gpmos14

Gorbunov Burns 'em Off in Moscow

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The letter I!roas, God of Victory couldn't be prouder of Igor Gorbunov after Grand Prix Moscow. As the hometown hero took the title in spectacular Red White manner. When he called out for help on his very last turn, Iroas was quick to deliver a game winning War Leader's Helix to the top of his deck. Defeating countryman Sergey Zheleznov and his Mono Black deck.

No stranger to the big scene, Gorbunov will be a colorful addition back on the Pro Tour after his victory his weekend. With the passionate Russian Magic community very much behind him, probably still celebrating his victory as you read this.

All in all it was an exciting and weekend at in the Elektrifikatsiya center. More than 500 Magicians showed up to prove their skills in Standard against some of Russia's finest players as well as some international competition that was trying to lock up Silver or in some cases even Platinum at one of the last Grand Prix of the season.

The familiar archetypes, most notably Black Devotion decks and Jund Monsters, put up strong numbers, proving once again that you need to have them on your radar when you're preparing for a Standard tournament. In the end though, it was Igor Gorbunov's Red/White burn deck that won it all. Leaving multiple copies of both Black Devotion and Jund Monsters burnt to bits on his way to the title.

In a field that didn't have all the international superstars that we're getting spoiled with, it was also fun to see (16) Lee Shi Tian make his third appearance at a Grand Prix Top 8, securing the last precious points to lock up Platinum even before Pro Tour Magic 2015 . I'm sure he doesn't regret booking his flight here this weekend.

That being said, all that is left is to congratulate the winner, and do a quick Google translate to turn that phrase into Russian. So without further ado:

Congratulations to Igor Gorbunov, champion of Grand Prix Moscow 2014!

Поздравляем Игоря Горбунова, чемпион Гран-при Москвы 2014!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Alexey Rogov   Alexey Rogov , 2-1        
8 Keraan Chetty   Sergey Zheleznov , 2-1
       
4 Efim Kashapov   Sergey Zheleznov , 2-1   Igor Gorbunov, 2-1
5 Sergey Zheleznov    
       
2 Dmitriy Butakov   Igor Gorbunov, 2-1
7 Igor Gorbunov   Igor Gorbunov, 2-1
       
3 (16) Lee Shi Tian   Sergiy Sushalskyy, 2-0
6 Sergi Sushalskyy    









EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
 1.  Igor Gorbunov $4,000
 2.  Sergey Zheleznov $2,700
 3.  Alexey Rogov $1,500
 4.  Sergiy Sushalskyy $1,500
 5.  Dmitriy Butakov $1,000
 6.  Efim Kashapov $1,000
 7.  Lee Shi Tian $1,000
 8.  Keraan Chetty $1,000
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  • Top 8 – Player Profiles

    by Oliver Gehrmann


  • Alexey Rogov

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Kazan, Russia
    Occupation: Scientist (Physics)
    Magic Online Nickname: lex_kazan

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Top 8 at the World Magic Cup Qualifier in 2013
    Top 8 at the Grand Prix Trial Izhevsk in 2012

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Jund Monsters - it has a great match-up against Mono-Black Devotion and a high card quality, which can result in unbeatable draws.

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I would change 1 copy of Mutavault for a Forest or a Mountain.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    An Elvish Mystic on turn 1, followed by Sylvan Caryatid on turn 2.




    Sergiy Sushalskyy

    Age: 31
    Hometown: Kiev, Ukraine
    Occupation: Sales Manager and a IESE Student
    Magic Online Nickname: Sergey_S

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Top 8 at Grand Prix Warsaw in 2014. Some Top 32 in the Grand Prix I attended in the 2013 / 2014 season.

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Jund Monsters, because it beats most of the field.

