TOP 4 PROFILES

Posted in Event Coverage on April 9, 2017

By Chapman Sim

148 teams battled at Grand Prix Mexico but only four teams remain after 14 rounds of intense competition. Let's get to know these 12 players a little!

Kazuyuki Takimura / Shota Takao / Toru Inoue

Name: Toru Inoue

Age: 28

Hometown: Fukuoka, Japan

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8 at Grand Prix Beijing 2016

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Shota Takao and Kazuyuki Takimura, because Takimura is the master of Team Limited.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Takimura is a great leader. He kept our spirits up and helped us maintain the best mental condition to compete.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Freejam Regent and Herald of Anguish. I had both cards in both of my Sealed Decks.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
As above.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Cycling Dual Lands.


Name: Shota Takao

Age: 28

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Three other Grand Prix Top 8s

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Takimura is a master at Team Limited and Inoue is a “Limits” Champion. (“Limits” is a large scale Limited tournament held in Japan.)

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

They're crazy.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Smuggler's Copter.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Our Sealed pools on Saturday and Sunday were very similar, even the uncommons and rares!

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Soul-Scar Mage. It feels like Kazuyuki Takimura's Invitational card if he had one.


Name: Kazuyuki Takimura

Age: 32

Hometown: Japan

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Champion

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Shota Takao and Toru Inoue, because both of them are great players!

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Toru Inoue won all his matches on Day 1. He is a really good Limited player.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Baral's Expertise

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Saturday's card pool was very close to Sunday's card pool.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Soul-Scar Mage (He looks like me.)


Andrew Cuneo / Eric Froehlich / Ben Stark

Name: Andrew Cuneo

Age: 41

Hometown: Philadelphia, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2nd place at Pro Tour New York 2000

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Ben Stark and Efro.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Ben didn't eat at Subway this weekend. Efro didn't let Ben eat at Subway.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Lifecrafter's Bestiary

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Drawing three cards in a single turn with Lifecrafter's Bestiary.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Irrigated Farmland (or the rumored Miscalculation)


Name: Eric Froehlich

Age: 33

Hometown: Las Vegas, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Pro Tour Hall of Fame, 4 Pro Tour Top 8s and 14 other Grand Prix Top 8s.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Ben Stark and Andrew Cuneo. I wanted to be #2 on the official rankings on ChannelFireball.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Ben is the best Limited player in the world and Andrew is a world-class Magic player.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Chandra's Pyrohelix

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
I'm really glad to be part of another smooth and awesome run by ChannelFireball. Teams is the best format.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

I haven't checked the new cards out yet.


Name: Ben Stark

Age: 33

Hometown: Coral Springs, Florida, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Pro Tour Hall of Fame, 4 Pro Tour Top 8s, 20 other Grand Prix Top 8s, Pro Tour Paris 2011 Champion, Grand Prix Indianapolis 2013 Champion.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Efro and Andrew Cuneo. They're good at Magic.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Well, they're good at Magic.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Fatal Push

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Winning the tournament (hopefully).

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Gideon of the Trials


Jon Stern / Greg Ogreenc / Stephen Neal

Name: Jon Stern

Age: 39

Hometown: Victoria, Canada

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

7 other Grand Prix Top 8s including two wins.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Greg Ogreenc and Stephen Neal. I've teamed with Greg for a while and we needed a third person who could win every match.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Both are awesome teammates who are process-oriented and understand how to work within the constraints of their teammates' strengths and weaknesses.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Winding Constrictor and Ridgescale Tusker

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Sweating tiebreaks and jumping two teams in the last round.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Cycling Dual Lands.


Name: Greg Ogreenc

Age: 30

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8 at Grand Prix Toronto 2013 and Grand Prix Kansas City 2013.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Jon Stern and Stephen Neal. Jon provides a calm, deliberate temperament while offers a dose of Madison Limited expertise.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Stephen (he went 9-0) helped me carry Jon yesterday and he is a good friend of mine from Wisconsin. Jon has been my teammate for a few consecutive Grand Prix and he has great work ethic.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Caught in the Brights and Restoration Specialist in Day 1 and double Renegade Freighter in Day 2.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Stephen lost one match all weekend while Jon only won four matches. When Jon won Round 9, we joked that we couldn't lose.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Not sure, haven't looked at the cards yet.


Name: Stephen Neal

Age: 31

Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8 at Pro Tour Magic Origins, Top 8 at Grand Prix Atlantic City 2015, Madison-Milwaukee City Champion.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Greg Ogreenc and Jon Stern because they're pretty awesome.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Greg always thinks through his plays to the right one, while Jon just always knows right away.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Baral's Expertise, Release the Gremlins, Skysovereign, Consul Flagship and Saheeli's Artistry.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
A three-way tiebreaker fight for two spots, which we won. I also won all my matches until the final round.

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Regal Caracal.


Jacob Wilson / Matthew Nass / Samuel Pardee

Name: Matthew Nass

Age: 25

Hometown: Stanford, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

7 Grand Prix Top 8s with 3 wins and Top 8 at Pro Tour Kaladesh.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Sam Pardee and Jacob Wilson, like always.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

They try hard.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Defiant Salvager and Demon of Dark Schemes.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
Moving Caught in the Brights to a hexproof creature using Felidar Guardian to attack for lethal. I earned a smart point for that!

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Hazoret the Fervent


Name: Jacob Wilson

Age: 22

Hometown: Las Vegas, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2 Team Grand Prix wins and 2 Pro Tour Top 8s.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Matt Nass and Sam Pardee. Team for life!

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Matt made one smart play this weekend. Sam is good at modifications.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Skysovereign Consul Flagship, Nissa, Vital Force and Ridgescale Tusker.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
We stayed in a luxurious suite!

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Haven't checked it out yet.


Name: Samuel Pardee

Age: 27

Hometown: Berkeley, California, USA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

9 other Grand Prix Top 8s and Top 8 at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon.

Who did you team with this weekend and why?

Jacob Wilson and Matt Nass. They're fun to hang out with and I don't mind sacrificing some equity.

Say something nice (if possible) about your teammates.

Matt earned 1 smart point this weekend to accompany his 2 arrogance points.

What was the best card(s) in your decks this weekend?

Dawnfeather Eagle in Day 1 and Longtusk Cub in Day 2.

What's your most memorable moment this weekend?
The tiebreaker sweat for the Top 4!

What is your favorite previewed Amonkhet card so far?

Hazoret's Favor or any of the Cartouches.

Latest Event Coverage Articles

December 19, 2019

Grand Prix Oklahoma City 2019 Final Standings by, Wizards of the Coast

Rank Player Points Prize Money 1 Carlson, Matt [US] 37 $6,000 2 Foreman, Matt [US] 37 $3,000 3 Cole, Conor [US] 36 $1,500 4 Majlaton, Alex [...

Learn More

December 11, 2019

Grand Prix Brisbane 2019 Final Standings by, Wizards of the Coast

Rank Player Points Prize Money 1 Gibson, Kyle [AU] 36 $6,000 2 Yeh, Chih-Cheng [TW] 37 $3,000 3 Thompson, Chris [AU] 37 $1,500 4 Lee, Anthon...

Learn More

Articles

Articles

Event Coverage Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All