After the rousing success that was the first Team Constructed Open in Baltimore earlier this year, #SCGKY looks to keep the fun going. SCG Baltimore capped at 300 teams, leading the Louisville Open to up the cap to 350 teams. Even more exciting is that Legacy and Standard have been hit with recent bannings, while Modern has seen new decks pop up since the last Team Open. Whether you're a fan of Standard, Modern, Legacy, or all three, #SCGKY will provide something exciting to watch!
Unfortunately, the Baltimore winning team of Sam Pardee, Matt Nass, and Ben Stark won't be in Louisville to defend their title, but plenty of teams will be looking to become the reigning team champions. Notably, the runners-up, Paul Lynch, Asa Snyder, and Levi Pospichal will be back and aiming for a finish one spot better. Here's a quick preview of fifteen teams to watch this weekend:
Team MGG's only team for #SCGKY slots its two newest members alongside the team captain, Jim Davis. Two-time Grand Prix winner Frank Skarren and five-time Invitational Top 8'er Ben Friedman join up with 2015 Players' Champion Davis for one of the highest profile teams in the tournament. Skarren and the Jessup brothers from Team MGG finished in ninth place at Baltimore though the brothers won't be making the trip this weekend. Davis teamed with New York friends Jay Imperiale and Max Tietze while Friedman played with Adam Yurchick and Frank Vanderwall at the previous Team Constructed Open. Friedman, Davis, and Skarren combine for 25 Open Top 8s, three Open wins, and seven Invitational Top 8s.
Team Dapper is one of a handful of teams to run back its same squad from SCG Baltimore and are looking to improve on their results at the first Team Constructed Open. While the squad started things off with a 5-0 start in Baltimore, Day 2 wasn't in the cards for the sharp-dressed team of Todd Stevens, Brennan DeCandio, and Tannon Grace. The team is keeping each player in the same spot with Grace on Legacy, Stevens on Modern, and DeCandio on Standard. DeCandio is coming off a 34th-place finish at Pro Tour Amonkhet, has two Open wins in the past six months, and holds the lead in the Season One SCG Tour® standings. Stevens is third in the seasonal standings, bringing three of his six Open Top 8s in the Modern format. Meanwhile, Grace brings "The" in front of his name and a PPTQ win last weekend.
Paul Lynch - Asa Snyder - Levi Pospichal
The second-place team from SCG Baltimore is back at it, headlined by Legacy aficionado Paul Lynch. Lynch, a Baltimore-based player, teamed with two friends from Wisconsin and made it to the finals of the first Team Constructed Open before falling to Sam Pardee, Matt Nass, and Ben Stark. While Lynch knew his way around the Miracles deck in Legacy, the Eternal player will need a new deck following the banning of Sensei's Divining Top. His teammates still have access to Grixis Control in Modern and Mardu Vehicles in Standard if they so choose. Can the trio improve on their finish in Baltimore this weekend?
The Bayou Boys, or as Tom Ross says, "the OG Louisiana squad" are getting the band back together for #SCGKY. Three names Southern Magic players fear come together, headlined by 2016 SCG Tour® Player of the Year The Boss. Austin Bursavich is coming off a Modern Open win in Dallas with Jund Death's Shadow after not touching Constructed Magic for a number of months. Jody Keith, a master of fringe decks, took down the Modern Classic at the same Dallas Open with Living End. For this event, Keith will handle Legacy, Bursavich will stick to Modern, and Ross will fill the Standard spot.
Nate Barton - Eli Kassis - Ted Felicetti
Two recent Open winners, Eli Kassis and Ted Felicetti, join up with a growing name in the Legacy world. Both Kassis and Felicetti are Top 16 players on the SCG Tour® rankings with Kassis' win coming last month at the Worcester Legacy Open. Kassis defeated Nate Barton in the finals of that event, and now the two will work together. Barton is no stranger to success in Louisville, coming off a Top-4 finish in the Legacy Grand Prix there at the start of the year. Barton will take the Legacy seat and most likely stick with Grixis Delver, while Kassis takes on Modern, a format he has had strong results with his particular take on Bant Retreat. Felicetti was on the sixth-place team in Baltimore alongside Joshua Taylor and Michael Derczo.
No. 14 Jadine Klomparens and No. 25 Emma Handy are back with their team from before. The team is keeping the seats the same with Handy on Legacy, Klomparens on Standard, and Jake Humphries on Modern. Handy is coming off a Top-32 finish at the Atlanta Standard Open, while Klomparens went 9-6, missing out on Top 64. Though the squad missed out on Day 2 in Baltimore, all three formats have changed since the previous team event.
Korey McDuffie - Arya Roohi - Dylan Donegan
The seventh-place team from SCG Baltimore are returning after losing their win-and-in for Top 4, looking for a record with one more victory. The team of young guns - all 25 years old or younger - are headlined by Dylan Donegan in the Standard seat, who won an Open with Jeskai Saheeli and a PTQ with Mardu Vehicles in the past five months. Korey McDuffie, a two-time Open winner, takes the Legacy seat and is all too familiar with Stoneforge Mystic, a strategy he might go back to following the ban of Sensei's Divining Top. Arya Roohi will be playing Modern, most likely on Burn. The group has eleven Open Top 8s, three Open wins, and one Invitational Top 8 and win.
