Fabiano Flies to Victory in Montreal

Posted in Daily Deck on March 16, 2014

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A total of 1,622 players put Grand Prix Montreal on the record-sized event map for Canada. Like its sister event over the same weekend in Bueno Aires, Montreal pulled in a fantastic number of competitors from the world over. Here, it was all about Born of the Gods and the Limited environment its created.

After a cut down to 170 players, thanks to nine rounds of Sealed deck, it was Gerard Fabiano that drafted his way to victory in the still-frozen north. Duel-wielding Celestial Archons in his final deck, Fabiano used the same plan every pro had brought for the weekend: aggression. The dominance of white-based aggressive decks was hard to miss as Fabiano's finals opponent, Dave Shiels, used a suite of his own fliers and tricks to cut a path through the Top 8.

Will white continue to reign as the color du jour from Born of the Gods? Grand Prix Philadelphia is the next stop for the Limited format, and all eyes will fall on the City of Brotherly Love for the next step of the format's evolution.



Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
1 Daniel Fournier Daniel Fournier, 2-1
5 Morgan Chang Dave Shiels, 2-0
7Dave ShielsDave Shiels, 2-0 Gerard Fabiano, 2-1
3 Brock Parker
4 Gerard Fabiano Gerard Fabiano, 2-0
8 Benjamin GomesGerard Fabiano, 2-0
6 Ian RobertsonIan Robertson, 2-1
2 Judah Alt






EVENT COVERAGEINFORMATION1.Gerard Fabiano$4,000 2.Dave Shiels$2,700 3.Daniel Fournier$1,500 4.Ian Robertson$1,500 5.Judah ALt$1,0006.Brock Parker$1,0007.Morgan Chang$1,000 8.Benjamin Gomes$1,000 PairingsResultsStandingsFinal
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  • Top 8 Decklists

    by Adam Styborski

  • Dave Shiels

    Download Arena Decklist

    Brock Parker

    Download Arena Decklist

    Judah Alt

    Download Arena Decklist

    Morgan Chang

    Download Arena Decklist

    Benjamin Gomes

    Download Arena Decklist

    Ian Robertson

    Download Arena Decklist

    Daniel Fournier

    Download Arena Decklist

    Gerard Fabiano

    Download Arena Decklist





  • Top 8 Profiles

    by Adam Styborski


    • Ian Robertson
    Age: 24
    Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
    Occupation: Business Analyst

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Almost got Top 8 at a PTQ a few times!

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    8-1. Hardest decision was whether to splash for sick cards or not.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?

    2-0-1 with Green-Blue. First-picked Courser of Kruphix. It was either that or Ornitharch. I thought white would be over-drafted... also it's better?

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    2-0-1 with Green-Black. First-picked Asphyxiate. The card is awesome and I like black in this format.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    Green-Blue.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Both Retraction Helix and Arbiter of the Ideal.




      Brock Parker
    Age: 32
    Hometown: Silver Springs, MD
    Occupation: Poker player

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Team Pro Tour Champion [Boston 2003 with Huey Jensen and Matt Linde as "The Brockafellars"], Team Grand Prix Champion [Turin 2000 with Daniel Clegg and Peter Szigeti as "Team Clegg"], and Grand Prix Pittsburgh 2013 Champion.

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    8-1 with Blue-Green with Kiora, the Crashing Wave, Polukranos, World Eater and Courser of Kruphix. Had to decide which five of seven bad cards to play.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with White-Green Heroic. First-picked Akroan Skyguard. It's great.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    1-1-1 with Green-White 2 Aspect of Hydra bad deck. First-Picked Ghostblade Eidolon. The pack was terrible but white is great.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    White-based Heroic decks. White has a million great cards that all work well together.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Kiora, even though my expectations were very high. As far as not-great cards, Crypsis.




      Ben Gomes
    Age: 23
    Hometown: Livermore, CA
    Occupation: Insurance Adjuster

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    23rd at GP Oakland 2013, 17th at GP Sacramento 2013.

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    7-2 with a Red-White Aggro deck that played only a single card that cost more than three. The hardest decision was passing on green's Courser of Kruphix and Hunter's Prowess.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with Red-White Aggro. I only had five white cards, but one was Elspeth. I first-picked Hero of Leina Tower.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with Red-White splashing Blue. I ended up with too few playables so I splashed Nimbus Naiad off Astral Cornucopia. I first-picked Akroan Conscriptor.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    Blue-Green with Griptides. That card is unreal.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Fearsome Temper has been superb for me.




