2010 Community Cup 

Two Community Cups, two wins for the Community team. Victory was in doubt until the last round of Standard, when Brad Nelson, Gavin Verhey, and Victor Bloodgood all finished with 3-0 records in the format to secure the title.

Wednesday's action featured Mirrodin Block Draft and saw the Community jump out to a big lead. The Community team extended its lead early Thursday after the Rise of the Eldrazi Sealed Deck rounds but Wizards struck back in Commander, narrowing the gap to a mere 10 points. But the Community team proved its mettle in Unified Standard, pushing the final margin to a comfortable 37 points.

With the win, the Community team earned a free Mirrodin Block draft set to everyone who contributed to any of the 2010 Community Cup threads in the MTGO group forums. Congratulations to the team and everyone who helped them to victory!


  • by Nate Price
    Photo Essay: Out and About Seattle at the Community Cup
  • by Nate Price
    Friday, 1:45 p.m.: Down to the Wire
  • by Nate Price
    Friday, 10:10 a.m.: The Standard Showdown
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Deck Lists: Unified Standard
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Thursday: Rise of the Eldrazi Sealed Deck action, the Wizards Commander Comeback, and more!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Deck Lists: Unified Commander
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Deck Lists: Rise of the Eldrazi Sealed Deck
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Wednesday: Mirrodin draft action, touring Seattle, Community blogs, and more!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Deck Lists: Mirrodin Booster Draft
  • by Joseph Hil
    Profiles: Wizards Participants


Team Points
Community Team 299
Wizards Team 262

Friday, 10:10 a.m. – The Standard Showdown

by Nate Price

It's all down to this...eight players per team, three rounds, and a 10-point difference. Which team will emerge victorious in the Unified Standard rounds Friday morning?

Friday, 1:45 p.m. – Down to the Wire

by Nate Price

Coming into this, the final event, the Community team was clinging on to a tenuous ten-point lead. After managing to even up the final round of the Unified Commander format late yesterday, they managed to avoid having to face down a multiball multiplier as well, meaning that the Wizards team would have to beat them legitimately—no extra points, no tricks.

It all came down to the Unified Standard format. This was an interesting test of both teams' deckbuilding prowess, as the most powerful cards in the format, which usually show up in multiples across a few different decks, would have to be split in an appropriate manner across the eight decks. Only four Jace, the Mind Sculptors. Only four Vengevines. Only four Gideon Juras. Building was a chore.

Luckily for both teams, they have accomplished deckbuilders on their rosters. The Wizards decks were designed by none other than the Mad Genius of Magic, Erik Lauer. Lauer was so good at breaking cards and formats that he actually managed to parlay that into a job in Magic R&D where he is now literally breaks Magic professionally.

The Mad Genius at work.

The Community team had the exhaustive efforts of Gavin Verhey. Verhey had a huge impact on the Community team after joining fairly last minute. For the MD5 draft format, he reached out to his many contacts in the professional community to help prepare the Community team for a format that they were fairly unacquainted with. For Commander, he and Joseph Hill spent a huge amount of time (and a couple of late nights) preparing, dividing the card pool, and building their decks. Despite this massive expenditure of time and effort, he still managed to find time to design the team's Standard decks.

The deck roster for the two teams was fairly similar. Both teams featured the traditional Jund and Blue-white Tapout decks. They also featured a version of the Bant deck, albeit different builds. The Community opted to run a Next Level Bant deck similar to the one Brian Kibler used to win Grand Prix–Sendai last weekend. Wizards chose to run the Eldrazi Conscription deck since it ran fewer overlaps with their other decks. Both teams also had Naya Allies decks and Eldrazi Green decks. The two red decks used by the teams differed primarily due to the lack of Plated Geopedes and fetch lands in the Wizards deck. Both teams had a mono-color aggro deck, the Community running Vampires to the Wizards' White Weenie deck. The final decks were Time Warp-based combo decks. The Wizards team chose to run Open the Vaults as opposed to the Blue-green Turboland deck sported by the Community team.

With the decks divvied out and the players dispersed to the play areas, play began with a huge contingent of Wizards employees watching from the sidelines. The first match I checked in on was Brad Nelson playing Blue-white Control against Mark Gottlieb playing White Weenie. Nelson has "a little experience" with his deck, most recently using it to win Grand Prix–Washington D.C. Between Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Gideon Jura, he managed to stave off Gottlieb's army for long enough to wipe the board with a Day of Judgment. Eventually, the planeswalker duo started sending a 9/9 flying Gideon Jura over at Gottlieb. The next game had an interesting moment with six Kor Soldiers from Conqueror's Pledge facing six Soldiers from a Martial Coup. Gottlieb's tokens had the advantage, thanks to two Honor of the Pure, and they ultimately took the game. The final game was all about Gideon Jura. The powerful planeswalker was able to stall the game out long enough for a Day of Judgment to clear the way for a Baneslayer Angel to take care of the rest for Nelson.

Dr. Wombat couldn’t withstand FFfreak and Gideon Jura.

The neighboring game had Erik Lauer with blue-white Tapout and Marin Baraba with Eldrazi Green, and it started off well for the Community team. Despite a Wall of Omens protecting a Gideon Jura, Baraba's Wolfbriar Elemental and Leatherback Baloth were able to create enough of a swarm to get the planeswalker out of there, soon followed by Lauer's life points. Unfortunately the buck (or Wolves, I guess) stopped there. Games two and three were dominated by the planeswalker fort of Gideon Jura and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Before I could get over to check on the next match of Tom LaPille with Open the Vaults and Gavin Verhey with Jund, it was a finished contest. Apparently, Verhey managed a turn-two Putrid Leech both games, which was just too fast for the Open the Vaults deck to handle.

