Pro Tour Dominaria
|Pro Tour Dominaria|
|Date||1–3 June 2018|
|Location||Richmond, Virginia, United States|
|Format||Standard and Booster draft|
Pro Tour Dominaria was the third Pro Tour of the 2017–18 season. It took place on 1–3 June 2018 in Richmond, Virginia, United States. The event was dominated by red-based aggressive decks featuring Goblin Chainwhirler, with seven of the top eight decks featuring four copies of the card. The winner was American Wyatt Darby playing Mono-Red, who defeated Gonçalo Pinto of Portugal 3–2 in the final. Darby's win came in just his second Pro Tour start; this made him the first player to win one of their first two Pro Tours since Jacob van Lunen and Chris Lachmann won Pro Tour San Diego in 2007.
Having taken a break from Standard during Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, the post-banning metagame was said to be reasonably open and balanced; Rivals of Ixalan had a minor impact, but Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, the enemy-color checklands, and the triple-color cycle (Goblin Chainwhirler, Steel Leaf Champion, et al.) have shown to be powerful influences on the metagame. Prior to the set release, Hazoret, the Fervent and The Scarab God were heavily dominant in the early and late game respectively, but Teferi served as a superior control finisher, and Seal Away and increased reliance on Rekindling Phoenix made the "heckbent" restriction impactical. Like PT Ixalan, the event took place a month after release, allowing the format to stabilize.
The Dominaria Booster draft coverage followed Luis Scott-Vargas and Jon Finkel, drafting Blue-White and Blue-Red, respectively. Finkel's draft was exceptional, with colourless bombs Karn, Scion of Urza and Helm of the Host, which lead him to a 3–0 finish for the pod; Scott-Vargas stumbled in his draft, and despite a powerful pack 3, the deck only went 1–2.
The two major archetypes in the Pro tour were White-Blue control, typically sporting only Teferi as a win condition, and the next evolution of the perennial Standard archetype of Vehicles, this time in effectively mono-Red with Black mana for Unlicensed Disintegration and Scrapheap Scrounger, featuring newcomer Goblin Chainwhirler. The Chainwhirler was the most warping of the triple-color cycle, punishing anything reliant on one-toughness creatures, and capable of crewing Heart of Kiran. Lower ranked decks include mono-Green with Steel Leaf Champion, Black-Green Winding Constrictor, classic mono-Red, and assorted History of Benalia decks in Blue or Black. A rogue choice played most prominently by members of team ChannelFireball was dubbed Blue-Green Karn using Scrap Trawler and Walking Ballista for value, but the players had a terrible Day 1, with only 5 out of 11 wielders advancing to Day 2.
The top eight players after day one:
|1||Lucas Esper Berthoud||24|
Berthoud stumbled out of the gate, finishing the second draft 1–2. After going 1–4 in Standard, he would ultimately finish in 53rd place. Ernest Lim posted a solid 2–1 finish in the second draft of the tournament, putting himself in prime position for a top 8 finish at 10–1. Joining Lim at the top of the standings was Morgan McLaughlin of Canada, piloting a White/Black Vehicles deck similar to the one he used to win GP Toronto two weeks prior. Heading out of the final draft, many notable players were in prime position to make the top 8, with Berthoud, Andrea Mengucci, Jon Finkel, Thomas Hendriks, Gregory Orange, Owen Turtenwald, Brad Nelson, and Luis Salvatto all sitting at 9–2 heading into the final five rounds.
The first two players to lock up their place on Sunday were Thomas Hendriks and Hall of Famer Owen Turtenwald; both would eventually finish 12–2–2 with two intentional draws in the final two rounds. The top 8 looked to be a relatively clean cut - for round 15, there were 10 players on 33 points, coupled with Kevin Jones at 34 points and Elias Watsfeldt at 31 points. So long as Watsfeldt lost, six players would be confirmed at 12 wins at round 16, which he did to Ernest Lim; the other winners were Wyatt Darby, Gonçalo Pinto, Manuel Lenz and Kazuyuki Takimura. However, Kevin Jones and Marcio Carvalho received an unintentional draw, forcing Jones to play Takimura and Carvalho to play Christian Hauck, and giving players like Mengucci and McLaughlin an outside shot at top 8 if Carvalho lost. Ultimately, Jones lost to Takimura and Carvalho won his match, leaving McLaughlin in a heartbreaking ninth place after an 11–1 start.
