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Day 1 Coverage of Grand Prix Montreal 2014

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The letter T!he largest Canadian Grand Prix in history - 1,622 players building and battling Born of the Gods Limited - has reached its halfway mark. 170 players will return tomorrow for more, this time testing their mettle by drafting Born of the Gods - Theros - Theros.

Across the nine rounds of Sealed Deck we saw heroes rise and fall. 2013 Player of the Year, and currently 8th-ranked, Josh Utter-Leyton fell early in the day as teammate David Ochoa rose through the ranks. Former Magic R&D developer and current Pro Tour coverage commentator Zac Hill took a strong run all day starting with Round 1, but multiple Grand Prix Top 8 player Patrick Cox rebooked his flight home before the penultimate round. In the end, five players stood above the rest and remained undefeated going into tomorrow drafts: Gerard Fabiano, Daniel Fournier, Michael Ando, Philip Dettelis, and Geoff Risi.

A host more players remain right behind them with just one loss each.

With Born of the Gods Sealed Deck firmly behind us our eyes now turn to picks from packs: Six rounds of Booster Draft stand between tomorrow's competitors and the Top 8 they each seek. Join us around 9 AM local time to watch it all unfold live.











 

  • Grand Prix Montreal Trial Winning Decklists

    by Adam Styborski and Josh Bennett

  • Andrew Simpson - Mono-Black Control
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists


    Ricky Chin - Mono-Blue
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists


    Cedric Sebbag - Mono-Black Aggro
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists


    Josh Frankel - Green-White
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Plains

    17 lands

    Akroan Skyguard
    Anthousa, Setessan Hero
    Elite Skirmisher
    Ghostblade Eidolon
    Heliod's Emissary
    Hero of Iroas
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Leafcrown Dryad
    Nessian Asp
    Nessian Courser
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Pheres-Band Raiders
    Pheres-Band Tromper
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Voyaging Satyr

    15 creatures

    Acolyte's Reward
    Battlewise Valor
    Dauntless Onslaught
    Feral Invocation
    Gods Willing
    Hunter's Prowess
    Time to Feed
    Warriors' Lesson

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Akroan Crusader
    Aqueous Form
    Arena Athlete
    Baleful Eidolon
    Bile Blight
    Bolt of Keranos
    Boulderfall
    Claim of Erebos
    Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass
    Dawn to Dusk
    Divination
    Ember Swallower
    Ephara's Radiance
    Epiphany Storm
    Evanescent Intellect
    Fate Foretold
    Felhide Brawler
    Flamespeaker Adept
    Floodtide Serpent
    Gainsay
    Gorgon's Head
    Great Hart
    Griffin Dreamfinder
    Grisly Transformation
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Kragma Butcher
    Kraken of the Straits
    Lightning Strike
    Loathsome Catoblepas
    Magma Jet
    March of the Returned
    Meletis Astronomer
    Necrobite
    Nimbus Naiad
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Omenspeaker
    Oreskos Sun Guide
    Pillar of War
    Rage of Purphoros
    Reaper of the Wilds
    Rescue from the Underworld
    Returned Centaur
    Rise to the Challenge
    Satyr Wayfinder
    Servant of Tymaret
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Shredding Winds
    Siren of the Silent Song
    Snake of the Golden Grove
    Spearpoint Oread
    Sudden Storm
    Traveler's Amulet
    Traveling Philosopher
    Tromokratis
    Two-Headed Cerberus
    Unknown Shores
    Viper's Kiss

    61 sideboard cards



    Noah Walter - Green-Red splashing Blue
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Island
    Mountain

    17 lands

    Anthousa, Setessan Hero
    Borderland Minotaur
    Centaur Battlemaster
    Flamespeaker Adept
    Forgestoker Dragon
    Nyxborn Rollicker
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Opaline Unicorn
    Pharagax Giant
    Polis Crusher
    Sedge Scorpion
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Voyaging Satyr

    14 creatures

    Bolt of Keranos
    Destructive Revelry
    Fated Conflagration
    Griptide
    Karametra's Favor
    Lightning Strike
    Sea God's Revenge
    Time to Feed
    Traveler's Amulet

    9 other spells

    Sideboard
    Akroan Skyguard
    Archetype of Finality
    Artisan's Sorrow
    Ashiok's Adept
    Asphyxiate
    Baleful Eidolon
    Benthic Giant
    Cavalry Pegasus
    Chorus of the Tides
    Crypsis
    Culling Mark
    Deathbellow Raider
    Divination
    Eidolon of Countless Battles
    Elite Skirmisher
    Ephara's Radiance
    Epiphany Storm
    Eternity Snare
    Evanescent Intellect
    Fate Foretold
    Fearsome Temper
    Felhide Minotaur
    Flamecast Wheel
    Flitterstep Eidolon
    Gods Willing
    Gray Merchant of Asphodel
    Great Hart
    Grisly Transformation
    Heliod's Emissary
    Kiora's Follower
    Leonin Snarecaster
    Loyal Pegasus
    March of the Returned
    Marshmist Titan
    Messenger's Speed
    Mischief and Mayhem
    Mnemonic Wall
    Mortal's Ardor
    Mortal's Resolve
    Prescient Chimera
    Satyr Hedonist
    Satyr Rambler
    Satyr Wayfinder
    Sentry of the Underworld
    Servant of Tymaret
    Setessan Griffin
    Shipbreaker Kraken
    Siren Song Lyre
    Springleaf Drum
    Stratus Walk
    Thunderous Might
    Triton Shorethief
    Wild Celebrants
    Witches' Eye
    Yoked Ox

    60 sideboard cards



    Jonathatn Jividen - Green-Blue
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    10  Forest
    Island

    17 lands

    Centaur Battlemaster
    Courser of Kruphix
    Flitterstep Eidolon
    Nessian Courser
    Nessian Demolok
    Nylea's Disciple
    Nyxborn Triton
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Omenspeaker
    Sedge Scorpion
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Swordwise Centaur
    Voyaging Satyr

    18 creatures

    Aspect of Hydra
    Griptide
    Mortal's Resolve
    Sudden Storm
    Time to Feed

    5 other spells

    Sideboard
    Akroan Conscriptor
    Akroan Skyguard
    Annul
    Archetype of Imagination
    Asphyxiate
    Benthic Giant
    Bile Blight
    Borderland Minotaur
    Boulderfall
    Cavalry Pegasus
    Claim of Erebos
    Commune with the Gods
    Dauntless Onslaught
    Daxos of Meletis
    Dragon Mantle
    Elite Skirmisher
    Epiphany Storm
    Excoriate
    Eye Gouge
    Favored Hoplite
    Felhide Minotaur
    Flame-Wreathed Phoenix
    Forsaken Drifters
    God-Favored General
    Gray Merchant of Asphodel
    Great Hart
    Hold at Bay
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Karametra's Acolyte
    Keepsake Gorgon
    Lightning Volley
    Loyal Pegasus
    Marshmist Titan
    Nullify
    Nyxborn Rollicker
    Ordeal of Heliod
    Reckless Reveler
    Returned Centaur
    Returned Phalanx
    Revoke Existence
    Rise to the Challenge
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Setessan Griffin
    Silent Sentinel
    Snake of the Golden Grove
    Spark Jolt
    Stormcaller of Keranos
    Stymied Hopes
    Sunbond
    Titan's Strength
    Triad of Fates
    Triton Tactics
    Vanquish the Foul
    Viper's Kiss
    Warchanter of Mogis
    Weight of the Underworld
    Wild Celebrants
    Xenagos, the Reveler
    Yoked Ox

