Closing the First Day: The 9-0 Team

Posted in Event Coverage on November 12, 2016

By Tobi Henke

There was much fun and laughter and banter in the feature match area in the last round, as one might imagine there would be, when two teams from the United Kingdom squared off with a 9-0 record on the line.

In fact, however, it was only Alistair Martin, Dan Burnand, and Minh Ngyuen who were still in contention to ace the first day. They were the only team in the tournament that even made it to 8-0; their opponents Steve Bains, Tom Law, and João Choca hadn't taken a loss yet, but they did have one draw to go along with their seven wins.

In the end, no one could put a stop to Martin's, Burnand's, and Nguyen's winning streak. They got the coveted 9-0. The excitement was big and the smiles were wide. Burnand was almost jumping up and down.

"We lost nine matches today. Nine matches!" he told everyone. Clearly, no one wanted to deny that there had been some luck involved in his team's nine consecutive 2-1 results.

Hailing from Oxford, England, the three players were regulars at the Magic tournaments run by the Gameskeeper store. They'd known each other for "two"—"no three"—"maybe three years," but had discovered the game much earlier. Naturally, when asked when they started playing, most of them gave a set name.

From left to right: Minh Nguyen, Alistair Martin, and Dan Burnand

"I've been playing since Fifth Edition," said Minh Nguyen, a 28-year-old economist. "Though I took a few breaks during that time."

27 year old Alistair who was currently doing his doctorate in statistics answered with "Scourge," while veterinarian Dan Burnand, the youngest of the bunch, at 25, said he'd been playing for three years only.

Laughs were had and faces were made when I asked them to list their previous Magic accomplishments. Minh Ngyuen had made the Top 8 at the Super Sunday Series once. Dan Burnand listed a Top 4 at the MKM Series. "Oh, and I Day 2-ed eight out of eight GPs. That's something, right?"

"I won Two-Headed Giant Nationals," said Alistair Martin. "I guess I was the player with the highest Two-Headed Giant rating in Scotland for, like, three years … I believe I win," he added with a triumphant smirk, literally looking down on his teammates, if only by virtue of being the tallest.

It was agreed that Martin's accomplishments did in fact outrank the others. But as for cool stories from throughout the day, Burnand pointed at Nguyen. "He definitely wins here. His deck was the coolest."

Said Nguyen, "Well, first thing you need to know is I was playing Boros Control splashing blue for three cards. In one game, I chump attacked with Padeem, Consul of Innovation, then cleared the board with Incendiary Sabotage, and afterwards played another Padeem!"

"His opponent didn't expect that!" Burnand commented. "Oh, and the sheer number of games he opened on Veteran Motorist, followed by some artifact and Padeem …"

Check out this and the other two decks below!

Alistair Martin's White-Black

Download Arena Decklist

Dan Burnand's Temur

Download Arena Decklist

Minh Nguyen's Jeskai

Download Arena Decklist

Latest Event Coverage Articles

December 4, 2021

Innistrad Championship Top 8 Decklists by, Adam Styborski

The Innistrad Championship has its Top 8 players! Congratulations to Christian Hauck, Toru Saito, Yuuki Ichikawa, Zachary Kiihne, Simon Görtzen, Yuta Takahashi, Riku Kumagai, and Yo Akaik...

Learn More

November 29, 2021

Historic at the Innistrad Championship by, Mani Davoudi

Throughout the last competitive season, we watched as Standard and Historic took the spotlight, being featured throughout the League Weekends and Championships. The formats evolved with e...

Learn More



Event Coverage Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All