Grand Prix Dallas Day One Wrap Up

Posted in Event Coverage on September 2, 2015

By Wizards of the Coast

by Randy Buehler

Matt Linde sits in first place after day 1 with a 7-0 record. The 1998 U.S. National champion attributes his success to a two card combo: Glimmering Angel plus Armadillo Cloak. Everyone knows the Cloak is good, but putting it on the (potentially) untargetable Angel makes almost impossible for any opponent to deal with.

A number of women put up good performances on day 1. Beth Liston agreed to an intentional draw with Pro Tour champion Scott Johns in the final round of the Swiss to ensure herself a berth in the field for day 2. She's trying to qualify for her third Limited Pro Tour. Laurie Dunning - the owner of the Magic Jungle in Tampa, Florida - is qualified for each of the next two Pro Tours and started out 4-0, but she had mana problems against Darwin Kastle in a round 6 feature match and then got color screwed in the third game of the final round to miss day 2. Lauren Passmore was also playing for day 2 in the final round, but lost to Tony Tsai. Melissa Lang started off 3-0 and Becky Hiebert was still mathematically alive until the final round ended.

I asked Dave Humpherys -- who was undefeated and tied for first at the end of day 1 -- about his deck and he described it as the standard good deck: horrible but cheap creatures, some removal, and some bounce. Humpherys is playing red just for cheap creatures and not a drop of burn. When I asked Matt Vienneau - who also ran the table at 7-0 -- about his own deck he seemed to have the same basic strategy, but thought his deck was terrible. "I have three Demises, but I had to splash red for shitty 2/2's and blue for the pro-Kavu guy." Apparently, Vienneau accidentally stumbled into the very same strategy that Humpherys wound up with after extensively testing the format.

Humpherys wasn't the only New England player to do well on day 1. Mike Bregoli joined him among the ranks of the undefeateds. And 15-year old Paul Rietzl advanced with a 6-1 record. They call Rietzl "Little Darwin" all around New England. Hammer gave him the nickname because he's such an up and comer - every expects him to wind up on the pro tour soon and this weekend could be his coming out party. In a somewhat startling upset, Darwin Kastle himself picked up his 2nd loss in round 7 and all three of his previous opponents lost to drop him from 36th to 69th place and missed day 2. Kastle said that if he'd imagined he could drop that far he would have offered a draw in the final round.

Sunday will consist of 6 rounds of Invasion Rochester draft, followed by a cut to the Top 8. Stay tuned to the Sideboard for continuous live coverage.

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