Two of the biggest names in European Magic, Olivier – fresh of a Pro Tour finals – and Noah have been riding high all the way through this tournament. Their brilliant results so far mean they "only" need to win two more round (out of four) to probably make the top 8.
The round was delayed several minutes as Noah Boeken hunted for a lost card. Finally a proxy was made and the match got under way with a warning for Noah Boeken.
The first creature to hit the table was Skywing Aven on Noah's side. Ruel flung a Kirtar's Desire at it to avoid discarding. On the following turn he found his third land and played Hallowed Healer while Noah dropped Treetop Sentinel and Dirty Wererat.
Failing to find his fourth land, and an Island, Ruel slumped in his chair.
Olivier: "I lost."
Noah: "Yup, you are not going to win this one."
Ghastly Demise took out the Healer but Olivier tried to fight back by using Fiery Temper through Patchwork Gnomes to kill a Painbringer.
Noah: "My deck is so bad."
Olivier: "I know but you are so..."
Both: "... lucky!"
Two turns later it was all over. Olivier drew his final card and threw his hand unto the top of the deck.
Olivier: "Nice game!"
Noah: "Why didn't you mulligan?!"
Boeken started with Fledging Imp and Treetop Sentinel and Ruel quickly responded with Dreamwinder before Liquifying Skywing Aven. That hardly rattled Noah since on the next turn he played Chainer.
Ruel cackled and used the Madness on Fiery Temper with his Compulsion to kill the legendary troublemaker. Again Boeken was unfazed: he had the Gravedigger to get it back.
The French dropped a Balshan Collaborator – not very good since he had no black in play apart from sacrificable lands. The game was now much slower bit both players taking their time to figure out what to do.
A Painbringer joined Boeken's army and took out the Collaborator while Boeken's air force brought Ruel down to four (one swing away from losing the round).
Ruel stroke back bringing Noah to two, dropped Skywing Aven and used Kirtar's Desire to stop the Sentinel. This forced Noah to lift his foot of the throttle. He replayed his Chainer and passed the turn.
Olivier had Shelter to give his Dreamwinder protection from black. Since the only non-black creature Noah had was the Kirtar's Desire-locked Sentinel there was nothing the Dutch could do.
Noah (pointing at Liquify): "That one won you the game."
Olivier: "That is my sideboard!"
He then flashed me the two copies of Liquify indicating he had brought them from the sideboard.
The French opened with a second turn Compulsion followed by an attempt of playing Healer. I say attempt because Boeken had the Syncopate for it and a Rancid Earth for Ruel's only Swamp.
That didn't slow down Olivier who followed the Balshan Collaborator with Skywing Aven. Never one to fall behind on damage races Boeken payed Chainer, gave it Ghostly Wings, and played Treetop Sentinel.
Olivier got a big laugh out of drawing his Patriarch's Desire, which made Noah suspicious. The French was laughing because it was totally useless at the moment. Instead he played Windreader and Aven Archer.
Deck slamming was the order of the day as Noah demanded help. He was facing four flyers with Cephalid Scout, Sentinel and Chainer holding the fort. The Scout helped Boeken cycle through his deck.
After a few turns Ruel played Teroh's Faithful, lost Aven Archer to Coral Net and Windreader to Ghastly Demise. Noah was slowly inching himself back into control of the game.
Olivier fought back with Skywing Aven and Repel on the Chainer. Noah replayed it along with Painbringer and Treetop Sentinel. That blew the last air out of Ruel's lungs. He had no way to deal with Painbringer and Chainer.
Two swings later it was all over.
Final Result: Noah Boeken 2-1 Olivier Ruel