Event_Coverage

Hometown Hero Takes the Gold

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Congratulations to Lino Burgold the Grand Prix Hannover Champion! Local boy Burgold was the only German player in the top eight, but with his Elves deck he pulled off a trick reminiscent of Pro Tour Berlin, in defeating all comers on his way to the top. Kenny Oberg was on for a repeat of Berlin also, having demolished the Swiss portion of the competition, but unfortunately for him could do no better than he did there, losing out in the Quarter Finals. The final match saw the raider from America Gaudenis Vidugiris taken down in a quick pair of games.

While Elves hasn’t performed massively well in many PTQs, it turns out that on any given Sunday, with the right pilot it can still be a force to be reckoned with. Thanks for reading the coverage, and congratulations again to Lino Burgold, this weekend’s champion!


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Burgold, Lino [DEU]   Burgold, Lino 2-1        
8 Posolda, Ondra [CZE]   Burgold, Lino 2-0
       
4 Oberg, Kenny [SWE]   Bauer, Karim 2-0   Burgold, Lino 2-0
5 Bauer, Karim [AUT]    
       
2 Vidugiris, Gaudenis [USA]   Vidugiris, Gaudenis 2-1
7 Summersberger, Helmut [AUT]   Vidugiris, Gaudenis 2-1
       
3 Kraft, Lukas [CZE]   Kraft, Lukas 2-0
6 Vieren, Pascal [BEL]    

EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Finals
    Gaudenis Vidugiris vs Lino Burgold

  • by Tobias Henke
    Semifinals
    Gaudenis Vidugiris vs. Lukas Kraft

  • by Rich Hagon
    Podcast: Going for Gold

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Semifinals
    Karim Bauer vs Lino Burgold

  • by Tim Willoughby
    Quarterfinals
    Gaudenis Vidugiris vs Helmut Summersberger

  • by Tobias Henke
    Quarterfinals
    Kenny Öberg vs. Karim Bauer

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8: Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8: Player Profiles


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Coverage: Check out our exciting coverage of GP Hanover: Day 2!

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 2 Country Breakdown

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 2 Playerlist

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Coverage: Check out our exciting coverage of GP Hanover: Day 1!

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

 1.  Burgold, Lino [DEU]
 2.  Vidugiris, Gaudenis [USA]
 3.  Kraft, Lukas [CZE]
 4.  Bauer, Karim [AUT]
 5.  Oberg, Kenny [SWE]
 6.  Vieren, Pascal [BEL]
 7.  Summersberger, Helmut [AUT]
 8.  Posolda, Ondra [CZE]
Pairings Results Standings
Final

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Blue Bracket
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Green Bracket
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  • Top 8: Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Lino Burgold

    Name:Lino Burgold
    Age: 17
    Home town/country: Freiburg
    Occupation: Student

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    Day 2 at GP Rotterdam

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Elves - because it’s the most complicated deck and I didn’t test!

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 1 - 2

    What is your best matchup?
    Don’t know - but it seemed to work against everything... Naya maybe. The field?

    What is your worst matchup?
    Tezzerator. Faeries?

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    After round 3 I had played more games with the deck in the tournament than before it.


    Gaudenis Vidugiris

    Name: Gaudenis Vidugiris
    Age: 24
    Home town/country: Madison, WI / Lithuania
    Occupation: Law Student

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    GP Indy - 2nd

    Previous greatest non-Magic accomplishment:
    Got a sweet job in NYC for fall.

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Previous Level Blue - Blue cards and Tarmogoyfs. I didn’t like anything else, and this had Meloku, Goyf x4 and Cryptic Command x4.

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 1 - 2

    What is your best matchup?
    Don’t know - bad players

    What is your worst matchup?
    Don’t know - good players

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    I tested with Ben Rassmussen and Sam Black, then John Treveranus (local Madison player) sat down with a blue deck. It had Meloku in it! I was in love.


    Lukas Kraft

    Name:Lukas Kraft
    Age: 25
    Home town/country: Prague, Czech Republic
    Occupation: Controlling Manager

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    I defeated Peti Kubus

    Previous greatest non-Magic accomplishment:
    Common Carp (33 pounds)

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Rock Loam - because my friend gave me this deck

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 1 - 2

    What is your best matchup?
    Don’t know.

