2008 Germany Nationals Day 2 Blog

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EVENT COVERAGE

  • Blog: Saturday, August 30th, 8:05 p.m.
    Swiss rounds wrap-up
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Feature: Top 8 Decklists
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog: Saturday, August 30th, 7:36 p.m.
    Pizza and Planeswalkers
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Feature Match: Round 14
    Jan Ruess vs. Florian Surkamp
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog: Saturday, August 30th, 5:25 p.m.
    The Prize Is Right
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog: Saturday, August 30th, 4:20 p.m.
    Meet the contestants: Thomas Jungmann and his Mono-Red
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Feature Match: Round 12
    Thomas Jungmann vs Bodo Rösner
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog: Saturday, August 30th, 2:42 p.m.
    Deck Tech: Swansong
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Feature Match: Round 9
    Raul Porojan vs Patrick Meissner
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog: Saturday, August 30th, 9:57 a.m.
    Drafting the dark side
    by Hanno Terbuyken

 

  • Blog - Saturday, August 30th, 9:57 a.m. -- Drafting the dark side
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • The deck that tabled a Flame Jab.
    Shadowmoor/Shadowmoor/Eventide is not exactly the most relevant of formats. That booster combination is drafted in various Nationals, but that’s it. And apparently, a good chunk of people has not tested the format, giving a sharp edge to those who have.

    At Grand Prix Copenhagen, Raul Porojan missed day two. So what did he do all day? Exactly – he drafted S/S/E. And here, Raul has picked up a deck that the general opinion in the room classified as “insanely good”.

    “I’ll take on anyone in this hall,” boasted Raul when he fanned out his draft deck.




    Not only was this a very strong collection of cards, it also came together in an interesting draft. “In Copenhagen, everybody agreed that you have to see that you stay in color as long as possible, or take enemy colors.” That way players can set up their draft for the third pack, which is Eventide. The enemy color combinations in that pack necessitate a draft that stays aware of the fact that traditional color combinations don’t precisely work.

    Raul Porojan had every reason to smile.
    Raul’s draft had some definite highlights. “I drafted with the third pack in mind,” said Raul, who first-picked a red burn spell, took Prison Term second and followed with a Scar as third pick. When blue cards came around, he decided to pick them right there: “Red-black or blue-white are my favorite combinations.” This deck ended up red-blue, as the blue cards that came to Raul were Briarberry Cohort and Leech Bonder. Raul figured that a fifth-pick Leech Bonder was pretty late, since he values them higher in his pick order.

    In booster two Raul saw “the really good stuff”: Jaws of Stone became his first pick. Pili-Pala, Faerie Swarm and more followed. Raul was happy about his four untappers: “I drafted with Banishing Knack in mind, because I knew I was going to get them.” He made a couple of picks that were debated in the audience, but Raul was confident in his choices, like passing up Scar in favor of cards with untap symbols. Power of Fire plus Leech Bonder is just one example for the synergy that Raul can bring to the table.

    But it was pack three when Raul’s draft took on ungodly proportions. He opened up Murkfiend Liege to go with his blue untapper creatures, and then got a choice between Outrage Shaman and Thunderblust for his fifth pick, taking the removal spell-creature. He finished the draft with getting a Flame Jab as his eighth pick and getting another Flame Jab – which tabled!

    On his table, Raul turned out to be one of only two red drafters in his pod, with only the player to his left also taking red cards. “Anything less than 3-0 would be a disappointment,” grinned Raul, whose round eight win took a little under ten minutes.

     

  • Feature Match: Round 9 -- Raul Porojan vs Patrick Meissner
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Raul's deck did not deliver on its promise.
    By this point, Jan Ruess (the Pro in our trio) had battled back to an even record, climbing to 4-4-1 this morning, and Thomas Jungmann held a 6-3 record. Raul Porojan, on the other hand, began the day on fire, holding his score at 7-2. His red-blue draft deck should be a sight to see in action.

    Game 1:

    Raul mulliganed into an Island, go opening. Riverfall Mimic met Woodlurker Mimic, but Raul had one of his late-pick Flame Jabs to kill it. His own Mimic fell victim to Torture and Pili-Pali and Rustrazor Butcher took Meisi to 14. Meanwhile, on the other side of the board, Meisi fought this war with a lonely Gloomwidow, later joined by Wickerbough Elder.

    Raul had the burn for it, though Meisi put another one out there. Life totals stood at 11 to 10 in favor of Raul, who decided to take the battle to the skies with Silkbind Faerie.

