Rounding Out 2015

Posted in Competitive Gaming on November 20, 2015

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

The year 2015 is wrapping up, and along with it, a number of the year's premier play offerings. The last two Grand Prix of 2015 take place this weekend. After that, the 2015 World Magic Cup awaits.

2015's Last Two Grand Prix

Grand Prix Kōbe and Grand Prix Pittsburgh round out the 2015 schedule with a little Constructed action.

Kōbe, Japan, will be playing host to a Standard Constructed main event as players from Asia and beyond compete for one of the last 2015 trophies to be given out.

All players who registered for the Grand Prix Kōbe main event by September 9 will be receiving an event-exclusive playmat featuring the art from Oran-Rief Hydra.

As we learned last weekend, Standard isn't done evolving, as Team EUreka's Four-Color Rally deck took the tournament by storm, and Esper Dragons made a big comeback in the hands of the Cabin Crew. Will these decks perform this weekend? Will any new decks or tech emerge? Will Lee Shi Tian play a combo deck?

Check back over the weekend as coverage writer Ben Swartz reports on his findings!

Also taking place this weekend is Grand Prix Pittsburgh, as North America closes out 2015's Grand Prix schedule with Modern Constructed madness. All players who compete in the Pittsburgh main event will receive an event-exclusive playmat featuring the iconic art of Goblin Guide, one of the Burn deck's iconic creatures!

The Modern format is relatively fresh in many people's minds, as it was the format for the most recent round of Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers. With a plethora of awesome craziness available to players, what deck will rise to the top this weekend?

Tune in all weekend to find out, as Grand Prix Pittsburgh will feature live video coverage on! More details on start times can be found in the Viewing Guide later in this article.

2015 World Magic Cup Approaching

It's hard to believe, but we're only three weeks away from the 2015 World Magic Cup, a monumental tournament that features four representatives each from 73 countries all competing on the big stage for their share of $250,000 and the title of World Magic Cup Champions.

The 2015 World Magic Cup is the year's biggest team spectacle. Each country's team comprises four players: the three World Magic Cup Qualifier winners and the player from the country who earned the most Pro Points during the 2014–15 Premier Play Season (that player is given the title of National Champion).

The four players then select teams of three to compete in two different formats in this three-day show: Team Sealed using twelve Battle for Zendikar boosters, and Team Unified Standard, a unique format.

The full tournament details on the 2015 World Magic Cup can be found on the event information page. We'll be talking more about one of Magic's most exciting premier-level spectacles in the coming weeks, so check back for more as we get closer to December 11–13!

Viewing Guide

Focusing back on the weekend ahead...

Magic Twitch Channel

Saturday, November 21

10 a.m PT/1 p.m. ET/6 p.m. UTC—GP Pittsburgh

Sunday, November 22

6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET/2 p.m. UTC—GP Pittsburgh

Tuesday, November 24

6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET/2 a.m. UTC—Vintage Super League

The next few days are focused on the Magic Twitch Channel as we begin with...

Modern Constructed at Grand Prix Pittsburgh! The home for early-turn Prime Time, barrages of burn, Liliana of the Veil and her many friends, Young Pyromancer and his buddies, and much, much more is at Grand Prix Pittsburgh, where we'll be closing out 2015's Grand Prix schedule with lots of fast action.

Join Marshall Sutcliffe, Randy Buehler, Brian David-Marshall, Rashad Miller, Richard Castle, and Ray Punzalan for two days of live Modern coverage! It all begins Saturday at 1 p.m. local time (ET)/10 a.m. PT/6 p.m. UTC on the Magic Twitch Channel. Coverage of Day Two resumes at 9 a.m. local time (ET0/6 a.m. PT/2 p.m. UTC.

Vintage Super League

The next season of the Vintage Super League is almost here, but the action starts off with a little preseason rumble as eight players battle for one of the two spots in Season 4 of the VSL. Those players are David Ochoa, Nick Detwiler, David Williams, Olle Råde, Gerard Fabiano, Roland Chang, Sam Black, and Reid Duke.

Which of those eight players will be advancing into the fourth season of the Vintage Super League? Join Randy Buehler and the rest of the VSL crew and find out! The Vintage Super League takes place on the Magic Twitch Channel this Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET/2 a.m. UTC.

The Flashback

Last weekend had the spotlight on two cities, Brussels and Atlanta, each with their own formats and big stories.

In Brussels, the story of this 1,938-person tournament revolved around two teams: Team EUreka and Team Cabin Crew. EUreka stormed this event with a Four-Color Rally the Ancestors deck that took a lot of people by surprise and put three of their teammates into the Top 8 (along with many not far behind). Team Cabin Crew, on the flip side, also placed multiple teammates into the Top 8 using Esper Dragons, a deck that had fallen off the map after the Pro Tour.

Sure enough, the finals came down to Cabin Crew's Lukas Blohon against EUreka's Simon Nielsen, each piloting their team's signature deck of the event. Blohon ultimately overcame Nielsen's devastating combo deck with strong sideboarding and Dragonlord Ojutai in three games to claim the trophy.

Full Coverage

Top 8 Decklists

9–32 Decklists

Day One Undefeated Decklists

Trial-Winning Decklists


Meet Branco Neirynck—Reporter and Hall of Famer Frank Karsten got a chance to talk to Branco Neirynck, Belgium's National Champion and World Magic Cup Team Captain.

Meanwhile, Atlanta brought in more than 2,000 players for some Battle for Zendikar Limited action. The Top 8 featured some big names, with Owen Turtenwald and Tom Martell squaring off in the final match. Ultimately, it was Tom Martell who emerged as the winner, taking the match against Turtenwald 2-0.

Full Coverage

Top 8 Decklists


Around the World with Brian Braun-Duin—Reporter Corbin Hosler caught up with Brian Braun-Duin about his quest for the 2016 World Championship.

Conley Woods—Growing Up 20,000 Steps at a Time—Reporter Marc Calderaro caught up with the long-absent Conley Woods about how his life has been since his return to Magic.

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