Saturday, Sept 9: 11:15 a.m. - Round 1: Arsjaad Poese Vs. Mathijs van Wageningen
Mathijs has been playing magic for quite some years now, he played the top 8 of the 2003 Dutch nationals, and he played at Pro Tour Hawai and Pro Tour Charleston. Arsjaad is a rising star in Holland, he's been playing magic for just a year now, but he got a top 8 at his first PTQ, got 9th at the Enschede nationals qualifiers (with top 8 placing) and finally made the nationals at the last chance qualifiers last by opening an insane sealed. The players are good friends.
Mathijs is playing a white-black discard-aggro deck with Shrieking Grotesque and Castigate, at least, that's what I think he's playing, he's keeping a hand with 5 land and those 2 cards.
Arsjaad is playing a Sea Stompy deck (the old-school version without the 8 Stone Rains).
Arsjaad plays the first card in the match, an Umezawa's Jitte on turn 2. Mathijs is lucky, he draws a Jitte in his second turn, but instead of destroying arsjaad's Jitte, he plays a Castigate. Arsjaad reveals Ninja Of The Deep Hours, Trygan Predator, Othran Viper. Mathijs takes the viper. Arsjaad plays a predator, and kicks Mathijs to 18 in the second turn. Mathijs tries to attack with a Shrieking grotesque, but a Jitte counter stops him. Arsjaad's predator keeps hitting, and the Jitte has 3 counters now. Time for Mathijs to plays his own jitte. A third grotesque is played into Mana Leak, and Arsjaad keeps attacking with his predator and a Llanowar elves, ninja-ed into a Ninja Of The Deep Hours. Mathijs keeps " mising" land, making the first game a walk-over for Arsjaad.
Arsjaad 1-0 Mathijs
Mathijs boards in 3 Hideous Laughter, 3 Deathmark and a Darkblast, boarding out his 4 Paladin- En-Vecs, an Isemaru, Hound Of Konda and 2 Ravenous Rats. Arsjaad Sides in 4 seals Of Fire and a Rumbling Slumfor a Mana Leak and 3 Thoughts Of Ruin.
Mathijs asks Arsjaad if he tested for the nationals, Arsjaad replies by saying he tested against a limited deck he drafted a few days ago.
Mathijs starts with a turn 1 Isemaru, Arsjaad has a Birds Of Paradise, a use for Mathijs' Deathmark on turn 2. Luckily, Arsjaad has another Birds, and a Seal of Fire for the Isemaru. Mathijs hits nicely when he plays his Ravenous rats, Arsjaad has to discard a Meloku, The Clouded Mirror, and something tells me flyers are pretty good in this matchup, Mathijs only has 4 flyers in his entire deck. Mathijs keeps removing the Birds, he has Darkblast for the second one. Arsjaad takes a little time out when He receives a phone call, I'm not sure if that's legal, but luckily for him, the judges didn't notice him. He laughingly tells his friend on the other side of the line that he and Mathijs are the only minorities at the tournament today (people always think they are brothers), and they got paired against each other. Surely the judges must be racists… Mathijs plays a Grotesque, making Arsjaad discard his Kird Ape. Mathijs keeps playing the beats, he now has a Ghost Councel Of The Orzhova, a Rats and a Grotesque, while Arsjaad only has a Llanowar elves and Predator. He needs to topdeck something fast, because he's only at 6 life at the moment. Luckely, he finds a Rumbling Slum. Mathijs dredges his Darkblast, an awful dredge if you ask me, he has to put 2 Mortify and a land to the grave. He attacks with his Ghost Councel, arsjaad blocks with the slum, Mathijs Darkblasts it and removes his Shost Councel from the game. Arsjaad playsa second Predator. Mathijs topdecks a Hideous Laughter, and attacks with the Ghost Councel. Arsjaad tries to kill it with 2 Predators, not a very good play, because Mathijs still has a Ravenous Rats and all his mana open. Mathijs does the right thing, he deals 2 damage to each of the Predators, removes his Ghost Councel from the game and uses his Hideous Laughter to clear Arsjaad's side of the board.
Mathijs sides out 2 Castigates for a Isemaru and a Descendant Of Kiyomaro.
