In the ninth round, Jan Brinkmann had the chance to secure himself a slot in the final eight. At 8-0, he was alone on the top, and he faced Mario Zemke who had 21 points. Zemke hails from Dresden. He has never played on the Pro Tour, and his best result so far is finishing 30th at the German Nationals two years ago. Naturally, he was quite happy to be at 7-1, and he was also quite happy to face Jan as he was playing Fires, a good matchup against Machine Head.
The two players were deckchecked, and so they got time to chat a little before the match. They continued chatting while shuffling. Jan won the die roll, and so he chose to play first. He took one look at his hand, then he chose to mulligan while Mario's angry lucky bird kept staring at him. His second hand was better, and so he chose to keep it. Maro kept as well. He played a City of Brass and a Rishadan Port, and used the Port to tap down Mario's Sulfurous Springs to prevent him form casting anything during his third round.
It seemed that Mario had gotten a slow start though, and a Duress revealed that he held a Wax/Wane, two Shivan Wurms, a Saproling Burst, a Thornscape Battlemage and two Urza's Rages. Mario chose to get rid of the Burst.
Maro played another Port and started tapping down two lands during Brinkmann's upkeep. Finally, during his fifth turn, he played a Birds of Paradise. It was promptly Vendettaed though, but during his following turn, he drew another land. Tapping three mana into his mana pool, he played a Thornscape Battlemage without kicker and spent the remaining two mana during Jan's upkeep, tapping down his Sulfurous Springs.
Jan had drawn a Dark Ritual though, and he Ritualed out a Phyrexian Scuta with kicker. Then it was time for Mario to play a Shivan Wurm. While Jan was at 16 from one Sulfurous Springs damage and the Scuta kicker, Mario was down to 16 as well thanks to his City of Brass.
A Terminate took care of the Shivan Wurm, and Jan then Ritualed out a Skizzik without kicker and attacked for ten, Bringing Mario down to six life. He still tapped the City though so that he could cast a Saproling Burst, and the Burst effectively stopped the Scuta. So Jan cast a Plague Spitter and passed priority.
Mario had to get rid of the Spitter, so he played a Flametongue Kavu, going down to four thanks to the City of Brass. He took one from the dying Spitter, and went down to three. Unfortunately, Jan had an Urza's Rage and finished him off during the following turn.
Brinkmann 1 - Zemke 0
The two players chatted both during sideboarding and shuffling, and in general, the atmosphere of the game was very friendly. Zemke chose to play first, and he chose to keep his hand. So did Jan.
Zemke's first land was a Rishadan Port, not a good sign for a Fires player. Jan, on the other hand, went swamp, Ritual, Plague Spitter, but the Spitter died to a Scorching Lava. Mario then tapped his Karplusan Forest for mana, returned it to play a Rith's Grove and then he played two Llanowar Elves. Jan killed them both though, one with a Scorching Lava and one with a Vendetta.
Then it was time for Fires of Yavimaya, but Jan had something he wanted to play, too - a Phyrexian Scuta with kicker. Mario, on the other hand, played a Chimeric Idol and attacked, and Jan chose not to block with his Scuta. Instead, he played Skizzik with kicker and attacked for ten, bringing Mario down to six. The damage race was on.
A Flametongue Kavu sent the Skizzik to the graveyard. Mario was a little unsure though whether to attack or not, so he ended up attacking with the Kavu only, knocking Jan down to eight life. Jan untapped. He drew. Then he attacked with his Scuta. Mario chose to activate his Idol so that he could block the Scuta. But before he could block, the Idol was Terminated, and so Maro went down to one life.
With three cards in hand, Mario just needed one of them to be a two-power creature, a Fires of Yavimaya or a Burn spell in order to finish Jan off. He played a Thornscape Battlemage, attacked with the Battlemage and the Kavu and sacrificed the Fires - and Jan didn't have a response and so the game was over.
Brinkmann 1 - Zemke 1
Jan sideboarded a little before the third game, putting the Urza's Rages back into his deck. Naturally, he chose to start, and he kept his opening hand. Mario kept his hand as well, and he played a first turn Karplusan Forest, Birds of Paradise. The Birds was Vendettaed though, and then Brinkmann Ritualed out a second turn Phyrexian Scuta with kicker.
Mario played a Llanowar Elves and passed priority. Then, the Scuta came over for a visit. Unfortunately, Jan stalled on two lands, and so he had to end his turn without playing any new threats. Mario spent his turn playing a Flametongue Kavu, but it couldn't kill the Scuta. He chose not to block either, and so he went down to eight life before Jan tried to make it harder for him to get out more creatures by Vendetta-ing his Llanowar Elves.
Mario had to do something, and so he played a Fires of Yavimaya, going down to seven life thanks to the Karplusan Forests. "Sieben," Jan noted and thought for a while before sending his Scuta. Mario chose to block. Then he pumped the Flametongue Kavu with the Fires to trade. Jan ended his turn by playing a mountain and a Plague Spitter.
The Spitter was killed by another Flametongue Kavu, and then it was Mario's turn to deal some damage. He attacked with the Kavu to bring Jan down to ten, and then he played a Saproling Burst, going down to six life. Jan finally drew a fourth land, and he chose to kill the Flametongue Kavu with a Flametongue Kavu of his own.
However, during Jan's end of turn step, Mario made two Saproling tokens. He Urza's Raged Jan's Flametongue Kavu and attacked, knocking Jan down to two life. Then, during Jan's upkeep, he tapped down a mountain so that Jan only had three lands available, and that was enough - Jan extended his hand to the winner.
Final Result: Jan Brinkmann 1 - Mario Zemke 2