ON KINGS AND GLORY: GOING UNDEFEATED

Posted in NEWS on June 29, 2014

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.

Being King of the Hill means being undefeated. Taking and holding the crown is a trial by fire, leading to the glory of an undefeated record on Day 1, and eventual Top 8 berth on Day 2. The weekend was seeded with 15th-ranked de facto Rookie of the Year Jared Boettcher, who faced an immediate powerhouse in World Champion and 14th-ranked Shahar Shenhar. Shenhar won in a slow first game followed by a quick second.

The crown changed hands, and in a boring world that'd where it would have stayed. But Grand Prix D.C. has been anything but boring.

Shenhar fell in his match against Noah Walker. Walker passed the crown onto Brian Burns. Burns was defeated by the watchwolf92 of Magic Online, Jonathan Sukenik. Sukenik went on to defend his crown against Greg Sokol, setting up a Round 9 undefeated showdown against Jon Goss.

Sukenik lost to Goss, as is apt to happen when following the crown. Along the way the colors and decks of King of the Hill were varied:

 

Round Player Colors   Player Colors
4 (15) Jared Boettcher B/r/G loses to (14) Shahar Shenhar W/G
5 (14) Shahar Shenhar W/G loses to Noah Walker U/B
6 Noah Walker U/B loses to Brian Burns B/R
7 Brian Burns B/R loses to Jonathan Sukenik R/W
8 Jonathan Sukenik R/W defeats Greg Sokol U/B
9 Jonathan Sukenik R/W loses to Jon Goss W/U

 

 

Finding himself defeated at the en of the day, Jon Goss was thrilled to have risen to the top playing White-Blue.

 

 

His most valuable card of the day was Hour of Need which is "so much utility and pressure out of nowhere. It's why I played blue."

 

Pro Points hunter Christian Calcano also went undefeated, earning the top slot in standings for Day 2, with Blue-Green. His power card of choice was Course of Kruphix.

 

"It could have been Hydra Broodmaster, but honestly it was Courser," Calcano explained. The potency of the Born of the Gods card in Standard and Modern to smooth draws, gain life, and block well serve just as well in Sealed Deck.

 

David Fulk was another to emerge victorious in the fight to remain undefeated, and played a White-Black deck that used Grim Guardian to great effect.

 

"It just performed the best," Fulk explained. Like Courser of Kruphix for Calcano, the stopping power and incremental advantage Grim Guardian lets you grind out fills in the edges of value decks want.

 

While not really a monstrous deck, Yam Wing Chun used Red-Green "Monsters" to advance as another undefeated player. His self-professed clutch card was Flurry of Horns.

 

"I was about to lose and I drew it, which let me win out of nowhere!" Yam explained. It isn't every day you steal victory from the jaws of defeat, so it makes sense Yam's pick is the one and only way that make it happen for him today.

 

Conley Woods, a longtime feature of the Pro Tour, had earned an undefeated slot as well today by mixing things up with a Blue-Green deck that transformed into a Red-Green deck splashing Blue during matches. Boon Satyr was a common thread between the decks.

 

"I expected this deck to go maybe 7-2 today." Woods said. "I had no bounce and like one removal spell. Boon Satyr is just hard to deal with and it got me there when it wasn't expected."

 

The solitary 8-0-1 player was Patrick Hansen, squeezing out a tie in an earlier round to avoid tasting true defeat on Day 1. His White-Black deck was decidedly more aggressive than Fulk's, taking advantage of two copies of Bloodcrazed Hoplite.

 

"Playing it on turn two with something turn three and turn for just ran some people over." Hansen said. "If they missed a land or didn't have a spell it punished them."

 

With every color finding feature in the undefeated decks it shows the depth and potential across the Sealed Deck format. Tomorrow, however, highlights the world of Theros Block Draft. These six returning undefeated tomorrow still have their work cut out, but they're well on their way to vying for Top 8 contention.