Quarterfinal: Martin Zimmermann vs. Jan Hammerich

Posted in Event Coverage on August 15, 2011

By Tobi Henke

Martin Zimmermann entered the fray with blue-black control, Jan Hammerich brought his mono-red aggro deck. These were the two most succesful archetypes of the tournament, and here they faced off.

Game One

Zimmermann won the die-roll, but started with two mulligans before playing a tapped land. Hammerich had Goblin Guide. "Now it's only one mulligan," Zimmermann commented, as he revealed Darkslick Shores on the top of his library.

He had Inquisition of Kozilek, but didn't like what he saw in his opponent's hand: MountainFurnace Scamp, Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze as well as two copies of Shrine of Burning Rage, one of which he took. Hammerich cast the other.

Zimmermann was looking for answers. Down came Jace Beleren and netted him an extra card. Goblin Guide attacked and Hammerich, stuck on two lands, summoned Furnace Scamp and Grim Lavamancer.

Zimmermann had Black Sun's Zenith to clear the board, but the clock of doom that is Shrine of Burning Rage was still ticking. Unfortunately for Hammerich, he only had two lands and watched helplessly as his Shrine was returned to his hand via Into the Roil. When he replayed it, it resolved uncontested, but now Zimmermann's deck was operating on full power. He cast Liliana Vess and, unbeknownst to his opponent, tutored up Karn Liberated. When Hammerich tapped low for Ember Hauler, Karn exiled the Shrine.

A Grave Titan followed, which Hammerich killed with Searing Blaze and Lightning Bolt. Its little Zombie buddies started the beatdown anyway. Zimmermann soon found another Grave Titan and Hammerich didn't have enough burn.

Martin Zimmermann 1 – 0 Jan Hammerich

Jan Hammerich didn't have a lot in his sideboard. He just switched two Searing Blazes for two copies of Act of Aggression. Meanwhile, Martin Zimmermann did some more extensive sideboarding:

+ Wurmcoil Engine
+3 Disfigure
>+4 Flashfreeze
+2 Duress
+1 Despise
+1 Black Sun's Zenith
+1 Dismember

-3 Solemn Simulacrum
-2 Mana Leak
-1 Karn Liberated
-1 Tectonic Edge
-1 Consume the Meek
-1 Consecrated Sphinx
-4 Jace Beleren

Martin Zimmermann

Game Two

This time, Hammerich went to five. Zimmermann, after one mulligan, kept: Darkslick Shores, Duress, Despise, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Flashfreeze.

Hammerich had a Grim Lavamancer, that attacked with bonus from Teetering Peaks, while Zimmermann despised a Hero of Oxid Ridge. Next turn, Zimmermann used Disfigure on the Lavamancer, but had still no second land. Hammerich had no play during his own turn, and didn't respond to Zimmermann's Inquisition of Kozilek. He revealed Lightning Bolt and Hero of Oxid Rage. A baffled Zimmermann: "Err, yes? Then I take Lightning Bolt?" Hammerich chided himself for his misplay.

Zimmermann found lands, but Hammerich found Shrine of Burning Rage. For the rest of the game, he continued to draw spells, whereas, because of his earlier screw, Zimmermann's finishers came too late.

Martin Zimmermann 1 – 1 Jan Hammerich

Game Three

Despise revealed: Mountain, Koth of the Hammer, Furnace Scamp, Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze, Scalding Tarn, and Grim Lavamancer. Zimmermann thought long and hard and, in the end, chose Grim Lavamancer. Hammerich summoned Furnace Scamp.

Zimmermann preordained. When Hammerich decided to not sacrifice his Furnace Scamp, Zimmermann killed it at end of turn. Hammerich had another Furnace Scamp, Zimmermann another Disfigure.

Chandra's Phoenix, however, proved a more resilient threat. It attacked a couple of times, then was returned via Into the Roil. It came back, then was killed by Black Sun's Zenith. Lightning Bolt regrew the Phoenix, but Disfigure killed it once again.

Zimmermann made a Grave Titan that looked as if it might be fast enough to race the Phoenix. Zimmermann was at 10, Hammerich was at 18 from two fetchlands he had sacrificed earlier.

Lightning Bolt put Zimmermann at 7 and the Phoenix back in Hammerich's hand. The attack brought Hammerich to 5. Grave Titan and his minions, together with Creeping Tar Pit, took Hammerich to 5 as well. Hammerich had the Lightning Bolt to clinch the game.

Martin Zimmermann 1 – 2 Jan Hammerich

Jan Hammerich

Game Four

Hammerich started with Grim Lavamancer, Shrine of Burning Rage, which met Mana Leak, and another Shrine of Burning Rage, which resolved.

Zimmermann had Black Sun's Zenith for the Lavamancer and a Disfigure for a newly-summoned Goblin Guide. Hammerich wasn't able to make any creature stick, but he did have Shrine of Burning Rage and was clearly planning on burning Zimmermann out, when he shot a Lightning Bolt to the dome. Zimmermann on the other hand deployed Grave Titan.

When Grave Titan and team attacked for half of Hammerich's life total, Zimmermann himself was at 11, with Shrine of Burning Rage on eight counters. At end of turn, Hammerich cast Lightning Bolt; Zimmermann stopped it per Flashfreeze. The crowd held their breath. With three lands on the battlefield, an untapped land plus any one-mana spell would win the game for Hammerich. He topdecked ... Teetering Peaks.

Martin Zimmermann 2 – 2 Jan Hammerich

Game Five

Again, Teetering Peaks was responsible for less than optimal mana supply. Hammerich kept Lightning Bolt, Burst Lightning, Hero of Oxid Rige, Grim Lavamancer, two Goblin Guides, and Teetering Peaks as the only land. Zimmermann agreed that it was the correct decision to keep this hand, but the resulting slow offense allowed Zimmermann to take full advantage of all his discard.

Soon, Hammerich was left with nothing but a lone Goblin Guide on the battlefield, along with three lands. He only had a Hero of Oxid Ridge and an Act of Aggression in hand, when Zimmermann reached six mana. But the control player knew about the Act of Aggression and played Grave Titan first, and only then continued with Wurmcoil Engine. The fatties finished the game in short order.

Martin Zimmermann 3 – 2 Jan Hammerich

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