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F2F Tour Stop Montreal 2024 – Event Recap

The F2F Tour began 2024 in Montreal with a Team Trios Super Qualifier, featuring intense battles in Modern, Pioneer, and Standard formats. The tournament was marked by fierce and exciting matches.

In the finals, Daryl Gnann’s team with Chris St-Marie and Hugo Di Lauro was set to go against Daniel MacDonald’s team, which included Liam Kane and Noe Offman. An agreement was made to split the prizes between these final teams. The tournament concluded with Daryl’s team taking the victory.

Recently, I had the chance to interview the winning team online, where I asked them about their experiences and strategies throughout the tournament.

KYT: Daryl, can you tell us about the formation of your team?

Daryl: I was initially with two other players but on Boxing Day the team had disbanded. Two weeks before the tournament, Chris Gray, who was on a team with Hugo Di Lauro and Chris St-Marie, gave up his seat for me, so there needs to be a special shoutout for him.

KYT: What was your deck choice for the tournament, and how did it perform?

Daryl: I chose Living End. I have been playing it for a couple months but also trying to get practice before the upcoming RC in Ottawa in Feburary. In Swiss, I went 4-3 but in the semis, I secured a win with Curator of Mysteries and Waker of Waves.

KYT: Looking back, is there anything you’d have done differently?

Daryl: I would update my sideboard guide (to be more representative of a post Fury and Beanstalk ban metagame) and consider adding a 4th copy of Living End to the deck. It was amazing to win the tournament but even better to play along friends!

Continuing our conversation, I turned to Christopher Ste Marie to learn about his deck choice and key experiences.

KYT: Christopher, how did you decide on your deck, and what were your key experiences?

Christopher: I went with Rakdos Midrange. Last RC, I was on Boros Convoke, which felt great, but after the recent meta changes and the uptick in both Amalia and control, I knew I wanted to switch it up for this tournament.

I debated between Rakdos Midrange and Phoenix, ultimately, I went with Rakdos because I love casting Thoughtseize. Ironically, my only loss during the Swiss was a game loss violation due to not registering Thoughtseize on my decklist. Individually, I went 5-1-1.

For future tournaments, I’m thinking of adjusting my sideboard and going up a Shelley and Trespasser in the main. I loved playing with the guys, and I hope there are more Team Trios tournaments in the near future.

Next, I spoke with Hugo Di Lauro to understand his unique approach for the event.

KYT: Hugo, what was your approach for the event?

Hugo: I was brewing a Dimir deck on Arena with some of the new cards from LCI since its release. I wanted something that could get under all of the midrange decks in Standard but also could pressure and disrupt the bigger decks in the format (i.e. Domain / Reanimator).

I was having fun tuning my deck and I was climbing pretty high on the ladder in December. The team gave me the thumbs up and I put the deck together a couple of days before the event.

I managed to face 7 different decks over 8 rounds, which showed the diversity of Standard.

I recently spoke with Daniel MacDonald’s team online to discuss their experience in the tournament. Notably, Daniel, having won our previous Team Trios event and reaching the finals this time, has continued an impressive run on the F2F Tour.

KYT: Noe, could you walk us through how your team came together and the reasoning behind your seating arrangement?

Noe: DMac reached out to me about joining forces with Robert Anderson, whom I met in Calgary. After Robert had to drop out, Liam Kane contacted DMac, and that’s how our team formed. I ended up in the Modern seat because Liam was eyeing Pioneer and I preferred not to engage in lengthy Standard mirrors, so DMac took one for the team.

KYT: And how did the tournament unfold for you? Were you satisfied with your deck choice?

Noe: The tournament started with a draw for me and didn’t pick up immediately, though my results didn’t affect our team’s standing early on. Despite feeling okay about my plays, I was fighting jet lag after returning from Europe. We didn’t expect to make top 4 after two early draws, but we stayed focused. Surprisingly, we found ourselves in a ‘win and in’ situation for the top 4.

