Top 8 Profiles of Grand Prix Pittsburgh 2018

Posted in Event Coverage on June 24, 2018

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.

Congratulations to the GP Pittsburgh Top 8 players, who topped the field after fifteen tough rounds of Standard.


Name: Jack Kiefer

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

I got to Pro Tour before my brothers.

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

UW Gift. It is a deck that I have played before as a metagame call and I thought this was the perfect time to bring it out.

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

Champion of Wits. It does everything the deck wants to do.

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

Turn 4 Gift?

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

I would be the youngest person to win a GP.


Name: Scott Matthews

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Occupation: Warranty Technician

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8d RPTQ Dominaria

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

UB Control, because it has a good matchup against red and has more consistent mana than Esper.

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

The Scarab God, because it provides a fast clock against aggro and doubles the effectiveness of my Gearhulks against control.

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

I used a Torrential Gearhulk to cast the Memory half of Commit // Memory in response to a Refurbish targeting God-Pharaoh's Gift.

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

Everything.


Name: Paul Dean

Hometown: Toronto

Occupation: Tax Accountant

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

1 PT Top 8, 4 GP Top 8s

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

BR Chainwhirler. It is very difficult for other decks to sideboard against and beat both the aggressive and midrange side of BR.

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

Goblin Chainwhirler. It is a Plague Wind + repeated Lightning Strike + Moat, all in one.

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

A situation where I held a Chandra's Defeat for several turns, until they tried to Chandra's Defeat my Hazoret with a Soul-Scar Mage in play. I killed the mage in response for a very profitable exchange.

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

It would mean I could afford to buy my own Goblin Chainwhirlers, from Face to Face Games in Toronto - conveniently located near Woodbine Station - visit them for all your hobby needs!


Name: Morgan McLaughlin

Hometown: Windsor, ON

Occupation: Robotics Engineer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

4th, GP Montreal 2016

1st, GP Toronto 2018

9th, PT Dominaria

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

RB Chainwhirler. Been tuning BW Benalia for two months, but finally realized it just wasn't as good. Took the easy way out.

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

Bomat, because Paul Dean told me not to play it.

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

Flipping Glorybringer off Chandra on camera.

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

Last 6 weeks have already been incredible. Another win would have me looking for some sort of alternate dimension nonsense. It would lock for Gold which would be so insane.


Name: Braham Thomas

Hometown: Saint Charles, IL

Occupation: “The Gaming Goat”

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Uhm . . . I won a PPTQ to the Pro Tour I was just invited to.

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

Mono-Red Aggro, I've been playing it for a while, and I think it's by far the best deck.

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

Bomat Courier, Scavenger Grounds. They both won me a few games.

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

Ha . . . interesting? I played mono-red . . .

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

Hi Mom, thanks for driving me to a million FNMs as a kid.


Name: Zach Allen

Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Occupation: Insurance Underwriter

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8 a team SCG, 5th at GP Indianapolis (RIX Team Limited), winning a tryout to hose the Modern-focused podcast Turn1Thoughtseize.

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

Esper Control, I love Torrential Gearhulk and Teferi

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

I think Torrential Gearhulk was the most clutch this weekend, but Teferi is the best card overall and it's not close.

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

Beating multiple Knight of Graces and Arguel's Bloodfast out of Black-White Knights with Dynavolt Towers.

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

Exposure for my store, RIW, and my podcast, Turn1Thoughtseize.


Name: Mike Sigrist

Hometown: Foxboro, MA

Occupation: Magic player

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Doing Pro Points podcast with Paulo Vitor and Sam Black.

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

UW Control. Red decks were trying to cannibalize each other.

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

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Search for Azcanta

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

Way too many to count

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

Insta Platinum


Name: Oliver Tiu

Hometown: Cambridge, MA

Occupation: Student

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 4 of 3 team GPs in a row

What deck did you play this weekend, and why?

UB, it's really fun

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

The Scarab God, for obvious reasons

What was your most interesting play this weekend?

Killed two of my opponent's creatures with a Chainwhirler I got back with a Scarab God.

What would winning GP Pittsburgh mean to you?

I would be closer to paying for school.

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