Sunday, May 6: 10:50 a.m. - Quick Draft Hits
by Tim Willoughby
Zipping around the tables for the first draft of the day there were a few spicy little stories coming from the draft tables today
It's tough at the bottom.
The bottom draft pod for day two was probably one of the most powerful of any in the room for the first draft of the day. For those amateurs that just sneaked in it must have been a little overwhelming to find Raphael Levy, Olivier Ruel, Rogier Maaten and Quentin Martin all cracking packs at the same table.
The brothers Ruel are both officially addicted to dragons. Antoine took a Vorosh, the Hunter early in Planar Chaos, and was soon shipped two copies of Oros, the Avenger. Not to be outdone, Olivier has a Vorosh of his own, along with Numot, The Devastator. With a Body Double to effectively bring his count to three too, he seemed pretty happy with his deck. There was even Jhoira in there to allow him to suspend his massive flyers and avoid their awkward mana costs.
Kenji Tsumura is still running around the venue letting everyone know that Blue is the worst colour. Perhaps Rich Hoaen should have dyed his hair Green?
Sunday, May 6: 12:31 p.m. - Round 10: Raphael Levy vs. Quentin Martin
by Tim Willoughby
Yesterday when everyone else was raving about Sprout Swarm in Future Sight, current leader of the Player of the Year race, and hall of famer Raphael Levy was musing about the value of Reality Acid now that Future Sight is in the mix. He felt that there was enough bounce now that it had got that bit more consistent to push it over the top, and now that you see it in pack 2 rather than 3, you could pick up bounce after it that little more easily.
The common was far from the power card in Levy's deck though. Raph had somehow ended up with four Giant Dustwasps, and would be looking to make an air assault with his green monsters. His opponent for the first round of draft was Pro Tour Prague top eighter, and magicthegathering.com limited guru Quentin Martin of England. Martin's blue/white concoction wasn't as clearly powerful as Levy's, but it could apply the beats where needed, and, thanks to the wackiness that is Time Spiral block, even featured legitimate removal.
The game started slowly enough, with Quentin having early Benalish Cavalry and Outrider en-Kor action, while Raph suspended a turn two Dustwasp, and played a morph. Each player raced for a little, and Raph had Jhoira's Timebug to shorten the clock on Quentin a little, bringing his wasp out a turn early.
Stalled on 3 lands, Quentin played a Sinew Sliver, and lost his Outrider en-Kor to Erratic Mutation. The following turn he played his second Plains and had a little think.
"If I'd drawn that last turn, I don't think I'd have lost this one."
Quentin pondered his position, and declared his attacks, taking Raph to 10, facing down a morph, wasp and a bug next turn. He had a Sunlance for the big flyer, and a Whitemane Lion to block and kill Jhoira's Timebug. Post combat, Raph played Baru, Fist of Krosa, and passed.
This was a legend that Quentin seemed concerned about racing. He played Lucent Liminid and passed. Raph didn't have a Forest to make his attacks really scary, but he did have Venser's Diffusion to bounce Benalish Cavalry when it double blocked alongside Whitemane Lion. Quentin rebuilt with Jedit's Dragoons, taking him back up to 15, and then was forced to chump block with it when Baru got big thanks to a Forest from Raph. Quentin was back on the air assault with his Liminid, and it was soon joined by a second, though Leaden Fists meant only one would be on the attack. Quentin played a Primal Plasma as a defender to stall the ground, and still had his flying beats unimpeded by Dustwasps. Shortly enough, Levy succumbed.
Raphael Levy 0 - 1 Quentin Martin
Levy had the unsurprising turn 2 suspend of Giant Dustwasp to start, while Quentin was all for some suspending himself, with Knight of Sirsi. Raph's draw left him without a play for turn five, having played a Nessian Courser on turn three, but not being able to effectively swing into the face of Oriss, Samite Guardian, and later Poultice Sliver.
Levy wonders, 'So where are my Dustwasps?'
When Lucent Liminid came along, Raph looked in a bit of a spot. Oriss would make for some very sticky combats for him, and Quentin had enough creatures to both keep back blockers and come in for a little each turn. Raph used Reality Acid, then Dream Stalker to bounce his Reality Acid to take down the 3/3 Enchantment Creature, and passed.
Quentin attacked, potentially allowing a swing for Raph. This door was quickly closed off though when Judge Unworthy revealed an Infiltrator il-Kor to kill off Raph's best threat.
Raph started playing the Reality Acid game. He played on Knight of Sursi, and a second on the Infiltrator when it came in. Without a bounce effect, they seemed a little slow, and time was not something that Raph had a great deal of, with an ever growing force being marshalled by the Englishman.
