Four players who nobody had reckoned with make up the German National team. Bodo Rösner is an old-timer from Bremen, who fought his way from a 4-3 start right to the top. Rösner won 17 games straight between his last loss and the moment when he was National Champion. His final opponent was Dennis Johannsen, who is a semi-pro with a couple of Pro Tour appearances under his belt, but no successes on the big show yet.

Rösner carried an Angelfire deck to the Standard portion that he had built just before the tournament. He didn't like his chances and decided on the last minute-switch, which obviously served him well. The story of the Top 4, though, was Paul Borczyk, who had gone undefeated in draft without any preparation and piloted his way through the Standard portion with a green-black Tarmogoyf deck supported by a white splash. His decklist has only 3 Tarmogoyfs, in his own words, "because everybody else played four and I wanted to do something different".

The last member of the team is Tobias Gräfensteiner. He and his brother Daniel are part of the young group of competitive Germans who seek to eventually become the heirs of Kai, Marco and Dirk. Worlds in New York may just become the springboard for Gräfensteiner to reach a higher level (quite literally), but he has quite a long way to go before he could ever be considered the next Marco, let alone Kai.

Everybody is looking forward to Worlds with mixed feelings about what the team can do. But Dennis Johannsen, well on his way to become the team's joker, already gave out the team order: "Stay ahead of the Japanese!" If they can do that, German spectators have nothing to worry about.

Congratulations to Bodo Rösner the 2007 German National Champion!

top 8 bracket

Quaterfinals

(1) Bodo Rösner

(8) Sven Johnson

(4) Tobias Rasir

(5) Paul Borczyk

(2) Tobias Gräfensteiner

(7) Michael Müller

(3) Dennis Johannsen

(6) Thomas Koch

Semi-finals

Bodo Rösner, 3-0

Paul Borczyk, 3-2

Tobias Gräfensteiner. 3-0

Dennis Johannsen, 3-1

Finals

Bodo Rösner, 3-0

Dennis Johannsen, 3-2

Champion

Bodo Rösner, 3-0

EVENT COVERAGE

INFORMATION

 1.  Bodo Rösner
 2.  Dennis Johannsen
 3.  Tobias Gräfensteiner
 4.  Paul Borczyk
 5.  Tobias Rasir
 6.  Thomas Koch
 7.  Michael Müller
 8.  Sven Johnson

pairings, results, standings

Pairings

14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Results

14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Standings

14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

BLOG

Saturday, Sept 1: 8:42 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks

by Staff

Bodo Rösner

 

Tobias Gräfensteiner

 

Dennis Johannsen

 

Tobias Rasir

 

Paul Borczyk

 

Thomas Koch

 

Michael Müller

 

Sven Johnson


Top 8 Player profiles

 

Name: Sven Johnson
Age: 18
City: Schweinfurt
Occupation: Student
Number of German Nats played: 1
Qualified through: National Qualifier Hessen
Reason to chose his deck: "Rack, because it's just so convincing."
Testing procedure: drafting on MTGO, "some games with Lutz"
Constructed Record: 4-3
Limited Record: 6-1

 

Name: Paul Borczyk
Age: 20
City: Bielefeld
Occupation: unemployed
Number of German Nats played: 1
Qualified through: National Qualifier in Northrine-Westfalia
Reason to chose his deck: "Because I always play it."
Testing procedure: "half a day on Magic Online, and the Time Spiral prerelease."
Constructed Record: 3-3-1
Limited Record: 7-0

Name: Thomas Koch
Age: 28
City: Darmstadt
Occupation: Student
Number of German Nats played: 1
Qualified through: National Qualifier Baden-Württemberg
Reason to chose his deck: "Gruul."
Testing procedure: Koch tested with the gathering of Hessian players, the CMA, and did a number of Goldfish tests.
Constructed Record: 5-1-1
Limited Record: 5-2

Name: Michael Möller
Age: 35
City: Dortmund
Occupation: Student
Number of German Nats played: 7
Qualified through: Rating
Reason to chose his deck: "Gruul."
Testing procedure: "I chose the deck because Andreas Hügen said that W/U Martyr is good."
Constructed Record: 5-1-1
Limited Record: 5-2