Arsjaad sides out a Meloku and 2 Seals of Fire for 3 Rumbling Slum
Both players mulligan once, and Mathijs is having second thoughts about his if he wants to keep his second hand, with a Swamp as only land, an Isemaru and some 2-drops.
Arsjaad chooses to start the third one. Mathijs is very lucky in topdecking a Godless Shrine, and he plays a Isemaru, which meets Seal Of Fire, and a Dark Confidant. He reveals Mortify for Arsjaad' s Othran Viper, and topdecks a Deathmark after that, which can kill Arsjaad' s Rumbling Slum. Arsjaad complains about not drawing seal of fire, and Mathijs tries to comfort him by telling Arsjaad he's really lucky this game. Somehow Arsjaad isn't really affected by that statement, he scoops a few turns later.
After the game, Arsjaad tells Mathijs he made a mistake in blowing up his Seal of Fire in turn 1, he didn't know Mathijs played Dark Confident. He blames his loss on a lack of experience, maybe he should test against real decks next time…
Saturday, Sept 9: 12:02 p.m. - Round 2: Piet Marbus vs.Roel van Heeswijk
Roel is a well known player from Utrecht. He's having a great season so far, with 2 GP top 8's this season.
He's playing Piet Marbus in round 2. Piet is from Friesland, one of the most feared regions in the whole Netherlands. He's playing a snake deck tuned by some local players, and he's pretty confident about it. Roel qualified on rating while Piet won a qualifier to get here.
Piet wins the roll and chooses to play. Roel mulligans and keeps his 6 hander.
Piet plays a turn 1 Sakura-Tribe Scout, followed by a Turn 2 Coiling Oracle. Roel's first turn are a little more aggressive, he starts with a turn 1 Birds of Paradise followed by both a Kird Ape and an Umezwa's Jitte. Piet uses his Jitte to kill Roel's one before he's able to use it and plas another one in the same turn. Roel returns the favor and plays another Jitte, leaving both players with 2 Jittes in the grave, and none in the board. Piet makes a bunch of tokens on the next turn with a Sosuke's Summons, casting another tribe-scout to retrieve his summons. Roel's only play is a Llanowar Elf while Piet is rapidly growing an army of slithering men. A Jitte would be pretty good for Roel now… Piet uses his Novijen to make some of his snakes twice as fat. Roel uses a Volcanic Hammer to kill one of them and passes the turn. Piet tries a Seshiro but Roel luckily has a Mana Leak to stop it. Roel is now facing an army of 5 snake tokens, 1 Coiling Oracle and 2 Sakura Tribe-Scouts, having only a Birds, a Kird Ape and a Llanowar Elf to block. Roel has no play on his turn and Piet continues pumping out snakes with his summons. Roel takes his turn, draws and mumbles "that also doesn't look like a Jitte", passes the turn and Piet decides to attack with all his men, getting rid of the birds. In his second mainfase he playes an Coilling Oracle, Roel tries to leak it but Piet is willing to pay 3 mana to reveal the top card and getting back his summons. After this play, Roel decides to scoop and advance to game 2.
Piet 1-0 Roel
Roel is playing some SSSST (Super Secret Savage Sideboard Tech) he didn't want to be covered, so I won't tell his sideboard tech (yet).
Roel decides to start game 2, and starts with his second mulligan. He keeps his second hand and starts with forest follows by birds of paradise. Piet's first play is again the tribe scout, letting him have 3 mana on his second turn. he tries to play a sosuke's summons, but Roel is happy he can Mana Leak it. Roel is getting his second land on his third turn, and he casts another birds and a Jitte. Piet succeeds to cast another summons on his next turn, followed by another Tribe-Scout. Roel answers by playing the fat Rumbling Slum, letting him lose 2 life for the untapped Steam Vents. Piet is forced to play a Coat of Arms for the Slum and the nasty Jitte, making his snakes 4/4 and Roel's birds 1/2. Piet passes and Roel takes some time to think, resulting in a with Jitte-equipped Birds Of Paradise, swinging for 1 and gaining 2 Jitte-counters. In his second main fase he equips the jitte to the Slum and passes. Piet plays two copies of sosuke's summons making his snakes 8/8, counting if he would be able to win this same turn with his very, very big snakes he decides to attack. Roel, only able to block 1 with his Jitte-equipped Slum and having no mana, Is not able to think up any answers and scoops it up.
