Event_Coverage

Egolf Wins Big in Boston!

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Congratulations to 2009 Grand Prix–Boston champion Marlon Egolf!

More than 1500 players descended on the Hines Convention Center in Boston this weekend to try their hand at Magic 2010 Limited in the largest Grand Prix ever held on U.S. soil. After 15 rounds of Swiss and two rounds of elimination only two players were left standing; two-time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor Ben Stark and Marlon Egolf, a local player taking part in his first individual Grand Prix and bound for his first taste of the Pro Tour in Austin. Ben’s black-red deck did not perform up to its previous showings in the quarter and semifinals but it seemed doubtful that his army of Sparkmages would have been up to the task of defeating Ant Queen, Shivan Dragon, Earthquake, and an Oakenformed Cudgel Troll.

Players who came to the event expecting a traditionally basic core-set draft format were surprised. Those who put in the work found a surprising amount of depth and balance. You can follow more M10 action next weekend as the Limited Grand Prix bandwagon rolls into Brighton, UK.




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Lynch, Brian   Lundberg, Jason        
8 Lundberg, Jason   Stark, Ben
       
4 Wojceshonek, Bradley   Stark, Ben   Egolf, Marlon
5 Stark, Ben    
       
2 Efland, Zach   Egolf, Marlon
7 Egolf, Marlon   Egolf, Marlon
       
3 Feinstein, David   Feinstein, David
6 Pearlman, Jonathan    

EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Draft Viewer: Top 8 Draft
  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Finals:
    Ben Stark vs. Marlon Egolf

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Decklists:
    Boston Standard PTQ

  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Semifinals:
    Ben Stark vs. Jason Lundberg

  • by Mat Marr
    Quarterfinals roundup
  • by Duncan McGregor
    Quarterfinals:
    Brian Lynch vs Jason Lundberg

  • by Josh Bennett
    Quarterfinals:
    Brad Wojceshonek vs Ben Stark

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Player Profiles


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 2 Archive

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Day 1 Archive
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
 1.  Egolf, Marlon $3,500
 2.  Stark, Ben $2,300
 3.  Feinstein, David $1,500
 4.  Lundberg, Jason $1,500
 5.  Pearlman, Jonathan $1,000
 6.  Lynch, Brian $1,000
 7.  Wojceshonek, Bradley $1,000
 8.  Efland, Zach M $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
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  • Top 8 - Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Name: Marlon Egolf

    Age: 27

    Hometown: Newburyport, MA

    Occupation: Corporate Drone

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 1

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: Nothing noteworthy

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? I cracked about six sealed pools and tested with my playgroup. I had only done one M10 Draft before today.

    What was your record on Day 1: 8-1
    Draft 1: 3-0
    Draft 2: 2-0-1

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Sleep, double Cudgel Troll, double Merfolk Looter

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? Win at Magic. It would appear to have worked.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Not as bomb dependant as previously thought. Solid decks with good role-players are the key.

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? Good. I think I’m playing well right now.

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! I was supposed to go to a Tool concert tonight. Looks like I’m missing it.


    Name: Zach Efland

    Age: 23

    Hometown: Orlando, FL

    Occupation: CoolStuffInc.com

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 1

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: Second most profitable Team Drafter

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? 30+ 8-mans, 50+ 3-on-3’s, 1 Sealed

    What was your record on Day 1: 8-1
    Draft 1: 2-1
    Draft 2: 3-0

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Whispersilk Cloak

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? Monoblack, but only got it once.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Abysmal.

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? Good.

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! Faced none of the following cards: All 5 Planeswalkers, Shivan Dragon, Baneslayer Angel, Earthquake, Overrun, Fireball, Mind Control, Sleep, Djinn of Wishes, Planar Cleansing


    Name: Brad Wojceshonek

    Age: 21

    Hometown: Manchester, NH

    Occupation: Breadman and Student

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: This is my first.

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: None.

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? Over fifty sealed pools, about ten drafts. Special thanks to Brian Siu, who taught me everything I know.

    What was your record on Day 1: 8-1, no byes
    Draft 1: 2-1
    Draft 2: 3-0

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Safe Passage, Prized Unicorn, Serra Angel

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? Just pick what’s coming.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Some people say it’s all about what bombs you open, but that’s only a small part of it. As Brian Siu told me, “Everyone knows picks one through four. It’s picks five through fourteen that really matter.”

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? As good as anyone’s, but I’m just happy to have made it this far.

