Sunday, July 23: 10:18 a.m. - There's no Business Like Snow Business
Johan Sadeghpour is all smiles
There are a lot of great things about being among the first to cover triple Coldsnap draft at a major event. Firstly, I get to stake my claims to puns such as the one above before any pun gazumpers (I don't believe BDM to be one, but I'm sure there are some out there… I'm looking at you Mark Rosewater), and secondly I get to relate how a format forms. This is the time of daring experiments, costly mistakes, and, as some players catch on quicker than others, some truly ridiculous decks.
Johan Sadeghpour was the highest positioned player going into the first draft, having dropped only two points on day one. Having made top eight at Pro Tour London by virtue of his drafting, he is one of the Scandinavian players who has been the most dangerous with 40 card decks in recent times, receiving high recommendations as one to watch from such luminaries as Nicolai Herzog and Tomi Walamies.
High praise indeed. So how would he cope with this new format? The big difference in Coldsnap is that with it's small set size, there is a much better chance of getting multiples of important cards, and indeed a fair few cards only become important when present in higher numbers. Pierre Canali had summed it up that moreso than any previous draft format, you are actually drafting constructed decks. Constructed decks where 4 copies of a single card is just a guideline, rather than a rule, and you can get away with running 20 less cards.
Johan's draft started out with a strong commitment to black, in the form of back to back Disciple of Leshrac, followed up by a Herald of Leshrac third. At this point though, things rather hit a wall. Unlike in other recent draft formats, going heavily into one colour is something that happens with relative frequency in Coldsnap draft, and it appeared that somebody to his near right must have decided that black was a good place to be.
With an almost imperceptible shrug, Sadeghpour took what was the best card in the pack - a Gelid Shackles. He had not passed any white cards of such significance to constitute a strong signal, and with a subsequent picks of Kjeldoran Outrider (the unfair bear who beats up other bears for a living) and Surging Sentinels (henceforth known as RippleBoy), he seemed content to be in a new colour. Before the end of the pack, Johan had a few more solid two and three drops, and seemed set on an aggressive white beatdown deck, with a high end black element to rescue any stalled out boards.
In pack two, Johan picked up more Gelid Shackles, along with a Chill to the Bone and a further two copies of Disciple of Leshrac before black started to dry up. Jelger Wiegersma, on his left, was definitely not in black, though there seemed a little bit of a worry that he could have ended up in white behind the Swede, as the pack left Johan a little thin going into the third.
Pack three started with Johan's third Rippleboy (a notably absent guest from pack two), before a Deathmark. Coldsteel Heart went straight into Sadeghpour's picks pile faster than virtually any other card in the draft… this wasn't Ravnica block, and he had to take what mana fixing he could. From there, Johan got Gelid Shackles numbers 3 and 4. The first was taken over a Jotun Owl-Keeper, something that Sadeghpour would later admit may have been a mistake. Another Owl-Keeper did come, but the Swede definitely wouldn't have minded having more quality three drops in his pile, in the absence of extra copies of Ripply Joe.
Johan was quietly confident in his deck's abilities. He was a little concerned that he had been cut on white in pack 2 by Jelger, but seemed confident that he must have got the best in white, having been fed it two packs out of three. He predicted a 2-1 for the deck, hoping only that there hadn't been anything too absurd going on elsewhere at the table. With a plethora of early beaters, and four Gelid Shackles, along with four Disciple of Leshrac it seemed that there was plenty of power in Sadeghpour's corner.
Sunday, July 23: 11:37 a.m. - Oots, I win. How lucky!
Big Oots is having a big weekend
Right off his top eight performance in Prague, Rasmus Sibast, known as Big Oots, is having a pretty good weekend. At every European Grand Prix, players have the opportunity to fill out a form to be entered into a competition with the grand prize being a trip to the next Grand Prix.
Apparently, if you are larger than the average Oots, then you are, by extension, luckier than the average Oots also. A free trip to GP Athens? Rasmus will take that. He'll smile. He'll thank you. He'll then do his best to win the whole damned show.
In today's first draft, he's tearing it up also, having just dispatched former World Champion Julien Nujiten with a draft deck that begins to demonstrate just how wacky triple Coldsnap draft can be. At the end of the first pack, Sibast had 3 Krovikan Mists in his pile. They came late. They were flyers. All was fine. By the end of the second pack Oots had five. At this point things were looking pretty good. Going into the final pack, Rasmus would (and could, and did) take Krovikan Mists over virtually anything. His final tally? Seven. With five copies of Surging Aether to keep the air clear, his draft deck is a constructed deck from the Relentless Rats school of Magic.
