Quarterfinals: Germany vs. Slovakia

Posted in Event Coverage on December 3, 2017

By Frank Karsten

In the first quarterfinals of the day, two European nations faced off. Both teams had an experienced captain in the middle seat, coaching two less experienced compatriots (who were now qualified for their first Pro Tour) on their side.

The Teams

For Germany, this weekend marked their first World Magic Cup Top 8. Last year they came very close with a 9th-place finish; this year Marc Tobiasch led the Germans all the way to the playoffs. In fact, they were on a seemingly unstoppable run all weekend. Not only did they not drop a single match on Day One, they cruised through Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the second day to make it to the Top 8 as the top seed! This meant that they would be on the play in all of their Top 8 matches, which was of huge importance given that they were playing two aggro decks.

For Slovakia, this was not their first success at the National Team competition in recent years. Ivan Floch was a member of the Slovakian team that won the 2010 Team World Championships, and he had led the team to a Top 8 finish in the 2012 and 2014 World Magic Cup tournaments. It was not a surprise to see Floch in the Top 8 again, but perhaps better than anyone else, the Pro Tour champion knew that it's a team event, and his teammates had carried him in many of the rounds so far.


While Team Slovakia—led by team captain Ivan Floch—had a history of team success, it did not deter the hopes of Team Germany, led by captain Marc Tobiasch, a country looking to improve upon their first World Magic Cup Top 8.

Seat B: Ivan Floch (Temur Energy) vs. Marc Tobiasch (Four-Color Control)

The middle seat is where the two team captains faced off. Floch's Temur Energy was a well-known quantity, while Four-Color Control could rightfully be described as a Marc Tobiasch special. At first glance, it looked like any other energy deck, but Tobiasch included more instants and topped his curve with Torrential Gearhulk, which meant that his deck played more like a control deck. A couple weeks ago, he made a deep run with the deck at Grand Prix Warsaw, and this weekend, he truly showed off the power of his creation.

In Game 1, after early resource exchanges, Tobiasch missed a land drop for a turn. This was particularly sad because the players were provided full-art Unstable lands for the Top 8, and given that Tobiasch was playing a top-heavy four-color deck, his mana stumble proved fatal. Soon, Floch was activating Chandra, Torch of Defiance turn after turn, exerting Glorybringer to ensure Tobiasch had no creatures to pressure his Planeswalker. When Tobiasch tried to come back with The Scarab God, Floch simply stole it with Confiscation Coup, and Tobiasch didn't have the tools to mount a comeback.

In Game 2, Tobiasch was the one drawing extra cards, putting the trigger on Glint-Sleeve Siphoner to good use. Floch placed his hopes on Glorybringer and Confiscation Coup, but two Supreme Wills (one flashed back by Torrential Gearhulk) said no. Eventually, Tobiasch found himself in full control of the game with seven spells in hand and a commanding board position. It wasn't hard to win from that point.

In Game 3, after the early trades, Floch got on the offensive with Servant of the Conduit and Rogue Refiner. Meanwhile, Tobiasch played extremely patiently, not casting Essence Scatter at the first opportunity and not blocking with Glint-Sleeve Siphoner when he could. He was truly playing for the long game. Tobiasch also had the foresight not to expose The Scarab God to a potential Vizier of Many Faces, a card that Floch indeed had in hand.

But Tobiasch's conservative lines ultimately backfired: When he stabilized the board at a paltry 1 life, Floch's resolved Whirler Virtuoso with ten energy, and the Thopters got the job done. As a result, the first set of games went to Slovakia.

Seat A: Peter Snoha (White-Blue Gift) vs Philipp Krieger (Mardu Vehicles)

Germany had one of the more unique line-ups in the field, as they opted for a Mardu Vehicles deck without Bomat Courier and Hazoret the Fervent alongside their Ramunap Red deck. It paid off for them, as Krieger basically steamrolled Snoha.


Team Germany battles on, looking to best Slovakia in their quarterfinal match.

In Game 1, a curve featuring Toolcraft Exemplar, Walking Ballista, and Veteran Motorist yielded a fifth-turn kill for Krieger. Snoha had done nothing but sift through his deck at that point. He may have hoped to find Refurbish and God-Pharaoh's Gift by turn four, but failed to do so.

In Game 2, the nerves may have gotten to Snoha: After starting with Glacial Fortress and Ipnu Rivulet, he forgot to play a land on turn three and played an untapped Glacial Fortress (which should have entered the battlefield tapped) on turn four. Meanwhile, Krieger mounted an offensive with Heart of Kiran and Depala, Pilot Exemplar and then Duressed a potentially important Refurbish. On the next attack, Krieger secured his set of games for Germany.

Seat C: Ondrej Kedrovic (Mardu Vehicles) vs. Moritz Temple (Ramunap Red)

Game 1 could be easily summarized: Temple attacked with Hazoret the Fervent on turn 4 on the play. There are few ways to beat such a draw in Standard, and although Kedrovic did his best to enter a damage race with Heart of Kiran, it was to no avail.


Team Slovakia discuss a line of play in one of their critical matches.

In Game 2, Kedrovic took the offensive role with a pair of Scrapheap Scroungers and a suite of accompanying creatures. Temple, who was on the draw with many reactive cards, started to toss his burn spells at Kedrovic's creatures, but those Scrapheap Scroungers just kept coming back from the graveyard. Temple never found a foothold in the game and was soon scooping up his cards.

Game 3 is what it all came down to. All six players were assembled around the final table, and the tension was palpable. Templin, who was on the play, curved out nicely: Soul-[autocard]Scar Mage[/autocard] on turn one, Lightning Strike on turn two, and Rampaging Ferocidon on turn three. On turn four, his hand contained two copies of Hazoret the Fervent plus Rampaging Ferocidon. Given that the indestructible God couldn't attack yet, Templin chose to play his second Rampaging Ferocidon. Kedrovic then had one of the worst possible follow-ups: Pia Nalaar, losing 4 life in the process. When Templin drew a land to enable a Hazoret attack on the next turn, the Slovaks collectively extended their hands in defeat.

Team Germany defeated Team Slovakia and advanced to the semifinals!

Phillip Krieger: Germany—Mardu Vehicles

Moritz Templin: Germany—Ramunap Red

Marc Tobiasch: Germany—Four-Color Control

Elias Klocker: Austria—Four-Color Control

Oliver Polak-Rottmann: Austria—Ramunap Red

Adrian Schrenk: Austria—White-Blue Gift

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