Top 8 Player Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on December 4, 2016

By Hallie Santo

The Top 8 competitors at Grand Prix Denver ranged from first-time Pro Tour qualifiers to seasoned veterans of the game, but each of them had a lot to play for on Sunday night. We sat down with each of the players to get to know them a little better.


Name: Matt Severa
Age: 37
Occupation: software developer
Hometown: Madison, WI
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Grand Prix Top 8 competitor

What deck did you play, and why?
Mardu Vehicles. I didn't have time to learn to how play W/U Flash or B/G Delirium well.

What was the best card in your deck?
Toolcraft Exemplar

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Yes. I'm not sure about the Fragmentize in the board.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
More pro points so I can get Gold for next year.


Name: Ben Hull
Age: 34
Occupation: research engineer
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Top 8, Pro Tour Kaladesh

What deck did you play, and why?
Reid Duke's R/W list. I didn't have time to test and I played R/W at the Pro Tour.

What was the best card in your deck?
I have no idea.

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Maybe. No clue.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
A few pro points closer to Gold.


Name: Michael Snyder
Age: 30
Occupation: sales
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Previous Magic Accomplishments: None.

What deck did you play, and why?
R/G Aetherworks. It felt great against the best decks, and tested well. Shout out to twitch.tv/jaberwocki for teaching me a ton.

What was the best card in your deck?
Ulamog. It was great in the mirror.

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Not if Panharmonicon takes off.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
It's my first Pro Tour invite and the result of a lot of effort.


Name: Steve Rubin
Age: 24
Occupation: Magic player, ultimate frisbee coach
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Previous Magic Accomplishments: 6 Grand Prix Top 8's. Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad Champion.

What deck did you play, and why?
Temur Aetherworks. The R/G version is solid and adding blue helps improve your worst match-ups.

What was the best card in your deck?
Aetherworks Marvel.

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Sure. At this moment, nothing.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
I'm always pleased to be playing for a title.


Name: Andrew Wolbers
Age: 27
Occupation: field service technician
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Previous Magic Accomplishments: 25th, Grand Prix Dallas-Fort Worth

What deck did you play, and why?
U/R Zombie-Emerge. It felt strong against B/G and other top decks.

What was the best card in your deck?
Fevered Visions. It gives you free wins against a lot of decks.

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Yes. Not sure what I'd change yet.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
It's my first big Magic accomplishment and first Pro Tour qualification.


Name: Rob Pisano
Age: 32
Occupation: software developer
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Top 32, Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad Top 32, Pro Tour Kaladesh 2nd, Grand Prix Indianapolis 2016

What deck did you play, and why?
W/U Flash, because it's the best.

What was the best card in your deck?
Smuggler's Copter.

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Yes, and I'd change nothing. It's perfect.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
It means I'm slightly closer to my goal of achieving Platinum status this season.


Name: Seth Manfield
Age: 26
Occupation: content provider for TCGPlayer.com
Hometown: Laurel, MD
Previous Magic Accomplishments: 2015 World Champion, 5 Grand Prix wins, 2 Pro Tour Top 8's

What deck did you play, and why?
Panharmonicon. It's fun!

What was the best card in your deck?
Panharmonicon

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
I would play the same 75 next weekend.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
I had a great start, and getting this far is more of a relief than anything.


Name: Jacob Nagro
Age: 21
Occupation: student
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Top 50, Pro Tour Kaladesh

What deck did you play, and why?
W/U Flash. I like casting Reflector Mage.

What was the best card in your deck?
Archangel Avacyn.

Would you play the deck again after this weekend? What would you change?
Yes. I would play Westvale Abbey in the main deck.

What does making Top 8 mean to you?
I'm glad to qualify for the Pro Tour again and now I'm getting close to Silver.

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