Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on October 12, 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.

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


Joe Lavrenz

Age: 35

Hometown: Fond du Lac, WI

Previous Magic Accomplishments: None (This is my first Grand Prix).

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? Black-Red Devoid, went 8-1.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? White-Blue with Noyan Dar, went 3-0, then Red-White Allies and went 2-1.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? Complete Disregard and Vile Aggregate. That card led to some crazy damage in Sealed.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Kiora, Master of the Depths since it’s an excuse to play green-blue. Also I could use one for Commander.

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Misty Rainforest.


Paul Rietzl

Age: 30

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Member of the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame; Top 4 competitor at the 2015 World Championship; third Grand Prix Top 8 this season.

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? Esper Ingest; went 8-1.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? Black-Red Devoid and went 3-0, then Blue-Red Devoid and went 2-1.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? I really liked Molten Nursery. It’s removal, inevitability, tricky, and fun.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Ob Nixilis Reignited, it seemed like everyone had one.

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Arid Mesa!!!


Jérémy Dezani

Age: 25

Hometown: Paris/Orleans, France

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Eight Grand Prix Top 8 appearances; winner of Pro Tour Theros and 2014 Player of the Year.

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? I went 7-2 playing Temur.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? Black-Red Ingest; 3-0, then White-Black Allies; 3-0.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? Eldrazi Skyspawner and Kalastria Healer.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Nothing special, I like all the archetypes.

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Flooded Strand.


Sam Pardee

Age: 26

Hometown: Berkeley, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Seven previous Grand Prix Top 8 appearances; carried Jacob Wilson at Grand Prix Detroit 2015.

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? White-Black mythic rares, went 9-0.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? Blue-Red splash for Converge, went 3-0. Then Blue-Black Control, going 1-2.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? Valakut Invoker overperformed for me.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Quarantine Field.

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Marsh Flats.


Raphaël Lévy

Age: 34

Hometown: Toulouse, France

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Member of the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame.

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? Blue-Red with Drowner of Hope and Akoum Firebird. I went 8-1.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? Blue-black, going 3-0, and then black-green going 2-1.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? If I win, it will be in my deck.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Some colorless cards.

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? I’d rather not open any on camera… and I’ve yet to see them all!


Magnus Lantto

Age: 34

Hometown: Malmo, Sweden

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Magic Online Championship Series winner in 2014; Grand Prix Milan champion; 5th at the 2015 World Championship.

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? Blue-Black Eldrazi, went 9-0.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? I went 2-1 with both Green-White Allies and Bant Converge.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? In Sealed, it was Spell Shrivel. In Draft, Tajuru Warcaller.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Scalding Tarn - let’s create some controversy again!

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Misty Rainforest.


Jon Graham

Age: 26

Hometown: Cary, IL

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Um… I won a 5k one time.

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? White-Blue Fliers. I had Planar Outburst and Quarantine Field. Enough said. I went 7-1-1.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? Blue-White Fliers, and Blue-White Fliers. Went 3-0 with both.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? Eldrazi Skyspawner, Ghostly Sentinel, and Fortified Rampart. Evasion is really good in this format.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? An Expedition so I can draft it, which I did today!

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Godless Shrine.


Andrew Maine

Age: 25

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Multi-time coffee shop draft champion!

What did you play Saturday, and how did you do? I went 8-1 with Blue-Red Devoid tempo.

What did you draft today, and how did that go? I went 3-0 with Blue-Red Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and then went 2-1 with Red-Green Landfall.

What were your best commons or uncommons this weekend? Why? Plated Crusher. Trample is absurd in this format.

What do you want open for pack one, pick one? Why? Hedron Archive. It’s versatile and everything I want to do in Magic.

Which of the Zendikar Expeditions do you like the most? Breeding Pool.

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