    60 sideboard cards



    Steeve Bisson - White-Red
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Mountain
    Plains
    Temple of Abandon
    Temple of Malice

    17 lands

    Akroan Conscriptor
    Akroan Crusader
    Archetype of Courage
    Kragma Butcher
    Loyal Pegasus
    Nyxborn Shieldmate
    Observant Alseid
    Oracle of Bones
    Oreskos Sun Guide
    Reckless Reveler
    Soldier of the Pantheon
    Spearpoint Oread
    Thunder Brute
    Vanguard of Brimaz
    Wingsteed Rider

    15 creatures

    Bolt of Keranos
    Dragon Mantle
    Fall of the Hammer
    Fearsome Temper
    Gods Willing
    Lightning Strike
    Mortal's Ardor

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Agent of Horizons
    Bile Blight
    Blood-Toll Harpy
    Chorus of the Tides
    Chronicler of Heroes
    Coastline Chimera
    Crypsis
    Culling Mark
    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Demolish
    Destructive Revelry
    Disciple of Phenax
    Eater of Hope
    Ephara's Radiance
    Eternity Snare
    Evanescent Intellect
    Evangel of Heliod
    Fade into Antiquity
    Fate Foretold
    Feral Invocation
    Flamecast Wheel
    Fleecemane Lion
    Fleshmad Steed
    Gainsay
    Glare of Heresy
    God-Favored General
    Hold at Bay
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Karametra's Favor
    Lagonna-Band Elder
    Leafcrown Dryad
    March of the Returned
    Marshmist Titan
    Necrobite
    Pheres-Band Tromper
    Prescient Chimera
    Priest of Iroas
    Satyr Piper
    Satyr Rambler
    Savage Surge
    Scourgemark
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Setessan Starbreaker
    Shrike Harpy
    Silent Artisan
    Skyreaping
    Stratus Walk
    Thassa's Bounty
    Thassa's Emissary
    Traveler's Amulet
    Triton Fortune Hunter
    Triton Shorethief
    Viper's Kiss
    Weight of the Underworld

    59 sideboard cards



    Scott Oraborn - White-Green
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Plains

    17 lands

    Akroan Skyguard
    Fabled Hero
    Favored Hoplite
    Griffin Dreamfinder
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Karametra's Acolyte
    Nessian Asp
    Nyxborn Shieldmate
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Observant Alseid
    Sedge Scorpion
    Snake of the Golden Grove
    Swordwise Centaur
    Voyaging Satyr

    17 creatures

    Battlewise Valor
    Divine Verdict
    Feral Invocation
    Mortal's Ardor
    Reap What Is Sown
    Vanquish the Foul

    6 other spells

    Sideboard
    Akroan Crusader
    Akroan Hoplite
    Asphyxiate
    Benthic Giant
    Bile Blight
    Bolt of Keranos
    Cavern Lampad
    Charging Badger
    Commune with the Gods
    Coordinated Assault
    Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass
    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Dissolve
    Eater of Hope
    Ephara's Radiance
    Epiphany Storm
    Everflame Eidolon
    Eye Gouge
    Fall of the Hammer
    Fate Foretold
    Fated Retribution
    Felhide Brawler
    Fleetfeather Sandals
    Floodtide Serpent
    Griptide
    Guardians of Meletis
    Insatiable Harpy
    Karametra's Favor
    Marshmist Titan
    Meletis Astronomer
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Necrobite
    Nimbus Naiad
    Nullify
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Nyxborn Triton
    Peregrination
    Pinnacle of Rage
    Portent of Betrayal
    Prescient Chimera
    Prognostic Sphinx
    Pyxis of Pandemonium
    Reckless Reveler
    Returned Centaur
    Returned Phalanx
    Rise to the Challenge
    Scholar of Athreos
    Scouring Sands
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Siren of the Fanged Coast
    Spark Jolt
    Stormcaller of Keranos
    Temple of Enlightenment
    Thassa's Rebuff
    Triton Shorethief
    Wild Celebrants
    Witches' Eye
    Yoked Ox

    61 sideboard cards



    Devaghat Holness – Green-White
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Plains

    17 lands

    Fleecemane Lion
    Graverobber Spider
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Leafcrown Dryad
    Nessian Courser
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Observant Alseid
    Ornitharch
    Pheres-Band Raiders
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Silent Sentinel
    Swordwise Centaur

    15 creatures

    Chosen by Heliod
    Excoriate
    Gods Willing
    Mortal's Resolve
    Ordeal of Nylea
    Revoke Existence
    Spear of Heliod
    Time to Feed

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Acolyte's Reward
    Akroan Conscriptor
    Archetype of Finality
    Aspect of Hydra
    Bolt of Keranos
    Boulderfall
    Crackling Triton
    Culling Mark
    Defend the Hearth
    Divination
    Epiphany Storm
    Evanescent Intellect
    Everflame Eidolon
    Eye Gouge
    Fate Foretold
    Flamespeaker Adept
    Forsaken Drifters
    Glare of Heresy
    Great Hart
    Horizon Chimera
    Ill-Tempered Cyclops
    Kragma Butcher
    Lash of the Whip
    Loyal Pegasus
    Magma Jet
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Mnemonic Wall
    Mortal's Ardor
    Necrobite
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Nyxborn Triton
    Opaline Unicorn
    Ordeal of Erebos
    Pain Seer
    Perplexing Chimera
    Pharagax Giant
    Portent of Betrayal
    Rescue from the Underworld
    Retraction Helix
    Scholar of Athreos
    Servant of Tymaret
    Shipwreck Singer
    Silent Artisan
    Spark Jolt
    Spellheart Chimera
    Steam Augury
    Stymied Hopes
    Traveler's Amulet
    Triton Shorethief
    Vaporkin
    Wavecrash Triton
    Weight of the Underworld

    59 sideboard cards



    Vincent Gagne – Blue-Green Splashing Red
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Island
    Mountain
    Temple of Enlightenment

    17 lands

    Aerie Worshippers
    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Horizon Chimera
    Karametra's Acolyte
    Nessian Asp
    Nimbus Naiad
    Nylea's Emissary
    Polis Crusher
    Prescient Chimera
    Prognostic Sphinx
    Sedge Scorpion
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Swordwise Centaur

    14 creatures

    Bow of Nylea
    Divination
    Fall of the Hammer
    Feral Invocation
    Griptide
    Karametra's Favor
    Ordeal of Nylea
    Springleaf Drum
    Stratus Walk

    9 other spells

    Sideboard
    Akroan Skyguard
    Annul
    Ashiok's Adept
    Baleful Eidolon
    Battlewise Valor
    Benthic Giant
    Bolt of Keranos
    Boon of Erebos
    Borderland Minotaur
    Boulderfall
    Centaur Battlemaster
    Chorus of the Tides
    Claim of Erebos
    Crypsis
    Ephara's Radiance
    Eternity Snare
    Evanescent Intellect
    Eye Gouge
    Fanatic of Xenagos
    Fate Foretold
    Fearsome Temper
    Flamespeaker Adept
    Gild
    Griffin Dreamfinder
    Guardians of Meletis
    Herald of Torment
    Hold at Bay
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Last Breath
    Leonin Snarecaster
    Marshmist Titan
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Mischief and Mayhem
    Mortal's Ardor
    Observant Alseid
    Ordeal of Erebos
    Oreskos Sun Guide
    Portent of Betrayal
    Raised by Wolves
    Reap What Is Sown
    Reckless Reveler
    Returned Centaur
    Revoke Existence
    Satyr Hedonist
    Satyr Rambler
    Scholar of Athreos
    Scourgemark
    Setessan Starbreaker
    Shredding Winds
    Sphinx's Disciple
    Thunder Brute
    Titan's Strength
    Vanquish the Foul
    Warchanter of Mogis
    Weight of the Underworld
    Witches' Eye

