This past weekend, we were in Toronto hosting one of our biggest events of the year. The MTG community showed up in droves, eager to compete across all formats, from Collector Chaos Sealed to Legacy.
The highlight of our Weekend events, the Regional Championship, saw 322 players vying for a spot on the Pro Tour and a chance to compete at the World Championship.
Following the Swiss rounds, the meta was dominated by 5 Phoenix decks, complemented by 2 Appraiser Combo decks and a single Rakdos Midrange list. The impact of the 4-mana Phoenix was undeniable throughout the event.
A hearty congratulations to all who made the top 8!
In an impressive show of strategy and skill, Hoang-Ha Pham triumphed over all opposition, remaining undefeated against Phoenix decks throughout the weekend. He generously took the time to discuss his experience and tactics with me.
Grixis Phoenix – Hoang-Ha Pham (1st)
KYT: “Hoang-Ha, congratulations on your win! To start, could you share what motivated your decision to go with Grixis Phoenix for this tournament?”
Hoang-Ha Pham: “I went with Grixis Phoenix because it was spicy; Thoughtseize changes the Phoenix gameplay a lot and the deck seemed fun to play. Fortunately, it was also well-positioned against the combo and Izzet Phoenix decks, two of the most popular decks this weekend.”
KYT: “How did you prepare for the event, and what was your experience playing in the earlier rounds?”
Hoang-Ha Pham: “I only played a few kitchen counter magic with the deck a few days before the event. I signed up for the super qualifier on Friday to get some reps with the deck because my last Pioneer match was at the previous RC. Fun fact: I played against Max Dore in round 1 and he destroyed me with Izzet Phoenix. But I learned a ton. In the main event, I went 6-0 against Izzet Phoenix, including a revenge win against Max in the semi-final.”
KYT: “Any commentary on Grixis versus Izzet Phoenix in your mind?”
Hoang-Ha Pham: “In the finals, game 3, casting The End on my opponent’s Phoenix with 1 card in hand to his 6, won me the game 20 turns later.”
KYT: “So you’re saying black seems pretty good in the mirror, the version to play if everyone else is playing Phoenix?”
Hoang-Ha Pham: “I believe so, yeah.”
KYT: “Who would you like to acknowledge or give a shoutout to for their support in this journey?”
Hoang-Ha Pham: “Shoutout to my team of champions: Lan Nguyen, Alan Ngo, Jonathan Dery, Chris Leonard-Nguyen, Riccardo Pileggi, and Xavier Biron.”
KYT: “Finally, what does qualifying for the Worlds mean to you, and how do you plan to approach this incredible opportunity?”
Hoang-Ha Pham: “I never even dreamed of going to Worlds. Actually doing it is insane. I will make the most of the opportunity and prioritize having fun and enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
I eagerly anticipate Hoang-Ha Pham’s performance at the World Championship.
The Legacy Championship on Sunday saw Dustyn Nogueira emerge victorious, masterfully wielding a deck that spanned all five colors of Magic.
WUBRG – Dustyn Nogueira (1st)
Friday’s event kicked off with a Super Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), providing players with a final opportunity to earn their place in the Toronto tournament.
In keeping with our Weekend event series, the Super Qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday offered victorious contenders entry to our next big challenge: the Regional Championship in Ottawa, coming up on February 9th to 11th.
As we wrap up the Toronto Weekend, we set our sights on ending 2023 with a flourish. The F2F Tour will make its next stops in Calgary on December 9th and Niagara Falls on December 16th.
Be sure to check out F2FTour.com for more information and to discover what awaits in 2024!