Kevin Desprez vs Yann Hamon
Stan van der Velden
One of the two all-French quarterfinals today. Yann Hamon is trying to one-up his second place performance at GP London with a win here. It would be especially sweet to win it in his native country. Of course the same thing could be said about Kevin although he's largely unheralded thus far, he's a consistent PTQ player with a lot of top 8's to his name as well as a couple of qualifications. Kevin wasn't too happy about his deck after the draft as he was forced to play three colors and was still scrambling for playables. Yann's deck was solid but not very spectacular, also running three colors. Although black was a very little splash whereas Kevin had a sealed mana base.
Kevin won the roll and chose to play but had to take a mulligan to start off the game. After keeping his 6 Yann joined him to "keep it fair". His hand of six was fine as well.
Kevin had no play despite having all three of his colors, Red, White and Green on turn 3. He had no fourth land on turn 4 or 5 but an Alpha Myr came down to help keep him alive. Yann cast a Dross Prowler and a Goblin Replica to try and put some pressure on the mana screwed Kevin. The Prowler got Bolted though but the Replica survived a run-in with the Myr with a little help from Battlegrowth. On turn seven, Kevin still had no land and no play and the game seemed to be getting out of hand as Yann added a Fireshrieker and a Vulshok Gauntlets to his board. A Raise the Alarm gave Kevin some chump blockers...or so he thought. A Predator's Strike allowed the Replica to trample over for massive amounts of damage combined with the Fireshrieker. Another draw step, another non-land card and game 1 went to Yann.
Yann 1 – Kevin 0
Kevin once again chose to play and this time Yann was the only one taking a mulligan. He seemed to have the better deck though so his card quality could probably make up for the loss of quantity. Another mulligan definitely gave Kevin a good chance though as the loss of two cards is very hard to overcome.
Kevin tried to end things fast by Shattering Yann's Vault of Whispers and racing his Tel-Jilad Chosen with two Raise the Alarms. Yann answered with a Spikeshot Goblin right after Kevin Bolted his Chosen though and the 1/1 plan wasn't looking too good. A Tel-Jilad Archers gave Kevin a bigger body to work with. An Alpha Myr provided some more Spikeshot fodder as Kevin seemed to be out of gas. All he had was a Mourner's Shield set to Red.
"I'm using everything I have, and I don't have much."
It actually seemed fine now as it could 'counter' the Spikeshot's ability and give his 1/1s a longer life expectancy. Yann's Rustmouth Ogre also seemed less than impressive facing the Shield. Kevin then topdecked a Pyrite Spellbomb to kill the Goblin while Yann was tapped out and he looked like he might be getting back in the game. Yann's double mulligan was starting to really show here as he had no extra pressure to punish Kevin's 1/1-heavy draw. A Hematite Golem was the only creature cast in the next 6 or 7 turns with Kevin having enough mana to pump it twice.
It would prove to be quite a threat the next turn as the Mourner's Shield prevented Yann from blocking effectively with his army consisting of Red men and Myrs. A Mirror Golem with Protection from Creatures came to the rescue though and the excitement was back to zero. Another Hematite Golem provided Kevin with another threat especially since Yann kept sending with his Mirror Golem. The reason became clear next turn as Yann Bolted one of the attacking Golems and Kevin was forced to use his Mourner's Shield to save it. Yann then blocked the Golems with his Grunt and the Ogre pumping the Grunt with a Battlegrowth and a sacrificed Myr. He then used Predator's Strike to rescue his Ogre. After the bloodbath was over both players were left with no cards in hand with Kevin having two 1/1s and a Tel-Jilad Archers and Yann controlling a 3/3 Grunt, a Mirror Golem and a Rustmouth Ogre. He seemed to be doing quite well despite the double mulligan.
Yann then spent a large part of his next turn thinking and even counting Kevin's library for no apparent reason before sending his Mirror Golem in and saying go. He was apparently calculating the chance Kevin would topdeck something to save him although there might be another reason too. If only I could speak French...
A Mindstorm Crown caused some confusion and even made Yann hold back his Mirror Golem because he thought Kevin would take damage no matter what. This gave him the opportunity to get back in the game with the two extra cards he got for free. They could just be enough as he proceeded to drop a Clockwork Vorrac and an Alpha Myr. A Deconstruct followed by a Dross Prowler gave Yann enough chump blockers unless Kevin would topdeck a Predator's Strike which, as it turned out, he didn't.
Final Result: Yann wins two games to zero despite a double mulligan in the second and advances to the semifinals where he will play Jeroen Remie.