Announcing MTG Team Massdrop East/West


Welcome Planeswalkers,
We’re proud to officially announce our sponsorship of pro Magic: The Gathering team, Massdrop East/West! The 12-man team, formerly known as East West Bowl has been tearing it up in tournament play. They had an extraordinary run at Pro Tour Oath of Gatewatch, in which three different players reached the Top 8 and one took home the crown—not to mention their impressive finishes at Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad and Pro Tour Eldritch Moon.
Building on that success, Massdrop East/West has high hopes for 2017—and plenty of firepower to back them up. For the new year, MTG is debuting a brand-new format called the Pro Tour Team Series. Seeing as some of the most compelling story lines in Pro Tour history have come from testing teams of friends, rivals, aspiring pros, and all-time greats, the decision makers at Wizards of the Coast created a format to facilitate those relationships. Starting with Pro Tour Aether Revolt (February 3 - 5), the Pro Tour Team Series will be underway, with over $50,000 up for grabs.
To prepare for the Team Series, Massdrop East/West will be testing and strategizing together as a collective. Entering the competition, they will be two teams: six members from Massdrop East and six members from Massdrop West—and they’re all here to talk about the upcoming competition! Check out the roster below to start following each player and learn more about their backgrounds.

Team Massdrop East:
Pascal Maynard (Captain) -
Jarvis Yu -
Ricky Chin -
Timothy Wu -
Eric Severson -
Jon Stern -

Team Massdrop West:
Mark Jacobson (Captain) -
Paul Dean -
Jiachen Tao -
Ari Lax -
Scott Lipp -
Benjamin Weitz -

Feb 28, 2017
Mox Opal - Ban / no ban? Also, as a long time casual player looking to slowly edge into competitive modern, what deck would you recommend? (I know matchups for Infect, Affinity and Death's Shadow from online testing [over 24 hours each]).
As we have seen lately, the Death's Shadow decks are packing a lot of punch and seeing a lot of success. Infect, on the other hand, has seen a big drop. I think the metagame is too hostile for Infect right now, with lots of discard, removal, and Collective Brutality (which combines both!). Affinity is still a tried and true solid Modern deck that you can't really go wrong with, unless people are packing a ton of SB hate. So probably Shadow, then Affinity, then long gap, then Infect. Shadow is both hard to play with and hard to play against, so if you get in the reps, it will pay off.
As for Mox Opal, it seems like a card that could be banned. But who knows. It's very strong, but not currently warping the metagame. There may have been a case if the Cheerios deck ended up being more consistent and less fragile. So right now, I think it is safe. However, it might restrict design space a bit because they need to worry about printing good artifacts that go well with it.
Apr 12, 2017
Well, Mox Opal survived, and I decided on Naya burn. Now halfway through, it fits my playstyle, is inexpensive, and I believe it is doing well in the meta. Thanks!
Feb 27, 2017
Shouldn't there be more b/g standard decks right now? Like with greenbelt rampager, winding constrictor, fatal push, and bristling hydra?
I was actually pretty impressed by the amount of aggression the BG Energy deck can put out. I think Hydra is powerful but too clunky for that style of deck.
Ben Stark took a BG deck and added red for Scrounger + Disintegration package and it looked pretty good. I think it may have even had sideboard Lathnu Hellion.
Maybe the metagame will crack at some point and not just be Mardu, 4C, and a smattering of Tower.
Note that when I was testing with Tower, the low-to-the-ground high-pressure BG Energy with lots of Blossoming Defense was actually pretty annoying. Blossoming is so good. Not sure if Tower will actually becomes more popular now that it won a GP.
Jan 21, 2017
Can we apply to join one of the teams? I never saw Massdrop sponsoring pro MTG, but I absolutely love this. Go Mass Drop East!!
I'll ignore you preference for the _other_ team and say that the first step to being viable for a squad like this is to make a name for yourself on the MTG Pro Circuit. We will soon have MTG content coming in on Massdrop which I hope will help you level up!
Jan 20, 2017
It's nice to see you all together! As piece of advice to a brazilian player, do you think that a BW/Mardu control is a viable/strong deck in the meta to come with a lot of combos?
I think a lot of it will depend on what style of combo decks. BW and Mardu have a lot of removal, so combo decks that rely on creatures could be good matchups. Marvel style could be an issue, but you at least have discard and Anguished Unmaking to help out. One of the tough parts about control this early is that control by definition is reactive, and if the meta is undefined, you don't even have a clear understanding of what you need to react to. Once some initial results come in it'll be easier to see how they might stack up.
Jan 20, 2017
Do you prefer Joe Cool or the Flying Ace?
I prefer the head bagel
Jan 20, 2017
What do you recommend for a player wanting to eventually get sponsored in mtg? I find time the most difficult variable considering I work a lot.
I think it's important to find people with the same goals as you do. So in your case the goal might be to succeed at MTG while keeping a full time job. When time is limited, the challenge becomes how to prepare in a smart, efficient manner. We spend a fair amount of time thinking about our process and trying to improve it. One of factors leading to the creation of EWB was that a lot of us couldn't afford to go to a PT weeks in advance to prepare. Nearly all of our testing is done online to fit our schedules.
Jan 20, 2017
What will do you think people will play in aether revolt standard
Hard to say right now, next couple of weekends there should be some preliminary Standard events which will set the tone for the Pro Tour. With the new set and the bannings everything got shaken up. Aggro, combo, and control all seem viable. There are a lot of build-around cards in Kaladesh and Aether Revolt, should be interesting to see what the different teams bring to battle.
Jan 20, 2017
I started an MTG club at my college, and it's mostly casual players (we play modern, standard, edh and pauper, but mostly homebrews, and nothing competitive for most of our members)- now, I have a ton of questions about meta, speculation, and the ever-present "How does my deck look?" but I'm going to ask instead if it would be possible for one of your team to come to my college as a guest speaker for the club? I haven't really worked out any kinks, or have a specific plan, but I think it would be awesome, so I figured I'd ask a floating question on it, and if there's interest, develop the idea further. Would you be interested and available? It's a SUNY school.
I don't think any of us live in the NY area :(. Most of us are in CA and DC.
Jan 20, 2017
Fair enough xDThank you for your time!!!
Jan 20, 2017
Favorite jank Standard deck?
Jan 20, 2017
that deck was a beauty.
Jan 20, 2017
Jan 20, 2017
Thoughts on Tezzeret? All versions, all constructed formats.
Jan 20, 2017
Vintage: I think Paradoxical Outcome has removed the need for The Seeker as a win condition, but I haven't been opposed to Agent of Bolas in Ancient Tomb midrange that arises to combat specific Sphere heavy Stax lists. Prob too bad vs Mentor to be good any more but if Gush is axed....
Legacy: Never really liked Affinity sadly.
Modern: Would not be surprised if Agent of Bolas sees a bit more play due to Affinity getting Spire of Industry.
Standard: [redacted}
Limited: My opponent at the prerelease had T5 The Schemer G1 with 3 artifacts and T4 The Scheme G2 with 2 artifacts. I did not come close to winning either game.
To add to Ari's answer, I haven't read Agents of Artifice yet, but my initial reaction to his appearance in the KLD storyline was unfavorable. His interactions with Dovin Baan have really saved the character though, and I'm excited to read more about his schemes when I get the chance.
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