It's the dreaded Dutch mirror match in the Top 8 once again. Stan already accomplished his goal for Barcelona by qualifying for Nice. With that out of his mind he is now ready to smash through former European Champion and former ABU star Noah Boeken for fame and glory.
The draft worked out ok for both of them. Stan started with red but when blue started to pour in he jumped into the bandwagon. Soon he had great green to go along with it and his deck is better classified as tempo-beatdown. The highlights are probably Squirrel's Nest, two Aether Burst, two Muscle Burst, Pulsating Illusions and a Scrivener.
Noah would rather have the game last a big longer. He has two Morbid Hungers, Laquatus Champion and two Cephalid Looters to find them. He even has a splashed Balshan Collaborator. If the game lasts longer he has a good chance of controlling his compatriot.
Van der Velden won the coin toss but came out slowly: Escape Artist and Nantuko Blightcutter (which got a very unprintable comment from Noah). Boeken's first creatures were Dusk Imp and Cephalid Looter.
Stan bounced the Looter to slow the digging down and even used a Refresh on it looking for the fourth land. Meanwhile Noah already had five mana and put it to good use: Repentant Vampire!
The Blightcutter continued to pound and van der Velden added a Springing Tiger to the mix. Still Noah was the one pulling the punches now: he dropped a Grotesque Hybrid that promised to put a stop the any green based attack.
A Churning Eddy gave Stan van der Velden another attack dropping Boeken to eight. The Hybrid came back and Stan now needed to find another answer, perhaps more permanent, for it. He better find it fast because the Vampire wasn't slowing down.
The Looter stepped in front of the Blightcutter and the Hybrid took down the Springing Tiger turning Stan's desperate attack into a single point of damage. Boeken untapped, attacked, and finished his opponent off with a Morbid Hunger.
Stan's early mana stumble, albeit short, proved fatal.
Noah 1-0 Stan
Second turn Werebear is more like it, especially when followed by Krosan Avenger. Boeken used a Tainted Pact to get Repel and Slithery Stalker to steal the Avenger.
But van der Velden would not slow down: fourth turn Springing Tiger, fifth turn Acorn Harvest. Across the table a Looter showed up along with Organ Grinder.
The Grinder tried to kill the Tiger but van der Velden was ready with Refresh, while bringing his opponent down to eleven. When the Springing Tiger finally died Stan replaced it with an even bigger monster: Arrogant Wurm.
At six Noah Boeken seemed to be in trouble but he had Pardic Collaborator with the Swamps untapped. The Collaborator could have held off the Wurm but t was too late: Stan used a Repel to clear the way and sent everyone in killing Boeken.
Noah 1-1 Stan
Stan van der Velden took a mulligan much to the joy of Boeken. He still started out with a turn two Escape Artist while Noah got tricky using Tainted Pact to get Hybrid again.
He used a Blood to remove the Artist and a Fiend to steal a Muscle Burst (over Aether Burst). Unimpressed by all this activity Stan reached for the top card of his deck and pulled Squirrel's Nest. On the next turn he got Springing Tiger.
Meanwhile Boeken was tooling up as well: Cephalid Aristocrat and Pardic Collaborator. The Cephalid got blocked by the Tiger, which was saved by Aether Burst while the Collaborator sneaked in for a four point hit.
From then on the Nest kicked in. Boeken Hungered the Tiger away but he couldn't get his Collaborator past the ever-appearing squirrel tokens. Stan let it through once and when Noah greedily pumped it showed him the Repel.
Now with three tokens swinging van der Velden played Aquamoeba, Nantuko Blightcutter and once again braced himself for Squirrel sacrificing as the Collaborator returned.
Boeken used the second Hunger to bring Stan down to seven and topdecked Organ Grinder.
Stan: "What? How lucky!"
Noah: "SO lucky!"
Boeken might not have a way to sneak through the damage in combat but he was now at a comfortable twenty-one (twenty-four as soon he would flashback the Hunger) and the Grinder-Aquamoeba engine might be enough to pull the game through).
A Churning Eddy got the Collaborator out of the way again and van der Velden sent in a very large crew. Noah did his math and eventually figured out his blockers.
Noah: "Damn! Eddy is good."
When the dust settled Boeken was at thirteen, losing two creatures in the process. He untapped and flashbacked the Hunger to go up the sixteen, dropping Stan to four. Van der Velden pounded his deck in desperation but only an Island answered the call. Even another alpha attack would not be enough.
Final Result: Noah 2-1 Stan
Noah is now heading into the semifinals to play the winner of the Ruel - Canu quarterfinal.