    59 sideboard cards



    Bryan Haak – White-Green Splashing Red
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists


    Zachary Relber - Blue-Green
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Island

    17 lands

    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Karametra's Acolyte
    Kiora's Follower
    Nemesis of Mortals
    Nessian Courser
    Nyxborn Triton
    Perplexing Chimera
    Polukranos, World Eater
    Sedge Scorpion
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Siren of the Fanged Coast
    Swordwise Centaur

    15 creatures

    Eternity Snare
    Feral Invocation
    Nullify
    Oracle's Insight
    Ordeal of Thassa
    Stymied Hopes
    Sudden Storm
    Voyage's End

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Agent of the Fates
    Aqueous Form
    Ashiok's Adept
    Aspect of Hydra
    Asphodel Wanderer
    Bolt of Keranos
    Boulderfall
    Cavern Lampad
    Chosen by Heliod
    Claim of Erebos
    Culling Mark
    Decorated Griffin
    Epiphany Storm
    Everflame Eidolon
    Excoriate
    Eye Gouge
    Fall of the Hammer
    Fated Retribution
    Felhide Minotaur
    Gift of Immortality
    God-Favored General
    Grisly Transformation
    Hammer of Purphoros
    Hold at Bay
    Hunt the Hunter
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Keepsake Gorgon
    Kragma Butcher
    Lagonna-Band Elder
    Lash of the Whip
    Lost in a Labyrinth
    Loyal Pegasus
    Marshmist Titan
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Mnemonic Wall
    Mortal's Ardor
    Necrobite
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Nyxborn Rollicker
    Nyxborn Shieldmate
    Pain Seer
    Pharika's Cure
    Rage of Purphoros
    Returned Centaur
    Rise to the Challenge
    Scholar of Athreos
    Sentry of the Underworld
    Sip of Hemlock
    Stormcaller of Keranos
    Thunder Brute
    Triton Shorethief
    Two-Headed Cerberus
    Unknown Shores
    Vanquish the Foul
    Viper's Kiss
    Weight of the Underworld
    Wild Celebrants
    Witches' Eye

    61 sideboard cards



    Samuel Racine Leblanc - White-Red
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Mountain
    Plains

    17 lands

    Akroan Phalanx
    Cavalry Pegasus
    Deathbellow Raider
    Fabled Hero
    Ghostblade Eidolon
    Kragma Butcher
    Leonin Snarecaster
    Oreskos Sun Guide
    Ornitharch
    Phalanx Leader
    Purphoros's Emissary
    Setessan Battle Priest

    12 creatures

    Bolt of Keranos
    Chosen by Heliod
    Divine Verdict
    Fall of the Hammer
    Glimpse the Sun God
    Hold at Bay
    Lightning Strike
    Mortal's Ardor
    Ordeal of Heliod

    11 other spells

    Sideboard
    Aspect of Hydra
    Asphodel Wanderer
    Breaching Hippocamp
    Chronicler of Heroes
    Coastline Chimera
    Courser of Kruphix
    Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass
    Decorated Griffin
    Defend the Hearth
    Epiphany Storm
    Eye Gouge
    Fated Retribution
    Felhide Minotaur
    Fleshmad Steed
    Ill-Tempered Cyclops
    Karametra's Acolyte
    Karametra's Favor
    Keepsake Gorgon
    Leafcrown Dryad
    March of the Returned
    Necrobite
    Nessian Wilds Ravager
    Noble Quarry
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Nyxborn Triton
    Oracle's Insight
    Peak Eruption
    Pharika's Cure
    Pharika's Mender
    Pheres-Band Centaurs
    Priest of Iroas
    Read the Bones
    Retraction Helix
    Scholar of Athreos
    Sentry of the Underworld
    Silent Artisan
    Siren of the Fanged Coast
    Siren Song Lyre
    Spiteful Returned
    Stratus Walk
    Sudden Storm
    Sunbond
    Swordwise Centaur
    Temple of Deceit
    Time to Feed
    Traveling Philosopher
    Voyage's End
    Voyaging Satyr
    Vulpine Goliath
    Whip of Erebos
    Wild Celebrants

    60 sideboard cards



    Jean-François Bétit - White-Green
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Plains

    17 lands

    Akroan Skyguard
    Brimaz, King of Oreskos
    Celestial Archon
    Griffin Dreamfinder
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Lagonna-Band Elder
    Nessian Courser
    Nylea's Disciple
    Pheres-Band Raiders
    Pheres-Band Tromper
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Staunch-Hearted Warrior
    Swordwise Centaur
    Sylvan Caryatid
    Wingsteed Rider

    16 creatures

    Divine Verdict
    Excoriate
    Feral Invocation
    Mortal's Ardor
    Mortal's Resolve
    Savage Surge
    Time to Feed

    7 other spells

    Sideboard
    Acolyte's Reward
    Archetype of Finality
    Aspect of Hydra
    Battlewise Hoplite
    Bile Blight
    Bolt of Keranos
    Boon of Erebos
    Charging Badger
    Chorus of the Tides
    Claim of Erebos
    Coastline Chimera
    Coordinated Assault
    Deathbellow Raider
    Defend the Hearth
    Demolish
    Dissolve
    Divination
    Ephara's Radiance
    Ephara's Warden
    Evangel of Heliod
    Everflame Eidolon
    Fate Foretold
    Felhide Brawler
    Fleetfeather Sandals
    Guardians of Meletis
    Hammer of Purphoros
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Keepsake Gorgon
    Kragma Butcher
    Kraken of the Straits
    Marshmist Titan
    Nylea's Presence
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Opaline Unicorn
    Pharagax Giant
    Pharika's Cure
    Priest of Iroas
    Returned Phalanx
    Satyr Firedancer
    Scouring Sands
    Sealock Monster
    Spark Jolt
    Spellheart Chimera
    Sphinx's Disciple
    Stormcaller of Keranos
    Stymied Hopes
    Thassa's Bounty
    Tormented Hero
    Triton Fortune Hunter
    Tromokratis
    Two-Headed Cerberus
    Vortex Elemental
    Whelming Wave
    Wild Celebrants

    60 sideboard cards



    Ian Hilson - Red-Green
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Mountain

    17 lands

    Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass
    Deathbellow Raider
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Kragma Butcher
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Nessian Courser
    Nylea's Disciple
    Pharagax Giant
    Reverent Hunter
    Sedge Scorpion
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Snake of the Golden Grove
    Xenagos, God of Revels

    15 creatures

    Bolt of Keranos
    Destructive Revelry
    Fall of the Hammer
    Mortal's Resolve
    Ordeal of Purphoros
    Raised by Wolves
    Titan's Strength