      Judah Alt
    Age: 36
    Hometown: Watertown, NY
    Occupation: Writer

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Monied at Pro Tour Philadelphia 2005. Top 8'd States.

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    8-1 with Blue-White Ephara featuring Akroan Horse and Plea for Guidance. Hardest decision was leaving Divination out of the main deck.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with Blue-White. I first-picked Temple of Enlightenment hoping to go base-white aggro.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    2-1 with White-Red-Green. It was aggressive, removal-heavy and mostly white, supported by two Temples, Opaline Unicorn and Springleaf Drum.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    Blue-based decks with Retraction Helix and untapping cards such as Crypsis, Kiora's Follower and Breaching Hippocamp.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Mischief and Mayhem, because on Magic Online I always lose to it, yet never win when I play it myself.




      Daniel Fournier
    Age: 21
    Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
    Occupation: Student

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Four Pro Tour Qualifier Top 8s. Six Grand Prix Day 2s. One Grand Prix winner's photo. Once beat "the" Andrew van Leeuwen in a sanctioned match.

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    9-0 with Blue-Red. I struggled with which mediocre two-drop was best in my deck.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with Red-White Aggro. First picked and did not play Ornitharch. It was the best card in the pack by far.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    1-0-2 with Blue-Red Aggro. First picked Kragma Butcher in an otherwise weak pack because I only needed to win one match to make Top 8.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    White-Red Aggro or heroic. When it's open it's completely obscene.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Everflame Eidolon. It won me many games. When it falls off it still trades with something on the ground.




      Morgan Chang
    Age: 32
    Hometown: New York City, New York
    Occupation:

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Two Grand Prix Top 8s

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    8-1 in Sealed. Played Black-Red with Mogis, God of Slaughter. Played red with bigger creatures (higher curve) and removal as opposed to the white with a lower curve, but with no way to close of grindy games.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    2-1 with White-Red Aggro.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with White-Red Aggro.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    White-Red Aggro or heroic. The deck is mostly commons and very synergistic.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Fearsome Temper. It's well-costed, has a big upside, and is quasi-evasion.




      Gerard Fabiano
    Age: 30
    Hometown: New Jersey
    Occupation: Teacher, StarCityGames Writer

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Prerelease champion at The Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    9-0 with Red-Blue-Green. Those colors had the rares.

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    2-1 with Red-Blue-Green with Forge-Stoker Dragon.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    2-0-1 with Blue-Black with Siren of the Fanged Coast.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    Blue-Black in the hopes to open Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Sudden Storm




      Dave Shiels
    Age: 25
    Hometown: The Sanctuary, Boston, Massachusetts
    Occupation: Powerful Wizard

    Previous Magic Accomplishments:
    Winner Grand Prix Dallas 2011, three Grand Prix Top 8s, worked with the 40-card Friedman

    What was your record in Sealed? What did you play? What was the hardest decision in your build?
    7-2 with Blue-Green, whether or not to play Stymied Hopes

    What was your record in Draft 1? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with Blue-Green with Xenagos that I first picked out of a weak pack.

    What was your record in Draft 2? What did you play? What did you first-pick and why?
    3-0 with Blue-White. Akroan Phalanx because white is the best color.

    What's your favorite Born of the Gods Draft archetype, and why?
    White heroic. Lots of good cards in both packs and can be paired with any other color.

    Which Born of the Gods card exceeded your expectations in Limited, and why?
    Crypsis. Catching opponents off guard, especially with inspired creatures or against Sudden Storm








  • Quarterfinals - Judah Alt vs. Ian Robertson

    by Josh Bennett

    • The Decks

    Judah Alt wound up in the powerful Red-White combination, but his deck splits its focus between the early and late games. Ian Robertson has a ponderous Green-Black deck with plenty of combat tricks and some powerful cards.

      The Match

    Game one was an arduous affair. After some early trades, including a two-for-one off Lightning Volley, Alt was moving ahead with a Hopeful Eidolon enchanted with Observant Alseid and Dragon Mantle. Robertson was stuck on four land with just Forlorn Pseudamma and Baleful Eidolon. He took another hit from the big Hopeful Eidolon, trying to peel his fifth land. Alt summoned Evangel of Heliod and got four tokens. Robertson missed on land and tapped out for Pheres-Band Tromper.


