Ari Lax Wins Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir!

Ari Lax, long considered one of the very best players to never clinch a Pro Tour top 8, managed to do just that and more this past weekend as he piloted his Abzan Midrange deck to a Pro Tour victory.

Lax has been putting up some serious results recently. In 2012, Lax had finished 9th at Pro Tour Ravnica and in late 2013, Lax used his Theros Limited skills to capture the Grand Prix Toronto crown. Yesterday, he added Pro Tour Champion to his resume.

[deck title=Abzan Midrange – Ari Lax (1st)]
[Lands]
3 Forest
2 Plains
4 Windswept Heath
4 Temple of Malady
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
2 Llanowar Wastes
2 Caves of Koilos
1 Mana Confluence
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Temple of Silence
[/Lands]
[Creatures]
2 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Courser of Kruphix
2 Wingmate Roc
4 Siege Rhino
[/Creatures]
[Other Spells]
4 Abzan Charm
3 Hero’s Downfall
2 Utter End
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
2 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
4 Thoughtseize
[/Other Spells]
[Sideboard]
1 End Hostilities
1 Duneblast
1 Mass Calcify
3 Drown in Sorrow
3 Bile Blight
2 Murderous Cut
1 Unravel the Æther
1 Liliana Vess
2 Nissa, Worldwaker
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

Lax did not have an easy opponent in the finals as he had to defeat Shaun McLaren, the Pro Tour Journey into Nyx Champion and the Captain for Team Canada at the upcoming World Magic Cup. The first three games went back and forth finishing with Lax having a 2-1 lead. In the ultimate game, Lax drew and casted a very timely Siege Rhino in order to keep himself long enough out of burn range to seal the match.

[deck title=Jeskai Wins – Shaun McLaren (2nd)]
[Lands]
4 Temple of Epiphany
4 Mystic Monastery
4 Temple of Triumph
2 Shivan Reef
1 Battlefield Forge
4 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Plains
3 Mountain
[/Lands]
[Creatures]
1 Seeker of the Way
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Mantis Rider
[/Creatures]
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
2 Banishing Light
4 Jeskai Charm
2 Anger of the Gods
4 Stoke the Flames
2 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
4 Dig Through Time
[/Other Spells]
[Sideboard]
2 Anger of the Gods
2 End Hostilities
2 Keranos, God of Storms
3 Dissolve
1 Disdainful Stroke
2 Negate
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Erase
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

On his road to the finals, McLaren had to defeat Team Face to Face Games’s Mike Sigrist in order to advance. The match went to three games. In the last one, Sigrist just could not dig himself out of facing down two [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card]s.

[deck title=Demonic Zoo – Mike Sigrist (4th)]
[Lands]
1 Plains
2 Forest
4 Windswept Heath
2 Llanowar Wastes
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Silence
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
[/Lands]
[Creatures]
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Rakshasa Deathdealer
2 Heir of the Wilds
3 Anafenza, the Foremost
4 Herald of Torment
4 Siege Rhino
[/Creatures]
[Other Spells]
4 Thoughtseize
1 Ulcerate
3 Abzan Charm
4 Hero’s Downfall
3 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
[/Other Spells]
[Sideboard]
1 Silence the Believers
2 Erase
3 Bile Blight
3 Drown in Sorrow
2 Despise
1 Whip of Erebos
2 Wingmate Roc
1 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

Outside of Shaun McLaren, Alexander Hayne was the only other Canadian to finish in the money, ending in 46th place to earn himself $1,500.

In order to see recorded video coverage of the Pro Tour, check out the official Magic: the Gathering YouTube channel