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Acolyte's Reward
    Agent of Horizons
    Archetype of Courage
    Artisan's Sorrow
    Aspect of Hydra
    Asphodel Wanderer
    Breaching Hippocamp
    Cavern Lampad
    Charging Badger
    Chorus of the Tides
    Commune with the Gods
    Coordinated Assault
    Crackling Triton
    Culling Mark
    Ephara's Radiance
    Fated Conflagration
    Felhide Brawler
    Griffin Dreamfinder
    Lash of the Whip
    Last Breath
    Leonin Snarecaster
    Lost in a Labyrinth
    Marshmist Titan
    Messenger's Speed
    Mogis's Marauder
    Mortal's Ardor
    Necrobite
    Nimbus Naiad
    Nullify
    Nyxborn Eidolon
    Opaline Unicorn
    Phalanx Leader
    Pillar of War
    Portent of Betrayal
    Priest of Iroas
    Psychic Intrusion
    Read the Bones
    Rise to the Challenge
    Satyr Piper
    Shredding Winds
    Silent Artisan
    Siren Song Lyre
    Spellheart Chimera
    Sphinx's Disciple
    Spiteful Returned
    Springleaf Drum
    Stymied Hopes
    Swan Song
    Temple of Malice
    Thassa's Bounty
    Thassa's Emissary
    Thunderous Might
    Unknown Shores
    Unravel the Æther
    Vortex Elemental

    60 sideboard cards



    Morgan Bradley - Red-Green
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Mountain

    17 lands

    Borderland Minotaur
    Kragma Butcher
    Leafcrown Dryad
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Nessian Asp
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Pharagax Giant
    Pheres-Band Tromper
    Sedge Scorpion
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Staunch-Hearted Warrior
    Voyaging Satyr
    Vulpine Goliath

    13 creatures

    Bolt of Keranos
    Coordinated Assault
    Fall of the Hammer
    Fated Conflagration
    Fearsome Temper
    Mortal's Resolve
    Ordeal of Purphoros
    Savage Surge
    Titan's Strength

    10 other spells

    Sideboard
    Agent of Horizons
    Akroan Skyguard
    Archetype of Finality
    Aspect of Hydra
    Asphodel Wanderer
    Asphyxiate
    Battlewise Valor
    Bile Blight
    Borderland Minotaur
    Chorus of the Tides
    Coastline Chimera
    Crackling Triton
    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Defend the Hearth
    Demolish
    Divination
    Evanescent Intellect
    Forsaken Drifters
    Griptide
    Hero's Downfall
    Karametra's Favor
    Kragma Warcaller
    Last Breath
    Leonin Snarecaster
    Marshmist Titan
    Mortal's Ardor
    Nimbus Naiad
    Nylea's Presence
    Nyxborn Shieldmate
    Opaline Unicorn
    Oracle of Bones
    Oracle's Insight
    Ordeal of Erebos
    Oreskos Sun Guide
    Pharika's Cure
    Plea for Guidance
    Priest of Iroas
    Raised by Wolves
    Revoke Existence
    Satyr Piper
    Satyr Wayfinder
    Scourgemark
    Sentry of the Underworld
    Servant of Tymaret
    Shrike Harpy
    Siren Song Lyre
    Skyreaping
    Spark Jolt
    Springleaf Drum
    Stratus Walk
    Swan Song
    Temple of Deceit
    Thassa's Emissary
    Vanguard of Brimaz
    Warchanter of Mogis

    61 sideboard cards



    Scott Ritchie - Black-Red
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    41 cards

    Mountain
    Swamp

    17 lands

    Archetype of Aggression
    Bronze Sable
    Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass
    Felhide Minotaur
    Kragma Butcher
    Kragma Warcaller
    Minotaur Skullcleaver
    Nylea's Emissary
    Oracle of Bones
    Pharagax Giant
    Rageblood Shaman
    Reckless Reveler
    Shrike Harpy
    Spearpoint Oread
    Tormented Hero

    16 creatures

    Asphyxiate
    Bile Blight
    Fated Conflagration
    Fearsome Temper
    Necrobite
    Sip of Hemlock
    Weight of the Underworld

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Agent of Horizons
    Akroan Skyguard
    Anvilwrought Raptor
    Aqueous Form
    Ashen Rider
    Breaching Hippocamp
    Chorus of the Tides
    Claim of Erebos
    Crackling Triton
    Crypsis
    Dark Betrayal
    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Defend the Hearth
    Divine Verdict
    Drown in Sorrow
    Ephara's Warden
    Evanescent Intellect
    Eye Gouge
    Favored Hoplite
    Great Hart
    Guardians of Meletis
    Hold at Bay
    Impetuous Sunchaser
    Kraken of the Straits
    Last Breath
    Meletis Astronomer
    Meletis Charlatan
    Mortal's Ardor
    Mortal's Resolve
    Nessian Asp
    Nullify
    Observant Alseid
    Pharika's Mender
    Pheres-Band Centaurs
    Pheres-Band Tromper
    Plea for Guidance
    Prescient Chimera
    Ray of Dissolution
    Retraction Helix
    Satyr Piper
    Satyr Wayfinder
    Servant of Tymaret
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Setessan Starbreaker
    Skyreaping
    Spark Jolt
    Sudden Storm
    Thassa's Rebuff
    Traveler's Amulet
    Traveling Philosopher
    Vanquish the Foul
    Vaporkin
    Vortex Elemental
    Vulpine Goliath
    Wavecrash Triton
    Wingsteed Rider

    58 sideboard cards



    Philip Chan - Red-Green Splashing Blue
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Island
    Unknown Shores

    17 lands

    Archetype of Aggression
    Borderland Minotaur
    Centaur Battlemaster
    Ember Swallower
    Horizon Chimera
    Leafcrown Dryad
    Nemesis of Mortals
    Nessian Courser
    Nylea's Disciple
    Nyxborn Wolf
    Satyr Nyx-Smith
    Setessan Oathsworn
    Spearpoint Oread
    Voyaging Satyr

    15 creatures

    Aspect of Hydra
    Fall of the Hammer
    Fated Conflagration
    Karametra's Favor
    Lightning Strike
    Mischief and Mayhem
    Portent of Betrayal

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Annul
    Archetype of Endurance
    Baleful Eidolon
    Boon of Erebos
    Cavalry Pegasus
    Cavern Lampad
    Claim of Erebos
    Commune with the Gods
    Cutthroat Maneuver
    Deepwater Hypnotist
    Epiphany Storm
    Eternity Snare
    Evanescent Intellect
    Felhide Minotaur
    Fleshmad Steed
    Forsaken Drifters
    God-Favored General
    Gods Willing
    Great Hart
    Heliod, God of the Sun
    Hythonia the Cruel
    Kraken of the Straits
    Lagonna-Band Elder
    Lost in a Labyrinth
    March of the Returned
    Mindreaver
    Mogis's Marauder
    Mortal's Ardor
    Nyxborn Shieldmate
    Omenspeaker
    Ordeal of Thassa
    Pharagax Giant
    Pillar of War
    Retraction Helix
    Returned Phalanx
    Revoke Existence
    Satyr Piper
    Satyr Wayfinder
    Scholar of Athreos
    Servant of Tymaret
    Shredding Winds
    Siren of the Fanged Coast
    Stymied Hopes
    Sudden Storm
    Titan of Eternal Fire
    Triton Fortune Hunter
    Triton Shorethief
    Vortex Elemental
    Weight of the Underworld

    60 sideboard cards



    Cory Tucker - White-Red
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Mountain
    Plains

