TOP 8 PROFILES

Posted in Event Coverage on March 12, 2017

By Meghan Wolff

Meghan is one half of the Good Luck High Five podcast and an adjunct professor at Tolarian Community College. She loves Limited, likes Modern, and dips her toes into each Standard season. She's decidedly blue and is the #1 hater of Siege Rhino in the Multiverse.

At the end of Round 15, only eight players remained. A few new faces joined a Top 8 full of Pro Tour regulars and a pair of Hall-of-Famers. Meet your Grand Prix New Jersey Top 8!


Name:
Paul Rietzl

Age: It’s impolite to ask.

Occupation: Executive Recruiter

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

I won a JSS Challenge at TOGIT in New Jersey in 2001. Outside NJ, Hall of Fame and some Top 8s.

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Mardu, because it has all the best cards and a one-mana 3/2.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Unlicensed Disintegration because it’s the only thing that beats Gideon. Also, Gideon.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Sorin, because it’s super fun.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

All I want to do is qualify for Worlds in Boston, where I grew up.



Name:
Ben Stark

Age: 33

Occupation: none

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

20 GP Top 8s, 4 PT Top 8s

PT Paris Champion

GP Indy Champion

MtG Hall of Fame

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Jund Energy, Scrounger and Unlicensed Disintegration are more consistent than in Mardu

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Fatal Push - it kills 4-drops for 1 mana

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Natural Obsolescence - it’s great against Tower/Gearhulk and against Scrounger/Heart of Kiran

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

Top 8 means 4 pro points, and a win means 8!



Name:
Robert Lombardi

Age: 33

Occupation: Engineer

Hometown: Hamilton

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

GP Toronto winner, PT scrub

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Mardu Ballista, it’s favored against the field.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Gideon, removal matches up so poorly against him.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Hungry Flames, nobody knows it exists

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

PT invite. Win would lock Silver for the year.



Name:
Jarvis Yu

Age: 32

Occupation: Statistician

Hometown: Rockville, MD

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

GP Seattle win, GP Columbus Top 8

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Mardu, deck plays most of the best cards in the format.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Veteran Motorist, scry makes your deck more consistent.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Archangel Avacyn. It’s a split card: Sulfurous Blast and Rootborne Defenses.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

Helps show other people that playing all formats strengthens your skill sets. Winning would put me much closer to Gold.



Name:
Ben Friedman

Age: 23

Occupation: Magic Mastermind coach, new Metagame Gurus member

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

4 GP Top 8s

What did you play this weekend, and why?

4-Color Saheeli with Walking Ballistas. The deck is tremendous.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Traverse the Ulvenwald.



Name:
Corey Baumeister

Age: 25 (26 tomorrow)

Occupation: Magic player

Hometown: Mandan, ND

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2nd at GP Miami

What did you play this weekend, and why?

4-Color Cats because I listen to my brother on just about every deck choice because he is great.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Cat, because there are infinity of them.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Release the Gremlins, because at worst it’s a 2-for-1.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

Top 8 is huge. It locks in a flight to Japan while getting closer to my goal of Gold. It would mean I haven’t been wasting my time this year.



Name:
Kyle Moran

Age: 18

Occupation: high school student

Hometown: Larchmont

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Going 5-4 at the last GP . . .

What did you play this weekend, and why?

4-Color Saheeli because I needed a deck for Standard and my friend had it on hand.

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Felidar Guardian because it is literally everything from a removal spell, card selection, and an infinite combo all rolled up into a 1/4 body.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Nahiri, because it is my only answer to Authority of the Consuls in the mirror for a game 2, when the game degenerates to a board stall.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

Given that I have never Day 2-ed a GP, I’m half expecting I will wake up from my dream any time now.



Name:
Brandon Ayers

Age: 25

Occupation: wizard

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8 GP New Jersey, Silver, teaming with Nathan Smith and John Rolf

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Mardu - I felt there were two choices, I chose the aggro deck!

What was the best card in your main deck, and why?

Avacyn, unexpected and great against Mardu and Saheeli

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?

Oath of Chandra, my roommate Jake and I wanted the transformational board.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? And what would it mean if you won?

I get to play all the Pro Tours for the 16-17 season, if I win I would lock Gold!

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