I played Living End, which I felt was a strong choice given my condition, and it worked out well for us. With full energy, I would have probably played Scam or Amulet.

After hearing Noe’s perspective, I caught up with Daniel MacDonald to delve deeper into the team’s dynamics and strategies.

KYT: How did the team come together?

Daniel: The team was originally supposed to be me Noe and Robert. But Rob had to bail due to flight being a day later than he originally thought. So after going to a Christmas party together Liam asked to be our third. I snapped it off after teaming with him multiple times before and knowing he’s one of the best players in the local area.

KYT: After experiencing several draws in the last event, did this tournament’s Standard matches present similar challenges?

Daniel: I did give the zoomers first dibs on formats and having to settle for Standard after all was said and done. I ended up playing four mirror matches over the event and the experience was frustrating. Game One comes down to whether one or the other has a mirror breaker card, Jace or Nissa. If not, then it’s just a long grind of trading Wraths for Herd Migrations and timing Leyline Binding correctly. Two of my matches came down to my opponents winning Game One due to mirror cards and then having to win Game 2 and Game 3 since all of mine were in the sideboard.

KYT: And your preparation for these events, are you still actively playing?

Daniel: I spend a lot of time in various Discord channels, watching and discussing MTG with some of the best players in Canada. Whether it’s observing leagues or 64-man cubes, getting diverse opinions on challenge results is invaluable. Gul Dukat himself shared a free guide in one of the Discords, which was a big help. As for choosing Domain, it was Liam who convinced me it was the best choice for the event.

After hearing about the strategies and experiences of Daniel MacDonald’s team, let’s take a moment to look at the overall tournament results. The top 4 teams included Team Abenhaim-Babin-Auger and team Proaño-Gauthier-Casselman, both of whom showcased their skills and determination throughout the event.

Now, let’s shift our focus to Jeff Casselman from the only team that kicked off the tournament with a remarkable 5-0 start and ultimately finished in the top 4. I was curious about their team dynamics and Jeff’s personal experience in the event.

KYT: Jeff, could you share with us how your team was formed for this event?

Jeff: MEG and Gina are regulars at these events, usually teaming up together. Since it was a team trios event, they needed a third member. They reached out to me just two days before the event, on Thursday afternoon. I was still on vacation with no plans for Saturday, so I agreed to join them.

KYT: What format did you end up playing, and how did everyone perform?

Jeff: I played Standard, choosing a UB Midrange list. It was a straightforward and fun deck to play. We all performed well, especially considering we started the tournament with a 5-0 record. Both MEG and Gina are fantastic players, each contributing significantly.

KYT: There’s been talk about Standard being dominated by 5C Domain. Did you find that to be the case in your matches?

Jeff: In my matches, I faced three BR Reanimator lists, one Mono Red, and two 5C Domain lists. My first encounter with Domain was in Round 5, and then again in the top 4. Cards like Cavern and Angel posed a challenge for my UB deck, indicating a need for some sideboard adjustments. I did lose to both my 5C Domain opponents. The deck seems very strong in the current meta.

KYT: So, would you say UB Midrange struggles against 5C Domain?

Jeff: It seems to be a tough matchup. My friend Hugo, running a more aggressive UB variant, did beat all his Domain opponents, so there’s potential there. However, my Domain opponents had exceptionally strong draws. I think having more tidebinders, of which I only had three, might be key in that matchup.

As with all of our Tour events, there’s a lot going on. In Montreal, we hosted a Legacy Showdown on top of a Mystery Booster Team Sealed.

As we wrap up an unforgettable experience at the Montreal event, we turn our sights to the next thrilling adventure. Get ready for an action-packed day at the F2F Tour in Toronto on January 13th, featuring a lineup brimming with Ravnica Remastered events.

Prepare to immerse yourself in the beloved plane of Ravnica across multiple formats, including the Team Sealed Super Qualifier and exclusive drafts. Don’t miss out—head over to F2FTour.com to sign up and join the excitement. See you there for a day full of Magic!

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