    17 lands

    Anax and Cymede
    Archetype of Aggression
    Archetype of Courage
    Elite Skirmisher
    Ghostblade Eidolon
    Hopeful Eidolon
    Ill-Tempered Cyclops
    Kragma Butcher
    Oreskos Sun Guide
    Pharagax Giant
    Setessan Battle Priest
    Silent Artisan
    Stormbreath Dragon
    Thunder Brute
    Wingsteed Rider

    15 creatures

    Battlewise Valor
    Dauntless Onslaught
    Fall of the Hammer
    Fearsome Temper
    Mortal's Ardor
    Titan's Strength

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Annul
    Aqueous Form
    Asphyxiate
    Battlewise Hoplite
    Blood-Toll Harpy
    Cavalry Pegasus
    Coastline Chimera
    Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass
    Dragon Mantle
    Evanescent Intellect
    Eye Gouge
    Fated Return
    Fearsome Temper
    Felhide Minotaur
    Flamespeaker Adept
    Forlorn Pseudamma
    Gray Merchant of Asphodel
    Guardians of Meletis
    Hold at Bay
    Insatiable Harpy
    Karametra's Favor
    Kragma Warcaller
    Kraken of the Straits
    Loathsome Catoblepas
    Loyal Pegasus
    Messenger's Speed
    Mnemonic Wall
    Necrobite
    Nemesis of Mortals
    Nessian Demolok
    Nylea's Emissary
    Omenspeaker
    Pharika's Cure
    Pheres-Band Tromper
    Retraction Helix
    Returned Phalanx
    Satyr Firedancer
    Satyr Wayfinder
    Servant of Tymaret
    Setessan Starbreaker
    Shredding Winds
    Spark Jolt
    Sphinx's Disciple
    Stratus Walk
    Temple of Mystery
    Tormented Hero
    Triton Shorethief
    Vaporkin
    Viper's Kiss
    Vortex Elemental
    Voyage's End
    Voyaging Satyr
    Weight of the Underworld
    Yoked Ox

    60 sideboard cards



    Maxim Delange - Green-Black Dredge (Standard)
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists


    Hakim Omar-Buja - Esper Control (Standard)
    Grand Prix Montreal Trials Winning Decklists




     

  • Grand Prix Montreal - Sample Sealed Pool #1

    by Adam Styborski

  • Whether you're a veteran of Grand Prix or you're looking forward to your first Prerelease, opening and building a deck from a Sealed pool is always a unique challenge. At Grand Prix Montreal, players will be challenged with their own pools – three packs each of Born of the Gods and Theros– to build decks and play to at least seven wins.

    Think you could do it and make Day 2?


    Here's a sample Sealed pool that could have gone to someone. If you were handed this, what would you do? Remember to think fast! You have forty minutes to build your deck and have it ready to go. (And keep your deck open in another tab. We'll be catching up with a few pro players to see how they approach things.)

    Here's a sample Sealed pool that could have gone to someone. If you were handed this, what would you do? Remember to think fast! You have thirty minutes to build your deck and have it ready to go. (And keep your deck open in another tab. We'll be catching up with a few pro players to see how they approach things.)

    Good luck!




     

  • Sample Sealed Pool #1 – Building with Alexander Hayne

    by Adam Styborski

  • Did you build your deck? Think you're ready to take on the field? If you haven't checked out the first sample Born of the Gods Sealed pool yet take a quick thirty minutes and build your deck.

    When you're ready, we found our first expert to help up break down the deck to play.

    11th-ranked Alexander Hayne is among the heroes of a resurgent Canadian Magic scene. With Pro Tour Avacyn Restored and a recent string of Grand Prix wins to his name, Hayne has demonstrated formidable skills in every way the game is played.


    11th-ranked Alexander Hayne wears his grin more often than not.

    So how does one of the game's great approach this Sealed pool?

    "First I sort by color and remove the unplayable." Hayne said. What's unplayable? "A card that I certainly don't want to play, like Culling Mark or Witch's Eye. They're cards I'm very unlikely to play unless I'm forced to."


    Setting aside what you don't want to play at all helps call out where your best options are found.

    Hayne's been around the Born of the Gods Limited block. With his fellow Canadian stand-out Jon Stern and Grand Prix Richmond Top 8 member Josh McClain, Hayne ran the gamut at Grand Prix Barcelona. How much testing for "single" Sealed did he do? "I've done somewhere around ten Sealed decks just for this," Hayne admitted.

    Hayne wasted no time pulled apart the colors. "All the colors seem deep enough to be playable. I like to eliminate colors if I can, unless it's just like a splash."


    Many players prefer to lay everything out and look across the pool visually.

    Is there a standout color in this pool? "Red seems solid," Hayne said. "I usually don't like red much in this format, but Stormbreath Dragon seems strong. Cards that really stand out are Stormbreath Dragon and Master of Waves. Black seems the color with the least going for it. It seems unlikely I'll play it unless I'm splashing with Temple of Malice. I think blue is also shallow too: No bounce spells, and Master of Waves is the one real draw. A couple bestow creatures too."

    Where do you start? "A white-red aggressive deck is the first obvious deck to look at: Akroan Phalanx is really good if you're white-red," Hayne said.


    Hayne laid out an aggressive red-white deck with a slightly rough curve.

    "This is definitely a potential deck – very reasonable," Hayne said. "But I want to see what other decks are available. If I have time I'll look at all the options."


    Red-Green looked good too, but was much heavier at the top of the mana curve.

    "Green-red looks fairly solid," Hayne continued. "Satyr Hedonist is pretty reasonable since you can enable a third turn Stormbreath Dragon, but right away I see a glut at the five-spot. The two- and three-drops are fine but green isn't really bringing a lot to the deck. We'll struggle with others' fast starts without much to do other than Fall of the Hammer."


    Hayne moved on to see if Forests and Plains could do the trick.

    "White-green might work. The Excoriates get better since this deck a little bit slower and their guys will be tapped from attacking," Hayne explained. "But it looks like the white-red deck is just better."


    Hayne was surprised at what he saw adding the thin blue options to his red.

    "Blue-red looks pretty reasonable," Hayne said. "The curve works well. Of course, Master of Waves is very good though it looks like I'd play more red cards at this point. Steam Augury might not be that good in this deck: Normally you want to be just adding things to the battlefield with this deck. I'd play Nullify instead to stop them."

    So where do you begin to settle down and choose the right deck? "How well the go with each other?" Hayne asked. "The blue had a good curve and solid creatures; red has enough to provide the deck since blue is a little shallow. The incentive to be white is the Akroan Phalanx, Archetype of Courage, and Akroan Hoplite. You'd also get to play the Ordeal of Heliod and get some free wins from that, but I think I like the blue-red deck better. It's the curve and mana stability, and access to the bestow creatures: They fill your early curve or late curve if you get flooded."

    Is there anything people might miss looking over things? "I think a card people underrate is Thunderous Might: When you have fliers or Two-Headed Cerberus it's very strong. It's like Titan's Strength for your guy every turn."


    So do certain deck styles fit certain pools better? "Some pools like a slower deck with lots of tools," Hayne said. Others want a faster deck. This pool doesn't have a lot of removal, and when you don't have a lot of answers you have to be the deck that presents threats."