    What is your worst matchup?
    Faeries

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    The deck list is from the internet and I didn’t test much.


    Kenny Öberg

    Name:Kenny Öberg
    Age: 24
    Home town/country: Gothenburg, Sweden
    Occupation: Workaholic

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    PT Berlin Top 8

    Previous greatest non-Magic accomplishment:
    Master of Science in Software Engineering

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    The Tezzerator - I know the deck well and I think it is really good.

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 2 - 1

    What is your best matchup?
    TEPS and Faeries

    What is your worst matchup?
    Tron

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    I came up with the idea of playing Tezzeret, the Seeker in Extended and tuned the deck with the other swedish players for PT Berlin. My practice for GP Hannover was three hours last Thursday night. I didn’t know that I could play in the GP until a week ago :-)


    Karim Bauer

    Name:Karim Bauer
    Age: 17
    Home town/country: Salzburg, Austria
    Occupation: Student

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    None. I won an 8 man GP trial (for Hannover)!

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    GBW Loam

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 2 - 1

    What is your best matchup?
    With my deck everything can be a good matchup.

    What is your worst matchup?
    Affinity, Monoblue Mill

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    I built the deck myself, then Carlo Mazzurco and Florian Pils (who won a PTQ in Munich with the deck) improved the list and gave me some great ideas. I tested with Thomas Holzinger, Marc Mühlbock, David Lixl and Helmut Summersberger at Spielraum Salzburg (come visit!).


    Pascal Vieren

    Name:Pascal Vieren
    Age: 20
    Home town/country: Oostduinkerke, Belgium
    Occupation: Student

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    Belgian National Champion

    Previous greatest non-Magic accomplishment:
    Learning how to tie my shoelaces.

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Elves - it’s the best deck in the format and I’ve been playing it since PT Berlin.

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 2 - 1

    What is your best matchup?
    Depending on the hate every matchup can be good

    What is your worst matchup?
    Decks with Rule of Law (or something equally annoying)

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    I made the deck for PT Berlin together with the other Belgian players. I tested a lot against my brother Peter.


    Helmut Summersberger

    Name:Helmut Summersberger
    Age: 30
    Home town/country: Salzburg, Austria

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    Winner of 2 GPs

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Faeries

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 0 - 4

    What is your best matchup?
    Burn

    What is your worst matchup?
    Bant

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    Tested with Karim Bauer


    Ondres Posolda

    Name: Ondres Posolda
    Age: 23
    Home town/country: Prague, Czech Republic
    Occupation: DJ

    Previous greatest Magic accomplishment:
    Nothing really significant. (I did not defeat Peti Kudus)

    Previous greatest non-Magic accomplishment:
    My DJ career (I just started :-))

    What deck did you play this weekend and why?
    Naya Zoo - it’s the deck I’m the most familiar with (for this season). Oh - and of course it’s incredibly good!

    What was your record coming into top 8?
    12 - 2 - 1

    What is your best matchup?
    Everything - because the deck is HELL!

    What is your worst matchup?
    The mirror (of course)

    Where did your deck come from/who did you work with to test for this Grand Prix?
    Credit goes to Stanislav Citka and the group of czech players around him. Thank you dude, you rock!



     
  • Top 8: Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Ondra Posolda
    2009 Grand Prix Hanover - Top 8



     
  • Quarterfinals – Kenny Öberg vs. Karim Bauer
    by Tobias Henke
  • We’re off to single elimination now. Two players enter the fray, one leaves. (Actually, two leave, but only one advances.) The combatants for this quarter final are Kenny Öberg from Sweden, playing his trademark Tezzerator deck, matched-up against Austrian Karim Bauer, running Loam Rock.

    Game 1 began with a mulligan from Öberg and a Thoughtseize from Bauer. That revealed Tezzeret the Seeker, a land, Chrome Mox, Trinket Mage, and Thirst for Knowledge. The Mage went to the bin.

    Öberg imprinted Tezzeret into the Mox to have turn-two Thirst for Knowledge available. When Bauer cast Raven’s Crime on his next turn, Öberg responded with the card drawing as expected; unexpectedly though he had to discard two cards! Spell Snare and Vendilion Clique went to the graveyard and were joined by yet another Tezzeret as well as Academy Ruins, when Bauer retraced the discard spell. No cards left in hand on turn two! Things really were looking dim for Öberg.

