Finals: Reinhard Blech(GER) vs. Jan Doise(BEL)

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And here we are... a full weekend of Magic for this one, final match. No Italian in the finals so we don't have a big crowd, but the few we have are very interested. On one side a former National Champion, Jan Doise playing Blue-White. Across the table a master of Type 1, and a National team member, Reinhard Blech playing Red-White. There will probably be a lot of Eternal Dragon traffic.

But the real question is... will Jan Doise take BOTH snowboards?! Surely Blech has to stop that.

Game One

For a control match they sure came out fast. Doise played turn two Silver Knight while Reinhard dropped Lightning Rift. For a few turns they stuck to that race. Through this the crowd started to gather around the circle. It actually seemed there was a local player involved for a while.

Doise like this "atacking" thing so he dropped Eternal Dragon to power it up. Reinhard got two tokens out of a cycled Decree and played Exalted Angel to balance things out. That might help him climb back in the damage race.

To do that, he sent the whole crew in. Jan stared at his cards and blocked one of the tokens. He dropped to seven and Blech went up to eleven. The Belgium called for backup with a cycled Decree for five tokens. Blech used that cycling and two other cards to shoot the dragon down.

So Reinhard had one token and Angel and Jan had five tokens and one Knight. He felt that wasn't enough so he topdecked Akroma for the kill.

Reinhard: "You topdecked that and had a land in your hand? Nice."

Jan 1-0 Reinhard.

Game Two

Doise played a turn three morph and Reinhard got curious. So he played Starstom for two. The morph was Exalted Angel. Out came another morph and Blech tried to Wing Shards it away. But the Belgium would have none of that: Discombulate.

The German smiled and took his turn. Again he tried Wing Shards and this time he nailed the morph: Chromeshell Crab. Doise kept the pace, trying to break through Blech's resistance, this time with a cycled Decree of Justice for five. Reinhard answered with his own cycled Decree for eight.

The tokens clashed in the Red Zone leaving on three of Reinhard's on the table. Jan Doise thought about it and figured it was a pretty good time to play Decree of Silence. he took the spell respite to cycle for help. Finally he got a morph. It was Blech's time to break through some resistance.

The German needed to get some counters on the Decree or get some extra tokens on the table. He chose the second route getting TEN extra tokens. With Jan Doise at nine, thirteen tokens seemed more than enough.

The whole crew attacked. The Belgium blocked one token and bounced another with Chain of Vapor, getting his morph bounced as well. Wing Shards got rid of another two tokens, leaving Doise at a very dangerous two life. He drew and tried to regroup.

His only way out was Akroma's Vengeance. That's what he did. Blech rebuilt with Astral Slide and Exalted Angel. Wipe Clean took the enchantment away, and Doise played a morph with four mana open. Reinhard tought about it and sent the Angel in. Wing Shards ate it up.

The German was not amused. He played Akroma's Vengeance to get rid of the morph (Exalted Angel). Doise tried Eternal Dragon but Blech had Wing Shards. Blech tried his own Eternal Dragon. Doise answered with another Dragon (he had one in the graveyard) and a morph.

Blech smiled and played Astral Slide. He seemed much more relaxed than the younger Belgium, who was extremelly focused on the permanents. The morph attacked and Blech called the bluff.

Reinhard: "That is not a Crab."

It wasn't. It was Exalted Angel. A Dragon ate it up, leaving Doise at six. On the next turn they traded dragons. Doise Stifled Blech first attempt to return the dragon, leaving the German with only four mana to work.

That brought Blech to thirteen and Jan played a second Dragon. Still, the German didn't seem worried. He merely played one Dragon and sat behind it and Astral Slide. Doise sent his crew in. Blech blocked and saved his Dragon, falling to eight.

The German took his own sweet time during his turn. Down a game he couldn't afford any mistakes. Finally the reason became clear: he cycled Decree of Annihilation floating three mana. Doise cycled Wipe Clean for help and played Chain of Vapor on the Eternal Dragon. Blech floated more mana, to recast his creature.

Reinhard: "I don't think that was such a good play."
Jan: "Me too."

So Jan Doise scooped his cards.

Jan 1-1 Reinhard.

Game Three

Reinhard smiled on his turn three trying to figure out if Doise had Complicate. Finally he decided not to risk it. He tried a morph (Exalted Angel) on the next turn but by then Jan had mana for Discombulate, which he did use. Blech cycled for three Soldier tokens and used two Temples to power out a turn six Akroma.

Doise was not amused. He used Chain of Vapor to bounce it and his own cycled Decree to kill the three tokens and keep one for himself. Enchanted with the whole Akroma idea, he decided to lock Blech's out of table with his own. In came Akroma and down went Reinhard's life totals.

The German considered his cards and played a morph. Doise did the same and sent Akroma and the token in.

Reinhard: "There is a flaw in your plan."
Jan: "Yup."

A block and a Wing Shards later his Akroma was gone. Blech flipped Exalted Angel and fought back. Since his opponent was mostly tapped out it seemed like a good time to Starstorm the morph away. That was a good choice, because it was Chromeshell Crab.

Reinhard's Akroma made a triumphal return and Jan Doise was scrambling for help. He landcycled Eternal Dragon and played Akroma's Vengeance. Blech hardly reacted to it. he brought in Eternal Dragon with his opponent at six.

The Belgium took a deep breath and Vengeance once again. Not the best answer to Eternal Dragon. Blech tried Astral Slide but Doise had Decree of Silence to cycle. he untapped and played another Decree of Silence.

Reinhard: "How lucky. And all because I missplayed."

He decided had to play Decree of Annihilation. They rebuilt their mana as quickly as possible and Doise had the crucial Stifle for Reinhard Blech's Decree of Justice. By then Blech had five lands, to Jan's two. When he reached seven he started casting Dragons to get some counters on the blue Decree. Starstorm for zero got a second counter on it but Jan Doise already had a morph out. The German had to be quick.

A second Dragon got rid of the Decree and the morph attacked. Blech used Vengeance to get rid of the morph, Chromeshell Crab. Jan wasn't out of surprises: he played another morph. Behind me a Italian told someone on the phone the final would be over in five minutes. I was starting to doubt that.

Reinhard: "This interesting game would've been a draw in a normal round."

Unimpressed by his opponents' morph the German played out THREE Eternal Dragons. Jan unmorphed Exalted Angel and passed the turn. The Dragons swooped in and Doise started tapping an Island before taking it back.

Reinhard: "Yes, you better block before doing that."

It was clear there was a Chain of Vapor coming. Sure enough Doise blocked one Angel, bounced another and Wing Shards the remaining one. Satisfied he had stripped the "removal" out of his opponents' hand Blech played another Astral Slide and Akroma.

At six, Jan Doise was in no shape to handle the Legend and the annoying Astral Slide.

Reinhard: "What a cool snowboard."
Jan: "I think it's going to be yours."
Reinhard: "I sure hope so."

The Belgium cycled for help and Blech wondered out loud if he had anything left on the deck that could save him.

Jan: "I think I'm dead."

Blech returned his Eternal Dragon, again rechecked Doise's graveyard and attacked into Exalted Angel. Jan Doise drew his last card and scooped.

It had been a long, and extremelly technical game. They fought hard but in the end there could be only one winner and according to Jan himself Reinhard had made a lot less mistakes.

Final result:
Reinhard Blech wins Grand Prix Genova 2003!

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