Piet 2-0 Roel
Saturday, Sept 9: 1:18 p.m. - Round 3: Leon Star vs. Jordi van der Gaag
Both players are local tournament regulars, Leon has already got some pro points and recently qualified for PT Kobe. These players are also good friends of each other, so we are in for a nice match. Leon brings a Boros deck, while Jordi has got a Blue-Green Graft deck with a bunch of counter spell.
Leon takes a mulligan, but at least he can start with a Isamaru. The first creature on the table for Jordi is Vinelasher Kudzu. Next in line are Jitte's for both players, nullifying each other before doing any harm. Then Leon has a White Shield Crusader and a Seal of Fire killing the kudzu, while continuing the beats with his Isamaru. Plaxcaster Frogling and another one come to the table on Jordi's side the following two turns, while Leon creates a second Crusader to dominate the air.
When a Cytoplast Root-Kin appears on Jordi's side, it is clear the ground battle can't be won by Leon, and he has to use two of his creatures as chump fodder. He had brought Jordi to 4 on the previous turn though while surviving this one on 1 life. The finish came in the form of Flames of the blood Hand for exactly 4 damage, so it was time to think about the sideboarding plans.
Leon 1 - Jordi 0
Leon's plan is to win the Jitte battle so he brings in 2 Manriki Gusari's.
He also is afraid of Threads of Disloyalty so 4 Ronom Unicorn's come in too. For this he takes out 3 Savanah Lions (which aren't any good against the bigger creatures on the other side while not playing first) and 3 Flames of the blood hand.
Jordi is exchanging 3 counter spells (Mana Leak, Remand and Voidslime) to bring in 3 creatures that can do the same thing (Plaxmanta).
Jordi opens with Vinelasher Kudzu followed by Ohran Viper. Leon plays a White Shield Crusader followed by a Lightning Helix on the Viper. Jordi has Umezawa's Jitte killing the Crusader and creating a big problem for Leon. Manriki Gusari and a Unicorn can't solve these problems, because the Unicorn just dies to Jitte counters and the rest of Leon's spells are countered. It is time to see what the deciding game will bring.
Leon 1 - Jordi 1
Some more sideboarding:
Leon put's the Savannah Lions back in his deck because he is on the play this game, this time taking out both his Eight and a Half Tails and a Palladin en-Vec.
Jordi takes a mulligan, while Leon plays Savannah Lion, followed by a Jitte. Jordi can only play two Vinelasher Kudzu's in a row, one blocking the Lion and another dieing to a Jitte counter. Jordi has mana problems and things aren't looking good with a fresh Palladin en-Vec on the opposing side. Plaxmanta and Plaxcaster Frogling try to put up a fight, but simply can't compete with a Jitte-equipped first striker and a lot of burning spells.
Leon wins 2-1
Saturday, Sept 9: 1:35 p.m. - Round 3: Julien Nuijten vs. Douwe v. Noordenburg
The last year's Dutch champ squares off against the former World Champ in round 3. Julien has quite a record Top 8'ing a number of Grand Prix and Pro Tours. Both players won their first 2 matches and are battling for the 3-0 record before going in to the draft rounds.
Douwe van Noordeburg wins the roll while Julien answers with a "Natuurlijk" (translated by "Off-course", which is a Dutch inside joke). Douwe decides to play and mulligans down to 6, Julien keeps his 7 and starts with a Breeding Pool, taking 2 and casting a Birds of Paradise followed by a couple of Llanowar Elfs turn 2. Douwe answers with a turn 2 watchwolf, attacks with the wolf on his next turn, dealing 3 damage to Julien. A Cryoclasm takes down Juliens only land and deals another 3 damage. Julien uses all mana-making men to cast a Orhan Viper which trades with a Watchwolf in Douwe's attack phase. Douwe has another copy of the wolf and passes the action to Julien. Julien answers his draw with another "Natuurlijk, still no land". Being low at lands he's forced to use all his creatures to cast a Trygon Predator. Douwe attacks taking Julien down to 9 life and casting a Savannah Lions. Julien draws, thinks for a while and decides to play a third Llanowar Elf followed by a Umezawa's Jitte. Douwe plays Moldervine Cloak on the lions and swings with both of his men. Julien decides to chump-block the Watchwolf, taking 5 damage and going to a life total of 4. Douwe passes and Julien, still land-less, attacks with an equipped elf getting 2 counters. The Jitte is doing a lot of good work for Julien, letting him live long enough to ride the game home with a total of 0 lands in play.
