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Johannsen Ramps to Glory in Germany

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On a sunny Sunday morning in Aschaffenburg, Dennis Johannsen's smile outshone the midday sun as he received the winner's trophy for the German Nationals 2010. Three years after a second place finish his wish had finally come true: Leading the German National team at the World Championships. It was also Johannsen's twelfth Nationals attendance, which made him the player with the most German Nationals ever under his belt.

Come Chiba, Johannsen will be joined by a strong team. Jörg Unfried, 2006 team member, is looking forward to his return to the Worlds stage. And finalist Tobias Gräfensteiner is ready to seize this opportunity for parity with his brother Daniel, who set the bar with his Top 8 appearance at Pro Tour: San Diego. The two brothers squared off in the quarterfinals, where Tobias defeated his older brother in five games.

Of course, being brothers, they were card-perfect on each other's decklist – small wonder, as they played the exact same 75 cards. The deck they played ascended through the standings until all five pilots finished inside the Top 32, including the 2009 National Champion Sebastian Thaler. It is a regular Pyromancer Ascension deck, but includes a transformational sideboard that brings in Polymorph and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. The plan worked, as the two Gräfensteiner brothers could well attest to on Sunday morning.

German Nationals 2010 is in the books, Grand Prix: Göteborg and Pro Tour: Amsterdam are next up on the schedule. Join us then and there here on dailymtg.com – and next year for German Nationals 2011!


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Dennis Johannsen   Dennis Johannsen, 3-2        
8 Sebastian Potyka   Dennis Johannsen, 3-2
       
4 Florian Pils   Jörg Unfried, 3-1   Dennis Johannsen, 3-2
5 Jörg Unfried    
       
2 Christian Hauck   Christian Hauck, 3-2
7 Tobias Dreger   Tobias Gräfensteiner, 3-1
       
3 Tobias Gräfensteiner   Tobias Gräfensteiner, 3-2
6 Daniel Gräfensteiner    

3rd Place Playoff  
Jörg Unfried Jörg Unfried, 3-2
Christian Hauck



EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER
  • by Florian Koch
    Third Place Play-Off
    Jörg Unfried vs. Christian Hauck

  • by Tobias Henke
    Decklists With Winning Records

  • by Hanno Terbuyken
    Finals
    Dennis Johannsen vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner

  • by Tobias Henke
    Legacy Side Event
    Top 8 Decklists

  • by Tobias Henke
    Semifinal
    Dennis Johannsen vs. Jörg Unfried

  • by Hanno Terbuyken
    Semifinal
    Christian Hauck vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner

  • by Tobias Henke
    Quarterfinal
    Sebastian Potyka vs. Dennis Johannsen

  • by Hanno Terbuyken
    Quarterfinal
    Florian Pils vs. Jörg Unfried

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Player Profiles

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Decklists


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2:
    Event Coverage


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1:
    Event Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info:
    Day 1 Playerlist

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
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  • Top 8 - Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Dennis Johannsen
    German Nationals 2010 - Top 8

    Tobias Gräfensteiner
    German Nationals 2010 - Top 8

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    10  Island
    Khalni Garden
    Mountain
    Scalding Tarn

    22 lands


    0 creatures

    Burst Lightning
    Call to Mind
    Foresee
    Into the Roil
    Lightning Bolt
    Mana Leak
    Ponder
    Preordain
    Pyromancer Ascension
    See Beyond
    Time Warp

    38 other spells

    Sideboard
    Dispel
    Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    Flashfreeze
    Polymorph
    Progenitus
    Spawning Breath

    15 sideboard cards


    Daniel Gräfensteiner
    German Nationals 2010 - Top 8

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    10  Island
    Khalni Garden
    Mountain
    Scalding Tarn

    22 lands


    0 creatures

    Burst Lightning
    Call to Mind
    Foresee
    Into the Roil
    Lightning Bolt
    Mana Leak
    Ponder
    Preordain
    Pyromancer Ascension
    See Beyond
    Time Warp

    38 other spells

    Sideboard
    Dispel
    Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    Flashfreeze
    Polymorph
    Progenitus
    Spawning Breath

    15 sideboard cards


    Tobias Dreger
    German Nationals 2010 - Top 8

    Sebastian Potyka
    German Nationals 2010 - Top 8


     

  • Top 8 - Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staf
  • Dennis Johannsen

    Age:

    30

    Occupation:

    Teacher

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Sheep token

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    I like the format, because it has so many equally powerful decks.



    Christian Hauck

    Age:

    25

    Occupation:

    Student

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Ajani Vengeant

    Where do play FNM?

    Wizard's Well Mannheim

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    Good change. I didn't know a lot about the old Extended and now, at least, no one knows anything anymore.



    Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Age:

    22

    Occupation:

    Assistant tax consultant

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Polymorph

    Where do play FNM?

    Funtainment Nürnberg

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    I really don't know. I haven't tested at all.



    Florian Pils

    Age:

    23

    Occupation:

    Student

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Flying Men

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    No idea. I really should start testing.



    Jörg Unfried

    Age:

    30

    Occupation:

    Forest manager

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Cunning Sparkmage

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    I don't know yet. Shame on me, testing starts on Monday.



    Daniel Gräfensteiner

    Age:

    23

    Occupation:

    Astronaut

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Foresee

    Where do play FNM?

    Funtainment Nürnberg

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    I like the format, because it has so many equally powerful decks.



    Tobias Dreger

    Age:

    19

    Occupation:

    Student

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    None

    Where do play FNM?

    Spieleland Hamburg

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    It's more interesting than the old format because it has less sets.



    Sebastian Potyka

    Age:

    21

    Occupation:

    Student

    What's your favorite Magic artwork?

    Bloodbraid Elf

    Where do play FNM?

