JSS Challenge: Where The Boys Are

Posted in Event Coverage

By Adrian Sullivan

Seventy-four young competitors gathered at the Queen Mary for the Junior Super Series Challenge, hoping to qualify to play in Disney World for $100,000 in scholarships. With $1,000 on the line today, this may have been a fun tournament, but it certainly was still a serious one.

The field was a diverse cross-section of the current standard metagame. Blue Skies was the most popular deck of the tournament with fully 20% of the field playing it. Fires was the next most popular deck, and perhaps the most successful deck of the tournament. Nearly half of the Fires players went on to winning records, while the Skies decks were only able to get about one-third into the upper field. Also successful was CounterRebel and Nether-Go, with the remainder of the top field split between no particular deck.

  • Deck - Players - # in Top Portion of Field - # in Top 8
  • Skies - 14 - 4 - 2
  • Fires - 12 - 6 - 2
  • CounterRebel - 7 - 2 - 0
  • Rebels - 6 - 1 - 0
  • Blue-White Control - 5 - 1 - 0
  • Machinehead - 5 - 0 - 0
  • Nether-Go - 4 - 2 - 2
  • Other decks - 5 - 4 - 2

The other successful decks included Black Control and Ponza (both making Top 8), as well as White/Green Beatdown and Cowardice. There were several other very interesting decks like Coalition Victory, AnkhTide, and a deck cleverly titled "Brian Kibler is My Hero" (Kibler came around to watch this deck play a few times when he learned of it).

Here are the Top 8 Players and Decks at the end of the 7 rounds of Swiss.

  1. Jacob Kory, Ponza
  2. Scott Freeman, Skies
  3. Naveen Gowda, Black Control
  4. Rory Draxler, Skies
  5. Nathan Gapasin - Fires
  6. Sang Tu - Fires
  7. Jordan Cristos - NetherGo
  8. Carlos Zambrano - NetherGo

The most interesting deck of the tournament is most certainly Jacob Kory's Ponza deck. Including such unusual cards as Primal Clay (which can be a 1/6 Wall, a 3/3 Creature, or a 2/2 Flier) and Veteran Brawler. The deck did phenomenally in the Swiss Rounds of the tournament, losing only 3 games, and finishing undefeated.

"I've been playing this deck since State Championships, but it's changed a lot. It used to be more of a beatdown deck, but I couldn't beat Fires if I was trying to race them. After I put in the Primal Clay, I just started winning."

Synopsis of the Top 8

  • Quarters:
    • Jacob Kory (Ponza) beats Carlos Zambrano (NetherGo) 2-0
    • Nathan Gapasin (Fires) beats Rory Drakler (Skies) 2-0
    • Naveen Gowda (Black) beats Sang Tu (Fires) 2-1
    • Scott Freeman (Fires) beats Jordan Cristos (NetherGo) 2-0
  • Semis:
    • Nathan beats Jacob 2-1
    • Naveen beats Scott 2-0
  • Final

Jacob Kory

Download Arena Decklist
Other (4)
4 Primal Clay 4 Chimeric Idol 4 Veteran Brawler 4 Seal of Fire 4 Urza's Rage 3 Hammer of Bogardan 2 Cave-In 3 Tectonic Break 4 Stone Rain 4 Pillage 2 Dustbowl 4 Rishadan Port 1 Rath's Edge 17 Mountain *4 Lightning Dart *3 Ankh of Mishra *3 Flashfires *3 Flowstone Wall *2 Cave-In
4 Cards
 

Scott Freeman

Download Arena Decklist
Other (3)
3 Prodigal Sorcerer 4 Spiketail Hatchling 4 Rishadan Airship 4 Chimeric Idol 4 Troublesome Spirit 4 Washout 4 Foil 3 Thwart 3 Daze 3 Gush 4 Rishadan Port 20 Island *4 Submerge *4 Withdraw *3 Waterfront Bouncer *2 Misdirection *1 Thwart *1 Prodigal Sorcerer
3 Cards
 
 

Rory Draxler

Download Arena Decklist
Other (3)
3 Prodigal Sorcerer 4 Spiketail Hatchling 4 Rishadan Airship 4 Chimeric Idol 4 Troublesome Spirit 4 Wash Out 3 Daze 4 Foil 3 Thwart 3 Gush 1 Rath's Edge 23 Island *4 Withdraw *4 Submerge *3 Waterfront Bouncer *3 Chill *1 Prodigal Sorcerer
3 Cards
 

Nathan Gapasin

Download Arena Decklist
Other (4)
4 Llanowar Elf 4 Birds of Paradise 3 River Boa 4 Chimeric Idol 4 Blastoderm 2 Jade Leech 2 Ancient Hydra 2 Kavu Chameleon 4 Saproling Burst 4 Fires of Yavimaya 4 Rhystic Lightning 1 Rath's Edge 4 Rishadan Port 4 Karplusan Forest 4 Mountains 10 Forests *2 Tangle *2 Canopy Surge *2 Reverent Silence *2 Simoon *2 Earthquake *2 Flashfires *1 Obliterate
4 Cards
 

Sang Tu

Download Arena Decklist
Other (4)
4 Llanowar Elves 4 Birds of Paradise 4 Chimeric Idol 4 Blastoderm 2 Jade Leech 2 Kavu Chameleon 4 Saproling Burst 2 Rith, the Awakener 4 Fires of Yavimaya 2 Earthquake 2 Wax/Wane 3 Urza's Rage 4 Brushland 4 City of Brass 4 Karplusan Forest 4 Rishadan Port 1 Mountain 6 Forest *1 Kavu Chameleon *2 Flashfires *3 Simoon *2 Tsabo's Decree *2 Hurricane *2 Aura Mutation *2 Tangle *1 Obliterate
4 Cards
 

Jordan Cristos

Download Arena Decklist
Other (4)
4 Opt 4 Accumulated Knowledge 4 Fact or Fiction 4 Counterspell 4 Undermine 3 Foil 2 Power Sink 1 Vampiric Tutor 1 Massacre 3 Recoil 1 Tsabo's Decree 1 Dominate 1 Tsabo's Web 1 Probe 1 Air Elemental 3 Nether Spirit 12 Island 4 Underground River 4 Salt Marsh 2 Swamp *3 Millstone *3 Perish *2 Massacre *2 Misdirection *2 Cremate *2 Tsabo's Decree *1 Rebel Informer
4 Cards
 

Carlos Zambrano

Download Arena Decklist
Other (4)
4 Accumulated Knowledge 3 Fact or Fiction 4 Thwart 4 Undermine 4 Counterspell 1 Misdirection 3 Recoil 2 Lobotomy 2 Tsabo's Decree 1 Vampiric Tutor 1 Perish 2 Bribery 3 Dominate 4 Underground River 14 Island 6 Swamp *3 Cremate *4 Dread of Night *2 Perish *1 Tsabo's Decree *3 Misdirection *2 Millstone
4 Cards

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