Raph played a Quiet Disrepair on his own Reality Acid (enchanting Infiltrator il-Kor), and took his beats for the turn, before both his Reality Acids killed off Quentin's main threats. Levy was heavy on lands, but light on creatures, and in spite of having shrunk Quentin's board a little, it was just not enough.
Quentin Martin wins 2-0!
Sunday, May 6: 2:02 p.m. - Round 11: Kenji Tsumura vs. Mattias Kettel
by Tim Willoughby
While Mattias is a native Swede, his opponent came a long way to battle this weekend, and has no intention of losing now that he is here. Now, there are a lot of good intentions around, but Kenji Tsumura has all the tools to back them up with action. Widely regarded as one of the best players on tour, Kenji shows no signs of slowing down
Both players had mulligans, and by the time that the shuffling up was done, Richard Hoaen, across in the other feature match, had knocked Amiel Tenenbaum down to 8 life with Calciderm.
When things kicked off for Kenji, it was with a Deepcavern Imp, who beat in for two before sacrificing himself to keep Brain Gorgers off the board. An Urborg Syphon-Mage from Kenji met Strangling Soot, and soon Kettil was putting on the pressure with a Reckless Wurm, and then a Haunting Hymn to clear out Tsumura's hand of nothing but lands. Tsumura even used an Evolution Charm to thin his deck in response to the Hymn, but was suddenly in a lot of trouble.
Kettil had a Char-Rumbler, but before it could do much rumbling Kenji hit it with Death Rattle. He was still knocked down to 9 by Reckless Wurm though before he could play Sporesower Thallid as a blocker.
When Kettil showed Tendrils of Corruption to clear the way, that was enough for Tsumura to scoop it up.
Kenji Tsumura 0 - 1 Mattias Kettil
Kenji immediately went for his sideboard - what Frank Karsten referred to as the best part of the match. Tsumura has frequently pointed out the value of good sideboarding in draft, where it is sometimes forgotten about, and for game 2 he switched out Grave Peril and Midnight Charm for Bog Serpent and Grave Scrabbler. Apparently in Holland, if you don't sideboard at least a couple of cards for game 2, then you've missed your 'Kenji Quota'. The little incremental advantages count.
For game 2 Tsumura got away without a mulligan, but his opponent wasn't so lucky, going down to six.
Kenji led off with a Rathi Trapper, who in the absence of creatures got to swing for a turn before the threat of Negator Totem put him back on defence. Kenji had an Evolution Charm for a Plains at the end of one of Mattias' turns, then a Sporesower Thallid. Suddenly the Trapper was in again. This would prove to be its last action of the game, as Arc Blade cut down the 1/1 before going on suspension.
Kenji played a Pallid Mycoderm and swung. With the Germinator's help he'd soon be able to start making Overruns with his fungus. Mattias played a Bog Serpent, but Kenji attacked in unafraid. He had an Ichor Slick to cycle and play via it's madness cost, drawing him a card, and making the combat good for him.
Mattias refilled with Brain Gorgers and a morph, and was able to double block Sporesower Thallid, but was stopped by Pallid Mycoderm's ability and a Feebleness. Sensing the kill was near, Kenji dropped a second Pallid Mycoderm into play. Even without the much talked about Sprout Swarm, he was playing dirty pool with his Saproling generators.
Kettil wanted in on this action, and used Enslave to steal Sporesower Thallid, who remained tapped, and as such couldn't stop Kenji's next swing dropping Kettil to 2. When Kenji played another creature, there was no way the lone stolen fungus would be enough.
Kenji Tsumura 1 - 1 Mattias Kettil
For game 3, having seen Enslave, Kenji again looked to his sideboard. Seal of Primordium made the cut, and suddenly Grave Scrabbler just wasn't good enough.
For Game 3, neither player took a mulligan, but Kettil did stall on just two mountains, having to discard Haunting Hymn, while Kenji had turn 2 Rathi Trapper, turn 3 Deepcavern Imp, and even the Gorgon Recluse to power out with the Imp's echo as a madness enabler.
Kettil chuckled at his misfortune in the face of such a start. It wasn't even close. He scooped them up
Kenji Tsumura wins 2-1!
Sunday, May 6: 2:17 p.m. - 'It's Red Bull. Honest'
by Tim Willoughby
Rich Hoaen is pretty lucky to be here today. His performance yesterday is in no doubt, but after some celebrations running late into the night, he rocked up to his hotel room around 2am. Knowing he needed to be at the venue for 8am on Sunday, he called down to front desk to set an alarm call. There was no reply. He tried to set his phone alarm, but fell foul of time differences and no reception in Europe.