Reid Duke's fifteenth-place finish was notable: after starting the tournament 1–4, Duke needed to win three straight rounds just to make day 2. Duke would eventually win a staggering eleven straight rounds to finish 12–4; even more impressively, seven of the players he defeated during this stretch (Samuel Ihlenfeldt, Yoshihiko Ikawa, Makihito Mihara, Brian Braun-Duin, Piotr Glogowski, Remi Fortier, and Ken Yukuhiro) had previously made the final day of either a Pro Tour or the World Championship. Fortier, the winner of Pro Tour Valencia, was returning to the Pro Tour after a yearlong absence; he finished 11–5 and by doing so qualified for Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis.
|1||Wyatt Darby||$50,000||30||Mono-Red Aggro|
|2||Goncalo Pinto||$20,000||28||Black-Red Aggro|
|3||Owen Turtenwald||$15,000||24||Red-Black Aggro||Fifth Pro Tour Top 8|
|4||Marcio Carvalho||$12,500||22||Red-Black Aggro||Fourth Pro Tour Top 8|
|5||Kazuyuki Takimura||$10,000||20||Red-Black Midrange||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|6||Thomas Hendriks||$9,000||18||Red-Black Aggro||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|7||Ernest Lim||$7,500||17||Esper Control|
|8||Manual Lenz||$6,000||16||Mono-Red Aggro|
Player of the Year
Seth Manfield hit his GP cap in the season, resulting in a small three-point gain since Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, and Reid Duke nearly matched with another two, resulting a six-point gap from 59 to 65. Luis Salvatto also closed the gap with two good GP performances, putting him at 56. All three were in close contention up to the middle of the Standard portion, where Duke pulled ahead by two wins while Salvatto and Manfield remained at 10–6, putting Duke cleanly in the lead. Highest ranked Top 8 competitor in the Player of the Year race, Owen Turtenwald, reached 63 points.
Pro Tour Team Series
As both finalists in this event did not belong to any team (which was a first since the introduction of the Team Series), the two teams that did have a Top 4 finish would be big winners after this event: Ultimate Guard Pro Team, with the help of Owen Turtenwald's Top 4 appearance, extended their lead from 3 points to 28 points, putting them in a prime position for the 2018 Team Series Final. Hareruya Latin, with the help of Marcio Carvalho's Top 4, moved up from fourth-place to second-place with a 9-point advantage. Connected Company, Musashi, and Genesis still remained in the top 5, separated with only a combined 9-point margin between these teams.
The Top 16 teams' members after this Pro Tour earned Team Qualification for Pro Tour 25th Anniversary; the remaining 11 teams were Ultra PRO, ChannelFireball, MetaGame Gurus Sun, Revelation, MetaGame Gurus Moon, EUreka, Massdrop West, Kusemono, Cardmarket, Face to Face Games, and MTG Mint Card. Additionally, it was announced on June 6 that the two teams that missed top 16 on tiebreakers would also receive qualifications for Pro Tour 25th Anniversary. These teams were Final Last Samurai and Massdrop East.
Eliast Watsfeldt broke his undefeated run in draft, but a 2–1 finish bought him breathing room after the first draft, while his immediate rivals Alexander Hayne and Craig Wescoe both went 1–2. With his only rival for the title, Andrea Mengucci, losing his first draft round, Watsfeldt guaranteed his place at Worlds with a draw in round 9, and ended up with a 16–1–1 record in draft overall.
John Rolf held a tenuous one-point lead after PT Rivals of Ixalan, but stumbled in the constructed rounds with 3–2 on day 1, opening him to challengers - a 9–1 record by Matt Severa closed the gap, and he won the Constructed master title in the final round. His was the only 9–1 record in the tournament; four players had only one loss but at least one draw, all from the Top 8: Marcio Carvalho, Owen Turtenwald, Manuel Lenz, and Gonçalo Pinto. All five were piloting Red-Black Chainwhirler aggro decks, though Manuel Lenz had no Unlicensed Disintegrations maindeck.