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! My friend Adam Zarmakupis made Day 2 with no byes after his sideboard got stolen before Round 1.


    Name: Ben Stark

    Age: 25

    Hometown: Davie, FL

    Occupation: Unemployed

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 2 PTs, 3 GPs

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: T8 Pro Tour Kobe & Pro Tour San Diego

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? ZERO

    What was your record on Day 1: 9-0
    Draft 1: 2-1
    Draft 2: 2-1

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Rise from the Grave. I beat people down with their bombs all day.

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? No, I draft whatever comes to me.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Better than Alara block, but worse than most formats

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? Probably like 1 in 6. I assume I’m the favorite but obviously I could lose.

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! Played one of my best friends on the Tour, Dave Irvine, twice. We went 1-1.


    Name: Brian Lynch

    Age: 31

    Hometown: North Providence, RI

    Occupation: Residential Councilor

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 2

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: 48 lifetime Pro Points. Lots of Magic travel.

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? Very little.

    What was your record on Day 1: 7-2
    Draft 1: 3-0
    Draft 2: 3-0

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Lightning Bolt

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? Yes.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Boring.

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? “...”

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! “KUSH IS THE MAN!”


    Name: David Feinstein

    Age: 27

    Hometown: Pawtucket, RI

    Occupation: Game Store Owner

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 0

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: Handful of PTQ Top 8’s, won some moxes, attended two PTs and former State Champ

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? A lot. We draft 2-3 times minimum, daily at my store DIE HARD GAMES

    What was your record on Day 1: 8-0-1
    Draft 1: 3-0
    Draft 2: 1-0-2

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Acidic Slime. Anyone on shaky mana immediately lost when I cast it.

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? I’ll draft absolutely anything.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Both formats are great. All the colors seem balanced, which is rare.

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? I think I have a shot to win, only because I’ve probably done more m10 drafts than anyone else in Top 8

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! I had one bye and then unintentionally drew in Round 2. I was feeling a little down, then put a Kird Ape in my pcoket and things turned around :D


    Name: Jason Lundberg

    Age: 19

    Hometown: E. Hartford, CT

    Occupation: Getting hurt.

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 0

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: Watchtowered JSS Champs

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? Prerelease and release events.

    What was your record on Day 1: 9-0
    Draft 1: 1-2
    Draft 2: 3-0

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Sleep

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? No.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Sleep- and Overrun-based.

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? No clue.

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! Second draft game 2 won on the mull to five to Top 8


    Name: Jonathan Pearlman

    Age: 26

    Hometown: Cupertino, CA

    Occupation: Operations Research Analyst for the Federal Department of Transportation

    Number of GP, PT Top 8’s: 0

    Other Previous Magic accomplishments: 36th at PT Yokohama. Won an Extended PTQ with Steel Wall maindeck.

    How much M10 Limited did you play in preparation for this event? 8-10 drafts.

    What was your record on Day 1: 9-0
    Draft 1: 2-1
    Draft 2: 2-0-1

    What were your MVPs in Sealed? Act of Treason

    Did you have a plan for Draft? Did you follow through on it? NOT green. Definitely.

    What do you think of M10 Sealed? Draft? Sealed is very swingy based on the pools. Draft is surprisingly deep for a core set. Well done, Wizards!

    What do you think of your chances in the Top 8? I like them.

    Tell us a fun fact about you or the tournament this weekend! Day 1 Act of Treason stole: 2 Platinum Angels, Shivan Dragon, Clone of Shivan Dragon, 2 different Magebane Armor equipped blockers, my own Protean Hydra from under Entangling Vines.

     

  • Top 8 - Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Brad Wojceshonek
    Top 8 Draft - Grand Prix Boston




    Brian Lynch
    Top 8 Draft - Grand Prix Boston


    Ben Stark
    Top 8 Draft - Grand Prix Boston


    Marlon Egolf
    Top 8 Draft - Grand Prix Boston


    Jason Lundberg
    Top 8 Draft - Grand Prix Boston


    Jonathan Pearlman
    Top 8 Draft - Grand Prix Boston

     

  • Quarterfinals - Brad Wojceshonek vs Ben Stark
    by Josh Bennett
  • “Good luck.” - Brad Wojceshonek

    “You too. Hope we have a good match.” - Ben Stark

    Stark mulliganed once, and they were off. Wojceshonek had a second-turn Child of Night, but Sparkmage Apprentice sent it packing. He replaced it with Looming Shade. Stark had a Vampire Aristocrat, and opted to trade it and the Sparkmage Apprentice for Wojceshonek’s Shade and third turn. He untapped and picked it back up with Gravedigger.

