Last weekend brought Team MGG to Richmond, Virginia to compete in the first limited Grand Prix featuring Amonkhet. We planned to lean heavily on our resident 40-card master Frank Skarren for guidance and started our preparation the Monday after the Atlanta open by spamming drafts on Magic Online. I got about 9-10 drafts in throughout the week and had moderate success by following a few tips from Frank: draft white, be aggressive, and Gust Walker is the truth.
I got in late friday night and met up with Jim and Andrew at the hotel. Before bed we decided to open a few sealed pools and discuss how each of us would build it. During that process we were blessed with this beauty:
It’s like this pool was half built, then instead of random cards it just decided to copy everything that was already there!
Day one went well, I was fortunate enough that my prayers to Rhonas the Indomitable were heard and with them glory was brought to a sweet red green deck that landed me at a respectable 8-1. Ben also finished the day with only one loss while Andrew and Jim followed behind at a cool 7-2. Unfortunately this plagued Frank with the task of absorbing all our other potential losses and missing day 2 for the greater good of the team. We ended the day with some delicious sushi close to the site.
Day 2 brought the best part about limited tournaments, the draft portion. I stuck to my guns and drafted white in both pods, snap picking any Gust Walkers I saw. Ben would unfortunately lose his win-and-in in the last round (but lock up gold with his finish, congrats Ben!), Andrew and Jim fell a round short of cashing, and by a stroke of luck I had gustwalked my way into top 8 at 14-1, qualifying myself for the Pro tour in Kyoto this July. The top 8 draft went well with what I thought was a great GW aggro deck.
Top 8 Decklist
Unfortunately, Eli Kassis proved to have a much greater prowess of Amonkhet limited and knocked me out with a swift 2-0.
Pro Tour Nagoya in 2011 was the last magic tournament I played before taking a four year hiatus. It’s only fitting that the first Pro Tour I qualify for again is the first time we’ve gone to Japan for a PT since then. Luckily this time I’ll be accompanied by my fellow guru’s Andrew and Ben. All that’s left now is for Jim, Dan, and Frank to qualify. While I didn’t win the the tournament in Richmond this weekend, to say it went well would be a severe understatement.