Event_Coverage

Trap Secures Rosada’s Monument in Paris

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Grand Prix Paris has been a monumentous success, and for none more than Adrian Rosada. At 1,961 players, it was the biggest Magic tournament ever held, and after a total 6,767 matches over 19 rounds, he was left to hoist the trophy. The top 8 draft featured many new names and faces, but there was plenty of drama with powerful decks all around meaning that every match was hard fought, leading up to a truly thrilling final, where Rosada battled for his tournament life in one of the most exciting games of Magic that this coverage team has ever seen.

Sixteen have won a slot at Pro Tour-San Diego, but before that we now have only Grand Prix Minneapolis before the World Championships. While the Pro Player of the Year race didn’t change much this weekend, Lino Burgold’s strong finish has put him in third place in Rookie of the Year, just two points behind the leader. As a member of the German national team, a strong finish at Worlds for him could mean a great shot at the title.

Such a big event as this one has taken a huge effort from a massive number of people, and it has run incredibly smoothly even with such a throng of players. As the crowds around the arena disperse, we must bid you adieu, and once again congratulate Adrian Rosada, our Grand Prix-Paris 2009 Champion!



Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Bernd Brendemühl   Danny Ecker, 2-1        
8 Danny Ecker   Danny Ecker, 2-0
       
4 Lino Burgold   Lino Burgold, 2-1   Adrian Rosada, 2-1
5 Gonzague Allouchery    
       
2 Niels Viaene   Niels Viaene, 2-1
7 Jeremi Dezani   Adrian Rosada, 2-1
       
3 Herbert Engleitner   Adrian Rosada, 2-1
6 Adrian Rosada    

EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

  • by Rich Hagon
    Podcast :
    Match 6,767: The Final

  • by Rich Hagon
    Final Match :
    Danny Ecker vs. Adrian Rosada

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Semi-Final :
    Niels Viaene vs. Adrian Rosada

  • by Rich Hagon
    Quarter Final :
    Bernd Brendemühl vs. Danny Ecker

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Quarter Final :
    Niels Viaene vs. Jeremy Dezani

  • by Tobias Henke
    Quarter Final :
    Lino Burgold vs. Gonzague Allouchery

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 :
    Draft Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 :
    Player Profiles


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 :
    Recap the six rounds of Zendikar Booster Draft from Sunday

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 :
    Catch up on yesterday's TEN rounds of Grand Prix-Paris

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info : Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
  1.   Adrian Rosada $3,500
  2.   Danny Ecker $2,300
  3.   Lino Burgold $1,500
  4.   Niels Viaene $1,500
  5.   Herbert Engleitner $1,000
  6.   Bernd Brendemühl $1,000
  7.   Jeremi Dezani $1,000
  8.   Gonzague Allouchery $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
Final

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Day 1 - Blue Bracket
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Day 1 - Green Bracket
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  • Top 8 Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Name: Herbert Engleitner
    Hometown (country): Austria
    Age: 40
    Occupation: Unemployed

    Record in sealed: 10-0
    What colors was your sealed deck? Black/red
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Vampire Nighthawk

    Record in draft 1: 3-0
    What colors were you? Blue/red

    Record in draft 2: 1-1-1
    What colors were you? Black/green

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    I defeated Robert Lehmann in the last FNM!

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be?
    Pluto


    Name: Lino Burgold
    Hometown (country): Freiburg, Germany
    Age: 18
    Occupation: Student apprentice

    Record in sealed: 9-1
    What colors was your sealed deck? Black/red
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Machete Combo (creature plus Trusty Machete )

    Record in draft 1: 3-0
    What colors were you? Blue/green

    Record in draft 2: 2-1 (conceding the last round)
    What colors were you? White/green, splash blue

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    Grand Prix Hanover, third at German Nationals this year

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be?
    Captain Jack Sparrow


    Name: Adrian Rosada
    Hometown (country): Berlin, Germany
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Medical doctor

    Record in sealed: 9-1
    What colors was your sealed deck? Blue/white
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Lorthos, the Tidemaker !!

    Record in draft 1: 3-0
    What colors were you? Green/black

    Record in draft 2: 2-1
    What colors were you? Blue/white

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    Berlin Regional champion

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be and why?
    Donal Duck. We look similar


    Name: Niels Viaene
    Hometown (country): Gent, but in my heart it will always be Bredere
    Age: 24, but that is left to be debated
    Occupation: Research assistant at the university of Gent

    Record in sealed: 9-1
    What colors was your sealed deck? Red/white/black (Allies)
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Kazuul Warlord

    Record in draft 1: 2-1
    What colors were you? Red/white (Allies)

    Record in draft 2: 3-0
    What colors were you? Red/white, splash black (Allies)

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    Day 2 at Grand Prix Brussels

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be and why?
    Darkwing Duck all the way. Evil, cunning, and an idiot!