Name: Dennis Johannsen
Age: 27
City: Hamburg
Occupation: -/-
Number of German Nats played: 9 (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006)
Qualified through: Rating
Reason to chose his deck: "TarmoRack, because it doesn't take too long to beat down with it. I wanted to avoid draws during the turnament."
Testing procedure: group testing in the Magic community in Hamburg
Constructed Record: 4-1-2
Limited Record: 6-1

Name: Tobias Rasir
Age: 29
City: Hannover
Occupation: Student
Number of German Nats played: 3
Qualified through: National Qualifier Lower Saxony
Reason to chose his deck: "A Beachhouse-Wish creation, which is awesome."
Testing procedure: online, and sessions with various regional groups:"
Constructed Record: 6-0-1
Limited Record: 4-3

Name: Tobias Gräfensteiner
Age: 19
City: Nuremberg
Occupation: WoW, Poker, Hartz 4 (unemployed)
Number of German Nats played: 3
Qualified through: Rating
Reason to chose his deck: none
Testing procedure: none
Constructed Record: 5-0-2
Limited Record: 5-2

Name: Bodo Rösner
Age: 23
City: Bremen
Occupation: Student
Number of German Nats played: 4
Qualified through: Rating
Reason to chose his deck: a last-minute switch: "I built it 22 hours before the tournament because I didn't like my previous choice."
Testing procedure: "I tested 3 days with Alexander Wechsel and Eric Winkler."
Constructed Record: 6-1
Limited Record: 5-2

Sunday, Sept 1: 12:20 p.m. - The Quarterfinal Round-Up

by Hanno Terbuyken

Pro player Jim Herold assists with the German coverage, watching the match with head judge Falko Görres.

I wish my eyes were a four-way split-screen with four pairs of hands. Then I could set each of them at a feature match table and write four parallel accounts of what happened. Alas, I cannot splinch myself, so here goes the two-eyed, ten-fingered walk-about round-up of the four quarterfinals. Prepare yourselves for a journey across four tables in one room!

The match between Tobias Gräfensteiner and Michael Müller was the first to finish a game. While Rösner and Johnson had just finished their pre-game procedure, Gräfensteiner was already one game up. By the seventh round, he had Michael Müller under Elemental-Shapeshifter lock and defended it with Remand and Rune Snag until he had the win in the bag.

Michael Müller 0 - 1 Tobias Gräfensteiner

Tobias Rasir followed suit, beating Paul Borczyk after his opponent mulliganed to five. Yesterday night's estimates had Bordzcyk beating Rasis after sideboarding, though, but we would see. Sven Johnson with his TarmoRack was still deep in combat with Bodo Rösner, and under the camera, Thomas Koch defeated Dennis Johannsen in the first game.

Tobias Rasir 1 - 0 Paul Borczyk
Dennis Johannsen 0 - 1 Thomas Koch

We jump in with Tobias Rasir and Paul Borczyk, pitting Top 8 rookie against Top 8 rookie in the second game of their match. Rasir lead 1-0. Borczyk had been the story of the day yesterday with his Top 8 finish from a status of nearly no preparation, but the crowd favorite was Rasir. Borczyk kicked things off with Ravenous Rats, making Rasir discard Teneb, the Harvester, and equipped the puny beater with Loxodon Warhammer. Castigate from Rasir revealed Crime // Punishment, Skeletal Vampire, and Swamp in Borczyk's hand. Rasir took the Crime away, and went for land with Edge of Autumn.

Rasir 15, Borczyk 22, that was the Magic of Loxodon Warhammer right there. Harmonize for Rasir gave him more options than just the Loxodon Hierarch in his hand. Borczyk failed to bring on more action. The difference between the players was visible: Rasir had crisp, precise play going on, keeping track of the gamestate in his head, and played more like in a chess match than Borczyk, who looked as if he felt out of place on the final tables.

Rasir used Wrath of God to clear away the Ravenous Rats and Birds of Paradise, and Faith's Fetters to incapacitate Borczyk's Hypnotic Specter. Loxodon Hierarch came down for Borczyk, Rasir decided on another Harmonize which brought him Putrefy to kill Hierarch. The third Harmonize of the game gave Rasir Troll Ascetic. Borczyk, though, used Crime to acquire the Teneb, the Harvester Rasir had discarded a while ago. Rasir's solution: playing Teneb himself, invoking the Legend rule and making them both die.

