Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on November 16, 2015

By Corbin Hosler and Marc Calderaro

After many rounds of Swiss and some great games of Magic, the Top 8 for Grand Prix Atlanta is set! Learn more about this event’s Top 8 competitors, their history at the top tables, and more by taking a look through the Top 8 profiles.


Name: Aryeh Wiznitzer

Age: 32

Occupation: Teacher

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Previous Magic accomplishments: Top 8 Grand Prix Dallas 2015; some other money finishes.

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
Red-white removal. It had Planar Outburst and other good ones. I went 9-0.

What was your best card, and why?
Quarantine Field. in Sealed it’s always a 2-for-1 or a 3-for-1.

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
Black-Red Devoid, going 2-1.

What was your best card, and why?
Touch of the Void. It always overperforms. Sometimes it goes to the dome!

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
Red-white midrange, going 2-0-1.

What was your best card, and why?
Turn Against. It found its way into my hand at opportune moments.


Name: Joseph “Tyler” Pressley

Age: 21

Occupation: College Student @ Georgia Tech

Hometown: Candler, North Carolina

Previous Magic accomplishments: N/A

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
Red-Green-Blue splash W; 8-1

What was your best card, and why?
Exert Influence, guaranteed 2 for 1

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
White-Blue; 3-0

What was your best card, and why?
Ruination Guide, lots of colorless flyers and unblockable creatures

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
Red-White; 2-1

What was your best card, and why?
Rolling Thunder: Removal spell or game-ender (your choice)


Name: Evan Smith

Age: 23

Occupation: Rx Tech

Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana

Previous Magic accomplishments:
PTQ Top 8; Game Day Champion

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
Blue-Black-red; 8-1

What was your best card, and why?
Ob Nixilis Reignited

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
White-Black; 3-0

What was your best card, and why?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Better lucky than good.

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
White-Blue; 3-0

What was your best card, and why?
2x Retreat to Emeria.


Name: Tom Martell

Age: 33

Occupation: Lawyer

Hometown: Mountain View, California

Previous Magic accomplishments: Pro Tour Gatecrash champion; Grand Prixs Indianapolis and Sacramento champion.

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
Red-green splashing blue.

What was your best card, and why?
Grove Rumbler. It hit for a lot and applied lots of pressure. Or Endless One, as it filled out my curve.

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
Blue-Black Devoid; went 3-0.

What was your best card, and why?
Fathom Feeder. It always let me turn on my processing.

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
Blue-Red Devoid; went 3-0.

What was your best card, and why?
Double Ruination Guide, since I had a million Devoid guys.


Name: Dan Musser

Age: 30

Occupation: Former Math Teacher

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Previous Magic accomplishments: 5 PT appearances, few GP Top 16s, SCG Legacy Open Winner with some more Top 8s there.

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
Blue-Black; 9-0

What was your best card, and why?
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger … because he’s my main man Ulamog.

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
Red-White Allies; 3-0

What was your best card, and why?
Stasis Snare x2

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
White-Red-Green; 1-1-1

What was your best card, and why?
Quarantine Field. I drew it on camera vs. Mr. Finkel and it was a mighty blow.


Name: Owen Turtenwald

Age: 26

Occupation: Magician

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Previous Magic accomplishments: 17 Grand Prix Top 8s, three Pro Tour Top 8s, second at the 2015 Magic World Championship, 2011 Player of the Year.

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
Grixis colors, went 8-1.

What was your best card, and why?
Ruin Processor. It’s extremely powerful regardless of what else has happened in the game.

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
Esper, went 3-0.

What was your best card, and why?
Desolation Twin...

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
Red-White Allies; went 2-1.

What was your best card, and why?
Three copies of Resolute Blademaster.


Name: Sam Black

Age: 33

Occupation: SCG Writer/Platinum Pro

Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Previous Magic accomplishments: 2 Pro Tour Top 8; 10 Grand Prix Top 8; 1 Worlds Top 8; 1 Worlds Team win

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
White-Blue; 7-2

What was your best card, and why?
Breaker of Armies. I was control deck and it was my only good finisher.

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
Blue-Black; 3-0

What was your best card, and why?
Wasteland Strangler. I had a lot of ways to exile things.

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
White-Blue; 3-0.

What was your best card, and why?
Guardian of Tazeem. It’s too good.


Name: Brian Eason

Age: 23

Occupation: Student

Hometown: Atlanta

Previous Magic accomplishments: Second place at Grand Prix Charleston.

What color combination was your sealed deck, and what was your record?
White-blue splashing for two Drana’s Emissary. I went 7-2.

What was your best card, and why?
Drana’s Emissary because it’s a can’t-lose.

What color combination was your first draft deck, and what was your record?
Black-green splashing for Drana’s Emissary again, going 3-0.

What was your best card, and why?
Woodland Wanderer, Greenwarden of Murasa, From Beyond, Painful Truths, and Brood Butcher because rares.

What color combination was your second draft deck, and what was your record?
White-Black Allies splashing for Munda, Ambush Leader.

What was your best card, and why?
Tandem Tactics, because of the lifegain triggers.

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