Top 8 Profiles of Grand Prix New Jersey 2018

Posted in Event Coverage on October 28, 2018

By Marc Calderaro

Name: Brad Nelson

Age: 32

Occupation: SCG Content Producer

Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia

Previous Magic accomplishments:

19 Grand Prix Top 8s

3 Pro Tour Top 8s

2010 Player of the Year

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

“Stone Quarry Angels”. It's very good against Golgari and Izzet Spells.

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

All of them are great. Well, except Shock.

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

Dire Fleet Daredevil. You’ll have to wait for my article on the deck this week at Starcitygames.com

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

Not really. I only played against Golgari, Izzet and Jeskai

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

I am Legion.


Name: Nizar Sarhan

Age: 24

Occupation:

Hometown: Paterson, New Jersey

Previous Magic accomplishments:

Topped a Toy Wiz local

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Boros because Militia Bugler into Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice is nice.

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

Aurelia, because it’s the highest quality creature card in Standard.

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

Bounty Agent, because it kills Lyra Dawnbringer.

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

Dive Down from Oliver Tomajko, got blown out when I tried to Lave Coil his Crackling Drake

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

Boros, because I’m assertive and composed.


Name: Lirek Kulik

Age: 23

Occupation: Quantitative Teacher

Hometown: New York

Previous Magic accomplishments:

Hmm... Top 8 PTQ?

17th at Grand Prix Atlanta 2015

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Jeskai — seemed like Deafening Clarion is really strong and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is still one of the most powerful things to do.

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

Deafening Clarion. Three mana Wrath of God. That gains 10 life if you have a Drake in play.

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

My sideboard kind of sucks. Lava Coil is often relevant.

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

I was surprised Boros Angels is good.

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

Dimir. And Azorius.


Name: Zac Turgeon

Age: 32

Occupation: Currently Funemployed

Hometown: Drarut, MA

Previous Magic accomplishments:

SCQ Legacy Classic winner,

Have cast too many Blood Moons

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Selesnya Tokens, good against most things, playable for others

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

Flower // Flourish. Let’s you skimp on mana for long games.

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

Nullhide Ferox. It doesn’t die to small sweepers.

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

No.

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

Orzhov.


Name: Eduardo Sajgalik

Age: 30

Occupation: Community Consultant

Hometown: Montreal

Previous Magic accomplishments:

2x Pro Tour Top 8

?x Grand Prix Top 8 [This makes six, Eduardo. –Eds.]

5 National Team appearances (Old Worlds / World Magic Cup)

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Izzet Drakes

I enjoy Splinter Twin

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

Outside of obvious ones, 2nd Maximum Velocity was critical.

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

All useful.

Niv-Mizzet, Parun against Control.

Top-deck Fiery Cannonade to make Top 8.

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

Vona, Butcher of Magan J Forgot it existed!

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

Simic. Of course!


Name: Eli Kassis

Age: 35

Occupation: Psychotherapy Associates

Hometown: Binghamton, New York

Previous Magic accomplishments:

6th Grand Prix Top 8

Invitational Winner

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Jeskai, it had the most play to it.

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

Azor’s Gateway, made every hand smooth.

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

Banefire, no one saw it coming.

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

Not really.

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

Izzet, favorite colors.


Name: Kellen Pastore

Age: 28

Occupation: Grad Student

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Previous Magic accomplishments:

Top 4 Grand Prix Columbus

Winner SCG Philly

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Selesnya Angels.

Don’t ask Ralph Betesh.

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

Lyra Dawnbringer. She is big.

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

Carnage Tyrant. I don’t have to think once it resolves.

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

Selesnya Midrange. The ramp into Planeswalkers, play Settle the Wreckage was a great Control shell.

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

One of the white ones. I like community. Not Orzhov.


Name: Fernando David Gonzalez

Age: 29

Occupation: Magic Store Owner (Bazaar of Baghdad)

Hometown: Argentina

Previous Magic accomplishments:

Pro Tour Honolulu 2012

Magic World Cup 2013

Top 8 Grand Prix Sao Paulo

What deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it?

Jeskai Control. Good against Golgari.

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

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria – motor draw

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

Nive-Mizzet (“La Mamu”) – really good in the mirror

Did any card, deck, or interaction surprise you in the tournament? Why?

Star of Extinction – Instawin against Golgari

Revitalize – Time + Card

Regardless of your deck choice and play style, what Ravnica guild do you belong to in real life? Why?

Boros, I love it.

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