|Nickname||The German Juggernaut|
|Born||October 28th, 1979|
|Pro Tour debut||Pro Tour Mainz 1997|
|Winnings||$384,220 (as of 2018-08-06)|
|Top Finishes||11 (7 wins)|
|GP top 8s||15 (7 wins)|
|Median Pro Tour Finish||51|
|Lifetime Pro Points||569 (as of 2018-08-14)|
|Hall of Fame|
|Player of the Year|
Kai Budde is a professional Magic player and World Champion. He holds the record for number of Pro Tour wins (7), Player of the Year titles (4), and is tied for first in Grand Prix wins (7) with Yuuya Watanabe and Shuhei Nakamura. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Budde is widely considered to be one of the two best players of all time, along with Jon Finkel.
Budde qualified for his first Pro Tour in 1997 (PT New York), but opted to participate in the juniors division. His top 16 finish there was enough to qualify him for the next Pro Tour in Mainz, where he debuted in the senior division. His 52nd-place result was good enough for a money finish, but he did not return to the Pro Tour until a year later, during the 1998–99 season. This was when he first generated attention to himself by winning three GPs in quick succession - GP Barcelona, GP Vienna, and GP Amsterdam were won over a time span of four months. This earned him the contemporary nickname "King of Grand Prixes", but he ascended past Grand Prix dominance when he made the top eight of the 1999 World Championships, where he ultimately did not just win the event to become the World Champion, but in the process also earned the title of 1998–99 Player of the Year, despite being an unknown quantity coming into the season.
During the next season, Budde failed to make it to the top eight of any Pro Tour events, though he finished 10th at the team PT in Washington, D.C., and 11th at PT London. Instead, it was during the next season, the 2000–01 season, that the Kai Budde era would truly begin. Pro Tour Chicago 2000 started an unprecedented run of dominance where Budde won six out of 14 Pro Tours, two of them being Team Limited Pro Tours that he won alongside Dirk Baberowski and Marco Blume on the team called the Phoenix Foundation. Budde won PT Chicago 2000, PT Barcelona 2000, and PT New York 2001, and players and commentators started questioning whether he or Jon Finkel, previously undisputedly considered the best, was the best player of all time. At PT New York, Randy Buehler suggested that if Budde won the next Pro Tour as well, PT New Orleans, he was the best player of all time. Eric Taylor responded that there was no way that was going to happen, and if Budde won New Orleans, he'd eat his hat. Budde did, in fact, win Pro Tour New Orleans as well. This was Budde's fifth win in five top eight appearances, leading to the common saying that "Kai doesn't lose on Sundays". Two more Pro Tour titles followed, at PT Boston 2002 and PT Chicago 2003, and Budde won the Player of the Year title three years running. In 2001–02, he had 117 Pro Points, 42 more than the runner-up finish, Jens Thoren. Budde also won the German National Championships in 2002, and followed it up with a Team World Championships title with the German national team the same year. Additionally, he won the 2001 Magic Invitational, resulting in the creation of a card in his likeness, Voidmage Prodigy.
Following the 2003–04 season, Budde largely withdrew from professional play. He still showed up for the occasional event, including PT Philadelphia 2005, where he was for a long time undefeated, and ended up in 27th-place. At the 2006 World Championships, he commented that barring a significant change in the system, he did not think that anyone would ever overtake him when it came to number of Pro Tour wins. In 2007, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, having garnered 90.4% of the votes. Over the next few years, Budde would show up to about one event a year. Among these was Pro Tour Amsterdam 2010, where he generated considerable excitement in the Magic community by posting his 10th Pro Tour top eight, though the event ended with a quarterfinals defeat against Brad Nelson.
In 2012, Budde joined the team currently known as The Pantheon, where he was playtest partner with among others former rival Jon Finkel. Starting with PT Dragon's Maze, Budde returned to attending Pro Tours regularly, and posted several strong finishes, including 17th at PT Theros and 14th at PT Born of the Gods, but he did not return to the top eight.
Budde has also featured on the Vintage Super League from seasons 2 through 5.
In 2019 Budde returned on the professional stage with a third place at the digital Mythic Championship III. The following year he gained a place in the Magic Rivals League. Ending up in the Rivals Gauntlet, he finished second in that play-of competition. This gained him a place in the 2021–22 Magic Pro League.