An interesting team with three potential Legacy specialists puts West Coast players Joe Lossett and Jonathan Job with Rudy Briksza from the East Coast. While Lossett is the most experienced Legacy player, the former Miracles master will handle Standard for #SCGKY following his preparation for Pro Tour Amonkhet. Briksza will tackle Legacy while Job fills the middle seat on Modern. The trio combines for 33 Open Top 8s, seven Open wins, and two Invitational Top 8s. Lossett and Job didn't play in the first Team Open, though Briksza finished in 10th with Kazu Negri and Aaron Kasprzak.
Two Cardhoarder teammates join forces with Midwest SCG Tour® grinder of years past, Justin Uppal. Jacob Baugh and Devin Koepke have had their share of success on the SCG Tour® recently with Invitational and Open wins between them, respectively. Baugh is the reigning Invitational champ, still having his Energy Reserve tokens handed out at Opens, and Koepke took down the Eldritch Moon release week Standard Open. While Uppal hasn't been as active of late due to going to college, the youngster still has nine Open Top 8s to his name. The group combines for 24 Open Top 8s, three Open wins, and one Invitational Top 8 and win.
Between Jeff Hoogland and Kent Ketter, no team can rival their amount of second-place finishes in Opens. Hoogland and Ketter combine for 22 Open Top 8s without a trophy. Perhaps the teaming of the two can overcome the curse of "second or ninth" as Ketter puts it. The two SCG Tour® regulars are joined by Mat Bimonte, who joined them in winning a local Team Constructed event with 31 teams a few weeks back. The team will look to continue their winning ways with Hoogland on Legacy, Ketter on Modern, and Bimonte on Standard.
Anuraag Das - Bob Huang - Zan Syed
Team Lotus Box is another partial team from SCG Baltiomre that started off hot, posting an 8-1 record on Day 1. Anuraag Das and Zan Syed paired with Neeraj Shukla in Baltimore, but will be teaming with Bob Huang for #SCGKY. Das is another Miracles player (with plenty of strong results) that will be looking for a new deck in Legacy while Syed sticks with Standard. Huang, often thought of as a Legacy specialist, takes on Modern for this event. Though Huang has a Legacy World Championship title, he also warped Modern by putting the Goryo's Vengeance deck with Nourishing Shoal and Worldspine Wurm on the map.
Aaron Kasprzak - Andrew Shrout - Jarvis Yu
Grand Prix Seattle champion Jarvis Yu joins with Pro Tour Dragon 's Maze Top 8'er Andrew Shrout, and Grand Prix Columbus Top 8er Aaron Kasprzak for a strong team across all formats. Kasprzak, another Miracles pilot without his deck of choice, will be back in the Legacy slot after finishing in 10th with Kazu Negri and Rudy Briksza in Baltimore. Shrout, a player with a wide range, will be playing Modern while Yu will be playing Standard after going 9-7 at Pro Tour Amonkhet.
Brian Coval - Chris Stagno - Alex Bastecki
Brian Coval and Chris Stagno started 8-0-1 in Baltimore with Alexis Ostrander, but struggled to convert on Day 2. This time, 2015 New Jersey Invitational champion Alex Bastecki will join Coval and Stagno. Like many Legacy enthusiasts, Stagno piloted Miracles for his team in Baltimore. Stagno will be moving to Modern for #SCGKY, leaving Legacy to Coval, and Standard to Bastecki. For a squad with only one Open Top 8 to its name, Coval, Stagno, and Bastecki make up a perfect sleeper pick for the event.
Spencer Garnier - Clay Spicklemire - Chris Andersen
Longtime SCG Tour® player Chris Andersen teams up with up-and-coming players Spencer Garnier and Clay Spicklemire. With nineteen Open Top 8s, Andersen is fifth all-time on that list, and most recently made the Top 8 of the 2016 Atlanta Invitational. Spicklemire made his name by winning Grand Prix Columbus with Infect in 2016, defeating Joe Lossett in dramatic fashion in the finals. Garnier will be playing Legacy, however, leaving the Legacy Grand Prix winner on Modern, and Andersen on Standard.
Bill Comminos - Bernie Wen - Ben Wienburg
Three Midwest grinders and SCG Tour® veterans team up for a close-to-home team event. Ben Wienburg made many Top 8s in the early years of the SCG Tour and has a win in 2014 to his name, along with an Invitational runner-up finish to Reid Duke in Los Angeles in 2012. Bill Comminos is a combo player through and through, with a notable Top 8 in the Modern Open in Cincinnati in 2016 with Amulet Bloom, winning a game on a mulligan to six without playing a card on the first turn. Comminos will be on Legacy, Wienburg on Standard, and Bernie Wen will be filling the middle seat on Modern. The group combines for eighteen Open Top 8s with one win.