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I wouldn't apply any changes. I'm quite happy with the way it worked out.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Rakdos's Return




    Dmitriy Butakov

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Barnaul, Russia
    Occupation: XXX
    Magic Online Nickname: Full Time Magician

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    2013 Magic Online Champion
    Top 8 Grand Prix Valencia 2013

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    "Bant Superfriends", a control deck with a bunch of Planeswalkers. It's my favorite archetype.

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I can't come up with any at the moment.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Every single one of them.




    Sergey Zheleznov

    Age: 25
    Hometown: Penza, Russia
    Occupation: Journalist

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Winner of the PTQ Atlanta in Moscow

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Mono-Black Devotion with Pack Rat since it's the best card in Standard and maybe even in Modern!

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I wouldn't apply any changes to it.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Pack Rat!




    Efim Kashapov

    Age: 35
    Hometown: Perm, Russia
    Occupation: Engineer
    Magic Online Nickname: Efim

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Top 16 at Grand Prix Moscow 2012

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    4 Color Midrange - I created this list myself; that's why I like it.

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I'm very happy with it as it stands.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Lands! :-)




    Igor Gorbunov

    Age: 32
    Hometown: Moscow, Russia
    Occupation: Owner of a restaurant chain
    Magic Online Nickname: Topdeck_Pomogaet

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    I advanced to the finals of my National Championship. I have participated in the Magic World Championship in both Kyoto and San Francisco and I made it to the Pro Tour Valencia and attended 2 Grand Prix prior to this one.

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Boros Burn - I'm a huge fan of red decks. Whenever I can make a burn deck work, I will play it in the respective tournament.

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I would swap out Eidolon of the Great Revel for Young Pyromancer in my main deck, because I think it would have worked better in the current environment.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Chandra's Phoenix!




    Lee Shi Tian

    Age: 26
    Hometown: Hong Kong
    Occupation: Accountant
    Magic Online Nickname: Leearson

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Top 4 Pro Tour Return to Ravnica
    Top 8 Pro Tour Born of the Gods
    Grand Prix Birmingham 2008 Champion
    Hong Kong National Champion 2008
    APAC Representative for the Player's Championship 2013

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Mono-Black Devotion with a splash of Blue. Nam Sung Wook's combined record in 4 consecutive events was an impressive 37 - 3, so I decided to follow the master!

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I would cut Notion Thief for an additional copy of Dark Betrayal, but it's Nam's signature card and I don't dare to make the change!

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Mutavault. They have been following me since 2008 where I won the Grand Prix!




    Keraan Chetty

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Durban, South Africa
    Occupation: Channel Manager
    Magic Online Nickname: Keraan

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Member of the World Cup Team 2012
    2 PTQ Wins

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    B/R Devotion. It was excellent against U/W/X Control decks, burn or in the mirror.

    What changes would you apply to your deck and why?
    I would probably add an additional Swamp.

    What are the most important cards in your deck?
    Thoughtseize.




     

  • Top 8 – Decklists

    by Olle Råde




  • Lee Shi Tian
    Grand Prix Moscow 2014




    Sergey Zheleznov
    Grand Prix Moscow 2014


    Keraan Chetty
    Grand Prix Moscow 2014




     

  • Top 16 – Decklists

    by Olle Råde and Oliver Gehrmann

  • Mike Krasnitski - Jund Monsters
    9th - Grand Prix Moscow 2014



    Artem Kuznecov - GB Graveyard
    11th Grand Prix Moscow 2014


    Alexey Zaitsev - Jund Monsters
    12th - Grand Prix Moscow 2014



    Lupalo, Kirill – RedWhite Burn
    14th - Grand Prix Moscow 2014






     

  • Quarterfinals – Round-up

    by Olle Råde

  • The letter E!ven though the Grand Prix here in Moscow has been a smoothly organized tournament, you could tell that the players were starting to get exhausted after two long days of Magic Some had more at stakes than others, whereas Lee Shi Tian had already achieved his goal for the weekend. He locked up Platinum Pro Level by making Top 8 and that way already secured his flight ticket to Grand Prix Magic 2015 . For everyone else, a slot there was on stake, as well as the infinite glory of taking home a Grand Prix title on home turf.

