On 31 points, both of these players will be in with a win and out otherwise. Yann Hamon of France is playing a very unusual red-green control deck, splashing black for Cabal Conditioning! It might sound odd but as his results this weekend show, it has the tools to beat a field with lots of red-white decks. Thijs Wessels from the Netherlands is indeed playing such a deck, so the match ought to favour Yann.
Both players mulliganned and while Yann made a second turn Rift, Thijs played a pair of Silver Knights. They attacked for a while, but Hamon’s Silklash Spider soon stopped the beats. Thijs didn’t have anything else worthwhile in his hand, so he had to just keep saying go. Yann missed a land drop, but then found a Krosan Tusker. This allowed him to play Cabal Conditioning and destroy Thijs’ whole hand.
Yann played a second Lightning Rift, and Thijs drew Akroma’s Vengeance to destroy them. It didn’t really matter to Yann anyway as he had a Silvos waiting in his hand. It attacked and Wessels didn’t have Wing Shards so they moved on to game two
Yann Hamon 1 – Thijs Wessels 0
This time it was Thijs with the second turn Lightning Rift. Hamon used Fierce Empath to fetch a Krosan Tusker. For a while Thijs used Lightning Rift to knock Yann to sixteen, and added an Exalted Angel.
Hamon tapped out to Break Asunder the Rift and cycle a Krosan Tusker, tapping himself out. Thijs unmorphed the Exalted Angel but decided not to add Akroma to his force, as he had the gameplan of holding back to Starstorm any potential Silklash Spiders first.
Yann did indeed have a Spider, as well as a Silvos, and Thijs used the Starstorm, then followed up with the Angel. This knocked Yann to six so he had to draw something immediately. He cycled a Krosan Tusker and did indeed top another Spider. Thijs wasn’t bothered though, the three cards left in his hand included an Astral Slide. He didn’t have a cycling card or enough mana to return the Dragon to his hand and cycle that, so he had to topdeck a cycler. A loud knock on his deck yielded Forgotten Cave, and he slid out the Spider to take them on to a deciding third game.
Yann Hamon 1 – Thijs Wessels 1
At this stage there were only about eight minutes left on the round.
Thijs had a good draw this game, with two Astral Slides included. I don’t know much about this matchup but it seemed like that ought to be one of the most important cards to him. Yann used Fierce Empath to fetch Kamahl, and dropped a Baloth. Kamahl came out on turn six with a green mana spare. Thijs didn’t have a sixth land and this was crucial, since as well as killing one of his own sources of red mana, he wasn’t able to kill the Ravenous Baloth. This cost him as he was always unable to cycle two cards due to not having enough mana to cycle twice. Hamon had a second fierce empath to fetch Rorix, as well as a Krosan Tusker and the Frenchman was able to get enough guys in play to overrun him in the second additional turn.
Yann Hamon defeats Thijs Wessels 2-1