    Brühl bei Köln

    What do you think about the new Extended format, which will be played at Pro Tour Amsterdam in two weeks?

    Nice and tidy!



     
  • Quarterfinal: Florian Pils vs. Jörg Unfried
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Florian Pils is already qualified for Worlds in Chiba, but that didn't stop him from aiming for the Nationals title. Jörg Unfried was also highly motivated to take a slot on the team for Japan, if only to remedy himself for Worlds 2006. Four years ago, Unfried was left hanging as the rest of the German National team got themselves disqualified.

    Game 1:

    Unfried came blazing out of the gates on curve in the first turns: Putrid Leech, Sprouting Thrinax, Obstinate Baloth – Unfried had gas enough. Unfortunately for him, gas prices went through the roof as Pils had Oblivion Ring, Condemn and Deprive in turn to stop Unfried in his tracks – despite taking a mulligan to six cards. Jace, the Mind Sculptor promised to rebuild Pils' ressources, but Jace met Blightning after after brainstorming once, and the battlefield was barren again.

    Unfried saw an opening and presented Obstinate Baloth, which stuck, gaining four life. While Pils was drawing cards with Jace's Ingenuity, Unfried was putting the pressure on. Attacking with Lavaklauen-Gebiet and the Baloth, Pils used his Tectonic Edge to remove the land, but went to 15 from the Baloth's attack.

    Florian Pils vs. Jörg Unfried

    Unfried knew that victory for him lay on the battlefield, not in drawing cards. Sprouting Thrinax joined his ranks, but had to expend its energy to kill Pils' second Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Unfried's next play was Siege-Gang Commander. Apparently, Pils' U/W deck had severe hiccups, as it failed to cough up a way to deal with the Siege-Gang.

    Florian Pils 0 – 1 Jörg Unfried

    Pils sideboarded IN 2 Celestial Purge, 1 Jace's Ingenuity and OUT 2 Jace Beleren, 1 Jace's Ingenuity.

    Unfried sideboarded IN 3 Doom Blade, 3 Duress, 1 Slave of Bolas, and OUT 3 Lightning Bolt, 2 Obstinate Baloth, 1 Bituminous Blast, 1 Terminate.

    Game 2:

    Unfried equalled out the mulligan count and proceeded sedately with Sprouting Thrinax on turn three. Pils shrugged, let the critter resolve and dispatched it with Oblivion Ring. Tapped out, Pils had no chance to stop Unfried's Bloodbraid Elf. Cascade revealed Duress, which saw Day of Judgment, Deprive, Jace's Ingenuity, Island, Plains. Unfried decided to deny Pils potential options and to keep him from gaining more unknown information, so he took the card drawer. Pils went to 17 from the attack.

    Unfried tried Maelstrom Pulse to get Oblivion Ring off the Thrinax. Pils countered that with Deprive. Another Bloodbraid Elf from Unfried revealed another Maelstrom Pulse, and now the Thrinax did come back. Pils tried to block with Celestial Column, which fell to Doomblade. Pils fell to 6 life. He held Day of Judgment still in hand, but also Baneslayer Angel, and had to decide which one to play. The white sorcery would kill both Bloodbraid Elves and the Sprouting Thrinax, but also leave three Saproling tokens in play that Pils still would have to deal with.

    On the other hand, Pils also had Celestial Colonnade in play, which would be enough to keep him alive through a full-on attack, so Pils decided on Baneslayer Angel. Even after Unfried added Putrid Leech to his side, Pils would stay alive. But Unfried had Blightning, and Pils discarded the two lands he held together with Day of Judgment. He had staved off that attack and turned his Baneslayer Angel sideways to gain some breathing room. He could afford to leave himself open that way because his next play was – Baneslayer Angel! Even through the floor, the crowd in the video room could be heard.

    "Sorry," Unfried said, and the crowd went ballistic as he pointed his own topdeck, Maelstrom Pulse, at the Baneslayer Angels.

    Florian Pils 0 – 2 Jörg Unfried

    Game 3:

    Jörg Unfried

    Jörg Unfried expressed severe discontent at his opening hand and shuffled it back into his library. With six cards on the draw, Unfried opened with Duress. Pils' decision to play first paid back, as he had the mana to Mana LeakDuress. Wall of Omens was next from Pils and the game finally seemed to go his way.

    Catching a glimpse of Pils' hand, he was well set up with Day of Judgment, Baneslayer Angel, Flashfreeze and even Celestial Purge to remove Putrid Leech. Unfried tried Master of the Wild Hunt. Pils picked the card up and read it thorougly, then pointed Flashfreeze at it.

    Turn five Baneslayer Angel from Pils looked solid, but Unfried's Blightning took away Day of Judgment, a land and three life and Doomblade slayed the bane of Baneslayer Angel. Both players were now playing from the top.

    Raging Ravine and Putrid Leech from Unfried marched to the red zone, blocked by Celestial Colonnade and Wall of Omens. Pils waited until Unfried had pumped the Leech and played Path to Exile to save his Wall.

    Strong on removal, Pils used Tectonic Edge to kill the Ravine a turn later, and the Wall of Omens successfully prevented Unfried's new hasty Bloodbraid Elf from attacking, though Cascade gave him Blightning. Pils fell to 15. Another turn later, a second Bloodbraid Elf revealed Sprouting Thrinax, which Pils had a freshly drawn Mana Leak for.

    Still, the two Bloodbraid Elves were one too many for Wall of Omens, and they pecked away at Pils' life. But Jace, the Mind Sculptor let Pils check the top card of his library and build up loyalty counters, essentially creating a virtual blocker. Unfried wanted to kill that Jace, so both Elves attacked Jace. Wall of Omens blocked one, though Blightning finished the Planeswalker.

