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Grand Prix Charlotte 2013
Day 1 Coverage

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  • Saturday, 10:20 a.m. – Grand Prix Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Sealed Trial #1 - Orzhov - Clinton Caudle
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Plains
    Swamp

    18 lands

    Basilica Guards
    Boros Elite
    Daring Skyjek
    High Priest of Penance
    Kingpin's Pet
    Knight of Obligation
    Millennial Gargoyle
    Syndic of Tithes
    Undercity Informer
    Urbis Protector
    Zarichi Tiger

    13 creatures

    Angelic Edict
    Death's Approach
    Devour Flesh
    Gift of Orzhova
    Grisly Spectacle
    Killing Glare
    Shadow Slice
    Smite

    9 other spells

    Sideboard
    Bioshift
    Blind Obedience
    Boros Guildgate
    Clan Defiance
    Clinging Anemones
    Crackling Perimeter
    Dimir Guildgate
    Domri Rade
    Duskmantle Guildmage
    Ember Beast
    Experiment One
    Foundry Street Denizen
    Frenzied Tilling
    Frilled Oculus
    Furious Resistance
    Greenside Watcher
    Gruul Guildgate
    Guildscorn Ward
    Hands of Binding
    Illusionist's Bracers
    Keymaster Rogue
    Merfolk of the Depths
    Metropolis Sprite
    Midnight Recovery
    Miming Slime
    Mortus Strider
    Nimbus Swimmer
    Paranoid Delusions
    Pit Fight
    Predator's Rapport
    Prophetic Prism
    Psychic Strike
    Razortip Whip
    Ripscale Predator
    Ruination Wurm
    Rust Scarab
    Scorchwalker
    Shambleshark
    Shattering Blow
    Simic Guildgate
    Simic Manipulator
    Skarrg Guildmage
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Skygames
    Slate Street Ruffian
    Slaughterhorn
    Smog Elemental
    Soul Ransom
    Spell Rupture
    Spire Tracer
    Syndicate Enforcer
    Tin Street Market
    Truefire Paladin
    Verdant Haven
    Way of the Thief
    Wildwood Rebirth

    62 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #2 - Simic - Vinicius Marcelo
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Gruul Guildgate
    Island
    Mountain
    Simic Guildgate
    Stomping Ground

    17 lands

    Burning-Tree Emissary
    Cloudfin Raptor
    Crocanura
    Crowned Ceratok
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Drakewing Krasis
    Frilled Oculus
    Ivy Lane Denizen
    Metropolis Sprite
    Mindeye Drake
    Prime Speaker Zegana
    Rust Scarab
    Sage's Row Denizen
    Shambleshark
    Skarrg Goliath
    Slaughterhorn

    17 creatures

    Clan Defiance
    Gruul Keyrune
    Homing Lightning
    Mugging
    Rapid Hybridization
    Stolen Identity

    6 other spells

    Sideboard
    Act of Treason
    Angelic Edict
    Armored Transport
    Assault Griffin
    Basilica Guards
    Bioshift
    Contaminated Ground
    Corpse Blockade
    Death's Approach
    Debtor's Pulpit
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Dutiful Thrull
    Ember Beast
    Foundry Street Denizen
    Gridlock
    Gruul Charm
    Guildscorn Ward
    Gutter Skulk
    Hindervines
    Horror of the Dim
    Knight of Obligation
    Last Thoughts
    Madcap Skills
    Martial Glory
    Massive Raid
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Ordruun Veteran
    Orzhov Keyrune
    Paranoid Delusions
    Predator's Rapport
    Primal Visitation
    Purge the Profane
    Riot Gear
    Ruination Wurm
    Scatter Arc
    Shadow Slice
    Shattering Blow
    Shielded Passage
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Skyblinder Staff
    Skygames
    Slate Street Ruffian
    Smite
    Structural Collapse
    Syndicate Enforcer
    Thrull Parasite
    Undercity Plague
    Vizkopa Confessor
    Wildwood Rebirth
    Wojek Halberdiers

    57 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #3 - Boros/Gruul - Preston Coz
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists



    Sealed Trial #5 - Orzhov - Matthew Mullins
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Dimir Guildgate
    Mountain
    Plains
    Swamp

    18 lands

    Balustrade Spy
    Basilica Screecher
    Cinder Elemental
    Court Street Denizen
    Deathcult Rogue
    Dutiful Thrull
    Gateway Shade
    Nightveil Specter
    Sepulchral Primordial
    Wight of Precinct Six

    11 creatures

    Angelic Edict
    Assemble the Legion
    Boros Keyrune
    Devour Flesh
    Executioner's Swing
    Gift of Orzhova
    Grisly Spectacle
    One Thousand Lashes
    Prophetic Prism
    Smite

    11 other spells

    Sideboard
    Act of Treason
    Adaptive Snapjaw
    Alpha Authority
    Beckon Apparition
    Bomber Corps
    Cartel Aristocrat
    Clinging Anemones
    Cloudfin Raptor
    Contaminated Ground
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Drakewing Krasis
    Duskmantle Guildmage
    Dutiful Thrull
    Elusive Krasis
    Firefist Striker
    Five-Alarm Fire
    Furious Resistance
    Greenside Watcher
    Gridlock
    Guildscorn Ward
    Hellraiser Goblin
    Horror of the Dim
    Hydroform
    Illness in the Ranks
    Ivy Lane Denizen
    Keymaster Rogue
    Knight Watch
    Last Thoughts
    Madcap Skills
    Mark for Death
    Massive Raid
    Metropolis Sprite
    Pit Fight
    Primal Visitation
    Purge the Profane
    Razortip Whip
    Riot Gear
    Ruination Wurm
    Shambleshark
    Shattering Blow
    Shielded Passage
    Slaughterhorn
    Stolen Identity
    Sunhome Guildmage
    Tin Street Market
    Tower Defense
    Towering Thunderfist
    Truefire Paladin
    Unexpected Results
    Verdant Haven
    Warmind Infantry
    Way of the Thief
    Wildwood Rebirth
    Wojek Halberdiers

