Grand Prix Toronto Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on February 11, 2018

By Corbin Hosler

Making the elimination rounds of a tournament as large as Grand Prix Toronto – more than 1,600 players strong – is an amazing accomplishment in the Magic world. These are the eight players that achieved that feat this weekend in Canada.


Name: Daniel Ward

Age: 33

Hometown: Catskill, NY

Previous Magic Accomplishments: 4 Grand Prix Top 8s, WMCQ Top 8 2015

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Bogles, it was a good meta call.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Dromoka’s Command. Chris Juliano said so!

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
Back on the Renegade Freighter


Name: Jon Stern

Age: 40

Hometown: Victoria, BC

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Grand Prix Atlantic City 2013 Champion, Grand Prix Atlanta 2014 Champion

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Burn. Played it at the Pro Tour last week and didn't really find anything better.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Skullcrack. More instant speed burn when I boarded out creatures.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
I guess it depends how it finishes. Pro Points are always nice.


Name: Luke Purcell

Age: 18

Hometown: Washington D.C.

Previous Magic Accomplishments: 5-0’d a league with Ramunap Red

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Jeskai, because answers are better than threats

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, cause I like her

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
I spent most of my money on the trip, so I won’t be a broke boy.


Name: Jonathan Zhang

Age: 28

Hometown: Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Won a MTGO Modern Challenge…?!

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Grishoalbrand – I like Turn two-ing people.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Bontu’s Last Reckoning – nobody expected it and I played a bunch of creatures.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
All my work with the archetype is paying off, with my first Pro Tour berth.


Name: Bertrand Joseph-Pare

Age: 27

Hometown: Montreal

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Junior Super Series Top 4

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Elves, it’s all I know. I like green things.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Reclamation Sage or Burrenton. I moved some of the best sideboard cards to the main.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
My first Pro Tour.


Name: Alessandro Pogorzhelsky

Age: 15

Hometown: Old Bridge, New Jersey

Previous Magic Accomplishments: A few Grand Prix and SCG cashes.

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Traverse Shadow; Brad Bonin told me to play it.

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

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
A Pro Tour invite.


Name: Benjamin Ragan

Age: 18

Hometown: Greenville, SC

Previous Magic Accomplishments:
2 SCG Open Top 8s, 9that SCG Indianapolis

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Affinity. I love cobbling together wins with my 0/1s and 1/1s. Then sometimes I draw Cranial Plating and I win.

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Ghirapur Æther Grid. It kills Lingering Souls and my opponent.

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
It means that all the time I have been practicing is working. I played my best Magic this weekend, and that means everything.


Name: Chris Dockrill

Age: 29

Hometown: Belleville

Previous Magic Accomplishments: PPTQ win, like, 2 weeks ago

What did you play this weekend, and why?
Burn, because I love casting Lightning Bolt

What was the best card out of your sideboard, and why?
Rest in Peace, because it got me into the Top 8 by beating Dredge

What does this Top 8 mean to you?
It means showing my local players that they can make a Top 8 if they believe in themselves.

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