    Wojceshonek dropped a fifth-turn Bog Wraith. Stark hit him with Mind Rot and caught Doom Blad and Dread Warlock. He replayed his Aristocrat. Wojceshonek had Drudge Skeletons and hit for three. Stark went one better with a Vampire Nocturnus. He eagerly flipped his top card: Mountain.

    “So depressing knowing a land is coming.”

    He swung all out, and Wojceshonek spoiled his day with Harm’s Way, helped along by Stark’s forgetting what Vampire Aristocrat’s ability was. Pacifism put the Nocturnus on ice, and the Bog Wraith continued to bash.

    Capricious Efreet smiled back at Stark from the top of his deck, and he fell to eight waiting for it to show up. His next card was Goblin Artillery. Wojceshonek’s deck stubbornly refused to help him. After another hit Stark was at five, Wojceshonek at nine.

    The Efreet targetted Nocturnus, Skeletons and Bog Wraith, and spectator Dave Irvine raised an eyebrow. Luck was with Stark, though, and the die chose the Bog Wraith. With nothing more coming from Wojceshonek’s deck, the game was Stark’s, though he had another turn to misplay his Efreet both in not choosing the Pacifism as a target, and not sacrificing the monster on his side to his Aristocrat.

    Stark 1 - Wojceshonek 0

    Game 2 was Wojceshonek’s turn to misplay for the crowd. He started with Drudge Skeletons and attacked past Stark’s Child of Night. He added an Aristocrat to his team, and promptly forgot its game text when Stark played Act of Treason on it. When Stark sacrificed it after attacking, Wojceshonek could only frown.

    He had Doom Blade for Stark’s Artillery and played out a Siege Mastodon. Stark had Stone Giant but was under intense pressure from Looming Shade, the threat of Harm’s Way and a stack of swamps. He got back his Artillery with Digger and took five from the Shade.

    Parke played a Zombie Goliath, which was promptly Pacified. Wojceshonek swung in with Mastodon and Shade. He had plains and four swamps open.

    “I just want to verify with a judge before I throw my whole game away.” - Ben Stark.

    He checked that Harm’s Way worked the way he thought and triple-blocked the Shade. Divine Verdict took out the Giant and the Child of Night traded for the Shade. Now things were back in his favor. He swung in with Gravedigger and Wojceshonek reflexively blocked with his skeletons and regenerated. That left him without a swamp so Sparkmage Apprentice could finish it off. Parke played out his Artillery.

    Wojceshonek was forced to play defensive. Stark’s life total was low enough that he couldn’t go nuts with his Artillery. Veteran Weaponsmith fortified his defenses, and then another. Stark swung in with a pair of Gravediggers and finished off the blocking Mastodon with Seismic Strike.

    Stark’s card advantage continued to overwhelm Wojceshonek’s deck, and in short order the match was Stark’s.

    Ben Stark defeats Brad Wojceshonek 2-0

     

  • Quarterfinals - Brian Lynch vs Jason Lundberg
    by Duncan McGregor
  • Jason started on the attack with Sage Owl and Vampire Aristocrat, while Brian set up his mana with Rampant Growth and then Borderland Ranger, leaving a Mountain untapped. Jason eyed the Mountain warily when Brian blocked, and allowed the 2/2s to trade, refilling on Grey Ogres with a Merfolk Sovereign. Brian’s Giant Spider met with a Doom Blade, and he opted to use the Lightning Bolt he’d telegraphed on the fish lord, going to 17. Jason added a Drudge Skeleton before passing the turn back.

    Jason Lundberg
    Brian had land but no other play, showing signs of being mana-flooded. Jason could only attack him for two, though, and Brian finally got some board presence the next turn with a Warpath Ghoul. He used Weakness to off the Skeletons and enable an attack, but Jason killed the Zombie with Assassinate, continuing to ping away with the Owl.

    Brian continued to draw into action, killing Jason’s Drowned Catacombs with Acidic Slime, and following that up the next turn with Centaur Courser. The Slime, after some debate, met with an Assassinate, and turned traitor (and Zombie) the next turn thanks to Rise from the Grave, killing Brian’s only Mountain. Brian responded with Overrun, swinging with his Centaur. Jason blocked with the Slime, but a Giant Growth let it trample over for seven, knocking Jason to five.

