The Field Enters Round 10
by Sideboard Staff
Going into Round 10, the top places are filled by many familiar faces and teams. The teams heavily contending for Top 4 are mostly name players from the Pro Tour. Some of these teams are made up of players who have not had success lately, but have done well through the course of the past two days. This could be attributed to the increase of money on the Pro Tour, as well as the motivation of teammates. In addition, money drafting has been a big part of the Magic Pro Tour subculture for years. This Pro Tour allows those partnerships to extend into the realm of tournament play.
Potato Nation (Wise, Turian, Johns)- Going into this round, Potato Nation stands alone at the top with 23 points. Made up of three very solid players with multiple Top 8s between them, many expected this team to do well this weekend. At this point it would be a surprise for this team to not make Top 4.
Car Acrobatic Team (Johnson, Forsythe, Cuneo)- This team is currently in third place, with 22 points. While the team may not have the accolades of Antarctica or Your Move Games, their performance today has certainly grabbed some attention. Forsythe was a US National team member a few months back, and Cuneo is known for building Cuneo Blue, which has been named Draw-Go by many.
Antarctica (Finkel, Dan OMS, Steve OMS)- It's often been said that anything other than 1st place for Finkel is below expectations. After his stellar performances winning Nationals and Worlds, many believe that if Finkel is motivated enough, he is near unbeatable. Teaming with long time friends the OMS brothers, the three have had plenty of success together. The major advantage to this team is they live in the same area, so testing together can bring a cohesive element to a team that others may lack, regardless of ability.
Going into this round, Antarctica was 5-3-1, which is uncharacteristic. Finkel pointed to the random elements of Magic, believing they drafted better than their opponents, but got bad draws. He was also quick to point out the time limit problem. The team had a game where if one more turn was available in extra time, they would have won the match. The team had the same problem on Friday, getting a loss in a match where their opponents played slow.
Your Move Games (Kastle, Humpherys, Dougherty)- Last team's Team Pro Tour winners are doing a good job of defending their title, with 21 points and a current 5th place standing. This team playtests heavily for Pro Tours, and has proven successful in many events. Specifically, Dougherty and Humpherys placed Top 8 in last year's Pro Tour Jersey with a deck they designed together. This sort of dedication to testing translates easily to team limited, and is a major factor in why YMG does well.
Dougherty commented, "I like Draft better than Sealed, which can be scary. It can be very dependent on your card pool." This random element makes him happy that the decks are switched every two rounds. He also commented on the fifty minute rounds, saying they've been detrimental to the team's performance. The same thing happened to them at GP Frankfurt, where they were knocked out by too many draws.
Fix, The (Gary, Williams, Maher)- Another impressive team with plenty of top finishes between them, Fix came into this round with 17 points and in 13th place. They started off strong on Friday, going 4-0-2. Today has not been as kind, with the team only going 1-3 so far in draft.
Gary seemed to struggle in trying to explain why his team has done poorly today. He said "We seemed to be clearly headed for Top 4, and now we're fighting for Top 8." He brought up that the card pool in on Draft did not favor them. "There weren't any green cards, but we needed a green player so we forced it."