Sunday, July 23: 11:55 a.m. - Mists and Martyrs
Jelger Wiegersma is 9-0 coming into R10
Two men sat down for round 10 undefeated. Only one would walk away with such an accolade.
Jelger had been sat directly to the left of Johan Sadeghpour in the draft, but in spite of Johan's being in white, had somehow put together quite an impressive white weenie deck.
While Andre had the first play of a Krovikan Mists, Jelger had the beefier beats in the form of Krovikan Outrider. This rather set the tone for the match. Andre would deploy forces in the air, while Jelger's team of ground pounders would swing on through unimpeded. Wiegersma twice swung and missed with the ripple of Surging Sentinels, but still seemed to look ok in the race.
Coimbra played a Rimewind Taskmaster, who looked potentially troublesome, should Andre ever find a snow permanent, but Jelger had him trumped. A Ronom Unicorn came out along with Martyr of Sands, who in a race situation could gain the Dutch pro a raft of life.
Andre was forced to hang back, down to just eight from all the small attacks. When Jelger ran in, Andre blocked all but one of the White team, in what appeared to be a fairly bad set of trades for Andre. With things as they stood on the board, Jelger would lose a Ronom Unicorn and Martyr of Sands, to Coimbra's whole team.
Jelger was confused. Something must be up. Just in case, he played a Kjeldoran War Cry, and the 'slow-trip' Swift Maneuver to keep his Martyr alive.
As it turns out, Andre had nothing, and simply scooped after his following draw. Could he have just been hoping to see a Martyr sacrifice from Jelger for a little more information going into game 2?
Coimbra agin led with a Krovikan Mists, to which Jelger again had an Outrider. This time though, Andre could follow up with a second mists, allowing for some big swings in the air. Jelger, stuck on 2 lands, stuck to the plan of making 2/2 bears, as on subsequent turns a Kjeldoran Outrider and Ronom Unicorn came along.
'This is what I was hoping to do last game' remarked Coimbra, as he played a Martyr of Ashes, and popped it to kill Jelger's team before swinging in the air.
Jelger sighed and scooped his men into the bin. When his Surging Sentinels ripple again missed, things looked bad. When Coimbra played another Krovikan Mists, they looked worse.
Wiegersma scooped it up. The game was over. It had taken all of two minutes.
For Game 3, Jelger clearly had a bear to start, and this time it was a Ronom Unicorn. Andre, just as obviously had to have the mists. Coldsnap draft, where limited and constructed meet.
For turn three, Surging Sentinels came out again.
'One time!' Wiegersma urged his deck. It wasn't listening.
Coimbra played second Mists, and swung.
For turn three, there was something a little different from Wiegersma. A Kjeldoran Javelineer (the one drop that is secretly never a 1 drop) looked a clever piece of sideboarding against the otherwise unassailable fliers from Coimbra. The air force got bigger with a Frost Raptor from Andre the following turn. With each player swinging a lot and blocking only a little, there was a feel of Tempest block shadows about the match. Life totals were down to 10-8 in Coimbra's favour after his swings, but he had to be very careful, as with Wiegersma's busy board a Kjeldoran War Cry would be lethal.
Andre though for a little.
'Are you slow rolling the Martyr?' asked Jelger with a smirk. Andre was certainly making a show of calculating something, but it was unclear quite what.
He played a Martyr of Ashes, and passed.
'Three cards in hand?' enquired Jelger.
'All red' replied Andre, in what I would read to have been a slightly overplayed bluff. With one blocker on the board, it didn't actually matter if it was a bluff from Coimbra, as Jelger didn't have a clear path to deal the 10 damage he wanted to, at which point the decision for him was a little more straightforward. He had to do what he had to do.
Andre Coimbra keeps the steamroller rolling
A Gelid Shackles on the Martyr was it. This forced the Martyr to get activated prematurely, and as it happens, Andre did have two red cards to take down Jelger's team, at which point it was merely a formality for Andre to finish things off in the air.
'I don't think I can ever win this matchup,' sighed Jelger. 'How many of the Martyrs do you have?'
That is a big game.
As it happens, Andre's deck is one of the strongest Coldsnap draft decks I have seen thus far. With five Krovikan Mists, five Frost Raptor, trips Surging Flame, and the aforementioned Martyrs, Andre can pretty reliably keep the ground clear, and swing for a lot in the air. On 10-0 now, it looks like Andre will be tough to beat today.