The next creature to appear on the board was Borczyk's Grave-Shell Scarab. But the toolbox Rasir had brought delivered: Glittering Wish for Angel of Despair took out the Scarab for a turn, even though Borczyk had Putrefy for the mighty sword-wielding lady. Despite all the fuss, nothing was really changing: Rasir: 15, Borczyk: 22. An attack with Troll Ascetic and playing Loxodon Hierarch let Rasis equalize the life totals.

Bordzyk put pressure on with Skeletal Vampire. Rasir attacked with Hierarch and Ascetic, prompting Borczyk: "Wrath in hand…" The hunch was good, as Rasir cleared the board and layed Troll Ascetic. "Three more Wishes, and two Angels, then I have made it", said Borczyk, declaring his primary targets to attack in Rasir's deck. Rasir simply pointed at Troll Ascetic. Borczyk: "Yeah, I can handle that one!"

"All in", said Rasir, and get Debtor's Knell with Glittering Wish. Looking at the Angel of Despair and two Tenebs in his 'yard, Rasir asked: "Do you have it?", meaning Borczyk's single Mortify. Borczyk drew it one turn later. Rasir's position had improved enough, though, that he could beat Borczyk to zero.

Tobias Rasir 2 - 0 Paul Borczyk

On the other tables, Dennis Johannsen had equaled out to one game each against Thomas Koch, and Tobias Gräfensteiner had taken a 2-0 lead over Michael Müller.

Michael Müller 0 - 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

Bodo Rösner versus Sven Johnson saw Rösner in the lead with a comfortable 2-0. The third game started with a Spell Snare from Rösner on Smallpox, Lightning Helix on Johnson's Tarmogoyf and two Dodecapods that Rösner put into play thanks to Johnson's discard spells. Two turns later, Rösner had Faith's Fetters for Johnson's Tombstalker, and that was the fastest game and match in the Top 8 so far.

Bodo Rösner 3 - 0 Sven Johnson

Both players talked about their sideboard strategies. Rösner had boarded out his Aeon Chroniclers and Firemane Angels, leaving in two Wraths, something that Johnson had not expected at all. Rösner's testing team yesterday night included Michael Diezel, who had provided valuable help.

While Rösner finished Johnson in that lightning-fast third game, Tobias Gräfensteiner also made short work of his opponent Michael Müller, securing a spot on the German National team with a clear 3-0 win.

Michael Müller 0 - 3 Tobias Gräfensteiner

Dennis Johannsen against Thomas Koch.

Moving on, Thomas Koch and Dennis Johannsen were still in their second game, with Johannsen leading 20-15 in life totals. Johannsen's board was Darkheart Sliver and Treetop Village plus two more lands, Koch had Scab-Clan Mauler, Treetop Village and two lands as well. Pithing Needle from Koch nailed Darkheart Sliver, but Johannsen was on top: Cruel Edict dispatched the Mauler, and the Rack threatened damage. Koch had Ancient Grudge.

"In all games, we have played just one Tarmogoyf among us", complained Johannsen. Both playera have four of the fighting machines. Emptying his graveyard, Johannsen had Tombstalker, with Koch stuck on 10 life. But the second Tarmogoyf of the match made an appearance on Koch's side, presenting a 4/5 body.

Laughs from the back table made me walk over. Tobias Rasir had just lost the third game: "He just Swampwalked me!" Paul Borczyk, on two life and facing two Angels of Despair, sacrificed Grave-Shell Scarab to draw a card, found Funeral Charm and pushed his Loxodon Hierarch through for just the four damage he needed to kill Rasir.

Tobias Rasir 2 - 1 Paul Borczyk

Meanwhile, on the other table, Dark Confidant and a Tarmogoyf of his own made an appeareance for Dennis Johannsen, sealing Game 3 for Johannsen.

Dennis Johannsen 2 - 1 Thomas Koch

In the Johannsen-Koch match, the players had just kicked off Game 4. But when Koch wanted to make his second land drop, he noticed that his Karplusan Forest was notably thicker. Another card had stuck itself on the back of the card from the very beginning. Even when he had counted out seven opening cards, nobody had noticed the card sticking to the back. When Koch noticed it, he immediately notified the table judge. Since an entire turn had passed, his accident was noted as the unintentional drawing of an extra card, leading to a game loss per the rules.

Koch didn't like it much, of course, but accepted his misfortune with grace. "It was a bad match-up anyway", he said, and congratulated Dennis Johannsen on his trip to New York. Even though the match was officially over, both players decided to keep playing just to see how it would have turned out.

