Markus Thibeau had been on a tear. With the help of his teammates, he recently became an SCG Vegas Open Champion. He won an online PTQ and started off MagicFest Toronto 11-0. That tournament ended on a heartbreaker (9th!), but he’s here this weekend to rectify that. After a 4-0 start in Friday’s MCQ, I decided to pick his brain.

Hey Markus, how was your last MagicFest?

I was 11-0 and went lose-lose-lose unfortunately.

Are you planning to play the same deck (Tron) in the main event?

Same strategy yes, but not the exact same 75. I got some interesting cards in the sideboard thanks to the old Jeff Cunningham ffej special. We’re trying them out in the PTQ today and we’re 4-0. Hopefully, we can win 1 more and top 8.

I read on Twitter that Jeff was all about that Tarmogoyf, right?

That card is terrible. So basically, the main thing for Tron is all of your early turns are used for cracking your Chromatic Stars, your Spheres, your Ancient Stirrings and all that. You don’t have time to play this Tarmogoyf and the whole point of Tarmogoyf is just being this big old roadblock hopefully and if you’re playing it turn 2, you’re not playing Tron or getting there fast which is counterproductive and you don’t even fill up your graveyard that fast, so it’s at best a 2/3 on turn 2 which is not what you want. It’s probably still fine against Humans and stuff like that but it just doesn’t seem good enough. You want to just be playing turn 3 Wurmcoil and Tarmogoyf is not equivalent to that.

But he stands by it?

We’re been talking about it and he’s off it. There’s a lot less Humans, a lot less Hollow One, a lot less decks that it’s actually good against, so he’s off it. We’ve been talking a bit and now we’re on the old 4 Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard. I’m not sold on it yet, but why not try it before the GP? I’ve only brought it in one time and it was against Burn. He definitely lost to it. He had turn 1 Goblin Guide and did not play a spell for the rest of the game. He just had burn in his hand.

Have things changes since the GP in Toronto?

Kind of. There’s a lot of Phoenix. There’s a lot of Dredge. Those matchups are not going to go away, but a lot of people are starting to really tweak all their builds to start skewering them. You’re starting to see UW playing main deck Rest in Peace, Runed Halo, Ghostly Prison which are very good against both decks. And there’s the Whir deck which is hugely on the rise which is also really good against those decks. You have to adjust. You can’t just be like a week ago deck is still good, a month ago deck is still good. If you want to be on top, you have to pay attention.

Good luck the rest of the way and tomorrow Markus!

Markus would end up finishing in the top 4 of the Mythic Championship Qualifier.