2008 Worlds Feature: Top 8 Profiles

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Frank Karsten


Hometown: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Number of times playing on Pro Tour: +/= 40
How many Worlds have you played in? 9
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds? Pro Points and Nationals
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 2 PT Top 8s, 6 GP Top 8s (not counting this one)
Other previous Magic accomplishments:
-Voted as “The Fanatic” into the Invitational.
-Wrote the “Online Tech” column for magicthegathering.com.

Standard record: 4-2
What Standard deck did you play, and why?
Faeries. I analyzed a lot of Top 8 decklists from State Championships and Magic Online Premier Events and found that Faeries was performing the best. I then aggregated all the Faeries decklists that I found into an “average” decklist.

Booster Draft record: 5-1
What was your draft strategy?
Pick single-colored cards in the beginning rather than triple-color cards, because I prefer not to commit to a shard too early. Flexibility is important. Furthermore, I prefer Jund. It is my favorite shard, because it has lots of playables, removal, and synergy.

Extended record: 4-0-2
What Extended deck did you play and why?
Elf Ball. I played the deck in Pro Tour-Berlin, so I had a lot of experience with it. While I expected a lot of hate versus Elves, I still thought that Elves would be too strong and consistent. With post-sideboard Thoughtseizes, Umezawa’s Jitte, and a couple bigger creatures I felt that I could beat the hate cards. It worked.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
I did not playtest that much; I just analyzed Top 8 Standard decklists I found online and took my Extended deck from the previous Pro Tour. My preparation was mostly together with the Belgian crew and I did a few drafts with the players from Eindhoven. Thanks go out to the Manamaze shop for my Constructed cards.


Hannes Kerem


Hometown: Keila/Tarto, Estonia
Number of times playing on Pro Tour: 2
How many Worlds have you played in?:: First
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds?: Nationals
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0
Other previous Magic accomplishments:
-I would like to point out that it is not funny if you say here that you’ve won an FNM...

Standard record: 5-1
What Standard deck did you play, and why? Kithkin, because I knew I would win with it.

Booster Draft record: 5-1
What was your draft strategy?
Open good rares, failed at it except for Mycoloth.

Extended record: 3-2-1
What Extended deck did you play and why?
Elf Ball because I didn’t bother testing and it did well in Berlin.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
I practiced Standard and drafted.


Kenji Tsumura


Hometown: Osaka, Japan
Number of times playing on Pro Tour: 20 or 30 maybe.
How many Worlds have you played in?:: 5
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds?: Pro Points
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 12 GPs, 6 PTs
Other previous Magic accomplishments: 
-2005 Player of the Year

Standard record: 4-2
What Standard deck did you play, and why?
I love Faeries!

Booster Draft record: 5-1
What was your draft strategy?
White-Green is best. Giant Growth is better than removal!

Extended record: 5-1
What Extended deck did you play and why?
I love Faeries!

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Tomohiro Aridome, Yoshitaka Nakano, Katsuhiro Mori, Yuuya Watanabe, Kotaro Otsuka, Shingo Kurihara, Akihiro Takakuwa, and Masashi Oiso.


Jamie Parke


Hometown: New York City, New York
Number of times playing on Pro Tour: A bunch
How many Worlds have you played in?:: A bunch
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds?: Rating/15 Pro Points
Number of GP/PT Top 8s:5 I think.
Other previous Magic accomplishments:
-Kart.

Standard record: 2-3-1
What Standard deck did you play, and why?
Five-Color Control. I wanted to challenge myself for Day 2 and Day 3 :)

Booster Draft record: 6-0
What was your draft strategy?
I like drafting Red-Black because there is a lot of synergy. Red-Green is a mise too.

Extended record: 5-1
What Extended deck did you play and why?
Mono-blue Faeries/Control (aka “The Wiz”) by Gabe Nassif. The deck is great because it’s very efficient and doesn’t really have many bad matchups.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
I prepared by testing Constructed with my online group which included Mark Herberholz, Gabe Nassif, Steve Sadin, Antonino De Rosa, Tim Landale, Melissa DeTora. If I’m forgetting anyone, they are demanding this sheet now and I can’t write anymore!


Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa


Hometown: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Number of Times Playing on the Pro Tour: 17
How many World Championships have you played in? 5
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds? Pro Level
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 3 GP Top 8’s, 4 PT Top 8’s
Other previous Magic accomplishments: 
Top 25 in 14 of the last 15 Grand Prix I played

Standard record: 5-1
What Standard deck did you play and why did you play it? Faeries, because I believe it is the best deck, and because Tomoharu Saito said I was the Faeries Master.

Booster Draft record: 5-1
What was your draft strategy?
I like red and especially Jund, but I try not to force it. Being reactive is just better.

Extended record: 4-2 (scooped once!)
What Extended deck did you play and why did you play it?
Zoo, because I didn’t want to play anything else, and Zoo is always the backup plan.

How did you prepare for this event? Who did you prepare with?
I played a bit with some friends, but all my playtesting for Berlin and Hollywood was still relevant.


Akira Asahara


Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan
Number of Times Playing on the Pro Tour: 30
How many World Championships have you played in? 5
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds? Pro Level
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 8 GP Top 8s, 2 PT Top 8s
Other previous Magic accomplishments:
Kurouto Cup Champion

Standard record: 6-0
What Standard deck did you play and why did you play it?
Faeries “Blue-Black No Tezzeret,” it is the strongest deck.

Booster Draft record: 3-3
What was your draft strategy?
Five-Color Garbage Cycling

Extended record: 4-1-1
What Extended deck did you play and why did you play it?
Elves “Mitamura Soul Deck”

How did you prepare for this event? Who did you prepare with?
Playtesting with Sasaki Masato and Shoota Yasooka at the Dream Café in Sagamihara


Antti Malin


Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Number of Times Playing on the Pro Tour: 19
How many World Championships have you played in? 4
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds? Pro Level
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 1 GP, 2 PT’s
Other previous Magic accomplishments: 
Unhinged Release Champion

Standard record: 3-3
What Standard deck did you play and why did you play it?
Faeries. I just like the deck and it’s strong. I had considered Kithkin and Mono-Red, too.

Booster Draft record: 6-0
What was your draft strategy? Whatever comes, but preferably Naya.

Extended record: 5-1
What Extended deck did you play and why did you play it?
Monored Burn “Esko.dec” I made the choice last night and I think it was absolutely right. It beats Faeries and Zoo, and has a good chance against everything except maybe elves.

How did you prepare for this event? Who did you prepare with?
I took all my cards and decks to Memphis and started playtesting on Monday with the Finnish Team, Erkki Siira, Sami Haggkvist, Sami Tuomi, and Tero Niemi


Tsuyoshi Ikeda


Hometown: Fukuoka, Japan
Number of Times Playing on the Pro Tour: Over 50
How many World Championships have you played in? 9
How did you qualify for 2008 Worlds? Pro Level
Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 3 GP’s, 3 PT’s
Other previous Magic accomplishments:
Long time playing on the Pro Tour.

Standard record: 5-1
What Standard deck did you play and why did you play it?
Blightning Beatdown. I’m a beatdown player at heart.

Booster Draft record: 5-1
What was your draft strategy? White-Green or White-Blue tempo-based decks.

Extended record: 3-2-1
What Extended deck did you play and why did you play it?
Affinity. I only needed 3 wins today, and I don’t think people would be metagamed against it. It’s also good against Faeries.

How did you prepare for this event? Who did you prepare with?
Between my family (LOVE <3) and a busy work schedule my only practice came from tournaments. My guru is Tsuyoshi “Rolly” Fujita.

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