Grand Prix Sydney
Day 2 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on January 20, 2013

By Wizards of the Coast


  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 6:04 p.m.
    I’d like to thank the Judges, my Mom, Giant Rubber Ducky...
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 5:24 p.m.
    Quick Questions - Finish this sentence: “Rubber Ducky...”
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 5:13 p.m.
    Quick Questions - The Gatecrash prerelease is next weekend! Where will you be Crashing your Gates?
  • by Pip Foweraker
    Round 12 Feature Match
    Martin Juza vs. Justin Cheung
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 3:44 p.m.
    Quick Questions - Which Guild do you prefer to draft in Return to Ravnica?
  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 3:18 p.m.
    Super Sunday Series
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 2:35 p.m.
    Quick Questions: Which Gatecrash preview card excites you the most?
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 1:01 p.m.
    Quick Questions: What was the best card in your deck on day one?
  • by Pip Foweraker
    Round 9 Feature Match
    Stanislav Cifka vs. Shuuhei Nakamura
  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 11:21 a.m.
    Round 10 : There can be only one
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Sunday, 11:12 a.m.
    Australian Road Warriors
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

Sunday, 11:12 a.m. – Australian Road Warriors

by Event Coverage Staff

Australia is, as we like to put it, bloody huge. It's the same physical size as the USA, except instead of Texans we have the world's deadliest collection of snakes, spiders, sharks, crocodiles, bunyips, drop-bears and swimming knives this side of a Bond villain's lair.

Despite the fact that our entire country seems specifically designed by Nature to maim the unwary, Grand Prix: Sydney has attracted a record-breaking 692 players over the course of the weekend.

And how they have travelled – we have contingents from every corner of Australia – from Perth, the world's most geographically isolated capital city, through Hobart and Auckland (Although some players claim New Zealand is its own country).

The Adelaide Assembly

I caught up with Lee Copus, owner of Infinity Games, one of Adelaide's best-loved Magic stores. Lee and the Adelaidian Magic community organised a truly impressive contingent this year, with more than 30 players making the 1,407km journey up to Sydney. Adelaide has a proud history in Australian Magic, producing a National Champion, a good handful of National Team members, and a community of judges and players that is widely recognisable at all Australian Magic events. The range of players is impressive: Lee had brought his 9-year-old son, Ben, along for the weekend, who has been having a fantastic time at the GP.

Lee talked about how useful having access to social media like Facebook has been. "We were able to organise ourselves far better than we had previously", Lee said. "The store made a 'GP Sydney' Facebook group, and members posted decklists, talked about the Sealed format, and used the page as a gathering place to organise flights and hotel rooms amongst the players."

Lee highlighted how useful it was to have somewhere where players could organise themselves easily and efficiently. Coordinating accommodation amongst groups of Magic players – no easy task – becomes much easier where there's a place to post information and coordinate times.

The Tasmanian Contingent

Tasmania is a little place in a big country, and has been forgotten about by the mainland on more than one occasion. Nonetheless, Tasmanians are some of Australia's most avid Magic roadies, making regular pilgrimages to the 'mainland' for PTQ's, Nationals, and the more recent WMCQ's. Tasmania regularly punches above its weight, 'stealing' mainland PTQ's and giving Australia a Nationals team member, Maitland Cameron, in 2011.

This year a sizeable Tasmanian team flew their way up to Sydney for the weekend. I had a chat with Ricky Aherne, Level 1 judge and pillar of the Tasmanian community, about their travel plans. The team had, like the Adelaide crew, mostly organised themselves on Facebook, and are sharing accommodation near the venue. More uniquely, Ricky has traveled not only as a player but also a legal guardian – several Tassie players are under 18, their parents entrusting Mr Aherne as a chaperone for the weekend.

"I've tried not to debauch them too much", Aherne said, "But they insist on drafting Golgari. What can you do?"

The Internationals

Australia, in addition to being very large, is quite far away from the rest of the world. Without the advantage of plane tickets, it can be an economic strain for international players to attend Australian or NZ GP's.

