Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on August 20, 2017

By Marc Calderaro

Learn more about Grand Prix Denver's Top 8 competitors—including who they are, what they've done in the game, and more—by taking a look through their profiles!

Name: John Rolf

Age: 28

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 4 Grand Prix Cleveland 2017

Top 16 U.S. Nationals

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Ramunap Red because of its consistency and ability to go big. Nathan Smith brewed the list and assured me it was broken.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Chandra, Torch of Defiance; it's the new Jace.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

The two extra Chandras because value.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

Long-time Magic Online grinder

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

A lot! Shoutout to my brother David, Brandon Ayers, and Nathan Smith for always supporting me!



Name: Sam Pardee

Age: 28

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2 Pro Tour Top 8s

12 Grand Prix Top 8s

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Mono-Red [Ramunap Red]. If you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Hazoret the Fervent! It kills them dead.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Good once the games slow down post-board, and good to kill Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet with.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

I'm a game designer here in Denver. I taught myself to read as a kid to play Magic with my father.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Hopefully not another second place.



Name: Zachary Kiihne

Age: 20

Hometown: Concord, Massachusetts

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

5th Grand Prix Providence 2016

5th Grand Prix Cleveland 2017 with Lucas and Jack Kiefer

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Mono-Red [Ramunap Red]. It was the deck I had the most experience with.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Chandra, Torch of Defiance. It wins games on its own.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Glorybringer. It comes in in most matchups and provides the extra reach needed.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

I'm just trying to bring glory to Team Cardhoarder

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Getting back on the Pro Tour and the first step towards Silver.



Name: Brian Braun-Duin

Age: 31

Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2016 World Champion

2x Grand Prix Champion. Brad Nelson's better half. Corey Baumeister's worse half.

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Temur Energy.

Did well for me last weekend. Good versus most top decks.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

The long tusk of the law. [Longtusk Cub]

Love me a cub that gets out of control.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Confiscation Coup.

I like stealing things.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

Well, it all started on a cold and blustery night in Michigan in 1986 ... I was birthed into this world holding a Swamp, a Mutavault, and an Obzedat, Ghost Council in my hands. The rest, as they say, is history.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Means I am out of my rut!



Name: Gregory Michel

Age: 24

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

A couple of Grand Prix Top 32s.

What did you play this weekend, and why?

White-Blue Monument. It's the deck I know the best.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Obviously Oketra's Monument.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Angel of Sanctions — it comes in for almost every matchup.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

I've been playing GPs for about two years and I'm thrilled to finally have a Top 8.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

A ton! Both my teammates just qualified for the Pro Tour and I'm thrilled to be able to go to one too.



Name: Corey Baumeister

Age: 26

Hometown: Fargo, North Dakota

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

4th Grand Prix Top 8; 1 win in New Jersey

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Temur Energy. It crushed everything and BBD is GASSSSSSS.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

The Longest of the Cubs, puts people on the back foot. [Longtusk Cub]

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Negate by a mile! An aggressive deck with counter back-up.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

That me and Brad are the first brother to Top 8 back-to-back.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Everything. History in the making. Time fore the Kiefer bros to step up to the plate!



Name: Brad Nelson

Age: 31

Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

I don't know, just whatever comes to mind.

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Temur Energy. BBD told me it was good, and I wanted to Top 8 while complaining how bad his list was ... again.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Boat.

[Skysovereign, Consul Flagship.]

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Negate. It's the only way to beat "Bad" matchups.

What's your story? What should people know about you?

Read my book ...

[Eds: Really! You can.]

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

History was made, and that never fades.

You've watched them playing all weekend. They can clearly sling the cards. Now learn more about them. Who's the RPTQ end boss? Who will be the second best brothers in Magic? How was World Champion Brian Braun-Duin born?

The answers are all here.



Name: Collin Rountree

Age: 21

Hometown: Friendswood, Texas

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

SCG Open Champion

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Zombies, won RPTQ

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Liliana's Mastery

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

BOAT [Skysovereign, Consul Flagship]

What's your story? What should people know about you?

RPTQ END BOSS!

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Q'ed for the first and second Pro Tour of the this year.

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