Julien leads 1-0.
Douwe starts the second game and takes some time thinking to keep or mull his hand. He chooses to take a new hand while Julien is pretty confident with his. Douwe keeps his initial 6 and starts things off with an untapped foundry and a kird ape. Julien, already having more lands in his hand then he saw the previous game, takes 2 for an untapped Breeding Pool and casts a Llaowar Elf. Douwe Seal of Fire's it and deals some damage with the ape. Julien plays a land, Birds of Paradise before passing the turn. Douwe's Isamaru, Hound of Konda gets countered by a mana leak and Julien instantly plays an plaxmanta at the end of Douwe's turn. The next few turns Julien doesn't find any answers to Douwe's stream of creatures.
Julien 1 - Douwe 1
Douwe mulligans again in the third game and Julien keeps his hand. Douwe decides to keep his 6 hander, while julien starts things with a forest, followed by birds and more birds on his second turn. Douwe plays an ape and passes. Julien plays an untapped breeding pool, followed by a turn 3 meloku. Douwe takes some time to decide what to do and attacks with his monkey, Julien takes the 2 damage. Douwe is still facing the legendary wizard, plays a land and a Burning Tree Shaman, Julien makes a token with his Meloku in response. Julien uses some time to think about his next turn, casting a jitte and equipping his token. He swings, gets2 counters and equips the legendary artifact on meloku, losing some lifepoints due to the Shaman in the process. Things do not look good for Douwe and he uses a Jitte to get rid of Julien's. Juliens pumps the legend and gains 2 life. Douwe attacks with the Shaman, Julien takes 3, getting him at 11 life. Julien makes a token on his turn, plays another Jitte, equips and attacks, gaining 2 counters. The BTS drains a few more life points from him using all those abilities. Julien is at 9 life and loses another life for equipping the jitte on meloku. Douwe casts a cloak on his shaman and chooses to attack with it. Julien uses a token to block it. In his own turn he swings with a illusion and a meloku taking Douwe to 14 life. Julien has a good advantage having a jitte with 4 couters and the illusion creating wizard. He adds an Orhan viper to his board which Douwe helixes on his own turn. Douwe is at 12 life and Julien uses his birds to create more illusions and swings for the win in his next turn.
Julien wins 2-1 and has a 3-0-0 record.
Saturday, Sept 9: 3:03 p.m. - Drafting with Jelger Wiegersma
Jelger Wiegersma is one of the most famous Dutch pro's, and he is known for being one of the best drafters this land has to offer. He went 2-1 in today's standard part of the tournament, and is a draft pod with Frank Karsten feeding him Ravnica and Dissension, and Niels Richter feeding him Guildpact.
Lightning Helix over Auratouched Mage
Peel From Reality over skyknight legionnaire, Greater Mossdog
Cleansing Beam over Dimir Aquaduct, Flight of Fancy (2 of them)
Selesnya Sanctuary over Rally The Righteous
Selesnya Signet over Wojek Apothecary
Tattered Drake over Pollenbright Wings, Glass Golem
Stasis Cell over Barbarian Riftcutter
Goblin Spelunkers over Convolute
Coalhauler Swine over Blockbuster
Rally The Righteous
Nothing that matters.
Torch Drake over Castigate, Shrieking Grotesque, Leap Of Flame
Izzet Chronarch over Pyromatics, Shrieking Grotesque
Torch Drake over Hypervolt Blast
Izzet Chronarch over Shrieking Grotesque, Izzet Guildmage
Izzet Signet over Torch Drake, Gruul Turf, Train Of Thought
Skarrgan Skybreaker over Mourning Thrull
Ghost Warden over Petrahydrox
Withstand over Scorched Rusalka
Vacuumelt over Castigate
Castigate over Orzhova, The Church Of Deals
Battering Wurm over Yore-Tiller Nephilim (what? At least the Nephilim is a rare)
Order Of The Stars
Again, an off-color crap card, but hey, it's the fifteenth pick, what do you expect?