Andre Coimbra wins 2-0
Sunday, July 23: 11:57 a.m. - Pro Player Blog: Morning
Hello, and welcome to day two of the ongoing experiment that is the player's blog.
Nope, I didn't expect to get here either. In keeping with my year of firsts, this is the first time I've ever reached the draft stage of a limited Grand Prix.
I'd like to say I was professional and spent last night practising Coldsnap draft. In reality I ended up drinking strong Belgian beer until 3 this morning. Rock 'n' Roll, eh.
I'm feeling a little delicate right now.
Oh well. My plan is to try and draft red and green or red and blue snowy things. Join me in about an hour or so as I talk about the black-white pile I end up with.
Sunday, July 23: 11:59 a.m. - Pro Player Blog: Draft One
As I finished day one in 15th place I got to draft on table two. The only players I recognized are Bernardo Da Costa Cabral, Antti Malin and Wilco Pinkster.
The draft ended up being a little rocky as I failed to settle into colors fast enough, although it would have been far worse had I not switched.
After the first booster I was looking to go black-red, but I'd also picked up Sek'Kuar and had counter drafted some late blue picks. The blue picks turned out to be very useful as I opened Heidar, Rimewind Master and was able to shift direction and take blue aggressively. Unfortunately the wasted early black picks hurt as although I wanted to take snow land aggressively, I still needed to pick guys to make up my deck.
This is what I ended up with:
GP Malmo Draft 1 Deck
The effectiveness of the deck really depends on me drawing enough snow permanents to get my Taskmages active. Unfortunately I'm really tight on snow permanents so I think I could be in for a dicey time.
After playing the first round I decided I really needed more snow permanents. Because of this I will be swapping black into second color and red as the splash. This allows me to replace the AEther, Snag and Yeti with two Chilling Shade, a Gutless Ghoul and fourth Taskmage.
Sunday, July 23: 12:01 p.m. - Pro Player Blog: Round 9 vs. Sebastian Aljiaj
Sebastian Aljiaj had robbed all my snow lands and had a green-red deck with Into the North's to fetch his blue splash. I could have done with those Snow-covered Islands, grrr.
Game 1 went straight to plan as I flew over with a Raptor and Windform while his draw didn't pan out.
Unfortunately my draws in the other two games were distinctly sub-standard. Game 2 I got mashed by big green guys as I failed to find a Snow-Covered land to play my Ronom Serpent or activate my Taskmages. Game 3 we both mulliganed. I missed land drops and got kicked in with a pair of Simian Brawlers and hasty Thermopods.
Sunday, July 23: 12:05 p.m. - Pro Player Blog: Round 10 vs. Bernardo Da Costa Cabral
Bernardo Da Costa Cabral had got off to a bad start when his last round opponent went all-in with a Lightning Storm to the dome for 9. It didn't get much better for him this round.
Game 1 he mulliganed and my Snow Raptor / Adarkar Windform attack force came out of the blocks. I kept drawing gas as Ronom Serpent and Deepfire Elemental sealed the deal.
Game 2 and Bernardo was hit with one of the worst mana screws I've ever seen as his deck refused to cough up a fourth land. To rub salt in the wound I'd drawn all three of my snow lands and got Heidar active. The last thing a mana-screwed opponent ever wants to see is an active Tradewind Rider / Time Elemental type card.
It's not pretty, but it's points I suppose.
Sunday, July 23: 12:13 p.m. - Glacial Slow Rolls
If the slow rolled Martyr of Ashes from Andre Coimbra seemed like one of the biggest of the weekend, then prepare to be amazed. From day one of the competition, Frank Karsten had him beat. This slow roll was so slow, that it is just rolling around to me on day two.
In topdeck mode against his opponent, with a stalled board, Frank Karsten drew into his Demonfire. His opponent was on 6, and Frank looked to have the game won. However, he had to make sure. What could realistically spoil his day? Runeboggle looked possible, or perhaps a Douse in Gloom to gain some life. Beyond that. There wasn't a lot.
But Frank made sure.
After a little think he had a slightly bigger one. If this was the end of the game it would be worth it right?
Eventually, Frank took his shot. He left mana up for the boggle, and fired off a Demonfire for 8. He was now hellbent. Surprisingly enough, the burn spell won him the game.
The story has been building like a snowball all weekend, as players one-up each other on what they think the appropriate reaction from his opponent should have been. Currently Anton Jonsson is in the lead with a dive over the table and a punch in the mouth.