Eventually Rich decided to just lie down and wait for his roommate to get back, and let them sort out waking him up.
At 7.30 Hoaen woke up "just in time for a shower".
Now he's got his Red Bull, and is doing just fine.
Sunday, May 6: 3:33 p.m. - Round 12: Andre Mueller vs. Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa
by Julien Nuijten
We're in round twelve and it's Andre "TrashT" Mueller from Germany against the guy with many names all the way from Brazil. They are right at the top of the tables, and another win here would put them in great shape for a top eight berth, going into drafts 2 and 3.
Paulo won the roll and got the better start: Riftwing Knight followed up with Gathan Raiders, and Andre's Yavimaya Dryad walked right into the morph, trading for Amrou Scout and a lot of tempo. Andre had a decent followup though: first Cavalry Master and then Calciderm, while Paulo played Lymph and Poultice Slivers, clogging up the board. Ana Battlemage got rid of most of Paulo's gas, but he still had a Homing Sliver getting a Fury Sliver to further establish board control on the next turn. Erratic Mutation took care of the Poultice Sliver though, and after a round of attacks, the board was Andre's Calciderm and Ana Battlemage against Paulo's Gathan Raiders and Lymph Sliver. Andre was playing very aggressively, while he knew that Paulo had a Fury Sliver coming, although he did not yet have the sixth land to cast it with. Andre played a morph, but Paulo's next draw step gave him the needed land, playing the Fury Sliver and emptying his hand, making the Raiders a 5/5. Mueller's morph turned out to be Slipstream Serpent, which traded for the Fury Sliver next turn, but Andre was at such a low life total that a Fortify in Paulo's next draw step sealed the deal.
Andre Mueller 0 - 1 Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa
Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa
Andre played first and both players kept again. Andre played out a third turn morph, but Paulo had the better start again with a suspended Shades of Trokair, Sinew Sliver and then a Poultice Sliver.
Sunlance took care of the morph, and Andre had Aven Riftwatcher to somewhat try to stabilize, but couldn't cast most of his spells as he hadn't found an Island yet. Whitemane Lion returning the Riftwatcher gave him some more time, and Andre found his Island on the next turn and had some hope again: Teferi's Moat came down to hold back all three of Paulo's creatures. But........... Cloudchaser Kestrel came down. This was enough for Andre, who instantly conceded.
Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa wins 2-0
Sunday, May 6: 4:25 p.m. - Decklist: 9-0 Decks
Three players went undefeated on day one. Here are their decklists (with full sideboards for those of you that want to try to improve on the decks with a perfect record. I'd recommend you don't play Aspect of Mongoose. 100% of 9-0 players didn't.
GP Stockholm 9-0
GP Stockholm 9-0
GP Stockholm 9-0
Sunday, May 6: 5:12 p.m. - Round 13: Tiago Chan vs. Tuomo Nieminen
by Julien Nuijten
Tiago Chan has quite the Magic resume, but somehow or other he hasn't managed to tick off 'Grand Prix Top Eight' on his big list of things to do. For yet another GP he's fighting in good position to get there though, and this round he found himself playing a green deck, in spite of his dislike for the color, against Tuomo Nieminen.
Tuomo won the roll and led off with his mono blue deck. How did this deck come together to be mono blue? It just happened, he says.
He started off with Blind Phantasm, Dream Stalker and a turn four suspended Veiling Oddity, while Tiago suspended Durkwood Baloth and played Mire Boa and Faceless Devourer. Weatherseed Totem and Uktabi Drake joined Tiago's side of the board, and it was quickly apparent that Tuomo was going to be the defensive player in this game. He traded an Aven Augur for the Drake, but didn't have anything for the Faceless Devourer or the Weatherseed Totem yet. Durkwood Baloth came into play as well, but it was Snapbacked once and Snapbacked again after Tiago replayed it in the same turn. Tuomo didn't have any real solutions though, and things only became worse when Tiago added Timbermare and Nessian Courser. Tuomo kept making moves to try and stabilize but every time he solved something, Tiago would just shrug and replace it with a new threat. There was some hope for Tuomo because he had Take Possession in his hand, but he never got up to seven mana and it probably would have been too late anyway.
Tuomo played first again but had to mulligan, and wasn't liking Tiago's first turn Mindstab.
Tiago got even further ahead when his Riftsweeper shuffled back Tuomo's Veiling Oddity, but he wasn't out of gas yet. He played Blind Phantasm, Dream Stalking, Gosammer Phantom and a morph, but then lost his hand to Mindstab while Tiago had a full grip.