    58 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #6 - Orzhov - Bob Wagner
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Orzhov Guildgate
    Plains
    Swamp

    17 lands

    Alms Beast
    Balustrade Spy
    Basilica Guards
    Basilica Screecher
    Corpse Blockade
    Dutiful Thrull
    Frontline Medic
    Gateway Shade
    Kingpin's Pet
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Syndic of Tithes
    Undercity Informer
    Vizkopa Confessor
    Vizkopa Guildmage

    15 creatures

    Blind Obedience
    Executioner's Swing
    Gift of Orzhova
    Grisly Spectacle
    Holy Mantle
    Killing Glare
    Orzhov Charm
    Smite

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Adaptive Snapjaw
    Aerial Maneuver
    Assemble the Legion
    Bane Alley Broker
    Bomber Corps
    Burst of Strength
    Contaminated Ground
    Crocanura
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Ember Beast
    Experiment One
    Furious Resistance
    Greenside Watcher
    Ground Assault
    Hands of Binding
    Hold the Gates
    Homing Lightning
    Horror of the Dim
    Ivy Lane Denizen
    Last Thoughts
    Leyline Phantom
    Madcap Skills
    Mark for Death
    Massive Raid
    Midnight Recovery
    Mortus Strider
    Mugging
    Murder Investigation
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Orzhov Guildgate
    Prophetic Prism
    Purge the Profane
    Razortip Whip
    Ruination Wurm
    Sage's Row Denizen
    Scab-Clan Charger
    Serene Remembrance
    Shadow Alley Denizen
    Shattering Blow
    Shielded Passage
    Skyblinder Staff
    Skygames
    Slate Street Ruffian
    Stolen Identity
    Tin Street Market
    Tower Defense
    Towering Thunderfist
    Urban Evolution
    Verdant Haven
    Voidwalk
    Warmind Infantry
    Way of the Thief
    Wojek Halberdiers

    58 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #7 - Orzhov - James Lee
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    41 cards

    Orzhov Guildgate
    Plains
    Swamp

    17 lands

    Assault Griffin
    Basilica Guards
    Basilica Screecher
    Boros Elite
    Corpse Blockade
    Dutiful Thrull
    Guardian of the Gateless
    Gutter Skulk
    Obzedat, Ghost Council
    Slate Street Ruffian
    Syndicate Enforcer
    Treasury Thrull
    Vizkopa Confessor
    Vizkopa Guildmage
    Wight of Precinct Six

    16 creatures

    Angelic Edict
    Devour Flesh
    Dying Wish
    Executioner's Swing
    Grisly Spectacle
    Purge the Profane

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Armored Transport
    Bane Alley Broker
    Beckon Apparition
    Breeding Pool
    Burst of Strength
    Call of the Nightwing
    Contaminated Ground
    Crocanura
    Debtor's Pulpit
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Drakewing Krasis
    Elusive Krasis
    Ember Beast
    Experiment One
    Fathom Mage
    Five-Alarm Fire
    Forced Adaptation
    Foundry Street Denizen
    Furious Resistance
    Gruul Charm
    Horror of the Dim
    Keymaster Rogue
    Last Thoughts
    Madcap Skills
    Martial Glory
    Massive Raid
    Metropolis Sprite
    Mortus Strider
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Nimbus Swimmer
    Pit Fight
    Predator's Rapport
    Rapid Hybridization
    Razortip Whip
    Riot Gear
    Sage's Row Denizen
    Sapphire Drake
    Scatter Arc
    Shielded Passage
    Simic Fluxmage
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Skyblinder Staff
    Skygames
    Structural Collapse
    Tin Street Market
    Totally Lost
    Tower Defense
    Towering Thunderfist
    Warmind Infantry
    Way of the Thief
    Wrecking Ogre
    Zhur-Taa Swine

    57 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #8 - Boros/Orzhov - Jame Delp
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists


    Sealed Trial #9 - Gruul - Jason Oppenheimer
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists


    Sealed Trial #10 - Orzhov/Dimir - Jesse Crowley
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Island
    Orzhov Guildgate
    Plains
    Swamp

    18 lands

    Assault Griffin
    Balustrade Spy
    Basilica Screecher
    Corpse Blockade
    Deathcult Rogue
    Dutiful Thrull
    Kingpin's Pet
    Knight of Obligation
    Obzedat, Ghost Council
    Sapphire Drake
    Syndic of Tithes
    Syndicate Enforcer

    14 creatures

    Agoraphobia
    Angelic Edict
    Arrows of Justice
    Executioner's Swing
    Last Thoughts
    One Thousand Lashes
    Rapid Hybridization
    Shadow Slice