Dennis Johannsen 3 - 1 Thomas Koch

Tobias Rasir shows the audience downstairs why he mulligans in his quarterfinal against Paul Borczyk.

Now there was just one match left to play, Rasir against Borczyk. Borczyk had just played Skeletal Vampire, getting two 10th Edition Wasp tokens as Bats from the head judge.

Borczyk: "Ah, Wasps!"
Head judge: "Didn't you kill a player in the draft with Brass Gnats?"
Rasir: "Yes. Me."

Skeletal Vampire made Wasp after Wasp, and Rasir went to four. He had no hand, his only out was Wrath. He flipped his top card onto the playing area, and you probably know what's coming just because this sentence is so long: Wrath of God. That was probably just the compensation for his mulligan to four in this game, though.

Borczyk recovered quickly with Hypnotic Specter, and attacked. Rasir was prepared to take it and go to two, but Borczyk stopped him. "Before damage goes on the stack: +2/-1 on the Hyppie!" Funeral Charm made the Specter grow big enough to bring Rasir down. "I can't believe you killed me with Funeral Charm again!"

Tobias Rasir 2 - 2 Paul Borczyk

And the two were off to a deciding fifth game. Rasir, on the play, shook his head: "I haven't taken this many mulligans in all fourteen rounds!", as he shuffled up to draw six. His next opener included enough land, apparently, but Borczyk got a closer look when he Castigated. Glittering Wish and double Troll Ascetic accompanied two lands, and Borczyk removed the Wish from the game.

Rasir played Troll Ascetic, which took Borczyk to 15. The second one joined the first against Borczyk's Hypnotic Specter, which discarded a Castigate from Rasir's hand. I got a good look at Borczyk's hand, which had Tarmogoyf, Extirpate, Hypnotic Specter, and two Crime // Punishment. Rasir was relentless. Two Troll Ascetics and Treetop Village took Borczyk to six. Borczyk shocked himself with Godless Shrine, getting enough mana for Punishment against the Trolls. But Treetop Village still took him to 1, and Rasir had Castigate. Hypnotic Specter, Crime // Punishment and Extirpate were left. Rasir was on a comfortable 16 life, with a 2/3 Tarmogoyf on Borczyk's side.

Rasir took the Punishment out of Borczyk's hand. Borczyk laid down Hypnotic Specter. Rasir had to push through just one damage, but his hand was empty - again, he had to rely on his topdecks. Borczyk Extirpated Troll Ascetic, and now his hand was empty as well.

All quarterfinals, neatly lined up.

Borczyk looked at his next card: Loxodon Hierarch. That helped him tremendously, and now Rasir faced death. Hierarch, Hyppie, and a 3/4 Tarmogoyf. Borczyk drew Funeral Charm - that would just be enough to kill Rasir! Borczyk slammed the Charm, forgetting that Rasir still had Treetop Village to block with. Rasir went to 4.

He flipped his next card… Plains! That was not enough.

Tobias Rasir 2 - 3 Paul Borczyk, on the back of three times Funeral Charm.

But to top things off, Rasir flipped the next card down, the one he didn't draw because of his mulligan… Wrath of God! That would have done it, but too late.

The top 4:
Bodo Rösner vs Paul Borczyk
Dennis Johannsen vs Tobias Gräfensteiner


Sunday, Sept 1: 1:31 p.m. - Extensive Semifinal Round-up

by Hanno Terbuyken

Rösner

The German National team is Bodo Rösner, Paul Borczyk, Dennis Johannsen and Tobias Gräfensteiner. But how will those four stack up? Who will be the German National champion? Reinhard Blech, who is doing the live commentary in the video room, told me after the quarterfinals that the spectators in front of the screen were all rooting for old-timer Bodo Rösner, so that's where the semi-final coverage kicks off.

Bodo Rösner vs Paul Borczyk

Game 1

Paul kicked things off with a mulligan and Ravenous Rats. Bodo had no Dodecapod, like before, but Firemane Angel to discard. Lightning Angel from Bodo wanted to come in for the first beats, but Paul's Putrefy took care of that. Another Ravenous Rat joined Paul's team, while Bodo kept forgetting his Firemane Angel life boost. Instead, Wrath took out Paul's team of two Rats and Birds of Paradise.