    15, 12, 9 – Florian Pils' life totals were dominated by the three-power Bloodbraid Elves. Like any good control deck, though, Pils had card drawing. Jaces's Ingenuity gave him a second Wall of Omens and protection from Bloodbraid Elf, as well as Mana Leak, Celestial Colonnade and Oblivion Ring off the Wall.

    Now all Pils had to do was win somehow. Celestial Colonnade took a chunk of four out of Unfried's total, down to 11, then to 7. Unfried had Terminate against the Colonnade, which Pils let resolve, because Sun Titan came his way and returned the land! Unfried's removal was not exhausted yet, though, with Doomblade killing the Titan. With two cards left in his hand, Unfried fell to 3 from the Colonnade before used Doomblade on it. That one also went through, and Pils simply reloaded with Baneslayer Angel, saving his Mana Leak.

    But he didn't need it: Unfried had nothing and died.

    Florian Pils 1 – 2 Jörg Unfried

    Game 4:

    Florian Pils

    This time, Pils went to Paris – twice, because in his six cards, he found three Baneslayer Angels and decided that was far too clunky. Unfried's start was Putrid Leech turn two. Pils had Deprive for it, with the rest of his hand being Jace's Ingenuity, Baneslayer Angel, Sun Titan, Path to Exile and Glacial Fortress. A tough situation when Unfried player Blightning. Pils discarded Path to Exile and Baneslayer Angel, dropping to 17 life.

    Unfried continued the slaying with Bloodbraid Elf into Duress, revealing that he had drawn another Path to Exile. Even though Pils had just three land in play, Unfried decided to get rid of the five mana card drawer, and the remaining Path to Exile took out Bloodbraid Elf.

    Unfried had enough mana to smash in with Raging Ravine, drew Putrid Leech of the top and took the life totals to 16-13 in his favor. Sprouting Thrinax joined the battlefield, while Pils was unable to draw a fourth land for four consecutive turns. 14-6 stood the life totals in Unfried's favor before Pils had Path to Exile for Sprouting Thrinax. Still, Putrid Leech took him to 2.

    After missing six land drops in a row, Florian Pils had no chance to survive the onslaught that was the unsatisfying game four, and Jörg Unfried advanced to the semifinals!

    Florian Pils 1 – 3 Jörg Unfried



     
  • Quarterfinal – Sebastian Potyka vs. Dennis Johannsen
    by Tobias Henke
  • Potyka won the die-roll, but "lost" one of his opening seven. He didn't seem too excited about his six-card hand either, but kept anyway. Meanwhile, Johannsen thought long and hard and sighed and finally kept a very land-heavy hand.

    Potyka mutterred something about his "slow draw", laying four lands in a row before casting his first spell. However, the first spell was in fact two spells: Bloodbraid Elf plus Blightning. Johannsen went down to 14 and proceeded to cast just another land search spell.

    A second Bloodbraid Elf missed (Maelstrom Pulse), but connected on the attack to bring Johannsen to 8. Johannsen summoned Primeval Titan and got a pair of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle onto the battlefield. Too late! Potyka smoothly cast a third Bloodbraid Elf got in for 6 damage and clinched the first game with Lightning Bolt.

    Sebastian Potyka 1 – 0 Dennis Johannsen

    Johannsen sideboarded Obstinate Baloth and, unsurprisingly, Potyka took out his Blightnings.

    And again, Potyka had to mulligan. This time, both players had a quick draw, Potyka with Putrid Leeches on turn two and three, Johannsen with Rampant Growth and Cultivate. With six mana available on turn four, he was certainly hoping for Primeval Titan. All he got, though, was Avenger of Zendikar, and that had to wait in his hand for one more turn. The Leeches smashed in again and, with a little help from Lightning Bolt, brought Johannsen down to 5. The Avenger came down and planted eight Plant tokens on the battlefield.

    Maelstrom Pulse got rid of extraneous vegetation and one Leech came through for another 4. Johannsen had no play and just passed the turn right back. Bloodbraid Elf was already enough to finish him off at that point, but to add insult to injury its cascade ability also revealed Doom Blade to kill the Avenger.

    Sebastian Potyka 2 – 0 Dennis Johannsen

    Sebastian Potyka

    A good omen for Potyka: for the third time in a row he started the game with six cards. Johannsen began with Terramorphic Expanse and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, having no two mana available on turn two. Potyka's second-turn Duress, however, revealed two Primeval Titans and two Khalni Heart Expeditions in Johannsen's hand, along with one Cultivate, which went to the grave.

    While Potyka summoned Putrid Leech, Johannsen's green spells worked their Magic, and they would have gotten him to six mana in record time, if it wasn't for Potyka's kicked Goblin Ruinblaster. All Johannsen could do was to deploy a second and third Khalni Heart Expedition (he had already used up the first one) and hope for the best.

    Potyka's attack only got him down to 2. Johannsen summoned Primeval Titan and cracked his Khalni Heart Expeditions. Two Expeditions equal four Mountains, two Valakuts equal 24 damage.

    Sebastian Potyka 2 – 1 Dennis Johannsen

    Dennis Johannsen

    The fourth game saw Johannsen mulligan extensively for a change. "First no land, and then no green source," Johannsen complained.

    "You're playing 28 of them. Maybe you should have just kept," joked Potyka.

    But all mulligans aside, Johannsen's draw was quite good, especially when compared to Potyka's, who had no plays for the first four turns and then an underwhelming Sarkhan the Mad. On the other side of the table, Johannsen made Khalni Heart Expedition on turn two, Cultivate on turn four, Primeval Titan on turn five, and killed his opponent on turn six.

    Sebastian Potyka 2 – 2 Dennis Johannsen

    Before the final game, there was some additional sideboarding: Potyka brought back Blightning.