Aurora Eidolon over Rakdos Carnarium,l Enigma Eidolon, Aethemage's Touch
Minister Of Inpediments over Plumes Of Peace, Swift Silence, Freewind Equenaut.
Gaurdian Of The Guildpact over Silkwing Scout, Courir Hawk
Azorius Signet over Simic Growth Chamber, Steeling Stance
Novijen Sages over Simic Growth Chamber, Steeling Stance (again!)
Beacon Hawk over Riot Spike
Plumes Of Peace over Carom, Massacre Waltz
Plumes Of Peace over Soulsworn Jury
Enigma Eidolon over Aethermage's Touch
Skill-Suit Cultist over Steeling Stance
Yeah, you know the deal by know.
Jelger isn't really satisfied with his deck, even though Dissension made up a little for the lack of playables in Ravnica and Guildpact, he doesn't think the deck can win a lot of games. he didn't make any mistakes though, he did the best he could with the cards he was dealt. The eventual deck is white-blue-red, no splashes whatsoever.
Saturday, Sept 9: 3:40 p.m. - Drafting with Rogier Maaten
The first card is the card Rogier picked, the other cards are the most important other options available to him. Picked cards not making the final deck are between parentheses.
1: Spectral Searchlight; Dimir Signet; Brainspoil
2: Galvanic Arc; Farseek; Helldozer; Drooling Groodion
3: Loxodon Hierarch; Brainspoil; Dimir House Guard; Belltower Sphinx
4: Drift of Phantasms; Selesnya Signet
5: Boros Signet; Gather Courage; Flight of Fancy
6: Bramble Elemental; Skynight Legionnaire; Carven Caryatid
7: Fiery Conclusion
8: Flash Conscription; Guardian of Vithu Ghazi
9: Junktroller; Crown of Convergence
10: (Selesnia Evangel); Seads of Strength
11-15: not worth mentioning
1: Streetbreaker Wurm; Dryad Sophisticate; Ghor-Clan Savage
2: Izzet Boilerworks; Ghor-Clan Savage; Ogre Savant
3: Silhana Starfletcher; Wee Dragonauts, Repeal
4: Repeal; Ghor-Clan Savage
5: Wildsize; Ogre Savant; Gruul Turf
6: Izzet Boilerworks; Scab-Clan Mauler
7: Wee Dragonauts; Scab-Clan Mauler
8: Izzet Chronarch
9: Torch Drake; Wee Drogonauts
10: Izzet Chronarch
11: (Crash Landing)
12: (Goblin Flectomancer)
13: Feral Animist
1: Assault Zeppelid; Simic Growth Chamber; Vigean Graftmage
2: Novijen Sages; Supply/Demand
3: Coiling Oracle; Voidslime; Azorius Chancery
4: Azorius Signet; Coiling Oracle; Helium Squirter; Cytospawn Shambler
5: (Soulsworn Jury)
6: Might of the Nephilim
7: (Momir Vig, Simic Visionary); Simic Basilisk; Plumes of Peace
9: Simic Growth Chamber; Vigean Graftmage
10: (Vigean Hydropon)
11: (Psychic Fury)
12: (Ghost Quarter)
Rogier is quite happy with his deck (I know I would be too). He has all fixing and acceleration he could wish for to bring his quality creatures to the field in no time. After that a bunch of combat tricks and some removal which he can retrieve with his Chronarchs for even more fun. He only plays one white card with 6 fixers so that shouldn't be any problem at all. This looks to be a 3-0 deck, so we are going to follow him to see if he can live up to the expectations.
