gpbar14

Bold, Band of Brothers Best Barcelona

  • Print

The letter O!ne week after Pro Tour Born of the Gods in nearby Valencia, thousands of players had traveled to Barcelona for a weekend of Born of the Gods/Theros Team Limited, including several of Magic's biggest names: For example (18) Martin Jůza, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, and (9) Shuhei Nakamura teamed up to reach place 13, Raphaël Lévy, Melissa DeTora, and (1) Jérémy Dezani finished the tournament in seventh place, and (4) Reid Duke, (3) Owen Turtenwald, and William Jensen made it all the way to the semifinals. They were the big favorites going into the playoffs, but their run was cut short by Swiss team Olivier Duport, Wilson Lam, and Louis Ballivet.

Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, brothers Daniel and Tobias Gräfensteiner, playing with Christian Seibold, had bested brothers Manuel and Christan Hauck, playing with Stephan Schwarz. After one more draft, the Gräfensteiners and Seibold were again victorious, sweeping the final 2-0, in fact repeating their semifinal result. In both rounds, there was no need to even finish the third match.

For Seibold, this was the second big success within just a few days. At the Pro Tour, he had made it all the way to the quarterfinals, now it was finally his time to hoist the trophy. Congratulations to Daniel Gräfensteiner, Christian Seibold, and Tobias Gräfensteiner, champions of Grand Prix Barcelona 2014!



Semifinals Finals Champion
1 Turtenwald/Jensen/Duke
Duport/Lam/Ballivet
2-1
4 Duport/Lam/Ballivet Gräfensteiner/Gräfensteiner/Seibold
2-0
2 Gräfensteiner/Gräfensteiner/Seibold
Gräfensteiner/Gräfensteiner/Seibold
2-0
3 Hauck/Hauck/Schwarz








What's being said about us...
Join the Conversation



  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Barcelona provided by Matej Zatlkaj, Pro Tour Hall of Famer Frank Karsten, Simon Görtzen, Rich Hagon, and Steven Leeming.


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
Pairings Results Standings
Final

14
13
12
11
10
14
13
12
11
10
14
13
12
11
10

9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

 

  • Top 4 Team Profiles

    by Oliver Gehrmann

  • Manuel Hauck, Stephan Schwarz, Christian Hauck (L–R)

    Name: Stephan Schwarz
    Age: 28
    Occupation: Chemical Laboratory Assistant
    Hometown: Schifferstadt, Germany

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Some money finishes at Grand Prix.

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    We have been playing Magic together for 10 years now and to me, it feels like all 3 of us are brothers.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Red-white and Hammer of Purphoros.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    White-blue and Spear of Heliod.



    Name: Manuel Hauck
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Mathematician
    Hometown: Mutterstadt, Germany

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    3rd place at Grand Prix London

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    They are the best players I know.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Red-green and Fated Intervention.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Red-green and Fated Intervention.



    Name: Christian Hauck
    Age: 29
    Occupation: -
    Hometown: Mutterstadt, Germany

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 4 at the German Magic Nationals in 2010 and I have played in a few Pro Tours.

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    They are good friends of mine.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-white and Ephara's Enlightenment

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-black and I can't come up with a single card; the deck was just terrible.



    Olivier Duport, Wilson Lam, Louis Ballivet (L–R)

    Name: Wilson Lam
    Age: 23
    Occupation: Student
    Hometown: Geneva, Switzerland

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None!

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    We are friends.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    White-green and Reap What Is Sown.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    White-green and Fleecemane Lion



    Name: Luis Ballivet
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Student
    Hometown: Geneva, Switzerland

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None!

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    They are my friends.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Mono red and Stormbreath Dragon.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Red-black and Drown in Sorrow.



    Name: Olivier Duport
    Age: 25
    Occupation: I'm working in an inspection agency.
    Hometown: Geneva, Switzerland

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None!

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    We are good friends.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-green and Bident of Thassa.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-white and Elspeth, Sun's Champion for certain!



    Christian Seibold, Tobias Gräfensteiner, Daniel Gräfensteiner (L–R)

    Name: Christian Seibold
    Age: 25
    Occupation: Student
    Hometown: Nuremberg, Germany

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Pro Tour Valencia Top 8!

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    Because they are my best friends and they also happen to be the best Magic players I know.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Five-color (green-black with a splash of red-white-blue) and the best card was Polis Crusher.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Black-blue and Arbiter of the Ideal.



    Name: Tobias Gräfensteiner
    Age: 25
    Occupation:
    Hometown: Nuremberg, Germany

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Second place at a Grand Prix. I advanced to the Top 4 of the German Nationals three times. I also attended a couple of Pro Tours and Worlds.

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    They are by far the best German players.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Mono red and a Flame-Wreathed Phoenix.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Red-white and a Flame-Wreathed Phoenix.



