At this point, you already know the outcome of Pro Tour 25th Anniversary. I guess I do too, but I didn't as I sat down in my hotel room in Minneapolis Thursday afternoon before the Pro Tour watching the Silver Showcase Draft and reminiscing about my time preparing for this Pro Tour. I've never worked harder preparing for a tournament in my entire life, and I hoped all that preparation would be worth it. That's because I was at 49 Pro Points for the season which meant a good finish got me and my teammate, Brian Braun-Duin, to Worlds. Genesis was also in fifth place in the Team Series, and a good finish could get us to Team Worlds.
Simply put, the stakes had never been higher for me and my team.
Since Pro Tour 25th Anniversary was so important, Genesis decided to up the ante by preparing harder than we ever did before. We joined forces with Team Ultimate Guard and began preparation for the event a month out.
That's right. We tested for four weeks and in person for much of it. Crazy in 2018, I know.
William Jensen and Owen Turtenwald live four hours away from where Brian and I live, but very close to Seth Manfield, so that seemed like the perfect location to meet up to begin preparation. Three formats weren't going to be easy to break, but we had the time and resources to get the job done.
The merger of Genesis and Ultimate Guard was exciting. Both teams work extremely hard to give themselves the best chance for success when playing professional Magic and very often do both teams choose the same decks for events. So much so, in fact, that we've joked that we already know what the other team is playing at events and we're often correct. We think in similar ways, work in similar ways, and now prepare in similar ways.
Testing for team events was something new to me. I've played Team Constructed Grand Prix before, but nothing close to an event this large in magnitude. Usually you just work on your deck/format, answer questions asked by teammates about theirs, but for the most part don't get too involved in their business unless asked to. This time around, I assumed we would want to all know each other's decks to have the best chances. It's possible that something might go wrong and attentions scattered, but theoretically we would be able to divide our time between the formats.