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Feature: Magic Online Championship Profiles

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Jörg Unfried / ponza

Season 1 winner
Masters Edition IV Sealed

Age: 31
Hometown: Algishofen Germany (it's a small village 70 km east from Stuttgart)
Clan: GG

How long have you been playing Magic:
I started playing when Urza's Destiny came out.

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
I played in Mirrodin block and then started again with Time Spiral.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Two Grand Prix Top 8s and on National Team twice

Magic Online accomplishments:
Winning a MOCS and a PTQ

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
ponza is my first Magic deck!

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
It was so long ago, I don't remember.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
I haven't had much time to test very much.


Brandon M Burton / sandydogmtg

Season 2 winner
Extended

Age:18
Hometown: Saint Anne IL
Clan: Osyp Drives Me to School

How long have you been playing Magic:
Around 7 years

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
Around 6 years

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Top 32 GP Chicago a few years ago

Magic Online accomplishments:
Got second in a MOCS, got second in a Cruise Qualifier and Top 8'd three online PTQs

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
It's my oldest dog's name

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
I played Red Deck Wins. The deck was OK. I just play red in most formats when it's good.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Just playing on MTGO a lot and talking to people

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
I hope to have fun, learn something and maybe win a few rounds.


Florian Pils / flying man

Season 3 winner
SOM Block Sealed

Age: 24
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Clan: M Bork

How long have you been playing Magic:
My first sanctioned tournament was in 2000 -- probably bought the first pack some years before. I think it was Sixth Edition.

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
When I started, Onslaught was the current draft format, no idea what year that was.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
One Worlds Top 8, three Grand Prix Top 8, two Nationals Top 8

Magic Online accomplishments:
None.

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
Nothing special. I just think it's a cool and fun card with nice flavor text.

Tell us something about the deck drafted to win your slot in the MOCS.
I was too late so I got a random first pick, after that got passed Mortarpod and Viridian Corrupter and drafted green-black infect. I think I drew the Corrupter in nearly every game :)

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
I don't have much time because of university, but I'll probably play a little bit on MTGO. I hope to get a decklist from people who were able to test more.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
Winning some extra money beside the $4000 for 9th -12th place would be nice. Top 24 in the main event would give me Level 4 for 2012, that would be cool too.


Bing Luke / Prolepsis9

Season 4 winner
Standard

Age: 31
Hometown: New York, NY
Clan: #goodgamery (efnet)

How long have you been playing Magic:
I only played "Magic: Offline" for a couple years during The Dark through Mirage. The rest has been almost purely online.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Unlike some with, say three GP Top 8 and a Worlds Top 8, I am a lowly Level 31 Invoker with only a couple PTQ finals appearances to my name.

Magic Online accomplishments:
I am the consensus best-looking player to qualify for MOCS twice.

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
There's not really any meaning behind it.

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
I qualified with pre-ban Caw-Blade. I don't think there were any key picks besides having four Stoneforge Mystics and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It was pretty clearly the best deck at the time and I had to beat two mirrors in the Top 8 to get here.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
I've been mashing drafts and trying to figure out Standard, which is surprisingly hard. It turns out that a lot of the data from Magic Online and various real-world events (like Star City Games Opens) are just more noise to have to wade through. My plan is to familiarize myself with the main archetypes to put myself in a position to audible (deck or sideboard) into a 75 that puts me in position to win.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
In hindsight, I went into last year's Worlds with a just-happy-to-be-here attitude that cost me a lot that weekend, both off- and online. I'm setting my sights on a trophy this year.


Yuki Yoshioka / yoshidora

Season 5 winner
Urza's Block Sealed

Age: 25
Hometown: Saitama, Murabito

How long have you been playing Magic: 11 Years

How long have you been playing Magic Online: Since the beta test.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc): None

Magic Online accomplishments: Qualifying for the MOCS.

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
I named myself "yoshidora" because I like Doraemon.

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
In the final match, a made an attack that killed my opponent's Academy Rector – and he searched for Opposition. The Opposition was tapping down all of my creatures, but I was able to win the match with Fodder Cannon.