    Judah Alt

    Alt was getting eager. He saw weakness and turned all his creatures sideways. Robertson no longer had the luxury of playing around shenanigans. He put the Baleful Eidolon in front of the Hopeful, and ate a token with his Tromper, falling to eight. Alt added Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass.

    Finally the dam broke, and Robertson hit his land. Alt was running out of cards and Robertson had a grip of answers. Soon the board was tipping the other way with Robertson swinging and Alt on dwindling token resources. He was empty-handed and would soon be taking big damage. His deck took pity on him and served up a nice one: Heliod, God of the Sun.

    Now he had time. His eight land meant two 2/1 blockers per turn. Robertson was sent back to the drawing board to amass an army big enough to break through. He started to do it, too, with Keepsake Hydra enchanted with Nighthowler, Nessian Demolok, Servant of Tymaret and Pharika's Mender.

    However, Alt had played it cagey. As soon as the board was juicy enough he turned over the one card he'd kept while Heliod did his work: Fated Retribution. Robertson all but slumped in his chair. Now he had no way to bust through and Alt was about to hit twelve land. Also he had fewer than ten cards left in his library. Rather than draw out the inevitable, he packed and shuffled up for game two.

      Alt 1 - Robertson 0

    Fans at the rail who took a break after the marathon first game (during which fully two of the other quarterfinals finished) wound up missing the second entirely. Alt wound up playing a one-land hand and didn't find a second before Robertson had out Nyxborn Wolf and Pheres-Band Tromper.


    Ian Robertson

    He made a go of it, cycling a Dragon Mantle on the Wolf and hit three land before a lethal attack could be made. He tried Bolt of Keranos on the tapped Tromper but Robertson showed him Feral Invocation and they were on to game three.

      Alt 1 - Robertson 1

    Alt's anticlimax continued into the decisive third game. Stuck with a clunky draw and only three lands, he was under pressure from Pheres-Band Tromper and soon it would grow out of reach. He gamely double-blocked, and Robertson showed him Savage Surge. Without mana to make any big plays, he couldn't match up against Robertson's larger creatures, and soon was extending the hand in defeat.

      Ian Robertson defeats Judah Alt 2-1





  • Quarterfinals - Gerard Fabiano vs. Benjamin Gomes

    by Adam Styborski

  • Gerard Fabiano most recently graced the Grand Prix Top 8 stage last year at Charlotte. The then-record breaking event demonstrated that skill is not something always lost to time, as Fabiano's history stretches over a decade into the past. What sets Fabiano apart from most high-caliber players is his "unorthodox" table manner. Talkative, friendly, and gregarious to the crowd and camera means you rarely forget his presence at an event.


    Gerard Fabiano

    Never heard of Benjamin Gomes? You might want to remember his name. While he may not carry the history and renown of his opponent, Gomes has found great success in his short career. "My first Grand Prix was Oakland last year," Gomes said. "I finished twenty-third after going 0-2 in the last two rounds, then finished seventeenth at Grand Prix Sacramento. For this weekend, I had byes from Planeswalker Points from the previous GPs."

    Of course, proof is in the pudding and Gomes would have his work cut out for him against the affable Fabiano.

    Fabiano came out swinging with Labyrinth Champion, which he quickly put a Chosen by Heliod onto in an attempt to clear away Gomes's Agent of Horizons. Fabiano used Fall of the Hammer to ensure the job was done when Gomes tried Crypsis to save it.

    Nylea's Disciple and Bident of Thassa let Gomes draw a couple cards, but he was down to 8 life on Fabiano's next next attack. Heliod's Emissary tried to clear the way for Fabiano, but Gomes had a second Crypsis to finally block the Champion away.

    But it that became the last of Gomes concerns. Fabiano played two Celestial Archons, only one of which met a Fade into Antiquity. Nimbus Naaid was Gomes's last line of defense, but Fabiano used Excoriate to remove it and push through the last 5 damage needed.

    "Where are you from?" Fabiano asked.

    "California," Gomes said.

    "Oh dude, awesome," Fabiano's head bobbed.

