Posted in GRAND PRIX UTRECHT 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 9, 2014

By Tobi Henke

While No. 23 Patrick Dickmann and Christian Seibold had been locked in a fierce battle for the title of German national champion right up until last week, the two players were anything but mortal enemies. In fact, they had worked together in the past, most notably at Pro Tour Born of the Gods where both made the Top 8. "Will I get to be team captain if I defeat Dickmann now?" Seibold joked. Well, he wouldn't. Dickmann had ended the season with 46 points, well ahead of Seibold's 36.

For this Grand Prix, both picked Mono-Blue Devotion as their weapon of choice, and it had been a good choice apparently, as neither player had lost a single round so far. That was sure to change now, and the mirror match could obviously go either way. "It's basically a coin toss," said Dickmann. "So much depends on the die-roll."

And the die-roll was won by Seibold ...

Game 1

Dickmann's prophecy held true here. Both players curved out perfectly, with Cloudfin Raptors on turn one, some two-drops, then Thassa, God of the Sea for Seibold and Nightveil Specter for Dickmann, followed by Master of Waves on either side. But with the advantage of going first, Seibold was always one step ahead and finished the game with Cyclonic Rift on turn five. That was fast.

(23) Patrick Dickmann 0-1 Christian Seibold

Christian Seibold

Game 2

In a complete reversal of the previous game, Dickmann made the first play on turn three; his Nightveil Specter was stopped by Gainsay, but Dickmann had another Nightveil Specter which stuck. His third Nightveil Specter, however, was rapidly turned into a Frog Lizard via Rapid Hybridization.

Meanwhile Seibold cast Tidebinder Mage and Master of Waves but lost the latter to Rapid Hybridization as well. Two more joined the fray, another Master of Waves for Seibold and one on Dickmann's side.

Then Seibold tried to kill the opposing tokens via Polymorphist's Jest, realizing too late that, while Master of Waves would lose its ability to keep the tokens around, Polymorphist's Jest would turn the 1/0 Elementals into 1/1 Frogs as well. "They're 1/1 Frogs? Oh no!" Dickmann was cruelly ribbing him: "I have to say, that was not the best play." Seibold just shook his head. "I never actually played the card," he admitted.

Dickmann overloaded Cyclonic Rift to take the game and then a discussion developed between the two players as to whether Polymorphist's Jest even was a good sideboard card in the matchup.

(23) Patrick Dickmann 1-1 Christian Seibold

Patrick Dickmann

Game 3

Dickmann had to take a mulligan whereas Seibold had another strong start. He led with a pair of Cloudfin Raptors, killing one with Rapid Hybridization. He followed that up with Nightveil Specter on turn three and attacked for 5. The following turn, Seibold had Cyclonic Rift for Dickmann's own Nightveil Specter and then stopped Dickmann's last-ditch effort Domestication via Gainsay. Dickmann conceded on the spot.

"As I said, the matchup is all about the die-roll," he grumbled. "This may have looked like a complete blowout but I could have won both games if I had played first."

(23) Patrick Dickmann 1-2 Christian Seibold