Grand Prix Melbourne
Day 1 Blog

Posted in Event Coverage on March 31, 2012

By Wizards of the Coast


Saturday, 3:39 p.m. – Sealed Trial Winner Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff

Tristan Cook


Andrew Varga


Barry Diwel


Ryan Cubit


Samuel Last


Matt Ryan

Saturday, 3:39 p.m. – Grand Prix Trial Winners

by Event Coverage Staff

Garry Wong


Nick Carter


Mikkel Iversen


Shawn Rayson


Ben Fleming


Ammy Xie

Saturday, 3:46 p.m. – Vintage Winner Decklist

by Event Coverage Staff

Australia has a strong Vintage scene, and with well-respected Vintage aficionado Luis Scott-Vargas attending the Grand Prix, a special side event was held on Friday to allow our local talent to face off against the overseas challenger.

After several rounds of play, the dust settled to reveal a somewhat unexpected winner: Matthew Pohlen claimed the title with a mono-White deck that raised eyebrows on its way to victory, knocking LSV out in the Top 4:

Matthew Pohlen

Saturday, 3:55 p.m. – Deck Construction with LSV

by Pip Foweraker

Luis Scott-Vargas, Magic powerhouse and global adventurer, has spent the last week relaxing with his wife in Melbourne. Under an arrangement with a local game chain, Good Games, LSV has been running deck-building workshops and shuffling cards against local players over the last few days. In his spare time, LSV's been enjoying Australia's many tourist-friendly attractions, and relishing the opportunity to settle in and eat some decent, home-cooked meals, a rarity for the avid traveller.

LSV walked away from building his deck with a wry smile on his face. Intrigued, I pulled him aside and asked about his deck. He fanned out three cards and showed them to me: Griptide, Stromkirk Patrol, and Ranger's Guile.

"I think this sums up my deck pretty well", he sighed.

Not the droids he was looking for.

A series of difficult choices had presented themselves during deck building. Despite opening a fairly impressive Dragon, neither red nor white were viable options. The remaining three colours, LSV sighed, were a mess. In the end, he had to settle for an ugly-looking G/B concoction splashing heavily for some tempo-gaining opportunities.

"Ideally, I've built my deck with a low enough curve that I can get ahead in the early turns of the game, then concentrate on disruption until I get there." While most players are happy to be running Tracker's Instincts, ironically, it can't actually find most of the good cards in his deck. "I have to run it anyway", said LSV, "And if things don't work out, well, there's always another deck waiting in the sideboard."

Saturday, 4:22 p.m. – Sealed Deck with Jeremy Neeman

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Five years ago, if you had asked anyone who the undisputed, best Magic player in Australia was, you'd would have received a bunch of "ummm," "errr," and "is there even?" answers. These days, it's a different story. Not only did Jeremy Neeman win the last two Australian GP's, he also top 8'd PT San Juan in 2010, amongst a very steady stream of respectable Pro Tour finishes.

Neeman's preparation for this event however, was somewhat less than usual. "The last six weeks have all been about Med School," he admitted, "I probably can't be a serious Magic player forever." Will this leave the door open for someone to dethrone the King? They'll have to get past his sealed deck first.

"The cards that stood out first were Mayor of Avabruck, and Devil's Play. However, green is more of a support color here," he explained, motioning towards his less than spectacular team of almosts and not quites. "If I had some Travel Preparations or Avacyn's Pilgrims, maybe I could go something Green/White, but it's unexciting. White and Blue are my main color options, and Green and Red are my support colors."

Going over his Red, Neeman revealed a Geistflame and a pair of