    Igor Gorbunov (Red/White Burn) vs. Dimitriy Butakov (Bant Control)


    There was no doubt about which match had the most viewers when the games began. Players were tightly packed on the sideline to watch Siberian Magic Online pro Dimitriy Butakov and his Green White and Blue control deck with Planeswalkers from here and beyond. He might however have run into his one bad match-up in Igor Gorbunov and his Red/White Burn deck.

    Game one was a quick affair, and not even an Elspeth, Sun's Champion, accelerated out with a Kiora, the Crashing wave could stop Gorbunov's haste creatures and burn spells. A Young Pyromancer was handled with Detention Sphere, but Chandra's Phoenix along with a fistful of red instants gave Gorbunov Game One.

    In the second game it was clear that Butakov wouldn't give in without a struggle when a turn five Brimaz, King of Oreskos took over the battlefield. When Butakov had Negate for Gorbunov's Banishing Light, and could follow up with a Sphinx's Revelation Gorbunov saved them some time and packed up his cards.

    In game three Butakov had a turn three Brimaz, King of Oreskos. But Gorbunov wasted no time, exiling it with Glare of Heresy, getting an Elemental Token in the process from the Young Pyromancer he started off with.

    Butakov had a Supreme Verdict to clear the board, but had to damage to play a Breeding Pool untapped and was suddenly low in life and in a precarious position.

    It didn't get any better when Eidolon of Great Revel came to Gorbunov's Aid, and two burn spells later, after Butakov partly tapped out for Jace, Architect of Thought and the game was over. Using Negate on one of the burn spells only meant that Butakov took two damage rather than three, and his bad match-up did become his nemesis.

    Igor Gorbunov beats Dimitriy Butakov 2 - 1

    Sergiy Sushalskyy (Jund Monsters) vs. Lee Shi Tian (Black Devotion, splashing Blue)


    In the classic battle of Pack Rat against Polukranos, World Eater and his friend Stormbreath Dragon it was the Red/Green soul mates that ran away with the match. In the first game they came on turn three and four to race Shi Tian's attempts of Ratlings. When the first Polukranos, World Eater met Hero's Downfall he was soon joined by his identical twin – Polukranos, World Eater.

    Game two was a swift affair, as Shi Tian found himself with a Pack Rat in play, but stuck on three lands, unable to cast the Desecration Demon in his hand, and unable to interact with the giant Green monster, who once again hit the board early for Sushalskyy.

    Sergiy Sushalskyy defeats Lee Shi Tian 2-0

    Keraan Chetty (Black Devotion, splashing Red) vs. Alexey Rugov (Jund Monsters)


    The third quarterfinal saw South African Keraan Chetty, with the quite unusual splash of red for four Dreadbore. His opponent, Russian Alexey Rugov was with Polukranos and friends.

    The match was a fine display of how Red, Green and Black deck is built to overcome Black Devotion. In game one a Scavenging Ooze was the first play, which backed up by removal, all while making it bigger serves as a potent threat against the Black deck. It has to be dealt with, and if it is, Polukranos, World Eater doesn't need to come until he can be cast naturally on turn four and threaten lethal damage fast. Chetty did have a Nightveil Spectre going and kept knocking on his opponents deck for Dreadbore, but none was to be found.

    Game two was Mono Black by the books. Duress your Domri Rade, Thoughtseize your Courser of Kruphix. Cast Underworld Connections on my Swamp. Draw two cards every turn and use my removal spells on all your creatures. Finally winning by casting either Pack Rat or multiple Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Or like in this game – both!

    The last game once again was about Scavenging Ooze and removal. And the lack thereof from Keraan Chetty. He had Lifebane Zombie, but seeing no targets in Rugov's hand he could only display a fine example of good sportsmanship when falling to a Stormbreath Dragon, that joined the Ooze for once, rather than Polukranos, World Eater.

