Magical Futures

Posted in Event Coverage on August 9, 2015

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.

“I'm really excited with my finish so far!” Nathan Steuer was just like many of the other players on Day 2. Sitting with just two losses and a draw, he wasn't in contention for Top 8 but the possibility of earning prizes and pro points kept him going.

He was also among the smallest players in the room.


Nathan Steuer started the day by winning in a Round 10 feature match.

Like Patrick Chapin and others, Steuer decided Abzan Control was the right call for this weekend. Steuer didn't see it until the last minute. “I really like the deck I started playing Friday–I had no experience. I picked it up and played three games before jumping in the tournament,” Steuer said. “I started to feel like there were no other decks that could compete. All the other decks are midrange and I feel like Abzan Control had better matches ups. Once you get down on cards, yours draws are usually better than your opponents. Your deck is more powerful. Nissa, Vastwood Seer alone has won me most of my matches this weekend.”

His youth belied his dedication to competitive play, and it had been half a decade of Magic in the making. “About five years ago I got into Magic at summer camp with friends. I was introduced to competitions about two and half years ago and I started playing at local game stores,” he said. “I wasn't doing very well but I got the feeling for Magic. A few months ago I started playing better than normal. This is my first Grand Prix Day 2 out of my three. I missed my win-and-in for Day 2 at Grand Prix Vegas.”

D. Veloz, the owner of Versus Games in San Francisco, one of the organizers for the Steuer and others to compete over the weekend “We called them attack wings. The first group came in without byes and the second came in with.” Veloz explained.


Nathan Steuer was just one of the almost two dozen players D. Veloz organized into battling all weekend in San Diego.

“There are about twenty of us here. We pulled the teams together and started practicing. There's a lot of up-and-coming players. That's what we try to do: The company is trying to take the amateur players and give them a training ground to get better. Almost seven days a week he's at the store playing. We used to tease him about the ‘13 and up' on Magic packaging until he cracked back ‘It's just recommended'.”

Steuer knew exactly what he wanted to do. “If I win two more I should be locked into Top 16,” he said. “The deck makes me feel more confident than other styles; I like control. My goal is to try as hard as I can to qualify for the Pro Tour. The next Grand Prix I'm definitely going to is Grand Prix Oakland in 2016. Every week I've been going to one or two PPTQs in the area. I've come close to winning several times. That's my next goal.”

“His improvement has been outstanding,” Veloz confirmed. “His finishes started outside Top 8 and shifted to Top 8s, then Top 4s. You can see the progression. We're proud of all our players. We try to instill respect. I tell them ‘Make sure you act respectfully to your opponent. Shake their hand. Even if you didn't make day 2 make sure you're having fun.' This is the next wave of players.”

Nathan Steuer's Abzan Control – Grand Prix San Diego

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