What did his opponent actually do. Just scoop them up.
Sunday, July 23: 1:35 p.m. - The Wrath of Marit Dave
Dave Humphries shows his devilish side
For those playing in Coldsnap release events around the world this weekend, there is the exciting prize of an exclusive new Marit Lage token, as produced by Dark Depths. This one token is pretty game breaking, if it ever gets into play, and it was with heavy heart that I found myself unable to get my hands on one through playing in such a tournament.
Luckily, Grand Prix's have a few attractions that most regular tournaments cannot boast. For GP Malmo, Aleksi Briclot, the artist behind such striking card art as Windreaver and Simic Guildmage, has been around all weekend, signing cards and doing little sketches for the delighted masses.
Truly a wizard when armed with his collection of pens, he was more than happy to create a very special Marit Lage token for me, just as long as he could find a suitable muse. It turned out that of all the Pro cards that could potentially be turned into creature tokens, Dave Humphries was the lucky one to get the Alexi Briclot treatment.
I think it was the beard.
Sunday, July 23: 1:56 p.m. - Sweden Defends its Home Turf
Frank Karsten drafted a green red aggro deck and started off with a turn 2 and 3 Boreal Centaurs, while Johan Sadeghpour missed some rippling skills with his surging sentinel.
"Must …" (be nice) muttered Johan when Frank laid his Snow covered forest to back up his centaurs.
A second sentinel failed to find reinforcement on Johan's side, but the first strikers should be able to keep Frank's creatures at bay… or that what he thought.
Frank swang with his team of centaurs joined by a Phyrexian Ironfoot.
Johan considers the tricks of the format…a pump spell maybe? He chose to double blocks one of the centaurs only to meet Surging Flames, losing his two guys in the process.
A Disciple of Tevesh Szat came to help the Swede in his battle against green fat guys, Frank not being one of them!
A turn later, Frank tapped out his 4 lands and Boreal Druid before attack to cast a Ronom Hulk. Reading the disciple again, he figured that he gives -6/-6 and not -5/-5. He laughed about his mistakes, but realized after sending both of his centaurs into the red zone, that it was a actually the right play, as Johan used his blocking Disciple to kill the druid during the attack step. Frank couldn't have cast the hulk otherwise.
Johan basically "traded" 2 Swift Maneuvers on his disciple for the 2 centaurs. Soon the board was cleared. Frank Magmatic Core took care of the disciple, who took care of Frank's last creature. Johan took a crucial edge in the game when he cast Herald of Leshrac followed by other guys. That would have left Frank resourceless if he hadn't scooped before.
While shuffling, Frank wondered where things went wrong as he had a huge board advantage at some point…
Johan 1-0 Frank
Frank starts off again with a Boreal Cetaur.
"You just slow roll every game, said Johan when Frank played his snow land on turn 3 to back up his Centaur again.
Stalking Yeti showed up on Frank's side and took care of Johan's lone creature, but was locked down right away with a Gelid Shackles.
Creatures joined both sides of the battle, Johan finally hit another sentinel off ripple. But Frank's army seemed to be growing faster though, and Orcish Bloodpainter enjoyed sending shackled creatures to Johan's sentinels.
Facing his imminent demise, Johan decided to go to game 3.
Johan 1-1 Frank
Game 3 started just like game 2, a Boreal Centaur on frank's side facing a Kjeldoran Outrider.
Both players tapped out every turn to play threats, 2 Disciples of Tevesh Szat and a Kjeldoran Outrider on Johan's side, a Gelid Shackles on centaur, a tapped Phyrexian Ironfoot and a Simian Brawler on Frank's. The game could become very complicated for Frank if he let both disciples survive. We'd only seen one Surging Flames in his deck so far, so not many ways to get rid of them, and not enough pressure on the board to worry Johan.
Fortunately for the Dutchman, Skred took care of one of the disciple, but one was left, and still gave Johan a huge advantage. Trying to push some more damage, Frank attacked with his Ironfoot into a young Jotun Owl Keeper (no Age counter on it). With a little help of the disciple, that one survived and Frank's guy basically committed suicide.
Johan got ahead on the board, another disciple joined the team, and time was called. Frank was on 17 life, and it seemed impossible for him to deal enough damage in the 5 extra turns…
…However, the game isn't over. Both players were trying to figure who would eventually win the game. A draw would put both players out of contention for the top 8. The board was obviously in Johan's favour. Frank considered his options. A draw wouldn't actually matter too much for him as he would still need to 3-0 next pod for top16. So as a real gentleman, a "super hero" according to his words ("don't put that in! It doesn't make sense!"), Frank scooped to Johan, leaving him 3 wins away from top 8.