    "Good games. Well done," the South African congratulated his opponent and shook his hand in defeat.

    Alexey Rugov defeats Keraan Chetty 2-1

    Efim Kashapov (Four Color Midrange) vs. Sergey Zheleznov (Mono Black Devotion)


    The last quarterfinal to finish was a grindy one. Pack Rats took down the first two games, but for different players. Zheleznov didn't even activate his in the first game, but rather cast a second copy while stuck on two lands, one of them being a Mutavault. Extra style points however goes to Efim Kashapov for curving turn two Pack Rats into turn four Kiora, the Crashing Wave.

    The third game took some time. Even though Zheleznov had all the cards and threats he could hope for Kashapov was doing his best to live for as many turns as possible. The most interesting choice being Zheleznov's choice with a turn two Thoughtseize. When he saw Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Erebos, God of the Dead, Underworld Connections and Ultimate Price he knew the game would take a while. He grinded through with Duress, Lifebane Zombie, Lifebane Zombie, Erebos, God of the Dead, and after a pretty lopsided game that took surprisingly long Zheleznov secured a spot in the semi-finals.




     

  • Semifinals – Sergey Zheleznov vs. Alexey Rogov

    by Oliver Gehrmann

  • The letter A!lexey Rogov is playing the tournament of his life today. He finished first after Swiss and he just managed to deal a crucial blow to all fans of the southern hemisphere, eliminating Keraan Chetty from competition.


    Alexey Rogov's Jund Monsters yet had to fail him!

    He picked Jund Monsters for the tournament, specifically since he expected to see a lot of Black Devotion and he liked his chances against this deck. This plan worked out rather well so far and he would now have to prove it once again when he would go up against Sergey Zheleznov and his take on this particular archetype.

    Speaking of Zheleznov, he is a huge fan of Pack Rat. In fact, he claims it's the best card in Standard, if not even Modern, and it's served him extremely well this weekend.

    With the introductions now out of the way, let's move on to the matches, shall we?

    In the first game, Rogov had a seemingly perfect start with Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid, however, Zheleznov had a Thoughtseize to make sure there wouldn't be a strong follow-up. It turned out that Rogov had yet to draw into a big creature, with him only holding on to another Elvish Mystic and lands.

    Rogov then drew into Courser of Kruphix and it revealed Xenagos, the Reveler on top of his deck. This series of draws suddenly gave him the upper hand and when he revealed a Domri Rade to be the next card, things certainly weren't looking too great for Zheleznov.

    It was a little too early to celebrate, however, since a Hero's Downfall took out the Courser of Kruphix that had put in work for Rogov.


    Alexey Rogov's Planeswalkers were putting him far ahead in this match!

    The following turns, it was Zheleznov who started to turn the tide, with a Desecration Demon fighting the uphill battle against the two Planeswalkers.

    Zheleznov continued to level the playground with a second copy of the Demon. It appeared like Rogov was now shifting gears, attacking with all 3 tokens that his Planeswalker had generated, but it was actually a move to lure Zheleznov into a block with his new Demon, which then got taken care of with Mizzium Mortars.


    Zheleznov had enough removal available to clear the path for his Desecration Demon!

    When Zheleznov started to use 2 copies of Bile Blight to take out Rogov's token, his Desecration Demon could strike down the first Planeswalker.

    A Polukranos, World Eater seemed like a great comeback, but another removal (Devour Flesh) dealt with it, too. No Planeswalkers left after the Desecration Demon connected for the second time.

    Zheleznov then added Gray Merchant of Asphodel to make matters worse for Rogov, who only found a Courser of Kruphix.


    Yet another Desecration Demon spelled doom for Rogov!

    Hero's Downfall, the next removal that impressed with great timing, it left Rogov with no blockers and that meant game for Zheleznov!

    Sergey Zheleznov claims the lead!

