TOP 8 PROFILES

Posted in Event Coverage on August 28, 2016

By Marc Calderaro

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


Name:
Brandon Pascal

Age: 20

Hometown: Marlboro, New Jersey

Occupation: Pre-Vet Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

Won a MTGO PTQ
Won an RPTQ

Some amount of GP Top 64s

Beat Christian Calcano at Jiffy's prerelease

(Shout out to Bobby Walzer for testing with me and jamming games of EDH)

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Affinity, it's my baby. Been playing it for years and felt it was still well positioned.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Mox Opal, because without it, the deck has a very hard time putting everything together.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Chalice of the Void. Nobody expected it and it gave me free wins.



Name:
Ryan Solave

Age: 23

Hometown: Sarnia, Ontario

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

Multiple Day 2s. Some decent finishes, but nothing like this.

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Death's Shadow Aggro. This deck is busted, and I basically rolled a dice to choose which deck I was going to play today.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Gitaxian Probes, Mishra's Baubles, and Street Wraith.

The deck is effectively 48 cards with those, and consistent.

Also helps out my boy, Death's Shadow.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

They're all great, but I love Stony Silence.



Name:
Ryan Normandin

Age: 25

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Occupation: High School Physics Teacher

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

- Top 8 SCG Open New Jersey with Abzan Constellation

- Columnist for HorseofWill.com

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Bant Eldrazi. Turn-two Thought-Knot Seer, turn-three Reality Smasher is super-sweet, as is Drowner of Hope + Eldrazi Displacer.

Ancient Stirrings is half a Dig Through Time for one mana. Enough said.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Eldrazi Temple makes the deck possible.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Chalice of the Void. It lets you auto-win matches turn one or turn two that you have no right winning.



Name:
Mason Linne

Age: 23 + 362/365

Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

12-3 at Grand Prix Boston 2014

Three-time FNM winner

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Affinity, because the world is already run by all manner of machines and one day, they'll remind us of that fact.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Mox Opal, because it is a Vintage-power-level card.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Stubborn Denial, because it is important to be able to blow out your opponent.



Name:
Brandon Semerau

Age: 28

Hometown: Waukesha, Wisconsin

Occupation: Nuclear Engineer

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

3-1 at FNM

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Hatebears, Ken told me to.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Flickerwisp makes things messy.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Gisela, the Broken Blade. Sometimes you need to pay four mana to eat a Lightning Bolt.



Name:
Scott “Spanky” Lipp

Age: 32

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Occupation: Store owner of Spanky's Card Shop

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

Grand Prix Sydney win
Four Grand Prix Top 8s

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Red-Green Breach Titan AKA “Spaghetti w/ Meatballs”
The deck is great!

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

VALAKUT!

[Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle]

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Scapeshift, it helps attack from a different angle post-board.



Name:
Brandon M. Burton

Age: 22

Hometown: Saint Anne, Illinois

Occupation: Unemployed

Previous Magic Accomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

2011 MTGO Championships (6th place)

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar (Top 32)

Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Burn is my favorite deck. I always play it and it just feels good.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Goblin Guide because it's broken.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Kor Firewalker for the mirror that I fully expected to see.



Name:
Rob Pisano

Age: 32

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Occupation: Software Developer

PreviousMagicAccomplishments (before this Grand Prix):

11-5 (24th Place) at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad

What Modern deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?

Red-Green Valakut, wanted a simple deck since I knew I'd only have an hour of sleep on the plane coming in Saturday.

What was the most important card in your main deck and why?

Primeval Tital, bcause it's the only card that finds Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

What was the most important card in your sideboard and why?

Anger of the Gods, only way to survive Affinity, Dredge, Zoo, etc.

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