While Grand Prix Cologne is Christoph's first top 8, Jim Herold has had some very good results already. In fact he won the first two GPs he ever played in, Oslo and Frankfurt. Christoph on the other hand has been qualified for the Pro Tour since the World Championships in Brussels where he finished in the top 32.
Jim drafted a 5C deck with a green base while Christoph had a BU deck with a small splash for Breath of Darigaaz, Smoldering Tar and Terminate.
Jim won the die roll and chose to play first.
He opened with a turn two Rogue Kavu and Christoph responded with a Stormscape Familiar. Christoph was slightly mana screwed and had to use a Worldly Council with two Islands in play but he drew a Swamp of it and was fine afterwards. Jim dropped a Blurred Mongoose and two turns later a Kavu Climber which was excluded. Christoph followed up with a Slinking Serpent and seemed to be in a good shape until Jim played a Halam Djinn and attacked immediately. Christoph still had some problems with his mana base as he was holding Breath of Darigaaz and Smoldering Tar but had no red mana available. All he could do was to cast a Mourning on the Djinn and pass the turn. After Jim added a Horned Kavu, gating the Mongoose and replaying it, to his team, Christoph found a Mountain in his next draw and used the Breath of Darigaaz to clear the board.
Jim destroyed Christoph's Mountain with a Frenzied Tilling. Christoph dropped a Trench Wurm and served for a couple of turns uncontested. On two life Jim found a Sunscape Battlemage and played it, using the blue kicker which gave him two more cards to work with. Christoph dropped his Mourning on the Battlemage but a Gaea's Might on Jims side made the mage less sad and it took the Wurm down. After that Christoph failed to draw any more spells while he watched Jim playing a Mirrorwood Treefolk and an Explosive Growth to take the first game two turns later.
Herold 1 - Lippert 0
Christoph chose to play in the first game while Jim had to take one mulligan. After that he was in a good shape though as he dropped turn two Blurred Mongoose and expanded his mana base with a turn three Primal Growth and turn four Frenzied Tilling. Christoph on the other hand wasn't doing much worse when he dropped turn two Stormscape familiar and got a Smoldering Tar turn three into play after playing an Island, Swamp and a Mountain.
The Tar brought Jim down to 16 while he dropped a Stone Kavu which was returned to his library with a Hunting Drake on Christoph's side. After he replayed the Stone Kavu he dropped a Halam Djinn and attacked with both. Christoph chose not to block with his newly cast Duskwalker. He counterattacked with the drake and Duskwalker and used a kicker Rushing River to return both of Jims attackers to his hand during Jims attack step. When the tar killed the Stone Kavu and Jims Repulse was Confounded, Christoph attacked with his Hunting Drake and the Duskwalker for the final damage.
Herold 1 - Lippert 1
Jim chose to draw first this time as by now he knew that his opponent was playing a rather slow and three colored deck. Christoph punished that when he dropped a turn two Vodalian Hypnotist though. But he chose not to use its ability as Jim dropped a turn two Rogue Kavu and Christoph didn't want to take too much early damage.
After Christoph dropped a Slinking Serpent and a Volcano Imp, he chose to trade the imp with Jims Alpha Kavu. As he tapped out last turn he had no immediate answer to Jims Halam Djinn and he took six damage. On his turn it found a fast end in a timely Terminate though. Jim followed up the Halam with a Blurred Mongoose, a Mirrorwood Treefolk and a Kavu Climber over the next three turns. Christoph didn't draw too many spells at that point. In fact he only managed to draw his two Rushing River. If he had found any creature he probably could have raced Jim with the bounce and his Slinking Serpent. As it was he had to use the bounce on the climber and the Treefolk and after Jim had replayed the climber three times his hand was refilled. Instead of playing the climber the fourth time, he chose to drop a Sulam Djinn. Christoph drew and responded in style: With a Zanam Djinn. When Jim smiled, tapped two mana and walloped it, Christoph was forced to extend his hand and congratulate Jim who advanced to the semifinals.
Final Result: Herold 2 - Lippert 1