    Jason, justifiably worried by this, aimed a Consume Spirit at Brian’s face, reversing the life totals to 9-5 in Jason’s favor. He also added a Coral Merfolk to the table, but that met a Consume Spirit from Brian. Brian also ran out another Warpath Ghoul, leaving him one card in hand. Jason checked on the card with a top-decked Duress, but finding only land didn’t help him when he was unable to draw any more creatures. Over the next few turns Brian played a Runeclaw Bear and a Kelinore Bat, and Jason’s remaining life did not last long.

    Brian 1 - 0 Jason

    Brian requested an additional basic land between games, a request fulfilled by a nearby judge. Jason led with Coral Merfolk, while Brian repeated his earlier trick of Rampant Growth. A turn three Giant Spider was Essence Scattered, though, and Jason swung again before adding a Vampire Aristocrat to his team. Brian played his fourth basic land type - a Plains - and a Runeclaw Bear to threaten a trade, but when Jason had an Ice Cage for it Brian fired a Lightning Bolt at the Coral Merfolk and Celestial Purged the bloodsucker. Jason refilled with Divination.

    Brian’s second Giant Spider made it into play, while Jason set up his next turns with Sage Owl. Brian attacked on his next turn and summoned a Mold Adder, prompting a quiet “Uh-oh” from Jason. The Snake grew to 3/3 off Phantom Warrior and the Spider being Assassinated, and Brian attacked on his next turn, also playing Warpath Ghoul. Jason only attacked on his next turn, but Weakness on the Phantom Warrior drew a Doom Blade on the Adder. Brian continued to swing with his 3/2.

    Jason’s Gravedigger retrieved Coral Merfolk, and he added both that and a Drudge Skeleton to his team on the next turn. Brian, meanwhile, had played Centaur Courser, and then finally found a second Swamp for Lilianna Vess. The discard ability on Jason forced his last card - Unsummon - out of his hand, and the Centaur back into Brian’s. On Jason’s turn he swung with all of his creatures but the 0/1 Merfolk, losing Gravedigger in exchange for Warpath Ghoul and three life. An Illusionary Servant threatened additional beatings.

    Brian replayed the 3/3 and searched with his planeswalker. Jason continued to ignore Lilianna and swing directly at Brian, this time losing Coral Merfolk but dealing five damage. Brian’s counterattack was chump-blocked by the selfless Merfolk, and the return strike drew the Tendrils of Corruption that he’d tutored up. The life gain from hitting Sage Owl kept him alive at one life, but when Centaur Courser was Assassinated he now needed to answer both the Servant and the Drudge Skeletons. Consume Spirit couldn’t even keep him alive for a turn.

    Brian 1-1 Jason

    Brian Lynch
    Brian chose to draw for the third game, anticipating a game of attrition rather than tempo. Jason tried to prove him wrong with Drudge Skeletons, Phantom Warrior and Vampire Aristocrat. Brian’s first play of the game was a turn four Tendrils, making Jason sacrifice the Phantom Warrior to deny him the life gain. His army reduced, Jason played land and swung in for three.

    Giant Spider from Brian met with a Doom Blade, and Illusionary Servant entered the battlefield. His stay was brief, though - Brian cast Consume Spirit on it for 0, and also conjured up a Runeclaw Bear. It seemed that Jason had been saving some creature kill, though, encasing it in an Ice Cage before attacking Brian down to seven. A second Giant Spider from Brian jumped in front of the Aristocrats, but they munched on the Drudge Skeletons to win the fight. Jason showed off his duplicate as well with a new Phantom Warrior.

    Brian passed the turn with no play, but when Jason swung in again he removed the Ice Cage by tapping a green mana and targetting his Bear with... Overrun? A confused Jason directed Brian’s attention to the card he’d tossed out, prompting Brian to shake his head and replace it with the Giant Growth that was legal to play. The Bears were now big enough to win a fight with the Aristocrats, but Brian was down to five and still had to deal with Phantom Warrior. Jason added to his troubles with Sage Owl. Brian could only attack for two, and Jason dug one card deeper with another Sage Owl. Finding only land, Brian packed it in.

    Jason Lundberg defeats Brian Lynch 2-1.

     

  • Quarterfinals roundup
    by Mat Marr
  • Marlon Egolf v. Zach Efland

    Marlon Egolf
    Marlon lead with a Merfolk Looter and Zach gained a life off of his Soul Warden. Marlon discarded a Craw Wurm to his looter and played two Illusionary Servants over the next two turns. With only a Griffin Sentinel for defense and stuck on three lands Zach was on his back foot quickly to double imaginary 3 / 4 flyers.