    The fifth and final game saw both decks back in full swing. Potyka had Putrid Leech and Duress, Johannsen Explore and Harrow, revealing a hand of more Harrow, Rampaging Baloths and two Primeval Titans. Primeval Titan came down on turn four, fetched two Valakuts and died to Doom Blade. End of turn, Potyka cast two Lightning Bolts to put Johannsen at 6. At this point, one more Bolt, Goblin Ruinblaster, Blightning, or Bloodbraid Elf would spell doom for Johannsen. Potyka slowly looked at his topdeck and visibly sagged. Johannsen went down to 2 and summoned his second Primeval Titan to take the game and match.

    Sebastian Potyka 2 – 3 Dennis Johannsen



     
  • Semifinal – Christian Hauck vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • The home stretch! Christian Hauck had started to play tournament Magic just a year ago, and already, he had a crack at winning Germany's most prestigious title with his Naya deck centered on Fauna Shaman. Tobias Gräfensteiner, on the other hand, looks to equalize with his brother Daniel, whom he beat in the mirror match in the quarterfinal. The Ascension deck that both brothers ran featured a transformational sideboard into Polymorph, and the expectation was that Gräfensteiner would beat Hauck.

    Game 1:

    Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Tobias Gräfensteiner won the die roll, and before Hauck had anything but land in play, Gräfensteiner already had Pyromancer Ascension in play and played See Beyond, followed by Preordain, putting all the cards he escried on the bottom of his library. Hauck's first action of the match was Bloodbraid Elf into Noble Hierarch, to little effect as Gräfensteiner killed the elf with Lightning Bolt.

    Gräfensteiner spent two Mana Leak to prevent Knight of the Reliquary, and a third Mana Leak gunned for Hauck's second Knight the next turn. Hauck paid the three extra mana, tapping out, and was rewarded with the resolution of his 4/4 Knight.

    Pressure was Hauck's game as he added Bloodbraid Elf to the board, cascading into Basilisk Collar. Cunning Sparkmage joined the fray to remove one of Gräfensteiner's two Plant tokens (courtesy of Khalni Gardens). Hauck attacked, with 6/6 Knight and Bloodbraid Elf. Calmly, Gräfensteiner dispatched the Knight with double-kicked Burst Lightning and threw his last Plant in Bloodbraid Elf's way.

    Still, Hauck was on the forward move. Attacking with Raging Ravine and Bloodbraid Elf took Gräfensteiner to new lows, and Ajani Vengeant came to Hauck's side to finish Gräfensteiner off.

    Christian Hauck 1 – 0 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Gräfensteiner sideboarded IN 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, 2 Flashfreeze, 4 Polymorph, 4 Spawning Breath, and sideboarded OUT 4 Pyromancer Ascension, 3 Foresee, 3 Time Warp, 1 Call to Mind.

    Hauck sideboarded IN 1 Cunning Sparkmage, 1 Quasali Pridemage, 1 Realm Razer, and OUT 1 Baneslayer Angel, 1 Obstinate Baloth, 1 Sejiri Steppe.

    Game 2:

    Gräfensteiner chose to play first, Hauck chose to mulligan. Spawning Breath, See Beyond and Preordain for Gräfensteiner set the stage for turn four Polymorph, revealing Emrakul, and that was the second game gone in seconds, as Hauck was done for.

    Christian Hauck 1 – 1 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Both players shuffled their entire sideboards into their decks, then took 15 cards out again, masking any eventual changes. In actuality, none of the players changed their decks at all from what they had sideboarded after game one.

    Game 3:

    Again, Hauck mulliganed, then kicked off with Noble Hierarch and Fauna Shaman. Gräfensteiner filtered with Preordain and Ponder, then dismissed Hauck's Fauna Shaman with Burst Lightning. Hauck hit Noble Hierarch with an unlucky Bloodbraid Elf, played Quasali Pridemage and watched one of his Hierarchs die to Spawning Breath. Gräfensteiner tapped four mana and exchanged his plant for Emrakul once more with Polymorph.

    Hauck untapped. What could he do? Not much but pass the turn. Annihilator 6 got rid of all his land and Quasali Pridemage, and Emrakul took him to 4. What scarce hope Hauck had passed quickly, and Gräfensteiner took game three.

    Christian Hauck 1 – 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Hauck changed nothing in his deck, Gräfensteiner however took out the second Call to Mind and put a Foresee back into his deck.

    Game 4:

    Christian Hauck

    Hauck hoped for his first play on the play, Fauna Shaman to stick, but no: Burst Lightning took care of that. Flashfreeze from Gräfensteiner countered Noble Hierarch, gaining Gräfensteiner a little bit of tempo, just as Spawning Breath on Hauck's new Lotus Cobra did. Mana Leak countered Cunning Sparkmage. Gräfensteiner was trying to protect his Eldrazi Spawn token while trying to find Polymorph with Preordain and See Beyond.

    Hauck was short on mana, as Gräfensteiner's tactic of dispatching all the acceleration worked out well. Hauck tried Fauna Shaman twice in a row, but with Into The Roil and Burst Lightning, Gräfensteiner kept the Shaman away.

    Hauck hadn't drawn a land in four turns straight, and when he finally found a Forest on top of his library, he was quick to play it and tap four lands for Bloodbraid Elf. Cascade... and the first card was another Fauna Shaman!

    Gräfensteiner stayed his course. Mana Leak countered Bloodbraid Elf, Into The Roil with Kicker took temporary care of the Fauna Shaman before Flashfreeze sent it off the field. Ponder for Ponder, Gräfensteiner dug deeper into his library, looking for Polymorph. Hauck saw his out in getting damage on the table, and hard-cast Vengevine to take Gräfensteiner to 15, followed by a second Vengevine that Gräfensteiner had to block with his Plant token. At 11 life, Gräfensteiner had to deal with double Vengevine.