    Name: Bernd Brendemühl
    Hometown (country): Germany
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Master of Science, Physics

    Record in sealed: 8-2
    What colors was your sealed deck? Black/blue
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Vampire Nighthawk

    Record in draft 1: 3-0
    What colors were you? Black/red

    Record in draft 2: 3-0
    What colors were you? Black/red

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    Top 32 GP Barcelona

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be?
    Donal Duck


    Name: Jeremy Dezani
    Hometown (country): France
    Age: 19
    Occupation: Biology student, Magic

    Record in sealed: 9-1
    What colors was your sealed deck? White/red
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Hellkite Charger

    Record in draft 1: 2-1
    What colors were you? Black/green

    Record in draft 2: 2-0-1
    What colors were you? Black/green

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    Three PTQ top 8

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be?
    Jack Sparrow


    Name: Danny Ecker
    Hometown (country): Frankfurt, Germany
    Age: 28
    Occupation: Air traffic controller

    Record in sealed: 9-1
    What colors was your sealed deck? Red/white
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Obsidian Fireheart / Journey to Nowhere

    Record in draft 1: 3-0
    What colors were you? Black/green

    Record in draft 2: 1-1-1
    What colors were you? White/red

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    None.

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be?
    Goofy


    Name: Gonzague Allouchery
    Hometown (country): France
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Unemployed

    Record in sealed: 8-2
    What colors was your sealed deck? Black/white
    What was the best card of your sealed deck? 
    Recurring Gatekeeper of Malakir

    Record in draft 1: 3-0
    What colors were you? Blue/white

    Record in draft 2: 2-0-1
    What colors were you? White/red

    What previous magical achievements do you have?
    Lost once against Serge Leligeour

    If you were to be a Disney character, which one would you be?
    Baloo, of course!



     

  • Top 8 - Draft Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Bernd Brendemühl - Quarterfinalist

     

  • Quarter Final – Lino Burgold vs. Gonzague Allouchery
    by Tobias Henke
  • Lino Burgold from Germany is arguably the biggest name in this top 8. He is looking to add another Grand Prix trophy to the one he had received earlier this year at GP Hanover. His opponent, hometown hero Gonzague Allouchery, is bent on stopping him though, and his aggressive white and red deck might be able to trump Lino’s somewhat clunky red/green. On the other hand, Lino has proven time and again today to be able to win with the most absurd green decks. (Absurd in a good way as well as in bad way, that is.) We’ll see if his winning streak is coming to an end already.

    Burgold thought long and hard about his opening hand. And a little bit longer. And then some. Finally he went for the mulligan, whereas Allouchery was fine with his seven. While Burgold’s six contained one Harrow and a Khalni Heart Expedition , one Forest as the only land did not satisfy Burgold’s expectations. He instantly shuffled back his five, too.

    With four on the play and a deck that really needs all the resources it can get to power out some high-end casting-cost monsters, this game looked to be almost over before it had even started. The german player’s four, however, were excellent, with Oran-Rief Recluse on turn three being a nice match for Allouchery’s second-turn Steppe Lynx . That is, until Allouchery laid Scalding Tarn . The Frenchman also cast a less than impressive Ondu Cleric . On the other side of the battlefield, Burgold’s curve continued flawlessly with Shatterskull Giant , but he did only have one card left in hand at that point.

    Allouchery cast Adventuring Gear and attached it to his Cleric, played another land, and when Lino declared no blocks, even sacrificed his Scalding Tarn to come over for the full package of nine damage. Post-combat he also made a Kor Skyfisher , returning a land. Burgold went through his options. He decided Shatterskull Giant might as well attack, putting Allouchery at 15, and passed the turn right back.

    On the French players next attack Oran-Rief Recluse blocked a 2/3 Steppe Lynx ; nevertheless Burgold took five damage. After combat Allouchery summoned Kor Hookmaster to keep Shatter skul Giant from untapping. Burgold passed without a play again, and when Allouchery’s next turn included a regular land drop as well as Kor Cartographer , Burgold just nodded and sadly shuffled up his cards.

    Lino Burgold 0 – 1 Gonzague Allouchery

    For Game 2 Burgold’s hand was everything he would have liked it to be in Game 1. Four lands, nicely split between Forest s and Mountain s, Oran-Rief Survivalist , Oran-Rief Recluse , and Inferno Trap .

