Finally we had our last eight players. Filtered from a huge crowd of 701 they emerged victorious after one sealed-deck and two drafts. After sitting down once more to draft one final time they will decide who will get to call himself Grand Prix Barcelona 2002 Champion. Although France had three representatives in this top 8, only two will have the chance to continue to the semi-finals.
The draft didn't go too well for Canu. He most probably took all good cards from all colors in each pack and tried to build a deck out of it. Unlucky for him, this is not Invasion block. Although he had many land searchers and other useful things it just wasn't enough to win against a well built deck that would try to swarm every opponent during the first turns.
Present at this game was an almost all-French table only missing a French Sideboard reporter with a French table-judge.
Both players already knew each other and were playing like friends. Unfortunately Olivier was forced to mulligan down to six.
Canu laid an Egg and used it to play an Obsessive Search to find a third land and cast Frightcrawler. His opponent cast Auramancer followed by a Nomad Decoy.
Olivier was desperately Searching and needing a Forest but his opponent was having more trouble. He missed three land drops and was forced to discard Vampiric Dragon. This situation endured until the end of the game for some rare exceptions leaving Canu with three Swamps and one mountain at the end of the game.
Ruel was relentless and summoned a Rabid Elephant only to see it being removed by a Faceless Butcher. Franck, involving a lot of French cursing and general laughs in the crowd, happily attacked with his lone Frightcrawler.
At the end of his turn his Faceless Butcher got jolted back to the hand and joined the attack next turn. Meantime Canu was able to summon a Childhood Horror into play and was facing four creatures, which were eating his life totals away.
When Canu recast his Butcher his opponent had the answer with Shelter to hinder his Elephant from getting snatched. The Shelter came back through a Scrivener, and gave a creature protection from black to deliver the last two damage.
Ruel 1 – 0 Canu
Some jokes made by Olivier Ruel about how Franck Canu sacrificed his Egg to cast a Frightcrawler were received with a smile on Franck's side and the crowd.
A Peek on Olivier's side revealed a hand of: Island, SwampRites of Spring, Forest, Spellbane Centaur, Centaur Veteran and a Wererat. Canu decided to play Rites and discarding four cards.
Once again an Auramancer hit the board as soon as Ruel got to his three mana and an Aven Fisher at four. On the other end we had a Spellbane Centaur and a Wererat holding the fortress.
A Deep Analysis netted Olivier two further cards.
When Canu attacked with both his creatures, his Centaur got blocked and was buried together with an Auramancer. Anurid Scavenger was to promise more beatings, since it would not die to the rat. Canu just kept filtering his deck, this time with Far Wanderings but found nothing.
Canu seemed to be upset for not drawing anything useful and died to the beats having drawn 14 lands total.
Final Result: Olivier Ruel 2 – 0 Franck Canu