This past weekend team Massdrop MTG competed in the first Pro Tour of the season - Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica in Atlanta, Georgia! We got to play both Draft and Standard and did reasonably well overall. Read on for each person’s personal tournament report!
My Pro Tour was a big success, but a frustrating near-miss. I went 7-1 on the first day, going 3-0 in draft with Izzet and 4-1 in constructed with my UB Midrange deck, including beating hall of famers Luis Scott-Vargas and Yuuya Watanabe in feature matches. I got to do a deck tech on my UB Midrange deck which you can watch here:
The second day I was in the featured draft pod, which you can watch here:
I ended up in a position where I was 11-4 and playing a match vs. Andrew Elenbogen for a slot in the top 8. I was vanquished and then Andrew went on to win the whole tournament. My 11-5 finish was enough for $3000 and 10 Pro Points! It was devastating to come so close to my goal of making the Pro Tour Top 8, but my fire is burning strongly and I booked a last minute flight to compete at Grand Prix Milwaukee this weekend.
Be on the lookout for an article about UB Midrange next week!
Pro Tours are unforgiving. I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time to prepare, and this was reflected in my result. I went 2-6 and missed Day 2 for the first time since my return to the pro scene in 2012. I played Mono Red to beat up on the white aggro decks, and cut Shock for Risk Factor to improve my midrange and control matchups. While this did help, all it did was make things close, as I went 0-2 against Golgari Midrange while also losing to Boros Angels and Grixis. My only win in Constructed was a mirror match. Pro Tour success doesn't come easy. I'll need to show up with better preparation if I expect to do well in Cleveland.
This PT was a moderate success for me. I managed to hit my goal of retaining Gold status, but didn't finish as strong as I wanted to. I played a Big Red deck of my own design, and was very pleased with my 7-3 performance in Constructed. The deck is a blast to play, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys Siege-Gang Commander or Banefires to the face. My favorite match was playing against a mirror match, where I got to see my opponent make a lot of similar decisions in deckbuilding, but also a few different ones and it was fun to examine where we deviated. I really enjoyed the whole week, especially hanging out with my friends and going to the Cheesecake Factory over and over again (OK, by the fourth time I was pretty sick of it).
Had a mediocre, but at least fun draft deck. Got some close games but ended draft at 1-2.
Constructed did not go well either, some bad variance and medium plays had me spend Saturday at the house!
Going into this Pro Tour I had very little confidence in my understanding of the draft format. I had some success early with Boros decks (surprise surprise), but never had consistently good results with anything else. Then after getting distracted by standard testing up until decklists were due, I realized that I hadn’t done a GRN draft in almost three weeks. So the day before the PT, I jumped into an intermediate draft queue on Magic Online and quickly proceeded to 0-2 with an awful Selesnya deck. Before going to bed I thought to myself, “All I want to do was open a Tajic, Legion’s Edge in the morning”. Well, ask and ye shall receive… I went 2-1 with this baby:
PT GRN didn't end up that well for me but was still fun. My first draft was a mediocre Izzet deck that had its plan way too split between aggro and control so it was hard to win with. I played some bad matchups and went 0-3. In standard, I played Matt Nass’s version of Golgari. It had Doom Whisperers and Wildgrowth Walkers and felt good. I chose the deck because I expected a lot of Mono white and I felt like it had a good matchup there. Unfortunately, I didn't play against any. I played against Grixis control and Jeskai Control which I lost to but still got my only win to a mirror. Overall, the tournament wasn't great but it just encourages me to do better next PT!
The fire is burning strongly in all of us and we will be bringing that fire to the next Pro Tour in February - Pro Tour Ravnica Allegiance in Cleveland, Ohio! Until then, we will be battling at various Grand Prix and Magic Fest tournaments, starting for some of us with Grand Prix Milwaukee this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how the Standard format evolved this week!
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Speaking of giveaways, there is still time to win a box of Ultimate Masters!