"Gavin Verhey knows how to play Jund. I don't ever get to play a turn-two Putrid Leech. You're so awesome," Tom deadpanned perfectly.

"I drew the Leech on the second turn in that last game. Just thought you should know," Verhey admitted with a smile.

Equally as fast was the last game of the main room, Callum Milne running mono-red and Ryan Dhuse running over Milne's deck with Mythic Conscription. On turn five both games, Dhuse had assembled a Sovereigns of Lost Alara and an attacker. Add to that a Battlegrace Angel and the lifelinking monster was more than Milne's Mountains could handle.

In the first of the satellite rooms, Ed Grabianowski and Mike Gills went Vampires to Elves against one another. The first game was a tight affair. It ultimately came down to Kalastria Highborn only being able to drop Gills down to two life before he was able to swing for a lethal 16 thanks to Eldrazi Monument. The next game was significantly faster. A super-quick draw from both players ultimately came down to Great Sable Stag, which is absolutely impossible for a Vampires deck to get rid of. Gills just hopped on the Stag and rode it to victory.

Next to them, Dave Humphreys piloted his version of mono-red against the Next Level Bant deck of Evan Erwin. Unfortunately for Humphreys, Erwin's draws were spectacular, involving multiple Vengevines (nice card, donk), and Humphreys just couldn't find a path through the creatures. When he wasn't able to find enough burn to finish the job, the match fell to Erwin and that evened the score up at two apiece.

Evan and Ed go in the tank while Marin watches on.

The last room featured Peter Knudson running his Jund deck into Joseph Hill's Blue-green Turboland deck. Game 1 was standard Jund—play some creatures, Blightning you, etc. Hill had absolutely no gas and rolled over quickly. Apparently, the first game was just his way of building things up to critical mass. After a decent amount of mana acceleration, he managed to take turns five, six, and seven before dropping an Avenger of Zendikar and powering the plants up twice. Unfortunately, the fun stopped there. The final game featured the perfect draw for Jund, which Hill just couldn't handle.

The last match of the first round was Dave Guskin and Victor Bloodgood running the Naya Allies mirror match. Game 1 was strange, with Guskin never finding a third land yet managing to have far more creatures on the board thanks to Harabaz Druid. When things seemed dire for Bloodgood, he found a Naya Charm to clear the path for him to alpha strike for the win. The next game was similar to the first in that Guskin was mana-screwed, but he didn't have the Druid to recover and keeled over pretty quickly. Two one-land mulligans led to a five-card hand with only one land, and Guskin wasn't about to go to four cards.

At the end of the first round, the Community team and Wizards were evened up, leaving the overall advantage with the Community. Round two had some fun hits. In Nelson's match against Knudson, they split the first two games in typical manner. The third game came down to a few factors. First, Knudson, being coached by Alexis Jansen, started to run quite low on time. He was bashing Nelson down turn after turn, but Nelson was doing a great job of stemming the bleeding with Spreading Seas on manlands and Day of Judgment. Eventually, at one life, he was able to stick a Baneslayer Angel and stage a comeback. On the final turn, needing to draw a burn spell or a Malakir Bloodwitch, Knudson drew a Mountain, prompting Jansen to laugh and advise him to "just afk and time out."

Verhey's games were exact opposites of one another. After stabilizing at three after a long fight for control against Ryan Dhuse, he was able to start working his way back with a Siege-Gang Commander. After that close swingy game, he managed to Lotus Cobra into a turn three Siege-Gang in the next, ending that game in spectacular fashion. Right next door, Callum Milne and his red deck took Guskin's Allies deck to the cleaners, giving the community a three-match advantage in the second round.

Undeterred, the Wizards team began their comeback. First Humphreys took his red deck and destroyed Grabianowski. Next, Gottlieb managed to win his match against Hill despite a mulligan to five. Stalled on six lands (which feels strange to say), Hill was unable to find a seventh land for All is Dust despite drawing eight cards over three turns. Thanks to the window, Gottlieb used a Conqueror's Pledge to run Hill over.

Fortunately for the Community team, Bloodgood's Allies deck was very strong against the monogreen Eldrazi Elves of Gills. Talus Paladin and Kabira Evangel powered an army of unblockable, lifelinking allies to take the match. Marin Baraba was able to pull out his match against Tom LaPille's Open the Vaults combo deck, as well, putting the Community up at least one match in the second round. Wizards managed to dodge a bullet when Zac Hill, who had tagged in for Lauer for a match, managed to take Evan Erwin out despite multiple Vengevines in all three games.

Marin Baraba needs more Allies.

With one round to go, and Wizards was considerably behind. They would need to 6-2 the next round in order to stand a chance of preventing the Community victory. Inauspiciously, Evan Erwin and his Vengevine army ran roughshod over Mark Gottlieb's monowhite deck. In the monored mirror match, Callum Milne got one-upped by Dave Humphreys. After going all in on Devastating Summons for five, Milne was destroyed when Humphreys untapped and responded with an all-in Summons for six. Dhuse continued to run over people by managing two more turn-five Conscriptions against Marin Baraba. LaPille managed to win his match, as well. At one point, after going off against Grabianowski, he smiled and said, "It's alright. I'm going to win this turn."

Those are big elementals.

With Wizards mounting quite the comeback, the Community simply needed one of its last matches to come through to mathematically eliminate the Wizards team. Fortunately, Joseph Hill was up to the task. After Fogging a lethal attack from Mike Gills, he played an Avenger of Zendikar and managed to find a pair of Terramorphic Expanses with his Oracle of Mul Daya to make all of his plants freaking huge. One turn later, they marched over to seal the round, event, and championship for the Community team!