Round 1: Dirk Baberowski vs. Martin Beck

By Randy Buehler

Peer Kroger and John Ormerod have two Pro Tour Top 8's each. They also have some history and Ormerod was talking about revenge as he sat down. Kroger beat him late in the swiss at Pro Tour Mainz (though both still made the Top 8) and Kroger also took him out at Grand Prix Antwerp. CLICK HERE to read how Ormerod drafted his deck blue/black beatdown deck (between European Alliance team members Kai Budde and Stephan Valkyser, who both lost in the first round). Kroger was surround by a Turkish player and an Icelandic player and drafted red/white.

Game 1 was pure race. Ormerod's turn 2 Spineless Thug started the race, Kroger answered with Ridgeline Rager, and then Ormerod played both a free Saprazzan Legate and a Rishadan Airship on his third turn. Kroger played Shock Troops and once Ormerod declined to attack with his Thug, the Troops flung themselves at the Airship. Ormerod played Wandering Eye and then things got really interesting.

Ormerod looked over and saw Oracle's Attendants, but no answers to the Indentured Djinn that was in his hand. Kroger played a Keldon Berserker and said done. Ormerod played out his Indentured Djinn and then watched as Kroger drew Wild Jhovall, mountain, and War Cadence. The War Cadence was huge. Kroger thought for a while and then decided to play the Cadence, activate it, and serve for 7. It looked like the cadence would win the game for Kroger on his next turn, but Ormerod drew Withdraw off the top of his deck! Wow! Withdraw allowed him to bounce both of Kroger's creatures, attack for 9, and still play a Drake Hatchling. Kroger drew a card and then just scooped up his cards and started shuffling for game 2. That may have been the best Withdraw I've ever seen. Wandering Eye certainly added to the excitement of game 1.

Ormerod had Indentured Djinn once again in game 2. He sighed, cast it on turn 3, and said done fully expecting Kroger to wreck him with all those extra cards. Once Ormerod wisely chose not to block Soul Charmer with the Djinn, all Kroger could do was play Wild Jhovall and say done. Ormerod proceeded to lay more fliers on his next two turns and he won this game in the air. Kroger never found a Djinn answer and he couldn't slog through Ormerod's creatures fast enough to outrace it.

At the end of the match all Ormerod could do was shake his head and say "lucky Djinn." Kroger agreed but also commented that he knew his deck was very vulnerable to fliers. Ormerod doesn't even like the Djinn, but it fell into his lap as a 10th pick and then he was a few cards short while building his deck so in it went. And on to the 2-0 versus 2-0 matchup went John Ormerod.



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