    The way to do that is to play Polymorph before your last token dies as a chump-blocker, and that's exactly what Gräfensteiner did. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn thundered to the battlefield. Hauck attacked into it with his two Vengevines on some forlorn hope that Gräfensteiner wouldn't block. Gräfensteiner went to 7, then Emrakul attacked and cleared Hauck's board save for a lonely forest, and that was it! Tobias Gräfensteiner was the first finalist of German Nationals 2010!

    Christian Hauck 1 – 3 Tobias Gräfensteiner



     
  • Semifinal – Dennis Johannsen vs. Jörg Unfried
    by Tobias Henke
  • One more (and last) time the match-up is Valakut Ramp versus Jund. Dennis Johannsen had just dispatched the other Jund deck in his quarterfinal and was rather optimistic about his chances here. But then again, he was optimistic anyway: "I am still undefeated with this deck. 7-0-2 now."

    The first game went extremely unfortunate for Unfried, with a mulligan and subsequent mana screw. Even stuck on one Mountain and one Swamp, the amiable Unfried was good-humored about it, whistling some unidentifiable tune while Johannsen went through the motions and finished him in short order.

    Dennis Johannsen 1 – 0 Jörg Unfried

    This time around, Unfried had all three colors right from the start, with Savage Lands and Raging Ravine. Johannsen, meanwhile, made Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Forest, and Rampant Growth for his first of what should better be a lot of Mountains.

    Unfried summoned Sprouting Thrinax, Johannsen Obstinate Baloth. Unfried had a Baloth for himself, then Bituminous Blast to kill Johannsen's, and attacked for 7 damage. Johannsen fell from 24 to 17, and to 16 when he used Verdant Catacombs.

    Next up, Johannsen went one size larger with Primeval Titan. He already had two Valakuts on the battlefield before but, even with some titanic help, only managed to get to three Mountains. Things got even worse for him, when Unfried gleefully cast Slave of Bolas. He took the Titan and attacked for 13 damage.

    Dennis Johannsen

    Johannsen had Avenger of Zendikar and passed the turn. "Do you have anything?" he asked.

    "Not yet," Unfried answered truthfully, "but there are sooo many cards in my deck now."

    After drawing his card, he started counting his lands. Johannsen let out a sigh of relief: "So, that's at least no direct damage, then."

    "Actually, it is," Unfried replied, revealing Siege-Gang Commander, "I just needed to make sure I actually had the nine mana."

    Dennis Johannsen 1 – 1 Jörg Unfried

    The next game was one of these very short affairs the Valakut / Jund match-up seems to come up with from time to time. All of Unfried's lands entered the battlefeld tapped, so his first play was Sprouting Thrinax on turn four. On the other side of the table, Johannsen had Avenger of Zendikar, seven Plant tokens, with Verdant Catacombs and Terramorphic Expanse still up and ready to boost the vegetation to enormous proportions. All by turn five. Unfried cast Bloodbraid Elf looking for Maelstrom Pulse and missed.

    Dennis Johannsen 2 – 1 Jörg Unfried

    A quick start for both: Putrid Leech and Sprouting Thrinax for Unfried, Khalni Heart Expedition and Explore for Johannsen. Duress revealed the latter to be holding no noncreature spell, but also no more lands.

    Without land, Johannsen could not cast the Obstinate Baloth in his hand, instead he needed to spend his turn on the topdecked Cultivate.

    Unfried's seven-power army went into the red zone again to put him at 2. If Johannsen drew an untapped land now, he would be able to summon two Obstinate Baloths and survive the onslaught. He drew Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. One Baloth was not nearly good enough. Unfried had the removal and attacked for the win.

    Dennis Johannsen 2 – 2 Jörg Unfried

    Jörg Unfried

    Unfried had the optimal start of turn two Putrid Leech, turn three Sprouting Thrinax, but Johannsen's was even better. Much better, in fact, with Khalni Heart Expedition, Harrow, and another Khalni Heart Expedition. By turn four, Johannsen controlled one Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, two Forests and three Mountains, as well as the remaining Khalni Heart Expedition with two counters. He played another Valakut and summoned Primeval Titan. The Titan fetched a third Valakut and a fourth Mountain.

    "So, now you can shoot some of my creatures?" asked Unfried, innocently.

    "Well, no. Now I just kill you."

    Khalni Heart Expedition got another two Mountains and each of these triggered all three Valakuts. (When the fifth and sixth Mountain enter the battlefield simultaneously, they both "see" five other Mountains.)

    Two (Mountains) times three (damage) times three (from each Valakut) equals 18. And 18 life was exactly what his own Putrid Leech had left Unfried with. Not a perfect turn-four kill (not 20 damage), but a turn-four kill nevertheless!

    Dennis Johannsen 3 – 2 Jörg Unfried



     
  • Legacy Side Event – Top 8 Decklists
    by Tobias Henke
  • Yesterday, 204 players joined the German Legacy Championships. Although the tournament was played with no Top 8 play-offs, the grueling nine rounds were finished well after the main event's last swiss round had already been concluded. That's why you had to wait till now to get these beautiful Top 8 decklists.

    Bernhard Klinger
    Champion, German Legacy Championships

    Clemens Wolff
    Quarterfinalist, German Legacy Championships

    Alexander Würtz
    Quarterfinalist, German Legacy Championships

    Gabriel Kocank
    Quarterfinalist, German Legacy Championships



     
  • German Nationals 2010 Final: Dennis Johannsen vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Eight players gain Top 8 fame. Four players go to Worlds. Three players form the National Team. But only one player can be the 2010 National Champion. Dennis Johannsen or Tobias Gräfensteiner, Primeval Titan or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn: Who would triumph in the end, and how? Read on to find out.