How did you prepare for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Magic Online only.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
Enjoy playing Magic!


David Caplan / Goobafish

Season 6 winner
Scars of Mirrodin Block Sealed

Age: 23
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Clan: Beach House Central

How long have you been playing Magic:
Since Urza's

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
Since Shards of Alara

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Grand Prix Chicago Top 8

Magic Online accomplishments:
Winning the Scars of Mirrodin Sealed MOCS.

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
I don't remember, I've been using the same one forever. I just like the way it sounds I guess.

Tell us something about the deck drafted to win your slot in the MOCS.
I ended up drafting an archetype that I wasn't used to, green-white. Props must go to Marrow Shards as it won me Game 3 of the finals by hitting two Plague Stingers.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Lots of Magic Online. Working with the Canadian National Team and the rest of the crew that is qualified for Worlds for Constructed.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
Winning the MOCS would be a good start.....


Ricky Sidher / __SipItHolla

Season 7 winner
Scars of Mirrodin Block Constructed

Age: 19
Hometown: Yuba City, California
Clan: New Times/WeDidtheMath

How long have you been playing Magic:
I have been playing Magic ever since Darksteel. I took a break after the bannings on the affinity cards, and I got back in with Saviors of Kamigawa.

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
I would like to say I have been playing MTGO for two years, and it has improved my game a lot and at the same time has given me so many more opportunities to qualify for the Pro Tour.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
I won money in my first Pro Tour in Berlin, made Day Two of Philadelphia, and finished in the Top 4 at Grand Prix San Diego last weekend.

Magic Online accomplishments:
I have won three online PTQs and one MOCS, which was good enough to be called a true MTGO legend in one of Reid Duke's articles.

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
The meaning behind my screen name was really just to piss off my friend Michael Hetrick (_Shipitholla). It was also an inside joke from Grand Prix Seattle that I can't remember off the top of my head

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
The deck I played in the MOCS I won was Blue-black Tezzeret in Scars of Mirrodin Block Constructed. The deck was pretty much a traditional build of Tezz at the time, and it was an easy deck to board with, which in my opinion is so much more important in a smaller metagame. I played the deck because I had played it in Pro Tour Nagoya, and I felt like it was a good choice with three byes, because I expected Puresteel decks to beat the Tempered Steel decks in the early rounds.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
I have been talking to numerous people that I've met online and from my travels to Pro Tours and other high-level magic events. I can't really hope to bum a list of Hetrick like I always do and beat him with it.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
My number one priority is to become the 2011 MOCS champion and qualify for next year's new World Championship that way. I also really want to do well in Worlds itself. Another one of my goals is to not go crazy by playing 29 rounds of high-level magic over three days.


Thoralf Severin /Toffel

Season 8 winner
Legacy

Age: 24
Hometown: Berlin, Germany

How long have you been playing Magic:
Since Nemesis, some classmates played with some funny looking cards. They all dropped it pretty fast. I didn't and I won't ;)

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
Since Pro Tour Honolulu. I never really wanted (an account) before but it was free with some boosters and it's pretty nice to draft in the comfort of your own home.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Nationals Top 8

Magic Online accomplishments:
Since I only play some drafts and the release stuff, winning MOCS is pretty big ;)

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
People call me that, well actually only the Magic-playing friends. It somehow evolved and stuck.

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
I stopped playing Constructed seriously quite some time ago and I only play once a year for Nationals. Normally I will take a funny (but pretty badly built) deck and finish somewhere in the middle. Since I had not a single idea what to play I asked a friend of mine, David Kaufmann. He is a genius. He told me to play Merfolk because its nuts against anything that's blue.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Well... yeah I will use almost all the time leading up to it to get a good insight into the Constructed formats. I rock at drafting though ;)

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
Well, it would be nice to win both. Since that is pretty unreal I'll go with hoping that I have no reason to be mad about myself at the end of the day


Benny Soewanda / HeavenX

Season 9 winner
Magic 2012 Sealed

Age: 25
Hometown: Surabaya, Indonesia
Clan: Indostructible

How long have you been playing Magic:
I've been playing Magic since Urza's Saga.

