With Pro Tour Born of the Gods just a few weeks away, players lucky enough to be qualified are surrounding themselves with other masters of the game in hopes of finding all the angles. The biggest teams in Magic are constantly changing in an effort to leave no stone unturned. Let's sit down with some of the better-known teams and talk Valencia!
An Exciting Prospect
Conley Woods has been a member of team Channel Fireball for years. Always brewing, Woods has recently felt like a detriment to the streamlined testing process of the team. Woods wanted to find a home where his knack for strange creations would be embraced. Recently, Woods reached out to the team formerly known as "Luxurious Hair." This team of young masters is sure to benefit from Woods's testing experience with Channel Fireball and will likely be more open to the wacky side of Conley Woods.
The team's lineup features a lot of heavy hitters including Ari Lax, Craig Wescoe, Harry Corvese, Seth Manfield, Chris Fennel, Joe Demestrio, Stephen Mann, Andrew Shrout, and Matt McCullough. There's a lot of talent here, and the whole team has been Skyping weekly, talking about Modern and speculating on Born of the Gods' preview cards. We can expect great things from this quickly maturing group.
Face to Face Games
Team Face to Face Games has established itself as a major player in competitive Magic. Going forward, the team has plans to expand and streamline its testing process. Team Face to Face began as a Canadian team, but the squad has grown and evolved over the last few years. The new lineup for Team Face to Face for Pro Tour Born of the Gods is Jon Stern, Alexander Hayne, Lucas Siow, Glenn McIelwain, Ben Moir, Steve Wolfman, Josh Mcclain, Dave Shiels, Samuel Pardee, Alex Majlaton, Brian Braun-Duin, and Todd Anderson.
This team is set up nicely for a Modern Pro Tour: Majlaton is widely considered the most studied Affinity player and deck builder. Mcclain and Pardee are known for their Birthing Pod prowess. Dave Shiels knows his way around Snapcaster Mage and Delver of Secrets like few others.
Stern wanted to set up his teammates with local testing partners to expedite the testing process. Stern and Hayne will be testing together in Montreal. Siow, Moir, and Wolfman are in Toronto. Braun-Duin and Anderson are in Roanoke, Virginia. The team will meet in Valencia the Saturday before the Pro Tour to begin testing the new Limited format and hammer out the remainder of their Modern plans.
Team Channel Fireball
Team Channel Fireball will return in its previous incarnation, minus Conley Woods. This super team includes Luis Scott-Vargas, Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa, Josh Utter-Leyton, David Ochoa, Ben Stark, Eric Froehlich, Martin Juza, Shuhei Nakamura, Brian Kibler, Matt Nass, and Shahar Shenhar. Team Channel Fireball changed the landscape of professional Magic by trailblazing a new and exciting testing process. Modern has typically been a strong format for this team and we can expect strong finishes from a lot of these players.
The New Channel Fireball
A new super team has aligned under the Channel Fireball flag. Sam Black, Matt Costa, William Jensen, Gabriel Nassif, Matt Sperling, Kai Budde, Reid Duke, Tom Martell, Brad Nelson, Owen Turtenwald, Patrick Chapin, Jon Finkel, Zvi Mowshowitz, Paul Rietzl, and Gaudenis Vidugiris have shed their previous sponsor in favor of Channel Fireball. This has been the most successful team in recent Pro Tours and there's no reason to believe they're slowing down. The deckbuilding talent here is unmatched and it's hard to contend with the gameplay talent of a deck that includes both Kai Budde and Jon Finkel.
New teams will emerge and these teams may change in the coming weeks leading up to Pro Tour Born of the Gods. Keep your finger on the pulse of Magic coverage for up-to-date team roster info!