    In the second game, Zheleznov took an early peek at Rogov's hand with Thoughtseize, which left the latter with lands only after Dreadbore was sent to the graveyard. Rogov had an Elvish Mystic on the field, however, and he drew into Sylvan Caryatid and then Domri Rade.


    Alexey Rogov wouldn't run out of lands anytime soon!

    Zheleznov's only answer at that point was Lifebane Zombie and it took down the Planeswalker over the course of several turns. Rogov, meanwhile, had found Rakdos's Return to strip Zheleznov off his hand! He followed it up with Courser of Kruphix which would finally get him back into the game after his rough start in this game.

    Rogov added Ghor-Clan Rampager while Zeleznov failed to make a big play. Polukranos, the World Eater got revealed and cast the turn after. Rogov then revealed Xenagos, the Reveler and he had to laugh about the fact that his deck allowed him with this comeback, seemingly out of nowhere.

    Zheleznov thought "if you go down, go down with style", casting a Thoughtseize and targeting himself!


    Sergey Zheleznov would get to go first in the final game!

    Sergey Zheleznov ties the score!

    Zheleznov kept his opening 7 while Rogov was rather quick to decide on sending his cards right back. He was happy with his second hand and then things got underway.

    Zheleznov used Doom Blade to deal with an early Elvish Mystic and what followed was a short-lives war of attrition. After he went up to 4 mana, Zheleznov cast Thoughtseize and he saw plenty of threats waiting for him, among them Polukranos, World Eater, Stormbreath Dragon and Rakdos's Return.


    Zheleznov didn't like what he was seeing.

    The following turn, Zheleznov added Pack Rat.

    Rogov had Stormbreath Dragon and it attacked. Zheleznov made the first copy of his Rat. Both attacked the following turn. He added Desecration Demon before passing play - something that matched the dragon that seemed so very threatening just a second ago.

    Rogov only cast Scavenging Ooze, with an expression that couldn't exactly get described as sheer happiness.


    Zheleznov had a removal handy to make sure he could attack for game!

    Zheleznov then had the much-needed removal (Hero's Downfall) to take out both of Rogov's creatures and immediately after, Rogov extended the hand, wishing his opponent the best of luck for the finals!

    Sergey Zheleznov advances to the finals of Grand Prix Moscow 2014!




     

  • Finals – Sergey Zheleznov vs. Igor Gorbunov

    by Oliver Gehrmann

  • The letter I!gor Gorbunov is one of Russia's finest; he has already participated in the Magic World Championship twice and he's also advanced to the finals of his country's National Championship before. Here he is again, this time facing off against Sergey Zheleznov in the last match of the Grand Prix Moscow 2014! Could he finally claim a title that has eluded him for so long?!

    The deck of his choice is a Boros Burn build - red has always been the color of choice for Gorbunov and as long as he felt that it was competitive enough, he would always put his money on the most aggressive of all colors.


    Igor Gorbunov is a huge fan of red burn decks!

    It wouldn't be an easy task to walk away victorious, though. Sergey Zheleznov was riding to the finals on the back of an army of Pack Rats, the "best card in the format" according to him. He has tasted glory before when he took down a PTQ and he wanted to crown his Magic career with a victory in the Russian capital with the help of his very reliable Mono-Black Devotion deck.

    Could he stabilize fast enough or would Gorbunov's burn spells be the deciding factor in this final? We will know in just a minute!

    Zheleznov won the die roll, which resulted in him choosing to mulligan first. Gorbunov on the other hand kept, seemingly feeling OK with his opening 7. His poker face didn't give much away; the fact that he was tired, sure, but as for the quality of his hand, Zheleznov didn't have much of a clue.

    Zheleznov then went down to 5; he tried to recover with Underworld Connections after such a bad start, but against the quick Boros Burn deck, this seemed like a risky move.

    Gorbunov started to dish out damage with a Young Pyromancer. Zheleznov wanted to fight back with Mutavault, but Shock dealt with it. A Devour Flesh in response dealt with Young Pyromancer, but that didn't ease the pressure for long...


