Pro Tour Hour of Devastation
|Pro Tour Hour of Devastation|
|Date||28–30 July 2017|
|Format||Standard and Booster draft|
|Winner||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa|
Pro Tour Hour of Devastation was the fourth Pro Tour and final professional event of the 2016–17 season. It took place on 28–30 July 2017 in Kyoto, Japan. With 464 players competing, it's by far the largest Pro Tour held in Japan (the second largest being Pro Tour Kobe 2006, with 388 competitors), and it was also the first Pro Tour held in Japan since Pro Tour Nagoya 2011. It was largely dominated by Mono-Red decks featuring Deserts from Hour of Devastation. The event was won by Brazilian Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, who took down Sam Pardee in the final to claim his second Pro Tour title in his twelvth top eight. The finish also meant that he was able to overcome Marcio Carvalho's significant lead in the Player of the Year race coming into the event.
The final banning of Aetherworks Marvel late in the Amonkhet Grand Prix season meant that there was no premier event tournaments to observe the evolution of standard until the Pro Tour; nevertheless, the format was hailed as being finally back to a balanced and fairly open format. The Temur Energy, Black-Green Constrictor, and Zombie shells were still present, alongside new standouts such as Oketra's Monument and Hour of Promise decks. Other older decks that were returning were Emerge, Esper/Mardu Vehicles, and various forms of Blue-Red-X control.
As the days passed on the way to the Pro Tour, two decks made a large impact - the UW God-Pharaoh's Gift deck that won two online PTQs, and a mono-red aggro deck that leaned on Ramunap Ruins and Sunscorched Desert for an average of 6-8 points of reach.
As usual, the draft opened the event, the new format of Hour of Devastation/Amonkhet, with Kentaro Yamamoto drafting a powerful GB ramp deck. The close race for the Draft Master followed Travis Woo, Martin Juza and Owen Turtenwald at the leading spaces, but Woo and Turtenwald posted a 1–2 start while Martin Juza lost in the pod final to newcomer Sergio Rozalen. This put the race between Juza and Pro Tour Kaladesh Top 8 competitor Makis Matsoukas. Drafters who went 3-0 included Jon Finkel, William Jensen, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Seth Manfield, Reid Duke, Brad Nelson, and PotY leader and former Draft Master Marcio Carvalho.
In Standard, by far the most popular deck was Ramunap Red, which comprised 25% of the field, more than double the next populous deck of Mono-Black Zombies at 11%, the winner of the previous Pro Tour. Ramunap Red follows the classic Mono-Red strategem of burn and small creatures, but two particular effects that made it particularly effective; the falter effects of Ahn-Crop Crasher and Earthshaker Khenra, and the extra damage from the lands of Ramunap Ruins and Sunscorched Desert. These effects in tandem made stabilisation on board exceptionally difficult, something that pushed the God-Pharaoh's Gift and classic control decks out of Day 2. At the end of the day, there were two remaining undefeated players: ChannelFireball Ice's and Hall of Famer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Genesis's Seth Manfield, both playing Ramunap Red. The top eight players after day one:
|1||Seth Manfield||24||5||Shota Takao||21|
|2||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||24||6||Louis Barchard||21|
|3||Yusuke Sasabe||21||7||Sam Black||21|
|4||Shintaro Kurata||21||8||Donald Smith||21|
The second draft followed Hall of Famer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, with a Blue-Red Spells deck that was recognised as one of the stronger archetypes. Despite a weak pack 1 and pack 3, the deck was powerful and posted a 3-0 finish, extending his lead to 11–0 over the day and almost guaranteeing another Top 8 to his long resume. While Seth Manfield drafted what seemed to be a good White-Black zombie deck, the first round revealed he was one of three White-Black drafters on the table and fell to 9-2 after the draft pod. Martin Juza also posted a 3-0 finish, which locked him a special slot at Worlds as the Draft Master. Sam Pardee also finished 3–0 to be the only 10-1 player.
