Class of: 2010
Hometown: Oceanside, California
Debut: Pro Tour–Chicago 1998
Lifetime Pro Points: 248
Began Pro Tour career at the age of 15 in the Junior division of the very first Pro Tour in New York ... Known as The Dragonmaster for famously Armadillo Cloak-ing up Rith, the Awakener in his first Pro Tour Top 8 ... Came back to the Pro Tour in 2009 and posted three Top 8s in six events, including a win in Austin ... Prolific writer, commentator, and socially networked personality for Magic for his entire career.
Brian Kibler has seemingly had three Magic careers as a professional. His playing days go back all the way to the frozen streets of New York City and the very first Pro Tour in the Junior Division. It was not until Chicago 1998 that he would get to play in the big leagues, when he got there by winning one of the tougher Grand Prix Top 8s of all time.
"I played in the Junior Division of the very first Pro Tour, which I 'qualified' for by having my mom call in. Tough stuff, huh?" laughed Kibler about the first steps on his road to the Hall of Fame. "I didn't have quite as easy a ride qualifying for my first 'real' Pro Tour, though, which I did by winning Grand Prix–Toronto back in 1997. Everyone I played in the Top 8 of that event went on to work at Wizards, including Hall of Famer Mike Turian, PT champion Matt Place, and mad genius Erik Lauer. For that Pro Tour, I ended up playing the same deck as Jon Finkel almost card for card. He went on to finish third and start his reign as the best player in the world, while I slipped back into obscurity for a few more years."
He played in two Pro Tours that first year and despite a Top 64 finish in LA 1998 he did not get back there until the tail end of the 1999-2000 season which he would close out with a Top 64 finish at Worlds. He would earn his first Top 8 and an indelible nickname: The Dragonmaster. Playing in the semifinals of Chicago 2000 Kibler squared off against Hall of Famer Zvi Mowshowitz in a Fires of Yavimaya Standard mirror match ... except Kibler had something special in store for Zvi and the throng of onlookers.
"My dream is to make these kids' dreams come true," said Kibler, pointing a finger to the crowd as he sided in his famous Armadillo Cloaks. "They want to see Rith with Armadillo Cloak smashing you from the red zone."
Kibler won the match with exactly those two cards and earned a special place in the hearts of Magic players everywhere and his third-place finish was the best Pro Tour showing of the second leg of his career. During that time he would make the Top 8 of a Grand Prix five times with two trophies to show for his efforts, make the Top 8 of Nationals multiple times, and become one of the most popular writers and personalities in the game before retiring at the end of the 2004 season—a year before the advent of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame.
When Kibler did not get into the Hall of Fame during his first couple of years of eligibility as a retired player, he experienced a new-found fire to play and suddenly found himself back in the PTQ trenches looking for a blue envelope that would let him start the third leg of his career. He won a PTQ and the right to compete in Pro Tour–Honolulu and promptly made his second career Top 8. It was at his very next Pro Tour that he finally did what he had been trying to do for more than a decade and a half when he won Pro Tour–Austin. In the six Pro Tours since his return, Kibler has made the Top 8 three times with a win, made two Grand Prix Top 8s including his third career win, and earned the Hall of Fame induction that drove him back to the PTQ circuit the year before.
"I definitely felt like I'd missed an opportunity when the Hall of Fame was announced after I'd stopped playing on the Pro Tour," said Kibler. "I knew that my past results wouldn't cut it and also knew that I could have done better. I think the biggest change in my game since my first run on the Pro Tour is just maturity. I have a much better perspective on the game and on life in general, and it helps me stay focused at times that I may have otherwise gone off the rails in the past."
Kibler has admitted that getting back to the Pro Tour through the PTQ circuit was harder than he thought it would be initially, and part of his joy at being inducted was knowing that he would never need to return to that grind.
"I actually once joked a few years ago that I wanted to get voted into the Hall of Fame just so I'd never wake up on a Saturday and think that going to play in a PTQ was a good idea. I may have had immediate success once I got back on the Pro Tour, but it took me a long time to get there again, and I'm not sure I could do it again. I sure am glad I don't have to!" Kibler said of his road to the Hall of Fame.
When thinking about the impending ceremony at the World Championships in Chiba, Kibler responded with humility.
