Lessons Learned at Cardmarket Series Frankfurt
The biggest German tournament weekend of 2019 is over and Andifeated attended both the Modern and Legacy events. Learn how his tournaments went and what he took away from them.
I just came home from a weekend trip to Frankfurt, where the biggest stop of the Cardmarket Series was about to take place this year and had a very fun weekend with my friends. Frankfurt isn't Germany's capital but since it's kind of in the middle of our country many big tournaments are hosted there and the German magic community often meets here. Therefore, the city has some special feeling for me and I always love to go there.
Friday: Traffic and Steaks
On Friday, we were stuck in traffic for the most part of the day and only arrived in Frankfurt in the evening. Therefore, we couldn't attend any Trials which is kind of sad as they're pretty attractive tournaments. Not only can you earn up to two byes for a Cardmarket Series Main Event, but players who win all four rounds of their trial also receive two Cardmarket Series Leaderboard Points which quite a lot, if you compare it to the four attendance, points a player earns for every Main Event they play. In the future, I will try to use Friday to compete in some Trials Events as they're the perfect opportunity to practice your deck while offering decent value.
We didn't play any Magic on Friday but we still had a blast as we found a very promising Steakhouse and had awesome dinner there. After all, hanging out with your friends is one of the sweetest parts about traveling together for Magic Weekends.
Saturday: Modern Main Event
On Saturday, I decided to participate in the Modern Main Event as it would probably be the biggest Magic Tournament in Germany this year and I, of course, wanted to be part of that. Also, I love to play Modern and just watched the coverage of MagicFest Barcelona as I'm preparing for the upcoming Mythic Championship Qualifier Season which is Modern only. Those factors made it very easy for me to not play the smaller and therefore easier to win Main Events in Vintage or Limited.
I didn't win a Trial before the weekend and with 450 Players, I was about to fight my way through 10 grueling rounds of Modern. I chose to play the following Dredge List, which was the best performing Modern deck at Mythic Championship Barcelona, and probably the best deck since Modern Horizon's Release that nobody knew about:
Hogaak Dredge by Andreas Reling
|1Blackcleave Cliffs||4Bloodghast||4Cathartic Reunion|
|2Blood Crypt||3Golgari Thug||2Conflagrate|
|1City of Brass||3Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis||4Creeping Chill|
|1Copperline Gorge||2Narcomoeba||4Faithless Looting|
|1Dryad Arbor||3Prized Amalgam||4Life from the Loam|
|1Forgotten Cave||4Stinkweed Imp|
|2Gemstone Mine||4Stitcher's Supplier|
|1Abrupt Decay||2Assassin's Trophy||4Leyline of the Void|
|2Lightning Axe||3Nature's Claim||1Shenanigans|
Actually, this is close to what I wanted to try initially when Modern Horizons was completely spoiled but I didn't see the genius idea to run Dryad Arbor alongside green fetchlands to make it easier to convoke Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. When the Hogaak Bridgevine Summer kicked in though, I quickly put my Dredge thoughts aside and was busy winning tournaments with Vengevines and Altar of Dementia. Right before MagicFest Barcelona, I had a look at Dredge again but thought that graveyard hate would be all over the place because of Hogaakvine that Dredge wouldn't be a decent choice despite it being the deck probably benefitting the most from the new London Mulligan. Boy was I wrong about that.
My deck felt really good throughout the tournament. I faced many sideboard cards dedicated to beat strategies like mine but there where multiple occasions where I beat double Leyline of the Void, Surgical Extraction alongside Thing in the Ice // Awoken Horror, or Leyline of the Void combined with Chalice of the Void. I also was about to win against Titanshift despite him drawing two Relic of Progenitus alongside Anger of the Gods if he didn’t also manage to find Tormod's Crypt right before I was about to win the game thanks to Shenanigans. Speaking of, Shenanigans was an exceptional card throughout the entire tournament.
Dredge is just exceptionally resilient to opposing sideboard hate and manages to do really broken stuff on a consistent basis if you take enough mulligans to find playable hands. Sometimes, if you can put back Creeping Chill or Narcomoeba into your deck, mulligans don't even feel like you're starting with fewer cards since you still have access to them in your library, assuming you find a fetch land to shuffle them in.