Saturday, Sept 9: 4:01 p.m. - Round 4: Jelger Wiegersma vs. Niels Richter
Niels wins the roll, and starts with a sacred foundry (his first pick, damn raredrafter), Jelger doesn't seem so happy with Niels in at least two of his colors. Both players have a turn 2 signet, and Niels has a turn 3 Gruul Turf and a Skyknight legionnaire. Great, the guy feeding Jelger in Guildpact had all his colors, no wonder he didn't get a lot of goodies. Jelger plays an Aurora Eidolon, but Niels keeps putting out flyers, he now has an Assault Zeppelid as well. Jelger then takes the gamble of playing a Windreaver without any mana left. Niels takes the advantage of a tapped out opponent and plays Cackling Flames on the Windreaver. Meanwhile, Niels' flyers keep beating Jelger. Jelger doens't seem to have learned a lot 2 seconds ago, he now taps out to play a Novijen Sages. Niels notices: "no mana left, how nice." Niels kicks Jelger down to 6, and if that isn't enough, he also plays a Patagia Viper, Jelger needs a big topdeck now if he wants to survive. he attacks with the Sages, Niels uses the almighty Snake Chump. Jelger plays Terraformer, which he grafts. Niels knows a good stratagy when he uses it. he attacks with the Viper, the legionnaire and the Zeppelid. Jelger has Withstand to survive another turn, in which he plays a Silkwing Scouts. Niels tries to make Jelger feel a little bit better by saying that this are all the flyers in his deck. Jelger uses his last stand in the form of Vaccumelt, but Niels has a Gather Courage.
Niels 1 - 0 Jelger
Jelger sides in a Beacon Hawk (against Niels' flyers) for a Enigma Eidolon.
Jelger starts the second game.
Niels is being very original with a turn one Sacred Foundry turn tow Izzet Signet again. He also has a turn 3 Signet. Jelger plays a Torch drake, but Niels has a Steamcore Weird. Jelger has his bomb again: Windreaver. Niels plays a Ghor-Clan Savage (after attacking, so it has Bloodthirst). Jelger tries to at least get some damage through this match, so he gives his WindreaverVigilance, and he attacks, no blockers. Niels has the legionnaire again and attacks with everything. Jelger can still block with Windreaver, but he takes 5 from the Ghor-Clan Savage. All part of Jelgers' plan, he plays Plumes of Peace on the Savage. Niels calls Jelger a Lucksack in response… Niels topdecks Fiery Conclusion (a spectator calls Niels a lucksack). Jelger agrees with the spectator, ad scoops it up.
Niels 2-0 Jelger
After the match, I asked both the players if they wanted to say something about the match, here's what they said (my apologies to the non-Dutch speaking readers, but this was sort of impossible to translate without making it sound extremely stupid… I tried anyway).
Niels: "Jelger is een toffe jongen." (Jelger is a nice guy)
Jelger: "Ik hoop dat je dood gaat." (I hope you die)
Saturday, Sept 9: 4:58 p.m. - Round 4: Julien Nuijten vs. Jan Willem Zwart
Both players won their first 3 games in constructed and know each other from the drafts on Monday in Amsterdam. Julien's 4-color deck has only 11 creatures with lots of removal and card advantage. Jan Willems deck isn't that focused but has also lots of removal and a Debtors' Knell.
Julien wins the die roll and starts with a Tin Street Hooligan which is met by a Mourning Thrull on turn 2. Julien's Apprentice kills the Thrull and Hooligan attacks. Jan Willem plays a Galvanic Arc killing the Tin Street Hooligan. Turn 4 Jan Willem plays 3 signets in a row, while Julien plays another land and attacks with his Apprentice: 20-16. On turn 5 Jan Willem plays his Auratouched Mage searching for a Hypervoltic Grasp, now being tapped out and not able to activate the Grasp when Julien would use removal on the Mage. End of turn Julien Repeals his own Apprentice to draw a card, but he still has no play on turn 6. Wee dragonauts of Jan Willem is met by the first big creature: the Cytospawn Shambler. Jan Willem plays his third creature in Tibor and Lumia and attacks with the Dragonauts. Julien attacks, plays his Train of Thought for 2 and a Izzet Chronarch which gets a counter of the Shambler and brings back the Repeal. Seal of Doom kills the Chronarch which leaves Julien no blockers 8-10. Julien plays his Shielding Plax on Shambler and attacks followed by an Apprentice with one damage on Jan Willem (leaving 5 mana open): 8-4.
