Last Sunday was the monthly Duelmen tournament.

Pre-tourney blurb.

Womprax tells me he will get the power cards for the tournament and that he
plans to play Vengeur Masqué with white as 3rd colour. He says he has no bad
matchups, so I build his version and like it.

On Friday evening, I meet Hans (Hanzalot) who will come with me on Sunday. I am
crushing his Bombs over Baghdad with Vengeur Masqué. Suddenly there is a bombing
in my kitchen: the glass chandelier crashes on the floor breaking in thousands 2
meters away from us. The local spirits mustn't like our spells.
On Sunday we meet at the metro station along with Pascal and Baptiste and start
our 3 hour drive to Duelmen. Pascal will play Long.dec, Baptiste Keeper, Hans
goes with Gay/R and I'll stick to Vengeur Masqué:

1 Devout Witness
1 Enlightened Tutor
2 Swords to Plowshares

4 Birds of Paradise
2 Quirion Ranger
4 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library

1 Squee, Goblin Nabob

1 Phage the Untouchable

1 Ancestral Recall
3 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Time Walk
1 Tradewind Rider
1 Voidmage Apprentice
3 Volrath's Shapeshifter

2 Meddling Mage

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Illusionary Mask
4 Phyrexian Dreadnought

2 Forest
4 Savannah
4 Tropical Island
2 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills

1 Sacred Ground
2 Seal of Cleansing
1 Swords to Plowshares
2 Naturalize
1 Sylvan Safekeeper
1 Uktabi Orangutan
2 Misdirection
1 Meddling Mage
4 Chalice of the Void

Womprax knows that some of the top players with play control and chickens out:
he goes with IsoKeeper.

Pascal brought some goodies and is apparently very cheap as most of it goes
away. 91 players with first over 7 rounds.

On to the report.

Round 1: Martin Pohlmeyer - Mono-U combo

He starts with Island, Mox Ruby, Mox Emerald, Show and Tell. I have no Force of
Will, it resolves. He chooses to put Hypnox into play, I'll go with Mask and
discard my hand. I topdeck a Dreadnought which will win me the race. I hit him
once, then he casts Control Magic on my Dreadnought and kills me turn 4.
Game 2, I keep a one land hand (Savannah) with Ancestral, Force, VS, Mask and
Dreadnought. He tutors for Ancestral that get forced. After some time, I get a
second land and get going. He counters my Mask, but I get another one in play
and beat him to death.
Game 3, he forces a Meddling Mage, gets another Show and Tell after some card
drawing action but is now down to zero cards in hand. I topdeck a Plow and
Hypnox goes farming. I then proceed to topdeck Survival while he is mana
flooded. His Tormod's Crypt doesn't help.
2-1, 3 points.

Round 2: Marius Kruthoff - U/R weenie
It looks like fish, but it's ain't fish. Shaman, Pup, Bouncer and counters.
He counters my Mask but Survival gets through while he has Shaman and Bouncer
out. I trick him with VS becoming Tradewind to bounce his bouncer, then play
Meddling Mage naming Waterfront Bouncer and go to town.
Game 2 is ugly. He has to mulligan down to 5. I play a turn 1 Survival, turn 2
Mask and Dreadnought. He plays Maze of Ith. Turn 3 second Dreadnought. Turn 4
drop Sylvan Safekeeper and attack for 24.
2-0, 6 points.

After chatting with some other players, I come to realize that Hypnox's CiP
shouldn't trigger. I check with Justus Roennau, the head-judge who confirms. I
go tell Martin, who is not happy about it but takes it graciously for the rest
of the day.

Round 3: André Kasper - Workshop.dec
André likes to play his own decks. Today he brought a G/U Workshop deck with
Isochron Scepter.
André wins the die roll and start with Land, Lotus, Sol Ring and Time Walk. Next
turn Ancestral and 2 Moxen. Not bad, but still no meat. I play land, Mox, Sylvan
Library, Mox, Birds of Paradise. My second turn Survival is countered, but Mask
goes through and spits a Dreadnought. André goes for Isochron Scepter which I
counter. He then casts Naturalize on my 0/1 face-down creature, which is an
illegal play. He takes it back (I don't contest since it's REL1), he takes 2
burns. Next turn I hit him for 12 (he has no more green mana to cast Naturalize)
and play a Shapeshifter under the Mask. On my next turn, I attack with both, he
naturalizes my Dreadnought, I reveal the VS and he scoops, forgetting the
Wasteland that could have saved him (bad move, I had no more business spells in
my hand).
Game 2, André starts with Library. I have a rather crappy hand, but have faith
in my deck: I topdeck a Survival and go land, Lotus, Survival, get Squee,
holding 2 Forces, a land and a Seal of Cleansing. André uses his Library, drops
a Workshop and a Mox and lays a Chalice for 2. Not bad, but a bit late. I play a
Quirion Ranger to protect my lands since I only have 2 mana. He drops a turn 3
Chalice for 3 that I force, a turn 4 Trike that gets also countered. I get a
turn 4 Ancestral, play Sylvan Safekeeper. He mysticals for Ancestral, casts it
in his main phase, draw with LoA, Tinker for Jar. I have a Force in hand, but no
more blue creatures in my deck to pitch to. He cracks the Jar but is missing one
mana to play Yawgmoth's Will to get back Trike into play. I kill him with
2-0, 9 points.

