TOP 8 PROFILES

Posted in NEWS on November 3, 2013

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.


Reid Duke

Age: 24
Hometown: Sugar Loaf, NY

Profession:
MTG

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
2011 Magic Online Champion, eight GP Top 8s, two wins

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
Storm Combo. I have the most experience with it. Also, I only get to play Vintage once in a long while. Why not play the most exciting deck possible!

How did you prepare for this event?
Lots of Vintage experience in 2009. Read Brian Demars's article on starcitygames.com for a Vintage crash course.

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
The gameplay is very interesting, and every decision counts. With so many one-ofs and so much deck searching, you have tons of choices.

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Aside from the obvious ones, Necropotence.

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
I would be very proud to be Vintage Champion. It would prove that I can apply my skills and experience in other formats to any kind of Magic.


Erik Pentycofe

Age: 28
Hometown: North Rose, NY

Profession:
Teacher

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
None listed.

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
Dredge.

How did you prepare for this event?
Playtesting with local friends.

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
Bringing creatures back from the graveyard for free.

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Bazaar of Baghdad

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
Just making it to the Top 8 with this caliber of players is very rewarding. Winning would complete a personal goal, and I wouldn't be able to wait to come and try to defend my title next year. Plus bragging rights would be nice.


 


Taylor Pratt

Age: 29
Hometown: Dedham, MA

Profession:
Customer Support

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Nothing major. GP Providence 2011 Day 2.

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
Blue Angels. Mountain of countermagic backed by good old card advantage and a clock that can turn the corner with a quickness.

How did you prepare for this event?
Local testing group, John Lessard's particular decklist (minus the Mox Jet I could not find).

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
The moment when things try to go broken, when there's a stack with upwards of eight or twelve effects, and the calm rebuilding phase after the storm.

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Vendilion Clique and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Jace is one hell of a drug.

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
Bringing home both paintings in my trunk.


 


AJ Grasso

Age: 27
Hometown: Tom's River, NJ

Profession:
Retail Manager

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
2009 Tri-State Vintage Player of the Year Runner Up, 2008 SCG Virginia 2nd place

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
0-2 RUG Delver. Because no one respects the Delver.

How did you prepare for this event?
Two months of testing and tuning. Lots of help from Team 0-2 Drop and Brian, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Thanks guys for all the help! A huge thanks to Catherin, I wouldn't be here without your support!

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
Beating broken decks with "fair" cards!

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Delver of Secrets

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
The world. I've wanted this for a long time.


 


Kevin Cron

Age: 36
Hometown: Alto, MI

Profession:
Business Analyst

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
SCG Power 9 Syracuse Champion, two-time Vintage Champs Top 8

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
Keeper Four-Color Control. I get to play all of the best cards, like Deathrite Shaman and Toxic Deluge!

How did you prepare for this event?
Testing dozens of decks, playing in smaller Vintage tournaments, and hosting a Vintage podcast.

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
The community. It's the best in Magic.

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Deathrite Shaman.

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
I've been trying to win Vintage Champs since its inception, and many of my close friends and teammates have won it. I'm very excited to have another chance to join the club.


 


Benjamin Marleau Donais

Age: 25
Hometown: Montreal

Profession:
Actuary

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
I won or split a few smaller Vintage tournaments 10-11 years ago playing unpowered decks.

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
I played RUG Delver because it had nice matchups against an expected metagame of Dredge, MUD, and aggro decks. It also does pretty well against blue decks. It's also the deck I felt I could play best.

How did you prepare for this event?
I played a lot on Cockatrice a month ago, looked at some Top 8s online in addition to reading articles, and listened to podcasts like Kevin Cron's.

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
The fact that you can play any cards in your deck. I've loved that ever since I put a Sol Ring in my casual deck as a kid. Please unban Shahrazad!

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Vendilion Clique performed way better than I thought, but nothing beats a Black Lotus.

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
A nice painting, bragging rights, and an awesome first Vintage tournament in ten years.


 


Greg Fenton

Age: 26
Hometown: Rockville Centre, NY

Profession:
Artist; Musician; teacher of both studies

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Lately beep beep booping my opponents. Prior to that, I once won an FNM in 1999 playing Squirrel Prison.

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
"Oath of Druids." I've found it to be both competitive and versatile while also tickling my inner "Timmy" fancy.

How did you prepare for this event?
Playing the same deck that I always play, except that I replaced Jedit Ojanen and Wood Elemental with two Griselbrands (which have been great!) Oh, I also put in a Forest.

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
It encompasses everything that Magic has had to offer throughout its rich twenty-year run. No restrictions. Well...maybe just a few.

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Yawgmoth's Will, Abrupt Decay, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor, come to mind.

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
It would be an incredible honor. The Vintage format and community have been so special to me throughout the past few years. It's a memory that I'd treasure.


 


Joel Lim

Age: 34
Hometown: Hamilton, NJ

Profession:
Controller

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Greater than 70% win rate at FNMS and Game Days! I qualified for a team Pro Tour once...

What deck are you playing this Vintage Championships and why?
Reel Fish. There is a lot of blue in the field, being the best color in Magic. Having growing, unblockable guys mixed in with enough counterspells seemed like a new approach, so I've been working on making this deck a force in the format over the last year.

How did you prepare for this event?
Played regularly at the Top Deck Games monthly $2k events. The NJ, PA, NYC area is spoiled with options every weekend, too. I also tested with some friends at my LGS for a few hours

What is your favorite thing about Vintage?
The community. Meeting great people and having fun playing all of the broken cards in Magic, like Master of Waves the Pearl Trident.

What card has been the most impressive for you this weekend?
Null Rod

What would winning the Vintage Championship mean to you?
Too soon to think about that. I just started playing Vintage competitively in January of 2012. My friend Blifferet and I designed this build, and I'm just happy to make the Top 8 of Vintage Champs with it in my first try. I'm hoping that more people give this incredible format a whirl, especially since you can just play a tier two Legacy deck and make the Top 8 at Vintage Champs!