Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on December 17, 2017

By Marc Calderaro

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

Name: Daniel Weiser

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Age: 22

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

1 Grand Prix Top 8, 1 Grand Prix Top 16

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

White-Black – played a lot of vampires and increased their power and toughness.

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

Black-Green, Draft 1 – Put auras on creatures and attacked

Green-White, Draft 2 – Put cutlass on vampire tokens and win in the late game

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

No.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

2nd Grand Prix Top 8 keeps me alive and competing vs. my friend and teammate San Ihlenfeldt in the Rookie of the Year race.

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

Became the World Champion of a different card game.


Name: Seth Manfield

Hometown: Columbia, MD

Age: 27

Occupation: Magic Pro

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Pro Tour Ixalan Winner; 2015 World Champ

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

I was Black-Green, a very unusual color combination! Colossal Dreadmaw killed my opponents.

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

White-Black Stuff and Green-Blue Merfolk.

I didn't think the White-Black deck was that good, but it performed really well, there is a lot you can do with that color pair.

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Grim Captain's Call, it returned three of my creatures!

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

I get to play more Magic!

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

Winning Pro Tour Ixalan


Name: Mike Sigrist

Hometown: Foxboro, MA

Age: 34

Occupation: Magic Pro

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2015 Player of the Year; 3 Pro Tour Top 8s

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

Blue-Black Pirates – won all but one game on Day 1!!!

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

First deck my teammate hooked and cut me. [(6) Martin Juza]

Second deck was near perfect.

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Legion Conquistador. I didn't realize it could get all copies. Neither did Matt Costa.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Another day, another dollar.

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

Seeing Paulo and Sam P play for a Pro Tour title with the two decks we worked hard on.


Name: Nicholas Mohammed

Hometown: Floral Park, NY

Age: 30

Occupation: Filmmaker

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Day 2 at Grand Prix Portland

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

No rares made it into my final deck. Luckily though, I had a good amount of vampires. If I've learned anything about Ixalan it's to always go vampires no matter what. Maybe merfolk if you must, but vamps rules in Ixalan. Also speed is key.

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

The first draft was the best Limited deck I've ever put together. Six bomb removal spells plus a nice spread of different vamps. Only got mana flooded in one match.

The second draft was the most intense Magic experience I've ever had and I'll admit, I definitely got lucky.

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Argul's Blood Fast – Someone used it against me this weekend and it was so effective I used it in my final draft deck.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

Now I can tell Aunt Monique if she still thinks it's a waste of time. Also now my friends will quit calling me a scrub.

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

This is definitely in the running!


Name: Gerard Fabiano

Hometown: Belleville, NJ

Age: 34

Occupation: Teacher/Volleyball coach

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

52 Pro Tours played, 11th Grand Prix Top 8 , three Grand Prix wins, Pro Tour Top 4 2002.

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

Blue-Black Medium Pirates, 7-2.

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

6-0. Red-White 14 Lands, and Blue-Black-red Pirates

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Yes. The 1R Enchantment that deals 1 if you sacrifice a creatures or artifact. [Makeshift Munitions]

Not that bad.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

That even though Huey, Owen, Reid runs the streets, me and Josh Taylor run the cul-de-sacs.

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

When I opened Ancestral Recall in a Magic Online Draft.

"Shout out to Ben Lundquist and shout out to Sammy Tharmaratnam!"


Name: Kale Thompson

Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Age: 30

Occupation:

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Canadian National Champion 2017

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

Heavy removal Green-White Dinosaurs. Drew Round 3 but won the rest wit ha good curve and Settle the Wreckage.

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

2-1 with a very good Red-White deck

2-1 with a kind of bad Red-Green Dino deck, but Captivating Crew was very good.

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Not really?

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

A Pro Tour qualification and a decent shot at Silver.

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

Winning Nationals for Magic, and my first anniversary for not-Magic.


Name: Valentin Mackl

Hometown: Vienna, Austria

Age: 25

Occupation: Play the game, see the world.

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

7-17 record at the last three Pro Tours, got a deck feature at an 0-5 record.

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

Black-Red Aggro had some rares—6/6 for six, deal 3 (opop) [Burning Sun's Avatar].

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

Red-White-black first deck was broken [redacted]; very beatdown, much nice.

Green-Blue second deck was below average but Cancel felt like a 1st pick (I had two).

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Argul's Blood Fast was good in Sealed.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

I lose some Euro because I have to get a new flight, but other than that, it's nice. J

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

Probably this 2k17 has not been kind to me Magic-wise. [Eds.– What about now, Valentin? What about now?]


Name: Josh Taylor

Hometown: Stroudsburg, PA

Age: 27

Occupation: N/A

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

40th Pro Tour Atlanta, SCG Invitational Top 8

What was your Sealed pool like and how did the rounds play out?

I went Black-Green-red utilizing the few removal spells I had. Red splash for the two Green-Red Dino rare and uncommon.

Cobbled Wings is a Sealed bomb.

How did your Drafts go? How did the rounds play out?

3-0 Draft #1, Green-White. Cards in pod were weak so the bigger guys played well.

1-0-2, White-Black. Good removal.

Did any particular card surprise you this weekend? Why?

Cobbled Wings. [See above]

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

A lot. I wanted the invite more than anything. Weeks of playing were rewarded.

What was your favorite moment of 2017 (Magic or non-Magic)?

Making this Top 8 with Gerard and Mike.

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