    Game 1:

    Johannsen won the die roll, Gräfensteiner won a trip to Paris. Both players developed their game plan properly in the first couple of turns. Johannnsen with Rampant Growth and Harrow, Gräfensteiner with Ponder and Pyromancer Ascension on his second turn.

    Johannsen had prepared the basic lands in his deck specially for the Top 8 matches. Little notes and shoutouts to the crowd that was watching the local broadcast in a nearby room were written on the lands, an extra source of entertainment in a match between two players very happy to fly to Worlds in Chiba this winter.

    Khalni Heart Expedition helped Johannsen develop, as did Preordain for Gräfensteiner, but Johannsen's quest progressed much faster than Gräfensteiner's. With the help of all that acceleration, Johannsen summoned Rampaging Baloths to the battlefield.Gräfensteiner had no move but to point Burst Lightning at Johannsen's head. He was a little short on mana, and the 6/6 Baloth and friends took Gräfensteiner down in classic beatdown fashion.

    Dennis Johannsen 1 – 0 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    The players sideboarded. Dennis Johannsen brought IN 1 Swamp, 3 Thought Hemmorrhage and took OUT 1 Mountain, 1 Rampaging Baloths, 2 Harrow.

    Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Tobias Gräfensteiner brought IN 2 Flashfreeze, 3 Spawning Breath, 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, 4 Polymorph and took OUT 2 Into the Roil, 4 Burst Lightning, 3 Lightning Bolt and 1 Time Warp.

    Game 2:

    Both players kept their initial seven. Given that Gräfensteiner had announced "this wouldn't take long" before the finals, the Ascension player seemed to be not amused that he had lost the first game so easily. In game two, he drew first blood with Spawning Breath on Johannsen, who had Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, and Khalni Heart Expedition, all according to his gameplan.

    As always after sideboarding, the question was: Where is Polymorph? Looking at Gräfensteiner's hand, the answer was obvious: Right there, only the fourth land to play it was missing. Ponder helped out, and Mana Leak on a second Khalni Heart Expedition was merely academical when Gräfensteiner played a Mountain, Polymorph, and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn followed suit.

    Johannsen sacrificed his loaded Khalni Heart Expedition, but with exactly six lands in play and nothing else, on 19 life, Emrakul was nigh unstoppable, as it were. Johannsen played Cultivate and double Rampant Growth, trying to figure out if he could get some measure of relevant damage from Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, but all in vain.

    Dennis Johannsen 1 – 1 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Gräfensteiner went through the process of sideboarding once more, taking 2 Foresee out of his deck and replacing them with 1 Spawning Breath and 1 Time Warp. Johannsen also adjusted his deck, bringing the two Harrow back into the deck and taking out two Cultivate.

    Game 3:

    Dennis Johannsen

    Johannsen on the play began with a second-turn Explore for an additional land drop, whereas Gräfensteiner had Ponder, Preordain, Ponder as his first three plays in turns one and two. Surely, that had found him the combo pieces that he needed? Another Ponder showed him Polymorph and land on top of his library, but he chose to shuffle them back – both Polymorph and Spawning Breath were already in his hand. Sculpting the perfect hand was easy for Gräfensteiner with his cheap draw spells!

    End of turn, Johannsen played Summoning Trap for all the mana that he had, getting Primeval Titan for two Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Seven mana gave him Avenger of Zendikar and eight Plants – a good countermeasure for Emrakul's Annihilator 6 abilty. Primeval Titan attacked, found more Mountains and those dealt 12 damage to Gräfensteiner. Johannsen felt confident to ward off Emrakul and passed the turn. But Gräfensteiner attacked and showed Johannsen the Time Warp he was holding. Staving off Emrakul twice was too much for Johannsen, and Gräfensteiner took game 3.

    Dennis Johannsen 1 – 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Game 4:

    Gräfensteiner had to mulligan twice. The final five he kept: Polymorph, Preordain, Khalni Garden, Island and Mountain. Quite a solid five. Gräfensteiner found Mana Leak, too, and countered Johannsen's Explore. See Beyond gave Gräfensteiner access to even more cards, but he failed to find the fourth land – yet. Ideally, he'd find land on top.

    Johannsen, meanwhile, took his turn to ramp up with double Rampant Growth. Gräfensteiner drew... Polymorph! Call to Mind returned his Preordain, as Gräfensteiner desperately needed that fourth land. Every turn Johannsen got to develop his mana base even more was bad for Gräfensteiner. He passed the turn.

    Johannsen looked at his board, counted the lands, and figured he had a comfortable amount. Six of those he used to pay for Primeval Titan, and Tobias Gräfensteiner instantly admitted defeat after almost pulling out of a mulligan to five.

    Dennis Johannsen 2 – 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

    Game 5:

    So it came down to this! The players shook hands before the final game that stood between one of them and the winner's trophy.

    This time, it was Johannsen's turn to mulligan. Johannsen set his hopes high: "Six cards, turn four kill!" But with Gräfensteiner on the play, he first had to watch as his opponent assembled part #1 of his combo: Khalni Garden and the accompanying Plant.

    Gräfensteiner had enough lands in hand, and a Spawning Breath, too, but he was still missing Polymorph. Foresee showed him Preordain, See Beyond, Flasfreeze and Mana Leak – not exactly the choice of cards he wanted as his next four. He would have to use the counters to stay alive long enough to see what lay beyond those four, and then there would have to be Polymorph within reach – not an easy task, as Johannsen kept on Harrowing and Exploring.

    The See Beyond Gräfensteiner used next turn, though, was a lucky one. Three cards down, Gräfensteiner found the Polymorph he needed! Now what was Johannsen's game with six lands available? And would Gräfensteiner's Mana Leak help?