    Gorbunov found a second Young Pyromancer to keep the pressure coming!

    Gorbunov had a second Young Pyromancer and it stayed on the field despite Zheleznov casting another removal, thanks to a timely Boros Charm. Gorbunov now had a small army of tokens and they started to pick apart Zheleznov's life totals, leaving him - after Mutavault had joined the fray - on a meager 13 points.

    Underworld Connections found Lifebane Zombie, Zheleznov cast it and he saw this hand:


    Igor Gorbunov would now get to play with his hand revealed!

    With his hand exposed, Gorbunov explained how he would now go on and wrap things up. He started with Magma Jet, he saw another Magma Jet and a Mountain on top of his deck and he sent them both to the bottom. Searing Blood then took down Lifebane Zombie, Mutavault turned into a creature and the following attacks made it 1 - 0 for Gorbunov!

    Igor Gorbunov takes the lead!

    Zheleznov kicked things off in the second game with a Thoughtseize. This cost Gorbunov a Magma Jet.


    Gorbunov's opening seven in the second game!

    Zheleznov found his signature card: Pack Rat. It wouldn't stay on the field for long, however, thanks to Searing Blood.

    A Nightveil Spectre then threatened Gorbunov and he had no immediate way to deal with it; he instead relied on Chandra's Phoenix to set his opponent on a clock!

    Zheleznov bought himself time with Bile Blight, but Gorbunov had several ways to bring back his Phoenix.


    Gorbunov wouldn't run out of burn cards anytime soon!

    Nightveil Spectre started to put in work for Zheleznov (netting him Skullcrack and Boros Charm), with Gorbunov willingly ignoring it, instead trying to race his opponent. He did so with Boros Charm and Lightning Strike.

    Meanwhile, Zheleznov's Pack Rat started to put him even further ahead and when he added Gray Merchant of Asphodel, it seemed like Gorbunov couldn't win this race as soon as he had been hoping for.


    Gray Merchant of Asphodel put Zheleznov out of Gorbunov's reach!

    Zheleznov now finally had the time to start using the effect of his Pack Rat. This provided him with a threatening field that put Gorbunov on a clock. The Boros player drew, he didn't find a way to deal the last points of damage and he then shuffled up.

    Sergey Zheleznov ties the score!

    Gorbunov said something in Russian about his Chandra's Phoenix, but it was a little too hard to make out what exactly. Zheleznov simply chuckled, he then accessed his sideboard to swap a few select cards, Gorbunov then followed suit and with that we were ready to get started with the final game of the day!


    Gorbunov took a slower approach in the last game of the day!

    At first it appeared like Gorbunov would start a little slower, taking out his opponent's threats with the cards he introduced to the game from his sideboard: Chained to the Rocks and Banishing Light.

    He shifted gears shortly after, finding a Chandra's Phoenix to deal the first blood of the game. Zheleznov, meanwhile, tried to stem the bleeding with Thoughtseize, sending a Young Pyromancer to the graveyard.

    Over the following turns, Zheleznov cast plenty of removal (Pharika's Cure, Doom Blade and Hero's Downfall) to deal with the several copies of Chandra's Phoenix that Gorbunov had drawn into.

    Zheleznov tried to fight back with Mutavault and he attempted to further stem the bleeding with another Thoughtseize, but Gorbunov cast Warleader's Helix in response to claim back his Phoenix.

    Zheleznov tried to buy himself some time with Gray Merchant of Asphodel, but it couldn't put in much work thanks to Gorbunov's second copy of Banishing Light.

    In the following turns, Gorbunov kept burning his opponent with Magma Jets, getting back his Chandra's Phoenix, while Zheleznov in turn used Bile Blight and Pharika's Cure to hold them at bay and hang in there just barely.

    Nightveil Spectre started to threaten Gorbunov. He had drawn into another Chandra's Phoenix, however! He cast it and opted to not attack.