    Allouchery’s draw was not bad either, however, with Steppe Lynx on turn one, followed by Kor Skyfisher on the second, Ondu Cleric on the third. Meanwhile, Burgold had cast his Ally, and a Grazing Gladehart . The latter attacked, gained life, and Burgold summoned Greenweaver Druid . Allouchery revealed to not have a third land, and Oran-Rief Recluse took out his 2/3 flier. Allouchery’s offense was put to a stop. A full stop. And his Kor Sanctifiers off a third land were not going to change that and neither was Kor Outfitter .

    Meanwhile, Burgold mustered an offense of his own, enchanting Grazing Gladehart with Savage Silhouette . Life totals went to 16 to 15 in Burgold’s favor, and more life was to gained for Burgold, when he summoned Frontier Guide , a deadly (or rather, lively) combination with Grazing Gladehart .

    All of a sudden Allouchery attacked with his Steppe Lynx , Kor Outfitter , and Kor Sanctifiers . Outfitter and Oran-Rief Survivalist traded, and Allouchery restocked with Pillarfield Ox . The 4/4 Grazing Gladehart was not to be deterred though. Attack after attack diminished Allouchery’s life total, who made Tuktuk Grunts and didn’t even consider attacking. Baloth Woodcrasher came down for Burgold and again Allouchery was forced to play an aggressive creature but stay on the defense, tapping down the Baloth with Kor Hookmaster , in fact simply delaying the inevitable.

    Murasa Pyromancer advanced the allied strategies on Allouchery’s side, shot Oran-Rief Recluse dead, and allowed Tuktuk Grunts to smash in as a 4/4 creature. Burgold just took the damage, used his Frontier Guide at end of turn to get back to 14 life.

    On his turn he attacked with Baloth Woodcrasher (with the help of yet another land drop being 8/8 trample already) as well as the Savage Silhouette ‘d Grazing Gladehart . The latter was blocked by Steppe Lynx , the former by Ondu Cleric and Pillarfield Ox . Being at eight life, even another land (via Frontier Guide ) would not have been able to kill Allouchery. The Inferno Trap Burgold had held in his hand from the very start, however, changed the math, so that one life turned into minus three and the score turned into...

    Lino Burgold 1 – 1 Gonzague Allouchery

    For the third game, Allouchery went first, and both players were ready to roll with their opening seven. Allouchery’s draw, however, was not nearly as fast as it could, and possibly not as fast as it needed to be to outrace Burgold’s. Turn two Kor Skyfisher was his first play, with no follow-up on turn three, and a Kor Hookmaster on the fourth.

    Burgold had Frontier Guide and Timbermaw Larva , both not the best possible blockers, but a clock in their own way. On turn five Allouchery added Kor Cartographer to his team, while Burgold had no play on his, apart from Forest number four and massive smashings at the hand of Timbermaw Larva . When Allouchery turned all of his three creatures sideways, Frontier Guide chumped, searched up another Forest , while Inferno Trap took out Allouchery’s replacement Kor Outfitter at end of turn.

    Down came a kicked Oran-Rief Recluse , down (in flames) went Kor Skyfisher . Timbermaw Larva marched across the board to hit Allouchery for seven. Kor Hookmaster and Kor Cartographer got in for another two damage, one being blocked by Oran-Rief Recluse , but Burgold now effectively controlled a one-sided The Abyss . Timbermaw Larva attacked and attacked, ate blocker after blocker, then proceeded to feast on Allouchery’s remaining life points.

    Lino Burgold 2 – 1 Gonzague Allouchery


     

  • Quarter Final – Niels Viaene vs. Jeremy Dezani
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Niels Viaene has an awkward relationship with mulligans. In the last round of the swiss, a game down, he found himself in a situation of taking a mulligan to 4. He somehow got himself out of that one, but found that in his very next match, here in the top 8, he was down to 5 cards on the play.

    With a mono red deck, he was up against a more polychromatic concoction from his opponent, Frenchman Jeremy Dezani. Starting with an Ondu Cleric , Dezani had a Disfigure for the Highland Berserker that Viaene led with, making a Teetering Peaks rather less special.

    A Marsh Flats brought Dezani his second Plains , and soon thereafter a second Swamp allowed a Nimana Sell-Sword . In spite of this, Viaene was all about the aggro. He had been building a Zektar Shrine Expedition up, and on the turn that he fired it off, he also had a Goblin Bushwhacker , who quickly got suited up with Goblin War Paint . The resultant attack put Dezani to 10, but when a Pillarfield Ox came down for the Frenchman, it looked like he had weathered the storm, sitting as he was with bigger creatures on the board. A Goblin Ruinblaster from Viaene looked a little outclassed, and a Journey to Nowhere from Dezani soon meant that it was the only creature in play for Niels.