    Name: Daniel Gräfensteiner
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Student (and I'm also working for Magicdealerpatte.de)
    Hometown: Nuremberg, Germany

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    One Top 8 at a Pro Tour.

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    We are good friends.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-white and Celestial Archon.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Mono green with a splash of blue and Aspect of Hydra.



    Owen Turtenwald, William Jensen, Reid Duke (L–R)

    Name: Reid Duke
    Age: 24
    Occupation: Professional Magic player
    Hometown: Sugar Loaf, NY, USA

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Eight previous Grand Prix Top 8s (two wins). 2011 Magic Online Champion

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    Great players, great teammates and great friends. PGO!

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Mono black with a Pharika's Mender. My best card was Abhorrent Overlord.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Black-blue. My best card was Arbiter of the Ideal.



    Name: William Jensen
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Professional Magic player and Content Provider for Channelfireball.com.
    Hometown: Las Vegas, NV, USA

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Four Pro Tour Top 8, Thirteen Grand Prix Top 8, Hall of Famer (Class of 2013)

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    Because we took an oath of brothership in a peach garden.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-green and Kiora's Follower.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Reg-green and Forgestoker Dragon.



    Name: Owen Turtenwald
    Age: 24
    Occupation: Magician
    Hometown: Milwaukee, WI, USA

    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Player of the Year, Two Grand Prix Win, One Pro Tour Top 8.

    Why did you team up with your teammates?
    I consider them both world class players and my friends. Also, we swore an oath.

    What colors was your first Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-white and two copies of Eidolon of Countless Battles.

    What colors was your second Sealed Deck and what was the best card in it?
    Blue-white and Wingsteed Rider.




     

  • Top 4 Draft Decklists

    by Oliver Gehrmann

  • These are the Draft decks of the four remaining teams.















     

  • Semifinals - (3) Owen Turtenwald, William Jensen, (4) Reid Duke vs. Wilson Lam, Louis Ballivet, Olivier Duport

    by Tobi Henke

  • Combining the No. 3 and the No. 4-ranked player in the world with a recent Hall of Fame inductee, made Owen Turtenwald, Reid Duke, and William Jensen the clear favorites in this match, as it did in basically all their matches throughout the weekend. And, to no one's big surprise, they had won almost all their matches this weekend too.

    Their opponents from Switzerland, Wilson Lam, Louis Ballivet, and Olivier Duport, meanwhile still needed to make a name for themselves. A good start was making the Top 4 here, now it was time to do one better and win this fight David versus Goliath.

    However, the way of Team Booster Draft is a tricky one, full of traps and pitfalls. While all weekend long Team Sealed gave players the opportunity to pool their resources, resulting in decks that were much better than regular draft decks, Team Booster Draft has players of opposing teams sit next to each other and the resulting draft process is characterized less by cooperation than at a regular draft table. The resulting decks, consequently, tend to be worse.

    Owen Turtenwald had drafted an aggressive red-green deck and was facing Wilson Lam and his blue-red.

    No. 3 Ranked Player Owen Turtenwald

    Turtenwald started quickly with Deathbellow Raider, Fanatic of Xenagos, and Borderland Minotaur. When Lam tried to stabilize with Stoneshock Giant, Turtenwald had Coordinated Assault, and that was already enough for game one.

    Wilson Lam

    In the second game Lam fared much better. First he had Omenspeaker to stop Turtenwald's Satyr Rambler and Reckless Reveler, then he had Lightning Strike for Agent of Horizons, and Dissolve for Turtenwald's own Lightning Strike. However, Bolt of Keranos finally removed the pesky 1/3 and Fearsome Temper on Satyr Rambler put Turtenwald still farther ahead. Thanks to Fearsome Temper's ability even Lam's later creatures didn't matter anymore.

    (3) Owen Turtenwald 2-0 Wilson Lam

    William Jensen had drafted green and black and was ready to battle with Louis Ballivet on green and white.

    William Jensen

    In the first game, Ballivet made good use of Archetype of Courage which turned his Sedge Scorpion into quite the monster. Jensen needed to use his Sip of Hemlock for Ballivet's Nessian Asp, and couldn't deal with all that first strike.

    Louis Ballivet

    The second game didn't go much better. In total, Jensen drew nine lands and four spells: Swordwise Centaur, Graverobber Spider, Leafcrown Dryad, and Time to Feed. After he had lost the first two of those in combat, he was forced to summon Leafcrown Dryad instead of bestowing it, and that left him without any good option to use Time to Feed. Meanwhile, Ballivet had Swordwise Centaur, Archetype of Courage, Nyxborn Wolf, and ... well, more.

    William Jensen 0-2 Louis Ballivet

    Finally, Reid Duke and his blue-black faced Louis Duport and his blue-white.