    "How about you?"

    "Jersey." Fabiano's charm pulled Gomes in to a conversation that wandered from places they know to stores they play in. Fabiano was impressed Gomes played so much at his local store. The veteran player was giving encouragement to his opponent before trying to finish defeating him.

    The second game was just as fast. Arena Athlete with Ordeal of Heliod, then Chosen of Heliod, let Gerard come screaming out of the gates and kept Gomes's early Nessian Centaur from blocking. Even worse, a potent Fated Intervention was stranded in hand. As soon as Gomes hit his sixth mana, Vulpine Goliath came in to block.

    "What's your life?" Fabiano asked

    Divine Verdict dealt with the Fox from Gomes who was still facing a lethal attack. However, on the next turn Gomes made a mistake and played Island before casting Stratus Walk. The Forest he needed to cast Fated Intervention was the drawn card. He played the Forest and passed the turn before it was realized he played two lands. After a quick review, the game was backed up and Gomes, seeing he writing on the wall, conceded.

    "If you ever want to chat about decks or stuff just send me message on Facebook," Fabiano offered, quick to move right back to the friendly banter he's known for. Gomes smiled, happy to oblige.

      Gerard Fabiano defeats Benjamin Gomes, 2-0





  • Quarterfinals – Dave Shiels vs. Brock Parker

    by Adam Styborski

  • Brock Parker's return to the Magic spotlight was something the vocal crowd of pro players at home approved. With his team Pro Tour-winning teammate

    For the first game Shiels used his aggressive, evasive creatures to try and overwhelm the defenses Parker could set. But Parker's ability to drain and remove kept him in the game that continued longer than the entire Fabiano-Gomes quarterfinal match for Shiels finally won.

    "That was a sweet game of Magic!" Shiels exclaimed. "I've never had a game where I kept a hand with double Gods Willing take that long."

    The second game didn't. It featured an Ordeal of Heliod-enhanced-twice-over Battlewise Hoplite that quickly became 7/7), which Parker was only able to buy time against.

      Dave Shiels defeated Brock Parker, 2-0





  • Quarterfinals - Daniel Fournier vs. Morgan Chang

    by Josh Bennett

    • The Decks

    Morgan Chang is playing a Green-Blue deck packed with mana-ramp and haymakers. Daniel Fournier has a textbook Blue-Black control built around amassing card advantage and grinding the opponent out.

      The Match

    Despite the stakes, both players were relaxed and in good spirits. Fournier had to mulligan to six, and then to five, but still refused to be perturbed. Spectators could be forgiven for assuming that this one was over before it began, but if they did, they were mistaken. Even when Chang dropped Kiora, the Crashing Wave against Fournier's board of four lands, the game was far from over.

    Fournier added Omenspeaker, forcing Kiora to go on the defensive. Chang hit six land and went big with Shipbreaker Kraken. Fournier was ready with Hero's Downfall, getting a laugh from Chang.


    Morgan Chang

    "So we're just playing mono-rares, right?"

    An Oracle's Insight for the Omenspeaker looked like it would help Fournier's cause, but Chang had Eternity Snare. Fournier needed another rip but missed. Finally it seemed like that hammer would come down, and in spectacular fashion: Chang tapped all his lands and summoned the mighty Colossus of Akros. He was visibly shocked when Fournier tapped four and put Gild on the table.

    "WHAAAAAT??"

    "I thoguht we agreed we were playing mono-rares."

    Unfortunately that was the last of Fournier's fireworks. Chang played out some more pedestrian threats in Vulpine Goliath and Snake of the Golden Grove and they were up to the task of bringing Fournier to zero.

      Chang 1 - Fournier 0

    Chang's deck hit the ground running in the second game, with a crucial turn-two Voyaging Satyr powering out Pheres-Band Tromper. Fournier was trying to hold the ground with Returned Phalanx and Aerie Worshippers, but Voyage's End let the Tromper attack safely, meaning it would grow to an unwieldy 4/4. The bad news kept coming for Fournier. Chang Nullified his attempt at an Omenspeaker, and after Returned Phalanx came back, suited up his Tromper with Thassa's Emissary, swinging in for seven damage and a card.

    Fournier was tenacious. He brought out Wavecrash Triton and threw his Phalanx in the way of the big Tromper. Chang could only add

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