MOCS 2013 Profiles, Part 1

Posted in MTGO on March 10, 2014

The MOCS are fast-approaching, and we couldn't be more excited to see what will happen in San Francisco. Mark your calendars for March 28–30, because some of the top players from around the world are gathering to showcase their skill. Some of the MOCS competitors are recognizable from their Magic Online username or twitch channels; others are relative newcomers to competitive Magic. All are extremely skilled and more than worthy of the title of MOCS finalist.

This competition brings with it some of the top online talent in the world, and we wanted you to get to know them a bit better! Meet the first four participants in the MOCS—Paul, Dmitriy, Rune, and Farand!

Paul Nemith (Zwischenzug), 27
Professional Gamer—Cleveland, OH

When did you start playing Magic?

I think my first packs were Revised. It was an awfully long time ago and I was very young, too young to really understand all the rules. I was a casual on/off player up until Scars of Mirrodin, when I began to take the game seriously.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magicx?

Other games! I used to play a lot of chess (that's where Zwischenzug comes from) and World of Warcraft (that's where my second account name, Zalae, comes from). These days, I spend most of my time on Magic.

What is your favorite format to play and why?

I can't choose Cube? Cube is definitely my favorite format, not close. It's very skill intensive, which allows for a very high win rate. I like playing with broken old cards and I like the variety and interesting interactions you get from singleton formats. Second favorite would be Modern.

What guild are you?


What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Birthing Pod because it got me to a personal best 1983 Constructed rating.

What single card do you have the most of in your Magic Online collection?

I have almost 6,000 boosters; previously I had just over 600 Mutavaults. Investing is an important part of my income.

Zwischenzug - Constructed Player of the Year

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Dmitry Butakov (Butakov), 25
Professional Gamer—Barnaul, Russia

What is your favorite format to play and why?

I really liked the Momir Basic format and mourn for Momir Dailies. Despite one of three games where either you or your opponent is a victim of circumstances, the other two usually provide a unique situation with lots of variables. Momir was not good for preparing for any other format, but it was great to train your abilities to evaluate your resources and the board (no matter how big the board is) and to stay focused for the entire game

What other Magic results do you have?

GP Valencia Top 8, 2013 World Championship 9th, 2012 MOCS champion.

What does your normal day of Magic Online look like?

I play all of the Constructed Dailies for the period of four to ten hours (depends on my other plans and schedule) five days a week, when there is a pause between rounds I try to do something to clear my mind—doing exercises, cooking, or reading

What thought ran through your head as soon as you realized you were going to the MOCS?

Now I have a good reason to visit some USA GPs.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Gifts Ungiven. That card rewards good plays and punishes bad ones both for you and your opponent.

How big is your family?

I'm the only child and have no children yet, but I have a lot of relatives in Siberia

What is one fact about you that might surprise people?

I live in Siberia.

What is your spirit animal?


Butakov - 2012 Magic Online Championship

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Rune Tikær Andersen (Roon), 27
Student—Aarhus, Denmark

What is your favorite format to play and why?

Legacy. It's more or less the only format I play. It's my favorite format because most games are interesting and have difficult decisions. There are a lot of viable decks, and you have to know the ins and outs of them all. Lastly, the format rarely changes drastically. Since I don't always have a lot of time to spend on Magic, this is a good thing.

How many hours a week do you think you spend on Magic Online?

It varies a lot. Sometimes I spend four hours per day, and other times I don't open Magic Online for months.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Upheaval. Its effect is powerful and unique. The art is cool, too! UB Psychatog Control was also my first competitive deck.

What single card do you have the most of in your collection?

Restoration Angel. Somehow I accidentally bought seven of them.

What thought ran through your head as soon as you realized you were going to the MOCS?

"Wow, this is amazing!"

Quickly followed by:

"Wait, now I have to learn how to play Limited? This is a disaster".

What would winning the MOCS mean to you?

It would mean I would have to play a lot more Limited and other non-Legacy formats, so let's hope it doesn't happen! Joking aside, it would be nothing short of amazing.

Who is your favorite Magic player to watch?

Andrew Cuneo.

What is your spirit animal?

Has to be FrankerZ, the dog from twitch chat.

Roon - Season 1

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Farand Lee (Riand), 28
Gate Gourmet—Vancouver, BC

When did you start playing Magic Online?

I made a Magic Online account last year in January but I didn't really start utilizing it until around April when I started using it to test Standard. Then, around August another one of my friends got me hooked onto playing the Limited format. I had never really played Limited before this and I found it really fun.

When did you start playing Magic?

I started playing Magic in elementary school around the time of Fallen Empires in 1995, all the way to high school, and quit during the Odyssey block in 2002.

Two years ago, one of my friend got hooked onto Duels of the Planeswalkers and asked me to join him in playing the paper version and I've been playing again since then.

What does your normal day of Magic Online look like?

Nowadays I just log onto the casual play, tournament practice area, load up my Standard deck and have a few games.

What guild are you?


What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Pouncing Jaguar because I really loved playing green stompy back in the days.

What thought went through your head as soon as you realized you were going to the MOCS?

I actually didn't know about the invitations until like half an hour after winning, when a friend messaged me about it. I felt pretty elated, as I had never flown out of the country before and that greater things were waiting for me.

What would winning the MOCS mean to you?

I would feel really stoked at accomplishing it and would be more inclined to travel out for high-level tournaments.

What record do you think you'll have at the end of the event?

Undefeated. One can dream, can't he?

Riand - Season 10

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