Grand Prix Atlantic City 2013

Congratulations to Grand Prix Atlantic City Champion Jon Stern!

1646 players descended upon Atlantic City to test their mettle in one of the most diverse Standard formats of all time. But even though the majority of top pros agreed that the format was diverse, many of those same pros assumed that there was little room left for innovation.

Boy were they wrong.

Going into this weekend Zombies, Mono Red, Jund, Blue White/x Control, Green-White Beatdown, Naya, and a variety of Unburial Rites Reanimator decks were thought to be the only decks that had a chance of competing.

But when the dust settled and the Top 8 was announced, there were two Bant Aura decks, and an Izzet Staticaster Jund deck amongst the ranks.

Former Player of the Year Brad Nelson led the pack going into the Top 8 with an Izzet Staticaster/Nightshade Peddler Jund deck that (despite writing and streaming with the deck all week) many players nonetheless assumed was "just a joke." Joining Brad in the Top 8 were Pro Tour Dark Ascension Top 8 alum Matt Costa with Blue White Red Flash; 4 time Grand Prix Top 8 competitor Ari Lax with Mono Red; Ryan Leverone and Seneca Hobler each with Jund Midrange; Lloyd Kurth with Esper Control; and finally - Jon Stern and 3 time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor Josh Utter-Leyton each with Bant Auras.

Two single elimination matches later, Jon Stern and Josh Utter-Leyton were facing down against each other in a Bant Aura mirror match.

After splitting the first two games, Josh Utter-Leyton (playing in his 7th Grand Prix Top 8) found himself within a single game of earning his first Grand Prix Title.

But Canadian Jon Stern would not be denied – ultimately riding a Geist of Saint Traft (paired with Silverblade Paladin, and enchanted with Rancor plus Spectral Flight) to the top.

Top 8 Bracket


(1) Brad Nelson

(8) Seneca Hobler

(4) Matt Costa

(5) Jon Stern

(2) Ari Lax

(7) Lloyd Kurth

(3) Josh Utter-Leyton

(6) Ryan Leverone


Brad Nelson, 2-0

Jon Stern, 2-0

Ari Lax, 2-0

Josh Utter-Leyton, 2-0


Jon Stern, 2-1

Josh Utter-Leyton, 2-1


Jon Stern, 2-1






  • by Jacob Van Lunen, Steve Sadin,
    and Adam Styborski
    Top 5 Cards
  • by Jacob Van Lunen
    Josh Utter-Leyton (Bant Auras) vs. Jon Stern (Bant Auras)
  • by Adam Styborski
    Brad Nelson (Staticaster Jund) vs. Jon Stern (Bant Auras)
  • by Steve Sadin
    Josh Utter-Leyton (Bant Auras) vs. Ari Lax (Mono Red)
  • by Adam Styborski
    Arix Lax (Mono-Red) vs Lloyd Kurth (Bant Control)
  • by Steve Sadin
    Matt Costa (Blue White Red Flash) vs Jon Stern (Bant Auras)
  • by Jacob Van Lunen
    Brad Nelson (Pedal to the Metal) vs. Seneca Hobler (Jund Midrange)
  • by Adam Styborski
    Sunday, 3:04 p.m.
    Deck Tech: Mono-Red with Ari Lax
  • by Jacob Van Lunen
    Sunday, 1:18 p.m.
    Deck Tech: Pedal to the Metal with Brad Nelson
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Profiles
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Decklists
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 16 Decklists
    Decks 9-16
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day Two Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day One Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet


1. Jon Stern $3,500
2. Josh Utter-Leyton $2,300
3. Brad Nelson $1,500
4. Ari Lax $1,500
5. Matt Costa $1,000
6. Ryan Leverone $1,000
7. Lloyd Kurth $1,000
8. Seneca Hobler $1,000

pairings, results, standings


16 15 14 13 12 11

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 2 1


16 15 14 13 12 11

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


16 15 14 13 12 11

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Top 8 Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff

Brad Nelson - Pedal to the Metal


Lloyd Kurth - Esper Control


Josh Utter-Leyton - Bant Auras


Ryan Leverone - Jund Midrange


Matt Costa - Blue White Red Control


Seneca Hobler - Jund


Ari Lax - Mono Red


Jon Stern - Bant Auras

Top 16 Decklists 9-16

by Event Coverage Staff

Jonathan Sukenik Mono Red


Kevin Michael Green Black Aggro


Andejs Prost Blue-White Control


Robert Koenig Jund


Shahar Shenhar Dark Naya


Joe Robillard Dark Naya