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Act of Treason
    Adaptive Snapjaw
    Aerial Maneuver
    Aetherize
    Armored Transport
    Bomber Corps
    Burning-Tree Emissary
    Clan Defiance
    Clinging Anemones
    Cloudfin Raptor
    Crocanura
    Drakewing Krasis
    Experiment One
    Fathom Mage
    Foundry Champion
    Glaring Spotlight
    Gruul Keyrune
    Homing Lightning
    Horror of the Dim
    Hydroform
    Ivy Lane Denizen
    Legion Loyalist
    Leyline Phantom
    Madcap Skills
    Midnight Recovery
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Ooze Flux
    Ordruun Veteran
    Paranoid Delusions
    Pit Fight
    Primal Visitation
    Righteous Charge
    Riot Gear
    Ripscale Predator
    Ruination Wurm
    Scatter Arc
    Scorchwalker
    Shadow Alley Denizen
    Shielded Passage
    Skarrg Guildmage
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Skullcrack
    Skyblinder Staff
    Smog Elemental
    Structural Collapse
    Tin Street Market
    Totally Lost
    Warmind Infantry
    Way of the Thief
    Wildwood Rebirth
    Wojek Halberdiers
    Zameck Guildmage

    60 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #11 - Golgari/Orzhov - Kevin Hulse
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists



    Sealed Trial #13 - Orzhov - Will Fitchko
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists


    Sealed Trial #14 - Orzhov - Eric Hodges
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists


    Sealed Trial #15 - Orzhov - Andrew Willis-Woodward
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Boros Guildgate
    Plains
    Sacred Foundry
    Swamp

    17 lands

    Assault Griffin
    Balustrade Spy
    Basilica Guards
    Cartel Aristocrat
    Corpse Blockade
    Daring Skyjek
    Deathcult Rogue
    Deathpact Angel
    Gutter Skulk
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Sunhome Guildmage
    Syndic of Tithes
    Syndicate Enforcer
    Wight of Precinct Six
    Zarichi Tiger

    15 creatures

    Angelic Edict
    Beckon Apparition
    Executioner's Swing
    Gift of Orzhova
    Grisly Spectacle
    Merciless Eviction
    One Thousand Lashes

    8 other spells

    Sideboard
    Act of Treason
    Adaptive Snapjaw
    Aerial Maneuver
    Beckon Apparition
    Boros Keyrune
    Burst of Strength
    Clinging Anemones
    Cloudfin Raptor
    Consuming Aberration
    Crocanura
    Dinrova Horror
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Drakewing Krasis
    Frilled Oculus
    Hellraiser Goblin
    Hindervines
    Hold the Gates
    Hydroform
    Illness in the Ranks
    Illusionist's Bracers
    Immortal Servitude
    Ivy Lane Denizen
    Knight Watch
    Madcap Skills
    Massive Raid
    Metropolis Sprite
    Mugging
    Ordruun Veteran
    Primal Visitation
    Riot Gear
    Ripscale Predator
    Ruination Wurm
    Rust Scarab
    Shadow Slice
    Shattering Blow
    Shielded Passage
    Simic Charm
    Simic Fluxmage
    Simic Guildgate
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Skygames
    Skyknight Legionnaire
    Spell Rupture
    Spire Tracer
    Structural Collapse
    Syndicate Enforcer
    Totally Lost
    Viashino Shanktail
    Warmind Infantry
    Wasteland Viper
    Zarichi Tiger
    Zhur-Taa Swine

    58 sideboard cards



    Sealed Trial #16 - Gruul - Jibri Thomas
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists


    Sealed Trial #17 - Gruul/Boros - Peter Ahm
    GP Charlotte Sealed Trial Winning Deck Lists

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Boros Guildgate
    Forest
    Gruul Guildgate
    Mountain
    Plains

    17 lands

    Angelic Skirmisher
    Assault Griffin
    Burning-Tree Emissary
    Crocanura
    Daring Skyjek
    Disciple of the Old Ways
    Ember Beast
    Fortress Cyclops
    Scab-Clan Charger
    Skinbrand Goblin
    Skyknight Legionnaire
    Syndic of Tithes
    Towering Thunderfist
    Wasteland Viper
    Wojek Halberdiers

    18 creatures

    Ground Assault
    Madcap Skills
    Massive Raid
    Pit Fight

    5 other spells

    Sideboard
    Adaptive Snapjaw
    Aetherize
    Armored Transport
    Balustrade Spy
    Basilica Screecher
    Call of the Nightwing
    Clinging Anemones
    Corpse Blockade
    Crypt Ghast
    Death's Approach
    Diluvian Primordial
    Duskmantle Guildmage
    Foundry Street Denizen
    Frilled Oculus
    Furious Resistance
    Glaring Spotlight
    Grisly Spectacle
    Guildscorn Ward
    Gutter Skulk
    Hands of Binding
    Hold the Gates
    Hydroform
    Incursion Specialist
    Ivy Lane Denizen
    Leyline Phantom
    Luminate Primordial
    Martial Glory
    Metropolis Sprite
    Murder Investigation
    Naturalize
    Nav Squad Commandos
    Orzhov Keyrune
    Primal Visitation
    Psychic Strike
    Rapid Hybridization
    Razortip Whip
    Ruination Wurm
    Sage's Row Denizen
    Sapphire Drake
    Scatter Arc
    Serene Remembrance
    Shadow Alley Denizen
    Simic Keyrune
    Slate Street Ruffian
    Spire Tracer
    Stolen Identity
    Structural Collapse
    Totally Lost
    Vizkopa Confessor
    Vizkopa Guildmage
    Voidwalk
    Way of the Thief
    Wildwood Rebirth

    58 sideboard cards





     

  • Saturday, 12:01 p.m. – Sample Gatecrash Sealed Pool Exercise #1

    by Adam Styborski

  • 2,672 players - a new global record for a Grand Prix - came to Charlotte to battle in Gatecrash Limited. The first day of a Limited Grand Prix is always Sealed: players take six booster packs and add basic lands to craft a 40 card deck. While last week's Pro Tour Gatecrash featured Draft, this is the first time we're seeing Gatecrash Sealed on this scale.

