At long last, the Dragoborne Championships have concluded with the Europe finals held on 3 December in Manchester, UK. Tested and battle-hardened though our Dragoborne may be, only one of them would walk away with the title of the first European Champion.
In the aftermath of a fierce 4-round Swiss, Russell Moore and Derek Lam from the UK, Amos Di Napoli from Italy, and Yoav Chelli from France emerged from the ashes as the top European players for 2017! Here’s a look at what they were playing.
AMOS DI NAPOLI’S A CASA DI ORTO
YOAV CHELLI'S TEAM ZERO-PARK TOI VAL
RUSSELL MOORE'S +1s FOR DAYS
DEREK LAM'S 2
2 Standard of Tauris
1 Insignia of Olous
Yoav was pit against Derek in the semi-final playoffs, leaving Russell to play against Amos. The sheer speed of Yoav and Amos’s decks proved too much for their opponents to handle, securing them their spot in the finals. They both piloted decks built around the game-changer Hrist of the Infernal Blades as a centerpiece, with many efficient low-cost creatures filling a majority of the spots in the deck. They also included Ferocity Unleashed both as a means to gain massive field advantage, and as a recovery tool should their field get hit by mass removal.
Derek played a unique variant of the aggressive Tauris archetype backed up by Eldrun, Lord of the Blaze and Fafneer, Volatile Fire. He also included Gorgoth the Devourer in his deck, an interesting choice that proved to be a worthwhile turn 1 play as his games progressed; it was often ignored by his opponents as they evaluated it as low-threat, but as it remained on the field it accrued undeniable advantage in the form of guaranteed attacks each turn. Russell played a slower deck with a large amount of resource acceleration that enabled him to power out devastating two-for-one cards like Lady Valistra, Bloodlines Tormented, Bloody Baroness, and Ichorback Whelp. Ultimately, that proved too much for Derek, and Russell managed a third-place finish.
On the other table, a fierce battle raged on between variants of the Hrist deck. Amos opted for a low-to-the-ground aggressive build that aims to get as many hits in as it can backed up by Burbo, Shrewd Merchant to buff his small creatures, Ambush removal, and the aforementioned Ferocity Unleashed. Ravian and Goblin-made Avalanche in his sideboard are particularly relevant in this matchup as well. Yoav, on the other hand, incorporated some Logres cards into his build to give it some card draw in Sanctuary Enforcer, as well as to include the powerful Darion, Brutal Enforcer. Of all the cards in the deck, though Augmented Sniper seemed to be doing the most work for both decks, allowing hyper-aggressive turn 1 plays that can potentially take out an entire fort after just one combat phase.
It came down to the quality of draw and who could get more Hrist triggers. In the deciding game, Yoav made the call to hold up a copy of Fafneer to try and stabilize the next turn as he got pushed down to his last few barriers instead of trying to race with Hrist. Unfortunately for him, Amos fielded his second Hrist and applied even more pressure, and without a way to remove both Hrists in one turn, Amos came out on top and became the first European Dragoborne Champion!
Despite the fierce games ongoing, there was a friendly atmosphere in the room as the players exchanged tips and discussed their games with one another, even cracking a few packs for kicks and trading while they were at it. We’d like to thank all the players who took the time out to come down and play Dragoborne, and we hope to see you at the next major tournament!
By Matthew Lee
Developer, Dragoborne -Rise to Supremacy-