World Magic Cup Report -My Second Time as a Captain-

Oliver Polak-Rottmann

Another week, another topic and this time it is great news. The World Magic Cup 2017 is in the books and Team Austria made the Top8 of this event again.

It was my second WMC as a captain alongside one captaincy at the old Magic World Championships and it always was a great experience.

This year the WMC was held in Nice, France and the week before that Grand Prix Lyon 2017 was happening. My Team for this year’s world Magic Cup consisted of National Champion Elias Klocker and Runner-Up Adrian Schrenk.

Before World Magic Cup

Before we headed to France I did not know any of my teammates in person but I knew that Adrian was not that experienced at high level tournaments, Elias has 2 GP Top 8 so far and started strong into the new season. While Adrian and I played together in Lyon Elias battled with a different team and so we got plenty of ideas how to approach the limited format of the event.

After the GP we went to Nice to prepare for the WMC together with Team Germany and Team France. While Austria worked with Germany on several occasions before the collaboration with France was new to both countries. As the two captains of those countries are Marc Tobiasch and Pierre Dagen, both Hareruya Pros and my teammates for the upcoming Team-Pro Tour we decided to put all our countries together and hopefully find the right decks.

While Austria reached the Top 8 of the WMC twice before and France also has two Top 8 including a win, expectations were high for our teams and Germany got close last year including Marc who really wanted to improve last years’ result.

Besides the Captains no one knew each other so the first day was a community day and get an idea where teams and players stand regarding the decks and skill. Our general understanding was that every team will have a Mono Red Deck as we identified as the strongest option as setting up Temur will be a challenge. We got a little surprised by the numbers of Teams bringing Temur but we thought that splitting up 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》, 《Abrade》 and 《Glorybringer》 would be to hard and the Energy Shell is strong enough to enable different decks.

Chandra, Torch of DefianceAbradeGlorybringer

After Mono Red being set for all teams the Energy Deck was the big question. We tinkered on Sultai, 《Electrostatic Pummeler》, 4 Color 《Gonti》 and 4 Color Marc Tobiasch Special. We quickly discarded 《Pummeler》 and the three other decks were all valid I don’t think any of those three decks is significantly worse or better against the field.

The “third Deck” was the real troublemaker though. Initially we thought that it easily could be 《Approach of the Second Sun》, but due to the shape of the format it became clear that that’s not the right call.

God-Pharaoh's Gift

As both of my teammates were high on 《Gift》 before the event we invested a lot of time into the deck and it looked promising besides the Mono Red match up. Austria decided rather early to go with 《Gift》 and therefore Adrian got the agenda to only practice against Red for the entirety of the week. Together we found a way to break it even and therefore were happy with that choice.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury

So back to Energy: Pierre was high on Sultai, Marc on his own creation and I preferred the 《Gonti》 Build of 4 Color Energy so there was no clear line and a lot of practice needed. The kicker for my team was the pilot of the Energy deck.

For us it was unclear who plays which deck at tournament besides the fact that I will not play 《Gift》 as the others were more experienced with it. For me it was more important that my teammates are comfortable at playing their decks rather than me playing what I personally like best as I practiced all of those decks enough. Elias decided to rather be on Energy than Red so I was our Mono Red Guy. If I would have been the energy player I would have went with Sultai, but Elias decided to run Marcs’ creation of 《Torrential Gearhulk》 Control.

Torrential GearhulkGod-Pharaoh's GiftHazoret the Fervent

So our lineup was 4 Color Control on A, 《God-Pharaoh's Gift》 on B and Mono Red on C. We assumed most teamcaptains will be sitting in the middle with Energy and less with Mono Red we decided to sit our 《Gift》 deck in the middle as the Mono Red match up was possibly the worst we could face.

The French went with Cycling, Mono Red and Sultai and the Germans took 4 Color Control, Mono Red and Mardu into battle. At first it felt kind of weird that three teams were testing together and all ended on different decks, but apparently everybody went with the most “convenient” way rather than trying to figure out absolute best suit. While a team with Temur in their mix won the tournament I still think it was correct to not to play it in favor of the other decks. Here are our decks before we jump into the tournament report:

Tournament Report

So we were ready to battle and received our sealed pool and what we received was pretty average with no Bomb Rares and no Merfolk Deck. I unfortunately forgot to make Photos of our decks but we ended up with one RG Dinosaurs, BW Control without Vampires and a UR Pirates.


Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

When we were stocked for Round won and looked at the pairings we got lucky with the Round 1 Bye. There are certainly worse scenarios than a Bye in a tournament were you only need 4 Wins on Day 1.

After that we faced against the mighty Joel Larsson and his Swedes. While I lost the Captain-Mirror my Teammates won their matches and only Thailand was in our way to a perfect limited record. We fell due to some medium draws and needed another 2 Wins which we were able to get from Lithuania and Paraguay. With a 4-1 we had a comfortable record going into Day 2 alongside Germany while the French fell out of the tournament with an unlucky 4-3 record.

Poolplay in the Top 32 started in the Group with Scotland and Thailand and Paraguay again. We had two very close matches against Scotland and Thailand to advance to the second stage without having to play the full 3 rounds. In Top 16 we had a group with Italy, Bulgaria and Uruguay. After losing to Italy in a nailbiter in Round 1 we had to battle Bulgaria and deserved ourselves a playoff against Uruguay.


Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

I won my Mono Red Mirror very fast and then I sat between my two teammates which were both ahead one game. We lost both game two and I really wanted to advance to Top 8. The next twenty minutes felt like the longest in a long times but Elias was able to win his match and close the deal. After a dry period for myself I finally found myself again in a Top 8 and we thought we will have a good seating in Top 8. We found out we finished in sixth place and had to face Japan on the draw we knew we had to do everything to win.

We went out for dinner with the Germans and discussed our match ups and felt like we had a decent shot at winning our quarterfinals, despite being on the draw. As I faced my best match up in 《Gift》 and Elias played against Mono Red without 《Chandra》 and our 《Gift》 match up against Temur was not the worst we had our game. Unfortunately I lost my match in very unspectacular fashion without much of a chance and Elias also fell we had to set our sails.

I am still very excited and happy about the result and hope to come back next year!

Congratulations to Team Japan for winning the whole thing and to all the other Top 8 competitors.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year =)


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