    If you peek over at the winning deck lists from Sealed trials yesterday it's hard to miss the trend of Orzhov finding success, but Boros and Gruul were well-represented. There was even a winning Golgari concoction that splashed a touch of white.

    Of course, each pool is a unique puzzle to solve and the first Sealed pool exercise we have today is a tougher one to crack. These are 84 cards you may have opened here in Charlotte. What would you do? How would you break this down? Which guild would you call to your aid? Share your thoughts in the forums and we'll show you what a few professional players decided to do later today.





     

  • Saturday, 3:53 p.m. – Building Gatecrash Sealed Pool #1 with Owen Turtenwald

    by Adam Styborski

  • Did you work through how you'd handle the first Gatecrash Sealed pool we shared? While there will be another pool to play with later today, it's time to see how one of the game's best would handle it.

    We caught up with Owen Turtenwald, fresh off his Pro Tour Gatecrash Top 8. While his prowess in Constructed and Draft is clear, you may not know how he cut his teeth practicing for competitive Magic: Sealed. With Magic Online, there's always an event just a click away. Unlike some of his fellow pros, Owen dove into digital Sealed events and forged a reputation for being among the best at Sealed formats in the world.

    He quickly fanned through the card, and settled on Stolen Identity. "It's just the best card in the set," he said, "I've just had so many good interactions with it."

    He started to sort the colors horizontally, placing options he liked more below and relegating others to a miscellaneous pile at the very top.

    "Usually, you can just rule out one color pretty quickly," Owen said, but as he dug through his individual piles he clarified. "I don't even know. There are so many ways you can go with this pool. This is like a really good pool."

    He started to eliminate some choices. White was too thin, and so was red. "Firemane Avenger is insane," but "it's going to be hard to justify playing white with just these cards. "

    "I wonder what a blue-black deck looks like," Owen said as he began to lay out Bane Alley Broker, Call of the Nightwing and Grisly Spectacle, among others. As his curve came together he counted the cards and frowned. At 19 he ran out of what he liked. "Blue-black looks like it's going to be quite a bit short." As he iterated through options his opinion evolved.

    "This is a weird pool. I don't really like it; I thought it was good at first. Can't play the black with the white because there isn't enough cards. Can't play the black with the blue because it's just weak. It looks like blue-green to me. Crocanura is awesome. Shambleshark's really good. Crowned Ceratok's an awesome card. It has Stolen Identity. It's a couple playables short."

    He quickly pulled out everything that was black and began to spread around green instead. Shamblesharks and Crocanuras appeared, but he pointed to two blue spells.

    "Hands of Binding and Gridlock are definitely cards that are good in a blue-green deck but I wouldn't play in a blue-black deck. If you're blue-black it's hard to be all the aggressive, and Gridlock's just a great finisher. If you have big creatures and no way to punch through, you can do 10 damage with it. In a blue-black deck it's hard to have big creatures and it's hard to get them low. In blue-black you'd rather have something that's good early game and late game."

    When Owen counted his deck this time he came to 21 cards, and grabbed his blue and blue-black looking for a splash. ""You could just play these two dual lands," pointing to Watery Grave and Dimir Guildgate. "and Dimir Charm. It's such a weird card to splash because it only kills two-power creatures. I'd rather splash a card that is good against bombs."

    "You could run 18 lands and splash Rubblehulk..." he trailed off, unexcited. "It's not the worst idea in the world. You could just play Clinging Anemones, but it's not my favorite card. Spell Rupture is pretty good with Shamble Shark. I would not want to play Armored Transport in this deck."

    "I'm pretty sure I would just build blue-green. It feels bad to have such great cards in your sideboard, like Firemane Angel and Grisly Spectacle, but you can't play them without playing a bad deck."




     

  • Saturday, 5:07 p.m. – The Biggest Tournaments

    by Steve Sadin

  • On Saturday morning at Grand Prix New Jersey 2004 players throughout the hall were in shock. While many players went in expecting a (then very large) attendance of 700-800 players – the registration line just didn't seem to have an end in sight.

    Players, judges, and coverage staff alike couldn't help but ask: "Could an American Grand Prix really top 1,000 players?"

    Ultimately Grand Prix New Jersey fell a bit short of hitting that mark – however, the event still had a then staggering 958 players shuffling up to play in Round One (and ended with Brian Kibler losing to Jeff Garza in the finals).

    But times have changed.

    In the years since Grand Prix New Jersey, 800-1,000 plus player Grand Prix have become commonplace in North America, Europe, and Japan – but only 3 events have passed the 2,000-player summit.

    Grand Prix Paris 2011 did it with 2,182 players. Grand Prix Madrid 2010 set a record that stood for (just a few days short of) three years with 2,227 players. And this weekend, the Gatecrash Sealed Deck/Booster Draft format Grand Prix Charlotte has shattered even the most optimistic expectations with 2,672 players – making it the single largest Magic tournament of all time.

    Curious to see which other tournaments fit the modern definition of a "huge" Grand Prix? Then take a look at the Top 10 biggest Grand Prix tournaments of all time.