    Zach worked hard to figure out why Marlon had two each of island, mountain and forest. “I don’t put you on a planewalker, but what else is double red?” Zach asked. A Cudgel Troll showed what the double green was for.

    An Armored Ascension was Negated by Marlon keeping Zach off an effective defense. The troll and the two servants soon had Zach declaring he would play first in the second game.

    1-0 Marlon

    In Game 2 Shivan Dragon did not need the Levitation that Marlon had paired with it. “I knew it” Zach said as the source of the need for double red mana was finally revealed. But a Pacificism cleared the way for Zach’s army and they were on to the deciding game.

    1-1

    The game looked like it might end very fast. A fifth turn Shivan Dragon threatened to seal the deal for Marlon. Zach begged his deck to deliver a Pacificism and slowly peeked at the top card of his library.

    No play came from him and it looked like the old-school dragon could go all the way.

    Zach Efland
    The next turn a Deadly Recluse offered a way for Zach to trade with the dragon. An Earthquake for six from Marlon could kill off the last hope Zach had. But Safe Passage ensured his creatures survived and when Wind Drake attacked it died to the spider without trading. Marlon continued to verbally beat himself up for the misplay of throwing away the flyer for several turns.

    Zach had been warned for missing a Soul Warden trigger and was now very precise about each trigger. He even had SOUL WARDEN written on a piece of paper in front of him. But when a Borderland Ranger came into play and Zach yielded to the land trigger some discussion occurred over whether a spectator had blatantly coughed to remind Zach to catch the other trigger. When the judges could not determine any foul play the match continued.

    Marlon now tried to break the standstill by Looting every turn and found a Howl of the Night Pack. With Levitation in play the wolves threatened a considerable amount of damage to Zach. A Sleep from Marlon only made matters worse.

    “That is the first Sleep that was cast against me all tournament!” Zach said. It would be the last spell cast against him in the Grand Prix as well as he extended his hand in congratulations to the semifinalist.

    After the game Zach filled in Marlon on some of the dangerous removal that he had passed downstream. Overall the top eight players were friendly and relaxed with each other through the playoffs.

    Marlon Egolf wins 2-1 and advances to the semifinals

    David Feinstein v. Jonathan Pearlman

    Jonathan and David start a full game behind at the next table after a bathroom break and discussion of sleeve quality and shuffling approaches. The players had already met twice this weekend and an amiable discussion of their past games and an intentional draw into the top eight ensued.

    David gained life off his Soul Warden twice before sending it into the red zone against a Goblin Piker. Jonathan thought for a while before declining to trade his 2/1 for the one drop cleric. The next turn the same trade was offered again along with a Runeclaw Bear. Jonathan opted to trade the two drops and followed with a Dragon Whelp on the next turn.

    Jonathan seemed to be falling behind on the board and in life totals, but a Pyroclasm netted Jonathan four creatures for one spell including two Blinding Mages. Only a only a Pacified Dragon Whelp was left on the board. Without any creatures and now faced with Berserkers of Blood Ridge David’s 25 life did not seem to be a high barrier.

    David implied that Jonathan had played him a little with talk of needed to find a good spell and indeed Jonathan revealed that the sweeper had been in his opening hand.

    But David found gas in a Lightwelder Paladin. The Paladin killed off the Berserkers that attacked into it without a trick. (The Harm’s Way that David had declined to draft over the Paladin would have saved both of his Blinding Mages from the earlier pyroclasm. Now it looked like either first pick might get him through this game.)

    David’s creatures bantered with each other and seemed to be interfering with Jonathan’s thinking. Without a good answer to the ground fatties Jonathan’s life total soon ran out.

    David has turned around a game that had looked completely out of reach after his board was cleared and came away with a win.

    “Mom I got Game 1,” David yelled into the audience. “I am too tired to drive so my mom came to pick me up.” David explained, “My mom does not care how I do, she just wants to get home.”

    David 1-0

    David Feinstein
    With the rest of the matches now finished they prepared for the second game.

    David was interested in whom they would face in the semis, but judge Eric Levine kept mum. “He’s a judge he can’t give us information,” Jonathan said. “I can give you rules information,” Eric said. The players joked about asking he judge how flying worked. It turned out that judge Chuck Rodman had actually been asked how flying worked in the main event. No question is too basic for our highly trained judging staff.

    David swung with his 2/3 Vetran Armorsmith into Jonathan’s fresh Dragon Whelp. Jonathan’s block showed the attack was no bluff: a Glorious Charge beefed the Armormisth up enough to kill the Whelp.

