Top 4 Teams of Grand Prix Indianapolis 2018

Posted in Event Coverage on January 21, 2018

By Event Coverage Staff

These teams have shown us their prowess on the battlefield all weekend. Let's learn some more about the final four.


Xinyu Fei / Chih-Cheng (Peter) Yeh / Zirui Zhou

Seat: A

Name: Xinyu Fei

Age: 22

Hometown: China

Occupation: Cleveland, Ohio

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
65th at Grand Prix Indianapolis 2017
Won PTQ Beijing

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Dinosaurs, I hate 2 drops and like 5-8 drops.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Green 12/12 Trample Elder Dinosaur [Ghalta, Primal Hunger]

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
They are always positive, and they are good players and good guys.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
On the draw, I kept a one-land hand with Commune with Dinosaurs. I completely missed on Commune and was stuck on one land for a turn. I still won that game. That was our win-and-in.


Seat: B

Name: Chih-Cheng (Peter) Yeh

Age: 26

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Occupation: Graduate Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
6th, 2015 Magic Online Championship Series
Writer for gamesquare.tv

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Merfolk

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Tetzlmoc, Primal Hunter

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
By listening to my ramblings and keeping me calm and focused.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
The hugs after making the Top 4.


Seat: C

Name: Zirui Zhou

Age: 17

Hometown: Shenzhen, China

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Went 12-3 twice at Grand Prix.
Team member of TCP (Team China Pal).

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Merfolk. Cause they are fast, and unblockable.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Stormfleet Sprinter

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
My teammates are great and won a lot of matches, even when I lost.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
When we locked into Top 4.


Eric Severson / Benjamin Weitz / Neal Oliver

Seat: A

Name: Eric Severson

Age: 25

Hometown: Davis, California

Occupation: Applied Mathematician

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Gold Pro with Team Massdrop East
This is my 6th Grand Prix Top “8”

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Dinosaurs. A little too slow for Limited, but Magic has long been missing this as a creature type.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Forerunner of the Heralds.

In any good Merfolk deck, your turns after playing him will be insane.

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
Carried me! I did not win a match that mattered for the first 10 rounds!

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Two very close losses where I could have played differently to win. Good thing Ben & Neal are great at Magic!


Seat: B

Name: Benjamin Weitz

Age: 27

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

Occupation: Software Engineer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Silver Magic Pro, 5 Grand Prix Top 8s, consistently medium Pro Tour results, member of Team Massdrop West.

Co-host of the podcast Allied Strategies with Neal Oliver

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Pirates. I think they have the coolest cards that do weird things

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Kitesail Corsair.

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
Pointing out the wrong lines.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Playing a really close game in Round 8 where we screwed up, but barely managed to win anyway.


Seat: C

Name: Neal Oliver

Age: 29

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Occupation: Special Education Technician

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
GP Vegas 2013 — 1st
GP Oakland 2013 — 2nd
GP Ottawa 2014 — 2nd

Member of U.S. World Magic Cup team — twice

Podcast co-host of Allied Strategies

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Chupacabras. I had three in my Day 2 deck and that tribe is REAL good.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Arch of Orazca. The card lets you win a grindy game and Ascend is sweet.

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
Ben won almost all his matches. Eric, not so much. But he won a ew key times. Also, we’re all great friends.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Top 4ing with one of my podcast members but not the other. Now I can poke fun at Tristan Killeen on the podcast, one of my favorite pastimes.


Shahar Shenhar / Lance Austin / Oliver Tiu

Seat: A

Name: Shahar Shenhar

Age: 24

Hometown: Jerusalem, Israel

Occupation: MTG Player

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
2 World Championships
4 Grand Prix wins

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Vampires is the best archetype. The cards in Black and White are just more powerful.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Profane Procession

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
Every match they helped me. Helping each other make decisions is the best part of team events.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
When Matt Costa, Dave Shiels, and Adam Snook won their last round to lock us in Top 4 (mistakes were made).


Seat: B

Name: Lance Austin

Age: 41

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Occupation: US Air Force officer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
A Top 8 bubble match at Grand Prix Dallas 2017
Top 32 at Grand Prix Denver, a few X-4s after.

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Merfolk. Love the tempo and power and I love sushi.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Hadana's Climb. Almost unbeatable on curve.

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
Great chemistry in the team. We built really well together. Also, they’re insanely good players—so there’s that.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Coming back from an 0-4 hole on Day 1 vs. the Madison Crew [(18) Matt Severa, (15) Sam Black, Justin Cohen]. I honestly wasn’t aware of the score at the time, but watched the coverage later and was in awe.


Seat: C

Name: Oliver Tiu

Age: 20

Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
2016–17 Rookie of the Year and Constructed Master

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Pirates, I love their Cutlass.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Sailor of Means

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
They carried me in some matches and made sure I ate enough.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Breaking my glasses.


Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa / Eric Froehlich / Ben Stark

Seat: A

Name: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

Age: 30

Hometown: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Occupation: Magic player and writer for Channelfireball.com

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
12 Pro Tour Top 8s!

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Vampires, I like their flavor and play pattern.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
Ravenous Chupacabra

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
They let me have the best deck both times!

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
When I played Polyraptor with Forerunner of the Empire and made 8 Polyraptors! [and on camera too…]


Seat: B

Name: Eric Froehlich

Age: 33

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Occupation: Channelfireball.com writer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Pro Tour Hall of Fame
5 Pro Tour Top 8s
2 Team Grand Prix wins

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
Humans. Go, team, go.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
There are many many many unbeatable cards in Rivals of Ixalan.

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
They’re good.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Winning all the matches.


Seat: C

Name: Ben Stark

Age: 34

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Occupation: None

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Hall of Fame
4 Pro Tour Top 8s — Pro Tour Paris 2011 Champ
24 Grand Prix Top 8s —Grand Prix Indy 2012 and Mexico City 2017 Champ

What is your favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan, and why?
I’m not into tribal.

Which Rivals of Ixalan card impressed you the most?
There are a ton of unbeatable rares.

How did your teammates help you this weekend?
We all won a lot of matches.

What was your most memorable moment of this weekend?
Putting Squire’s Devotion on Zetalpa, Primal Dawn.

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