Teams Toiling and Troubling

Posted in Event Coverage on May 17, 2013

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

The power of testing in teams is a time-honored Pro Tour tradition. Over the past few Pro Tours, the strength and knowledge from numbers has driven teams to the forefront of players' minds. With the longstanding success of ChannelFireball, the Pro Tour Hall of Fame-filled Team SCG, and the infectious mystique of Canadian-born Mana Deprived, it seems everyone has a favorite fellowship to follow this weekend.

Nearing the end of Day One, players began to stratify and fall off the twelve point line for Day Two. With seven rounds in the books, and the eighth almost completed, we took a look down several teams to see how they looked going into the end.

The massive Team SCG had already lost the venerable Owen Turtenwald and charismatic David Williams. Gaudenis Vidigiris had nine points going into the eighth, where he won to slip through. The team easily cleared an 80% rate to make the second day.

A similarly situated team were these allied from several European countries, headlined by the indomitable Kai Budde. Only Ivan Floch and Thomas Holzinger were playing a win-and-in during the eighth, where they both succeeded. This put them at an apparent perfect rate against the cutoff.

Looking to the joint forces together in team Mana Deprived was a different story. Only four players had locked into Day Two: Hao-Shan Huang, Jon Stern, Jash McClain, and Tzu-Ching Kuo -- less than 50% of the team. But several notable players were in battle for the final three points needed, including Pro Tour Avacyn Restored winner Alexander Hayne. In the end, Hayne did not get his final three points, but teammates Anthony Berlingieri and David Caplan did. This put them at just 50% for the threshold.

Another team that was reaching for another day was team Wilson Gone Wild. Seven of the twelve members apparent had locked things in. Ricky Sidher. Sam Pardee and Vidianto Wijaya were among those looking to increase their team percentage well above 60%, but it was only the fourth nine point player that earned the last three needed: Adam Snook. 66% would have to do.

Team was also split, with just Raphael Levy and newcomer Jeremy Dezani clearing the hurdle before Round 8. Pro Tour Gatecrash Top 8 player Melissa DeTora needed her first three points in Constructed after going 3-0 through her Draft rounds, which she finally picked up just in time. The team that was perilously close to just a 30% Day Two rate inched to almost 50% closing Day One out.

Just like the Europeans, ChannelFireball was among the strongest teams going into the end of Day One. Their fourteen member roster featured just two players in the fight to move onto Saturday: David Ochoa and Shahar Shenhar, where both found the last points they needed to unlock another complete Day Two run.

Across the board, plenty of players ended up parked with eighteen points. With just Rob Castellon left undefeated, and just twelve more players with at least twenty one points, the chances for any of the remaining teams to make a run for filling out Sunday's Top 8 is still open. Who do you want to see making the breakthrough tomorrow?

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