    1. Grand Prix Charlotte 2013: 2,672
    2. Grand Prix Madrid 2010: 2,227
    3. Grand Prix Paris 2011: 2,182
    4. Grand Prix Philadelphia 2012: 1,987
    5. Grand Prix London 2013: 1,970
    6. Grand Prix Paris 2009: 1,961
    7. Grand Prix Washington DC 2010: 1,932
    8. Grand Prix Amsterdam 2011: 1,879
    9. Grand Prix Worcester/Boston 2012: 1,845
    10. Grand Prix Paris 2008: 1,838

    And who knows, maybe you'll be able to contribute to Magic history by helping to break the next record.




     

  • Saturday, 5:17 p.m. – Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists

    by Adam Styborski

  • Tim O'Quinn - Standard Trial #1 - Bant Auras
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists


    William Jensen - Standard Trial #2 - Naya Aggro
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists


    Zachary Kirby - Standard Trial #3 - Monored
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists


    Brian Stanek - Standard Trial #4 - Experiment Jund
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists


    Chris Magner - Standard Trial #5 - B/W Zombies
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists


    Matthew Linde - Standard Trial #6 - Jund
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists


    Chase Tysinger - Standard Trial #7 - B/W Zombies
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists




    Justin Cavenaugh - Standard Trial #10 - Jund Aggro
    Grand Prix Charlotte Standard Trial Deck Lists




     

  • Round 4 Feature Match – Tom Martell (Orzhov) vs. Patrick Sullivan (Boros)

    by Adam Styborski

  • With grins on their faces, Patrick Sullivan and Tom Martell were clearly in good spirits. Why wouldn't they be? Tom Martell was coming off his victory at Pro Tour Gatecrash, where he put a deep notch in his playing career to go alongside his Grand Prix success. It's hard to be unhappy when you're still a fresh Pro Tour champion.

    Patrick Sullivan, a longtime player who's an expert in all things involving Mountains, attacking, and burn, was sporting a brand new Boros tee shirt. With pride he was representing his guild of choice, but didn't hint whether he was playing as the Legion or not.

    Spoiler Alert: He was.

    Game 1

    Sullivan led off the game, hitting double Mountain into Skinbrand Goblin, while Martell fixed with Orzhov Guildgate into a Prophetic Prism. After a quick attack, Sullivan had a Boros Guildgate to match the second Orzhov Guildgate from Martell, who still didn't have a creature. Another attack later and Sullivan missed both his land for the turn and casting another creature.

    On a requisite attack from Sullivan, Martell cast Grisly Spectacle to grind away a few cards along with Sullivan's Skinbrand Goblin. After untapping, Balustrade Spy was Martell's first creature and it began to attack a turn later when his Angelic Edict cleared out Sullivan's Bomber Corps. A second Corps later and Sullivan was back in the business of attacking, but Martell had a commanding six mana and double Prophetic Prism – he could cast anything from here.

    Zarichi Tiger was all Martell mustered before Firemane Avenger revealed the depth of Sullivan's army.


    Choose your guild. Side effects include happiness and satisfaction.

    "Cards?" Sullivan checked before serving with his Angel, adding Assault Griffin behind it to threaten battalion.

    Martell took a few moments to think before he played Kingpin's Pet and passed back. Sullivan contemplated as well before Mugging the Balustrade Spy, giving his Bomber Corps an Aerial Maneuver, and attacking. Kingpin's Pet fell blocking as Zarichi Tiger died to the Angel's trigger. On the next turn, Martell lost without a creature on the battlefield.

    Martell 0 – Sullivan 1

    Game 2

    Martell led off the second game with two Swamps into Prophetic Prism, then Plains into Gateway Shade. Sullivan had only two Mountains for several turns, but played Mugging on Martell's Shade and avoided discarding anything at the end of turn. He drew Plains, hitting his third mana on turn five, to add Armored Transport but Martell's Crypt Ghast and Basilica Screecher kept him ahead.

    Sullivan gamely attacked with his Transport, getting the two damage through, and summoned Wojek Halberdiers after that, but Martell began to fly over with his Screecher after putting a Corpse Blockade up for Sullivan. While the Blockade blocked as one would expect, Sullivan's Transport still had an attack that notched two more into Martell, but Sullivan's life dipped to 11 as Martell took the open to hit hard with his Crypt Ghast.


    Newly minted Pro Tour champions are prone to being jovial.

    Sullivan shuffled his hand, having finally hit five mana, but had the same attack as last turn after adding Syndic of Tithes to play. This time when his Halberdiers were blocked by Corpse Blockade, Sullivan had Martial Glory to gain both an extort trigger and pump his Wojek Halberdier to lethal damage for Martell's blocker.

    Martell sacrificed his Basilica Screecher to give his Blockade deathtouch, ensuring it would trade with Sullivan's Wojek Halberdiers. On his turn Martell added Dutiful Thrull as he put Death's Approach on the second Halberdiers from Sullivan. With a regenerating blocker up Martell stabilized the battlefield, until Sullivan used Massive Raid to clear out Crypt Ghast and open attacks again.

    Another Death's Approach from Martell put the Transport away, and the Wojek Halberdiers away as byproduct, and the Dutiful Thrull went offense. Skyknight Legionnaire was Sullivan's answer, and he sent his flying haste in without delay. Daring Skyjek soon joined for Sullivan, but the race was still wide as he fell to five life against Martell's 13. Sullivan's from-the-top-of-his-library Court Street Denizen could both block Martell's Thrull and keep blockers tapped down, putting Sullivan on the path to winning.