    Niels the Mulli-gunner prepares to shoot down his opponent with his mono red deck

    A few swift attacks from Dezani ended things. In spite of his mulligans due to not having enough lands, he had ultimately been a little flooded in the first game.

    Niels Viaene 0 – 1 Jeremy Dezani

    Niels led off in Game 2 with Quest for Pure Flame , which Dezani had to have a careful read of. He was able to put a first counter on it the very next turn, with a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker . The little goblin got in a second time to charge up the enchantment, leaving Dezani looking a little stunned and dejected.

    Game 2 was all about Viane’s aggression, and he played a Goblin Shortcutter with Goblin War Paint to knock Jeremy to 13, and charge up his quest further. A Journey to Nowhere dealt with the Goblin Shortcutter , and after playing a Highland Berserker , Dasani passed. A Molten Ravager came from Viaene. He attacked with it, and is other goblin, but found that an Arrow Volley Trap was the answer.

    Dezani had a Nimana Sell-Sword , while Niels found a hasty one with Tuktuk Grunts . He smashed Dezani down to 10. Dezani had a monster turn, with Murasa Pyromancer to pump Sell-Sword and kill Niels’ only creature. Attacks took him to 12.

    Dezani wants to win this many games this match

    “Ok, and now you die” remarked the cheery Belgian in a sinister departure from his regular form. The Quest for Pure Flame got sacrificed, turning Spire Barrage for 5 into a lethal 10 point burn spell that was directed straight at Dezani.

    Niels Viaene 1 – 1 Jeremy Dezani

    The third game began briskly with a Highland Berserker from Viaene, while Dezani had a Swamp , Plains and Mountain to begin the game. A Zektar Shrine Expedition came down next for Viaene, who sat passive, waiting and watching as Shatterskull Giant joined the other side of the board. A Teetering Peaks meant that the Giant wasn’t keen to block initially, and when the next turn it did, a post-combat Seismic Shudder was enough to leave the board empty.

    After a little thought, on his turn Nimana Sell-Sword entered the battlefield for Jeremy. It didn’t last long though as Dezani used it to block the elemental from Zektar Shrine Exploration . He still went to 10, and Viaene followed up with a Bladetusk Boar . Dezani, by this point, had plenty of mana. He cast a Tuktuk Grunts followed by Ondu Cleric . Niels, meanwhile started playing enchantments, with first a Zektar Shrine Exploration , and then a Quest for Pure Flame .

    “I was really tired, so I guess I wanted to draft a deck that didn’t need me to think. So far it’s working...”

    Dezani had a Kor Hookmaster to make room for attacks that placed Viaene on 12, to his opponent’s 13. Viaene himself had an Electropotence , but on the next set of attacks dropped to 4.

    Thirteen, as it turned out, was not a high enough life total. A land allowed Zektar Shrine Expedition to make a token, which with Electropotence did 7 damage. On top of that, there was a Spire Barrage to bring things to a fiery conclusion.

    Niels Viaene wins 2 – 1!


     

  • Quarter Final – Bernd Brendemühl vs. Danny Ecker
    by Rich Hagon
  • It’s an inexperienced Top 8 to be sure, but with one thousand, nine hundred and fifty three players already on the sidelines, both players were keen to make the most of their first Grand Prix Sunday showcase. Perhaps in part a testament to the staying power of the more mature Magic player, the elderly (!) 28 year old Danny Ecker and positively ancient (!) 31 year old Bernd Brendemühl had survived a staggering sixteen rounds just to reach this point.

    With an aggressive Red/White deck, Ecker was looking to dominate proceedings from the get-go, while Brendemühl had plenty of power in his Red/Black deck, the colors that had been so successful in the Sealed portion of the event.

    Ecker opened with a pair of Plains , which he used to cast Adventuring Gear and then Cliff Threader . That lasted approximately three seconds, as Brendemühl used disfigure to kill the mountainwalker, pretty good against his Black/Red deck. He added Hellfire Mongrel , which Ecker rendered temporarily unavailable via Kor Hookmaster . With Kor Sanctifiers adding to the board, it was Ecker making the early running. That changed when Bernd summoned a hasty Crypt Ripper , and the two cards in Ecker’s hand triggered the Hellfire Mongrel for the first time.