Bodo suspended Aeon Chronicler, Paul beat down with Treetop Village. The 6/6 Chronicler took Paul to 11. Bodo suspended another one, aiming for a quick win. Paul's only mass removal are 3 Crime // Punishment, so Bodo had nothing to fear. Lightning Angel added its three power to the double Chronicler attack, and Bodo was one up.

Bodo Rösner 1 - 0 Paul Borczyk

Bodo took out 1 Lightning Helix, 2 Spell Snare, and 2 Azorius Signet, bringing in 1 Sacred Mesa, 2 Faith's Fetters and 2 Boom // Bust.

Paul took out 4 Funeral Charm and 3 Carven Caryatid, bringing in 2 Loxodon Hierarch, 2 Extirpate, 3 Condemn.

In the other match between Dennis Johannsen and Tobias Gräfensteiner, both players were still deeply entrenched in their first game.

Game 2

Borczyk

Paul had another mulligan on the play, but made the first play in Hypnotic Specter. Three turns in, Bodo had just a Court Hussar in play when Castigate from Paul revealed Firemane Angel, Boom // Bust and five lands in Bodo's hand. Firemane Angel left the game. Another Castigate took the Boom // Bust, but Paul didn't care: He had drawn a second one. Hypnotic Specter hit lands until Bodo took it away with Wrath of God.

While Bodo drew cards with Compulsive Research, the judges flashed in the result from the first game of the second match for the camera: Tobias Gräfensteiner 1, Dennis Johannsen 0.

Both boards remained empty, not even a Treetop Village to be seen. Boom got rid of Bodo's Flagstones of Trokair and Paul's Orzhov Basilica, a net gain for Bodo. Ravenous Rats from Paul equalized the card count again. Bodo's hand at that point was Wrath, Demonfire and Faith's Fetters. A single creature from his deck would just be enough to bring Paul into the unexpected Demonfire range. Compulsive Research brought Lightning and Firemane Angel.

Bodo was ahead, even though Paul removed Lightning Angel with Castigate. The 18 life points Paul looked like more than they were. Bodo had enough mana to fire off Demonfire for 8, so Paul was on a virtual 10. The attacking Firemane Angel caught Condemn. Card advantage heavily favored Bodo, who had Court Hussars and Compulsive Researches galore. His Urza's Factory gave him extra beatdown, attacking Paul down to 12.

P.S.: Demonfire you.

Bodo Rösner 2 - 0 Paul Borczyk

Paul took out 2 Ravenous Rats to bring 2 Loxodon Hierarch back in. Paul: "0-2 is alright, I've done it in the last round, too."

Game 3

Treetop Village, Overgrown Tomb, Ravenous Rats: Paul had his opening sequence memorized. The Rats got rid of Demonfire and Paul showed Tarmogoyf, promising heavier beatdown than in the previous game. Not heavy enough to race Bodo, though, who busted Paul down to 9 with two Lightning Angels. Lightning Helix took three more life out of Paul's total, and the applause from the video room downstairs could even be heard up here in the Top 8 playing room.

Bodo Rösner 3 - 0 Paul Borczyk

Dennis Johannsen vs. Tobias Gräfensteiner

When that match was over, Tobias Gräfensteiner had acquired a 2-0 lead, and the other match just geared up for game 3. I had to leave the Top 8 room to get to the internet connection and send the blurb and quarterfinals off to the US. When I returned, the gamestate had bogged down to a very full Constructed board, with multiple Tarmogoyfs and Loxodon Hierarchs, and Tobias had just dropped his cards on the table in concession.

Dennis Johannsen 1 - 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

Game 4

Johannsen

The fourth game started with Johannsen going aggro, having a 3/3 Elephant token, a 3/4 Tarmogoyf and two The Rack by the fourth turn. Gräfensteiner answered with his own Tarmogoyf, but lagged behind with 14 to 19 life. Johannsen flashbacked Call of the Herd, shrinking both Tarmogoyfs, since the Call was the only sorcey in all graveyards. Gräfensteiner went to 11, played his second Tarmogoyf, and replenished their power with Compulsive Research. The match moved like a glacier on a sandpaper slide.

Johannsen Stupor'ed a Dodecapod out of Gräfensteiner's hand into play. His now three Racks activated on Gräfensteiner's upkeep to knock Tobias down to 8. A Court Hussar from Gräfensteiner was matched by a Tarmogoyf from Johannsen, which got - after a looooong thinking phase - Spell Snared. A while later, but still in the same turn, Johannsen played Smallpox, making all Tarmogoyfs grow to 4/5 because of the lands now in the graveyards.