A healthy handful of players from the Asia-Pacific are in attendance. Japan is directly above Australia, so for many Japanese pros, Australian GP's are their only chance to fly somewhere without jetlag. Czech players Martin Juza and Stanislav Cifka have made their way out after GP: Singapore, staying with some Sydney players and engaging in some of our national pastimes – beers and barbeques. Cheers!

Sunday, 11:21 a.m. – Round 10 : There can be only one

by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

Many older players will be familiar with the casual format affectionately referred to as "Highlander" where players can play no more than 1 copy of any card in their deck. Here in Australia, were life can be pretty competitive, what with all of the deadly animals and the like, we have a competitive Singleton format known as "7 Point Highlander."

In 7 Point Highlander, certain cards usually found on Banned or Restricted lists have been given a point value between 1 and 4, and your deck cannot contain more than 7 points of these cards. For instance, Ancestral Recall , Black Lotus , and Tinker are worth 4 points. Demonic Tutor , Sol Ring , Moxes and a few other tutors are worth 3 points. Things like Balance , Library of Alexandria , and Tolarian Academy are worth 2, and a bunch of powerful stuff is worth 1 point, like Hermit Druid , Mana Drain , Oath of Druids , and Stoneforge Mystic . The full points list, which is updated every few months or so, can be found here.

Gideon Hallam-Walsh emerged as victor of our 7 Point Highlander Public Event at the end of day one with the following list.

Gideon Hallam-Walsh

Download Arena Decklist
Gideon Hallam-Walsh won the 7 Point Highlander Public Event. I mean, who could beat him with a name like that?

Round 9 Feature Match - Stanislav Cifka vs. Shuuhei Nakamura

by Pip Foweraker

Game 1

Nakamura led the action with a Centaur's Herald and a Brushstrider . Cifka summoned a Doorkeeper , while Nakamura had a Gatecreeper Vine to sit through his mana. Cifka summoned a Drudge Beetle , while Nakamura had a second Herald. Cifka had a Rubbleback Rhino , Nakamura popping one of his Heralds and then summoning Stonefare Crocodile . Neither player was keen on attacking.

Nakamura grew his army with a Golgari Longlegs , which Cifka was quick to kill with an Auger Spree . Cifka summoned a Viashino Racketeer , and both armies stared each other down across the battlefield. A second Stonefare Crocodile for Nakamura meant he outnumbered Cifcka's army considerably. Both players played draw-go for a few turns, the Doorkeeper slowly going to work on Nakamura's library.

Nakamura summoned a Phantom General , while Cifka had an Axebane Guardian to bolster his defense. Nakamura had seen enough,and swung with two Centaurs , his Brushstrider and two Stonefare Crocodile s. After blocks, Cifka lost his Drudge Beetle and Racketeer, and Nakamura binned a token and a Crocodile. Post-combat, Nakamura summoned a Keening Apparition and passed.

An opportunity to pun? Cifka would Nivver Mizzet.

Cifka tapped his Guardian to summon Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius . Nakamura frowned and hurled an Explosive Impact at it, but Cifka had a Launch Party to ease the sting a little, killing Nakamura's Phantom General . Nakamura attacked, knocking Cifka to 8, but Cifka had a Street Spasm to clear Nakamura's board. Nakamura rebuilt with a Centaur Healer , but Cifka had a Grisly Salvage to net himself a Chaos Imps .

After an impressive two-turn reversal, Cifka went from being on the ropes to in a comfortable position, his Chaos Imp taking huge chunks out of Nakamura's life total. Nakamura looked at the ground defenses arrayed against him and decided to move on to the next game.

Stanislav Cifka 1 - Shuuhei Nakamura 0

Game 2

Nakamura began the action with a Centaur's Herald , using a Giant Growth to take down Cifka's Doorkeeper . Cifka had a Mana Bloom to help him ramp ahead, and summoned a Rubbleback Rhino , which fell to Nakamura's Centaur after a Savage Surge .

Cifka had no action, letting Nakamura summon another Herald and a Concordia Pegasus . Cifka found a Sluiceway Scorpion and an Axebane Guardian to give himself some board presence. Nakamura traded his Centaur for the Scorpion, but the Pegasus got in for a little nibble.