    The next play from Jonathan was an upgraded 4/4 flying Air Elemental. When the armorsmith attacked again Jonathan “erred on the side of caution” and did not block with his 4/4 flyer leading to groans from both players at the pun.

    For a two turns the players traded blows. A Lightwelder Paladin and an Air Elemental taking chunks out of the two life totals.

    Then both 4/4s stopped attacking, one changing teams and the other headed back to its owner’s library. An Excommunicate sat the air elemental back on the bench for now.
    The Mind Control that David had feared took away his 4/4 first striker.

    What had seemed like a race between flying and ground 4/4s now slowed down with Jonathan ahead on life 12 to 9. When he refused to replay the air elemental David made clear he suspected Cancel. An excommunicate to put his own lightwelder on top of his library was met by the very three mana counter he had suspected.

    Both players built their boards for several turns with the pair of Armormsmith and Swordswmith turning into hill giants for David.

    A big attack from David came after he played a Rhox Pikemaster to turn his 3/3s into first strikers. Jonathan’s available blockers were Air Elemental, Lightwelder, and Viashino Spearhunter. With only a forest and plains open and two cards in hand David threatened a variety of tricks. Jonathan carefully weighed his possible blocks. Only the lightwelder choose to stand on defense and it was dispatched with a Giant Growth.

    The next turn everything came over for David hoping to take the last sixth life away from Jonathan before the Air Elemental finished him the enxt turn. All of Honathan’s creatures died on defense but the Air Elemental lived to swing away. When no fog effect came from David they were on to the third game.

    Match tied 1-1

    Jonathan Pearlman
    With the rest of the matches long finished a restless crowd had gathered for the final game.

    “This is kinda a classic matchup” Jonathan said, enjoying his first Grand Prix top eight.

    David again mulligan once in the final game. His second turn Pegasus and third turn Blinding Mage faced down an empty board. Jonathan dug through his deck with Divination and carefully considered what to discard- a berserkers of blood ridge finally headed to the bin.

    A fourth-turn Snapping Drake was Excommunicated and David attacked Jonathan down to 12.

    On the next turn Jonathan switched gears and played a Phantom Warrior leaving two mana up. When he Negated an Excommunicate it was clear why he kept the two mana open.

    Jonathan had a dangerous Goblin Artillery in his hand but with no second red source he was forced to only drop hill giant.

    A Lightwelder Paladin from David threatened to wreck havoc on the ground. With the Blinding Mage making blocking difficult David seemed to be taking over the final game.

    When David called on his mom for moral support there was a discussion of putting David’s mom on the stack. The players and spectators discussed how juvenile a “your mom” joke would have to be to make the event coverage, but none seemed to pass the test.

    Sage Owl from Jonathan showed him mountain, Cancel, Mind Control and island. David asked aloud that no Mind Control be found there. But facing down a Giant Spider, the paladin, and the Pegasus and Mage still on the board from the opening turns of the game it was not clear that the Control Magic would arrive in time for Jonathan.

    David’s friend the Kird Ape, who had been a constant source of humor through the round seemed to buoy his spirits now.

    “My deck is so bad... five hundred more dollars bad?” David wondered aloud. With encouragement and support from both Kird Ape and his mom it looked like David might just win the extra money.

    The next turn David debated how to go for the kill and wondered aloud how not to screw it up.

    He finally Excommunicated one blocker and tapped another with Blinding Mage. When Jonathan blocked the paladin a Glorious Charge took him exactly to zero. The Mind Control on the top of his library would never see the light of day.

    As Jonathan packed up his bag he commented, “That gentleman is the only person I lost to all weekend. I am 13-0 against the rest of the field. I am 0-2-1 against that guy.”

    Thinking back on the match the one play that he felt could have changed the outcome was killing the soul warden on turn two of Game 1. “That guy gained him 11 life, I might have won if I had killed it early.”

    David Feinstein wins 2-1 and advances to the semifinals.

     

  • Semifinals - Ben Stark vs. Jason Lundberg
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Jason Lundberg was truly just happy to have made Top 8 and over the moon about having gotten past the grizzled PTQ and Pro Tour veteran Brian Lynch -- even if he was not quite sure how he had done it. His opponent this round was two time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor Ben Stark. There was a brief period of time where Ben was one of the most consistent Magic players on the planet with his two Top 8s coming during the same season in close proximity to a handful of Top 16 finishes. He has recently dug in his heels to stay qualified for the Tour again and this event was doing double duty.