On the last stage of the Swiss, da Rosa fell to Sam Pardee in round 13, ending his streak; Pardee and da Rosa would be joined by Sam Black later in the day as the top seeds, while the X-4 contenders were to fight it out in the last two rounds. The format was much more tilted towards Mono Red than anticipated, as many decks had packed graveyard hate for God Pharaoh's Gift decks amongst others, and despite being the dominant force the Mono-Red deck posted a powerful 78% conversation rate overnight. Decks naturally developed to beat Mono-Red also posted good rates, such as Black-Red Aggro with mirror-breaking Collective Brutality and Ammit Eternal; Black-Green constrictor with Walking Ballista and high-toughness creatures, and Mono-Black Zombies with multiple Lord effects and token-making strategies.
|1||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||3|
|1||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||3|
|4||Yam Wing Chun||2|
|4||Yam Wing Chun||3|
|1||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||3|
|1||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||Ramunap Red||$50,000||30||Twelvth Pro Tour Top 8, second win|
|2||Sam Pardee||BG Constrictor||$20,000||26||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|3||Sam Black||Ramunap Red||$15,000||24||Third Pro Tour Top 8|
|4||Yam Wing Chun||Ramunap Red||$12,500||22|
|5||Shintaro Kurata||Black-Red Aggro||$10,000||20||Pro Tour debut|
|6||Felix Leong||Ramunap Red||$9,000||18|
|7||Yusuke Sasabe||Mono Black Zombies||$7,500||17||Pro Tour debut|
|8||Seth Manfield||Ramunap Red||$6,000||16||Third Pro Tour Top 8|
Player of the Year
Much like the conclusion of the race last year at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, Marcio Carvalho had a significant - but not unpassable - lead, going into the tournament. The gap in this case was much less, as any already-Platinum player could potentially surpass Carvalho with a win, and three (Reid Duke, Yuuya Watanabe, Shota Yasooka) could do the same with a Top 4, but only if Carvalho failed to convert past the standard 3 points. As day 2 unfolded, two things became clear; Carvalho was unlikely to broaden the gap, but only Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa winning would unseat him (as a finalist, he would force a playoff match). da Rosa's run was nervewracking, as all three matches went to five rounds, but da Rosa managed to take down Pardee and locking the Player of the Year at the very last moment.
|Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||85|
For the Team Series, Musashi had a commanding lead that was unlikely to be toppled, as two teams had to overcome a large point deficit (respectively, 24 and 31 points) - indeed, despite a relatively poor turnout, they stood comfortably at 141 points. Against them for the playoffs, the previous runner-up Team Genesis, despite a forced member change (Michael Majors left the team due to the employment by WotC, was substituted by Thomas Hendriks), ended on 131 points, again a solid lead above the pack. These two groups would be present at Worlds for a team playoff. Rounding out the top 4 were MTG Mint Card (120 points), and ChannelFireball Ice, which tied with MTG Bent Card in 117 points but with a better tiebreaker (which CFB Ice has 2 PT Top 8's in 3 PTs and Bent Card has only 1). The members of these 4 team received invitation of Pro Tour Ixalan, no matter they stay within their current team or not.
- Arne Huscenbeth posted a perfect 10–0 record in Constructed with Ramunap Red and was the only player to do so.
- Seven drafters posted 6-0 Draft records over the weekend - both finalists da Rosa and Pardee, alongside Jon Finkel, Mike Hron, Adam Ragsdale, Sergio Rozalen, and Teruya Kakumae.
- Martin Juza posted a 5-1 finish to lock Draft Master - while already locked for Worlds, Juza found the title to be a recognition of his Limited prowess.
- Jason Chan aka Amaz, Hearthstone and occasional Draft streamer, was given a special invite to the event. He posted a 4-3-1 in Day 1 and 3–0 in 2nd draft - good enough making him to be featured in Round 12. he eventually finished in 160th with 8-6-2.