    He did have another Academy Ruins, while Bauer summoned Knight of the Reliquary for some major beatings. One turn (of the Knight to the right) later Öberg went to 10.

    Öberg passed without play and went to four. Bauer had Life from the Loam and retraced Raven’s Crime once more, to which Öberg responded with Condescend, just for the scrying. Öberg kept Cryptic Command and Thirst for Knowledge on top of his library. The Command bought another turn, and Thirst for Knowledge might have found Ensnaring Bridge. Apart from that there was not much he could do... and as his deck did not comply with these rather hefty requirements, Öberg quickly shuffled up for Game 2.

    Kenny Öberg 0 – 1 Karim Bauer

    The second game started much worse for the Austrian player, who didn’t have a play on turn one, while Öberg was blazingly fast, once again thanks to Chrome Mox. In Bauer’s second turn’s draw step, Vendilion Clique came down and took Kitchen Finks out of a hand that contained another copy of Kitchen Finks, Pithing Needle, Knight of the Reliquary and lands...

    Bauer put down Pithing Needle on Tormod’s Crypt and passed right back, Öberg attacked and seemed considerably more happy to pass his turn. Knight of the Reliquary entered play on Bauer’s side uncontested, while Öberg’s second attack brought Bauer to 10. The Knight grew to 5/5 with the help of another Windswept Heath, but that meant Bauer would be in danger of dying to Öberg’s 3/1 attacker within three turns. With both players apparently sporting a rather weak draw, the race was on.

    The race turned into an increasingly one-sided affair, when Bauer added another Knight to his board. Öberg now stayed behind with his faerie and made the rather unusual choice of casting Chalice of the Void for three to at least keep the remaining Kitchen Finks in Bauer’s hand at bay...

    Öberg accumulated more and more lands. He put down Future Sight in a last-ditch effort, slowly turned over the top card of his library... It didn’t provide an answer for the imminent 5/5 beats, and he extended his hand in concession.

    Kenny Öberg 0 – 2 Karim Bauer



     
  • Quarterfinals – Gaudenis Vidugiris vs Helmut Summersberger
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Coming into this top 8, Gaudenis Vidugiris and Helmut Summersberger are both big names to contend with (and not just from a typing standpoint). Vidugiris is a Madison player (albeit originally from Lithuania) who is on a big spring break trip that will see him in Singapore next weekend. He finished second in GP Indianapolis and would dearly love to go one better this weekend. Helmut Summersberger is the perennial Austrian success at GPs and Pro Tours all over the world. Each came to the table with their own blue control deck using Tarmogoyfs, but it would be a slightly unusual mirror, as Summersberger leans on Spellstutter Sprite and Riptide Laboratory, making him more classically Faeries, while Vidugiris has the Vedalken Shackles and Cryptic Commands of some level or other of Next Level Blue.

    Both players kept their openers, and each had an Ancestral Vision to suspend on turn one, setting up for a real battle around 4 turns later, when the big card drawing would finally make it as far as the stack. Summersberger had a turn two Tarmogoyf, but the powerful two drop was hit by a Mana Leak, keeping the board clear. Vidugiris had no play for his turn beyond a tapped Breeding Pool, and had to watch on as Umezawa’s Jitte hit play for Summersberger the very next turn.

    Gaudenis suspended a second Ancestral Vision, played a land and passed. With Gaudenis’ first Ancestral Vision ready to happen the next turn, Summersberger didn’t play anything for his turn, preferring to keep mana up to fight over the spell. A Spellstutter Sprite was his answer, and Vidugiris, after a little thought, played Cryptic Command as a Dismiss on the faerie. This did tap him out, but meant that his card drawing worked. There was no fight possible now for Summersberger’s Ancestral Vision, meaning that for the time being at least, no player had a big advantage in cards beyond the extra one that Vidugiris had netted from his Command.

