After four days of Magic, just two people kept playing where hundreds had done so over the course of the long weekend. All around them the hall was empty, echoing with the sounds of tournament staff dismantling their stuff.

It was the first Top 8 at the MKM Series for both Arne Huschenbeth and Malik Martin, although both had seen some success at large tournaments before. Huschenbeth had two Grand Prix Top 8s to his name, including a victory at Grand Prix Rimini last year, and the two of them had actually both been in the Top 8 at JK Entertainment's famous End-of-Year Event. “You didn't want to split then,” Martin reminded Huschenbeth accusingly.

Malik Martin had chosen to run no risk, to run Mardu Vehicles. Huschenbeth on the other hand had done some innovating and had brought a Blue-Red Control deck full of Amonkhet cards like Essence Scatter, Pull from Eternity, Commit / Memory, Censor, Sweltering Suns, and most importantly Magma Spray.

Huschenbeth had played the matchup three times before, had yet to lose against Mardu, and was optimistic he'd be able to keep his winning streak alive. However, so was Martin who had beaten one Blue-Red Control player on his way to the final …

Game 1

Martin led with Scrapheap Scrounger, then had two Veteran Motorist essence scattered
before resolving Thraben Inspector and another Scrapheap Scrounger. Huschenbeth didn't have the appropriate answers—Magma Spray—and went looking for them with Glimmer of Genius.

To no avail. On the following attack he had to shoot both Scroungers with Harnessed Lightnings. This allowed Martin to resolve Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and make a token. When the planeswalker went to attack on the following turn, Huschenbeth returned the card to Martin's library with Commit / Memory. But Martin had a second Gideon, and the game ended shortly after.

Arne Huschenbeth 0-1 Malik Martin

Game 2

Martin didn't have a fast start into the second game, casting his first spell on turn three with Heart of Kiran, while missing a land drop. His next spell was stopped by Censor and when he finally managed to resolve another spell, it only was because Huschenbeth preferred to stock up on answers for the future via Glimmer of Genius.

Arne Huschenbeth

Huschenbeth killed Pia Nalaar with Harnessed Lightning, countered Nahiri, the Harbinger with Negate, and already Martin was out of threats. He did have Unlicensed Disintegration for Huschenbeth's Torrential Gearhulk and a few turns later another Disintegration for another Gearhulk, but those only got Huschenbeth to 6, while the Gearhulks generated way too much card adavantage for Martin to keep up. Wandering Fumaroles ended the game in short order.

Arne Huschenbeth 1-1 Malik Martin

Game 3

For the all-deciding third game, Martin was back on the play and his deck returned to form as well, giving him Heart of Kiran on turn two followed by Toolcraft Exemplar and Thraben Inspector. Huschenbeth's first interaction came when he disallowed Scrapheap Scrounger, not the best move to begin with, much less the best move to begin one's game with. That same turn he already fell to 7.

Malik Martin

The game took a sudden turn not much later when Huschenbeth cleared the board with Sweltering Suns and magma sprayed the Scrapheap Scrounger which returned to the battlefield at the end of his turn. At this point, Huschenbeth still had one counterspell and one Torrential Gearhulk in hand, with enough mana to cast the former. But Martin drew another Scrounger which couldn't be stopped this way and crewed Heart of Kiran for a lethal attack. With this, the MKM Series Frankfurt 2017 came to its end.

Arne Huschenbeth 1-2 Malik Martin