On the eve of MKM Series Frankfurt 2018, it was time for us to once again take a step back and review what happened so far … Nine weeks ago, players from all over Europe gathered in Barcelona for the fifth and final stop of the MKM Series in 2017, including 166 masters of Modern.

Deck of the Tournament

This was a hard call to make, and not for lack of candidates. Primeval Titan/Scapeshift was the only archetype to put two players into the Top 8, Death's Shadow won the whole thing, and a red-green mana denial strategy reached the semifinals.

Daniel Ballestin's blue-red brew, however, was voted most interesting. It featured many of the control elements and the Blood Moon which had long been the hallmarks of the deck known as “Blue Moon”—but it also featured a surprise combo kill in Deceiver Exarch/Pestermite plus Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker!

Daniel Ballestin – Blue Moon & Mite

Main Deck:
  • 4 Opt
  • 1 Torrential Gearhulk
  • 1 Cascade Bluffs
  • 6 Island
  • 1 Mountain
  • 2 Misty Rainforest
  • 2 Flooded Strand
  • 4 Scalding Tarn
  • 3 Sulfur Falls
  • 3 Steam Vents
  • 1 Desolate Lighthouse
  • 3 Serum Visions
  • 2 Cryptic Command
  • 2 Dispel
  • 1 Negate
  • 4 Remand
  • 1 Electrolyze
  • 4 Lightning Bolt
  • 3 Blood Moon
  • 1 Keranos, God of Storms
  • 2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
  • 4 Snapcaster Mage
  • 3 Deceiver Exarch
  • 2 Pestermite
Sideboard:
  • 3 Relic of Progenitus
  • 1 Negate
  • 1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
  • 1 Pyroclasm
  • 2 Jace, Architect of Thought
  • 1 Izzet Staticaster
  • 2 Roast
  • 2 Vandalblast
  • 2 Anger of the Gods
txt version

Daniel Ballestin – Blue Moon & Mite
Main Deck:
4 Opt
1 Torrential Gearhulk
1 Cascade Bluffs
6 Island
1 Mountain
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Sulfur Falls
3 Steam Vents
1 Desolate Lighthouse
3 Serum Visions
2 Cryptic Command
2 Dispel
1 Negate
4 Remand
1 Electrolyze
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Blood Moon
1 Keranos, God of Storms
2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Deceiver Exarch
2 Pestermite
Sideboard:
3 Relic of Progenitus
1 Negate
1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
1 Pyroclasm
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
1 Izzet Staticaster
2 Roast
2 Vandalblast
2 Anger of the Gods

Match of the Tournament

Two former Grand Prix Top 8 competitors met in the quarterfinals when Tristan Pölzl and Daniel Ballestin clashed. Both were using a less common strategy, Blue-Red Combo/Control versus White-Black Eldrazi/Hatebears, to make for an especially interesting pairing. The games themselves didn't disappoint either, even though there were only two of them.

Daniel Ballestin

Both were hard-fought battles which had Ballestin go down to as far as 4 life, 3 life in the second, before reaching a position of dubious stability, considering the constant threat of Aether Vial. Only much later did he finally take full control, closing the game with things like the combination of Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker plus Torrential Gearhulk. This was a real slugfest which took almost as long as all the other Top 8 matches combined!

Notable Finishes

This was the second Top 8 at the MKM Series for Tristan Pölzl, the third for Daniel Ballestin, and the fourth for Dennis Zens. And when Zens won the Modern tournament he simultaneously secured first place among the 2017 Power 8, widening the gap between himself and his closest rivals enough to cross the finish line one day ahead of season's end.

The tournament's and the tournament season's winner Dennis Zens

You can read more about Modern at the MKM Series Barcelona 2017 in our archives.