"I'm still not sure I believe it," he said. "I'll be sure to pinch myself when I'm up on stage to make sure I don't wake up as the 13-year-old kid who thought his deck of nothing but Llanowar Elves, Wild Growths, and Craw Wurms was unstoppable. Literally nothing I've done in my life has had a bigger impact than playing Magic. I've traveled the world, met countless amazing people, many of whom became my closest friends, and built a career making games all because one day I saw some people with some cards that looked cool and decided to check it out.
"I'm thankful every day for what Magic has brought to my life, and I see my Hall of Fame induction as an indication of the effort that I've put forth to leave my mark on it," said Kibler. He went on to single out several people he wanted to thank for their hand in his career. "Ben Rubin, for being a remarkable testing partner and one of the smartest guys I've ever met. Success in Magic does not occur in a vacuum, and I would not have done as well without Ben in my corner. All of my fans—it's so weird to me that I have fans, even today—for supporting me and cheering me on.
"More than anything, to my number one fan, my mother Kathy, who sadly cannot see this because she passed away from cancer several years ago," Kibler said. "She always supported me in pursuing my dreams ever since I was young, even when those dreams involved a teenage kid flying around the world playing cards. I wouldn't be here without her, in more ways than one. We did it, Mom. This is all for you."
THE POWER OF BRIAN
Creature (20)4 Man-o'-War 4 Ophidian 4 Serrated Biskelion 4 Vodalian Illusionist 4 Waterspout Djinn
Enchantment (3)3 Abduction
Sideboard (15)1 Power Sink 2 Ray of Command 2 Boomerang 2 Disrupt 1 Dream Tides 1 Flooded Shoreline 2 Floodgate 2 Knight of the Mists 2 Undo
Blue (48)4 Man-o'-War 4 Ophidian 4 Vodalian Illusionist 4 Waterspout Djinn 3 Abduction 4 Dissipate 4 Impulse 2 Memory Lapse 4 Power Sink 3 Ray of Command 2 Boomerang 2 Disrupt 1 Dream Tides 1 Flooded Shoreline 2 Floodgate 2 Knight of the Mists 2 Undo
3 (24)4 Man-o'-War 4 Ophidian 4 Serrated Biskelion 4 Vodalian Illusionist 4 Dissipate 2 Knight of the Mists 2 Undo
Common (42)17 Island 4 Quicksand 4 Man-o'-War 4 Ophidian 2 Memory Lapse 4 Power Sink 3 Ray of Command 2 Boomerang 2 Knight of the Mists
Uncommon (26)4 Serrated Biskelion 4 Vodalian Illusionist 4 Waterspout Djinn 3 Abduction 4 Dissipate 2 Disrupt 1 Dream Tides 2 Floodgate 2 Undo
Mythic (4)4 Impulse
Creature (25)4 Ancient Hydra 4 Birds of Paradise 4 Blastoderm 3 Jade Leech 4 Llanowar Elves 2 Rith, the Awakener 4 River Boa
Sorcery (4)4 Armageddon
Instant (3)3 Wax // Wane
Artifact (4)4 Chimeric Idol
Sideboard (15)4 Armadillo Cloak 2 Flashfires 3 Kavu Chameleon 1 Obliterate 2 Simoon 3 Tsabo's Decree
White (4)4 Armageddon
Black (3)3 Tsabo's Decree
Green (25)4 Birds of Paradise 4 Blastoderm 3 Jade Leech 4 Llanowar Elves 4 River Boa 3 Wax // Wane 3 Kavu Chameleon
Colorless (28)4 Brushland 4 City of Brass 8 Forest 4 Karplusan Forest 4 Rishadan Port 4 Chimeric Idol
8 (1)1 Obliterate
Uncommon (22)4 Ancient Hydra 4 River Boa 4 Chimeric Idol 3 Wax // Wane 2 Flashfires 3 Kavu Chameleon 2 Simoon
Rare (33)4 Brushland 4 City of Brass 4 Karplusan Forest 4 Rishadan Port 4 Birds of Paradise 3 Jade Leech 2 Rith, the Awakener 4 Armageddon 1 Obliterate 3 Tsabo's Decree
Planeswalker (1)1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Creature (24)1 Chameleon Colossus 4 Doran, the Siege Tower 4 Knight of the Reliquary 3 Loam Lion 4 Putrid Leech 4 Tarmogoyf 4 Treefolk Harbinger