    Summersberger didn’t have big spells for his turn, but did animate a Mutavault, give it Umezawa’s Jitte, and swing. With counters on his Jitte, but only Breeding Pool untapped, Summersberger passed. A Tarmogoyf came from Vidugiris, which met a Spell Snare. After some thought, Vidugiris played Cryptic Command to force through his Tarmogoyf and bounce Umezawa’s Jitte. Summersberger cashed in the counters on his Jitte for some life, and picked up the sword.

    The very next turn Summersberger used Engineered Explosives to kill Tarmogoyf, before replaying his legendary equipment. The game looked tight at this point, but had every likelihood of swinging in Vidugiris’ favour if he could resolve a second Ancestral Vision. The Austrian’s plan against this? He suspended what was the fourth Ancestral Vision of the match. When Gaudenis’ second copy came off suspend, he had a Spellstutter Sprite, which prompted another Cryptic Command to counter Spellstutter Sprite and draw a card.

    Drawing 5 cards in a single turn tends to prove decisive in control mirrors, and it seemed that Vidugiris was happy to go for some more, casting first Vedalken Shackles, before suspending another draw 3. Summersberger had the end of turn Repeal for the artefact, but still had cause to worry. He decided to be the beatdown on his turn, running in for a second time with Mutavault swinging a Jitte. He then suspended another Ancestral Vision, making the count 6 of them in Game 1 thus far.

    Gaudenis on his turn played that Vedalken Shackles again. As many blue mirrors can be, the match had become something of a staring contest. Over Gaudenis’ shoulder, Sam Black and Brian Kowal were smiling. It soon became clear why, as Vidugiris cast Meloku. This was a threat which the group of Madison players had identified as one that was hard on many faeries decks if it resolved. A Mana Leak came from Summersberger, but Spell Snare made sure it would do just that. Even with Umezawa’s Jitte holding a pair of counters, that Meloku seemed capable of making the entire pace of the match change.

    Mutavault picked up an Umezawa’s Jitte, but Gaudenis just tapped Vedalken Shackles, forcing Summersberger to bounce his own land with Riptide Laboratory. Gaudenis made one illusion token, such that on his turn he could attack in the air for three. On Helmut’s turn, he resolved Ancestral Visions, meaning that there were only two left on suspend, one for each player, each only a turn away.

    At the end of that turn, Gaudenis tried for a Vendilion Clique. This met the first Cryptic Command from Summersberger of the match. Vidugiris turned three more lands into illusions at the end of turn, and in his upkeep still had the mana ready to be able to Mana Leak the Cryptic Command that came from Summersberger in his upkeep when Ancestral Vision came off suspend. Attacks in the air from Vidugiris’ tokens took Summersberger to 10. He did get to resolve Ancestral Vision without incident, but ultimately drew nothing of value off it, and scooped up his cards.

    Helmut Summersberger 0 – 1 Gaudenis Vidugiris

    In the second game Summersberger would be on the play, and looked carefully at his hand before keeping. Vidugiris was certainly not one to slowroll the mulligan, and started shuffling up immediately, having deemed his seven not good enough.

    For Game 2 neither player had an Ancestral Vision, but more than that, Summersberger seemed inclined to be the beatdown, leading with a Mutavault to give himself the potential to start attacking from turn two. He played a Tarmogoyf on the second turn, and got to crack in for one with it, as there was no response from Vidugiris. This control match didn’t feel quite the same as the first. There wasn’t card drawing, just 1/2 creatures for 2, and a variety of fetchlands. Vidugiris played his own ½, only to see it hit by Spell Snare. Suddenly all Tarmogoyfs were 3/4, something that probably meant more to Summersberger than to Vidugiris. A Spellstutter Sprite joined Summersberger’s team, and a Mana Leak kept Meloku from joining that of Madison player Vidugiris. Vidugiris was soon in single digits. On the next attack, Vidugiris tried to effectively RepulseTarmogoyf using Cryptic Command. This worked, but Vidugiris wasn’t able to follow up with anything, preferring to sit back with answers. He let an end of turn Spellstutter Sprite join the party after a little thought, and went to 1 off the attacks from the pair of Sprites still on the board.

    At the end of turn, Vidugiris used Cryptic Command to bounce Mutavault and draw him a card. Summersberger was only on 4 land to Vidugiris’ 8, and if Vidugiris could deal with the threats on board, he had sufficient lands to start overpowering Summersberger with spells.