Johan 2-1 Frank
Sunday, July 23: 2:09 p.m. - How Many is Too Many?
Best Ripple Ever!
After the second draft, Frank Karsten sidled over to the coverage table with a little smile on his face. He posed a relatively straightforward question.
'How many copies of Disciple of Tevesh Szat is too many?'
My response was that having 4 was fine, having 5 was pushing it a little, and that any more seemed like too many.
So Karsten began to lay out his deck. Disciples one through five got the respect they deserved - these are quality creatures after all. Number six met a raised eyebrow. With number seven, both my eyebrows were raised. Disciple number eight found a shake of the head from yours truly. Disciple number nine was just a little too much for facial expression, and I slumped back, wondering what was going on in the head of Magic's mad genus.
I needn't have wondered for long. With a wink Karsten flashed a copy of Thrumming Stone. If Karsten plays the stone on turn five, then it is pretty likely that he will have four or five Disciples in play. At this point they can play at 'one sided Wrath' pretty effectively. If full wraths are necessary, then as it happens, Karsten has one of them too.
It was only Wessel Oomans who was looking to break up the hilarity that ensued at a table of Dutch pros looking at the deck. He put a Martyr of Ashes on the board, and gave a questioning look.
Karsten made a faux sad face and scooped up his cards.
Sunday, July 23: 2:21 p.m. - The Worst Rorix Ever
Being a pro is about being good. If you aren't good, then you can't be one. However, every pro will happily take a little luck from time to time.
Anton Jonsson's time came in round 10. Where a turn off winning with his aggressive white weenie deck, his opponent cast Garza Zol, Plague Queen. Anton was at four. His opponent cursed his luck that he hadn't drawn the big flier a turn earlier. Anton silently thanked his lucky stars, and asked if his opponent was done.
When he got the reply in the affirmative, he simply untapped swung and won.
Haste is really good, but only if you read that it exists on the card. Anton Jonsson is one lucky man.
Sunday, July 23: 2:40 p.m. - Pro Player Blog: Round 11 vs. Thomas Petterson
After doing a number on Bernardo Da Costa Cabral last turn fate decided to give me a savage kicking this round.
Game 1 was a pure race with my Windform and Snow Raptor racing his two Simian Brawlers. It looked like I had the edge as I had a couple of Taskmages to chump if necessary. Unfortunately he played Surging Might and hit a second on the fourth card down.
Stupid ripple mechanic…
Games decided by the top four cards of the library…
Game 2 was another race. Surging Might again made an appearance, but this time I was able to stabilize with Surging Aether, Krovikan Rot and Frozen Solid. This gave me enough time to strike back with my fliers and Ronom Serpent.
Game 3 was a blowout as I drew 5 spells, two of which were Taskmages I couldn't activate, and 10 lands.
That's top 8 out of contention, but I can still battle for money and Pro Points
So a rather poor 1-2 for this deck, which isn't surprising as I knew the lack of snow permanents would be an issue.
Sunday, July 23: 2:42 p.m. - Successful Archetypes in Sweden
The Coldsnap draft format is still young, but there already seem to be some archetypes that are doing particularly well in the hands of the pros today.
Red/blue with efficient flyers, good quality removal, and haste with which to generate a surprising reach once an opponent is on low life totals has been ridden to considerable success by both Rasmus Sibast and Andre Coimbra today.
Some of the key cards in the deck to pick up in multiples are Krovikan Mists and Frost Raptor. These two tend to represent your clock on opponents, while Rimewind Taskmage and Martyr of Ashes are both strong methods of holding up ground assaults. The deck can produce fair amounts of damage from out of nowhere, often thanks to the various common red snow creatures that can gain haste with a bit of snow power (presumably sliding down mountains to pick up speed).
Another popular archetype is White Weenie, as seen from Anton Jonsson in draft 1, splashing another colour as appropriate. White's common slot is full of good quality 'bears' and being able to pick up multiples of Surging Sentinels or Kjeldoran War Cry is often enough to turn a good efficient beatdown deck into a great one. While cards with the word 'ripple' on them are being picked a little higher as people start to get the idea of how powerful ripple is when it hits, cards like the Cry are still bubbling under a little. How long this lasts remains to be seen.
