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Feature: The Top 8 Players Profiled

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Neil Reeves

Neil Reeves

Age: 23
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Occupation: Professional card player
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: 4
How qualified: Pro Players Club
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: Some…5-7
Other previous Magic accomplishments: Won Texas Invitational

Constructed record: 4-0-3
Limited record: 6-1

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
Monoblue Control…Jeroen Remie said so.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
No

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
None

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Didn't prepare.

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
Sense of accomplishment and a little pride.




Michael Patnik

Michael Patnik

Age: 23
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Occupation: Student
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: First time
How qualified: Rating
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 0
Other previous Magic accomplishments:Saviors Prerelease champion

Constructed record: 5-0-2
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
White Weenie … I didn't really test.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
No, I just tried to adapt to my neighbors.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
Black-white, but I ended up black-white in draft 1.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
I haven't played much recently. Aaron Vanderbeek gave me a decklist that Cedric Phillips helped him with.

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
It'd mean a lot. I've been qualified for different Pro Tours on and off for five years, but I've never made money. It'd make me try harder to prepare than usual because of the National team.




Antonino De Rosa

Antonino De Rosa

Age: 23
Hometown: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Occupation: Bum
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: 3 U.S. Nats (plus 2 Italy Nats)
How qualified: Pro Players Club
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 6 Grand Prix Top 8s
Other previous Magic accomplishments: One of the Seven Kings

Constructed record: 5-0-2
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
Black-blue Urzatron. Alex Lieberman and Gerard Fabiano tested it a bunch after Mario Pascoli played it at Italian Nats.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
Draft what comes.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
Never draft white-red or black-red.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Seven Kings, testing and chatting.

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
Soooooooooo much honor.




Alex Lieberman

Alex Lieberman

Age: 19
Hometown: West Palm Beach, Florida
Occupation: Student
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: 2
How qualified: Pro Players Club
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 1
Other previous Magic accomplishments: Grand Prix-Minneapolis Champion

Constructed record: 5-1-1
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
Urzatron Blue - Gerard Fabiano designed and fine-tuned it, decent matchup vs. the field.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
Blue-white, blue-black - small creatures, ninjas, phantom wings. Very Aggressive.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
Green.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Lived at Gerard's house for the week prior to the event, lots of watching and some playing (Seven Kings).

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
A couple of extra thousand…and the chance to take home the title.




Jonathan Sonne

Jonathan Sonne

Age: 27
Hometown: Columbia, N.J.
Occupation: Lab Analyst
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: 3
How qualified: Pro Players Club
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 2
Other previous Magic accomplishments: Top 4 Team Pro Tour, Won Grand Prix-Austin

Constructed record: 5-1-1
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
Blue Tron - It's the most powerful and consistent deck.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
Just pick the best cards and try to get in the open color.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
Green-white, green-blue, red-white

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Played a lot of Standard with Craig Krempels, Jeremy Moore, and Mark Swoyer

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
Respect, and a chance to win at Worlds.




Kyle Goodman

Kyle Goodman

Age: 17
Hometown: Novi, Michigan
Occupation: Senior in high school
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: First
How qualified: Pro Players Club
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 0
Other previous Magic accomplishments: 2003 JSS Top 4, 2004 JSS second place, Pro Tour-Columbus 10th place, top 64 at Pro Tour-Philadelphia

Constructed record: 5-1-1
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
Rats, I saw it doing well on Magic Online.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
Pick good cards.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
White.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
I drafted on Magic Online and played in Friday Night Magic.

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
It would be AWESOME!




Chris Manning

Chris Manning

Age: 28
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: Floor trader (same company as Chris Pikula/Igor Frayman/Jamie Park)
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: 3
How qualified: Rating
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 0
Other previous Magic accomplishments: Top 64 in three Limited PTs, 13th at Grand Prix-Boston, 32nd at Grand Prix-Philadelphia

Constructed record: 5-1-1
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
Death Cloud, build by Lucas Glavin. I wanted to play a rogue deck since I didn't have as much time to practice seemed to have a good matchup vs. Burn, White Weenie, Tooth and Nail.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
Be flexible, tend to go more controlling. Usually draw first.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
None. I drafted white-black (sideboarding to blue-black) and green-white-black.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Drafting on Magic Online and discussing draft strategy with my clan, Green Monsters. I learned how to draft starting in 1998 from YMG, where I was a regular.

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
It would be an honor, something I've only dreamt about.




Josh Ravitz

Josh Ravitz

Age: 20
Hometown: Ridgewood, N.J.
Occupation: Student (soon)
Number of times playing at U.S. Nationals: 2
How qualified: Pro Players Club
Number of Pro Tour and Grand Prix Top 8s: 3
Other previous Magic accomplishments: Pro Tour-Seattle 8th, Grand Prix-Chicago 3rd (both team), Grand Prix-Detroit 3rd

Constructed record: 5-1-1
Limited record: 5-2

What Constructed deck are you playing, and why did you pick it?
"Flores Red" (Kuroda-style Burn deck). I feel red cards play to my intuitive strengths and to be honest, I didn't test enough. Basically, I played what I know.

Did you have a consistent draft strategy, and what was it?
Barring bombs, draft green-red or blue-black.

What color or color combinations did you try to avoid?
Black/non-blue, white cards in Saviors.

How did you prepare for the event? Who did you prepare with?
Lots of losing on Magic Online and lots of talking to a lot of different people….Flores included.

What would being a member of the U.S. National team mean to you?
The World, obviously.

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