    Ecker has beaten 1,943 players, whats 7 more

    Ecker levelled things at fourteen apiece, before bringing a second Cliff Threader into the action, and a backup Adventuring Gear . This time, it was Magma Rift that saw off the mountainwalk threat, as Bernd attacked for five, dropping Danny to nine, and then seven via the Hellfire Mongrel . Ecker equipped his Kor Hookmaster with Adventuring Gear , but when the Landfall trigger arrived, Brendemühl was ready for it with a timely Disfigure .

    Ecker tried to stablize with Magma Rift for the Crypt Ripper , but Kazuul Warlord was next for Brendemühl, who looked like using the Hellfire Mongrel to utterly strangle Ecker. Down to three went Ecker on his upkeep, and there was no way back.

    Bernd Brendemühl 1 – 0 Danny Ecker.

    Inevitably, Ecker elected to play first in the second game, and he opened with a turn two Cliff Threader against a six card opening hand for Brendemühl that handily included Disfigure for the pesky mountainwalker. Ecker’s Kor Sanctifiers next faced Stonework Puma , but Goblin Shortcutter denied the Cat Ally a chance to get involved for a turn. Disfigure number two sent the Shortcutter packing, and Bloodghast joined Bernd’s team.

    Kor Sanctifiers nibbled once more, before Ecker made the neat little play of casting Kor Skyfisher , returning his Sanctifiers, which could return with Kicker to kill Bernd’s Stonework Puma . Meanwhile, Bernd’s Vampire’s Bite for his Bloodghast was met with an instant-speed Burst Lightning , which saved Ecker some life, but hardly dealt with the Bloodghast , since that returned almost immediately via Landfall. Bernd completed his turn with Hagra Crocodile .

    Bernt is ready to make it happen

    The following turn, Goblin Bushwhacker with Kicker juiced up Bernd’s attack, and Ecker took a whopping nine damage at a stroke, plummeting him to seven. His answer? A 5/5 Flying Haste bringer of doom by the name of Hellkite Charger , which he wasted no time in sending into combat. Now the life totals stood at seven apiece.

    Facing the possibility of a seventh land and the activation of the Hellkite, Bernd send his team into the red zone, both of which met blockers. Slaughter Cry for his Bloodghast saved it from death, but Ecker flashed the seventh land, and ten points of Char ger charging later, we were all square with the decider to come.

    Bernd Brendemühl 1 – 1 Danny Ecker.

    This time Brendemühl would hear the starting gun, and Akoum Refuge was all upside on turn one. Vampire Hexmage came down turn two, to face the Cliff Threader that seemed to be everywhere in this match, except actually hitting Brendemühl. The Hex mage attacked, and was joined by Surrakar Marauder , whose Intimidate could be precious against Ecker’s Red/White team. Ecker meanwhile kept pace with Kor Sanctifiers , and since Brendemühl’s only source of Red was currently the Akoum Refuge , mountainwalk was getting the Cliff Threader precisely nowhere.

    In came Bernd’s 2/1s, and a 1/1 Blood Seeker ensured Ecker would pay for subsequent creatures. Back came the Cliff Threader and Kor Sanctifiers , and a second Cliff Threader came down, and then a third. No wonder they seemed to be everywhere! Top tip to armchair quarterbacks everywhere – when facing six points of mountainwalk, if you can avoid laying a first mountain, that’s a really good plan.

    Bernd’s really good plan, in addition to taking this sage advice, was to pile in with his team, and now Ecker stood at a precarious seven life, opposite fifteen for Brendemühl. His triple Cliff Threader s, still sans mountainwalk, entered the red zone, and Bernd Disfigure d one before falling to eleven. Ecker passed, and would need something good, and fast.

    Brendemühl triggered the Intimidate on his Surrakar Marauder , still without a mountain, and Bladetusk Boar provided another Intimidatory threat, with Ecker at five. At end of turn, Burst Lightning with Kicker was aimed directly into Bernd’s face, and the writing was on the wall. Ecker untapped, and four mana later Windborne Charge was sending his team to the air, and to the victory.

    Bernd Brendemühl 1 – 2 Danny Ecker.


     

  • Semi-Final - Danny Ecker vs. Lino Burgold
    by Rich Hagon
  • Although they both went to three games, Danny Ecker had a lot longer to reflect on the forthcoming semi-final than his fellow German. Lino faced a marathon slog against home hope Gonzague Allouchery, finally edging the Frenchman amid tense scenes. Now Burgold, the only man remaining in the event with Grand Prix Top 8 experience, was one stage closer to a second title of the year, following his win on home soil in Grand Prix Hanover.

