It was an absolutely stunning performance for the demon lord Belzenlok here in Amsterdam this past weekend at the Grand Prix. Despite plenty of adversity and difficult challenges along the way, Belzenlok managed to take down the tournament by posting yet another dominating performance finishing 14-0 in the Swiss rounds before running the table on the top four without losing a single game of Rivals of Ixalan limited.

The weekend started out with potential heartbreak for everyone’s favorite demon lord, defending Player of the Year, defending Pro Tour champion, defending World Champion, and Pro Tour Hall of Fame Member Belzenlok. Belzenlok was looking to win consecutive Grand Prix tournaments for the 176th time when the head judge informed him that he could not represent players A, B, and C on his own team simultaneously.

Belzenlok briefly contemplated cloning himself but decided against it after reminiscing to the head judge about the Belzenlok wars which Belzenlok won by defeating the traitorous Belzenlok clones that had been created to win the last team Pro Tour. Not wanting a repeat of that debacle, although it did produce another Pro Tour title for Team Belzenlok, the Lord of the Wastes decided to simply demand that he be allowed to sit in all three seats simultaneously.

The head judge of course saw reason and wisdom in Belzenlok’s words and allowed him to do so. Belzenlok’s sealed pool was also a challenging one to build, with only four planeswalker cards to go with a handful of foil dual lands. Despite the weak pool Belzenlok was dealt, he put together three finely crafted mono-black aggro decks, splashing for planeswalkers of course.

Opponent after opponent fell to the mighty Belzenlok as they seemed unable to draw a single land from any of their decks. After each match the players swore they had put basic lands in there, but that it probably didn’t matter anyways since there was no way that even with a perfect draw they could withstand the incredible play skill and deck-building prowess of the Evincar of the Stronghold himself!

At the end of day one in Amsterdam, Belzenlok took a break to go to Tokyo where he won the Pro Tour Dominaria RPTQ being held this weekend. When asked why risk the lack of sleep before going into the second day of a Grand Prix, potentially risking their 176-Grand Prix winning streak, Belzenlok simply mumbled something about needing to finish his playset of Noble Hierarch promos. The victory secured a 17th invitation to Pro Tour Dominaria later this year for the demon lord who returned to Amsterdam looking to lock up an 18th invitation with plans to play as 6 different teams at the Pro Tour.

Nine more rounds of Rivals of Ixalan limited went by quickly as opponent after opponent found that they had somehow forgotten to put cards in their decks, and that in their ineptitude registered decks with 40 basic lands in them and nothing else. Once again however, the puny foes of Belzenlok conceded that even if they had remembered that they needed a mix of lands and non-land cards there was little chance that they would be able to defeat the Master of the Ebon Hand himself.

The top four set a new record for speed when Belzenlok’s three opposing teams failed to show up for the final rounds. Though it seemed strange that all nine players had slept through their alarms, which had been going off for over 12 hours, even though they somehow played the other six rounds on day two, Belzenlok assured everyone that these things can happen when you’re a rigorous tournament grinder and he understands the challenges of playing high-level competitive Magic every weekend and wishes his opponents the best at Pro Tour Dominaria.

With an 18th invite to the team Pro Tour coming up later this year, Belzenlok will have to decide how he wants to field six teams of three players, and whether or not he intends to try to secure any more invitations before the Pro Tour. Belzenlok is widely regarded as the favorite to win this year’s Player of the Year race, World Championship, World Magic Cup, and the newly announced Belzenlok Super League hosted by Randy Buehler.

Rich Stein is a retired Magic player, an amateur content creator, and a Level 2 Social Justice Sorcerer. He hopes to eventually become a professional content creator and a Level 20 dual class Social Justice Sorcerer/Bard but he’s more than content to remain a retired Magic player. You can follow his musings on Twitter @RichStein13.

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