Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on December 10, 2018

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

After fifteen rounds of Modern, only eight competitors could continue on. Meet your GP Portland Top 8 players!


Name: Steven Riecken

Age: 28

Occupation: Software Developer

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 4 Grand Prix Vancouver (with Avacyn Restored)

What deck did you play today, and why?

Turbo Druid: The format is skimping on interaction and I'm comfortable with the deck.

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

None of them were especially amazing. I just beat 'em.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

First Grand Prix Top 8 wasn't entirely luck! And a sweet trip and competition to look forward to.


Name: Daniel Geiter

Age: 25

Occupation: Community Engagement Specialist

Hometown: Spokane, WA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

What deck did you play today, and why?

I played Golgari Midrange because it was a deck with close matchups that allowed me to leverage decision making.

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

Surgical Extraction. I played against many comp decks where the ability to destroy or discard one of their key cards and remove it from the game was very important.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

This TOp 8 validates the thousands of dollars and hours I have spent on this game. Getting to here, my friends and wife show up to watch is moving.


Name: Tyler Putnam

Age: 24

Occupation: A dude

Hometown: Spokane, WA (but living in Las Vegas, NV)

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

I've done some things but this is the best.

What deck did you play today, and why?

I played Grixis Death's Shadow. It's always been the best. One mana 10/10s are too hard to resist.

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

Grim Lavamancer has been MVP all weekend. It killed a lot of Spirits.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

It means I have to catch an early flight in the morning.


Name: Aren Kasner

Age: 26

Occupation: Student

Hometown: Bellevue, WA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2-3 in the Legacy Grand Prix Seattle

What deck did you play today, and why?

Black-Green Elves. I picked it because I know it and like the deck.

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

Phyrexian Revoker is an answer to many different cards and he paid me well.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

It is great. I did not expect it.


Name: Adam Courtney

Age: 28

Occupation: Student

Hometown: Reno, NV

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

PPTQ Top 8s

What deck did you play today, and why?

Izzet Phoenix.

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

Spell Pierce. It is a cheap answer to either protect my threat or counter anything that I care about.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

This Top 8 means everything to me. I've been trying to do it for a long time, and having all the work and effort and playtesting with my buddy Gunnar (the person who really helped me become the player I am today) be worth it just means the world.


Name: Richard Tan

Age: 30

Occupation: Online Advertising

Hometown: New York City, NY

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Two Grand Prix Top 8s

What deck did you play today, and why?

Izzet Phoenix because my bros told me about it before it was cool. Shoutout to Matt and Sean!

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

Stony Silence because nobody could kill it.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

The opportunity to test and lay at the Pro Tour with my awesome friends.


Name: Yuta Takahashi

Age: 32

Occupation: Nothing (I live freely!)

Hometown: Chiba, Japan

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Two Pro Tour Top 8s; 12 Grand Prix Top 8s

What deck did you play today, and why?

Blue-Black Faeries. My history of Magic.

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

Nihil Spellbomb. I played against three graveyard decks.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

My third win with Bitterblossoms.


Name: Jonathan Corzo

Age: 25

Occupation: Software Engineer

Hometown: Boston, MA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Three PPTQ wins

What deck did you play today, and why?

Storm, because it's always the best deck! Been playing it two years and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Plus, turn two Empty the Warrens for six-to-ten Goblins is great.

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

Pieces of the Puzzle. It's by far the best way to combat gratuitous amounts of graveyard hate in the metagame.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?

This is my first Grand Prix Top 8, and my first Pro Tour invite! It means everything for my Magic career and hopefully I can Top 8 in the future.

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