Feature: Top 8 Profiles

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Brian Kibler

Age: 28

Hometown: San Diego

Occupation: Game Designer

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: Lots

How did you qualify for Pro Tour-Honolulu: PTQ!

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 8 GP, 2 PT

Other previous Magic accomplishments: Once upon a time I Cloaked a Rith.

What was your record by format? 
Block Constructed:8-1-1
Booster Draft: 4-2

How did you prepare for Pro Tour Honolulu?
I tested mostly with Ben Rubin. Lots of other testing with other Baller Beach House members, including Williams, Reitzl, Parke, Wiegersma, Herberholz, Boeken, and Burdick.

What deck are you playing and why?
Esper beatdown- "Esper Stoneblade." I got the list from Neil Reeves two days before the event and wanted to play something besides Jund.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
Bloodbraid totally warps the format. I had maindeck Ethersworn Canonists and Vedalken Outlanders and lots of evasion creatures.

What was your draft strategy? 
Try to draft aggressive Esper blue-white, but mostly play an aggressive deck with good mana. Two colors with a light splash.

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week? 
Ate at Sushi Sasabune on Dave Williams thanks to the credit card game!


Michael Hebky

Age: 22

Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: 1

How did you qualify for PT Honolulu? GP top 8

Other previous Magic achievements: GP top 8, Czech national team 2008

What was your record by format?
Block Constructed:7-2-1
Booster Draft: 5-1

How did you prepare for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Who did you prepare with?
Actually I didn’t prepare a lot. I built my deck 8 hours before the Pro Tour started. I want to thank Lukos Blokon for the decklist

What deck are you playing and why?
I’m playing five colour control because with control you can control the game.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
I am running four copies of Double Negative.

What was your draft strategy?
I have no strategy, I’m waiting for signals.

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week?
Sunbathing on the beach!


Christophe Gregoir

Age: 25

Hometown: Gent, Belgium

Occupation: IT Consultant

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: About a dozen

How did you qualify for Pro Tour Honolulu: Pro level

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0/0 until today

Other previous Magic accomplishments: PT Geneva top 16, train for two years.

What was your record by format? 
Block Constructed:7-1-2
Booster Draft: 5-1

How did you prepare for Pro Tour Honolulu?
Didn’t prepare too much, as the format seemed pretty straightforward. Tested with other Belgians and Frank Karsten.

What deck are you playing and why?
Jund Control. "Best" deck in the format, Bloodbraid and Bituminous Blast are too good to not run them.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation? 
Only way to deal with it is playing it yourself!

What was your draft strategy?
I drafted green white splashing blue twice, but I’ll draft anything.

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week? 
Went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, and it was very nice.


Conley Woods

Age: 22

Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

Occupation: Full-time student

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: 2

How did you qualify for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Rating/PTQ

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
10th Grand Prix-Dallas
Six other Grand Prix money finishes

What was your record by format?
Block Constructed: 6-3-1
Booster Draft: 6-0

How did you prepare for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Who did you prepare with?
Prepared with local Colorado players and Magic Online drafts. Particularly Brett and Shaun Piazza, and Steve Golenda.

What deck are you playing and why?
Five-Color Aggro. It had good matchups with Jund and other aggressive strategies.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
I played my own Bloodbraid Elf deck. I tried to play all of the best three drops. : )

What was your draft strategy?
To draft Esper or Grixis and move into Five-Color Control if possible.

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week?
A day at the beach.


Zac Hill

Age: 23

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Occupation: Policy Analyst

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: 16

How did you qualify for Pro Tour-Honolulu? PTQ

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 1/1

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
Design decks that other people win with. Free side Starcitygames.com writer.

What was your record by format?
Block Constructed: 9-1
Booster Draft: 4-2

How did you prepare for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Who did you prepare with?
Watched Pat Chapin play next level Magic.

What deck are you playing and why?
Five-Color Cascade: raw power and Nicol Bolas!

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
Whoever abuses it most has the best deck. We abuse it most.

What was your draft strategy?
White if I can, audible to Five-Color.

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week?
Three+ hour chats with Chapin re: design, life, and why Ayn Rand is a hack (sorry Pat, but I mean....)


Kazuya Mitamura

Age: 28

Hometown: Chiba, Japan

Occupation: Student

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: 15

How did you qualify for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Pro points

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 2/3

Other previous Magic accomplishments: LMC champion.

What was your record by format?
Block Constructed:6-3-1
Booster Draft: 6-0

How did you prepare for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Who did you prepare with?
Every weekend after Alara Reborn was released, I tested with [Makihito] Mihara. My deck was built last Thursday with [Shouta] Yasooka.

What deck are you playing and why?
Jund with white because it was it was what [Akira] Asahara played.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
There is no choice not to play Elf.

What was your draft strategy?
Black-Red

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week?
Sleep.


Tom Ross

Age: 25

Hometown: Ruston, LA

Occupation: Video Game Designer

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: 5

How did you qualify for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Total rating.

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: This is the first

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
State champion a few times, 38th at the last Pro Tour-Honolulu, 9th at Grand Prix-Atlanta 2008.

What was your record by format?
Block Constructed: 6-3-1
Booster Draft: 6-0

How did you prepare for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Who did you prepare with?
Sat in a Jacuzzi and brainstormed. Also 1 on 1 drafting.

What deck are you playing and why?
Dauntless Naya. It’s a solid deck tweaked only a little for the field.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
I definitely wanted Dauntless Escort and Thornling to deal with all the Terminate/Maelstrom Pulse/Bituminous Blasts.

What was your draft strategy?
White-based aggro

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week?
Keeping it real at the beach.


Paul Rietzl

Age: 23

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Headhunter

Number of times playing on the Pro Tour: About 20

How did you qualify for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Grand Prix-Chicago

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 3/1

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
9th at Grand Prix-Mexico City, stole Mark Herberholz’s passport.

What was your record by format?
Block Constructed:7-1-2
Booster Draft: 5-1

How did you prepare for Pro Tour-Honolulu? Who did you prepare with?
With Jelger Wiegersma, Mark Herberholz, Brian Kibler, Ben Rubin, Gabriel Nassif, Jamie Parke, Noah Boeken, David Williams, and Dan Burdick.

What deck are you playing and why?
Esper Beatdown, designed by Neil Reeves. Infest/Volcanic Fallout/Jund Charm are under-represented because of the Jund mirror and our deck punishes slow draws.

How did dealing with Bloodbraid Elf affect your Block Constructed preparation?
We had maindeck Ethersworn Canonist and Vedalken Outlander. Also lots of evasion.

What was your draft strategy?
To stay open, draft a good curve, make sure I had two main colors and one splash.

What was the best non-Magic thing you did in Hawaii this week?
Swam out into the ocean for miles and didn’t get eaten by a shark!

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