    Zheleznov added Desecration Demon. He then declared an attack with Nightveil Spectre and Gorbunov thought long whether he should block or not. He didn't and he lost Boros Charm.


    Could Zheleznov turn this game around with a Desecration Demon?

    On his following turn, he cast Young Pyromancer. His Chandra's Phoenix sacrificed itself for Desecration Demon.

    Nightveil Spectre connected again. This was turning into quite the race!

    Gorbunov drew into Skullcrack and it would have been fatal, were it not for a Devour Flesh from Zheleznov in response, targeting himself and getting rid of his own Desecration Demon to heal up again!

    Chandra's Phoenix returned from Gorbunov's graveyard. He cast it and attacked with it before he passed.

    Zheleznov once again cleared Gorbunov's field, but he now had to hope his opponent wouldn't draw into a burn spell.

    .

    .

    .

    Gorbunov drew...

    .

    .

    .


    Gorbunov found a Warleader's Helix to decide the thrilling final!

    Igor Gorbunov is your Grand Prix Moscow 2014 Champion!




     

  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Moscow

    by Olle Råde and Oliver Gehrmann



  • 5. Thoughtseize

    The black discard spell, originally printed in Lorwyn has been praised ever since the reprint in Theros last fall. The further the format has developed, the more it stands out as the ine card that makes the Mono Black Devotions decks able to handle any deck in the format. We have seen players revealing their hands all weekend, we have seen players keeping sketchy opening hands only to shake their heads in disgust after their opponents cast Thoughtseize on turn one. The card also sees heavy play in both Modern and Legacy, which is always a sign of a strong card!






    4. Sylvan Caryatid

    One of the questions coming into the Grand Prix this weekend was whether Jund Monsters would be out in force. Turns out the Russian players have been quick to pick up on the deck, and as many as a fourth of the players on Day Two put their fate in the hands of Jund Monsters. It was also the all star of Efim Kashapov 's interesting 4 color midrange deck. It provides the colored mana you need, it allows you to accelerate into large threats and it even acts as a hexproof blocker for early creatures. Sylvan Caryatid was a stable in Block Constructed a few ago and is sure to stick around as a power house in Standard after rotation this fall.






    3. Kiora, the Crashing Wave

    In a field where most of the players chose to take a deck from the known metagame, maybe change a few cards, or just spend weeks testing it. It was Dimitryi Butakov's deck who stood out. He's been playing Blue, Green and White for most of the standard season and seems to have come up with the ultimate build of his Planeswalker deck. And among the Planeswalkers, Kiora, the Crashing Wave that made for some very nice plays. An honorable mention goes to Efim Kashapov, who was also running Kiora, the Crashing Wave, and had the unorthodox curve of turn two Pack Rat into turn four Kiora in one of his top 8 games.





    2. Chandra's Phoenix

    Tied for the second best card with Young Pyromancer, these two were the core of Igor Gorbunov's deck that took down the trophy in Moscow. In a deck that people might think lacks sources of recurring damage, Chandra's Phoenix is quick to prove them wrong. We saw him defeat some of Russias greatest players with it and in the final it was only after recurring two copies of Chandra's Phoenix that he was able to even be in a position where he could draw a burn spell to finish the job.







    1. Warleader's Helix

    Of all the burn spells in Igor Gorbunov's deck it was Warleader's Helix that sealed his victory over Sergey Zheleznov in the finals. After a miraculous comeback from his countryman he had one more turn to top deck the burn spell he needed. He knocked the top of his deck, and even wrote a short Russian poem reading "Top deck help" on his sheet of paper and flipped the top card of his deck. When it was the game winning Warleader's Helix the crowd went wild and the 32-year-old restaurant owned could claim the title. In the words of coverage reporter Riley Knight is was a top deck that beat even Craig Jones famous Lightning Helix. See it all again on twitch.tv/magic!






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