Land (23)3 Forest 4 Misty Rainforest 4 Murmuring Bosk 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Swamp 3 Treetop Village 1 Twilight Mire 4 Verdant Catacombs
Tribal instant (1)1 Nameless Inversion
Sideboard (15)1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant 1 Basilisk Collar 1 Bojuka Bog 3 Leyline of the Void 2 Reveillark 3 Rule of Law 2 Slaughter Pact 2 Zealous Persecution
Multi colored (18)4 Doran, the Siege Tower 4 Knight of the Reliquary 4 Putrid Leech 4 Maelstrom Pulse 2 Zealous Persecution
Colorless (27)3 Forest 4 Misty Rainforest 4 Murmuring Bosk 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Swamp 3 Treetop Village 1 Twilight Mire 4 Verdant Catacombs 1 Basilisk Collar 1 Bojuka Bog 2 Slaughter Pact
5 (2)2 Reveillark
Uncommon (15)3 Treetop Village 3 Loam Lion 4 Treefolk Harbinger 3 Rule of Law 2 Zealous Persecution
Rare (32)4 Misty Rainforest 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Twilight Mire 4 Verdant Catacombs 4 Knight of the Reliquary 4 Maelstrom Pulse 4 Thoughtseize 1 Basilisk Collar 3 Leyline of the Void 2 Reveillark 2 Slaughter Pact
Mythic (15)4 Murmuring Bosk 1 Chameleon Colossus 4 Doran, the Siege Tower 4 Tarmogoyf 2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Creature (31)2 Court Homunculus 4 Esper Stormblade 2 Esperzoa 4 Ethersworn Canonist 3 Ethersworn Shieldmage 4 Glaze Fiend 4 Master of Etherium 4 Tidehollow Sculler 4 Vedalken Outlander
Sideboard (15)3 Counterspell 4 Path to Exile 3 Sanctum Gargoyle 2 Soul Manipulation 3 Zombie Outlander
Black (4)4 Glaze Fiend
Multi colored (32)4 Esper Stormblade 3 Ethersworn Shieldmage 4 Tidehollow Sculler 4 Vedalken Outlander 4 Fieldmist Borderpost 4 Mistvein Borderpost 4 Thopter Foundry 2 Soul Manipulation 3 Zombie Outlander
2 (30)4 Esper Stormblade 4 Ethersworn Canonist 4 Glaze Fiend 4 Tidehollow Sculler 4 Vedalken Outlander 4 Thopter Foundry 3 Counterspell 3 Zombie Outlander
3 (19)2 Esperzoa 3 Ethersworn Shieldmage 4 Master of Etherium 4 Fieldmist Borderpost 4 Mistvein Borderpost 2 Soul Manipulation
4 (3)3 Sanctum Gargoyle
Common (49)3 Island 6 Plains 4 Swamp 2 Court Homunculus 4 Esper Stormblade 3 Ethersworn Shieldmage 4 Glaze Fiend 4 Vedalken Outlander 4 Fieldmist Borderpost 4 Mistvein Borderpost 3 Counterspell 3 Sanctum Gargoyle 2 Soul Manipulation 3 Zombie Outlander
Planeswalker (1)1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Creature (21)3 Baneslayer Angel 4 Knight of the Reliquary 3 Noble Hierarch 3 Qasali Pridemage 4 Tarmogoyf 4 Wild Nacatl
Land (24)4 Arid Mesa 1 Forest 1 Ghost Quarter 4 Grove of the Burnwillows 2 Marsh Flats 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Mountain 1 Plains 1 Sacred Foundry 2 Stomping Ground 1 Temple Garden 2 Treetop Village
Sideboard (15)3 Ghost Quarter 3 Ancient Grudge 3 Blood Moon 1 Hallowed Fountain 1 Kataki, War's Wage 4 Meddling Mage
Colorless (28)4 Arid Mesa 1 Forest 4 Ghost Quarter 4 Grove of the Burnwillows 2 Marsh Flats 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Mountain 1 Plains 1 Sacred Foundry 2 Stomping Ground 1 Temple Garden 2 Treetop Village 1 Hallowed Fountain
2 (21)3 Qasali Pridemage 4 Tarmogoyf 2 Lightning Helix 4 Punishing Fire 3 Ancient Grudge 1 Kataki, War's Wage 4 Meddling Mage
4 (1)1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
5 (3)3 Baneslayer Angel
Common (17)1 Forest 1 Mountain 1 Plains 3 Qasali Pridemage 4 Wild Nacatl 4 Lightning Bolt 3 Ancient Grudge
