About Wenzel Krautmann
Wenzel is an experienced player from Germany who has a number of high-profile finishes under his belt:
- Winner GP Warsaw 2013
- Top 8 GP Quebec 2013
- Top 8 GP Moscow 2012
- Top 8 Team GP Bochum 2004
- Top 8 GP Helsinki 2004
- 49 Lifetime Pro Points
GP Warsaw Winner’s Report *1st*
This past weekend, the last Grand Prix of the season took place. I knew it would be my last chance to qualify for Pro Tour Dublin and save my Silver Level invite. I played a couple of GPs and PTQs feeding Dublin and was already very close to qualifying the hard way. I lost in the finals of MOCS Season 5 and in the quarter-finals of the Silver Level online PTQ. I also lost in the quarter-finals of another PTQ in Hanau. It is not easy to qualify for the Pro Tour, but is definitely worth the effort.
I started playtesting the Monday after the World Magic Cup. Thomas Holzinger sent me a message during the World Magic Cup, saying that he had a really good deck he would share with me. It turned out to be UWR and I don't like to play control at big tournaments. So I looked at various tournament results and tried to find a deck that fits my play style better.
The metagame I expected was Jund, UWR, RG Dragon and some Hexproof decks. I didn't want to play Hexproof again after my Top 32 finish with the deck at Grand Prix Miami. I wanted something different. Not because I thought the deck was bad, I just did not like what it felt like when playing the deck. Often your opponent is not interacting with you the whole game and there are some unbeatable draws you can get, but sometimes you draw just creatures or just enchantments and the deck beats itself. I don't think it is a very consistent deck, so I dismissed it for GP Warsaw without even touching the new M14 cards the deck gained access to.
I wanted to beat the decks I expected to be the most popular or play one of them, so I started my playtesting with Junk Reanimator. I wanted to go bigger with Angel of Serenity and it looked like it might be good at beating Jund and UWR. Brian Braun-Duin wrote an article about his version of Junk Reanimator.
As Brian Braun-Duin mentioned at the end of his article, Scavening Ooze is not the only problem card the deck has to face, Lifebane Zombie is also highly problematic. Jund started to play the new M14 zombie in the Sideboard and even in the maindeck. After a few games on Magic Online, I dismissed the deck, because Burning Earth is another not so easy card to beat with Junk Reanimator. So on Monday, I still had no deck, but I knew I would not be playing Junk Reanimator.
The next deck I tried on Magic Online was RG Dragon. Brian Kibler built the deck for the World Championship in Amsterdam. He wrote an excellent article about how he designed the deck.
I used his list from the Word Championship as a starting point:
|Converted Mana Cost|
I played a couple of games with the deck and changed Gruul War Chant to Chandra, Pyromaster. I tried Searing Spear over Mizzium Mortars. Most of the time, Searing Spear can do the exact job Mizzium Mortars is doing, plus it can be used to deal 3 damage directly to your opponent. I didn't use overload very often while testing and I never paid 6 mana for Mizzium Mortars during the Grand Prix. At the GP I played Mizzium Mortars to kill bigger creatures consistently.
During playtesting, I activated Kessig Wolf Run not very often, that was the reason why I tried different lands. Mutavault is a creature on its own and can deal some extra damage if needed. The mana base allows you not more than one utility land. During playtesting, I kept track of how often I used the land's ability and how often I wished it was the other land. After about 40 games on Magic Online, I modified the deck and put the Mutavault in my maindeck. The games are often so fast that there is no time to activate Kessig Wolf Run or there is a spot where you don't want to risk activating it, because your opponent has plenty of mana available. At its best is Mutavault against UWR as an attacking creature after your opponent has cleared the board with Supreme Verdict or Terminus.
So there was only one card in the maindeck that I changed compared to the original version. Let's move on to the sideboard.
4x Burning Earth
This card is very good against UWR. Together with Domri Rade, there are eight non-creature threats after game 1 at three and four mana, which can win the game on their own. Against Jund with Lifebane Zombie, Burning Earth is not that good. Jund can curve out with Scavening Ooze, Lifebane Zombie into Huntmaster of the Fells and be ahead on the board. So I needed another card against Jund.
2x Chandra, Pyromaster
The new Chandra is exactly the card you want against Jund with Lifebane Zombies.
+1: Chandra, Pyromaster deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to up to one target creature that player controls. That creature can't block this turn.
0: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.
-7: Exile the top ten cards of your library. Choose an instant or sorcery card exiled this way and copy it three times. You may cast the copies without paying their mana costs.
