Setting the Scene: Day 2 at Grand Prix Providence

Posted in Event Coverage on October 23, 2016

By Corbin Hosler

More than 1,100 players arrived in Rhode Island to compete in Grand Prix Providence, but less than 400 have returned to battle on Sunday. By the end of six rounds today we'll have eight competitors standing to move onto the elimination rounds to compete for a title.

Here are the storylines we're watching today.

White-Blue Flash Dominates

It was the best under-the-radar deck at last week's Pro Tour, but after a breakout weekend White-Blue Flash is hiding no longer.

The deck put six copies into the Top 8 at Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur and was the most-represented deck in Day 2 of Grand Prix Providence, comprising a full quarter of the field. The combination of flash creatures — highlighted by the power of Spell Queller — removal and value creatures means that the deck can operate on several axes and protect a lead better than any other deck as its flying creatures work to end the game.

It's now a known quantity in Standard, and we'll know by tonight if the deck can replicate the success it found in Asia.

Star-studded Undefeateds

2015 World Champion and No. 3 Seth Manfield ended yet another Grand Prix Saturday unbeaten. Pro Tour Dragon's Maze champion Craig Wescoe finished Day 1 without a loss piloting his own deck, White-Black Aggro, while Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir winner Ari Lax picked up a deck he's never played before in vehicles and went undefeated. Andrew Cuneo won every round and is playing against history, trying to avoid what could be a fifth time going 9-0 without making the Top 8.

Four accomplished pros, all with their sights set on winning the tournament. Can all four make the Top 8, or will the wheels fall off for one or more?

Zachary Kiihne Chasing the Pro Tour

Then there's Zach Kiihne. Standing amongst a group with decades of Pro Tour experience and titles to their names, the Concord native stood tall despite having exactly zero Pro Tour games to his name.

Not that he hasn't been close. Multiple tournaments have left Kiihne one game short of qualifying, and with a perfect start at Grand Prix Providence he has his best chance yet to lock up his first qualification.

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