    When Meisi attacked with his 4/4 Elder and the 3/3 Widow, Raul chose not to block and lost his Pili-Pali in the process. Meisi added Necroskitter to the board, leaving Raul to face lethal damage next turn at just 4 life.

    The attack came. Raul tapped the Necroskitter, blocked the Widow and blinked out the Elder with Turn To Mist, taking no damage. But hitting back with Silkbind Faerie didn’t do a lot. The Faerie had to throw herself in front of Meisi’s Widow after tapping away the Elder. Raul took one damage from Necroskitter, going to three, took Syphon Life to his face and went to one. Raul: “If you show me a land, I’ll concede.”

    But he wasn’t done yet. Banishing Knack on his Faerie returned Meisi’s entire team to his hand. “As long as you don’t draw a land, I win,” said Raul. “I don’t think so,” came the reply, and sure enough, Patrick Meissner found the land he needed to bring home Game 1.

    Patrick Meissner 1 – 0 Raul Porojan

    Game 2:

    Raul reached four mana first and played Slinking Giant, followed by Outrage Shaman to take out Meisi’s Necroskitter. Meisi also had Stalker Hag, whose abilities would do precisely nothing against Raul, but Desecreator Hag did a lot: It returned the Necroskitter. Raul didn’t seem to care much yet. His Flame Jab took out Hag #1, and attacking brought Meisi down to 12.

    Necroskitter was Patrick 'Meisi' Meissner's MVP.
    But the Necroskitter was back, and Raul had to deal with it, especially when Incremental Blight enabled Meisi to take two of Raul’s three creatures, leaving a lone Outrage Shaman.

    Meisi: “3, 2, 1, mine!”

    Raul aimed to rebuild with Faerie Swarm and Pili-Pali. Still on 19, he could afford to wait a little and rely on his deck to deliver. But Meisi added offense, with Reckless Mentor, and Raul threatened to be overwhelmed by sheer size. “I have endless outs,” said Raul as he took his time to figure out how to turn this game around.

    Jaws of Stone hit Meisi for two, taking him to 8. Raul took six damage on the next attack, going to 11. Syphon Life from Meisi rectified the scores somewhat. Raul: “I still have infinite outs.” Leech Bonder was supposedly one of them, but Aerie Ouphes from Meisi took care of that.

    Meisi:”Now it gets difficult, I think.”
    Raul: “Difficult is not a problem – but impossible is,” and he extended the hand.

    Patrick Meissner 2 – 0 Raul Porojan

    “I didn’t really draw anything,” complained Raul, not hiding his disappointment. He was expecting more from his deck, while Meisi was happy that his deck did deliver the goods promptly just when he needed them.

     

  • Blog: August 30th, 2:42 p.m. -- Deck Tech: Swansong
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • TrashT heavily in discussion with Klaus Jöns (left). TrashT sported the Swans deck, but dropped after an abysmal day one.
    Ok, so Jan Ruess is 6-4-1 after the first of the final four Standard rounds, still trudging along to gain any points he can. It’s not a stellar performance, but he is confident in his deck choice. Shared by Andé “TrashT” Müller and five other players in the field, Jan chose to play the Swans combo deck. Based around Swans of Bryn Argoll, Seismic Assault and the Dredge-land Dakmor Salvage, it can kill on turn four and leave its opponent in a smoking pile of ashes.

    It works by playing the Swans and Seismic Assault, then dredging up Dakmor Salvage and discarding it and all other lands you draw to the Assault to either draw more cards or just throw land after land at the opponent to kill him.

    This is the version of the deck Jan played:

    Jan Ruess -- Swansong
    German Nationals 2008 Standard deck

    “When I looked at the deck breakdown, I knew that I had indeed chosen correctly.” Jan was aware of the deck’s abysmal matchup against Faeries. “It never works to take everything relevant away from Faeries, because every card they have is good against this deck.” The pro would have liked to pilot the deck that took him to the Honolulu finals, but he figured – just like the rest of the field – that with an abundance of Mono-Red, Faeries wouldn’t pass the test.

    Mono-Red was Jan’s alternate choice. He ultimately picked Swans, because it has a more reliable match-up against Mono-Red than Mono-Red itself. André “TrashT” agreed: “The deck was under the radar, and really bad against Faeries, but it has good match-ups against everything else.” In the metagame of Mono-Red, Reveillark and Quick ‘n’ Toast that Müller expected, Swans seemed like the strongest deck. Also, both players agreed that combo decks with their single-mindedness are easier to play than any mid-range control decks, or even aggro decks that need to adapt to the situation instead of creating one.

