Setting the Scene, Day 2 Edition

Posted in Event Coverage on June 26, 2016

By Marc Calderaro

We're back for the second day of Grand Prix Pittsburgh. How did the storylines from Day 1 pan out? Was White dominant? Is Team East West Bowl continuing their hot streak? And how does the race for Grand Prix Master look?

First: Yes. White is dominant. The incoming metagame breakdown will show just how much White there was. Green-White Tokens is 31% of the Top 100 decks, and the top five finishing archetypes all have White; and three of those five have Green.

It's all third-ranked Steve Rubin's fault. He just happened to win Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad with the best deck in the format. Corbin Hosler's metagame breakdown will going into finer detail soon. And we'll look to catch up with Rubin to talk about the evolution of the deck a bit later.

Second, East West Bowl, as usual, has some strong players still near the top tables, including one undefeated. It's first-ranked Seth Manfield, to the surprise of no one. The man is unstoppable. He's won two Grand Prix in as many months, and he's going for his third here. Alongside him are two other players from the Eastern contingent of East West Bowl, each at one loss—Jarvis Yu and Ben Friedman. Yesterday we looked at Friedman's eminently wacky 4.5-Color Dragons deck. And given his record, when the list goes up during Round 15, it will be worth revisiting that article, for sure.

Lastly, the race for Grand Prix Master is nowhere near decided. Tomoharu Saito picked up two points at Grand Prix Taipei (which has already finished), so he's technically in the lead—no longer tied with Brian Braun-Duin. And despite BBD going 7-0, he dropped the last two rounds and started the second day at 7-2. I caught him after Round 10, which he won, and he was feeling a bit better about things.

Though people keep saying the race is about Braun-Duin and Saito, potentially in the lead right now is, again, Seth Manfield. Though he just dropped his first round to be 9-1, he's still the best-looking point-getter for Grand Prix Pittsburgh. However, because he's not attending Grand Prix São Paulo, even with a great Manfield finish here, Braun-Duin and Saito can still catch him next week.

At the end of Round 15, we'll post a quick update on the points changes as a primer for what to look for the coming weekend in Brazil.

And don't forget about Emrakul. Emrakul, the Promised End just dropped, and the player reaction has been fierce. Mindslaver tacked onto a 13/13 Flying, Trample (with Protection from Instants!) is no joke. As Eldritch Moon rises on the horizon, we'll look to hear what the players think about the big dog on the block.

All that and more from Grand Prix Pittsburgh!

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