Her +1 deals with Lifebane Zombie and removes a blocker. Most of the time you are going to attack your opponent and you don't have to care much about your life total. Removing a blocker is a huge deal.
Her 0 is pure card advantage. It is like drawing an extra card per turn. There are not many cards in the deck you don't want to cast. Maybe Mizzium Mortars or another Chandra, Pyromaster.
3x Volcanic Strength
The mountainwalk enchantment is there to win the mirror, and to win against Boros Reckoner. Boros Reckoner is a very good card against RG Dragon. I even saw some UWR players adding Boros Reckoner to their sideboards to win against RG Dragon.
Fog is a card I learned to respect in Miami. In the Hexproof mirror match, Fog functions as a timewalk. Against Hexproof, my deck needs to be fast and there isn't much interaction, so Fog should be good there too. In the RG Dragon mirror match, Fog is often a timewalk, too. It buys you another turn and in the best case scenario your opponent bloodrushed and lost a card.
The Swiss Rounds 12-1-2
After 3 byes, I played 6 more rounds for a perfect 9-0 record on day 1. On day 2 I played 3-1-2 with two intentional draws with Denniz Rachid and Przemek Oberbek. The metagame was as I expected it, and I felt well prepared for every matchup.
My personal metagame looked like this:
- Jund: 2
- RG Dragon: 2
- Hexproof: 3
- Aristocrats 1
- BR Zombies: 1
- BG Aggro: 1
I do not want to give you a round by round report, I recommend checking the official coverage for that.
Quarterfinals Ramquist, Niklas – Hexproof
Semifinals Kolacinski, Michal - Jund
Finals Tapia Becerra, Felipe – BRG Zombies
This was the third time I played Felipe. He won in the quarterfinals at GP Quebec City and in the first draft at GP Rimini 2 weeks before GP Warsaw.
I won in two pretty quick games and finally won my first Grand Prix!
Let's see how I sideboarded during the Grand Prix. In the video coverage Raphael Levy said I sideboarded Volcanic Strength against Jund in the semifinals. Just to make it clear, never bring in Volcanic Strength against Jund!
+ 2 Chandra, Pyromaster + 3 Burning Earth (on the play 2)
- 2 Scavening Ooze -2 Ghor-Clan Rampager -1 Strangleroot Geist (0 on the play)
Jund runs some of the best cards the format has to offer, but it can get clunky draws or sometimes the mana does not work. You can beat Jund with an aggressive start. You always want Elvish Mystic or Arbor Elf in your opening 7, followed by Flinthoof Boar or Strangleroot Geist. You're not going to win with a clunky draw with just Hellriders, Burning Earth and Dragons.
The only match I lost was to Jeremy Dezani from France. He brought Jund to the table. In game 2 I had a hand with 2x Forest, 3x Flinthoof Boar, 1x Domri Rade, 1x Mizzium Mortars. The Boars are very good at pressuring the Jund player. I only needed a single red mana to cast all my spells, so I kept. In the end, I drew 2 more Forests and lost, but I still think the keep is correct. The deck contains 14 red sources and 10 of them are Mountains to get 3/3 Boars.
+4 Burning Earth + 2 Chandra, Pyromaster
- 3 Ghor-Clan Rampager -3 Mizzium Mortars
Burning Earth deals too much damage and Sphinx's Revelation is not that good anymore. Chandra is there as another non-creature threat. Chandra draws extra cards and if they bring in Boros Reckoner it helps with getting some damage in.
+ 2 Fog + 3 Volcanic Strength
- 4 Strangleroot Geist – 1 Ghor-Clan Rampager
Strangleroot Geist is not a good target for your Volcanic Strength. They can still kill it with Mizzium Mortars. This matchup is pretty fast and a well timed Fog can give you the win.
+ 2 Bonfire + 2 Fog
- 4 Domri Rade
If they have the nuts you can't win. But the deck does not have the nuts very often. Domri Rade fights only the 4 Pilgrims, so she is the worst card in your deck.
You always need to keep a very aggressive hand to stand a chance in this matchup. Just a turn 3 Hellrider is often not enough. The best card Hexproof has is Unflinching Courage and they will also bring in Fogs out of the sideboard.
Standard without M13 and ISD Block
I am not sure if there will be a similar deck after the rotation. We already have some cards that might find a place in a Domri Rade based deck.
Kalonian Hydra, Ogre Battledriver could replace Hellrider and Thundermaw Hellkite, but Kalonian Hydra is green and a very good target for Lifebane Zombie.
We will have to see what Theros brings.
Thanks for reading.