Who coaches which format and why?
The World Magic Cup teams consist of four members, but only three are playing at any given time, with the fourth member locked into the coach role. Every day, one player has to take the coach role during the Limited rounds, and then another player becomes the coach during the Constructed portion.
It is up to each team to decide who this coach is and what their role entails. For some teams, the weakest player in a given format is relegated to the coaching slot. Teams do this to present the best possible three-man front for each format. For other teams, the most experienced player on the team assumes the coach role. This allows that player to contribute his skill to multiple matches at the same time.
I asked several captains of Day Two teams how they approached this choice.
Valentin Mackl (Austria): We decided that Christoph is going to play Limited but coach Standard since he's more of a Modern guy. Sebastian sits out for Limited, coaching Christoph and Nikolaus while I focus on my own match.
Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa (Brazil): I think it's better for the strongest player to play than to coach, so Lucas Berthoud and I are playing both formats. After we agreed on that, Leonardo De Castro said he'd much rather play Limited and Bruno Müller said he'd much rather play Constructed, so it was easy.
Martin Dang (Denmark): For Standard, the choice was based on the decks we settled on. We want people most comfortable playing the various deck piloting them, so that the coach doesn't have to watch someone's every single move but rather come with important input for all three matches. As a result, Daniel Lind became our coach for Standard. For Limited, coaching is more important, and Christoffer Larsen assumed the role of our coach. He is mainly helping Daniel Lind to make sure the right decisions are taken in that match, while Martin and I mostly play our own games.
Marco Cammilluzzi (Italy): Andrea Mengucci and I play both formats. Both William Pizzi and Francesco Bifero wanted to play Constructed at first, so we had to figure out who is the best Limited player. In the end, it was decided that Pizzi will play Standard and Bifero will play Team Sealed.
Chapman Sim (Singapore): I made the decision for myself to sit out of Standard. I have three teammates who know more about Standard than I do. The fact that they've won World Magic Cup Qualifiers are more than enough to prove that they know a thing or two about Constructed. As for Team Limited, we'll all be building together but Michael Tong will be doing the coaching. As the greenest horn of the group, I feel that Limited is very challenging and I'd like our three strongest Limited players playing the actual matches to eke out any bit of advantage we can get.
Jelger Wiegersma (Netherlands): We wanted to have one of the more experienced players as our coach, so that became Thomas Hendriks in Limited and me in Constructed. However, I found coaching to be difficult yesterday—I'm more of a player than a coach. Moreover, for our Abzan Control deck the coaching delayed the game too much. So today, if we survive the first pool to make it to the Standard rounds, I'll be playing rather than coaching.
Joel Larsson (Sweden): Max, Filip, and I play Constructed. Anton got to play Limited because he feels comfortable with the format, but he never plays Standard so he sits out as the coach during the Standard rounds. Filip is a heck of a Constructed player. The choice between who the last Limited player, next to Anton and I, would be on Friday actually came down to a coin toss, and then we switched it around on Saturday.