Feature: The Top 8 Player Profiles

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Stuart Wright

Stuart Wright

Age: 23

Hometown: Frimley

Occupation: Magic Player

Magic Achievements: T16 PT New Orleans 2003, T8 European Championships 2003

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 5-0-1
RGD Draft:: 2-1
Coldsnap Draft: 2-1

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Playing lots and lots of tournaments on MTGO. I haven't actually played the deck in a tournament offline until now.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

Vore, because I'm sure it's the best deck in the format.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

I'd be happy with any two of Blue, Black and Red, and ended up with a blue/black deck splashing for three Surging Flames and a Rimescale Dragon. Other than that, picking Snow Land very highly.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

Birmingham, probably. Maybe somewhere a little further north, but somewhere fairly central.




Craig Stevenson

Craig Stevenson

Age: 32

Hometown: Leeds

Occupation: Managing Editor of StarCityGames.com

Magic Achievements: T4 GP London 2002, T32 PT Houston 2002

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 4-2
RGD Draft:: 2-1
Coldsnap Draft: 3-0

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Choosing the deck early, plenty of testing with my mates on Team Leeds, playing a lot of MTGO and asking pros online for tips and tricks.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

Ghazi-Glare, because it's fun to play and I've had success with it in both Team and regular Constructed events recently.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

Either the top-heavy Green deck or UB Snow. In the end I first-picked Ronom Hulk and somehow ended up with six copies of Surging Flame.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

Leeds! Or else somewhere as central as possible.




Pete Norris

Pete Norris

Age: 29

Hometown: Cheshire - Craig Jones lives in my basement!

Occupation: I design mobile phone networks.

Magic Achievements: 2 GP Top 32s, attended 10 Pro Tours, and now English Nationals Top 8!

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 5-1
RGD Draft:: 2-1
Coldsnap Draft: 2-1

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Built a lot of decks that didn't work, then went with this deck after doing well with it in the Team Pro Tour Qualifiers for Charleston and finding it worked well against the aggro decks in the format.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

BW discard. It's good against decks like Sea Stompy, but weak against Tron - which unfortunately happens to be my quarter-final matchup.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

I was open to going for a risky strategy as I thought I needed to 3-0, so I was considering going for a ripple plan. I ended up with a strong BG deck with 4 Aurochs Herd, 2 Grim Harvest and other strong cards.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

Birmingham. It's central, easy to get to and has an airport.




David Yendall

David Yendall

Age: 14

Hometown: Exeter

Occupation: Paper round, walking dogs!

Magic Achievements: Devon County Champion

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 6-0
RGD Draft:: 0-3
Coldsnap Draft: 3-0

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Testing and casual play with friends - I wasn't really expecting to make Top 8!

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

A homemade four-colour control deck, it tested well and I know the deck.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

I went for an aggressive GW plan, with a low mana curve and splashing red for burn.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

London




Ian Riboulet

Ian Riboulet

Age: 19

Hometown: Newbury, Berkshire

Magic Achievements: Errr… Losing in PTQ Top 8s!

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 4-1-1
RGD Draft:: 3-0
Coldsnap Draft: 2-1

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Tested with friends in our local group.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

Greater Good Gifts - it has a good matchup with Zoo, I'm comfortable with the deck and it qualified me.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

Force the UR Snow deck, easier than it sounds as red is so deep.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

London or Cardiff




Paul Gower

Paul Gower

Age: 29

Hometown: Cambridge

Magic Achievements: PTQ finals.

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 5 wins and an ID
RGD Draft:: 3-0
Coldsnap Draft: 1-2

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Testing with friends in Cambridge.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

Izzetron. It's powerful and I know the deck well.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

I was happy to adjust to the packs, I didn't want to force any particular strategy.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

England would be nice.




Calum Stephenson

Calum Stephenson

Age: 20

Hometown: Reading

Occupation: Student

Magic Achievements: PTQ Top 8.

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 6-0
RGD Draft:: 2-1
Coldsnap Draft: 1-2

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Testing online or with friends at Eclectic Games in Reading.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

Zoo, I like the good matchups with Vore and Tron.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

Draft red/green, don't suck too much.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

Birmingham.




Andrew Clayton

Andrew Clayton

Age: 23

Hometown: Manchester

Magic Achievements: PTQ and GPT Top 8s.

What was your record in each format?

Standard: 4-0-2
RGD Draft:: 2-1
Coldsnap Draft: 3-0

How did you prepare for this tournament?

Drafting with the Mox Radio team.

What Standard deck did you play, and why?

UGW 'CounterPost' - it crushes aggro decks.

Did you have a particular strategy in Coldsnap draft?

Take red. I didn't end up doing it, but it didn't matter.

If you could choose the venue for the just-announced UK Nationals next year, where would you choose?

Manchester.

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