Summons was cost again and got back with another member of the family, Sacchi. Realizing the cause was completely hopeless Althues conceded.
Althues deck was pretty good, but didn't have a chance in this matchup.
Bernado Da Costa Cabral beats Holger Althues 2-0
Sunday, March 27: 6:15 pm - Last Round Action
Right the pairings for the last round are up and it's a little complicated. On the top table Maximilian Bracht and Roustam Bakirov can do whatever they like as they're in regardless. Philip Fetzer needs only a draw, but his opponent on table two, Mateusz Dabkowski, is on one less point and will need a win to be certain. Table 3 is another lock as Sune Ellegaard and Bernardo Da Costa Cabral can draw in.
As I write this Dabkowksi took the risky ID and will have to gnaw his fingers while waiting on other results.
Then we have three tables battling for the remaining two or three places. Rosario Maij's tiebreakers are the highest of the 33 pointers. The winner of his match against Anze Avsec is guaranteed a place as is the winner of the table 6 match: Niki Jedlicka vs Tobias Gräfensteiner. The crucial match is table 5. If David Reitbaur beats Lubos Platzer then he takes the 8th slot and Dabkowski will have ID'ed into 9th. If Platzer wins then Dabkowski is safe.
Sunday, March 27: 6:41 pm - Crunch Matches
It's the last round and three matches are left to decide who drafts at the final table. The top 3 tables all ID'ed although Mateusz Dabkowski needs to wait on other results. In the feature match area Niki Jedlicka made short work of Tobias Gräfensteiner and the match was over before I could see anything.
I arrived at table 5 to see David Reitbauer on the losing end of race with a Kami of the Fields. A few hits from the flier and the game was Lubos Platzer's. this was the result Dabkowski needed to go his way and will give him a top 8 berth provided something drastic doesn't happen to the tiebreakers.
Anze Avsec vs. Rosario Maij.
This left two of the players with perfect records from day one battling it out for the last place. In the deciding game Avsec looked to have the advantage as he quickly whittled away Maij's life total with a Blademane Baku and Akki Avalanchers. A Serpent Skin kept the Avalanchers alive and with a red Honden in hand Avsec was sacrificing land to get as much damage through before finishing his opponent off with the Shrine. Maij had only a Gibering Kami. He added a Rootrunner with two green open to send a land on top of Avsec's library when it traded in combat. Avsec rushed in with the Baku and Avalanchers. A Kodama's Might pumped the Avalanchers for extra damage and the Baku used the counter to make itself bigger. Damage went on, but rather than sac the Rootrunner Maij saved it instead with his own Kodama's Might. The Honden of Infinite Rage entered play and time was running out for Maij. He had just 7 life.
Maij couldn't afford to hang around so he attacked with both creatures. The door looked open so Avsec charged in. He sac'ed another land, he was drawing plenty of them, to the Avalanchers. Maij wasn't dead as he whacked it with a Rend Flesh. Serpent Skin could save the goblins, but regenerating them removed them from combat and that was 4 precious points of life saved. Maij attacked again for five and then dropped Scuttling Death. Now the game was going away from Avsec. This time his monsters had to hold back. Maij took him down to 1 life with an attack from the Gibbering Kami. Avsec needed an answer to the flier. He drew yet another land and the game, match and a top 8 slot was Maij's.