7.3s after this photo was taken, the oxygen at Nakamura's focal point spontaneously combusted.

Cifka summoned an Ogre Jailbreaker and scavenged his Scorpion onto it. Nakamura kept pressing with his Pegasus, leaving his Herald back to block the Jailbreaker for a turn. Cifka summoned his Chaos Imps – more than a match for the Pegasus – before passing. Nakamura had a Centaur Healer but was unable to attack. Cifka had a Thoughtflare to re-stock his hand, but that was just rubbing salt in the wound as the Jailbreaker and Chaos Imps crashed in to take the match.

Stanislav Cifka 2 – Shuuhei Nakamura 0

Sunday, 1:01 p.m. - Quick Questions: What was the best card in your deck on day one?

by Pip Foweraker and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
Wilfy Horig - "I don’t want to say Pack Rat but... Pack Rat .”
Hao-Shan Huang – " Explosive Impact . I had Jace, Architect of Thought and Supreme Verdict , but Impact was better than both."
Martin Jůza – “ Skymark Roc . I wasn’t lying to blisterguy when I said my deck was terrible!”
Walker MacMurdo - " Bloodfray Giant .”
Shuhei Nakamura – " Supreme Verdict . apart from the games where my opponents had Rootborn Defenses ."
Matt Rogers – “I should say Pack Rat , but Korozda Guildmage was actually better.”

preview card excites you the most?

by Pip Foweraker and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
Isaac Bickerstaff (Brisbane) - "Boros Charm.”
Jonathan ‘Chips’ East (Wellington, NZ) – "Gideon, Champion of Justice."
Tom Rees-Lee (Sydney) – “Boros Charm.”
Jacob ‘Fox Murdoch’ Moriarty - “Gruul Charm.”
Nathan Brewer (Canberra) - “Cloudfin Raptor.”
Erin Wood (Melbourne) - “I’m a Dimir girl, so every card with cipher.”

Sunday, 3:18 p.m. - Super Sunday Series

byRay "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Have you always wanted a guided tour of Wizards of the Coast in Seattle, followed by dinner with actual Wizards of the Coast employees, and maybe even a draft or two? I have done these things myself, and I can tell you that you definitely want these things.

If somehow, that's not enough for you, what about there also being a tournament with a total prize pool of $20,000 to be shared by no more than around 40 players? I knew that would get your attention.

On Sundays at Grand Prix events for the rest of this year, we'll be running the Super Sunday Series, where the winner from each tournament gets a trip to Wizards of the Coast in Seattle in January 2014, where they'll get to... ok, I've covered that part already.

So how does it work? Each Super Sunday Series consists of a Sealed Deck tournament, and a Standard tournament. The Top 4 players from each tournament progress to the Super Sunday Series Final Draft Booster Draft playoffs. The Top 4 players from there get a super special Grand Prix messenger bag, and the winner will be winging their way to sunny Seattle to shack up with Aaron Forsythe and chums, and to compete for $20,000.

(disclaimer: sunshine and shacking up is in no way guaranteed.)

Both flights of the Super Sunday Series are well underway here at GP Sydney this weekend. Remarkably, we had 110 players sign up for each flight exactly. So if you don't think this is the most awesome Public Event idea you're ever heard, that's 220 players with more of a clue than you.

220 people would rather fancy a trip to Wizards of the Coast in Seattle, and so should you, because it's awesome.

Sunday, 3:44 p.m. - Quick Questions: Which Guild do you prefer to draft in Return to Ravnica?

by Pip Foweraker and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
Jason Chung: “5-Color.”
Martin Jůza: “Golgari, but I’m flexible.”
Jeremy Neeman: “Azorius.”
Aaron Nicastri: “Golgari.”
Tomoharu Saito: “Selesnya.”
Adam Witton: “Selesnya.”

Round 12 Feature Match - Martin Juza vs. Justin Cheung

by Pip Foweraker

Game 1

Juza started the action with a Centaur's Herald and a Gatecreeper Vine , then followed up with a Centaur Healer . Cheung Syncopate d it, leaving Juza to summon a Korozda Monitor . Cheung flashed in a Hussar Patrol , then cast an Azorius Arrester and attacked Juza, who had no action on his turn.

