Grand Prix Richmond

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

Creatures (16)
Ahn-Crop Champion
Angel of Sanctions
Aven Mindcensor
Binding Mummy
Rhet-Crop Spearmaster
Supply Caravan
Bitterblade Warrior
Crocodile of the Crossing
Giant Spider
Hooded Brawler
Initiate’s Companion
Naga Vitalist
Prowling Serpopard

Spells (24)
Destined // Lead
Djeru’s Resolve
Prepare // Fight
Compulsory Rest
Cartouche of Strength
Evolving Wilds
Painted Bluffs
Sideboard (15)
Grasping Dunes
Forsake the Worldly
Cryptic Serpent
Hekma Sentinels
Cartouche of Zeal
Benefaction of Rhonas
Dissenter’s Deliverance
Hapatra’s Mark
Haze of Pollen
Shed Weakness
Stinging Shot
Reduce // Rubble
Bontu’s Monument

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.