Finally, there are the good old fashioned green beatdown decks, which are most often paired up with red. Green's creatures are in many cases both big and clever. Being able to keep the six drops coming with Aurochs Herd makes life potentially very difficult for opponents who are in regular topdeck mode, while the Protection from Snow of Ronom Hulk, who can quickly hit for large amounts of damage in the right matchups.
Coldsnap limited feels more like constructed than any other draft format played at this level. Do not be surprised if you start seeing people making decklists to work from rather than pick orders.
Sunday, July 23: 3:33 p.m. - Is it pronounced Wessel like Vessel, or Wessel like Chekov says Vessel?
When Wessel Oomens sat down with a smile and started singing, all Rasmus 'Big Oots' Sibast could do was sigh.
'I don't think I'm winning this round'
Wessel's smiles continued when he won the roll and chose to play first. He kicked things off with a White Shield Crusader, to which Rasmus had a Rimewind Taskmage without a snow permanent to be seen.
Going into turn three, Rasmus started what would be a chant to be heard throughout the match.
'No soldier, no soldier…'
Wessel didn't have a soldier, but he did have a Gelid Shackles for Sibast's mage, and a Squall Drifter. When Oots tried for a Frost Raptor, Wessel had a Skred to take it down.
Oots snuck in with a hasty Goblin Rimerunner, to which Wessel had his first Soldier, a Surging Sentinels that missed any of it's friends with it's ripple.
Rasmus was again about the hasty monsters, with Thermopod, but this time Oomens was wise to Oots' plan, using his Squall Drifter to keep it tapped down.
Oomens' catchy hit of 'I need a soldier' got a little louder as he played Field Marshall, to make his soldiers that little bit more powerful. All Sibast could reply with was a Krovikan Mists.
When Oomens' attacked with his Sentinels, they met Thermopod, to whom the Shackled Rimewind Taskmage was sacrificed to get together the mana for a Surging Aether on Field Marshall. Suddenly it looked that the Sentinels were going down, but from a Skred from Oomens with ripple still on the stack.
Oots had an Ohran Yeti for his turn and a pass, while Wessel had plenty of gas. It only took one further attack step for Big Oots to make the Big Scoops.
For Game 2, Wessel took a look at his opening seven and said 'I'm bad' with a little smile before keeping. It wasn't really clear whether this meant his hand was very bad or very good.
When he led with a turn two Ronom Unicorn to Sibast's turn two Mists, it only looked ok. Rasmus got in again thanks to Goblin Rimerider. The rider traded with the unicorn and drew Oots some cards with Perilous Research, but not before Wessel had played a Surging Sentinels and missed.
Oots was on the counterattack with a second Mists, and a Frozen Solid to deal with an Ohran Yeti that had snuck out for Wessel.
Blows were traded, with the level of beatings only being kept roughly even by Wessel having a Squall Drifter. When he played a Kjeldoran Javelineer, and a Gelid Shackles on a fresh Yeti from Rasmus, he looked to be a little ahead. Over a couple of turns, the number of age counters on Wessel's Javelineer become more and more of a threat. The life totals were now just 8 to 5 in Wessel's favour, and attacking with the flying Krovikan Mists was looking more and more unlikely for Sibast with the Javelineer around.
Wessel kept on the pressure. He played a Field Marshall and attacked with his Sentinels, daring Sibast to block and lose a creature to the combined first strike damage, and potential Javelineer damage if necessary.
After much thought, Rasmus blocked with an Ohran Yeti, giving it first strike. Wessel used his Javelineer. Rasmus played a Surging Aether on the Javelineer, hoping that the way the rules worked on the Javelineer ability would mean that the Javelineer wouldn't deal it's 3 damage to the Yeti if it had been bounced. He rippled into another copy, to bounce Field Marshall, but had to wait on the judges to find out whether or not his play ultimately worked.
It did not though, and suddenly Oots felt that his chances in the matchup were dwindling. He lost his Yeti, and was left with just 2 Krovikan Mists, and a Yeti under some Gelid Shackles. It seemed that Wessel had all the answers though, as he played a Skred on one of Oots' blockers, and swung in for nearly lethal.
Before drawing, Rasmus tried to work out if he had any outs.
'Do a Craig Jones! Just rip it!'
There was nothing that Sibast could rip though, and he just extended his hand.
Wessel Oomens wins 2-0!
And for the record, it's pronounced Vessel.
Sunday, July 23: 3:47 p.m. - Pro Player Blog: Draft Two
This time my Taskmages will activate bwahahahaha.
