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Top 25 Rankings: April 3, 2014

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"This week, most of the Top 25 will be taking a break, with Grand Prix Beijing their only opportunity for points."

—This column, seven days ago

The letter W!ell, that happened. Although what we said last week was true, the players who went Grand Prix gaming certainly made the most of it. While sixteen of the world's best Magic Online players were battling in San Francisco for the Magic Online Championship title—ultimately won by Lars Dam—the Grand Prix focus was on Beijing. Four of the Top 25 were ready to fight it out in Standard, and all four had solid weekends. One, however, turned solid into spectacular, and that man was Yuuya Watanabe. The former Player of the Year has now played in an astounding twenty Grand Prix Top 8s, and with his victory in Beijing he now has seven titles. There are few certainties in Magic, but Watanabe joining the ranks of the Hall of Fame is surely as close as it gets.

Watanabe wasn't the only ex-Player of the Year to reach the knockout rounds on Sunday. He was joined by fellow Japanese superstar Shuhei Nakamura, who rather ridiculously has even more GP Top 8s than Watanabe, clocking in at no fewer than twenty-four. Truly giants of the game, the pair of them.

Lee Shi Tian can be pleased with his 14th place in Beijing, quietly adding to his Pro Points for the season, and nudging him up to No. 15, while 2006 World Champion Makihito Mihara of Japan will be less pleased with his 67th place finish, leaving him just outside the points awarded to the Top 64, and seeing him slide to No. 17 in the rankings.

Now, after Watanabe's masterful reading of the Standard metagame, rocketing him eight places up the standings to No. 8, we switch to Phoenix this weekend for the latest chapter in the Standard story, and another chance for the likes of Reid Duke, Owen Turtenwald, and Ben Stark to close the gap on the No. 1 Jérémy Dezani of France. Join us again next week for another look at the Magic Top 25 Pro Rankings.

Rank Name Points Change Previous
1 Jeremy Dezani 70.20 1
2 Reid Duke 59.87 2
3 Owen Turtenwald 58.80 3
4 Ben Stark 56.27 4
5 Samuel Black 53.34 5
6 Shahar Shenhar 52.14 6
7 Tom Martell 51.87 7
8 Yuuya Watanabe 51.34 +8 16
9 Shuhei Nakamura 49.40 9
10 Josh Utter-Leyton 48.54 -2 8
11 Alexander Hayne 46.80 -1 10
12 Stanislav Cifka 46.14 -1 11
13 Willy Edel 45.87 -1 12
14 Jacob Wilson 45.80 -1 13
15 Shi Tian Lee 44.74 +2 17
16 Josh Mcclain 43.93 -1 15
17 Makihito Mihara 43.80 -3 14
18 Paul Rietzl 41.07 18
19 Shaun Mclaren 40.80 19
20 Chris Fennell 39.00 +1 21
21 Martin Juza 38.87 -1 20
22 Raphael Levy 38.60 +1 23
23 Eric Froehlich 38.34 -1 22
24 Matej Zatlkaj 37.34 24
25 William Jensen 37.33 25
25 Kentaro Yamamoto 37.33 25

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