Tiago played out Augur of Skulls, Mirri, and started to make tokens with Sprout Swarm. Tuomo scryed away 6 cards with Unblinking Bleb and Foresee, and it was looking very grim again as Weatherseed Totem was now also coming his way, all whist Tiago was making several Saprolings every turn. Tuomo didn't get any action off his deck and an alpha strike soon took the match for Tiago.
Tiago Chan wins 2-0
Sunday, May 6: 7:07 p.m. - Fighting for Top 8
by Tim Willoughby
Coming into the final round, there are a few lucky Pros, like Andre 'TrashT' Mueller, who are already a lock. There are some pros, like Julien Nuijten, who are all out but the play fights and coverage. Then we have those in the middle. On the brink. The teeterers.
The poster boy of GP 9th places is Tiago Chan. Chan masterfully made it all the way to Pro Players club level 6, but hasn't got a GP top eight. Yet. Coming into the final round, he was paired against 'Happy' Rich Hoaen, with each of them needing a win, and quite a bit of luck on other results to have a shot at in.
The match was pretty quick. Tiago had green fat, but this green fat had trouble against Rich's black and red removal, with Shaper Parasites also providing 2-for-1 goodness. In game 2, a big Rough//Tumble cleared the way for a Coal Stoker and lots of Empty the Warrens Kenji Tsumura tokens to come on through. A big Riddle of Lightning finished things off.
On slightly more solid ground was Kenji himself. He was using his Richard Hoaen tokens as Goldmeadow Harrier tokens from Goldmeadow Lookout. It doesn't matter how much green fat is being pumped out when you are churning out tappers each turn. Kenji took it down in two. Kenji started practicing his happy dance, he had another top eight.
As the final matches fell out, there was good news for some, worse for others. Bas Postema won his match against Samuel Korsell, the Swedish amateur who had come in with no byes. This was the right result for Richie, but in the end on tiebreakers, he just missed, and the Swedish Grand Prix got it's own Swedish representative.
Sunday, May 6: 7:52 p.m. - Round 15: Bas Postema vs. Samuel Korsell
by Julien Nuijten
It's the hometown hero playing the old veteran in what looked to be a last-round win-and-in. Bas hasn't really been playing Magic recently, but he show up for Magic tournaments every now and then and usually performs very well. Samuel won the roll but had to mulligan, and both players had a very slow start, the first plays being Bas cycling Marshaling Cry and Boom/Bust on a land of both players. Llanowar Empath for Bas was the target of Dead(/Gone), and then Bas started to play some creatures while Samuel didn't have anything at all. Essence Warden, Nessian Courser, Stonecloaker, Mistmeadow Skulk and another Llanowar Empath all joined Bas' side of the board while all Samuel could do was Leaden Fists the Stonecloaker. He had a Havenwood Wurm when he got to seven mana, but Bas had been alpha striking for a couple of turns already and the Wurm was irrelevant.
Samuel played first, and kept his hand saying that he might do something this game. He did, as he was off to a very good start, with Edge of Autumn, Serendib Sorcerer, Dead(/Gone) for Bas' Kavu Predator and Sporoloth Ancient. Bas' third turn was Nessian Courser, but after that he didn't find a land for two turns and Samual took advantage of Bas' manascrew by destroying all his lands with Boom/Bust. Bas had a Greenseeker to try and recover, but it was all too slow and we were on to a decider.
Bas played first this time and lead off with a Durkwood Baloth and a fifth-turn Herd Gnarr while Samuel had Cloudseeker, Serendib Sorceress and Durkwood Tracker. Bas made sure with the judge that his Gaea's Anthem keeps his sorceressed guys 1/3 before he played it, and had Nacatl War-Pride while Samuel played a Phantom Wurm. The board was really complex at this point, and this turn took about 8 minutes. Bas was now attacking with Durkwood Baloth, Herd Gnarr, War-Pride and 4 copies of War-Pride (using Julien Nuijten player cards as tokens, apparently his favorite, FYI), all powered up by Gaea's Anthem. On Samuel's side of the board, Phantom Wurm, Durkwood Tracker and Cloudseeker were blocking tokens and Serendib Sorceress was tapped, shrinking the Herd Gnarr. Durkwood Tracker tried to kill the War-Pride, but Bas had a Momentary Blink to save it. Ovinize prevented some damage and after everything resolved, Samuel was at seven and had lost his Cloudseeker. Samuel didn't have anything in his turn, and Bas repeated the alpha strike, finishing his opponent off.
However, the loss didn't cost Korsell a spot in the Top 8 as his tie-breaks stood up, sliding him into the Top 8 ahead of fellow 36-pointers Tommi Lindgren, Rich Hoaen, Jan Ruess, and Thomas Enevoldsen.