Gräfensteiner went to 4 in his next upkeep, brung low by Johannsen's three Racks. His three cards in hand would just save him in the next upkeep, but Johannsen had Smallpox. Gräfensteiner tapped four mana and his creatures and played Chord of Calling for Mystic Snake, not wanting to lose the single life point. In his upkeep, he went to 1 life. Johannsen had 18 life to play with and took Gräfensteiner's attack up front, going to 7.

Loxodon Hierarch from Gräfensteiner put him back up to 5, but when Johannsen drew his card, the applause from below sounded through the walls: He had drawn Funeral Charm, making Gräfensteiner discard another Dodecapod into play. That left Tobias with just one card in hand, and the three Racks would kill him.

But Gräfensteiner bided his time. In his upkeep, he let the first Rack trigger resolve, played Chord of Calling for Loxodon Hierarch and went to 2 instead of dying. Now Johannsen came pretty close to lethal, as Gräfensteiner's attack took him to 2 as well. He passed the turn, and this time, Gräfensteiner had no out.

Dennis Johannsen 2 - 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner

Game 5

"I wish us a fair and exciting fifth game", said Johannsen, only to add: "What happens in the case of Smallpox with both players at 1 life?"

"Then you play a sixth game", said the head judge.

Graefensteiner

No mulligans, and Johannsen (on the draw) had the first action of the match, a 0/1 Tarmogoyf followed by Call of the Herd. The sorcery made the Tarmogoyf mighty, and the roaring beast bit 1 point of life out of Gräfensteiner's total. Every point counts! With Loxodon Hierarch, Gräfensteiner had the bigger monster. The better engine, though, was on Johannsen's side, with Dark Confidant making an appearance.

The tag team of Cruel Edict (which got Remanded) and Putrefy managed to kill Loxodon Hierarch, and Johannsen attacked for 9, taking Gräfensteiner to 14. Tobias made a morph, Johannsen took a walk on the risky side and attacked for a full 11, nearly lethal. The morph blocked Dark Confidant and turned up to be a Vesuvan Shapeshifter, copying Tarmogoyf.

To make up for the loss of one Confidant, Johannsen took a walk on the risky side of Magic and replaced his loss with two Dark Confidants. On 15 to 7 life, he wanted to get as much damage in as quickly as possible, before Gräfensteiner would develop a notable board. An emergency Dodecapod was not blocker enough, and when the Confidants revealed Cruel Edict, Gräfensteiner knew he had no chance. Dennis Johannsen was Bodo Rösner's opponent for the title!

Dennis Johannsen 3 - 2 Tobias Gräfensteiner


Sunday, Sept 1: 3:04 p.m. - Finals: Dennis Johannsen vs. Bodo Rösner

by Hanno Terbuyken
 

Both players know each other well, and both enjoyed playing in this final match of the 2007 German Nationals. They agreed to split their prizes (three booster displays for first and two for the second place), because what they were here for was the title and the trophy.

Game 1

A closer look at Bodo Rösler's hand.

Dennis began with The Rack and Dark Confidant, which Bodo didn't hesitate to kill with Wrath of God. Dennis was stumped on mana, but had Augur of Skulls to make Bodo discard Court Hussar and Firemane Angel and played another Rack. Meanwhile, Bodo suspended Aeon Chronicler, and when that came into play, he added Lightning Angel to the board and attacked Dennis down to 13.

Dennis had a board of Overgown Tomb, Urborg, and two The Rack. He Terrorized the Lightning Angel away but still faced 3/3 Chronicler beats, down to 10. Treetop Village remedied his mana base a little, and Dark Confidant made Dennis hope for more. Tarmogoyf joined the board, as well as another The Rack.

Sacred Mesa for Bodo gave him a sizeable attack force, and Firemane Angel in the graveyard mitigated the Racks' impact. "No blocks", announced Dennis, and went to 1 life. His Dark Confidant killed him.

Dennis Johannsen 0 - 1 Bodo Rösner

Bodo exchanged 1 Aeon Chronicler, 1 Sacred Mesa, 1 Wrath of God, 2 Firemane Angel, 2 Azorius Signet from his deck for 4 Dodecapod and 3 Faith's Fetters from his sideboard. Dennis took 2 Cry of Contrition, 2 Funeral Charm out in favor of 4 Cruel Edict.

