Posted in GRAND PRIX MILAN 2015 on December 13, 2014

By Tobi Henke

Well, we certainly don't want to speculate about anyone's net worth here, but at the very least the people we'll be name-dropping in this article have all earned some four- or five-figure amount of US Dollars playing Magic. (Two—guess who!—have even breached six-digit territory.) Along the way, they made the Top 8 of numerous Grand Prix and Pro Tours, have earned trophies and titles as well as the respect of their peers, and most importantly: they have made our list of players to watch. So we did watch them, specifically to find out what decks the famous players decided to bring for this event. 

But first let's take a look at the complete list—which might actually not be completely complete; we probably missed a couple of names. But rest assured, there's more than enough Magic prowess here:

Alessandro Portaro, Alexander Hayne, Andrea Mengucci, Andreas Ganz, Andrejs Prost, Chapman Sim, Daniel Fior, David Reitbauer, Dmitriy Butakov, Eduardo Sajgalik, Elias Watsfeldt, Eliott Boussaud, Emanuel Sutor, Fabrizio Anteri, Florian Koch, Frank Karsten, Helmut Summersberger, Ivan Floch, Jacob Wilson, Jan Tomcani, Javier Dominguez, Jérémy Dezani, Justin Robb, Loïc LeBriand, Louis Deltour, Lukas Blohon, Marcio Carvalho, Martin Jůza, Matej Zatlkaj, Michael Bonde, Mike Krasnitski, Nam Sung-Wook, Nicolas Vanderhallen, Oliver Polak-Rottmann, Ondrej Strasky, Patrick Dickmann, Pierre Canali, Pierre Dagen, Pierre Sommen, Robin Dolar, Tamás Glied, Thiago Rodrigues, Thomas Enevoldsen, Thomas Holzinger, Thoralf Severin, Till Riffert, Tzu Ching Kuo, Valentin Mackl, Vjeran Horvat, and Wenzel Krautman.

That's 50 players playing 50 decks. So what are the most popular archetypes among this select crowd?

In First Place … Delver

To no one's big surprise, the blue-red-based tempo deck with Delver of Secrets and Young Pyromancer took the top spot. A total of 14 of the above players chose to run some variation of this familiar theme. However, only three of them stayed in two colors. Three others added green, eight added a splash of white, making Jeskai the most popular of the Khans of Tarkir clans by far.

In Second Place … Jeskai Ascendancy

A completely different flavor of Jeskai, the breakout Modern deck of last week's World Championship could convince a total of seven pilots. This rather middling turnout suggests that maybe a lot of players still counted the new three-color version among the decks to beat—but, with the surprise advantage worn off, possibly didn't consider it the best deck to play anymore.

Sharing Third Place … Scapeshift and Birthing Pod

Two old staples of the Modern format could claim five adherents each. The last Modern Grand Prix's results had proved that both decks still had game in the new environment, especially with fresh additions in Dig Through Time and Siege Rhino, respectively.

In Fourth Place … Black-Green Rock Decks

A total of four players pinned their hopes on rock, good old rock. Three of these decks were of the Abzan persuasion with one classic Jund deck thrown in for old time's sake.

Fifth Place …

Three people each chose to run Tarmo-Twin, Affinity, and Martyr of Sands, the latter in, well, not all the colors of the rainbow, but in quite different color combinations. One Martyr of Sands deck was mono-white, one was green-white, and one was Mardu.

And the Rest …

One Burn, one Jeskai Control, one Jeskai Aggro-Control, one red-green Through the Breach deck, and two red-green-white Zoo decks brought up the rear—a further testament to the variety of viable decks in the current Modern format.