US Nationals Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on October 15, 2017

By Corbin Hosler and Meghan Wolff

After six rounds of Standard and six rounds of Ixalan Draft, the Top 8 at U.S. Nationals has been set. All eight of these players are excited for the opportunity to represent their country at the World Magic Cup - here's what those competitors had to say.


Name:
Drew Bates

Hometown: St. Charles, Mo.

Occupation: Information Technology

Previous Magic Accomplishments: ...er...

What deck are you playing and why? Abzan Tokens. The deck feels good against Ramunap Red and has pretty fair matches against other decks.

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why? Arguel's Blood Fast. It single-handedly won every match against Approach of the Second Sun decks.

What was your best draft card this weekend? Snapping Sailback - I had two of them and three Pounce.

What would making the National Team mean to you? It's actually my lifelong dream. I've been shaking all day.



Name:
Ben Rinauto

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Occupation: Aerospace Engineer

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Middle-of-the-pack RPTQ finishes. And Friendship.

What deck are you playing and why? Mardu Vehicles. Toolcraft Exemplar is my spirit animal.

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why? Heart of Kiran. Flying is very good right now.

What was your best draft card this weekend? Vampira's Zeal.

What would making the National Team mean to you? Honestly I'm just shocked I made it this far.



Name:
Peter Villarrubia

Hometown: Poolesville, MD

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Top 8 at Eternal Extravaganza 5 and Top 9 at SCG Richmond :(

What deck are you playing and why? White-Blue Approach. I needed a Standard deck for this and control is fun. I also think the Temur and Blue-Black matchups are solid.

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why? Regal Caracal, because it's just good in every matchup.

What was your best draft card this weekend? River Herald's Boon

What would making the National Team mean to you? Every Magic player dreams of being a pro. This would be step one toward that goal.



Name:
Stephen Neal

Twitter Handle: @Bistromathmagic

Hometown: Madison, WI

Occupation: Historian of Science

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Top 8 at Pro Tour Magic Origins, Top 8 at Grand Prix Atlantic City and Mexico City. Madison+Milwaukee City Champion.

What deck are you playing and why? Temur Energy, because it's so versatile

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why? Harnessed Lightning.

What was your best draft card this weekend? River's Rebuke - you win whenever you cast it.

What would making the National Team mean to you? It would be an honor to represent America.



Name:
Gerry Thompson

Twitter Handle: @G3RRYT

Hometown: Renton, WA

Occupation: Raptor Companion

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

I attacked with zombies once.

What deck are you playing and why?

Temur, I'm too stupid to play tokens

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why?

Rogue Refiner

What was your best draft card this weekend?

Pirate's Cutlass

What would making the National Team mean to you?

Finally forcing dreamboat Reid Duke into teaming with me



Name:
Seth Manfield

Twitter Handle: @SethManfield

Hometown: Columbia, MD

Occupation: dad, writer for TCGPlayer.com

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

3 PT Top 8s, 5 GP wins, 2015 World Champion

What deck are you playing and why?

Temur Energy, I think my list is very good

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why?

Carnage Tyrant, it caught opponents off guard

What was your best draft card this weekend?

Swashbuckling, I want to be as fast as possible

What would making the National Team mean to you?

I would get to play with Reid Duke! And I have always wanted to play in the World Magic Cup.



Name:
Jeremy Sager

Hometown: Madison, WI

Occupation: IT Consultant

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2 GP Top 16s

What deck are you playing and why?

Sultai Energy, because it's an aggressive deck that draws lots of extra cards, and it's the best replacement I could find for Cryptbreaker. Also it beats up on mono-red.

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why?

Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, because getting two draw steps is good.

What was your best draft card this weekend?

Territorial Hammerskull.

What would making the National Team mean to you?

Trip to France sounds nice!



Name:
Oliver Tomajko

Twitter Handle: @OliverTomajko

Hometown: Croton-on-Hudson

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Was birthed by Magic goddess Evan Petre

Went 9-0 at Nationals

What deck are you playing and why?

Blue-Black Control/sideboard aggro. The Shadow Cabal recommended it and my girl Tiff played Temur, so it was my only option

What was your best Standard card this weekend and why?

Gifted Aetherborn, it's great when my opponents take out removal and it's gifted like me. Also my daddy of the weekend, Jake Tilk, always loses to it.

What was your best draft card this weekend?

Skullduggery, it allowed me to douggie on people so I be like my father, Mario Martinez, since he is always styllin'. Mike Soles isn't styllin' though.

What would making the National Team mean to you?

I would get a nice Facebook profile pic, and an even nicer accomplishment. In addition, my brother would get to meet Reid Duke, who he literally likes more than me.

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