    Lino began the contest, but Blazing Torch was the first play of the match, from Ecker. He added Kor Aeronaut , for which Burgold’s Oran-Rief Recluse was a neat foil. Foil was foiled shortly thereafter, with Kor Hookmaster turning the Recluse sideways, allowing the Aeronaut to attack unmolested. Burgold negated that attack with a subsequent Grazing Gladeheart, and it looked as if we were settling in for a long game. Recognising the threat of the Gladeheart, Ecker had found his target for Blazing Torch , and he followed up with Adventuring Gear on his Kor Aeronaut .

    Burgold has a cunning plan that involves not having his cliffs run on by anybody

    Now at five mana, Burgold sent the hefty Geyser Glider onto the battlefield, and that in turn screamed ‘kill me’. Ecker obliged with Magma Rift , and Burgold was down to twelve, with Cliff Threader adding to the threat. Baloth Woodcrasher from Burgold also screamed ‘kill me’, but there was no sign of removal from Ecker, who was looking to press his advantage. Windborne Charge caused havoc, even with the Oran-Rief Recluse blocking, and suddenly Burgold was down to four.

    ‘You have double Harrow ?’ asked Ecker, hovering somewhere between ‘jokingly’ and ‘please-God-don’t-let-him-have-that’. Burgold simply passed the turn with three cards in hand. Inferno Trap dealt with Cliff Threader , but Ecker had another up his proverbial sleeve, and Burgold knew he was done.

    Danny Ecker 1 – 0 Lino Burgold.

    When Burgold asked a judge for a stack of basic land, an elaborate game of bluff ensued, with many mentions of ‘ Cliff Threader ‘ and ‘Block’ prominent amongst the torrent of German that both players at least clearly enjoyed. Burgold is a lot of fun to watch, and it’s clear that while winning is nice, it’s the simple act of good times and good people that keeps him coming back for more. Ecker, meanwhile, continued to appear relaxed and unfazed in his first foray into Top 8 action on the Grand Prix circuit. (Burgold had indeed removed all Mountain s from his deck at this point.)

    Kazandu Refuge opened for Burgold, netting him an early life point bonus. Steppe Lynx turn one threatened early retaliation for that affront, and Landfall duly sent Burgold to nineteen. With Adventuring Gear up next for Ecker, a 4/5 threat loomed in the guise of a humble 0/1. A bit like Tarmogoyf , really.

    Forest and Island joined the Refuge for Burgold without him adding anything to the board, but end of turn Harrow thinned his library and set him ahead on mana. Merfolk Seastalkers and Expedition Map was his turn, but Kor Hookmaster – a card that had served Ecker well throughout the Top 8 to date – meant that the Steppe Lynx could reduce Burgold to eleven. The Merfolk Seastalkers stemmed the bleeding the following turn, while Ecker threatened to take to the skies with Shepherd of the Lost .

    Burgold offered up a Timbermaw Larva , which, like so much in Zendikar, prefers to be attacking rather than blocking. Adventuring Gear found a new home on Ecker’s Shepherd of the Lost , and Landfall meant Burgold took another five, and stood in dire peril at six life. Ecker cast another flyer in Kor Skyfisher , and put Burgold in even more trouble with mountainwalker Cliff Threader . Time was running out for the Grand Prix Hanover Champion, and in a lengthy discussion with himself, Burgold tried to construct a way out of his predicament.

    Part One of whatever plan that was involved Grazing Gladeheart and a two point life bump via Landfall. Part Two involved, rather worryingly, passing the turn. Part Three? Take seven damage, fall to one, and see another Cliff Threader hit play.

    There was no Part Four.

    Danny Ecker 2 – 0 Lino Burgold.


     

  • Semi-Final – Niels Viaene vs Adrian Rosada
    by Tim Willoughby
  • In the quarterfinals, Niels Viane had declared he’d roll a 20, and had duly done so to be able to go first. This time, he didn’t get the perfect roll, but it was still good enough.

    Viaene led off with a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker , and was disappointed to see a Vampire Hexmage early from Adrian Rosada, his opponent. The Vampire spelled all sorts of problems for his deck if it stayed around, illustrated neatly in one part by a Zektar Shrine Expedition that came along. There were some counters, as if the first strike weren’t bad enough. Punishing Fire killed the Vampire, and Niels started again on the offense. He found a Goblin Ruinblaster and Goblin Shortcutter , while Rosada built up a force of Oracle of Mul Daya and Oran-Rief Recluse .

    In short order the Oracle showed that there would be a Vampire Nighthawk coming. Normally this is very bad for opponents, but as Niels had already used his Punishing Fire , he cannot have been as afraid of the lifelink monster as many. He cast a Molten Ravager and passed. When the next turn he tried to get in with that Elemental monster, it met a Hideous End at Rosada’s hands.

