Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on June 4, 2017

By Frank Karsten

After 15 hard-fought rounds of Standard, with a total of 1,162 others eliminated, only eight players remained in the running. Their Top 8 performance came with invitations and airfare to Pro Tour Ixalan in Albuquerque…and the opportunity to fight for the Grand Prix trophy.

Learn more about Grand Prix Amsterdam's Top 8 competitors—including who they are, why they chose their Standard deck, and more—by taking a look through the Top 8 profiles!


MICHEAL MAURICI

Age: 28

Hometown: Adelaide, Australia

Occupation: Accountant / Magic Grinder

Number of byes: 2

Previous Magic accomplishments: A few Pro Tours and Grand Prix Top 16s.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Esper Aggro – great Marvel and U/R Control matchup. I wanted to play an aggressive deck in this metagame that had permission.

What were the best cards in your main deck, and why? Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (single-handedly wins matches) and Irrigated Farmland (fixes the flooding and smooths draws).

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Skysovereign, Consul Flagship – when it resolved it ensured I won the close games.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Metallic Rebuke and Spell Queller – they allow me to play permission and stop Aetherworks Marvel or their energy once I have small creatures in play.



ARJAN VAN LEEUWEN

Age: 48

Hometown: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Occupation: IT

Number of byes: 2

Previous Magic accomplishments: Two Grand Prix wins.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? R/G Pummeler. It's so explosive.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Electrostatic Pummeler.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Magma Spray.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Just be quick, and hope they miss with Aetherworks Marvel :)



BENJAMIN LUFT

Age: 31

Hometown: Hannover, Germany

Occupation: Tax Consultant Assistant

Number of byes: 2

Previous Magic accomplishments: Attended some PPTQs (with little success).

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Blue-Red Control. I expected mostly Marvel and U/R on Day 2 and felt comfortable with my deck in those match-ups. My prediction turned out to be wrong, but the deck carried me.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Torrential Gearhulk. Because UHulk!

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Kefnet the Mindful. Blocks everything and single-handedly wins the mirror.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Lots of counterspells and card draw. It's about not falling behind and gaining incremental advantages from turn four on.



LUKAS BLOHON

Age: 27

Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic

Occupation: Magic

Number of byes: 3

Previous Magic accomplishments: Pro Tour Eldritch Moon Champion.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? B/G Constrictor. Shaun McLaren built a great deck so Thomas Hendriks, Ivan Floch, and I tested it and played it. Most of the played decks now are good-ish matchups.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Winding Constrictor.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Grasp of Darkness.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Them not hitting Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on the first spin so you can destroy Aetherworks Marvel with Dissenter's Deliverance. It is important to keep pressure on them. Dispossess is good in most games.



JELCO BODEWES

Age: 23

Hometown: Zeist, Netherlands

Occupation: Master student

Number of byes: 1

Previous Magic accomplishments: Pro Tour Kaladesh 8-8 through RPTQ.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Temur Marvel. Before this Standard, my deck was Saheeli combo. Value-based midrange decks with a strong combo element are my favorite.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, both through Aetherworks Marvel and via Shrine of the Forsaken Gods the card is absurd. I beat U/R by hard-casting three in a row, putting my opponent to one land.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Confiscation Coup. When the best cards in your deck are Tireless Tracker and Aetherworks Marvel, stealing them is pretty good in the mirror.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? As mentioned before, turn-four Ulamog game one, and Trackers and Coup post-board. Pre-board it's a combo race; post-board it's a grind with counterspells and Trackers.



THOMAS HENDRIKS

Age: 24

Hometown: Leiden, Netherlands

Occupation: Student

Number of byes: 3

Previous Magic accomplishments: 2 Grand Prix Top 8s and 1 Pro Tour Top 8.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? B/G Tracker because it's a deck with a lot of late game that can also explode and win fast (which is nice versus Marvel).

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Tireless Tracker. Doesn't matter how it happens, if the game goes longer you are doing great.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Grasp of Darkness. (Thanks to Martin Dang). Makes Glorybringer less unbeatable!

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Dispossess. Forces the game into a midrange game, with them having bad/dead cards. (Spoiler: B/G often wins those midrange games.)



ALEXANDER MERTINS

Age: 26

Hometown: Ringe, Germany

Occupation: Finished study

Number of byes: 0

Previous Magic accomplishments: Multiple FNM wins, lol.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? I chose B/G because I don't like Marvel and play too slow to execute control decks. I had all cards (mostly) from the previous Standard.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Winding Constrictor. It makes the whole deck viable with the synergies.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Transgress the Mind and Dispossess. Taking Marvel on turn 3 feels good.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Having a fast clock game one and a good sideboard for games two and three.



RAPHAEL COORS

Age: 30

Hometown: Osnabrück, Germany

Occupation: Pharmacist

Number of byes: 2

Previous Magic accomplishments: Several wins of local tournaments, PTQ Top 8, SSS Top 8.

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Green-Black Energy. I tested a lot on Blue-Red Control and didn't feel safe on the Marvel match-up. So this was a last-minute choice inspired by Jonathan Rowe.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why? Glint-Sleeve Siphoner. It felt like the better Dark Confidant.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why? Dispossess. I like Magic and not gambling.

What are your most important cards against Temur Marvel decks, and what is the match-up about? Transgress the Mind and Dispossess. Pre-board I lost a lot against them. Post-board it felt a lot better.

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