I managed to achieve a 6-4 record and was not unhappy with my performance. It felt like I could've played better and some losses were against decent matchups or unlikely to happen regarding the context of the last game so I feel like this deck has very high potential going forward. I'll use it for my upcoming tournaments as well to master it as it is quite difficult to sideboard and play optimally in my opinion. One thing that stood out to me on Saturday after all is how weird the metagame shaped up. In Barcelona, HogaakVine was by far the most played deck and it still performed quite well despite Leyline of the Void being the most prominent card of the tournament. Still, players brought not many copies of that deck while choosing archetypes that were traditionally unfavored against Graveyarddecks and especially HogaakVine. I'm talking about W/U/X Control, B/G/X Midrange and Izzet Pheonix, which showed up in bigger numbers than in Barcelona while being at a disadvantage against all sorts Hogaak. If we can learn anything from this data, it is that Modern is wild and you shouldn't care too much about metagaming but just play what you think is the best deck or what you enjoy the most.
Sunday: Legacy Main Event
Since me and my friends where playing Legacy on a weekly basis for the last year or so, I was more excited about this event as I simply love playing with the old cards even if the format receives close to zero competitive support from Wizards of the Coast. I'm happy that the Cardmarket Series will still offer this tournament when Wizards decides it's just not worth their attention anymore. I fell in love with W/U Miracles recently and wasn't able to adapt to the Metagame that was hit hard by Wrenn and Six so I decided to go with good old faithful and made some changes to prepare for a metagame full of the two mana planeswalker.
Miracles by Andreas Reling
|19Lands||14Other Permanents||27Instants and Sorceries|
|4Flooded Strand||1Monastery Mentor||4Brainstorm|
|4Prismatic Vista||2Snapcaster Mage||3Force of Negation|
|1Scalding Tarn||2Jace, the Mind Sculptor||4Force of Will|
|7Snow-Covered Island||4Narset, Parter of Veils||1Spell Snare|
|3Snow-Covered Plains||1Teferi, Hero of Dominaria||4Swords to Plowshares|
|2Teferi, Time Raveler||1Council's Judgment|
|2Back to Basics||4Ponder|
|1Celestial Purge||2Containment Priest||1Council's Judgment|
|1Monastery Mentor||2Rest in Peace||2Vendilion Clique|
This version of the deck is my own and very controversial. I decided to go without any dual lands because I expected many Wastelands in my opponent's decks and don't play Counterspell or Counterbalance anyway, which makes your mana way easier. Also, with the addition of Prismatic Vista you don't need an Tundra anymore to ensure a good fixed Manabase as you can fetch for the right Basic Land most of the time. While this offers some advantages, it can get awkward in the early game and I'm not sold yet if this is the best way to build your Landbase but it feels smooth and as if I'm onto something.
I was afraid that my trusty Miracles deck would stand no chance against the Wrenn and Six Control decks as well as against the Delver Decks featuring the new Planeswalker but I was surprised by how competitive my deck still felt after all good and longtime Miracle players I asked told me the deck wasn't a decent choice right now. I finished the 280 Player Event with a disappointing record of 4-5 but most of my matches could've gone my way as well if I would've played tighter or had better fortune so I'm not down about that.
I didn't get to play at any Cardmarket Series Events for over a year because of time constraints. I was really impressed by how much the quality of those events improved in the meantime. The coverage was awesome, the venue had everything I expect from a tournament hall and the fact that you can play to achieve something bigger with the Power 8 makes the Cardmarket Series really attractive compared to Grand Prix Events at MagicFests, where the future is anything but clear and committed players aren't rewarded for dedication in a significant way. That and the fact that you can choose your favorite formats to compete in motivates me to participate in as many stops of the Cardmarket Series as I can going forward.
Did you participate in any Cardmarket Series Events this year or do you plan to go to the last two of them later this year? Tell me in the comments what you think about Modern and Legacy right now or what you experienced at past Cardmarket Series Stops.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.