In the last round of the Rochester Draft portion of the 2001 German Nationals, Dirk Baberowski faced 18-year-old Alexander Schröder from Bremen. Alexander started playing seriously this year, but he has already competed in one Pro Tour, 2001 Pro Tour Barcelona. The two of them were both 4-1 after five rounds, looking to finish the first day at 5-1.
Dirk won the die roll and chose to play first. He kept his opening hand that consisted of three lands and four spells. Alexander, on the other hand, took a quick look at his hand and decided to mulligan. He kept his second hand, and Dirk played a turn two Galina's Knight.
The Knight started attacking, and Dirk followed up by casting a Shoreline Raider. Alexander then cast Harrow, sacrificing his forest to get a mountain and a swamp. He then played a Thunderscape Apprentice and passed priority.
During his following turn, Dirk attacked for four, and then he played a Samite Pilgrim. The Thunderscape Apprentice attacked once and then Alexander sacrificed his Tinder Farm to cast a Goham Djinn. He had only three lands left though, and when the Goham Djinn was returned to his hand with a Deliver, things looked bad for the young player, now down to nine.
Alexander summoned a Samite Elder, but it couldn't stop the following attack from the Shoreline Raider and the Galina's Knight. Low on life, he chose to block the Raider with the Apprentice, and then he pumped the Apprentice, forcing Dirk to tap down the Pilgrim. Dirk then cast a Sawtooth Loon.
Alexander was now at seven, and he had to do something to avoid taking lethal damage. He played a Rogue Kavu, a rather lousy blocker though, and then he slapped an Armadillo Cloak on the Samite Elder and served for three, going back up to ten life.
Dirk had to keep up the pressure, so he attacked for four and played two more creatures, a Galina's Knight and a Benalish Trapper. Alexander recast the Goham Djinn, but after reading all the cards on the other side of the table, he chose not to attack. When a Hunting Drake put his Rogue Kavu on top of his library, he conceded.
Schröder 0 - Baberowski 1
The two players sideboarded and shuffled in silence. Alexander then chose to play first. This time, he kept his opening hand while Dirk mulliganed - and mulliganed again. Alexander got out a second turn Rogue Kavu and started attacking. He then played a turn three Nomadic Elf. Dirk Repulsed the Kavu when it attacked alone, and Alexander recast it. Then, during his fourth turn, Dirk played a Sunscape Master.
Alexander wasn't really scared though. He cast Frenzied Tilling, destroying Dirk's one island. Dirk, who had three plains in play, drew another plains and played it. And when Alexander attacked with his Rogue Kavu, he blocked with the Master and played Stand it to prevent two damage to it. But Alexander had a Scorching Lava and finished it off.
Dirk still couldn't draw anything but plains. Alexander, on the other hand, had a variety of lands out, and he cast Rith's Charm, getting three Saprolings into play. He then summoned a Quirion Trailblazer. Dirk got out a Benalish Trapper, but when Alexander cast a Power Armor as well, he scooped.
Schröder 1 - Baberowski 1
Dirk chose to play first in the third game, and this time, both players kept their opening hands. Dirk got out a turn two Meddling Mage, naming Scorching Lava. But a timely Terminate took care of the Mage. Dirk then cast a Galina's Knight, while Alexander answered by playing a Sparring Golem.
Dirk got out a Dream Thrush and a Benalish Trapper while Alexander merely attacked with his Sparring Golem and passed priority. But when Dirk attacked with his Knight and the Thrush, Alexander cast Harrow in response, getting one red and one white land. He then Rith's Charmed to get three Saprolings - two of which blocked and killed the Knight. Dirk played a Sea Snidd and ended his turn.
Alexander then summoned a Razorfoot Griffin, but the Benalish Trapper made sure that it was inactive during for the remainder of the game. Still, that made him able to attack with the Sparring Golem. Meanwhile, Dirk attacked with his flyer, then a Tidal Visionary came into play on the his side of the table. Alexander cast his Samite Elder, but it couldn't prevent the Sea Snidd from attacking. So the two players continued trading beats. Then, Dirk summoned Atalya, Samite Master.
Dirk was at five life only, but he had an active Atalya and four plains in play. Alexander, also low on life, had to block the Snidd with the last Saproling. His Sparring Golem came over for a visit, but Dirk gained three life and his life total went up instead of down.
During Alexander's end of turn step, Dirk Repulsed the Samite Elder. He then attacked with his Snidd and the Dream Thrush, and Alexander chump-blocked the Snidd with his Quirion Explorer, going down to seven. He then recast the Samite Elder and cast Power Armor with four basic land types in play. The Armor didn't mean much in the game though - Alexander never got to use it. Dirk continued gaining life and attacking with his Dream Thrush, and he also played another Benalish Trapper.
Things looked bad for Alexander, and he was shaking his head while looking through his library for a land card to get for a Quirion Trailblazer. Finally, he settled on a forest, and passed priority. Dirk tapped the Razorfoot Griffin, gained some life and attacked with the Thrush, preparing for a final strike during the following turn.
A lot of things happened during the last turn. Alexander cast a Halam Djinn. Dirk tapped the Razorfoot Griffin. Alexander activated the Samite Elder's ability, calling white. Dirk used the Tidal Visionary to make his first tapper some other colour and then he tapped the Djinn in response. Alexander cast Armadillo Cloak on the Golem. Dirk Delivered it.
Then, Alexander scooped.
Final Result: Schröder 1 - Baberowski 2