    It wasn't needed – yet. All Johannsen did was lay Evolving Wilds. Summoning Trap loomed, as Gräfensteiner couldn't play both Polymorph and Mana Leak. He decided on Polymorph, and Johannsen had the Summoning Trap in response, finding Primeval Titan. Life totals were 19–19 as Johannsen searched for two Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, from his library.

    Johannsen: "Why can't you be on 18 life?"

    Polymorph resolved and brought Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play. Johannsen: "Come on, be the last card, so I know what's in your hand!" He carefully looked through the revealed cards. "If you don't have Dispel, you are dead," Johannsen pondered.

    He went to his turn, drew his card. "This is the ultra-win!" Johannsen had found a third Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. And when he played Harrow, Tobias Gräfensteiner extended the hand to congratulate his opponent, Dennis Johannsen, the German National Champion 2010!

    "He never showed Dispel, that's why I boarded the Harrows back in," explained a very happy Dennis Johannsen after the match. With two Mountains from Harrow and two more from an attack with Primeval Titan, Johannsen had been able to deal 36 damage on that final turn, and that was more than enough to catapult him over Emrakul's head to become this year's champion.

    Dennis Johannsen 3 – 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner



     
  • Decklists With Winning Records
    by Tobias Henke
  • These are all Standard decks with a record of 6-2 (or better) from the first four rounds of day one and the last four rounds of day two. Two lists are particularly noteworthy. Remember the deck we mentioned early in the day one coverage? The one that won two Last Chance Qualifiers on Thursday? Apparently, some players managed to scrounge this list from none other than Pro Tour Hall of Famer Zvi Mowshovitz. One lucky man who ended up playing the deck was Michael Filler and, of course, he went 7-1 in the Standard portion.

    The other list didn't perform quite as well, but was the talk of the tournament for some time over the weekend. The so-called "Neo-Dredge" or "Dredge-Vine". Just look for Lukas Diekjobst among the 6-2s.

    Sebastian Potyka, 8-0
    German Nationals 2010

    Dennis Johannsen, 6-0-2
    German Nationals 2010

    Tobias Gräfensteiner, 6-1-1
    German Nationals 2010

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    10  Island
    Khalni Garden
    Mountain
    Scalding Tarn

    22 lands


    0 creatures

    Burst Lightning
    Call to Mind
    Foresee
    Into the Roil
    Lightning Bolt
    Mana Leak
    Ponder
    Preordain
    Pyromancer Ascension
    See Beyond
    Time Warp

    38 other spells

    Sideboard
    Dispel
    Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    Flashfreeze
    Polymorph
    Progenitus
    Spawning Breath

    15 sideboard cards


    Tobias Dreger, 6-1-1
    German Nationals 2010

    Ashraf Abou Omar, 6-2
    German Nationals 2010

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    12  Island
    Mountain
    Scalding Tarn

    22 lands


    0 creatures

    Call to Mind
    Foresee
    Into the Roil
    Jace Beleren
    Lightning Bolt
    Mana Leak
    Ponder
    Preordain
    Pyromancer Ascension
    See Beyond
    Time Warp

    38 other spells

    Sideboard
    Flashfreeze
    Jace Beleren
    Negate
    Pyroclasm
    Ricochet Trap

    15 sideboard cards


    Raul Porojan, 6-2
    German Nationals 2010

    Simon Görtzen, 6-2
    German Nationals 2010

    Alex Fanghänel, 6-2
    German Nationals 2010

    Martin Heruth, 6-2
    German Nationals 2010

    Untitled Deck
    German Nationals 2010


     

  • Third Place Play-Off – Jörg Unfried vs. Christian Hauck
    by Florian Koch
  • In the match for third place Jörg Unfried, playing Jund, met Christian Hauck, playing Naya. Unfried is well known in the German Magic community, a player who grinded himself into Pro Tours and Nationals before and even made the national team once. His opponent Christian Hauck only started playing competitive Magic a year ago.

    Hauck was on the play and opened with Fauna Shaman which immediately went down to Lightning Bolt. The following Knight of the Reliquary was a bit beafier, entering the battlefield as a 5/5. A Putrid Leech on the other side managed to stare down the Knight, though. But Hauck added Ajani Vengeant to his board, thus denying Unfried his fourth mana. Unfried answered with Sprouting Thrinax. Then Hauck went deep into the tank before deciding to keep Unfried's land tapped and to add Cunning Sparkmage to his board.

    Without a fifth land, Unfried chose to go for Ajani's throat despite the daunting Knight. His Putrid Leech got killed in the effort but Ajani went down to two counters. When Hauck played Stoneforge Mystic to search for Basilisk Collar, things started to look bad for Unfried. The Sparkmage / Collar combo assembled, he passed the turn. Unfried decided to ignore the combo for the time being, killing Ajana with Blightning instead. The obligatory end-of-turn ping didn't go to his creatures anyway as Thrinaxes don't make for great targets. Ajani dead, Unfried could finally play Bloodbraid Elf and even cascaded into Maelstrom Pulse. He destroyed the Basilisk Collar and, this time, Hauck eliminated one of the Thrinaxes in response.

    As it turned out, Hauck's Naya deck was not so straight Naya, splashing for the infamous Sovereigns of Lost Alara one-card combo. A Vengevine thus crashed into Unfried for 15 points of damage. The Jund player had the Terminate for the Eldrazi-Vine and succeeded in eliminating the threat as Knight of the Reliquary was busy digging for blue mana. But as the players knew their opponent's decklists Unfried too knew that Hauck had another Eldrazi Conscription in his deck. His only hope was that Hauck had already drawn the other Conscription, but unfortunately for Unfried that was not the case.

