On the eve of MKM Series Rome, it was once again time for us to take a step back and review what happened last time at the MKM Series. The stop in Frankfurt, ten weeks ago, was one of many firsts. It was the first stop of the new season, it took place on the very first weekend of the year, and it was the first to feature Limited as a main event format!

Players to Watch

Lots of familiar people attended the event: Bernd Schwabe, Hannes Brandstetter, and Moritz Groß each had one Top 8 finish at the Series going into the weekend; Thorben Sieksmeyer even had two, and Schwabe made his second Top 8 here. The most notable competitor, however, was Philipp Krieger, among other things a semifinalist at last year's World Magic Cup.

The one and only Philipp Krieger

Krieger was the star of a tournament which almost turned into something of a bounty event, with everyone looking for a chance to defeat the reigning German national champion. It was awesome to see Krieger play his part, too. After his quarterfinals loss, he was still all smiles and pointed out that his opponent likely got more joy out of beating him than Krieger would have derived from winning. Philipp Krieger: a great player and a great guy!

Ixalan Conclusions

Sealed Deck had always been slower and less about synergy than Booster Draft, but before the introduction of Rivals, mono-Ixalan was an extreme example of the difference between the two. The Top 8 Draft decks at the MKM Series all were two-colored, littered with tempo cards, cheap combat tricks, and bounce spells. The Sealed Deck rounds, meanwhile, were dominated specifically by those tribes stretching over three colors and more adept at playing the long game: Pirates and Dinosaurs.

Another big feature, particular of the Booster Draft portion, was the combination of cheap, janky creatures with auras. At the MKM Series, Philipp Krieger drafted such a deck, highlighted by three copies of Swashbuckling, although in his case, fillers like Kinjalli's Caller and Looming Altisaur might have been too janky.

Finally, the MKM Series showed once again how strong some of Ixalan‘s combat tricks were, particularly within the context of the environment. Many a game came down to an attack where the defending player couldn't help but walk into a possible trap. In Frankfurt's final, it was poor Tobias Raab who twice declared a double block and twice lost both of his creatures to Jan Postma's Vampire's Zeal. Not only was this a trade of two for one in cards, it was all the more brutal because Raab lost an investment upwards of 4 mana to Postma's 1-mana spell.

Jan Postma's grin to Tobias Raab's chagrin

You can read more about Limited at MKM Series Frankfurt 2018, including all the nitty-gritty details like standings, Top 8 draft decklists, and a full write-up of the final match, in our archives.