    Martell had an Ætherize for Skyknight Legionnaire, but it only slowed the Legion's march as he didn't draw what he was looking for.

    Martell 0 – Sullivan 2




     

  • Saturday, 7:14 p.m. – Quick Question: What's your favorite guild and common for Gatecrash Sealed?

    by Adam Styborski

  • Jackie Lee: Orzhov. A lot of removal. Deep card quality.
    Owen Turtenwald: Boros. It's the fastest!
    Patrick Sullivan: Orzhov. Best chance of winning when your draws are bad.
    Tom Martell: Orzhov. All of the most powerful cards.



     

  • Saturday, 7:14 p.m. – Quick Question: How many colors do you typically play in Gatecrash Sealed?

    by Steve Sadin

  • Brad Nelson: Two with a one or two card splash if I have the mana for it. If not, I'll play 22 spells and 18 lands just to be two colors.
    Andrew Cuneo: Three. The two color aggro decks are frequently a few cards short of being good (in Sealed) so you ultimately end up just losing to extort when you play them.
    Josh Utter-Leyton: 2.5 on average. This Sealed format is still pretty fast, so you don't want to splash unless you have to.
    Ben Stark: I try and play two, but if you have the lands to splash a third you can probably splash a couple of cards. I don't think you should ever play three colors though, since it's still a pretty aggressive format.



     

  • Saturday, 8:59 p.m. – Building Gatecrash Sealed Pool #1 with Gerry Thompson

    by Adam Styborski

  • Earlier today we shared a Gatecrash Sealed pool for you to build for yourself. We then looked at how Owen Turtenwald would break thing down. Now we turn to another Pro Tour Gatecrash Top 8 player, Gerry Thompson, to see things through another lens. He started laying his cards out by color and guild, weaving guild options between the colors they're comprised from

    "It looks like the red cards are all pretty good, and the green cards are pretty good as well," Gerry said, "black-white is kind of shallow, which is not really the norm I think. Most decks end up as some Naya (red-white-green) combination or Orzhov."

    "Aside from Skyknight Legionnaire or Firemane Avenger, which are gold cards you'd want to splash for considering white's not very good, I probably can't make a white-black deck," Gerry explained as he fanned out the white and black cards. "I'd end up with 16 playables for something. This type of situation is really unfortunate since we have four black dual lands," Gerry said pointing to the Guildgates, Watery Grave, and Godless Shrine," and the black cards aren't very good or splashable. Maybe if I was Simic or something."

    Gerry turned his attention to Rubblehulk and the pile of Gruul cards. "Red-green seems decent so I'm going to lay that out, see how the curve looks, see if I have enough playables. Sometimes your first impression can be really wrong. I don't think there's any other way to do it from here."

    Scab-Clan Chargers and Crocanura were surrounded by Ember Beast and Warmind Infantry. "If I have just 19 cards - wait, hold on," Gerry spotted Skarrg Guildmage and Armored Transport, and pulled them in. "21 cards. Not a terrible deck. I could use a few more spells, a little help on the curve maybe: more fours instead of these fives and sixes," Gerry said, waving over Ripscale Predator and Towering Thunderfist. His eyes soon turned to the long pile of blue cards he made.

    "Blue has some two-drops as well, so I'll start looking at that." Gerry pulled the red cards out and placed Simic comparables in their place. "I don't think it's going to look better than the green-red deck." Sure enough after building, he wasn't satisfied. "Red has a couple things, like the Guildmage and Mugging, that are okay but you don't necessarily need those cards. Blue has Hands of Binding, Agoraphobia, Stolen Identity. You have some play with the battlefield, you have some removal spells. They're kind of interchangeable."

    "The green-red deck has four twos," Gerry continued, referring to creatures that cost two mana, "the green-and-blue has one and three twos. It's about the same but then you end up with a bunch of three-drops. I guess if I'm splashing black I could get some extra stuff, but it's not even very good."

    Gerry pulled the blue back out to make room for red again, this time adding several Boros cards to the mix: Skyknight Legionnaire, Firemane Avenger, Boros Keyrune, and Martial Glory. "Right now, Firemane Avenger and Stolen Identity are the best cards in the pool, and I'd want to play with at least one of them. Maybe I'll have to splash for the Avenger but it'll be worth it."

    "Unless you're extremely lucky you going to have to play three-color something. It's very rare you get a very good two-color pool. You're better off splashing and playing all your gold cards and adding a lot of variance to it, but if your draws work out your deck is going to be on a much higher power level than someone who's just playing two-color Boros and has to play a lot of slow, monocolored cards."

    With the red-green deck laid out again, Gerry pointed to his Boros splash. "You want cards you're splashing to be good no matter when you cast them. If you don't have your white mana until turn six or turn seven you want it to have an impact. Something like Martial Glory," Gerry said, pulling the combat trick common out of the deck, "is good for two guys that already traded off, or your draw's been pretty weak and they have mana open so they use a removal spell when you go to use it. Cards like Skyknight Legionnaire and Firemane Avenger are good at any point in the game."

    "I wouldn't be surprised if somebody played Simic in this," echoing what Owen had decided on himself. "Maybe you can make some sort of Dimir deck work, but for the most part just being aggressive and punishing them if they stumble, and people will stumble a lot in this format because their deck's pretty bad. Even if it's slightly weaker I'd just play an aggressive deck. I like this."