    Vidugiris tried to use Vendilion Clique at the end of turn, but a third Spellstutter Sprite was enough to counter it. There were now 3 creatures that could attack for lethal on Summersberger’s side of the board. In Summersberger’s upkeep, Vidugiris used Cryptic Command to tap down Summersberger’s team and draw a card. The Austrian just played Mutavault for his turn and passed. Vidugiris played a Tarmogoyf, which met Spell Snare from Summersberger, and Vidugiris was all out of gas. He scooped up his cards, it was on to a decider.

    Helmut Summersberger 1 – 1 Gaudenis Vidugiris

    For one player, this would be the final game of the tournament. Gaudenis Vidugiris was on the play, and kept his hand. So did Summersberger, but it was only he who had a turn on Ancestral Visions. Vidugiris had a different plan, using the fact that Summersberger was tapped out to allow him to resolve Tarmogoyf. The tapping out continued, with Summersberger casting Umezawa’s Jitte. At this point there were no cards in the graveyard, making Tarmogoyf fairly unimpressive. Vidugiris was the first to crack a fetchland, to get his monster a little bit juiced, and had a Vendilion Clique which saw 2 Spellstutter Sprite, Mana Leak, Steam Vents and Mutavault in his opponent’s hand. He was content to leave that hand as it was, and attacked for one with his Tarmogoyf.

    Summersberger, with a good equip to use, was happy to put out one of those Spellstutter Sprites as just a warm body, ready to hold a sword. After a little thinking, Gaudenis attacked with his team, and played a second Tarmogoyf. Summersberger attacked in with his Spellstutter Sprite, which had been equipped with Umezawa’s Jitte. Like lightning, Vidugiris untapped his Vendilion Clique with an innocuous looking Minamo, School at the Water’s Edge, and blocked. The two faeries traded, meaning that his Tarmogoyfs would be safe from Umezawa’s Jitte just before it received its counters, as with the death of the creatures they immediately became 2/3 in size. Summersberger did have a Tarmogoyf to follow up with though, so those counters were far from useless.

    Gaudenis had a Threads of Disloyalty to garner Helmut’s Tarmogoyf, putting him at a distinct Tarmogoyf advantage. This did mean he was allowing Summersberger’s Ancestral Vision to resolve, but on the board suddenly put him in good shape. A Venser bounced the stolen Tarmogoyf, but tapped out Summersberger, and meant that suddenly there was an enchantment in the graveyard, to make those Tarmogoyfs that much bigger. Vidugiris attacked in with his pair of Tarmogoyfs, forcing Umezawa’s Jitte to start playing at life gain. By removing one counter, Summersberger stayed on two, but would need to find an answer very fast as there were certainly not enough counters to weather a second attack.

    Summersberger equipped the Jitte to Venser and attacked, before playing a Tarmogoyf of his own. This resolved just fine, and Vidugiris tried another Threads of Disloyalty. A Mana Leak came from Summersberger, but there was a Condescend back to force it through. Summersberger extended his hand. It was all over.

    Gaudenis Vidugiris wins 2 – 1 in an epic match.



     
  • Semifinals – Karim Bauer vs Lino Burgold
    by Tim Willoughby
  • While the first roll from Karim Bauer was easily matched by Lino Burgold, who had finished top in the swiss portion of Grand Prix Hannover, the second, of 11 on a 12 sided die was too much for Burgold to match. This was a popular match amongst the crowd, with an Austrian and a German battling it out to see who would go on to the final of a German Grand Prix.

    The Austrian Bauer took a mulligan, and looked serious as he shuffled his deck. There were no such mulligans from Burgold, but a turn one Raven’s Crime from Bauer took a Summoner’s Pact out of the equation for Burgold, and a Darkblast killed off Llanowar Elves.

    Bauer was happy to keep using Darkblast for value, and dredged it to kill an Elvish Visionary before playing Tarmogoyf. That Tarmogoyf would be of high value if the dredging continued, with Bauer’s graveyard ending up well stocked. Burgold played a Wirewood Hivemaster, and wasn’t overly happy to see Life From the Loam get dredged when Darkblast came up. He had a Pendelhaven to bolster his team, but a Ghost Quarter from Bauer was enough to send that packing, making life tricky for Burgold, who simply could not stick a creature on the board.

