Day 1 has wound down and only a few players remain at the top of the standings. Their days long, their games harrowing, and their records a pristine 9-0, these players have had a perfect day.
Cash Turner is from San Jose, California, where he and a set of friends he lovingly calls the “scallywags” have been drafting Kaladesh like crazy since the set was released. Cash has been playing Magic since before the big bang, or maybe, he admits, just since Mirage. In the world of Magic, he considers himself Mayor of Value Town, with aspirations of senatorship or even the presidency.
Today Kambal, Consul of Allocation used his persuasive powers to coax Cash into white-black. He also had a Cataclysmic Gearhulk, an overtly powerful card, but it was the six-mana removal combo of Thriving Ibex and Die Young that most notably over-performed for Cash today. One of his most memorable games came in Round 7, when his opponent was down to seven cards in library after multiple loots, with a Saheeli's Artistry and Skysovereign still live. Cash was able to cast both a Cataclysmic Gearhulk and a Tidy Conclusion he'd been saving for almost a dozen turns to take care of the Artistry tokens and the flagship and swing for the win.
Quinn Griffin is from the Bay Area, just south of San Francisco, and he's in Atlanta playing his first GP because he had a set of frequent flier miles that were about to expire. He's been playing for almost ten years, but only started taking the game seriously when he got to Williams College, where he met a handful of smart and dedicated players. Quinn only plays Limited, and prefers tempo and aggro strategies to control.
Another of Quinn's favorite decks is green-based five-color good stuff, which is what he played today. Some of his key rares were colorless, however, as his deck featured both Smuggler's Copter and Multiform Wonder. His fixing included an Aether Hub, a Prophetic Prism, and a Wild Wanderers, and his greediest splash was for a copy of Unlicensed Disintegration. He also admitted that splashing Cloudblazer and Pia Nalaar was a mistake, and he found himself almost always boarding them out after the first game.
Mason King is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and his job has kept him so busy in recent months that he had almost no time to prep for GP Atlanta. In fact, he's here because it's his friend's bachelor party (Bachelor Erik's Team), and he couldn't miss it. He played Kaladesh once yesterday, and arrived at the GP this morning ready to crack Kaladesh boosters for only the second time. Though his schedule is busy these days, Mason has been playing Magic for nearly a decade. Limited is his favorite format, and he prefers decks that let him two-for-one his opponent and draw lots of cards.
Bachelor Erik's Team, with Bachelor Erik in blue (he's 8-1).
Today, however, Mason played an aggressive black-red deck that featured a copy of Chandra, Torch of Defiance. His creatures were cheap and menacing, and he only lost a single game all day. His surprising all-star was Quicksmith Genius, which allowed him to throw away extra lands and dig toward the spells he needed to close out his games.
Though the name “Geddes Cooper” might not ring to most newer ears, some old timers remember the days of Geddes ripping the JSS (the old Junior Super Series) apart in the late 90s. Though he stepped away from the game for a while, it looks like he's back with a vengeance.
Ultimately it was the community that drew Geddes back into the game. As he saw his old friends returning to Magic, he couldn't stay away. But Geddes decided that if he was going to get back into Magic, he was going to take it seriously. In the five months since he returned, he's put in a lot of Limited preparation with his teammates in south Florida—especially with the help of Pro-Play Games.
Geddes Cooper's draft group, Team Pro-Play Games
Geddes prefers midrange decks, and today stayed true to that preference with a black-green deck with two quality mythics, Verdurous Gearhulk and Demon of Dark Schemes. He also splashed blue for a copy of Shrewd Negotiations. He kept the second copy in the sideboard, though, in retrospect, he suspects he should have had it in the main deck, as he boarded it in against everything except aggressive decks. He splashed blue with Prophetic Prism, a solid role-player that smoothed his draws, turned on artifact synergies, and gave him something to exchange in those shrewd negotiations.
Chris Fennell is currently from Tampa, Florida, and he played a handful of draft leagues to prepare for this weekend's grand prix. Chris has been playing for over twenty years, and his favorite format is Limited. He had to pick up Standard when he spent three years on the Pro Tour, but is now back to playing strictly Limited.
Today Chris played a green-white deck with a lot of artifact synergies and a good curve. His Wispweaver Angel was an all-star, allowing him to flicker his fabricate creatures to make more servos, which were in turn pumped up by a copy of Chief of the Foundry. His deck was solidly midrange, which he think might have been an error. While he built his deck to succeed in a slow, grindy format, he found himself wanting more interaction in the early turns of the game, while his late game, he found, was more than adequate.
These are your Day 1 undefeated players here at GP Atlanta! Congratulations to them, and tune in tomorrow here, on Twitter, and at twitch.tv/magic to see which players will emerge victorious here at GP Atlanta.