After six rounds plus quarter- and semifinals, only two players were left to duke it out for the title and trophy of our Vintage main event: Sweden's Mikael Linden who had already won the MKM Series event in Prague last year playing the same Oath of Druids deck. And Immanuel Kurz piloting Doomsday.

Mikael Linden now had the chance to become a two-time MKM Series Champion!

Mikael Linden now had the chance to become a two-time MKM Series Champion!

“Are you from around here?” asked Mikael Linden.

“Yes,” Immanuel Kurz answered emphatically. “30 minutes by car.”

So this was a match between a real hometown hero and an international star of the MKM Series. Who would prevail in the battle of the two combo decks?

The Games

Both players cast Preordains on their first turns, but it was on turn two when the real action began: Kurz led with Gitaxian Probe and saw a Force of Will plus a blue card in Linden's hand. He then cast Dark Ritual, forced it past Linden's Force via Flusterstorm, and resolved Doomsday.

Linden tried to dig for answers with the help of Brainstorm, but was denied by Kurz's Mental Misstep. On his turn, Kurz smoothly cast Gitaxian Probe, Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Laboratory Maniac, and Gush for the win.

Immanuel Kurz 1-0 Mikael Linden

Immanuel Kurz was only one game away from becoming a MKM Series Champion!

Immanuel Kurz was only one game away from becoming a MKM Series Champion!

In the second game, Linden was going first and was able to resolve more than one spell. In fact, he succesfully cast four on the very first turn of the game: Brainstorm, a pair of Moxen, and Oath of Druids.

Kurz had a potentially crucial Defense Grid on his first turn, but in this game, Linden actually had the mana to pay the additional tax on his counterspells.

Eventually, Forbidden Orchard gave Kurz an unwelcome token and activated Linden's Oath of Druids. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn reared its ugly head and the spectators held their collective breath. Would Doomsday be able to save the day in the face of impending doom?

On his turn, Kurz cast Gitaxian Probe and saw a hand of Blightsteel Colossus plus Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. “The big boys …” The players shared a chuckle, before they went back to business. In this case, business meant two attacks by Emrakul to even the score.

“Well, I was quite soft to … anything,” said Linden, “as you could see.”

Immanuel Kurz 1-1 Mikael Linden

For the deciding game, Kurz was once again on the play, but it was Linden who had the first play. In fact, he opened extremely strong on Forbidden Orchard, Mox Sapphire, Mana Crypt, and Oath of Druids. Kurz responded with Force of Will exiling Flusterstorm

“Pitching Flusterstorm?” said Linden. “Well, well.”

As he later explained, he figured Kurz must have had another Flusterstorm in hand because surely Kurz would have rather exiled any other blue card. That's why he decided to respond with Spell Pierce instead of pitching it to his own Force of Will. “This way, I would at least have a Force for later,” Linden explained.

But, as it turned out, Kurz didn't have another Flusterstorm but simply hadn't had any other blue card to exile. What he did have, however, was Dark Ritual which he cast to pay for
Spell Pierce.

Linden chided himself for his mistake, but wasn't punished for it. A few turns later, he was able to Tinker for Blightsteel Colossus and took the game anway.

Immanuel Kurz 1-2 Mikael Linden

“I topdecked pretty well,” he admitted after accepting congratulations on his victory.

“Well, we do play Vintage,” Kurz replied with a laugh.

Congratulations to Mikael Linden, repeat Vintage champion of the MKM Series!

Mikael Linden became a two-time MKM Series Champion today!

Mikael Linden became a two-time MKM Series Champion today!