March 18, 2015

Rock the Dragons

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This weekend, there are no Grand Prix taking place. No Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers. No Pro Tours.


Instead, it's all about the new set.


(Meanwhile, Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers start up again next weekend with the Release Celebration. As always, check with your local store for more information on this round's PPTQs in your area.)




Dragons of Tarkir Prereleases


It's time to discover (or re-discover) the joys of tearing into booster packs filled with new cards. Dragons of Tarkir Prereleases take place this weekend at game stores worldwide. Pick one of Tarkir's Elder Dragons to align with (Dromoka, Ojutai, Silumgar, Kolaghan, or Atarka), then receive your clan box and get to building!


If you missed it on Monday, Gavin's Prerelease Primer is a must-read for new players, and it also offers a good reminder to those returning to the game of what to expect this weekend.


Once you finish that, find a store near you that's hosting a Prerelease. Check with your local store beforehand to make sure there is space in the event, as Prereleases are among one of our most popular Organized Play offerings and can sell out.




The Flashback


Last weekend featured two Limited Grand Prix, giving us one last glimpse of a Tarkir block format featuring khans and not dragons (sort of…queue the foreshadowing).


Let's start with the Grand Prix down under.





Grand Prix Auckland took place last weekend, and while competitors from New Zealand as well as Australia worked hard to make sure that trophy stayed home, it went back to Japan instead.


Teruya Kakumae, winner of 2014's Grand Prix Kobe, expressed his desire to add more trophies to his collection, as well as a desire to prove himself in other formats. While Tasmanian Maitland Cameron had a Draft deck built to outlast the competition, getting him all the way to the finals, he ultimately succumbed to Kakumae's blistering-fast Mardu deck highlighting a very deadly Bellowing Saddlebrute; the lightning-fast Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury; and a couple of other Dragons as well.


It turns out that, when given the choice between khans and dragons, Kakumae was all about the dragons, giving this last look at the Khans of Tarkir format a very fitting send-off.


Full Coverage


Decklists


Top 8 Decklists


Highlights


Round 13 with Yifan Wei—Reporter Neale Talbot dives first into Yifan Wei's draft, and then his Round 13 match immediately following that.


Sightseeing with Huang Hao-Shan—Reporter Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw caught up with Taipei pro Huang Hao-shan, who took advantage of his visit to New Zealand in order to get some sightseeing in. Pictures from Huang's adventures are included!


BONUS: Ray Walkinshaw knows how to ask the hard-hitting questions when on duty.




Meanwhile…



Grand Prix Cleveland brought over 1,800 players to the city of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for North America's last Limited Grand Prix to feature Khans of Tarkir. While the wedges and dual lands were ever popular, it was a very aggressive two-color deck that ended up claiming victory.


Featuring a Top 8 of big stars ranging from New York globetrotter Christian Calcano to Japanese superstar Yuuya Watanabe, the finals ended up pitting young Canadian Bill Tsang's very aggressive blue-red deck against young Connecticut resident Jake Mondello and his Temur deck.


Ultimately, a timely Act of Treason from Tsang obliterated Mondello's board in Game 3 of the finals, clearing the path for Tsang's blue-red all-stars to close out the game, the match, and the tournament.


Full Coverage


Decklists


Top 8 Decklists


Highlights


Ready to Break Through—Meet Brian Braun-Duin—Reporter Jacob Van Lunen talks to Braun-Duin about how he got started in Magic, and where he's going now heading into Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir.


The Fate of Fate Reforged Reporter Adam Styborski chats with Josh Utter-Leyton and Jacob Wilson about how things may change for evaluating Fate Reforged in the upcoming Dragons of Tarkir draft format.






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