    Now Bauer’s Life From the Loam engine was running. He dredged it and cast it to get back a full three lands, meaning his Raven’s Crime would be all the better. Raven’s Crime first hit Glimpse of Nature, and it seemed likely that there would be a great many to come.

    Burgold was at single digits following the next Tarmogoyf attack, making it go for broke time. He cast Glimpse of Nature followed by Nettle Sentinel. Next up, a Heritage Druid. A Summoner’s Pact found him another Nettel Sentinel. Bauer was tapped out and had to simply nod to all of this. Elvish Visionary came next, and then Heritage Druid. Finally, the third Nettle Sentinel. Mana would no longer be a great problem, assuming it was green mana required. Burgold cast Chord of Calling for Birchlore Rangers. Suddenly coloured mana of any variety didn’t look a great concern. Mirror Entity came along. Finally, the piece of the puzzle that was Wirewood Symbiote. Burgold had a loop available to him now to generate a lot of mana and draw his deck, by using Mirror Entity to turn everything into an Elf, bouncing Wirewood Symbiote and replaying it. He didn’t go through this route though, instead casting Regal Force to draw a boatload of cards.

    All of Burgold’s creatures had summoning sickness, so the only real question at this point was how he was going to kill. Passing the turn and giving Bauer the opportunity to do something seemed less than ideal, though potentially plenty good enough. By now Burgold was playing out elves for fun. He cast Thoughtseize to check that the path was well and truly clear for whatever his plan might have been. For the first time in all these operations Burgold didn’t seem 100% sure on where he was going with his plan himself. Burgold passed the turn, fingers well and truly crossed that nothing calamitous lay on the top of his opponent’s deck. Bauer still had one way left of winning the game.

    When it got back to Burgolds turn, and he remembered to pay for his Summoner’s Pact, Bauer scooped up his cards. On to Game 2.

    Karim Bauer 0 – 1 Lino Burgold

    As it turns out, game 2 never quite got started. Each player sideboarded, shuffled and presented, at which point Karim Bauer was issued a game loss for insufficient randomization. Specifically, Bauer was witnessed shuffling his deck face up / towards him as the only shuffling operations he performed aside from performing pile shuffles.

    The DCI does not view shuffling face up as sufficient randomization, as there will be some known information about the location of a card or cards in the deck. Pile shuffling does not count as randomization, as it is changing the order of the deck in a non-random fashion, such that the position of an individual card could at the end be known if it were known at the start. Put the two together, and in total neither of Bauer’s shuffling operations were creating an appropriately randomized deck. The game loss did not carry with it any suggestion of cheating, but Head Judge Seamus Campbell was quick to point out that these bad shuffling habits can only ever lead to game losses and should be avoided at all costs.

    Lino Burgold wins an unorthodox 2 – 0.



     
  • Podcast: Going for Gold
    by Rich Hagon
  • Top 8 time here at Hannover, and a varied field featuring half a dozen deck archetypes and players from half a dozen countries have come to battle it out in the single elimination Rounds. Austria, Germany, Elves and Loam have double chances, but who will put three wins together to secure the title? More than an hour of audio comes to you direct from the Feature Match area.

    Click Here to Download


     
  • Semifinals: Gaudenis Vidugiris vs. Lukas Kraft
    by Tobias Henke
  • The penultimate match: only one player advances to the final, and just possibly to the title and trophy and all the fame associated with the term “champion”. Kraft won the die-roll and started things off with a turn-one Thoughtseize, taking Ancestral Vision and leaving Vidugiris with Spell Snare, Vedalken Shackles, Mana Leak, and a couple of lands.

    Kraft had Life from the Loam on turn two to retrieve his Polluted Delta, and its dredge ability milled Barren Moor to get things rolling. Spell Snare stopped the sorcery for now, but not for long. Meanwhile Vidugiris got his own card advantage going by suspending Ancestral Vision. Mana Leak once again delayed the Life from the Loam.

    Next Vidugiris cast Vedalken Shackles, which gave Kraft an opening to resolve Phyrexian Arena. Vidugiris was thoroughly out of gas now. When Kraft finally found Raven’s Crime, Vidugiris had only one card to be discarded anyway.