Round 4: Aurel Bohermann - Mono-black

I start with a turn 1 Mask, turn 2 Dreadnought and Birds, and kill him turn 4.
Game 2 he is stuck at one land. In my 4th turn, I attack with a VS-Phage, he
purges, but still takes 12 since the top card of my graveyard is now a
Dreadnought. He then rituals a Sinkhole, but I get another Dreadnought and
finish him off on turn 5.
2-0, 12 points.

Round 5: Alexander Witt - Madness

I play land, Birds. He goes Lion's Eye Diamond, land, crack LED for GGG and
plays an Arrogant Wurm, discarding among others a Fiery Tempery. That mistake
will cost him the game, he should have cracked the LED for RRR, cast the Wurm
with his Tropical Island and used the spare R to burn the Birds. Anyway, I get a
turn 2 Mask, take 4, get a turn 3 Dreadnought and another BoP and kill him turn
Game 2 is anticlimatic. He opens with Rootwalla while I play Birds of Paradise.
His turn 2 is another Rootwalla and 2 LEDs but he forgets to drop a land. I play
a turn 2 Mask, turn 3 Ancestral, Dreadnought and BoP, turn 4 Voidmage Apprentice
(just in case) and kill him turn 5 while he is stuck at one land and can't play
the Naturalize he is holding.
2-0, 15 points.

Round 6: Daniel Huszar - G/R Tools 'n Tubbies
Daniel opens with turn 1 Juggernaut, which is matched by my land, Brainstorm,
Lotus, Mask and Dreadnought. He gets out a Survival and another Juggernaut while
I protect my 12/12 trampler with Voidmage Apprentice. I get him down to zero
turn 3.
He starts with Forest, done. I go Forest, Birds, Lotus, Devout Witness. He
strips my Forest turn 2, casts Jar turn 3, gets out of it a Juggernaut (which I
plow) and a Survival (which I counter). I play Survival, but he gets out
Triskelion and Welder to recur it and I can't deal with it.
Game 3 is awesome. I get a turn 1 Birds (no lotus this time). He plays Workshop,
Mox, Chalice at 2. I drop Devout Witness to deal with it, but he puts the
pressure on me with a Juggernaut. Then comes the dreaded Viashino Heretic. I
drop Mask and 2 Dreadnoughts hoping to get one through, but he has artifact
mutation to deal with Mask and Heretic along with Quirion Ranger to kill my 2
Dreadnoughts. I have a bad taste in my mouth. Daniel is recurring his Juggernaut
with a Welder I can't get rid of. I still have the Witness to deal with it, but
I have to dump what I draw to kill it. I see some hope in the form of a
topdecked Survival but I am low on life. Time is called, I play a Shifter, but
have to grab a Quirion Ranger to deal with his Wasteland. I am bit confused on
the number of turns when he draws his card look at the board and say go. I ask
whether I'll get another turn and he confirms I'll now have to play the 5th
extra turn. I untap, retrieve Squee, draw. Some players watching point to me
that I forgot the Tangle Wire with 3 counters, so I go back (remember REL1?) and
tap 2 lands and some Birds. I attack with the Shifter (Birds of Paradise in my
graveyard, he can't block), then discard the bomb I was holding: Phage. Daniel's
jaw drops on the table, he didn't see it come at all. Woohoo! Still undefeated.
2-1, 18 points.

Round 7: Serge Metz - Madness

Serge placed twice in the top 8 the last 2 tournies here in Duelmen, he manages
the hat trick today even if he loses, since he is at 5-0-1, drawing against
Womprax last round. The winner of our match will win the tourney, but since we
are both friends there is not too much tension.
Today Serge chose to play a metagame version with much hate main deck, among it
3 Naturalize.
Serge opens with Wild Mongrel. I force. This will hamper his development as he
doesn't have anything to discard. I play a first turn Sylvan Library, Serge
answers with Lotus Arrogant Wurm. I drop Devout Witness, then Mask. I have on
the top of my library 2 others Masks and can sacrifice life for cards only once
as Serge is putting the pressure on me. I don't draw something to shuffle my
library and die.
Game 2 I start with Birds of Paradise, Serge goes Mountain, go. My second turn
consists of Brainstorm, fetch a land, Ancestral, Mox, Survival. Serge drops a
Bazaar. He naturalizes my Survival, but I have another one. He has another
Naturalize for it, but I force. He gets some offense going but can't stop
VS-Phage and we move to game 3.
We both get Sylvan Library out, I play a Mask and Sylvan Safekeeper, he
Naturalizes it. I play a second Mask and a Dreadnought. I play Time Walk, attack
with one 0/1, flip the Dreadnought. He casts Artifact Mutation on it, I flip
Sylvan Safekeeper, sacrifice a land to protect my 12/12 baby. He naturalizes on
top of it, I sacrifice another land and that's game.
2-1, 21 points.

So, thanks to good pairings (no Dragon.dec nor IsoKeeper in sight), I finally
take Duelmen with Vengeur Masqué. Many thanks to Womprax for showing me the
light. Thanks to Pascal for driving us.

Enjoy the song of victory
Vengeur Masqué by Ludwig von 88