2011 Germany National Championship

Helge Holds a Full Nelson on Germany

Have you ever played a game of Magic? Then you know that sometimes, you need to destroy an artifact or an enchantment, right? Well, tournament players all over the world seemed to have forgotten just that very lesson. Going into German Nationals, Standard appeared pretty much solved. Squadron Hawk-Sword of Feast and Famine was the overdog, U/B Control the hip anti-tech and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle was the other deck.

Funny story: Turns out, sometimes you need something faster than Karn Liberated to kill something. Like Shrine of Burning Rage, or Pyromancer Ascension. That were two major angles of attack both Squadron Hawk-Sword of Feast and Famine and U/B Control had massive problems with, as champion Helge Nelson proved during the Standard rounds.

Nelson's story was remarkable. The 25-year-old PhD student originally was not qualified for Nationals and chose to try his luck and skill in the last-chance qualifiers on Thursday. When he entered his second M12 draft tournament, skill and luck came together perfectly to carry him to a clean sweep 5-0 victory and the right to enter Nationals the next morning.

Nationals is a multi-format event and you cannot be the champion without also mastering the draft. M12 proved to be an exciting, complex format that incited long discussions among the players how to make the best of it. Between the popular low-curve aggressive strategies, green-based aggro decks and blue-based control strategies, every player could find a niche.

When it came to the top 8 matches, Squadron Hawk-Sword of Feast and Famine was nowhere to be seen, beaten by U/B Control which in turn had difficulty dealing with Lightning Bolt, Goblin Guide and especially Shrine of Burning Rage. The tables ran with fire as more than half of the Top 8 had red as their primary color. The German National Team – Helge Nelson, Tobias Dreger, Martin Zimmermann and Bernd Brendemühl – will certainly be looking at the red decks again come November and with it Worlds in San Francisco.

The German National Team (left to right): Martin Zimmermann, Tobias Dreger, Helge Nelson, and Bernd Brendemühl



(1) Michael Müller

(8) Tobias Dreger

(4) Martin Zimmermann

(5) Jan Hammerich

(2) Fabian Görzgen

(7) Bernd Brendemühl

(3) Helge Nelson

(6) Michael Diezel


Tobias Dreger 3-1

Martin Zimmermann 3-2

Bernd Brendemühl 3-0

Helge Nelson 3-1


Tobias Dreger, 3-1

Helge Nelson, 3-0


Helge Nelson, 3-2

3rd Place Playoff

3rd Place Playoff

Bernd Brendemühl

Martin Zimmermann

3rd Place

Martin Zimmermann 3-2


  • by Tobi Henke and Hanno Terbuyken
    Feature: Top 5 Cards of Germany Nationals 2011
  • by Tobi Henke
    Final: Tobias Dreger vs. Helge Nelson
  • by Tobi Henke
    Semifinal: Bernd Brendemühl vs. Helge Nelson
  • by Hanno Terbuyken
    Semifinal: Tobias Dreger vs. Martin Zimmermann
  • by Hanno Terbuyken
    Third-place Playoff: Bernd Brendemühl vs. Martin Zimmermann
  • by Hanno Terbuyken
    Quarterfinals Round-Up
  • by Tobi Henke
    Quarterfinal: Martin Zimmermann vs. Jan Hammerich
  • by Tobi Henke
    Top 8: Player Profiles
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8: Decklists
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Decklists: Top Standard Decks
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet


1. Helge Nelson
2. Tobias Dreger
3. Martin Zimmermann
4. Bernd Brendemühl
5. Michael Müller
6. Fabian Görzgen
7. Jan Hammerich
8. Michael Diezel

pairings, results, standings


14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1


14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1


14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Top Standard Decks

by Event Coverage Staff

Michael Müller (7-1)

Frederic Geiger (7-1)

Benjamin Petersdorf (7-1)

Adrian Reitenauer (7-1)

Florian Reiter (7-1)

Emanuel Sutor (7-1)

Bernd Brendemühl (6-1-2)

Michael Diezel (6-1-2)

Tobias Dreger (6-1-2)

Marcel Bauche (6-2)

Manuel Faber (6-2)

Florian Fingerhut (6-2)

Daniel Gräfensteiner (6-2)

Christian Hauck (6-2)

Johannes Jessen (6-2)