Game 2

Dennis did not immediately announce who was going to play first, which took Bodo by surprise: "I have the boarding plan for on the draw!" Dennis smiled. "OK, you go first!"

While Dennis resolved his mulligan, the friendly banter resumed. Dennis: "I am afraid of the brown man", meaning Dodecapod. Bodo, who just had boarded four in: "Why are they even legal? Are they timeshifted or what? I just saw them in other player's sideboards and thought, nice, I should play those."

The opening seven that Bodo kept, now on the play, included two Ravnica bounce-lands, a draw that he typically feared. Two other lands to accompany them made him keep the hand, though. And against The Rack that Dennis played, it made perfect sense. Dennis tried for Dark Confidant, which immediately played human torch after a Lightning Helix. Augur of Skulls met Spell Snare from Bodo, who established his position with two Court Hussars.

He tried, but to no avail: Dennis Johannsen.

Compulsive Research drew into a threat for Bodo, a Lightning Angel, just after Dennis had wasted Cruel Edict on a Court Hussar. A couple of uneventful turns later, Dennis with his 16 life was virtually dead: Bodo had Demonfire, Lightning Helix and ten mana. "I don't think you even can win from this point", he declared, showed Dennis the burn and got the win.

Dennis Johannsen 0 - 2 Bodo Rösner

"One more win, and I have the 10-0 streak!", said a happy Bodo Rösner.

Game 3

Dennis played first and started with The Rack and Tarmogoyf, which instantly got Lightning Helix'ed as soon as Bodo had the mana. "He has infinite Racks", prompted Bodo, as Dennis dropped two more. Call of the Herd gave Dennis some ground offense, but he didn't look happy. Bodo had everything he needed in his hand: Wrath of God, Demonfire, Aeon Chronicler, and two Dodecapod, plus Signet and Shivan Reef.

Wrath took care of the two Elephants from Call of the Herd, a fresh Dark Confidant fazed Bodo enough to kill it with the Demonfire. Suspending Aeon Chronicler for two promised to keep him safe from the three Racks for a while, especially with Compulsive Research in hand. Dennis thought long and hard and decided on Stupor. Bad move, because he hit the first Dodecapod and Bodo put the second into play as well, adding insult to injury with Compulsive Research to refill.

The two finalists after the match with their tickets to New York!

Lightning Angel hit the board and attacked with the two 'Pods. Dennis had the Terror for it, but still went down to 9 without any defence on the board. He revealed his hand - two Putrefy - and extended it, knowing that he could not win the match anymore. Bodo Rösner took it and was the German National Champion 2007!

Dennis Johannsen 0 - 3 Bodo Rösner

After the first day, Bodo had a 4-3 record and managed the clean sweep, winning the next 10 rounds in a row. The trophy, an encased Ball Lightning, was clearly appropriate!


Sunday, Sept 1: 5:38 p.m. - The Legacy Championships, and Volkan Baga

by Hanno Terbuyken
 

A National Champion has been found, the team is set to prepare for the World Championships, but the event is not over by far. 175 players met this morning to conquer the main hall, more players than in the actual German Nationals. They wanted to test their skills with the old cards, playing in the open German Legacy Championship. Eight rounds of Swiss are still being played, with a cut to Top 8 to happen sometime in the future. The Legacy metagame here seems to be two-sided: On one hand, players win around turn three with a giant Empty the Warrens, on the other hand, they beat down with the hottest card in Magic: Tarmogoyf.

Also, artist Volkan Baga is still on site, signing cards, binders and playmats to those who want it. He's a very recent addition to the Magic art portfolio, having illustrated just eight cards so far, among them Stromgald Crusader. The original art is on display here, and it's gorgeous. Take a closer look at the card: You may not be able to see it, but the grin of the Crusader is the most mischievous I've ever seen on a skeleton, Terry Pratchett's Death included.

Maybe the grin on Volkan Baga's face is the one he put on Stromgald Crusader?

Pro player Klaus Jöns (right) could not attend Nationals, but he certainly knows his way around Legacy!

New and old together: Standard chase-rare Tarmogoyf has made its way into Legacy.

Keep an eye on Bodo Rösner, Dennis Johannsen, Paul Borczyk and Tobias Gräfensteiner, who have already formulated their goal for Worlds: "Stay ahead of the Japanese!" Well… good luck with that. That's all from German Nationals 2007!

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