     

  • Grand Prix Montreal - Sample Sealed #2

    by Josh Bennett

  • Here's a second Theros / Born of the Gods sealed pool that we've consulted with the pros on. What would you build? There are plenty of powerful cards to choose from, but every color comes with its own challenges. Figure out what your deck needs to be able to do, and build accordingly. We'll show you what the best came up with later in the day.

    Sample Sealed Pool #2




     

  • Sample Sealed Pool #1 – Building with Conley Woods

    by Adam Styborski

  • As a quick reminder, if you haven't checked out the first sample Born of the Gods Sealed pool yet take a quick thirty minutes and build your deck.

    When you're ready, check out what 11th-ranked Alexander Hayne did with the first sample Sealed pool and compare it to our featured pro here, Conley Woods.

    Woods, like Hayne, started starting a Sealed pool the same way: "I'd normally take out all the unplayables first," Woods said. "A lot of them here are white. Unplayable doesn't mean it's truly unplayable, just that 9 times out of 10 you don't want it in your deck."


    Conley Woods

    So did anything stand out to Woods? "This pool is good," Woods said. "Mnemonic Wall is great with Fated Infatuation. Red's got Stormbreath Dragon, enough of a reason to play it. Temple of Malice might be helpful. Steam Augury is not my favorite card but it's playable. I'm going to start with red because it looks the deepest."


    Woods started with the strongest color at first glance.

    "Akroan Conscriptor is really good," Woods said, before fanning over the pile of creatures that cast two mana. "Generally you want to play your two-drops. There's aren't a lot of them, so they're all playable. I'd even play a Mindreaver," a rare, blue 2/1 that cost {oU}{oU}. "It's that's important."

    What color do you look at next? "I would say blue's best two cards are Master of Waves and Fated Infatuation," Woods said. "But there's not enough blue to play them. No Griptide. No Voyage's End. So if blue's out I'd look at the double Oreskos Sun Guide," Woods said, laying out white cards. "Akroan Phalanx is really strong in red-white."


    Woods looked pleased when he laid out the aggressive red-white options.

    "I would play this Temple of Malice even through there's nothing worth splashing in black. I'd play just the Temple for the scry," Woods said. "There's 29 cards here, so in terms of cuts I'd start with Excoriate and Two-Headed Cerberus. Cerberus the worst three-drop because I don't have a ton of stuff to do with him; The next worst is Laganna-Band Elder."

    Why not cut a more expensive second Rage of Purphoros before the second Excoriate? "Excoriate goes because I have a decent amount of removal, and you're generally expecting their guys to be on the defense," Woods said. "Rage of Purphoros can play when they're both on the offense and defense."

    What else can go? "Next is Rise to the Challenge since I don't have that much heroic to trigger, and I already have other things to do it," Woods explained. "To get down to 23 cards I think the last one to go is the second Rage of Purphoros – I don't want to cut any more of the heroic enables."


    Woods kept these cards as he cut them away. "You'll need these from your sideboard depending on what you play against.

    "This deck will put so much pressure on opponents it will turn combat tricks into removal, so the extra Rage isn't necessary. I wouldn't play the Akroan Crusader since there isn't enough to target it with otherwise."


    Woods has a straightforward method for looking at how many of each basic land to add to the deck.

    How do you find the right mix of mana sources for a deck? "I always lay out singe and double mana costs since that's what matters," Woods said. "I'd run a little extra red for Dragon Mantle, Satyr Nyx-Smith, and Akroan Phalanx – all those want extra red mana, and Archetype of Courage doesn't have to come down on turn three to be good."

    Do you like where we ended up? "I'd take this over most other decks in the format," Woods admitted. "The deck is like a 7 or 8 out of 10. This pool is tough because all of the colors have reasons to play them, I'd just say the red-white just has the most cohesive game plan."




     

  • Sample Sealed Pool #2 – Building with David Ochoa

    by Josh Bennett

  • Channel Fireball's resident gourmand, bon vivant and man-about-town, David Ochoa is perhaps better known for his commitment to life's finer pleasures than his resume as a mage. This is baffling, considering he's not only notched a Pro Tour Top 8, but a whopping five Grand Prix Top 8's. I caught up with him after his sleep-in special afforded him time for a delicious (and diligently tweeted) lunch.

    After I handed him the cards, Ochoa worked quickly and methodically. He broke off each color, then went through each and cut the unplayables. His first impression was "Well this is blue-white for sure," but that changed once got to the bottom of the stack and started laying out test builds.


    David Ochoa

    First up was Blue-Black, spurred by the gold cards and the Abhorrent Overlord sitting on top of the black pile. Unfortunately, the black wound up underwhelming, and he pushed it to the side. He went back to his first instinct and laid out Blue-White. The powerful creatures that had caught his eye did form a powerful curve, but he found himself short of ways to trigger heroic. He had no Nyxborn creatures, no Eidolons. His combat tricks mostly aimed for the opponent's side of the board. Akroan Skyguard and Triton Fortune Hunter lose most of their luster when they remain Sunchaser Hawk and a not-so Telepathic Spies.

    "This is just... underwhelming. A fairly mediocre deck."

    Red, like black, was too shallow to be of use. Green, in addition to its big monsters, had plenty of targetting effects, so he tried out a Green-White Heroic deck. The more he looked at it, though, the less he liked it. "Your only way to deal with an opposing creature is one Divine Verdict. If they have something like Hopeful Eidolon, you're going to be in trouble." He tried spicing it up with a splash of Sudden Storm and Voyage's End thanks to Nylea's Presence and Opaline Unicorn, and that was better, but still clunky.

    Last up was Blue-Green. This gave him the blue spells he wanted as well as the devastating Hunter's Prowess, but forced him to give up on the aggressive curve that white had provided. I asked him if that made him uneasy. He said it did, but that it was a sacrifice he was willing to make. "This is just a more powerful deck. You have all your best cards and they work well together."

    He had nineteen cards he knew he wanted for sure. He had set aside one of the Horizon Scholars, the Nessian Demolok, Triton Fortune Hunter, Setessan Oathsworn, Opaline Unicorn and one of the Mortal's Resolve. "You're going to want four of these. You might switch it up in sideboarding."

    His final build:




     

  • Quick Questions #1

    by Josh Bennett

  • What's an example of a card from this block that is better in sealed than in draft?

    Matt Costa: Vulpine Goliath. Really any big green creature is a lot better. In draft the decks are too fast, but in sealed they come down, they're hard to remove, and you still have enough life for them to stabilise the board.
    David Ochoa: here is only one right answer and it is Savage Surge. The main mechanic is Inspired! Plus, they Excoriate? Getcha!.
    (8) Josh Utter-Leyton : Traveler's Amulet. Because there are fewer packs of Theros, you have fewer of the most powerful cards. In draft you shouldn't need to splash for power, but in sealed you often need to.
    Alexander Hayne: Nessian Asp. I know it's already great in draft, but it really is that much better in sealed. It completely dominates the board.
    (2) Reid Duke : Rage of Purphoros. Or any of the inefficient removal spells, like Lash of the Whip. Because the format is slower, you can afford to play your more expensive removal spells, and you'll need them.
    Andrew Cuneo: Pheres-Band Raiders. ("And why is it good?") Oh it's not GOOD.



     

  • Round 6 at the Top Tables

    by Josh Bennett

  • I took a quick turn around the top tables to see what kinds of decks the 5-0's were playing. Hardly scientific, but enough to give me a rough feel for what the common builds are.

