Pro Tour Magic 2015
|Pro Tour Magic 2015|
|Date||1–3 August 2014|
|Location||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Format||Standard and Booster draft|
Pro Tour Magic 2015 was the last Pro Tour of the 2013–14 season. The event had 358 competitors, and took place on 1–3 August 2014 in Portland, Oregon. The formats were Standard and Magic 2015 Booster draft, and was the first constructed premier event where Magic 2015 was legal. The winner of the event was Slovak long-time pro Ivan Floch, who beat Jackson Cunningham of Canada to become the champion.
The 2013–14 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles were awarded at this event, with Jérémy Dezani becoming PotY, and Jared Boettcher becoming RotY. Boettcher's title was later revoked after his suspension for cheating, however, making Raymond Perez, Jr. the 2013–14 Rookie of the Year.
Day one[edit | edit source]
The event started with a triple Magic 2015 draft. Some notable players who started the event with a 3–0 draft included Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Raphaël Lévy, Bob Maher, Jr., Owen Turtenwald, Jérémy Dezani, and William Jensen. In the following rounds of Standard, the most signficant decks were Mono-Black Devotion, White-Black Midrange, Blue Devotion, and various forms of blue-white Control decks, with some of these also including black. At the end of the day, the two remaining undefeated players were Zachary Jesse and Hall of Famer William Jensen.
Day two[edit | edit source]
Like Day 1, Day 2 of competition began with a Magic 2015 draft. On pod one, William Jensen continued his dominance, and extended his record to 11–0, six points ahead of the player in second place: Neil Reeves. This was Reeves' first Pro Tour event since retiring from professional play after the 2006-season, but he was once considered among the best Limited players in the world, and backed up the claim with a 6–0 draft record at his comeback event. The other overnight leader, Zachary Jesse, stumbled out of the gates on Day 2 with a 0–3 draft record. Jesse would eventually finish in 15th-place with an overall record of 11–4–1. Jon Finkel came close to a fifteenth Pro Tour top eight, but lost his win-and-in to Japanese rising star Yuuki Ichikawa, who made it to his second straight PT top eight. Neil Reeves faced Owen Turtenwald in a match where Reeves was likely to make it in with a win, while Owen would have to hope that his tiebreakers improved. Gregory Orange faced Jérémy Dezani in another similar match. Turtenwald and Dezani won, and although Dezani's tiebreakers were better than Turtenwalds coming into the last round, Turtenwald's narrowly edged out Dezani's, earning him the last top eight slot.
Top 8[edit | edit source]
Quarterfinals[edit | edit source]
The first match of the top eight saw Owen Turtenwald pitted against Patrick Cox, both in their second Pro Tour top eight. Turtenwald, playing White-Black Midrange, won the first game against Cox' Naya Aggro with a Pack Rat and a Blood Baron of Vizkopa. When Turtenwald got the time to deploy multipe Elspeth, Sun's Champion in the second game, he took the match convincingly 2–0.
Matt Sperling and Ivan Floch squared off in the second quarterfinal match. Both veterans of the Pro Tour, but for both players it was their first Sunday finish. Sperling played a Red-White Burn deck, while Ivan Floch played a creatureless White-Blue Control deck. The first game was very close, with Floch falling down to a precarious life total at several points, but Floch was eventually able to pull ahead with Sphinx's Revelation to win the game. The second game was much less close, in large part thanks to Floch's Nyx-Fleece Rams, and Floch won 2–0, advancing to the semifinals.
The third quarterfinal was between Yuuki Ichikawa, in his second straight Pro Tour top eight, and Jackson Cunningham, the younger brother of former professional Magic player and writer Jeff Cunningham, playing in his first ever Pro Tour. Ichikawa's Jund Planeswalkers deck faced Cunningham's Green-White Aggro in has been considered a very good match. Ichikawa was slightly mana flooded in the first game, allowing Cunningham to attack for lethal with a Loxodon Smiter assisted by Ajani, Caller of the Pride. In the second game, Cunningham looked poised to take the match 2–0, but via clever use of the card Golgari Charm to save his Scavenging Ooze from Selesnya Charm, Ichikawa managed to force a third game. In that third game, however, Cunningham had a steady stream of Fleecemane Lions backed up by Advent of the Wurm, and took the match 2–1.