    Unfried 0 – 1 Hauck

    Unfried sideboarded:

    -4 Blightning

    -4 Putrid Leech

    -2 Obstinate Baloth

    +3 Basilisk Collar

    +4 Cunning Sparkmage

    +3 Doom Blade

    This time, Unfried was on the play, but Hauck had the first play, a Noble Hierarch which was taken down by Lightning. Unfried then played Cunning Sparkmage, but that got Celestial Purged. Short on mana, Unfried had to say "go" once again. Hauck then put Lotus Cobra and Knight of the Reliquary onto the battlefield. While the Knight vanished in the Maelstrom, a Vengevine joined the Cobra to attack Unfried. Finally finding his fourth mana, Unfried played Bloodbraid Elf and cascaded into Doom Blade. The Cobra was sent packing and a turn later a newly played Linvala, Keeper of Silence met the same fate.

    Hauck tried to put pressure on Unfried with Vengevine and Raging Ravine, but a lightning struck the land and the Vengevine died to the blocking Bloodbraid Elf. A Fauna Shaman alone was not enough to bring the Elemental back and now it was Unfried that put pressure on his opponent and even added a Siege-Gang Commander to the mix. However, a turn later, Hauck found yet another Bloodbraid Elf, cascaded into Noble Hierarch, and brought back Vengevine.

    Unfried was a bit more fortunate with his cascade as he Bituminous Blasted into Lightning Bolt, killing all of Hauck's capable blockers. Now on 4 life, Hauck folded to the invading Siege-Gang.

    Unfried 1 – 1 Hauck

    Christian Hauck

    One more game Hauck began with Noble Hierarch. Lotus Cobra and Fauna Shaman showed up as well, and one turn later Bloodbraid Elf. A swift start that Unfried could slow only by shooting down the Shaman. Before any real damage was done, Unfried send a Sprouting Thrinax on guard duty. His opponent didn't have Celestial Purge this time, but played Dauntless Escort. The Thrinax died anyway, but by blocking an attacking Raging Ravine. Unfried then played Basilisk Collar and equipped a token. When Hauck managed to hard-cast an Eldrazi Conscription, Unfried's seemed doomed anyway. Adding insult to injury, his opponent played Elspeth to really seal the deal.

    Unfried 1 – 2 Hauck

    And again it was Fauna Shaman's turn to arrive first onto the battlefield. Termination was his fate and Unfried put a Thrinax onto the battlefield. Hauck had Knight of the Reliquary which was a only 3/3, but Unfried had no solution for that one anyway. Instead he played Cunning Sparkmage, while missing his fourth land drop. His opponent went for Fauna Shaman again, but Unfried had his fourth land and could play Bloodbraid Elf and shoot the Shaman. Knight of the Reliquary dug up a Sejiri Steppe to save it. Apparently grateful the Shaman found a Bloodbraid Elf and that one in turn cascaded into another Knight of the Reliquary. Full circle. Elves traded and suddenly Hauck had very respectable board to Unfried's lone Cunning Sparkmage.

    Unfried summoned a Bloodbraid Elf himself and cascaded into Cunning Sparkmage. The duo took care of the Fauna Shaman, but the opposing pair of 7/7 Knights looked as if they would cause trouble soon. In turn Hauck created another Bloodbraid Elf and Celestial Purged his opponent's Bloodbraid Elf via cascade. Unfried played Master of the Wild Hunt to help his defense, but Hauck had even more Bloodbraid Elf. Stoically Unfried tried to hold up his defense as best as possible. Hauck managed to rip even his fourth Elf, but between chumpblocking and shooting Bloodbraid Elves with his Sparkmages, Unfried somehow still managed to squeeze in some damage with his Raging Ravine.

    The next combat saw a Knight going down to Doom Blade, while the other one was blocked by Cunning Sparkmage. This time Unfried ripped Maelstrom Pulse to take down the remaining Knight. And suddenly things looked bad for Hauck.

    I honestly had punched in "that seals the deal" three times, but now Unfried attacked with Raging Ravine and Hauck had to decide whether to chumpblock with his newly summoned Fauna Shaman or go to 3. He decided to take the hit and Unfried announced "Tot!", the German word for "dead". Lightning Bolt took an epic game for Unfried that seemed to be over for turns running.

    Unfried 2 – 2 Hauck

    Jörg Unfried

    The final game began with no plays from Hauck for the first three turns. Unfried had Basilisk Collar and Cunning Sparkmage assembled by that time. Eventually Hauck put a Vengevine onto the battlefield, attacking. Unfried only equipped the mage and gave the turn back. What happened next seemed... strange. Hauck played Bloodbraid Elf, trying to go through the killing machine despite having Linvala, Keeper of Silence in his hand since the beginning of the game. He found Knight of the Reliquary that way, but the Knight died to Terminate. The next Bloodbraid Elf, having found only a Noble Hierarch, was eliminated by the Sparkmage assassin as was his twin before. A turn later the Vengevine went down, too. Now Hauck played Linvala and Knight of the Reliquary, but Unfried had Doom Blade for the Angel and Maelstrom Pulse for the Knight and quickly the board was wiped clean again.

    Unfried finally played another creature, a Sprouting Thrinax. Hauck found one more Vengevine and both Elementals fell in combat, one blocked, one sniped. An Obstinate Baloth was able to recover them both, though. The next turn saw Baloth, two Vengevines, and Raging Ravine attacking, but the land was struck by lightning, the Baloth assassinated, and the Vengevines ran into Saproling tokens. Meanwhile, a second Cunning Sparkmage took down the mana critters. Even as Hauck Celestial Purged one of the Sparkmages, a third one entered the battlefield. Then both players took a moment to review Hauck's graveyard. It was a massacre. Eventually, Unfried began the counterattack. And when he played Siege-Gang Commander, the game soon was over.

    Unfried 3 – 2 Hauck

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