    The first thing that stood out is that very few players are playing black. It's not hard to see why. Take a look at black's commons in Born of the Gods[/URL]. It's like Asphyxiate Visits the Island of Misfit Toys, and you get three packs of that. Worse for black, a lot of its best cards in Theros ask for a heavy commitment, so your mana often won't work out the way you'd like. The common thread among those willing to sleeve up swamps is a wealth of good removal. I saw one player lucky enough to fan open a starting hand that included Hero's Demise, Gild, and Keepsake Gorgon.

    Now, it first glance it looked like the other four colors were evenly represented, but once I started tallying deck types a surprising trend emerged: The two most popular decks by a wide, wide margin were Red-White and Blue-Green. I doubt it's just that players are opening a disproportionate number of Kiora's Followers and Akroan Phalanxes. My gut instinct is that red and white are the two most aggressive colors, so they match up the best, and that there is some similar harmony for green and blue. Maybe creatures that hold the ground and an air force?


    A great reason to be blue-green.

    Also worth noting is that players do not seem to be stretching their manabases. Only a handful of decks dipped into a third color, and often for little more than a single spell and an off-color activation. Those playing green could afford to be a little more ambitious, thanks to Nylea's Presence and Karametra's Favor.




     

  • Round 6 Feature Match - Frank Skarren vs. Lucas Siow

    by Adam Styborski

  • It's been just over a year since Frank Skarren won Grand Prix Charlotte. The winner of the former largest Grand Prix – Limited or Constructed – hasn't found the same level of success since. Staying afloat with just one loss was essential if Skarren wanted to repeat his Charlotte success. Notching "Winner of the Largest Canadian Grand Prix" in his belt would put him right back on the map, and into Portland for Pro Tour Magic 2015.


    Frank Skarren has been looking to repeat his Grand Prix Charlotte success for a year.

    Lucas Siow has been on the cusp of a Grand Prix victory twice: Once at Grand Prix San Jose, alongside teammates Jamie Naylor and Maksym Gryn, and also at Grand Prix Columbus – both in 2012. 2013 was a cooler year for the Canadian Magic staple, the opportunity heat up for 2014 would require staying out of the two loss bracket, vital for his chances to make Day 2. One of their own winning the largest Canadian Grand Prix ever would be a huge victory for the "hometown" heroes of the north.


    Lucas Siow was looking for his breakthrough, and the largest Canadian Grand Prix would suit fine.

    Siow chose to draw, tipping to Skarren the plan may be for a later game. If Skarren thought of it he didn't hold back.

    Skarren's quick Swordwise Centaur and Oreskos Sun Guide knocked Siow down to 11 as the Canadian refused to trade Burnished Hart – waiting to pop it for some lands. As Skarren pressed his advantage to run out more creatures, Siow sprung his Control-game trap: Anger of the Gods.

    Wild Celebrants, bestowed with Nyxborn Triton, began to eat into Skarren's life total in 7 damage chunks. Forces to cast both of his Karametra's Favors on Siow's creature Skarren went digging, but Nullify was waiting. Siow added Pharagax Giant to the mix and it looked all but over for Skarren at 7 life.


    Skarren needed to draw cards. Sometimes you don't have a choice where to place your cantrip auras.

    Skarren bounced the two creatures with Sea God's Revenge, but all it did was delay the inevitable as Dissolve was waiting when he tried to bestow Thassa's Emissary onto Nylea's Disciple.

    For a control deck, Siow's looked the part. But there was a lot of Skarren's deck still unknown to the Canadain.

    The second game started with the same Swordwise Centaur and Omenspeaker showdown, but Skarren was a step slower than before. Spark Jolt let Siow trade Omenspeaker for Swordwise, and Skarren twisted his head when Siow played Akroan Conscriptor.

    Siow didn't flinch when Skarren replied with Elspeth, Sun's Champion.


    Skarren's planeswalker was among the best cards in the Limited format, but Siow always had an answer ready.

    Vapor Kin and Lighting Strike struck down the planeswalker after it made three token creatures, and Conscriptor traded away with Nylea's Disciple. Siow had Anger of the Gods in hand again, but went for Arbiter of the Ideal instead. Sea God's Revenge was there for Skarren, and this time it was good enough.

    "Pretty sweet control deck you go there," Skarren offered.

    "Elspeth is nice," Siow pointed.

    "I just make some 1/1s," Skarren shrugged.

    The third game screamed with Skarren flying out the gates: Swordwise Centaur, Chronicler of Heroes, and Nylea's Emissary putting Siow down to 8 by turn five. Arbiter of the Ideal looked solid but Elspeth's -3 loyalty ability cleared the way for Skarren. Siow's upkeep Spark Jolt let him remove Elspeth and try to find a better draw for his turn, but all he could do was extend his hand to Skarren.


    "I boarded Dreamfinder Griffin in the end because I knew it was going to be a grind," Skarren said, "though it's not that good with Anger of the Gods. I kept a seven that let me curve out so I decided to see what could happen"

    "I didn't see that much of your deck so I didn't know how good Spark Jolt could be," Siow admitted. "My seven was a little awkward."

    Frank Skarren defeats Lucas Siow, 2-1

    So how has Frank Skarren spent time since his victory in Charrlote? "I took a short break – two to three months around November-December," Skarren said. "I've been going to a couple GPs – got a few Top 32, Top 64 – but no Top 8s. I still work with Team TCGPlayer on Pro Tours. Even if I'm not qualified I help them out where I can."

    Does Skarren like his deck today? "In a way it's a bunch of efficient creatures, plus Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Sea God's Revenge." Skarren put it succinctly: "My Plan A is curve out. My plan B is to play a strong six mana card. It was really frustrating that I lost Round 3 from mulligans. To win out from here I have to get a little bit lucky."




     

  • Quick Questions #2

    by Josh Bennett

  • What Common is the Lynchpin of your Deck?

    (2) Reid Duke : Wingsteed Rider. It's one of the fastest ways to win a game in this format.
    Matt Costa: Gods Willing. A powerful heroic enabler and a cheap answer to removal, as well as giving my big green creatures a way to push through late.
    (11) Alexander Hayne : Bronze Sable. I'm playing two of them because I need to hold the fort early. Twice I've traded it off for Agent of Horizons.
    (23) Gaudenis Vidugiris : Probably just Wingsteed Rider. It's the best common, and it's in my deck, so it's the best common in my deck.
    (8) Josh Utter-Leyton: Sudden Storm. Though I'd happily trade it for a Griptide or Voyage's End. It gives me a way to deal with big creatures.
    Andrew Cuneo: Probably just Wingsteed Rider. I bet a lot of people have said that.



     

  • Round 8 Feature Match – Robert Smith vs Marc Angers

    by Josh Bennett

  • The Setup

    Late in Day 1, two players with a loss apiece. On one side, Robert Smith, Grand Prix Sea-Tac Champion. On the other, Marc Angers, the hopeful amateur. The winner locks up Day 2 and a chance at a Top 8 run. The loser will have their back against the wall for Round 9.

    The Match

    The first game wasn't much of one, as Smith mulliganed into a one-land hand on the draw that failed to develop. Angers came out quickly with Courser of Kruphix, Nyxborn Wolf and Nessian Courser, all before Smith found his second land.

