Top 8 Player Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on August 9, 2015

By Adam Styborski and Marc Calderaro

Learn more about Grand Prix San Diego's Top 8 competitors by taking a look through their profiles!


Loren Eakins

Age: 25

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

30th at Grand Prix Sacramento

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Green-White Megamorph. I felt it was the most well-positioned deck in the format.

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

Den Protector. The card lets you go long with any deck and can force through a lot of damage.

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

Hangarback Walker. The card is so difficult for opponents to deal with. It sets up so many situations where the opponent has no visible plays because the Thopters are coming.


Corey Burkhart

Age: 23

Hometown: Alta Loma, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Losing playing for SCG Top 8s, a MOCS finals, and one Pro Tour appearance

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Abzan Aggro. The deck applies heavy pressure to the linear decks while having game against other control strategies. Cutting all the Hero's Downfalls was a big part of the deck.

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

Herald of Torment. The card steals so many games. After that, Sandsteppe Citadel.

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

Self-Inflicted Wounds in the sideboard are fantastic. I had four this week on Magic Online up until Friday night where I added a Duress.


Dan Ward

Age: 30

Hometown: Jefferson Height, NY

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Grand Prix Top 8 Vancouver, phoenix
RPTQ Winner (Season 1)

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Black-Red (Over-the-Top) Dragons. Well-positioned for the metagame. Stormbreath Dragon; need I say more?

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

Strombreath Dragon! It's hard to kill and it kills quick. A lot of removal played currently doesn't line up well against it.

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

Duress. It made the matchups with less creatures better. Basically, takes the card I need to prevent my Dragons/Goblin Rabblemasters from dying.


Paul (Soohwang) Yeem

Age: 24

Hometown: San Diego and Berkeley, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

PTQ win for Pro Tour Journey into Nyx

11th at Grand Prix Atlanta

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Esper Dragons. I won a Grand Prix Trial with it (and I expected more Green-red Devotion).

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

Draognlord Ojutai. It finds Dig Through Time.

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

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. It can basically flashback Dig Through Time.


Ben Weitz

Age: 25

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Grand Prix Toronto Top 8; finalist Grand Prix Portland

35th Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir

54th Pro Tour Magic Origins

Silver in Pro Players Club

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Jeskai Midrange because Blue-Red Ensoul Artifact and Red Aggro can be soft to unanswered Soulfire Grand Master or Mantis Rider, and Jace and Dragonlord Ojutai are very powerful cards.

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

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Fantastic powerful card with applications early and late game. Jeskai has a lot of conditional removal like Wild Slash or Valorous Stance, and Jace lets you find the right one and even cast it again.

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

Tragic Arrogance. It destroys Enchantress (Constellation) and Blue-Red Ensoul Artifacts, and I played each of those decks twice.


Michael Majors

Age: 24

Hometown: Augusta, Georgia

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

2 Grand Prix Top 8s
2 Pro Tour Top 16s

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Blue-Red Tutelage; I trusted Seth Manfield's extensive testing—five matches against it on MTGO.

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

Sphinx's Tutelage—can't actually win without it.
Honorable Mention to Treasure Cruise, allowing me to play a bad eternal deck.

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

Fiery Impulse — Functional Lightning Bolt against Fleecemane Lion and Mantis Rider


Artur Villela

Age: 33

Hometown:

Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

A couple of Grand Prix Top 8s (Rio 2013; Orlando 2014)

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Abzan Constellation, Jonathan “Jonais” Lobo told me to, and I trust him blindly.

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

Brain Maggot. It's an incredibly powerful card in a field with a limited amount of removal spells. It also helped me a lot to win games where I didn't play my best.

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

Hero's Downfall. It's not spectacular, but it sees a lot of play after Game 1.


Paul Rietzl

Age: 30

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ by way of Boston, MA

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Pro Tour Hall of Fame

11th Grand Prix San Diego 2011

What did you play this weekend, and why?

Abzan because it plays really good cards, gives you lots of decision points, and is very customizable after sideboarding.

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

Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Doubles by allowing you to cast two spells in a turn versus aggro while winning you long games with his activated ability.

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

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Great way to win unwinnable games and use all those extra lands from Courser of Kruphix/Nissa, Vastwood Seer and card draw.

Latest Event Coverage Articles

2018 Magic Online Championship

May 19, 2019

2018 Magic Online Championship Final Standings by, Wizards of the Coast

Place Name Record Prize 1 Mattia Oneto 11-5 $40,000 2 Kenji Egashira 10-4 $20,000 3 Marcio Carvalho 11-3 $10,000 4 Barnardo Torres 11-3 ...

Learn More

Articles

Articles

Event Coverage Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All

We use cookies on this site to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze web traffic. By clicking YES, you are consenting for us to set cookies. (Learn more about cookies)

No, I want to find out more