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
I played Magic Online since last year, to practice for 2010 Worlds. About two weeks before this year's Season 9 was over my friend told me that this season format would be Sealed Deck so I opened my Magic Online account again especially for this event.

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
2007 - 2010 Nationals Top 8 (I lost my Top 8 this year :( )

Magic Online accomplishments:
Winning MOCS session 9 after first-picking Swamp in the Top 8 draft, I guess :P

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
HeavenX is the name of card shop and team that I built few years ago, but the shop was closed few years ago and the team already dismissed.

Tell us something about the deck drafted to win your slot in the MOCS.
In the Sealed portion I got a crazy pool: Gideon Jura, Archon of Justice, Aegis Angel and Sorin's Vengeance, So everyone already knows that's how I won (the) Sealed portion. But in (the) Draft portion, lots of bad things happened. There were some PM that caused a blank message window block my pick so I had to reject all PM. I already locked my choice to first-pick to Cudgel Troll but then Swamp got picked...The MVP for draft portion is Primeval Hydra + Lure.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
I don't know why but suddenly I got too busy this end of the year, so I don't have enough time to practice my Magic but I'll play some Modern in Magic Online, because there's no one playing that format here in Indonesia.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
The main goal is to have fun of course, then to have a better record than last year (4-2, 4-2, 1-5)


Andrew Cuneo / Gainsay

Season 10 winner
Standard

Age: 36
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How long have you been playing Magic:
Since 1994

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
Since the original Beta

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Two Pro Tour Top 8s in Team Limited

Magic Online accomplishments:
Won the first online PT qualifier

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
Was assigned to me in the original beta testing for Magic Online.

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
I played the same deck at Grand Prix Pittsburgh, and I went 1-3 with it.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Testing with a bunch of old people.


Reid Duke / reiderrabbit

Player of the Year
Standard

Age: 22
Hometown: Sugar Loaf, NY
Clan: Newtimes

How long have you been playing Magic:
17 Years

How long have you been playing Magic Online:
4 Years

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc):
Top 8 Grand Prix Providence and Grand Prix Montreal

Magic Online accomplishments:
5th Place 2010 MOCS, nine online PTQ Top 8s, two wins

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
A friend called me Reiderrabbit when I was a kid and it stuck. People sometimes also get a kick out of the fact that it's a misspelling of Reader Rabbit, who's a cartoon character who teaches kids to read and write.

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
I played Blue-black Control in Zendikar/Scars Standard. That was a tough format with a wide variety of decks capable of a wide variety of nut draws and Blue-black Control was the only deck with enough answers and disruption to handle them all. In particular, it was the only deck I was happy to play against Splinter-Twin.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Playing MTGO every second that I can. I'm sticking to drafts, gold queues, and private games so my decklists aren't published.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
My goal is to do better in each event than I did last year. I'm hoping that a 10-8 record in the main event will make me a Level 4 pro for next year. That may not sound difficult, but I've played five Pro Tours before this and never yet finished with a winning record. The MOCS is definitely my main focus, though. I'd be happy to have a 7-4 record after the eleven rounds. From my experience last year, that may or may not be good enough to make the finals, but even if I finish third or fourth, that's a record I can be proud of in a field full of such tough players.


Junya Iyanaga / SEVERUS

Last-Chance Qualifier
Magic 2012 Sealed

Age: 24
Hometown: Tokyo
Clan: N/A

How long have you been playing Magic: 13 Years

How long have you been playing Magic Online: 2 Years

Magic accomplishments: (PTs, GPs, Nats, etc): 3 Grand Prix Top 8s (including a win at Grand Prix Kitakyuushuu in 2007), 2005 Japan National Team Member.

Magic Online accomplishments: Winning the LCQ (to qualify for the MOCS).

What is the meaning behind your screen name?
Roman Emperor

Tell us something about the deck you played to win your slot in the MOCS.
I had 3 Mind Control, Gideon Jura, and a Grave Titan in my deck.

How are you preparing for Worlds and for the MOCS?
Playtest with Rizer.

What are your goals for the weekend of Worlds?
Win Worlds, and the MOCS.

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