In a rematch of their Swiss showdown, Greg and Max were squaring off for the trophy. Greg had lost the first bout, but he hoped having first seed in the Top 8 would reward him with the advantage he needed.
Max is here with the bugaboo of the format, Mono-Black Devotion, while Andrew is staying true to his nature with a G/W Aggro deck that truly fits his style. Which of these consummate pros will add ‘Invitational finalist’ to their resume?
New Jersey Invitational will have a tough road to hoe to get his second Invitational win, and it starts with the top overall seed Greg Hatch. In the classic matchup of Red vs. Blue, which of these Open Series all-stars will make the grade?
A strong Legacy performance has kept Erik Smith within striking distance of a second Invitational Top 8—he’ll need a win and some favorable breakers to pull it off. Vegas player Harrison Beach needs the same, and hopes to give his hometown a hero.
At table 8, these players have about a 25% shot at top 8ing the Invitational with a victory… but a loss means it’s 11-5 and a likely top 32 finish. Can either player complete the impossible dream and sneak into the top 8 here in Las Vegas?
Both of these players had 8-3 records heading in to the twelfth round, and with an expected cutoff of around 12-3-1 neither player could realistically expect to make top 8 with a loss here. Which red-based aggro deck could take the cake in this battle of Burning-Trees?
Todd had selected the GP Dallas-winning deck for this event, while Erik was one of several northeastern players on a devotion-based red deck. Both players had begun the tournament strong, with Top 8 in their sights.
Chris Higashi has been running up the ranks with his Scapeshift Valakut deck, running such Legacy hits as Thragtusk, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Wood Elves. Can Zach keep up with his U/W/R Delver? The winner here will have a 6-2 overall record, while the loser will have to settle for 5-3.
Two of the three remaining undefeated players met in this match. Shaheen Soorani has four Invitational Top 8s to his name, demonstrating an uncanny level of consistency—especially with Esper. Matt Nass was in search of his first Top 8 and playing his traditional Legacy deck, Elves.
Chris had emerged from a month of beard-growing and Magic battling with a plan for Standard—burn spells. Sherwin, on the other hand, was piloting a deck not unlike the Grand Prix Dallas-winning list, with some extra hate for spell-based decks in the main.
Sitting at table 1, both of these competitors had banner years in 2013: Erik Smith earning an Invitational win in New Jersey and Andrew making the top 8 of Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze… but a win here in Las Vegas would put a nice exclamation point on their young career years. Which of these gentlemen will begin this tournament with an unblemished 4-0 Standard record?
Steven was one of many players adding Counterflux to their U/W decks in order to gain a leg up in Elixir of Immortality mirrors, while Tim had brought a Mono-Black Devotion deck to the table that hedged slightly against aggressive decks, making this a mismatch for him.
Alex and David had managed to avoid the Mono-Black mirror until just now in the Standard Open in Las Vegas (aside from intentional draws), but they could avoid fate no longer. Now that 100% of the bets placed would be on black, who would come out on top?
Jacob Wilson is one of the rising stars on the Magic pro circuit, with Grand Prix and Open Series wins already under his belt. But Vinnie Gorman stands in his way. Who will earn their spot in the Legacy Open top 8 here?
Many players have begun to assert that RUG Delver’s time to shine is over, but Ricky Sidher has kept the faith. With an Open Win and a Top 16 in the past two he’s played in, another Top 8 was no surprise from the West Coast player.