    Angers 1 - Smith 0

    For game two, both players went to six. On the third turn, Angers went for an unorthodox play. Here's the situation: Smith had a tapped Oreskos Sun Guide and an untapped Satyr Wayfinder, freshly played. Angers had a Swordwise Centaur and three mana available. Without hesitating, Angers went for the big lifeswing. He played Mortal's Ardor on his creature, then Hunt the Hunter, killing Smith's Wayfinder. Combine that with the subsequent attack, and Angers was up twelve life.

    Robert Smith

    The problem was that Smith wasn't far enough on the back foot. Sun Guide was keeping his life total high. Hunter's Prowess drew him a mittful of cards, while Angers was operating on nearly an empty hand. They traded hits, but Acolyte's Reward from Smith ruined a crucial combat and sewed the game up nicely.

    Angers 1 - Smith 1

    Smith agonized over his opening seven. With a grimace, he shipped them back. He stayed on six, and they were off. Angers was first on the board with Loyal Pegasus and then the backbreaking Courser of Kruphix. Smith's first play of Setessan Oathsworn was promptly dispatched by Last Breath, and then he passed a blank turn, leaving four mana open for Angers's combat step.


    Heedless of the threat of Divine Verdict, Angers attacked, but not before tapping out for voyaging Satyr and Ordeal of Heliod. His read was good: Smith had no play. Revoke Existence rolled off the top for Smith to get rid of the Courser, but he had no answer to the growing threat of the Pegasus. Nyxborn Wolf bolstered the Voyaging Satyr, and Smith was forced to play Raised by Wolves on his opponent's Satyr, just to get the pair of 2/2s. Angers saw victory ahead and got overeager, attacking with both his creatures and casting Gods Willing on his Satyr for Protection from Green. The bestowed Wolf and Smith's enchantment fell off. The blunder didn't matter, however. Smith was too far behind, and the match went to Angers shortly thereafter, to the cheers of his friends along the rail.

    Marc Angers defeats Robert Smith 2-1

    The Aftermath

    Both players brought their A-game to Round 9 to finish the day strong, Smith succeeding in his win-and-in, and Angers defeating Frank Skarren to finish at 8-1.




     

  • Sealed Away – Round 9 Bubble Matches

    by Adam Styborski

  • The end of the first day of a Grand Prix is a tenuous time for many players. The line between returning for a shot at the Top 8 on Day 2 is usually firm at no more than two losses. That means the last round is where players make their final stands – a few to remain undefeated but, for most, just earning the right to return for battle on Day 2.

    While we couldn't cover everybody, we scouted across the matches on "the bubble" to see how a few familiar faces fared when it was all put on the line.

    Magic Online Community Cup team member Kenji Egashira couldn't contain his Day 2 excitement.

    Magic Online Community Cup member, and longtime online streamer, Kenji Egashira was thrilled to make the cut but Conley Woods was much more reserved: "I barely made it, but we got there." Others that moved on to drafting included multiple Grand Prix Top 8 competitors Seth Manfield, Harry Corvese, and Dan Jordan.

    Not everyone's story turned out as well. 2nd-ranked Reid Duke fell in the last round, as did both Pro Tour Born of the Gods Top 8 competitors Patrick Dickmann and 22nd-ranked Chris Fennell. Lucas Siow too lost his win-and-in, narrowing the field of Canadian competitors by one more.

    The story to make Day 2 can be complicated, as Jamie Parke was waiting to find out.

    For some the story wasn't as simple as winning or losing. Jamie Parke was in the middle of an opponent's appeal, and when a ruling can make or break a game for making Day 2 tensions run high. (Parke ended up defeating his opponent to return.)

    For Matt Costa and Christian Calcano, it was do or die against each other.

    The search for pro points and ranking in the Top 25 was going to end today for either Costa or Calcano.

    Fans of either player should note the battlefield was often quite full between them every time we passed by.

    Big creatures are never hard to find in Born of the Gods Limited.

    That's Costa wielding a Setessan Oathsworn with five +1/+1 counters and bestowed by Nyxborn Shieldmate. Calcano had bestowed Nyxborn Triton on Chorus of the Tides. While Calcano won that game it was Costa who eventually found the two wins needed to take the match.

    Can any of these players rattle off a run for Top 8? It's almost anyone's time to shine tomorrow, and that's just a few short hours away until we can find out.




     

  • Saturday, 11:16 p.m. – The Battles for 9-0

    by Josh Bennett

  • Here's a quick look at three of the 8-0 matches. The fourth, Zac Hill vs Philip Dettelis, was decided on-camera. The fight to be one of the Day 1 Undefeateds is an odd mix of pressure and serenity. On the one hand, players fight their hardest, knowing that a 9-0 start means that a Top 8 berth is well within reach. On the other hand, even if you lose, you're still in Day 2 with a loss to give. The worst-case scenario isn't nearly so bad. Here's how things shook out.


    Daniel Fournier (Blue-Red) vs Jacob Gagnon (Green-Blue splashing Red)

    Gagnon took the first game on the back of a very monstrous Polis Crusher with help from Retraction Helix to make sure Fournier could not race. In the second, Fournier's Deepwater Hypnotist got help from a bestowed Everflame Eidolon and started taking huge chunks out of Gagnon's life total. He again had the Polis Crusher, but the race was not in his favor. Worse, he forgot that the Hypnotist had shrunk a 1/1 Setessan Oathsworn's power, so that Fall of the Hammer was not the blowout he had anticipated.

    They shuffled up for the decider. Fournier led with Flitterstep Eidolon and took out a Setessan Oathsworn with Fall of the Hammer before it could grow out of reach. Gagnon had no play on four mana, and Fournier added Wavecrash Triton to his board. Gagnon took to the skies with a 4/4 Siren of the Fanged Coast. Fournier gave his Flitterstep a Dragon Mantle and hit for four, spending his last two mana on Deepwater Hypnotist. Gagnon was long on land and short on options. He played Stratus Walk on the Siren to draw a card, and Nyxborn Triton to block.

    Unfortunately for him, Fournier was going bigger. He tapped six for Shipbreaker Kraken. A Sudden Storm kept it at bay for a turn, but Fournier hit eight land right on time to lock up Gagnon's board. An attack later and the match was his.

    Fournier wins 2-0


    Joe Demestrio (Blue-White) vs Michael Ando (White-Black)

    In the first game, the two players traded creatures before Ando got way ahead thanks to a 5/5 Ornitharch. Demestrio was flooding out and summoned Horizon Scholar. Ando had Asphyxiate at the ready, and without a way to stop the big opposing flier, Demestrio had to pack up.

    Ando had a textbook aggressive draw for the second game. Akroan Skyguard into Elite Skirmisher, then Spiteful Returned to tap a blocker and get in for piles more damage. It didn't help that Demestrio was on all blue lands. He tried to barricade behind Prescient Chimera and Horizon Scholar, but Glimpse the Sun God pushed through exactly lethal damage.

    Ando wins 2-0


    Gerard Fabiano (Green-Red splashing Blue) vs Terrence Dufour (Blue-Red)

    Fabiano and Dufour were already shuffling up for their second game by the time I was tableside, Fabiano having taken the first. The second proceeded at an equallly blistering pace. Fabiano was first on the board and pressured Dufour with a sequence of early plays. Dufour's draw was short on early plays and his life total started to drop. He tried to regroup but Fabiano knocked him back with Retraction Helix, then played Xenagos, God of Revels. Even though he wasn't manifest, Xenagos's ability served up hasty attackers to defeat Dufour before his big creatures could come online.

    Fabiano wins 2-0




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