    Niels brings the fire

    As Eldrazi Monument got revealed by Rosada’s oracle, Viaene started humming ‘It’s not Unusual’ by Tom Jones to himself. One would certainly hope that mythic rares weren’t too usual, or the name would really not be too appropriate. For his turn, Niels had an Electropotence . Given that he’d gradually been working on not one but two Zektar Shrine Expedition s, this was a scary card to see. It seemed that Rosada was likely still winning the ‘scary cards’ game, as he next revealed a Gigantiform with his Oracle, but nonetheless, on 14 life, he could be in trouble if Niels drew enough lands to trigger all his quests.

    Rosada attacked with some of his team, to make the life totals 14 each. Niels struck back with a Goblin Bushwhacker , who killed Oracle of Mul Daya thanks to Electropotence . When he tried running into combat with Goblin Ruinblaster and Goblin Shortcutter , a Baloth Cage Trap meant that only the Shortcutter made it out alive for Niels.

    Slowly but surely Rosada was building up a green army, and he attacked with his 4/4 Baloth and a 4/4 Territorial Baloth , forcing more chump blocking from Viaene, who was now left with justa Goblin Shortcutter as a creature. When Vampire Nighthawk came down and got equipped with an Adventuring Gear , things started looking bleak for Viaene the cheery Belgian, who was being cheered on by many of the judging staff who recognised him as one of their own.

    After a little thought Viaene played Spire Barrage to knock Rosada to 6. It was not enough though, as finally Eldrazi Monument ensured that Rosada’s team would be big enough to kill on the swing back.

    “I guess I’ll have to continue my streak of losing the first game” remarked Viaene with a chuckle. In spite of the fact that he was a game down, Viaene was having a whale of a time in the top 8.

    Niels Viaene 0 – 1 Adrian Rosada

    Both players kept their opening 7, and Niels led with Quest for Pure Flame . Soon thereafter he had Zektar Shrine Exploration as well. His first actual creature of the game was Bladetusk Boar , which cost him a life point, as Rosada had started on a Blood Seeker . The Boar got to beat in, and was soon followed by Molten Ravager , while it seemed that Rosada was on a slow start.

    Rosada - silent but deadly

    One thing Rosada did have was a Mind Sludge . He got the whole of Viaene’s hand, which was Punishing Fire , Electropotence and another Zektar Shrine Exploration . Rosada was on just 7, and now very much on the defensive. He cast Oracle of Mul Daya and Guul Draz Vampire , but in the face of an intimidating boar, was in a precarious position. While a Heartstabber Mosquito to kill the boar looked like it may stabilise things, in fact it was barely a speed bump, as Mark of Mutiny cleared a path, and Quest for Pure Flame ensured that the creatures Viaene did have would do enough to end things.

    Niels Viaene 1 – 1 Adrian Rosada

    Both players kept in the decider, and Rosada led off with Guul Draz Vampire , who was soon followed by Blood Seeker . Viaene didn’t have a creature, but did have Zektar Shrine Expedition on turn two.

    A Molten Ravager from Viaene stalled the ground a little, but Rosada didn’t seem to mind too much. He played a Vampire Hexmage and passed with two green mana up. Viaene was happy to wait around too, and played an Electropotence .

    Timbermaw Larva from Rosada would be a 4/4 if it got to attack. A kicked Goblin Bushwhacker targeted Vampire Hexmage with Electropotence . The Hex mage tried to reset Zektar Shrine Expedition , but in response Viaene made an Elemental. His attacks took Rosada to 13, and left Viaene with a Molten Ravager , while Rosada had Guul Draz Vampire and a Timbermaw Larva .

    Rosada went to the tank. After a little thought he played Gigantiform on his Guul Draz Vampire , and attacked with it, to put Viaene on 7. This meant that Guul Draz Vampire was now a lethal threat.

    As soon as Niels saw that his opponent knew that the Vampire had intimidate, he extended his hand. It was over.

    Adrian Rosada wins 2-1 and advances to the finals!


     

  • Final Match - Danny Ecker vs. Adrian Rosada
    by Tobias Henke

  • GP Paris 2009 finals match: Ecker (Left) vs. Rosada (Right)

    1,961 players entered the tournament early on Saturday, two made it this far. And within the hour we are going to have a champion, whether it’s Danny Ecker with his hyper-aggressive white and red deck or Adrian Rosada with the green and black cards.

