Over 50 qualified players converged on Face to Face Games Toronto on Sunday and four walked out with invitations to Pro Tour Ixalan in Albuquerque, NM. After six rounds of Swiss, four quarterfinal matches would decide who those four players would be, as the entire Top 4 receives invites. Daniel Fournier, Ryan Sandrin, Kale Thompson and Evan Esposito will all be attending the next PT, while Pasha Meshkati, Trevor Ravanello, Austen Renault and Akhil Vaid will have to settle for re-qualifying for the next RPTQ.
First things first, Daniel Fournier will be attending Pro Tour Ixalan after six, yes six, virtual PTQ finals losses in the form of missing Silver status etc etc. This is obviously a huge relief for him and he’ll be joining Ryan Sandrin and GP Toronto Top 8 competitor Taimur Rashid in testing. It’s nice to see friends find success together. Kale Thompson is another relatively local grinder who will be heading to the PT and certainly deserves it as he’s always a tough out in the tournament scene. Esposito traveled from Rochester, NY for the event and was not disappointed as his Ramunap Red build will be flying him to Albuquerque.
If Saturday’s LCQ wasn’t the Temur coming-out-party then Sunday certainly was. Three of the qualified players went with the the powerful energy strategy with both Kale and Daniel choosing to run Brad Nelson and co’s exact 75 from GP Denver. Sandrin decided on his own version of Temur which also served him well and cemented the deck’s seat as the top choice for the day.
Unlike the powerhouses of the past few weeks of Standard in Zombies and mono-red this deck is going to take a little more hate in order to knock it off the top as it is just a very resilient midrange deck. When choosing to play linear strategies like Red you get consistency but you lose a lot of the ability to play different roles and morph to support different board states and strategies. Temur has access to so many individually powerful cards that it’s not as simple as lining your deck up card-for-card with theirs, because it’s just not possible to beat everything they’ve got. Maybe it’s time to go over the top, to play something like God-Pharaoh’s Gift or Ramp to nullify the power level of a deck like Temur. Only time will tell.
Congratulations to everyone who made Top 8 on Sunday and took another step in their competitive Magic grind! Below you can find the Top 4 PT qualifying decklists. Next Sunday we return to the Showdown Series as normal with Legacy so get those Delver of Secrets ready!
First Place: Daniel Fournier, Temur Energy
Second Place: Ryan Sandrin, Temur Energy
Third Place: Kale Thompson, Temur Energy
Fourth Place: Evan Esposito, Mono-Red