Hall of Famer William Jensen returned to the top eight of a Pro Tour for the first time since 2003, but his quarterfinal match against Pierre Mondon was anticlimatic. Jensen's White-Black Midrange, identical to Owen Turtenwald's, went down in straight sets to Mondon's Jund Planeswalkers deck.
Semifinals[edit | edit source]
Owen Turtenwald faced Ivan Floch in the first semifinal. Floch's control deck was considered a favorite in game one, as it did not contain any creatures, while Turtenwald's deck had an abudance of creature removal spells, essentially blank cards in the matchup. This was indeed how the first game played out, and Floch eventually won the game after a Sphinx's Revelation for eight. After sideboarding, however, Turtenwald would have a number of discard spells, making the decks more evenly matched, and Turtenwald took the second game on the back of Underworld Connections, Sin Collector, and eventually Pack Rat. The third game was fairly close, until Floch managed to Quicken a Supreme Verdict to destroy a Blood Baron of Vizkopa along with two Mutavaults. Floch then took the game and the match.
A number of Loxodon Smiters took the first game for Jackson Cunningham against Pierre Mondon in the other semifinal. Game two was one-sided in favor of Mondon, who used cards like Vraska the Unseen and Mizzium Mortars to overwhelm Cunningham's board. The final game also looked to be in favor of Mondon, who pulled ahead in a mid-game stalemate with Vraska, but Cunningham managed to pull back and take the match.
Finals[edit | edit source]
Canada's Jackson Cunningham was in position to become the first to win their first individual Pro Tour since Jan-Moritz Merkel won PT Kobe in 2006, but instead, it was Ivan Floch who would claim the trophy. Floch won the first game, but Cunningham equalised despite a mulligan to five in the second. Floch won the third game, but Cunningham once again equalised to force a fifth and final game. In that game, Floch mulliganed into a hand containing two Nyx-Fleece Rams and an Archangel of Thune, a strong combination if it gets going. Cunningham did not have any answers to any of Floch's creatures, who quickly won the game and the match.
|1||Ivan Floch||White-Blue Control||$40,000||30||First Slovak to win a Pro Tour|
|2||Jackson Cunningham||Green-White Aggro||$20,000||26||Pro Tour debut|
|3||Pierre Mondon||Jund Planeswalkers||$12,500||22|
|4||Owen Turtenwald||White-Black Midrange||$12,500||22||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|5||Patrick Cox||Naya Aggro||$10,000||20||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|6||Yuuki Ichikawa||Jund Planeswalkers||$10,000||20||Second Pro Tour Top 8|
|7||William Jensen||White-Black Midrange||$10,000||20||Fifth Pro Tour Top 8|
|8||Matt Sperling||Red-White Burn||$10,000||20|
Player of the Year race[edit | edit source]
The Player of the Year frontrunners coming into the event were Reid Duke and Jérémy Dezani. But as Duke failed to make it to the second day of competition, and Dezani finishing 9th, Dezani ended up winning the title quite comfortably. Owen Turtenwald, via a strong fourth-place finish in the event, placed second overall in the standings, and claimed captaincy of the United States national team for the 2014 World Magic Cup. But he would not have overtaken Dezani even if he had won the event.
Notable performances[edit | edit source]
- Five players posted perfect 6–0 records in Booster draft: William Jensen, Neil Reeves, Jamie Parke, Conley Woods, and Oscar Jones.
- Pierre Mondon, with Jund Planeswalkers, who finished with an undefeated 9–0–1 Standard record in the Swiss, had the best Standard performance. Yuuki Ichikawa (also on Jund Planeswalkers) and Michael Braverman (Jund Monsters) finished the Swiss portion with 9–1 records.
[edit | edit source]
- Pro Tour Magic 2015 coverage
- Pro Tour Magic 2015 final standings
- Top Standard decklists: Top 8
- Pro Tour Magic 2015 invitation list
- Video coverage playlist
References[edit | edit source]
- Helene Bergeot. (October 30, 2014.) “2013-2014 Rookie of the Year Title Revoked”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Van Lunen, Jacob (2016-01-19). DRAFTING WITH RICHARD NEIL REEVES. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-01-22.
- Turtenwald, Owen (2016-01-19). Study the Tape. ChannelFireball. Retrieved on 2016-01-22.
- STANDINGS BY FORMAT. Wizards of the Coast (2014-08-02). Retrieved on 2016-01-23.