     

  • Feature Match: Round 12 -- Thomas Jungmann vs Bodo Rösner
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Bodo is the reigning German National champion, Thomas is on the way to maybe, possibly and surprisingly getting a shot at it. Both players are 8-3, and with 24 points, playing a single elimination match. Whoever lost this one lost his shot for the top 8. Bodo brought the red-black Nantuko Husk deck with Bitterblossom and other token makers, while Thomas was with Mono-Red.

    Game 1:

    The ones with black background are Goblins, the white background indicates Faeries. As if you'd have noticed...
    Bodo played first and when he showed Mogg War Marshal and Bitterblossom, Thomas prompted “2-0 for you!” But of course, he wasn’t ready or willing to forfeit the match just like that. His Verkörperung des Schicksals ran into the War Marshal, and Thomas reinforced his side with Ashenmoor Gouger.

    Bodo, meanwhile, kept collecting Goblins from Mogg War Marshals and Bitterblossom. They blocked Thomas’ attack, killing Verkörperung des Schicksals. While Thomas had the advantage of size, Bodo had a veritable slew of tokens, all of them represented by scantily clad women, provided by Thomas, imported from the USA.

    Bodo tried Siege-Gang Commander but met a Skred coming the other way. He was down to just Bitterblossom, seven tokens and two man-lands, taking Thomas from 11 life down to 2 with a massive attack.

    Thomas incinerated one of the three flyers, but he saw no chance to get through the great assets Bodo had in front of him. Even though he had a Demigod of Revenge to add to his board, it was not enough at all.

    Thomas Jungmann 0 – 1 Bodo Rösner

    Game 2:

    Thomas shot off Magus of the Scroll, but Bodo trumped that with Mogg Fanatic, and another one after #1 killed the Magus in combat. Ashenmoor Gouger came down for Thomas, marking its territory as the biggest creature on the board. Bodo tried Nantuko Husk, which met a Skred, and had another one, whch did not meet Skred. Instead, Thomas attacked with two Ashenmoor Gougers.

    Bodo Rösner, reigning Nationals champ, has a good shot at doing it again.
    Bodo took his time to decide on a double-block with both the Fanatic and the Husk to kill one of the Cougars and take no damage. While Thomas played his third Ashenmoor Gouger, Bodo plunked down another Husk and Mogg Fanatic. in response to the Fanatic, Thomas plucked off the Husk with Incinerate, and smashed Bodo for eight, taking him to 8 life.

    Murderous Redcap provided yet another chump blocker for Bodo, who was able to stave off a Cougar with both the Fanatic and the Redcap. The persistent little Goblin came back to die another day. Bodo also added Treetop Village to his board, potentially an excellent attacker.

    When Bodo blocked Thomas’ attack with Mutavault and Redcap, hoping to kill the remaining Cougar, Thomas had Skred to keep his attacker alive. That left Bodo without defense, and Thomas finished his opponent off with Flame Javelin.

    Thomas Jungmann 1 – 1 Bodo Rösner


    Game 3:

    Jan Ruess stopped by to report his 5-0 streak today, going back to 7-4-1. Meanwhile, this match saw an exciting decider to kick one player out of Top 8 contention! Great, fast Magic with 37 minutes left on the clock.

    Again, Thomas kicked off with Magus of the Scroll. Bodo showed Bitterblossom, Thomas had Blood Knight, Bodo followed up with Nantuko Husk. Thomas fended that off with Unwilling Recruit, forcing the Husk tio sacrifice itself.

    Thomas had not expected to sit this high in the standings.
    Bitterblossom provided Bodo with a steady stream of creatures, and he also killed Blood Knight with Murderous Redcap. Thomas went to 15, having nothing to show but Ashenmoor Gouger and Magus of the Scroll. Mogg Fanatic did its job and killed the Magus, and now Thomas looked ready to be overwhelmed.

    He needed some way of decreasing the number of Bodo’s assets, and fast. Bitterblossom kept the life totals equal at 12 each. To keep up with the three damage a turn he received, Thomas pointed Incinerate at Bodo’s head, bringing both players to 9 life.