The general consensus is that blue isn't very good in Coldsnap. I noticed this in the first draft as I got a lot of late picks. The Mox Radio boys had also noticed Rimefeather Owls going seventh. It did make me think that the color might be worth going after if it was left alone.
A first pick Heidar gave me the green light to go ahead. For the first booster it was a bit dicey as none of the fliers made an appearance and I mainly took Snow-Covered Land and toyed with going either Green or Red. Everyone wants green and as I got two Skred the decision to go into red was very easy.
Then the Frost Raptors started coming, and coming. 13th pick Frost Raptors feel like gifts.
This is what I ended up with:
GP Malmo Draft 2 Deck
This deck feels pretty strong. Evasion creatures are good in this format and I have seven fliers. I also have the Taskmages and Serpents to clog up the ground against green decks. With 20 snow permanents the Taskmages are almost certainly going to be active.
Round 12 vs. Fredrik Lia
Game 1 everything went to plan as I made fliers and tapped down his Earthen Goo. He made a Magmatic Core, but it was too slow. My impressions on that card, having played with it and against it, is that it isn't very good. It's too slow and expensive.
Game 2 he ramped up with Into the North into Ohran Yeti and then Ronom Hulk. My pair of Frost Raptors felt distinctly underpowered.
Fortunately I have an answer for that. Going first I board out a land, Survivor and two of the Serpents and replace them with Rune Snag. It all worked a charm. I Skred'ed his first turn elf and then countered turn two Into the North and left his game plan in tatters as there was no way he could keep up with my Raptors and Yeti.
Sunday, July 23: 3:53 p.m. - Pro Player Blog: Rnd 13 vs. Frank Karsten
This was featured by Raphael Levy. I started 1-0 down because I forgot to register Frost Marsh as in my deck. Oops.
Frank has about a billion Disciple of Tevesh Szet in his deck and a Thrumming Stone. From what I've heard there's another guy on the table who drafted 9 Surging Sentinels. Coldsnap isn't that bad of a draft format unless this kind of silliness happens, then you may as well go flip coins.
Game 1 2 and I thankfully won the die roll. Frank was feeling some sympathy for my stupidity so he obligingly failed to make a fourth land while I made a Frost Raptor, and another Frost Raptor, and another….
Game 3 and it was in with the Rune Snags. They and a Skred took care of the first two Disciples. Then a Thrumming Stone resolved.
One Disciple became many while my 4 spells and 9 land weren't really fighting that one.
Sunday, July 23: 4:08 p.m. - Thrumumumumumumumumummmmmm.......
Both Frank Karsten and Craig Jones are playing for top 16 in case they win both of their rounds.
Deck checking awarded Frank Game 1 as Craig made a mistake writing down his decklist.
"Snow-Covered lands should be in the same column as Snow-Covered dual lands! And yesterday as well, I misregistered my deck, and had to play with an extra land every Game 1… I'm fairly new at this!"
Frank 1-0 Craig
Craig started Game 2, dropping flyers in the form of a couple of Frost Raptors and Adarkar Windform in the first 5 turns, while Frank stalled on 3 lands and cast a Phobian Phatasm to buy him some time.
That was before Heidar, Rimewind Master showed up. The game resumed with a Disciple of Tevesh Szat on Frank's side, bounced back to his hand on the next turn.
"Not a winning strategy!", said an amused Frank. He scooped a few seconds later, facing lethal damage, and flashing his hand that included 5 Disciples.
Frank 1-1 Craig
I asked Frank to type how many of those disciples he had:
Frank mulliganed Game 1.
"At least we'll be done quickly!"
(That's a good point as I was given a laptop with very low battery autonomy!)
Craig mulliganed as well.
Frank reached his 4th land on turn 4 and the disciple started to show up on turn 4 and 5. While beating down with a Frost Raptor, Craig took down the 2 first disciples: the first one got Skreded and the second one met a Rune Slag.
Frank's 6th turn play however made Craig's future in the game look a bit "darker":
On turn 7, 3 Disciples hit the board. On turn 8, 4 more did…
At that point, not even a Jokulmorder would do much against Frank's board. A Martyr of Ashes would…. if only Craig had one. As he was only running Mountains to splash Skred, Frank presumed he would not have to face that nasty Earthquake guy!
Craig laughed about the game, extended his hand to Frank "Tevesh Szat" Karsten.
Frank 2-1 Craig
Sunday, July 23: 5:01 p.m. - Win and in!