EOT Grasp back to hand. Now Jan Willem tries to Wrecking Ball Juliens Bounceland which would do 1 damage to all creatures leaving Julien with no creatures to block and 9 attacking points. Julien answered this with a Twinstrike killing both the Mage and Tibor and Lumia with a Repeal still in the hand for the next turn:
Julien 1 - Jan Willem 0
This game starts with lots of talking between both players. Jan Willems statement: I don't think my deck is that bad is answered by: Come on, we might have to play 2 more games. Jan Willem says he likes to gamble and keeps his hand. Both players have a pretty slow start. Julien is the first to play a creature (Surveilling Sprite). On turn 3 Jan Willem only plays a land. Seeing the third different land Julien remarks "Good players don't need manafixers" and plays his signet. On turn 4 Jan Willem finally plays a creature in Gobbhobler Rats which is followed by a Mourning Thrull the next turn. Julien searches deeper with a Train of Thoughts for 2 on turn 5. His only creature is killed by a Grasp on the Mourning Thrull. Julien drops a Seal of Fire followed by an Indrik Stomphowler on the Grasp. Jan Willem wants to get back his Grasp and Julien says OK!!! He immediately says: "Ouch, I made a mistake", this because he wanted to kill the Rats in response with the Seal of Fire. Now it became really interesting: Jan Willem played Debtors Knell ('would have been a nice target for the Stomphowler') which was answered by a Cytospawn Shambler on Juliens side. Jan Willem chose the Sprite with the Knell and killed the Stomphowler with a Galvanic Arc and a Grasp (with mana open to get Grasp back). The board wasn't looking that good for Julien although he kept doing damage with his Shambler. Julien played his Research and Jan Willem felt a bit more confident and told Julien not to stall, while Julien complains about the Knell-lock. Jan Willem got the the Stomphowler back with the Knell which became the target of Vedalken Dismisser on Julien's next turn, which gave him an answer to Debtors Knell. He didn't need it anymore though, because he could give his Shambler Trample for the win.
Julien wins 2-0
Saturday, Sept 9: 5:18 p.m. - Round 4: Rogier Maaten vs. Sebastien de la Fosse
Rogier is known as one of the best players in the Netherlands. Since his first Nationals he has always done very well in these events, taking the title one time already. Sebastien is a PTQ regular who hasn't been able to make it there yet, but is always playing a very tight game.
Sebastien starts and brings a Silhana Ledgewalker to the table, while Rogier has to discard a card after playing a bounceland. Then some mana accelerants by both players, Farseek for Sebastien, Silhana Starfletcher for Rogier.
Helium Squirter is a real threat for Sebastien, Bramble Elemental for Rogier is nothing to sneeze at either. Grizzleback gets a Bloodthirst counter after Sebastien's attack, but Rogier gets an insane Galvanic Arc on his Bramble Elemental, creating two tokens and killing the Squirter. That creature doesn't stay for long in the graveyard though, because Sebastien has a Mausoleum Turnkey and Rogier can only find that one creature in Sebastien's grave.
Rogier makes a Wee Dragonauts on his next turn and more attacks for both players bring down life totals on both sides. Rogier makes a Loxodon Hierarch so he can gain back some of those precious points of life. On his next attack, the Hierarch gets double blocked, but one of those is killed by a Fiery Conclusion to keep the Hierarch alive which nicely allows the Wee Dragonauts to do 2 more damage.
As both players are getting low on life now, Sebastien tries to bring Rogier to a threatening low life total while being able to maintain alive himself.
Rogier can Transmute his Drift of Phantasms into a Wildsize which distorts the calculations a little bit, Gather Courage for Sebastien can keep him still alive though. Things seem troubling now and Sebastien doesn't find an out for this situation, so Rogier claims the win on his next turn.
Rogier 1 - Sebastien 0
Sebastien starts with a Farseek, Rogier has Boros Signet. Then a Grizzleback without Bloodthirst and Simic Ragwurm for Sebastien, while an Assault Zeppelid starts the aerial assault for Rogier followed by Azorius Signet plus Silhana Starfletcher in his next turn to speed up his mana production. Sebastien can only Farseek, while Rogier puts another nice threat in play in the form of Novijen Sages.