     

  • Round 6 Feature Match – Melissa DeTora (Boros) vs. David Ochoa (Orzhov)

    by Steve Sadin

  • After years of dedication, strikingly consistent play, and more than a few Grand Prix Top 8s, Pro Tour stalwart David Ochoa finally broke through and earned a Top 8 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica.

    Ochoa's opponent in round 6 - Melissa DeTora was considered one of the best PTQ players in the North East for years. But a busy work schedule prevented her from putting in the time that she felt she needed to invest to reach her full potential.

    Frustrated by this fact, she slowly stepped away from the game... until the end of 2011 when she decided to see exactly how well she could do if she committed herself fully to professional Magic.

    Last weekend, she began to see those efforts really pay off with a Top 8 berth at Pro Tour Gatecrash.

    Game One

    Ochoa won the roll and kept his hand, while DeTora mulliganed down to 6.

    A Wight of the Precinct Six, and a Basilica Guards gave Ochoa a bit of a board presence, but a Wojek Halberdiers, a Skynight Legionnaire, and a Pit Fight allowed DeTora to go on the aggressive early.


    Melissa DeTora

    After falling behind for a bit, Ochoa was able to swing things back in his direction with a Balustrade Spy, an Assault Griffin, and a Grisly Spectacle that killed off DeTora's turn five Towering Thunderfist.

    Once Ochoa had used a premium removal spell, DeTora decided that it was time for her to cast Gift of Orzhova – making her Wojek Halbrediers into a 4/3 lifelink flier, before following it up with a Sunhome Guildmage that made her board look even more menacing.


    However, a second Grisly Spectacle, a block with Balustrade Spy, and a Devouring Flesh later – DeTora's board was empty.

    DeTora did what she could to rebuild her offenses with a Hellraiser Goblin, and a Bomber Corps, but that was all that she had. An Angelic Skirmisher from Ochoa, and an ineffective draw step later, and DeTora had conceded.

    David Ochoa 1 – Melissa DeTora 0

    Game Two

    DeTora got off to a great start in the second game – casting a Sunhome Guildmage, and a Boros Reckoner before Ochoa had played a single card.

    Basilica Guards, and a Grisly Spectacle to kill the Boros Reckoner gave Ochoa some breathing room – but a Martial Glory allowed DeTora's soldier token to defeat Basilica Guards in combat, and a Syndic of Tithes allowed DeTora to further grow her on board lead.


    David Ochoa

    However, at this point she was completely out of relevant spells – which meant that it only took a Death's Approach, and a Gutter Skulk for Ochoa to stabilize. An Assault Griffin then allowed the mustachioed pro to go on the offensive.

    By the time DeTora started drawing spells again, it was too late. An unanswered Holy Mantle on a Gutter Skulk backed up by a One Thousand Lashes and an Angelic Edict were more than enough for Ochoa to take the match.

    David Ochoa 2 – Melissa DeTora 0




     

  • Saturday, 9:49 p.m. – Sample Gatecrash Sealed Pool Exercise #2

    by Steve Sadin

  • Earlier today my coverage partner Adam Styborski opened up a Sample Sealed Pool that we then shared with Owen Turtenwald and Gerry Thompson.

    If you haven't already parsed through that pool, then you should definitely go back, and compare what you built to what the pros that Adam interviewed came up with.

    Once you're done with that, we've got another Sealed Pool for you to tinker with.



    Once you're done constructing your deck, head on over to the forum to post your final build. We'll have a build by one of the world's top pros for you to compare your work with soon.




     

  • Round 8 Feature Match – Ken Yukuhiro (Five-Color) vs. Jeremy Bertarioni (Orzhov)

    by Adam Styborski

  • Ken Yukuhiro is a name you should already recognize from the Top 8 of Pro Tour Avacyn Restored. With a win at Grand Prix Singapore last month, and finals of Grand Prix Kobe in 2012, the past year has been hot for Yukuhiro. It's no one wonder his friends, including Pro Tour Hall of Fame member Shuhei Nakamura, consider him the up-and-coming professional player in Japan.

    But Yukuhiro was in trouble. Facing elimination from Day 2 of the historic Grand Prix, Yukuhiro looked across the table to Jeremy Bertarioni, who was ecstatic to be in his first ever feature match. He, too, needed to find a win to stay alive. One of Japan's finest would be as formidable a foe as any.

    Game 1

    Yukuhiro led off with Boros Guildgate, but didn't have a two or three-drop to follow. Bertarioni's Syndic of Tithes was able to attack, but he was stuck on two lands. Even with Boros Guildgate, Plains, Mountain, Forest, and Swamp all on the battlefield, Yukuhiro had no play.


    Ken Yukuhiro

    Finally, on turn six Yukuhiro played Disciple of Old Ways, a match against Syndic of Tithes. Bertarioni had Balustrade Spy to mill the land on top of Yukuhiro's library, and a Basilica Screecher to follow. An end of turn Gruul Charm from Yukuhiro cleared away both the Balustrade Spy and Basilica Screecher, leaving the way clear for Yukuhiro to begin attacking himself.

    Bertarioni had an impressive Alms Beast to stop the blows, but Yukuhiro kept Grisly Spectacle waiting. Crowned Ceratok had joined Yukuhiro's Disciple, and pulled Bertarioni down to 13 life to Yukuhiro's 11, before a One Thousand Lashed locked it out. With extort triggers flying, Yukuhiro was down to seven life and could only pass as Bertarioni's Deathcult Rogue promised a clear attack on the following turn.