    When Bodo played Word of Seizing on Thomas’ lonely Cougar, he had lethal damage on the table but decided to attack with less than lethal, because he tried Fatal Frenzy on Thomas’ Cougar. Thomas had no choice but to spend his last burn spell, Flame Javelin, on his own Cougar. He went to 7 and then to 3 in the next attack. He played for the topdeck, waiting for Flame Javelin or Demigod of Revenge to take a close match home. Alas, Bodo had Boom // Bust to prevent death from Demigod, and Thomas was down to three outs (Flame Javelin) only.

    He didn’t find it either way, and Bodo Rösner kicked Thomas Jungmann out of contention from top 8.

    Thomas Jungmann 1 – 2 Bodo Rösner

     

  • Blog: August 30th, 4:20 p.m. -- Meet the contestants: Thomas Jungmann and his Mono-Red
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • TThomas Jungmann laying out his deck for a photo shoot.
    We have been following Thomas Jungmann around on his journey to the edge of the top 8 competition, but who is the guy also known as “Teardrop”? He blogs on the internet about Magic, mostly casual stuff, but he has years of experience under his belt. The 28-year old aspiring MD started playing Magic in 1994, took a break from the Urza block to Mirrodin, then returned: “I’m playing more for fun, but I can hold my own in tournaments.”

    Thomas had qualified through a Nationals Qualifier and brought his own expectations to this tournament. His goals: “Finish with a positive record in both formats,” Standard and Limited both. His deck was Mono-Red, built as a hybrid of the red decks that dominated Copenhagen. “It’s a mix between the Saito and the Larsson build,” explained Thomas, who tried to keep the maindeck “as simple as possible”.

    The only thing that looked slightly out of place was the single Unwilling Recruit, but Thomas said that he wanted to have four in certain match-ups, and he had no space left in the sideboard. He tested some decks with his fiancé, looked at the various red decks at GP Copenhagen and built this version in the car on the ride back from Copenhagen. He picked Mono-Red over Merfolk, because the blue creatures always lost the match against the red ones.

    The Mono-Red deck in all its glory!
    One tech, though, that Thomas recommended, was this: “I de-foiled the deck before the tournament to avoid game losses.” Even though many of the cards are available as promotional copies, he chose not to use them. Foils bend differently, and that’s why they often lead to game losses after a deck check. It is possible to cut to those cards with great precision, and that would be cheating. To avoid any warning, game loss, match loss or disqualification that would not have been necessary, Thomas advised to relegate the Foils to the kitchen table.

    This was the deck he played:


    Jungmann -- Mono Red
    German Nationals 2008 Standard deck

     

  • Blog: August 30th, 5:25 p.m. -- The Prize Is Right
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • This is the combined pile of prizes for the main event, including the Foil Rare print sheet in the background.
    German Nationals have never had a money payout for its winners. Due to German gambling laws, Wizards always had to give out material prizes instead. This time, the prizes for the top 32 players consist not only of 1476 boosters (that’s 41 booster displays), but also a complete uncut Foil Rare printsheet of Eventide, and of course a trophy, for the eventual winner.

    Two other uncut Foil printsheets are also up for winning. 78 teams still compete in the Two-Headed Giant champs for a uncut Foil Commons sheet, and the Uncommon sheet is up the grand prize for the Legacy champ to be determined on Sunday.

    Also, I need to correct something. Of course, Jan Ruess has not piloted Faeries at PT: Honolulu, but Merfolk at PT: Hollywood. I apologize for the slip-up. Don’t ask me how that one happened, because I don’t know either.

     

  • Feature Match: Round 14 -- Jan Ruess vs. Florian Surkamp
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • A dozen cards, forever waiting to be drawn.
    It’s the last round of Saturday and Jan Ruess was fresh off a 6-0 run. After a pretty bad finish yesterday, he didn’t let his hopes or his game down and was now on track for a top 16 finish, hoping to get one of the coveted Nationals pro points.

    Game 1:

    As was his habit at this Nationals, Jan lost the die roll. Over the weekend, he had won exactly one roll, and that was with a 3 on a d20. This game opened up slow, with a lot of suspend action going on. Jan had Lotus Bloom, but Florian presented triple Ancestral Vision!

    With all those Visions waiting, Jan resolved Seismic Assault, and Florian suspended his fourth Ancestral Vision. Lotus Bloom came into play for Jan, and he could play Beseech the Queen without Florian interfering. The pro then went for Swans of Bryn Argoll, discarded Graven Cairns to Seismic Assault targetting his Swans and kicked off the loop. All he needed to find was one Dredge land to kill Florian. After a couple of discarded regular lands he found Dakmor Salvage, found a second one and executed his combo.

    Florian packed away all his four unresolved Ancestral Visions and went for his sideboard.

