This is a match they probably played a lot back home. Living in the same city and working in the same team means these two see a lot of each other across a Magic game. While Kai decided to stick to his faithful Donate deck, Patrick got a BlessingGo deck from the fabled Mike Turian. When he saw the Sligh decks falling in the last hurdle of the Gateway he tuned down his sideboard against Red, hoping to escape that potentially nightmarish match up.
Despite this he survived a scare in the last round, when Alex Shvartsman´s Sligh decided to produce way too many lands in two games. Lets see how well he fares against Kai Budde and Donate, the winning combination of the last Extended Pro Tour.
The game kicked of in the usual way with both players maneuvering for control of the game. Kai tried a turn three Medallion but Mello was ready with a Counterspell. Budde Scrolled for help, while Mello used Dust Bowl to blow up a Volcanic Island. The slow pace clearly benefited Mello whose deck relies on Blessing recursion to rebuild a solid wall of counters and
card drawing spells. Or maybe Budde was just waiting for his hand to reach critical mass to unleash the counter-protected combo.
Again Kai Scrolled for extra fuel: Intuition. He used it to get three Medallions, and Mello let the remaining one resolve. On the next turn Patrick dropped a Powder Keg and fought a large counter war to prevent Budde from getting a Fact or Fiction.
Despite this Budde felt confident in going in for the kill. He played an Illusions and cast the Donate. Patrick considered his hand for a moment and scooped. It was a fast and brutal game.
Kai 1-0 Patrick.
Shuffling went on amongst what must have been a few war stories about the rounds so far. German is still a hard language to figure out but from the laughs and the mentions of Morphling and Barbarian Ring we figured that much. Despite the heavy pressure of the big bucks at stake most tables end up with a friendly environment during Masters. Most of the players already know each other very well and since all of them are taking home a good paycheck things are a lot more relaxed.
Budde got out a second turn Sapphire Medallion while Patrick hooked up the Glaciers engine. Mello blinked to drop a Powder Keg and Kai took the opening to show off some sideboard technology: Temporal Adept. Mello tried to Force the trouble away, losing Hydroblast, but Budde Forced it right back, tossing Intuition. The Adept was alive and kicking.
The Adept´s first target was the two-counter Keg. Patrick thought long and hard about blowing it to kill the Medallion. Finally he chose to return it to his hand. When Mello tried to regain ground with an end of turn Fact or Fiction it was Budde´s turn to do some math. The Juggernaut used Brainstorm to fix up his hand before using Pyroblast to stop the "five card enigma".
Kai was now down to two cards in hand while Mello had six. The Keg came in unchallenged but it was still no match for the hyperactive Temporal Adept.This time the Dust Bowl got bounced but not before killing a Volcanic Island. Patrick Mello was tapped out and again Budde took full advantage of it: in came Superman itself.
With a Morphling now joining the Adept in seemed almost impossible for Mello to fight back. A lot of bad things have been said about Morphling over time, but no one can ever accuse it of dragging out a game. Budde leaned back in his chair and let Mello dig in despair for his own Morphling.
With his back against the wall Patrick needed Morphling and he needed it fast. He cast a last ditch Fact or Fiction, getting another Fact. It was not enough. He untapped and played that last Fact, tapping out, just to see if he could find the creature. The shapeshifter did indeed show up in those five cards but it was too late. All Kai needed was to untap and sent the beast in.
As a joke Mello tried to Hydroblast the Morphling before extending his hand with a smile. His deck had been no match for Budde´s Donate in these two very lopsided games.
Final Result: Kai 2-0 Patrick.
Kai Budde reaches the Masters´ semifinals.