    “This is awesome,” exclaimed Ben, who was one of five players to sweep through Day One. “This should qualify me for Worlds as well. My rating was like 1900 coming into this.”

    Game 1

    Jason Lundberg
    Jason mulliganed and Ben suddenly realized he had to pick up his cards and make the same decision due to the M10 rules change that mandates both players mulligan simultaneously. Fifteen years of habit is hard to break.

    “I don’t know if you saw my note on Facebook,” said Ben as he declared he would be keeping his seven cards. “I thought that was a good rule change -- it just saves time.”

    Ben was not as enthusiastic about some of the other changes: “I wish there were three different windows during combat for people to stack their stuff. I like a lot of decisions.”

    Jason kept his next six cards and his turn two Coral Merfolk fell to Sparkmage Apprentice. “Must be nice,” sighed Jason who played a Phantom Warrior on the next turn only to find it staring down the Goblin Artillery. Stark played Stone Giant and used the Artillery to kill the Warrior. Jason played Sage Owl into Sage Owl and three lands. Stark killed the Owl. Jason played the other Owl and conceded when it revealed four lands. He showed off the cards he was looking at to his opponent and conceded the game.

    “I don’t know how I beat Brian Lynch,” laughed Jason. “Sage Owl did at least 10 to him.”

    Game 2

    This game started out exactly the same with Coral Merfolk dropping to one of Ben’s three Sparkmages. Jason played Disentomb and replayed the merfolk. Ben shrugged and passed the turn with no play, perfectly happy to put his Sparkmage in the path of the fish. Jason attacked into the Apprentice and grew back the merfolk again, this time with Gravedigger. Ben played Stone Giant which fell to Jason’s Doom Blade. Now it was Ben’s turn to dig graves and he grew the giant back. He added Zombie Goliath to the board for his next turn while Jason complimented his Coral Merfolk with Merfolk Sovereign. “There are exactly two Merfolk in this deck,” he laughed.

    Ben played Mind Rot hitting Assassinate and Consume Spirit and replayed the Stone Giant and added Vampire Aristocrat. He fell to 10 on Jason’s attack but was able to crack back for nine with his team before playing Capricious Efreet. On Ben’s next upkeep Jason began searching for a randomization device. Ben told him not to worry about it as he targeted his own Stone Giant and Jason’s Merfolk Sovereign -- you only have to choose up to two targets of your opponent’s and target one of your own. By making his own target invalid it was a 100% shot that the Sovereign would get smoked.

    “I am probably not going to need that die. I learned how this worked last round.”

    Jason pulled the card toward him and gave it a read, “Let me learn.”

    Ben Stark
    The table judge was also uncertain about the interaction and wanted to make sure it worked that way. Ben, who had already sacrificed his Stone Giant, raised an eyebrow.

    “If this doesn’t work this way me and the judge from last round are going to fight,” he joked nervously.

    “Yeah,” said a hopeful Jason. “You should fight him.”

    “I think this is the most complicated interaction in all of M10,” said the judge as went to make sure. When he came back and announced that Ben was correct in his understanding of how the cards and timing worked spectator Zvi Mowshowitz was happy.

    “I learned something today,” declared Zvi.

    Jason also learned that he would not be advancing to the finals as Ben rumbled over for the win.

    Jason’s friends ‘consoled’ him: “Oh well...you won a match with that deck”

    Final result: Ben Stark advances to the finals of a major event for the first time in five tries.

    “I would love to have a trophy,” said Ben. “I had a pretty bad deal in my two Pro Tour Top 8s. I played Nassif in the Top 8 of my Constructed PT and Herzog in my Limited Top 8. That is pretty raw.”

     

  • Top 8 Decklists- Boston Standard PTQ
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Below are the decks that rose to the top of a field of two hundred and fifty, in no particular order.