Helium Squirter for Sebastien and one available mana mean the Assault Zeppelid gets traded. Rogier keeps playing threats though, this time a Loxodon Hierarch and a Wee Dragonauts.
Another Helium Squirter isn't a good enough blocker, but with Scatter the Seeds the Sages are forced to be traded in for cards… more nice onces, especially his Bramble Elemental which sees play immediately.
The Elemental is traded for a blocker and a Douse in Gloom, but next in line is Streetbreaker Wurm.
Sebastien has found a Putrify which gets rid of the Wurm. He is still facing the Hierarch and Wee Dragonauts and doesn't have any solutions for those. Repeal on the Elephant hardly can't be called a solution and comes too late, because on the next turn it is all over.
Rogier wins 2-0
Saturday, Sept 9: 7:00 p.m. - Round 5: Rogier Maaten vs. Ruben Snijdewind
Both players are unbeaten today, but only one of them will keep that streak. There are only 5 other players left with a clean sweep so far. Rogier's deck is very good with high quality creatures and tricks. Ruben has some pretty fat guys an a ton of removal.
Both players take a mulligan, Rogier starts with Silhana Starfletcher and Assault Zeppelid. The first card for Ruben is Demon's Jester.
Next for Rogier is a Coiling Oracle showing Izzet Chronarch, so he decides to play Might of the Nephilim immediately that turn, adding 4 damage to the attacking Zeppelid.
Ruben can bring an Enemy of the Guildpact to the playing field and Brainspoils the Zeppelid on the following turn. Meanwhile, the Chronarch retrieved the Might and on Rogier's next turn Fiery Conclusion takes care of the Enemy of the Guildpact, clearing the way for a Mighted Chronarch. This brings Ruben to 2 life. Another Enemy of the Guildpact for Ruben, but Wildsize on Rogier's next attack seals the deal for him.
Rogier 1 - Ruben 0
Rogier has enough mana but not a real quick hand, so he decides to shuffle up. His next hand is even worse, making it a double mulligan. His third hand is just as bad, but he keeps it anyway.
A second land on turn 4 can bring a signet to the table for Rogier, but Ruben already has a Rakdos Spitter and a Dimir Houseguard in play by that time. Another Spitter for Ruben gets a Galvanic Arc treatment, and doesn't seem to like it. Loxodon Hierarch helps gain back some lost life, but is flamed right away. Flash Conscription takes over the Dimir Houseguard and that resolves, so Rogier gets to attack and gain 2 life in the process before sacking it to his own ability… "doh, could have done that myself".
Ruben still has the upper hand though and Strands of Undeath on his left-over Spitter makes Rogier discard 2 cards while Brainspoil takes care of Rogier's next turn Bramble Elemental. Scab-Clan Mauler can do some beatings for Ruben, but only for 2 attacks in a row… by that time it's done in by Fiery Conclusion sacking a fresh Coiling Oracle. The Spitter is Repealed but that doesn't really matter, because Ruben plays a Cytospawn Shambler and it's game over in a hurry.
Both players keep and Rogier starts with a Drift of Phantsms and Torch Drake. Civic Wayfinder for Ruben is followed by Demon's Jester. The Jester decides to block the Drake, but Wildsize ensures the survival of the drake while applying some damage to the dome. Ruben wants to get rid of the Drake, because it can do some serious damage in short time so Brainspoil comes to the rescue.
Next in line are a Feral Animist for Rogier and Enemy of the Guildpact for Ruben. Izzet Chronarch retrieves the Wildsize, but Cytospawn Shambler looks a lot scarier on the other side of the table. Rogier has a solution in hand but lacks the mana (Conscription + Fiery Conclusion). Pumping Feral Animist is good enough too, so nothing gets played. Ruben attacks with Wayfinder and the Enemy, Wayfinder is blocked dead with the Chronarch which itselves is saved with a Repeal finding the 8th land. Ruben then plays a Drooling Groodion which doesn't block the Conscripted Shambler on Rogiers next turn, but still dies due to the Fiery Conclusion. Rogier retrieves the Conscription on his next turn, attacks with everything and a borrowed Enemy and kills Ruben with Might of the Nephilim.
Ruben confirms that his deck was worse than Rogier's and didn't deserve to win this match anyway, so both players walk away without any regrets.