    Then again, Ancestral Vision was due to unsuspend and did so, which gave Vidugiris a new grip of cards. He cast Tarmogoyf and put another land into play. That left him with two cards which Kraft got rid of with the help of Raven’s Crime, but not without Vidugiris’s Cryptic Command returning Phyrexian Arena. Path to Exile took care of the Tamogoyf.

    Vidugiris had yet another land, but even his six Islands along with Vedalken Shackles were no match for Knight of the Reliquary, which finished him off in one attack for 15 points of damage.

    Gaudenis Vidugiris 0 – 1 Lukas Kraft

    Vidugiris played first and kept a fine hand of two Ancestral Visions, Meloku the Clouded Mirror, Relic of Progenitus and assorted lands. He suspended the Vision; Kraft on the other side once again had Thoughtseize on turn one, nicking Relic of Progenitus.

    Another Thoughtseize left Vidugiris with no spells in hand, but two Ancestral Visions waiting in the suspension line. Mutavault went in for two... together with one fetch land into Godless Shrine and the two Thoughtseizes that brought Kraft down to 11 already!

    Kitchen Finks came to the rescue and turn four saw Life from the Loam getting into gear. Vidugiris drew the cards his Ancestors had left for him in the suspend zone and went on to play Tarmogoyf and Vedalken Shackles, completely tapping out in the process. Kraft dredged and cast Life from the Loam, cycled some lands, and took out Tarmogoyf with Path to Exile.

    Vidugiris had replacements ready, though. Down came another Tarmogoyf and in Kraft’s draw step Vendilion Clique, too. Vidugiris winced at the sight of his opponent’s cards. He planned to take away Life from the Loam, but on second thoughts, settled for Crime // Punishment.

    Yet another Path to Exile took care of Tarmogoyf and Raven’s Crime started its dirty work on Vidugiris’s hand. However, Kitchen Finks got shackled, and now Vidugiris was on the offense. Mutavault and the stolen Finks took Kraft to five and threatened a lethal attack on the very next turn. More dredging and increasingly frantic cycling ensued... up to that point where it became clear he had no out left. He just sat and watched as Vidugiris applied the final points of damage.

    Gaudenis Vidugiris 1 – 1 Lukas Kraft

    For once, both players went without play on turn one, although Kraft had Raven’s Crime on turn two. To get full value out of the little black sorcery he desperately needed Life from the Loam, but had to do without for now.

    He did have Thoughtseize, though, to which Vidugiris responded with Vendilion Clique, which in turn Kraft answered with Darkblast. Kraft revealed a hand of Krosan Grip, Worm Harvest, and Kitchen Finks and was allowed to keep all of them, whereas Vidugiris lost Cryptic Command. Once again, Mutavault ventured into the red zone to put Kraft at 15.

    Kraft passed the turn back without play; Vidugiris suspended Ancestral Vision. Kraft played Ghost Quarter (land number five), and passed the turn again. Vidugiris suspended another Ancestral Vision, then countered Worm Harvest with Mana Leak.

    Next up was Crime (of Crime // Punishment) on Vidugiris’s Vendilion Clique. The Clique came down on the Loam player’s side (an unusual sight), and revealed a hand of two more Vendilion Cliques and Mana Leak. Kraft chose to put one of the Cliques on the bottom of Vidugiris’s library, and the remaining two traded.

    Now the game was back to business as usual with both players trying to get ahead on cards. Vidugiris was crucially the first to draw his extra cards with Ancestral Vision, which enabled him to stop the Life from the Loam Kraft drew... at least the first time around. Then the second Ancestral Vision netted him even more cards and he went for Meloku the Clouded Mirror. Life from the Loam was once again stopped, this time with Flashfreeze, but that left Meloku unprotected. The dangerous legend promptly caught another Path to Exile, leaving one lonely token behind.

    And then there came Relic of Progenitus. This left Kraft with two cards in hand and nothing else. No graveyard meant no Life from the Loam, no cycling, no Raven’s Crime, no business, while Vidugiri’s still had a full grip.

    Kraft never really got back into the game. Vedalken Shackles and Vendilion Clique took care of the technicalities, but Relic of Progenitus was the back-breaker this time.