    Jan Ruess 1 – 0 Florian Surkamp

    That game proved that draw spells are nothing if they can’t find you a counter.

    Game 2:

    Florian took the obvious choice and played first. After a mulligan, he suspended Ancestral Vision. Again. Jan had a sideboarded Vexing Shusher and then faced Thoughtseize, revealing double Beseech the Queen, Gaea’s Blessing and three lands, among them Dakmor Salvage. One Beseech had to go.

    Florian was the last stepping stone for Jan Ruess' run.
    Jan’s Shushers dealt attack damage to Florian, and the pro decided to simply cantrip Gaea’s Blessing without a target. His opponent struck back with an animated Mutavault. Beatdown for the win!

    With Florian tapped low, Jan played and resolved Seismic Assault one turn before Florian boosted himself with the unsuspending Ancestral Vision. After a moment of thought, Florian revealed Bitterblossom to let his Secluded Glencome into play untapped, and went on to play the powerful enchantment.

    Jan attacked with Shushing Vexers, and Florian blocked with his Mutavault. It turned out to be a planned sacrifice, as Jan discarded Dakmor Salvage to his Seismic Assault to kill the animated Vault, and Florian had Extirpate. He removed all Dakmor Salvages, also seeing Vendilion Clique, Gemstone Mine, Telling Time and Beseech the Queen in his opponent’s hand.

    Florian took two damage, going to 12 from beats and painlands. With the resolved Seismic Assault, Jan had every chance to turn the combo plan into a beatdown win, adding Vendilion Clique to the board. Cryptic Command, Rune Snaf, Thoughtseize and Sunken Ruins were in Florian’s hand, and predictably, the Command had to go, as Florian had just enough mana to cast the powerful spell.

    A judge interrupted the match, as Florian had not put the Command under his library, but simply discarded it without drawing a card, either. The situation was resolved by giving each player a warning and backing up to the point where Florian had to draw the card, then continuing from there.

    7-0 on day two -- reason enough to be happy!
    In his main phase, Florian denied to make any play, passing the turn to Jan. At 11 life, and with Bitterblossom in play, Florian was in acute danger of getting killed by two hits from Vendilion Clique and two discards into Seismic Assault. Jan followed the beatdown plan and attacked with his two creatures.

    Florian responded to the attack by flashing in a Vendilion Clique. With the trigger on the stack, Jan discarded two lands to kill the Clique, took Florian to 9 and played a second Vexing Shusher. Florian’s Bitterblossom prevented two damage a turn by blocking one of jan’s Shushers, but still plinked away at Florian’s life. So the next attack left him at 6, his following upkeep took him to 5 life, and he had no play to make.

    With his opponent on 5 life, Jan declared his intention to attack, so Florian finally brought out his Cryptic Command to tap Jan’s creatures and return the Seismic Assault to his hand. Jan responded by throwing one land at Florian, bringing him to a meagre 3 life points.

    Bitterblossom took Florian to 2. While he had two blockers to stave off death, he also had double Rune Snag to counter Jan’s replayed Seismic Assault. But without a way to get rid of his Bitterblossom, Florian died at the hand of his own card and completed the 7-0 Saturday run for Jan Ruess.

    Jan Ruess 2 – 0 Florian Surkamp

    That put the PT Hollywood finalist at 9-4-1 for the tournament, and in 15th place in the final standings. That meant exactly one pro point that Jan could add to his 30 total. Jan Ruess has already stated that he is gunning for 40 pro points and level 7. While a top 8 finish would have helped more, he was glad to get at least the one point, which might prove crucial through PT Berlin and Worlds this winter.

     

  • Blog: August 30th, 7:36 p.m. -- Pizza and Planeswalkers
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Sebastian Thaler was just one of many to avail himself to the pizza delivery service.
    The days are long here at Nationals, and the local pizza delivery service has been running a busy trade. Yesterday, it was only the judges and staff who used their service. Today, the players had discovered the convenience of lukewarm pizza. The delivery guy had to come into the Congress Center about five times, each time carrying a stack of pizza and desperately looking for the one random guy who had ordered it. More than once, head judge asked over the speakers who had ordered one particular batch of Italian food.

    On a different note, top 8 competitor Harald Stein had a revelation in round 13. When his opponent played Garruk Wildspeaker, Harald had to pause the game in order to read the card, then called a judge over to have the Planeswalker rules explained to him. It turned out that he hadn’t played Magic seriously since last year’s Nationals, and had never actually seen a Planeswalker nor played with or against one. Should he make the National team, Harald certainly has to brush up his rules skills for Worlds!