    No. 4 Ranked Player Reid Duke

    The first game was a comparatively quick affair. Here, Duport put Nyxborn Shieldmates on both Akroan Skyguard and Heliod's Emissary for some early offense, then later added Vaporkin and Nimbus Naiad to seal the deal.

    Louis Duport

    In the second game, both players were taking it more slow. Duport had Akroan Skyguard but nothing to boost it and then lost it to Eye Gouge. Duke slowed things down further with Akroan Horse and Duport's Wavecrash Triton didn't help either. But in the end, it still was Duport who came out on top, this time with big fliers Prescient Chimera and Horizon Scholar. Facing lethal damage, Duke cast Phenax, God of Deception and that actually would have won from a nigh-unwinnable position, but Duport had Gods Willing to target his Wavecrash Triton and tap down one of Duke's high-toughness creatures in response.

    Reid Duke 0-2 Louis Duport




     

  • Finals – Olivier Duport, Wilson Lam and Louis Ballivet vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner, Daniel Gräfensteiner and Christian Seibold

    by Oliver Gehrmann

  • 539 teams showed up to make Grand Prix Barcelona one of the larger Team Sealed events in recent history and now, after 14 rounds of Swiss as well as the semi finals, only two teams are still standing: The Swiss team of Olivier Duport, Wilson Lam and Louis Ballivet who was able to overcome the heavily favored American team of Owen Turtenwald, William Jensen and Reid Duke in the semi finals and the Gräfensteiner brothers Tobias and Daniel that teamed up with their friend Christian Seibold who had just sent home their fellow Germans, the Hauck brothers who played together with their friend Stephan Schwarz.

    Could the Swiss team beat the odds once again and also take away the trophy or could team Seibold / Gräfensteiner, who spent all of last week celebrating Seibold's Top 8 at the Pro Tour Valencia, keep their momentum and win the finals?!

    We would now be looking at the following matches:

    • Wilson Lam (B/U) vs. Christian Seibold (W/R)
    • Olivier Duport (B/R) vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner (W/R)
    • Louis Ballivet (G/U) vs. Daniel Gräfensteiner (G/B)

    Team Seibold / Gräfensteiner was pretty satisfied with the way the draft went overall while the Swiss team wasn't feeling that confident. Ballivet's draft certainly didn't play out as expected as he isn't able to play his first pick and Lam's deck is supposedly bad. Then again, few would have thought that Lam, Duport and Ballivet would be able to knock out Turtenwald, Jensen and Duke, so let's see how this goes!

    Seibold wasted no time, kicking things off in spectacular fashion with a Traveling Philosopher, Akroan Hoplite and a Nyxborn Shieldmate. Lam tried to hang in there with Wavecrash Triton, but Seibold had strong follow-ups, immediately turning this game into a one-sided affair and Lam simply never found a way to answer all the threats.

    Christian Seibold wasted no time claiming a convincing win in the first game!

    Seibold 1 - 0 Lam

    On the second table, Tobias Gräfensteiner had to work a lot harder to repeat the performance of the latest Pro Tour Top 8 participant. He stabilized with the help of an Ill-Tempered Cyclops, however, who was staring down Flamespeaker Adept and a Reckless Reveler that had been enchanted with Dragon Mantle.

    Duport took his chances attacking, but a Gods Willing saved Gräfensteiner's Ill-Tempered Cyclops, which started to turn the tide in the match. When Gräfensteiner also found a Nyxborn Rollicker to enchant the Fanatic of Mogis, Duport was the one looking for answers.

    Unfortunately, he never found them and just a few turns later, he went for his sideboard.

    Tobias Gräfensteiner 1 - 0 Olivier Duport

    The match between Ballivet and D. Gräfensteiner seemed most evenly matched.

    The last match between Louis Ballivet and Daniel Gräfensteiner seemed to be the one most evenly matched for quite a while. That all changed when Gräfensteiner found a Nyxborn Triton to enchant his Servant of Tymaret and when he attacked, Ballivet had no option but to double block it.

    A Boon of Erebos after that wrapped things up, which meant the German team was now leading in all three games!

    Daniel Gräfensteiner 1 - 0 Louis Ballivet

    It didn't look good for the Swiss players and they showed some signs of exhaustion!

    The teams took their time shuffling, with the Germans trying to remain calm despite the favorable odds and the Swiss trying desperately to focus.

    Duport purposely started the second game in a very aggressive manner, trying to rattle his team. He still believed there was a chance they could turn this around. Thanks to Deathbellow Raider and Akroan Crusader, he dealt a few points of damage early on and Daniel Gräfensteiner was happy when he was offered the chance to trade a creature with Satyr Rambler.