Jelger cracks his Top 8 smile
Jelger Wiegersma is paired down and need a win to make top 8 but only need a draw to make it. Kim Sommerseth Orud is a player from Norway who hasn't been playing for the last 3 years and needs a win to make it
Jelger won the die roll and unconventionally decided to draw first. His deck included 4 Skreds and 4 Feats of Flesh. A good reason to let your opponent play first and have more chance to see your snow permanents and make Skreds useful.
The game saw a pretty one-sided domination, Kim being totally mastered by a Ronom Hulk who got to block his Phyrexian Snowcrusher who had to run into it.
Jelger cleared Orud's only blocker with Skred for 5 and attacks for 8 with a Ohran Yeti and the Ronom Hulk adding a Boreal Centaur to his team and leaving Orud with a Chilling Shade. Orud passes his turn without doing anything and the shade suffered the same treatment as his other creature.
With 11 damage going though, Jelger took game 1.
Jelger 1-0 Kim
Kim quickly mulliganed his first hand, and Jelger pondered for some time before deciding to keep his.
Holding 3 Skreds, a Stalking Yeti, Jelger had some time to lay his lands and play the big creatures he was holding. The first to hit the board was the Ronom Hulk who met Chill to the Bone. Auroch Herd #1 got Chilled to the Bone. Auroch Herd #2? Well, got Chilled to the bone as well.
With only a Goblin Rimerunner on Jelger's side, he played his Stalking Yeti to add some pressure, thinking that his 2 remaining Skred would be enough to take care of any creature Kim would play, also keeping in mind he could still bounce the Yeti.
Without much fight Kim scooped his card, and Jelger advanced to the top 8; the 10th of his career !
Jelger 2-0 Kim
Sunday, July 23: 5:16 p.m. - Pro Player Blog: Round 14 vs. Daniel Månson
Well it's the last round. Before the day started I thought that 3-3 would be good enough for top 32, but it looks like my tiebreakers aren't good enough, so I'm probably playing for pride.
Daniel had a fast green-white deck and came out of the blocks very quickly. He also had multiple Sound the Call (he cast three on consecutive turns). This brought groans from me as I can't stand the swingyness of the "collect me" theme for Coldsnap. Fortunately, I'd drawn perhaps my strongest hand of both Skred and was able to stabilize behind an Ohran Yeti and Ronom Serpent while my fliers did the rest. A Sunscour scared the hell out of me, but I still had gas to crawl over the finish line.
Game 2 and I stuttered on four land. A couple of turns later I managed to get Heidar down and looked to stabilize, but it was too late as I was facing a Ronom Hulk on 5 life.
Game 3 and I had total control of the board. I was worried about overextending into Sunscour, but I had to commit the Frost Raptor and second Taskmage as the board position was starting to slip. As Daniel was still summoning creatures I thought he might not have it. Unfortunately, he drew the seventh land he needed to cast it and wiped the board with Sunscour. In a moment of irony that pretty much summed up my day I then drew Rune Snags and died over four turns to a 3/3 Wolf token.
So another 1-2 for the second time. I was a lot more disappointed with this as I felt the deck seemed strong. Unfortunately there were some degenerate decks on the table and picking up a game loss for misregistering the deck didn't help.
Hope you all enjoyed this experiment and maybe the Player blog will return for GP Athens.
Sunday, July 23: 5:22 p.m. - From 538 We are Down to Eight!
If a single nation could stake a legitimate claim to have conquered Malmo for the weekend it would be the Netherlands. With Jelger Wiegersma, Wilco Pinkster, Kamiel Cornellisen and Wessel Oomens all making it to the final Coldsnap draft of the day, it would be fair to say that somewhere along the line the Dutchies have got a handle on how to deal with Snow-Covered lands.
The impressive top eight does not end there though. Worlds quarterfinalist Andre Coimbra from Portugal is well primed to fight for the title, while Vasilis Fatouros of Greece showed himself to be a formidable opponent throughout the swiss.
Representing Scandinavia, we have two amateur players, who will be guaranteed a good payday thanks to the extra prize money going to those without Pro Points. Asbjorn Falleson of Denmark and Axel Berglund of Sweden could be considered the 'locals' of the draft.
Coldsnap has already shown itself to be a wacky format, with potential for big plays from nowhere, and decks that bridge the limited/constructed gap with multiples of key cards coming more easily than ever before. With Ripple in the mix, games are far from predictable though.
Don't worry about predicting what will happen to these final eight, keep track of it all from the coverage here on MagictheGathering.com!