    All the empty pizza boxes had to go somewhere... so everybody stacked them next to the judge station.

     

  • Feature: Top 8 Decklists
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Eight different decks have made it into the final eight of German Nationals 2008: Mono-Red and Mono-Green Aggro, Reveillark with and without the combo, a Kithkin deck, Merfolk, Elves and Nantuko Husk will battle for the title. Here are all eight lists for your perusal until tomorrow morning, when these eight players will determine the German National Team and the Champion!

    Roland Bode – Mono-Red
    German Nationals 2008 Top 8

    Olaf Krzikalla – Merfolk
    German Nationals 2008 Top 8

    Babak Mojtahedy – Mono-Green Aggro
    German Nationals 2008 Top 8

    Thoralf Severin – Husk
    German Nationals 2008 Top 8

    Harald Stein – Kithkin
    German Nationals 2008 Top 8

     

  • Blog: August 30th, 8:05 p.m. -- Swiss rounds wrap-up
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • The three players we had watched closely today steered a rollercoaster of success and failure through this Saturday. Raul Porojan, one of Germany’s rising stars, started out with 5-2 on the day and an excellent draft deck. His deck failed to deliver the 3-0 he demanded and expected. Not only did Raul drop one Limited match, but then failed to win each and every single match. His deck was U/W Reveillark with Pact of Negation:

    Raul Porojan – U/W Reveillark
    German Nationals 2008 Standard Deck

    After Raul signed the drop box on his result slip when he faced his 7-6 record, he was heartbroken and disappointed. “I play harder than anyone, I fight, I claw my way through the matches, and I still lose. What else can I do?” Especially in the light of his last two Grand Prix, where he missed day two once by oversleeping at GP Rimini and got disqualified at GP Copenhagen, Raul was hoping for a resurgence here. With his 10 current pro points, a few points here at Nationals would have gone a long way towards his next level.

    Top-8-competitors Thoralf Severin (left) and Olaf Krzikalla locked in the battle for domination of the standings at the beginning of the day.
    PT Hollywood finalist Jan Ruess had abandoned his trusty Merfolk for Nationals. Instead, he chose to fly on the wings of the Swans of Bryn Argoll. When he ended day one with a 2-4-1 record, having just two wins to his name, his spirits didn’t drop. Instead, he drafted a solid 40 cards to bear him through the first three rounds, and aced his pod. Going into the Standard portion, he aimed for a top 16 finish, but he knew that he needed four straight wins. His Swans tore through the opposition like a hot knife through butter, culminating in the last win against his worst match-up, Faeries piloted by Florian Surkamp.

    In the end, Jan Ruess posted a 7-0 record through day two, snatching one pro point with his 15th place finish. That was less than he had hoped for, but still more than nothing. With the day one performance, Ruess asserted himself as the cream of Germany’s magical crap. But with his day two performance, he returned to the cream of Germany’s crop. He wasn’t willing to let even the one point slip away from his grasp, and the dedication he had was outstanding.

    Notable German blogger Thomas “Teardrop” Jungmann approached Nationals in a more casual matter. His self-set goals were to achieve a positive record in both Standard and Limited. He had been on a good roll until round 12, where he lost his 8-3 record to reigning National champ Bodo Rösner. After that, his luck went downhill. In the end, Thomas finished at 8-6, and told the story of his three losses in rounds 12, 13 and 14: “I had to face Husk twice today, and won once, which was lucky. I lost the other one in the round 12 feature match, which was my first loss in Standard today. My second loss came against Swans, where he comboed me out in the first game. In Game 2, he had three Dakmor Salvages against my three Faerie Macabres, so I lost. In the fourth match of today, I lost the coin flip in the mirror and therefore the match.”

    Overall, Thomas was disappointed. “I hoped to go positive in Standard as well. That would have gotten me at least some boosters. Now I go home empty-handed. The lost matches were pretty close, so it’s bitter-sweet for me.”

    Unadulterated sweetness was had by the eight competitors who occupied the top slots after 14 rounds of swiss. Olaf Krzikalla, Thoralf Severin, Jan Lorenz, Harald Stein, Roland Bode, Martin Bisterfeld, Fabio Reinhardt and Babak Mojtahedy made up the wild bunch that would fight for the title. They brought eight different decks, and tomorrow, one of them will take home the title, the trophy and the Foil Eventide uncut Rare sheet.

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