The Modern Master, Lee Shi Tian

Posted in GRAND PRIX CHIBA 2015 on May 30, 2015

By Chapman Sim

No. 3 Lee Shi Tian is the highest ranked player in the room today, but that is not the only reason we are checking in with our friend. This weekend is all about celebrating Modern Masters 2015, and I thought it would be a good idea to actually speak to a "Modern Master".

Lee Shi Tian's reputation for being the "Modern Master" is not to be taken lightly.

He is the only player in the world and in the entire history of the game to have made the Top 8 at three Modern Pro Tours (in addition to a Standard Pro Tour). To make his achievement seem even more monumental, he did in in three consecutive Modern Pro Tours and also, throw in the fact that there has only been four Modern Pro Tours to date.

"Modern is possibly my favorite format and this weekend is especially important to me. The release of Modern Masters 2015 simply means that more people are going to either start playing Modern or play even more Modern than ever before."

Grand Prix Chiba 2015, the largest Grand Prix in Japan!

As a matter of fact, over 4000 players are converged in Chiba today to celebrate this legendary weekend. This tournament marks the biggest tournament in the history of Japan. Players are rejoicing in the fact that they're ripping open a bunch of Modern staples to complete their decks.

"With the boosters being opened, I'm glad that a controlled number of Tarmogoyf, Vendilion Clique, Splinter Twin and other cards are being added to the supply. The whole idea of releasing a set like Modern Masters is to grow the format, remove part of the barrier and allow everyone to step into the new era."

Why do we mention Splinter Twin though? Samuele Estratti started the Modern Revolution when he won the very first Modern Pro Tour in 2011 at Philadelphia. That was the first time that Splinter Twin would win a Pro Tour, and the feat was repeated most recently by Antonio Del Moral León in the fourth ever Modern Pro Tour.

It's only been four years, and Modern has grown so much in popularity.

"I was surprised to see Serum Visions not being reprinted, until I saw the announcement that they were awarding it as a Friday Night Magic promotional foil. That is such an awesome move to commemorate this release," Lee added.

Serum Visions, with art by Dan Scott, comes to an FNM near you in August.

"Pro Tour Return to Ravnica was my first very Pro Tour Top 8 and I got there with Scapeshift. I lost to the eventual Champion Stanislav Cifka during my semifinals match but I was overjoyed with my finish."

He would later go on to co-design Blue Moon with Ken Yukuhiro and the rest of Team MTG Mint Card, a deck that took the metagame by surprise. Naturally, he stormed into the Top 8 at Pro Tour Born of the Gods in Valencia.

Most recently, Lee led his team to their most successful event yet. Playing a Burn deck, he made it to the Top 8 himself, while putting three other teammates in the Top 16 and a handful of others in the Top 75.

If you don't currently play Modern and you'd like to get started, here are Lee Shi Tian's Modern decks that brought him all his success! As we speak, he is constructing his Modern Masters 2015 Sealed deck so we'll check back in with him again later!

Lee Shi Tian's Scapeshift – Pro Tour Return to Ravnica Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Lee Shi Tian's Blue Moon – Pro Tour Born of the Gods Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Lee Shi Tian's Burn – Pro Tour Fate Reforged Top 8

Download Arena Decklist