769 players showed up at Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2016 with their eyes on the Top 8 and a run at the trophy. Despite being a smaller-sized Grand Prix than say, Grand Prix Providence, it doesn't mean that it was going to be a walk in the part. Due to the high number of three-bye players as well as seasoned players, it was nothing but a rough road to the top.
After 9 rounds of contest, there are three 9-0 players, namely Anthony Lee from Australia, Marcus Oh from Singapore, and Mark Lawrence Tubola from the Philippines.
From left: Lee, Oh, and Tubola – the trio leading the pack.
For the trio, it was an exhilarating day culminating in reaching at the top with the pristine record. That wasn't to say that their journey had come to an end, because there were six more rounds tomorrow and to break the Top 8 they would need to pick up at least three more wins for their chance to shine.
Coincidentally, all three players have chosen to play White-Blue Flash, a deck popularized by Joey Manner at Pro Tour Kaladesh. Each of them had slightly different takes on their main deck, deviating by a handful of cards while maintaining the core of Spell Queller, Selfless Spirit, Reflector Mage, and Archangel Avacyn, backed with a light touch of removal and countermagic. I won't spill the beans too much, but it looks like Gisela, the Broken Blade is good enough to play in the main deck, presumably excellent against the sea of Smuggler's Copters and opposing aggro decks.
What is the reason that White-Blue decks are dominating here in Kuala Lumpur? Word on the street is that majority of the Japanese contingent were also aligned to this color pair.
We promise to return with a more detailed metagame breakdown tomorrow. In the meantime, we'll let Lee, Oh, and Tubola head back to their beds. They need to keep up their race to the top and I believe they'll have very sweet dreams tonight indeed.