The German team was in third place when they sat down to build their first set of sealed decks on Saturday morning. National champion André Konstanczer went 11-7 and finished 44th in the individual portion of Worlds. Jan Brinkman went 11-7 as well, finishing 43rd. They carried defending World Champion and PT Player of the year Kai Budde, who managed only a .500 record. Euros quarter-finalist Wolfgang Eder also put up 9 wins and 9 losses.
Budde was thinking about rescinding his spot on the German national team, but changed his mind when David Brucker (who was on last year's German national team and was in line to get Budde's spot) earned an invitation to Worlds at Euros a few weeks ago.
The first thing the Germans did when they opened their cards was to divide them in colors. They rapidly got very excited at the number of bombs they opened: Avatar of Fury, Kyren Negotiations, Parallax Wave, Jeweled Spirit, Aerial Caravan, Volrath, Greel, Death Pit Offering. Volcanic Wind, and a bunch of black removal. After sorting everything into colors they then went through each color and piled up the bad cards in a reject pile in the middle of the table.
They claimed not to have any set color preferences before they started, but they each knew which color to grab and sort. Budde sorted the black, Konstanczer took green, Eder took red, they put blue in the middle of the table, and Brinkman lined up the white and discovered an amazing Rebel engine: His 12 good Rebels included Ballista Squad, Reveille Squad, 2 Gliders, and a chain that started at Ramosian Sergeant, include two 2-mana recruiters, and a Defiant Vanguard that meant the chain could bring Ballista Squad into play.
Once they were able to contain their joy over their card quality, they started trying to build decks. First they sorted the green by mana cost and saw that the mana curve had a hole at 4 mana. They looked at their other colors and saw that red had to many 4-drops a healthy amount of removal so they decided to splash red into the green deck.
They were tempted by mono-white, but once the red pile gave some cards to the green deck, it only had 13 cards left. With both Kyren Negotiations and Volcanic Winds in he red deck they wanted to fill it out with as many creatures as possible. White was really deep so they gave all the non-Rebel creatures to Eder (Jeweled Spirit, Alabaster Wall, Devout Witness, Diving Griffin, and Charm Peddler).
Meanwhile Budde looked through the black, saw a bunch of removal, but very few creatures. Creatures is basically all blue, so he started working blue cards in with his black. The blue wasn't very deep, but it did include Waterfront Bouncer, and a couple fliers (including Aerial Caravan). His three teammates all saw that Budde had too many cards and tried to convince him to spread some of the wealth. A quick count revealed that he did indeed have more cards than he could play so they decided to split up all that juicy black removal. They put one Vendetta, one Snuff Out, a Maggot Therapy, and a Steal Strength into the Rebel deck so it would have the ability to remove creatures.
Now they had the colors divided up into four decks they were happy with: 1) green beatdown with a splash of red for removal and to fill the hole in the mana curve. 2) blue/black control with lots of removal and fliers. 3) Black/white Rebels with a crazy-good Rebel chain, some removal, and a Parallax Wave. 4) Red/white with lots of creatures and three bombs.
Further examination revealed that the red/white deck probably had too many bombs (Winds, Negotiations, and Jeweled Spirit). They moved Volcanic Winds over into the green/red. The Germans were now in fine tuning mode. They turned their collective attention to each deck, one at a time, and made sure they agreed with each card. They also noticed that Whip Sergeant would be better in the more aggressive green/red deck so they moved it over as well. These moves evened out their card quality quite nicely, but now Eder was short a few cards. They pulled Mogg Toady out of the reject pile and put it into his deck. They also gave him an Arrest from the Rebel deck and the Rebel deck pulled Soul Strings out of the reject pile.
When they started looking at Budde's deck everyone agreed that leaving Intimidation and Rhystic Syphon in the sideboard was a good idea because Budde's deck was a control deck. (I know this because the German words for control deck are apparently "control deck.") They did replace Brainstorm with Rhystic Scrying, though.
Next it was time to decide who was playing which deck. Konstanczer and Brinkman switched seats, giving Brinkman the fast green/red and Konstanczer the Rebels. Brinkman thumbed through the green and red reject piles to make sure he agreed with all of Konstanczer's decisions. He did. All that was left was dividing up the reject cards into sideboards (by trying to figure out who was most likely to want to sideboard them in) and then writing up the decks.
I thought the Germans opened amazing cards and then did an excellent job building the decks. They built four decks with reasonably even power levels and I predict they'll win 9 or 10 of the 12 matches they'll play with those decks.