Top 8: Brian Kibler

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Kim Eikefet

Brian Kibler was a hot pick for Worlds this year after being a very successful deckbuilder for the loose playtest group called the Jumble. However, Kibler didn't do well and he was pretty disappointed. Now, he has made up for that. "I feel like it has been a long time coming, now I'm finally there," Kibler smiles after making his very first Pro Tour Top 8.

The 20-year old player from Derry, New Hampshire went into the playoff as the fifth seed with a 10-2-2 record after the swiss. "My deck's name is 'The Red Zone'. All I do is to attack with five power creatures," Kibler grins. The deck name comes from the red strip on the huge, quadratic playing fields on which the feature matches were played - all the attacking was done in the red zone in the middle of the field.

Even though Kibler had been working on the deck for weeks, he almost changed his mind the night before the tournament. "I was working on other decks with what was the Jumble, but I had this feeling that if I played this deck, I would do well. I've had visions of myself attacking with Rith with Armadillo Cloak and winning the Pro Tour," Brian admits, and he did in fact beat his two Top 8 opponents (Jon Finkel and Mike Pustilnik) with a Cloaked Rith.

In spite of him being a student of philosophy and religion, he doesn't consider himself very religous, but throughout the tournament, he still seemed to be able to will cards to the top of his deck. On several occasions, he had this strong intuition that the card he would draw the card he needed, and indeed he did. "In a sense I believe in intuition," Kibler reveals.

His Red Zone deck wasn't like most of the other red and green decks. While a lot of people believed him to play with Fires of Yavimaya, Kibler didn't use any Fires or Saproling Bursts. Instead, he played what he describes as 'enormous creatures' and four Armageddons main deck, in addition to four Ancient Hydras. He also sported Tsabo's Decrees in the sideboard against the numerous rebel decks. "Every card in my deck is a significant threat against control and also against other decks. One of the advantages was that people sideboarded incorrectly against me. They assumed that I had cards that I didn't have. Against Ben Ronaldson, he sideboarded in Meekstone as I had two Jade Leeches and Rith in play. Then I cast Tsabo's Decree, and he wondered 'Why didn't any of my teammates tell me about that card!"

Kibler is fairly confident before the playoff. "I feel like I'm at a significant advantage against everyone except from Jay Elarar. He could be a bad matchup for me with four Submerge, four Withdraw and multiple Wash Outs after sideboarding. So I expect Jay to do well, and you can't rule Finkel out although I've never lost to Finkel in a premier event, I'm 3-0 against him!" Brian smiles. In the semi-finals, he will meet Zvi Mowshowitz, and Mowshowitz didn't only scream when he heard about his matchup, he immediately offered Kibler a money split. That definitely didn't hurt Brian's confidence: "If Kai beats Elarar, then I'll win. Things have been ridiculous all weekend, but I feel I deserve it. I feel it's somehow my time."

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