U.S. National Championship Top 8 – Player Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on August 7, 2011

By Event Coverage Staff

 

 

Name: Ali Aintrazi

Age: 24

Hometown: Matthews, NC

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? Zero, but hopefully not for long!

Record by format: Standard: 6-0-2, Draft: 5-1

What Standard deck did you play, and why? UB. It felt like it was well positioned in the metagame, and it has no real bad matchups.

What colors did you draft? The first was UW Fliers and I went 2-1. The second was GW Overrun and I 3-0’d.

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? It would be awesome to represent the U.S. It’s not as big for me as winning a PT, but grand nonetheless.

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? It allows other decks to have a chance instead of CawBlade mirrors all the time. I’m glad it happened, and I hope we don’t have another powerhouse like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, or Stoneforge Mystic in Standard.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? White/X. White just has so many good commons. It’s the best color for this draft.
 

 

 

 

Name: James McLeod

Age: 19

Hometown: Fuquay-Varina, NC

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 0

Record by format: Standard: 6-2, Draft: 5-1

What Standard deck did you play, and why? Pyromancer Ascension. I felt it had good matchups on most of the field.

What colors did you draft? UB aggro with two Mind Controls then RB Bloodthirst.

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? Pretty important. The U.S. has to win that team trophy this year!

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? Forcing people to add the "picking a deck for the metagame" skill to their toolbox instead of just grinding CawBlade mirror matches.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? Probably any deck with Mind Control. Other decks are competitive, but not on the same level.
 

 

 

Name: Haibing Hu

Age: 30

Hometown: Houston, TX

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 0

Record by format: Standard:6-2, Draft: 6-0

What Standard deck did you play, and why? CawBlade. I was given the deck by my friend David Thomas, who got an updated list from Gerry Thompson in the last minute. Gerry is a really good player.

What colors did you draft? BR and UB. I draft a lot on Magic Online and sometimes post my draftcaps on texasmagiczone.com under phuqdao.

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? Kind of important. Maybe a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? I don’t really play much Standard, so I can’t give an in-depth answer. If you look at the results, the changes made very little difference.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? I have no idea. Personally, I just like to draft whatever is open. Getting ate picks is a lot more important than being in an archetype. Although Wizards is getting better at designing synergistic Limited formats overall, core sets are still core sets.
 

 

 

Name: Owen Turtenwald

Age: 22

Hometown: West Allis

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 8 GP +8

Record by format: Standard: 6-2, Draft: 5-1

What Standard deck did you play, and why? CawBlade, duh.

What colors did you draft? UR and GB.

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? It would be a pretty huge honor to represent the U.S. at Worlds. I want to be on the team really bad, more than I can describe. It’s really cool.

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? There is less CawBlade in the field now and more free wins.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? GB with 5 Greater Basilisks
 

 

 

Name: David Ochoa

Age: 30

Hometown: Hayward, CA

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 2 GP / 0 PT

Record by format: Standard: 6-1-1 Draft: 6-0

What Standard deck did you play, and why? CawBlade. It rewards good play and is quite resilient.

What colors did you draft? UB and RB.

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? More important than normal because defending the home turf is a big game.

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? Creature decks became more viable.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? White-based fliers. White is the deepest and has a lot of fliers. With cards like Stormfront Pegasus, Griffin Riders, and Griffins, white-based flier decks can open with brutally fast draws.
 

 

 

Name: Noah T Koessel

Age: 18

Hometown: Eureka, CA

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 0

Record by format: Standard: 7-1, Draft: 2-1, 2-1

What Standard deck did you play, and why? CawBlade, because Alex Bertoncini convinced me to play it and the Holla-twins were playing it.

What colors did you draft? RB ad UR.

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? I think it’s pretty important because you get to represent your entire country against the rest of the world.

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? The fact that many decks were no longer obsolete and so much worse than CawBlade.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? Probably RB Bloodthirst if you get the nuts or a deck with a lot of Griffins and Griffin Riders.
 

 

 

Name: Brandon Nelson

Age: 26

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 0

Record by format: Standard: 6-1-1 Draft: 5-1

What Standard deck did you play, and why? UW CawBlade. It’s the nuts!

What colors did you draft? GR and GU

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? It’s very important to me. I’ve always wanted to rep the U.S. with the best in the world! USA! USA! USA!

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? Banning Stoneforge Mystic was right, but not Jace, the Mind Sculptor!

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? BR Bloodthirst. It’s very aggressive and it’s hard to stop.

 

 

Name: Luis Scott-Vargas

Age: 28

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Number of GP/PT Top 8s?? 7 GP, 4 PT

Record by format: Standard: 7-0-1 Draft: 4-2

What Standard deck did you play, and why? CawBlade, because it’s still really good, though much worse than before.

What colors did you draft? WR and BUG (I had to keep it fair to each color)

How important is it to be on the National team with Worlds in the United States this year? It’s awesome regardless, and with Worlds ten minutes from my house, I’d especially like to be on the team!

What do you think the biggest impact of the recent changes to Standard was? CawBlade is now a beatable deck, and people can actually pick from a variety of good decks.

What do you think the most powerful archetype is in M12 draft? Bloodthirst Aggro.

 

 


 

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