Cheung summoned a Runewing , and Juza made a Centaur and cast Grisly Salvage during his end phase, netting himself a Towering Indrik , which he then cast. Cheung summoned a Selesnya Sentry . Juza scavenged his Golgari Decoy onto his Korozda Monitor , but Cheung summoned a Soulsworn Spirit , detaining Juza's Towering Indrik and swinging with his Runewing . Juza exiled it with a Trostani's Judgment , netting himself a second Centaur token.

Justin Cheung lays down the Martial Law .

Juza swung with his Centaurs and the Monitor. Hussar Patrol , Azorius Arrester and Runewing all jumped in front of one Centaur, and Selesnya Sentry blocked the other. Juza summoned Rubbleback Rhino and a Sewer Shambler . Cheung had a Concordia Pegasus but little else, looking a little nervous at the growing army on Juza's side of the board.

Juza attacked with his Shambler, which Cheung killed with his Pegasus. Cheung cast a Martial Law , and Juza scavenged his Shambler onto his Rhino, then cast a Grim Roustabout . Cheung summoned an Isperia, Supreme Judge , which, over the next few turns, proceeded to beat Juza to death while the Martial Law kept the ground battles sufficiently entangled.

Justin Cheung 1 – Martin Juza 0

Game 2

Juza had the first action of the second game, summoning a Drudge Beetle . Cheung had the much-admired new Prahv Guildmage, but Juza summoned a Stonefare Crocodile and swung in regardless. When Juza attacked with his team, Cheung blocked the Crocodile and pumped his Guildmage with a Swift Justice . Juza tried a Towering Indrik but Cheung's Syncopate stopped it cold. Cheung summoned a Runewing , while Juza swung with his Beetle and summoned a Gatecreeper Vine and a Trestle Troll .

The accused, Martin Juza, has been detained for questioning.

Cheung summoned an Azorius Arrester , detained the Trestle Troll , and attacked with his Runewing and Guildmage. Juza, on the defensive, cast a Skull Rend , clearing Cheung's hand. Cheung drew and cast a Martial Law while Juza summoned a Towering Indrik . Juza attacked with his Drudge Beetle , and Cheung flashed in a Hussar Patrol to kill it. Post combat, Juza summoned a Sewer Shambler

Cheung switched into beatdown mode, giving his creatures flying with the New Prahv Guildmage and crashing in through the air to avoid Juza's clogged ground defenses. The authoritative combination of Martial Law and a New Prahv Guildmage was too much for Juza, who submitted to the forces of justice.

Justin Cheug 2 - Martin Juza 0

prerelease is next weekend! Where will you be Crashing your Gates?

by Pip Foweraker and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
Will Hoskin (Adelaide): “Sports Card World, Adelaide.”
Jonathan ‘Chips’ East (Wellington, NZ) - “The Badcave, Palmerston North.”
Allan Barclay (Christchurch, NZ) - “Wizards Retreat, Christchurch.”
Jacob ‘Fox Murdoch’ Moriarty - “Mega Games, Penrith.”
Dillon Kikkawn (Canberra) - “Good Games, Canberra.”
Luke Emerton (Tasmania) - “Area 52, Tasmania.”

Sunday, 5:24 p.m. - Quick Questions: Finish this sentence: “Rubber Ducky...”

by Pip Foweraker and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
Steven Aplin - “Is the one for me!”
Wilfy Horig - “Would first-pick a Runewing.”
Robert Jackway - “Lots of fun!”
Luke Mulcahy - “I love you!”
Shuhei Nakamura - “... R-Rubber Ducky?”
Oliver Oks - “You’re the one!”

Sunday, 6:04 p.m. - Quick Questions: I’d like to thank the Judges, my Mom, Giant Rubber Ducky...”

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Any Grand Prix as fantastic as this cannot happen without a great team, so here they are, with their serious faces on:

The Judge Team, headed up by Nathan Brewer.

Lindsay Heming and the great team from Top Deck Events.

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