    Gaudenis Vidugiris 2 – 1 Lukas Kraft



     
  • Finals: Gaudenis Vidugiris vs Lino Burgold
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Elves feel very at home in Germany it would appear. The finals of Berlin were all Elves, and while they have certainly seen a drop in popularity in the PTQ season as plans have been made against them, they have made it back to a finals here, under the command of Lino Burgold. If they are to have a lone opponent though, they could likely wish for easier than Gaudenis Vidugiris. The Madison Wisconsin resident is on a big Spring Break trip around the world with Sam Black and Brian Kowal, and has been tearing things up with his Some Level of Blue or Other deck. Next weekend he’ll be in Singapore, quite possibly again casting Meloku, the Clouded Mirror with a big smile on his face. It has worked for him so far in Europe.

    Gaudenis was on the play, and happy to keep a busty hand that allowed him to suspend an Ancestral vision on turn one. He saw Llanowar Elves and little more from his opponent from the first turn, and cast a Tarmogoyf on turn two. Against Elves, his start wasn’t quick. This was potentially a concern, but if Burgold stumbled, there was a threat plus card drawing to punish him with.

    Burgold played a Morph on turn two, while Vidugiris just suspended a second Ancestral Visions. The morph from Burgold was Birchlore Rangers, but while it sat there face down as a 2/2, it was holding off Tarmogoyf – no mean feat. Burgold played Nettle Sentinel and passed. Vidugiris didn’t even do that much. He let his suspend spells tick down, played a land and said go.

    Burgold started doing some math. Vidugiris face was a closed book, and the German player had to work out how best to try going for it. Could he wait? He left things until Vidugiris’ upkeep to play Chord of Calling for three. Vidugiris let this happen. Mirror Entity came down, suggesting that Burgold was looking to eke out a beatdown win rather than anything more spectacular.

    Vidugiris resolved his first Ancestral Visions. He had a little think, played a land and passed the turn. Burgold attacked in with Mirror Entity, Nettle Sentinel and the morph. Vidugiris flashed in Vendilion Clique, seeing a pair of Summoner’s Pact, and Heritage Druid. He took the druid. With two blockers now, Vidugiris elected to block only the Mirror Entity, using the Clique. Burgold made his team into 6/6’s and knocked Vidugiris down to 3. Things looked very bad for the American, but he stayed calm. He watched as Burgold played Summoner’s Pact for Wirewood Symbiote, waiting for the moment it was played to cast Mana Leak.

    Throughout Burgold’s declare attackers, Vidugiris was a wall of calm, in spite of a dangerous team coming his way. Burgold seemed almost surprised when the attack worked.

    Gaudenis Vidugiris 0 – 1 Lino Burgold

    The Elves were now a single game from taking their master and commander to a home turf victory against the invading American/Lithuanian force of Gaudenis Vidugiris.

    Vidugiris took a mulligan. His six card hand had no coloured mana sources, and he was forced to take another. The five only had one land in, but at least it was an Island. Gaudenis played it and looked on as Burgold played a Llanowar Elves. He had no land on the second turn, and played an Engineered Explosives for one. A Thoughtseize from Burgold compounded Vidugiris problems, taking Flash Freeze from a hand that only had a pair of Cryptic Command and a second Engineered Explosives as other options.

    Burgold’s start wasn’t the one to be playing against with five cards. He had a Wirewood Symbiote and Wirewood Hivemaster to quickly build an attack force with, before Gaudenis could even hit his second land.

    When Vidugiris did draw his land, a Steam Vents, he had a little think. He popped his explosives to clear things a little, though he couldn’t stop Wirewood Symbiote from bouncing one of the Llanowar Elves that was destined for the graveyard. Burgold had a Glimpse of Nature that let him rebuild well. It seemed likely that there was no way for Vidugiris to get back into the game, and this was only compounded by Burgold’s Chord of Calling for Mirror Entity.

    Even casting his Engineered Explosives for zero, and killing a swarm of insect tokens, Vidugiris would be dead to another mana source to pump the remainder of Burgold’s team. When that mana source came the following turn, Gaudenis scooped up his (two) cards.

    Congratulations to Lino Burgold, Grand Prix Hannover Champion 2009!

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