As expected, Steve Rubin casts a long shadow across Grand Prix Toronto. Fully nine of the twenty 7-0 players are playing versions of the White-Green Tokens deck that crowned him champion of Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad. Though Rubin himself is already saddled with a loss, his teammates Brian Braun-Duin and reigning Player of the Year Mike Sigrist are doing him proud. It will be interesting to see how much sideboard space players have dedicated to ruling the mirror.
A distant second is Mono-White Humans, with three pilots. The Sons of Wescoe will have their work cut out for them, and hopefully have done their homework on the matchup against tokens. After that it’s a mixed bag of Black-Green Aristocrats, Red-Green Goggle Ramp, and Black-White Eldrazi. While Bant Company has holy a single player at 7-0, there are a number of players on 6-0-1 who followed finalist Andrea Mengucci’s lead, and still more at 6-1.
The absence of any flavor of Esper Control is something of a surprise, though it is notoriously unforgiving of the novice player. I also didn’t spot any Humans decks splashing blue, perhaps signalling that aggro players have taken the importance of speed to heart.
Just two rounds remain until the cut to Day 2, when we’ll have a clearer picture of what’s being played out there.