    James Bishop - UberFaeries
    Boston Standard PTQ

    Brian Desimore - Blighting Burndown
    Boston Standard PTQ

    Shaheen Soorani - Naya Ramp
    Boston Standard PTQ

    Andrew Noworaj - Jund Blood
    Boston Standard PTQ

    Nicholas Spagnolo - Merfolk
    Boston Standard PTQ

    Philippe Gareau - Reveillark
    Boston Standard PTQ

    Charles Foster III - Faeries
    Boston Standard PTQ

     

  • Finals - Ben Stark vs. Marlon Egolf
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Game 1

    Marlon Egolf
    Ben found himself on the draw for the third time in the Top 8.“I’m glad this isn’t Extended,” said Stark. “I have lost all three of my die rolls. It doesn’t really matter in this format but in Extended I would be like a 60/40 underdog.”We briefly discussed Jim Davis who chose to draw each of his Standard matches in Honolulu and posted the best record among the Constructed players.“He’s a genius,” said Ben, who played in that tournament as well. “In hindsight I wish I had drawn every game. Genius.”Ben is an avid shuffler and the two players spent a lot of time randomizing. I talked the new England native, Egolf about his preparations with local hero Mark LePine.“He has been really fired up,” said Egolf about Mark. “The whole week has been email quizzes like name all the combat tricks by color and rank them.”“Wow,” said Ben. “You were a lot more prepared than I was. I went to the Prerelease.”

    With the match finally about to start, the trophy was placed on the table between the competitors prompting an objection from Stark supporter and recently crowned U.S. Champion Charles Gindy.

    “Man,” exclaimed Gindy. “That is nicer than my trophy!”

    “You just had to show us what we are playing for,” said Stark with a shake of his head. Despite this being his fifth Top 8 at GP and PT level competition, Ben’s mantle is bereft of trophies. “Make us all nervous.”

    “I actually got more nervous when he put that down,” admitted Egolf, who has never been to the Pro Tour and was actually playing in his first ever individual Grand Prix.

    Ben missed his third land drop for two turns and tried to be philosophical about it as his supporters groaned along the rail. He looked back at them. “I am not going to mulligan two Mountains on the draw.”

    Meanwhile, Egolf was amassing the assets needed to play his bombs and fetched a land with Borderland Ranger. Rather than discard, Ben played Sparkmage Apprentice. A turn later he thanked his deck as it turned up two Mountains that let him Seismic Strike a Craw Wurm but he had no answer for the Ant Queen that came down the next turn.

    “Is this the best of three or best of five?” asked a visibly excited Egolf as he played his Levitation and flew over.

    “Best of three,” sighed Stark who conceded rather than struggle vainly for another turn. “I don’t want to show you more of my deck since I already know all of yours.”

    Ben had time to watch Egolf’s last match and saw most of his deck. Egolf tried to think about what he had seen from Stark.

    “Hmmm...” he said, ticking off the cards. “I actually just saw three cards.”

    Game 2

    Ben Stark
    Stark sided out a Mountain and Zombie Goliath for a pair of Deathmarks and hoped for the best.

    “I have drawn so well all tournament,” said Ben with a rueful grin that suggested he knew his good fortune was coming to an end. He implored his deck to carry on for one more round. “My Sealed Deck was not that good but I drew what I needed. Not now. Not in the finals deck.”

    He announced that Egolf could start: “I will draw...just like Honolulu.”

    The game kicked off with Mold Adder from Marlon and a turn two Visionary. When Ben laid a turn two Mountain Egolf said, “Do it.”

    Ben obliged and took care of the Mold Adder before things could get out of hand.

    “Did it,” nodded Egolf as he sadly sent his Visionary into the Sparkmage. “Two for ones are good.

    “You drew a card. It is not really two for one,” said Ben who played Child of Night while scuffling for mana. He had to hope it was good enough to race against the Cudgel Troll that Egolf played with regeneration mana up. Illusionary Servant came down next for Egolf but it was taken out by another Sparkmage. Ben sent in his Child of Night to do damage and gain two life. Egolf offered up Oakenform and pointed it at his Troll. “Make him bigger?”

    Marlon Egolf
    “That’s pretty sweet,” admitted Ben as he chumped with his Sparkmage. Ben played Mind Rot and Egolf discarded Merfolk Looter and -- sheepishly -- a Negate he could have just used to counter it instead. He swung in for two again but was still only on three lands while Egolf played Shivan Dragon in addition ot his green regenerating monster.

    Ben pointed Deathmark at the Troll and grinned and extended his hand in defeat when Egolf regenerated.

    “I tried to sneak that in there,” admitted Ben with a grin. He showed off the Act of Treason he was holding and mused about what could have been with four lands. “If I had drawn a land there I could have stolen it and I don’t think he would have put up a shield there. Then I could Deathmark it on my side.”

    Marlon Egolf could scarcely believe he had won a Grand Prix -- much less the largest North American tournament in history and one of the largest of all time anywhere. He picked up his trophy with a dazed smile on his face and announced, “I need to take a walk.”

    Congratulations to Marlon Egolf, the 2009 Grand Prix Boston Champion

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