|2020 Rivals League||17|
|2020-21 Rivals League||23|
|2021–22 Magic Pro League|
|1998–99||Grand Prix||Birmingham||Block Constructed||17–18 October 1998||2|
|1998–99||Grand Prix||Barcelona||Limited||6–7 February 1999||1|
|1998–99||Grand Prix||Vienna||Extended||13–14 March 1999||1|
|1998–99||Grand Prix||Amsterdam||Limited||15–16 May 1999||1|
|1998–99||Worlds||Tokyo||Standard||4–8 August 1999||1|
|2000–01||Grand Prix||Florence||Extended||25–26 November 2000||3|
|2000–01||Pro Tour||Chicago||Standard||1–3 December 2000||1|
|2000–01||Pro Tour||Barcelona||Limited||4–6 May 2001||1|
|2001–02||Grand Prix||London||Block Constructed||1–2 September 2001||1|
|2001–02||Pro Tour||New York||Team Limited||7–9 September 2001||1|
|2001–02||Pro Tour||New Orleans||Extended||9–11 November 2001||1|
|2001–02||Grand Prix||Biarritz||Limited||24–25 November 2001||2|
|2001–02||Grand Prix||Lisbon||Extended||19–20 January 2002||1|
|2001–02||Grand Prix||Antwerp||Limited||2–3 March 2002||1|
|2001–02||Masters||Osaka||Team Limited||14–17 March 2002||1|
|2001–02||Grand Prix||Naples||Limited||6–7 April 2002||3|
|2001–02||Masters||Nice||Extended||3–5 May 2002||3|
|2001–02||Pro Tour||Nice||Limited||3–5 May 2002||5|
|2001–02||Nationals||Germany||Special||10–12 May 2002||1|
|2001–02||Worlds||Sydney||National team||10–14 August 2002||1|
|2002–03||Pro Tour||Boston||Team Limited||27–29 September 2002||1|
|2002–03||Grand Prix||Copenhagen||Limited||12–13 October 2002||3|
|2002–03||Masters||Chicago||Standard||16–19 January 2003||8|
|2002–03||Pro Tour||Chicago||Limited||17–19 January 2003||1|
|2003–04||Pro Tour||Boston||Team Limited||12–14 September 2003||4|
|2003–04||Grand Prix||Gothenburg||Limited||22–23 November 2003||4|
|2003–04||Grand Prix||Madrid||Limited||21–22 February 2004||1|
|2003–04||Grand Prix||Brussels||Block Constructed||29–30 May 2004||2|
|2010||Pro Tour||Amsterdam||Extended and Booster Draft||3–5 September 2010||8|
|2011||Grand Prix||Paris||Limited||12–13 February 2011||5|
|2018–19||Mythic Championship||Las Vegas (MTG Arena)||Traditional Standard||21–23 June 2019||3|
→ Source: Wizards.com
Pro Tour results
|1998–99||Los Angeles||Rochester Draft||51||$510|
|1998–99||New York||Block Constructed||27||$1,430|
|1999–00||Washington, D.C.||Team Limited||10||$750|
|1999–00||Los Angeles||Booster Draft||98|
|1999–00||New York||Block Constructed||42||$720|
|2000–01||New York||Team Limited||22|
|2000–01||Los Angeles||Rochester Draft||25||$1,800|
|2001–02||New York||Team Limited||1||$20,000|
|2001–02||San Diego||Rochester Draft||77|
|2003–04||San Diego||Booster Draft||238|
|2003–04||Worlds (San Francisco)||Special||109|
|2007||Worlds (New York)||Special||361|
|2010||Amsterdam||Extended and Booster Draft||8||$9,500|
|2011||Paris||Standard and Booster Draft||351|
|2012||Avacyn Restored in Barcelona||Block Constructed and Booster Draft||58||$1,000|
|2012–13||Dragon's Maze in San Diego||Block Constructed and Booster Draft||69||$1,000|
|2013–14||Theros in Dublin||Standard and Booster Draft||17||$2,500|
|2013–14||Born of the Gods in Valencia||Modern and Booster Draft||14||$5,000|
|2013–14||Journey into Nyx in Atlanta||Block Constructed and Booster Draft||35||$1,500|
|2014–15||Fate Reforged in Washington, D.C.||Modern and Booster Draft||381|
|2014–15||Magic Origins in Vancouver||Standard and Booster Draft||331|
|2015–16||Battle for Zendikar in Milwaukee||Standard and Booster Draft||281|
|2015–16||Oath of the Gatewatch in Atlanta||Modern and Booster Draft||196|
|2016–17||Kaladesh in Honolulu||Standard and Booster Draft||162|
|2017–18||Dominaria in Richmond||Standard and Booster Draft||208|
|2017–18||25th Anniversary in Minneapolis||Team Constructed||54||$1,000|
|2018–19||Guilds of Ravnica in Atlanta||Standard and Booster Draft||137|
|2018–19||Mythic Championship III||Traditional Standard||3||$40,000|
→ Source: Wizards.com
- Top 200 All-Time Money Leaders
- Lifetime Top Finishes
- Lifetime Grand Prix Top 8s
- List of players by lifetime Pro Points (requires Planeswalker Points login)
- KAI BUDDE - HALL OF FAME. Wizards of the Coast.
- Kim Eikefet (1999-08-09). "Top Eight Player Profile Kai Budde". The Dojo.
- Kim Eikefet (1999-08-09). "Recap and Interview with Kai Budde". The Dojo.
- Ben Bleiweiss. "Eric Taylor eats his hat!". Wizards of the Coast.
- 2001 Pro Tour New Orleans Coverage. Wizards of the Coast.
- PODCASTING FROM THE 2006 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. Wizards of the Coast (2006-11-29).
- VIDEO FEATURE: DAY TWO WRAP-UP. Wizards of the Coast (2010-09-04).