As you might have heard there was this new thing introduced for the MKM Series this year: At the end of the year, the eight most succesful players of 2017's five stops get awarded an MKMS Power 8 membership and are rewarded with up to 300 Euros in MKM credit whenever they attend a stop of the 2018 MKM Series.

MKM Series Hamburg 2017 was the fourth stop of the year, so naturally many of the current frontrunners were in attendance, jockeying for position and focusing on leaderboard points first and foremost.

In fact, Johannes Gutbrod, the current number one, dropped after Round 7 of the Legacy main event with a record of 4-2-1. He might have still earned some prizes if he had won the last two rounds, but he was looking for additional points, and points were almost certainly out of the question by then.

Johannes Gutbrod

“I was playing a B/U/G list of my own creation,” said Gutbrod. “The deck did really well in testing and also at the Grand Trial on Friday. Basically, I wanted to play something which people wouldn't expect me to play and which wasn't on everybody's radar. Also, the deck does a lot of cool things—Hymn to Tourach, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Wastelands—and it's a proactive strategy for a change. Too bad it didn't work out that well.”

Gutbrod of course had long made a name for himself as a Miracles player. His biggest finishes to date: winning the previous two Legacy main events of the MKM Series in Frankfurt with Sneak & Show and in Prague with Miracles. This weekend, he was aiming to make that three for three, but his B/U/G deck only excelled at Friday's Grand Trial. With his win there, he still earned enough points to retain his pole position in the ranking.

Meanwhile, the most likely candidate to catch up with Gutbrod was Julian Knab, not least because of his surprising win at Friday's Vintage main event! “I don't usually play Vintage at all,” said Knab. “The last time, I played Vintage was about two years ago. But it was totally worth it obviously.”

At today's Legacy event, Knab was 5-2 when I spoke with him. “Still playing for Top 16 and the extra points that come with it,” Knab said. “There might even be one player who makes it into the Top 8 with 7-2, but that's unlikely to be me.”

Still, a Top 16 would yield exactly enough points for Knab to draw level with Gutbrod. “Although there's no denying that Johannes is one of the best Legacy players around,” Knab pointed out. “It's no shame to lose out to him.”

Marius Hausmann & Julian Knab

Knab's best buddy Marius Hausmann hadn't had a great weekend so far, but at 6-1 he was at least still in the running for a Top 8 berth in Legacy. If he won the tournament, he would even surpass every other player in the ranking!

In any case, the 5-2 bracket at the Legacy main event was a tough one. It featured a slew of other big names, for instance Rodrigo Togores, who had picked up a bunch of extra points with his Vintage Top 8 this weekend, and also Tomas Mar.

Tomas Mar

Like Knab, Mar's hunt for leaderboard points had led him to enter a format he usually avoided, although in his case this format was Standard. And similar to Knab, Mar had done quite well there. He finished in 11th place and made enough points to keep up with Togores's gain.

Mar shared a little backstory about the deck he had played in Standard. “A friend of mine played Dark Temur Energy at our Nationals last weekend. He never won anything before, maybe not even FNM. But he finished second at Nationals! I borrowed his deck and it was every bit as great as I expected. The deck is really good. And it loses almost nothing in the upcoming rotation!”

Finally, Dennis Zens was in a good position to add the most points to his total here in Hamburg. He already went from 32 to 48 points with his Top 8 at the large Modern main event and now he was on a run for another Top 8 in Legacy …