    Yukuhiro frowned as he looked over his cards, and passed back yet again. Pit Fight stopped the attacking Rogue, but Basilica Screecher from Bertarioni put the pressure right back on. Without a way to stop the Bat, Yukuhiro fell.

    Bertarioni 1 – Yukuhiro 0

    Game 2

    Yukuhiro's Verdant Haven on turn three was the first move of the game, which allowed his Gruul Charm to knock out Bertarioni's Nightwing Specter that served as his own first play. Bertarioni's Syndicate Enforcer was matched by Yukuhiro's Rust Scarab, but Bertarioni's Battlefield Medic changed things again. Yukuhiro's reply of Zarichi Tiger seemed small in comparison to the Medic.

    With six mana available, Bertarioni played two Deathcult Rogues to represent surefire battalion next turn unless Yukuhiro could stop it. A solitary Slaughterhorn, again, seemed anemic against Bertarioni's board. While Yukuhiro gained life with Zarichi Tiger, he was still facing more damage than he could handle in the race.

    Slaughterhorn netted Yukuhiro an attack, before a surprising untapped Watery Grave. Taking the two damage allowed Yukuhiro to cast Grisly Spectacle during Bertarioni's upkeep to take out Syndicate Enforcer. Now taking only four damage each turn, with room to gain life from his Tiger, let Yukuhiro make another move: attacking with Slaughterhorn and Rust Scarab, the latter of which got Totally Lost.


    Jeremy Bertarioni

    After combat, Yukuhiro had a stunning move by casting Borborygmos Enraged, but Bertarioni fired back with his own haymaker, Diluvian Primordial, which let him to cast Yukuhiro's Grisly Spectacle to handle the legendary Giant. The haymakers continued when Yukuhiro windmill slammed Merciless Eviction from the top of his library to wipe the board clean.

    Bertarioni moved quick on the recovery, casting Gutter Skulk into Balustrade Spy, which made Yukuhiro shake his head as he watched both his Alms Beast and Boros Reckoner enter the graveyard. At just five life, Yukuhiro played Verdant Haven to buy some time but it wasn't enough. After an attack that put Yukuhiro to one life, Agoraphobia gave Bertarioni the extort trigger he needed.

    Bertarioni 2 – Yukuhiro 0




     

  • Sunday, 12:31 p.m. – Building Gatecrash Sealed Pool #2 with Ben Stark

    by Steve Sadin

  • After his Top 4 finish at Pro Tour Gatecrash, Team ChannelFireball's limited guru Ben Stark went home and celebrated his strong finish by doing what he loves. Drafting on Magic Online. A few days, a few Sealed deck Daily Events, and a bunch of drafts later and Ben Stark is ready to put his augmented knowledge of the format to work for him here in Charlotte.

    Fortunately, Ben was willing to set aside a few minutes to show us what he would do with our second sample sealed pool.

    But before he got into anything specific, Ben offered some universal advice - explaining that: "The optimal way to build a Sealed deck in this format is two colors plus whatever your lands let you splash. There's no reason not to splash two single colored good cards if you have 4 lands for them."

    As Ben initially fanned through the pool, and set aside the cards that he considered borderline unplayable, Ben explained that he was optimistic about what he could do with the Simic cards.

    Upon closer inspection, however, Stark became a bit more pessimistic about the pool's potential.

    "The Simic stuff looks pretty good, but this pool seems pretty spread out (across the 5 colors) which is the opposite of what you want. You're going to be able to build a Simic deck, an Orzhov deck, a Boros deck... but what you really want to do is be able to build one really good deck."

    "Pit Fight and double Simic Charm is really good. The good tricks are so important in Simic, and they're so hard to come by. Simic Charm is obviously awesome, but it's an uncommon so you don't see it that often – and Pit Fight is also really good in the deck. We also have 2 Simic Guildgates, a Stomping Ground, and a Gruul Guildgate so it'll be really easy to splash red if I want to...but it seems like Gruul Ragebeast is the only red card worth splashing."

    When Ben Stark laid out the deck, he found that he could only find 20 cards that he wanted to play.


    Simic

    "If need be, we can cram a couple of playables into this deck – but if you're at 20 cards and you need to find a couple of... I don't even know whats, maybe Hydroforms, in to get enough cards. Then you're in pretty bad shape."

    "Our good cards are spread out pretty evenly between our colors, and we have a lot of (multi-colored) lands so we're probably going to have to play three colors just to make a good deck. Unfortunately, there just weren't any good cards other than Gruul Ragebeast that we could have splashed with the Simic deck. If there had been like 3 good red cards to splash then this would have been easy."

    The next thing that Ben did was look at what Orzhov had to offer. However, that was very underwhelming to him, as the cards just didn't work together.


    Orzhov

    "This deck just isn't good. It's half aggro, and half control. For example - Court Street Denizen is really bad in this deck. It's a super aggressive card, but you're following it up with... 3/5s for 5?"

    After giving up on Orzhov, Ben ultimately decided to go back to Simic.

    "This is a pretty bad pool, but our blue green playables are pretty nice. And even though I hate playing such poor cards in Sealed (e.g. Wildwood Rebirth, and Last Thoughts), this deck is fine. You've got nice midsized things – which is what I really like in Gatecrash Sealed. This isn't like a slow format where you just want the biggest things you can get. For example, you don't want to play 2 seven drops since decks are still pretty fast."

    After briefly flirting with the idea of running more red, Ben decided to settle on the following deck – which he thought was "representative of the kinds of decks you're going to face in Gatecrash Sealed... just a little bit weaker."




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