    Ecker started off quick with Adventuring Gear , Kor Skyfisher , and Cliff Threader , whereas Rosada made his first play on turn three, in the form of Vampire Hexmage . That fended off Cliff Threader for now, but couldn’t stop Kor Skyfisher which took on Adventuring Gear to put Rosada at 14. Ecker made a face as soon as he realized his mistake: equipping Cliff Threader instead of the flier would have netted a free two damage.

    Adventuring Gear was passed from Skyfisher to Threader this time, and made Rosada double-block the Cliff Threader . Ecker did have Burst Lightning , though, to take out the Hex mage before damage, killing the 1/4 free of charge. He also had a second Cliff Threader . Oran-Rief Recluse gave Rosada a solid blocker, provided Ecker did not have another land or, for instance, a Windborne Charge ! The white sorcery turned both Cliff Threader s into 4/3 monsters. Rosada simply blocked Kor Skyfisher , and took the eight damage, falling to four.

    On his turn he presented, with mock-pride, Zendikar Farguide as a potential blocker. But it never even came to that. Ecker revealed Magma Rift from his hand and the players shuffled up for the next game.

    Danny Ecker 1 – 0 Adrian Rosada


    Ecker is hoping to play dream-wrecker in this final

    Rosada went first, but Ecker had the first play once again, this time a second-turn Kor Aeronaut . Rosada decided to start protecting his life total right away, instead of waiting for kicker mana and cast Oran-Rief Recluse . Apparently, the choice paid off, when Ecker could only make Kor Sanctifiers on his turn, passing the turn right back, and Rosada made Oracle of Mul Daya .

    Ecker, not having dealt a single point of damage so far in this game, went to draw first blood: Goblin Shortcutter prevented Oran-Rief Recluse from blocking and allowed him to hit for four. Ecker then returned the valuable Goblin by means of a Kor Skyfisher . Meanwhile, Oracle of Mul Daya was severely malfunctioning on Rosada’s side, never revealing land. Rosada, without play but with some amount of frustration, passed the turn back to Rosada who cast Goblin Shortcutter , came over for six damage and played Cliff Threader .

    Once again no land for Rosada and no play either. He did have Hideous End waiting, as previously broadcast on Radio Mul Daya. Ecker shot Oran-Rief Recluse with Magma Rift and went in with his team. Oracle and Goblin Shortcutter traded, Kor Skyfisher received Hideous End , and Cliff Threader and Kor Aeronaut came in for four, leaving Rosada at eight.

    Rosada rebounded with Joraga Bard , while Ecker once again had the trump card in Kor Hookmaster . Another four damage for Rosada. He was not letting go, though, and summoned Tajuru Archer , to shoot down Kor Aeronaut , and have a blocker at the ready for Cliff Threader . Ecker, however, simply attacked with Kor Hookmaster , which Rosada chose not to chump-block. (Two life left.)

    Ecker made Kor Sanctifiers , Rosada Vampire Hexmage . Next Ecker played and used Adventuring Gear to turn his Kor Sanctifiers into a 4/5 monster, but Rosada’s Vines of Vastwood kicked in to turn his blocker into something even larger. (Still, two life left.)

    Ecker had another Cliff Threader , Rosada Timbermaw Larva . The next couple of turns saw Ecker euipping, and subsequently boosting, creature after creature with Adventuring Gear . The only problem was, Ecker was losing creatures and kept drawing lands. Meanwhile Timbermaw Larva started attacking for some non-trivial amount of damage. And when Baloth Cage Trap surprsisingly traded with an Adventuring Gear -powered Cliff Threader , Rosada was even able to finish things off rather quickly with Eldrazi Monument .

    Danny Ecker 1 – 1 Adrian Rosada


    Adrian Rosada has one man left to beat

    Ecker went first for the final game. And went to five. Cards, that is. He had Blazing Torch on turn one, but no two-drop, or three-drop. Meanwhile, Rosada had a nice curve of Blood Seeker , Vampire Hexmage , Hideous End for Ecker’s first creature, and Territorial Baloth .

    He followed up on that with Oracle of Mul Daya and this time around the Oracle hit land. The 8/8 Baloth charged in and simply won the game and match and tournament right there and then, on turn six.

    Congratulations to Adrian Rosada, champion of Grand Prix Paris 2009, the biggest tournament in the history of the Game!


     

  • Podcast - Match 6,767: The Final
    by Rich Hagon
  • Multi

    With one thousand, nine hundred and fifty nine players now out of the running, only Danny Ecker and Adrian Rosada remain. One of them will lift the trophy, and you can follow every turn of the Final right here, with the ultimate ringside seat. Speaking personally, this is one of the most exciting matches I've ever had the privilege to witness. And that means you should listen. Right now.

    Download MP3

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