Rare (30)4 Arid Mesa 2 Marsh Flats 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Sacred Foundry 2 Stomping Ground 1 Temple Garden 4 Knight of the Reliquary 3 Noble Hierarch 3 Blood Moon 1 Hallowed Fountain 1 Kataki, War's Wage 4 Meddling Mage
Creature (24)2 Birds of Paradise 1 Borderland Ranger 4 Noble Hierarch 2 Ranger of Eos 1 Scute Mob 4 Sea Gate Oracle 2 Sphinx of Lost Truths 4 Vengevine 4 Wall of Omens
Enchantment (2)2 Oblivion Ring
Land (24)4 Celestial Colonnade 5 Forest 2 Island 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Plains 4 Seaside Citadel 1 Stirring Wildwood 3 Sunpetal Grove
Sideboard (15)1 Bant Charm 1 Gideon Jura 1 Oblivion Ring 3 Celestial Purge 2 Deprive 1 Martial Coup 1 Mold Shambler 2 Negate 2 Oust 1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
White (22)2 Ranger of Eos 4 Wall of Omens 3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant 2 Gideon Jura 3 Oblivion Ring 2 Path to Exile 3 Celestial Purge 1 Martial Coup 2 Oust
Blue (14)4 Sea Gate Oracle 2 Sphinx of Lost Truths 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 2 Deprive 2 Negate 1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
Green (13)2 Birds of Paradise 1 Borderland Ranger 4 Noble Hierarch 1 Scute Mob 4 Vengevine 1 Mold Shambler
Multi colored (2)2 Bant Charm
Colorless (24)4 Celestial Colonnade 5 Forest 2 Island 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Plains 4 Seaside Citadel 1 Stirring Wildwood 3 Sunpetal Grove
4 (13)2 Ranger of Eos 4 Vengevine 3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 1 Mold Shambler
6 (1)1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
Common (18)5 Forest 2 Island 1 Plains 1 Borderland Ranger 4 Sea Gate Oracle 2 Deprive 1 Mold Shambler 2 Negate
Uncommon (20)4 Seaside Citadel 4 Wall of Omens 2 Bant Charm 3 Oblivion Ring 2 Path to Exile 3 Celestial Purge 2 Oust
Rare (25)4 Celestial Colonnade 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Stirring Wildwood 3 Sunpetal Grove 2 Birds of Paradise 4 Noble Hierarch 2 Ranger of Eos 1 Scute Mob 2 Sphinx of Lost Truths 1 Martial Coup 1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
Land (24)1 Cephalid Coliseum 2 Darkwater Catacombs 10 Island 4 Salt Marsh 3 Swamp 4 Underground River
Blue (37)4 Circular Logic 4 Counterspell 4 Fact or Fiction 3 Memory Lapse 4 Opt 3 Probe 4 Repulse 2 Upheaval 1 Deep Analysis 4 Exclude 4 Gainsay
Colorless (24)1 Cephalid Coliseum 2 Darkwater Catacombs 10 Island 4 Salt Marsh 3 Swamp 4 Underground River
6 (2)2 Upheaval
Common (44)10 Island 3 Swamp 4 Nightscape Familiar 4 Counterspell 3 Memory Lapse 4 Opt 3 Probe 4 Repulse 1 Deep Analysis 4 Exclude 4 Ghastly Demise
BRIAN KIBLERCAREER STATISTICS
BY EVENT TYPE
BRIAN KIBLERCAREER HIGHLIGHTS
- Played in the very first Pro Tour in the Junior Division
- Qualified for his first “real” Pro Tour by winning Grand Prix-Toronto with Serrated Illusionist deck
- Earned the nickname "Dragonmaster" when he played Armadillo Cloak on Rith, the Awakener during his first Pro Tour Top 8 in Chicago
- Won three Grand Prix in ten Top 8 appearances
- Made the Top 8 of Yokohama Masters Series and has twice made Top 8 at U.S. Nationals
- Came out of “retirement” in 2009, motivated to make himself worthy of Hall of Fame inclusion
- Earned his spot at Pro Tour-Honolulu via a Pro Tour Qualifier and promptly made the Top 8 in his first Pro Tour in several years
- After playing on the PT for 15 years he finally got the elusive victory at Pro Tour-Austin with Punishing Zoo
- Made the Top 8 in three of the first six Pro Tours since coming back to play at the highest level
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