    The following turns, he invited Kragma Butcher and Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass to his side of the field while a Magma Jet dealt with Akroan Conscriptor that Ballivet had added to his party.

    The second copy of Wild Celebrants stuck and put D. Gräfensteiner far ahead!

    This was only the start of Daniel Gräfensteiner's comeback, though. While his first copy of Wild Celebrants fell victim to a timely Fall of the Hammer, a second copy stuck and after a Nyxborn Shieldmate enchanted it, Gräfensteiner had found a gigantic threat that Ballivet simply couldn't handle.

    Fanatic of Mogis applied even more pressure and when Duport fully realized the desperate situation he was in with just 2 life remaining, he shuffled up and extended the hand.

    T. Gräfensteiner 2 - 0 Olivier Duport

    The German team now needed to win only one more game to become champions!

    The second game between Christian Seibold and Wilson Lam seemed a lot more evenly matched. A Griptide slowed Seibold down, allowing Lam to deal 4 damage with the ensuing attacks. Seibold kept his calm and he recruited Kragma Butcher for the second time before he followed it up with Leonin Snarecaster while Akroan Skyguard struck back, making it 18 on Lam.

    Seibold's patient aproach payed huge dividents!

    That meant the non-fliers ended up in a Mexican standoff and Seibold was the only player controlling a flying creature. At first, Akroan Skyguard didn't seem too threatening for Lam, but 2 copies of Dragon Mantle certainly changed that for the worse! After the German had sent his creature in and the dust had settled, Lam was left with 14 life.

    Meanwhile, Ballivet had shown some signs of life, tying the scores with Tobias Gräfensteiner on the third table!

    Ballivet 1 - 1 T. Gräfensteiner

    That didn't change the situation at hand on the first table, however. Lam went over his options frantically, but he just couldn't find an out to deal with the flying threat and just a few turns later, it attacked for lethal.

    This in turn meant game, set and match for team Gräfensteiner / Seibold, who immediately started to celebrate!

    Congratulations to Christian Seibold and Tobias and Daniel Gräfensteiner, Champions of the Grand Prix Barcelona!




     

  • Decklists of the Finals

    by Oliver Gehrmann



  • Christian Seibold, Grand Prix Barcelona - Final Draft
    Theros Team Limited




    Louis Ballivet, Grand Prix Barcelona - Final Draft
    Theros Team Limited




     

  • Top 5 Cards

    by Tobi Henke

  • These were the cards that shaped the tournament, the cards that won games and turned Grand Prix Barcelona into an event to remember ...



    5. Phalanx Leader

    Virtually every team in the tournament was able to build a strong white heroic deck in the Team Sealed portion, often the crown jewel of their line-up. This was based more on the abundance of good options for the strategy overall than any specific cards of course, but since this is a team event what better card could we use as a stand-in than the leader of the phalanx who boosts the morale of his whole team and even turns lowly 1/1 tokens (provided by God-Favored General or Vanguard of Brimaz, for example) into a formidable fighting force.







    4. Shipwreck Singer

    Again and again throughout the weekend, Shipwreck Singer was the crucial ingredient in a number of blue-black decks which allowed them to take control. More so, it was one of the best reasons for teams to combine the two colors in the first place! Strong in the early game and stronger in the late game, the unassuming 1/2 was particularly useful in the face of a new breed of white and/or red weenie rush decks. The Team Sealed format allowed those to be streamlined to perfection, lowering the mana curve so much as to be able to manage with as little as 15 lands, on the flip side making them even more susceptible to the calling of the Shipwreck Singer.





    3. Archetype of Courage

    In multiple feature matches throughout the weekend, Archetype of Courage was one of the absolute standout cards. Whether with or against deathtouch, whether on offense or defense, whether with lots of smaller creatures or one big aura and counter-laden monster, first strike proved invaluable time and time again. One first strike creature is good, having all of one's creatures strike first (and none of the opponent's) is downright unfair.









    2. Nessian Asp

    The trusty Nessian Asp once again proved itself to be one of the cornerstones of the Limited environment. The formidable roadblock was central to many a game's turnaround when the usually slower green deck stabilized the board to later win with its generally larger creatures. Nessian Asp even helps in the final stages of such a game, providing a quick clock thanks to its monstrous ability.










    1. Eidolon of Countless Battles

    Among the many bestow creatures in the format, Eidolon of Countless Battles was certainly one of the best and biggest. Owen Turtenwald's team managed their 9-0 run on Day One in no small part thanks to the two copies in his deck; it showed up in the feature match area on the second day too; and when it showed up it usually won games. In a tournament of countless battles, you definitely wanted to have this Eidolon at your side.








    • Planeswalker Points
    • Facebook Twitter
    • Gatherer: The Magic Card Database
    • Forums: Connect with the Magic Community
    • Magic Locator