Top 5 Players of the Weekend
Learn more about five players who put up a great weekend through a high finish, interesting deck, or memorable moment.
Todd Anderson played the role of “Jund Guy” this weekend, looking for a solid finish as he chased a slot in the 2016 Players’ Championship. Anderson took his third loss in Round 10 to start Day 2, but rattled off five straight wins to give him a chance at the Top 8, depending on tiebreakers. As standings were posted, Anderson jumped a spot in the standings, squeaking into the Top 8 as the No. 8 seed. His excitement ended once he found out he had to play Tom Ross in a lopsided matchup against G/W Tron. Anderson couldn’t pull the upset, though he did manage to take a game, leaving him with his 30th Open Top 8 of all time and 15 SCG Points to jump Jacob Baugh in the yearlong points race, putting his #SCGPC spot in his own hands. Check out Anderson’s Jund decklist here.
4. Robert Cucunato
Robert Cucunato is known for his prowess with Affinity and showed why with another dominant performance this weekend. Cucunato crushed the Swiss, making the Top 8 as the No. 4 seed, allowing him to be on the play against Adam Fronsee in the quarterfinals. Cucunato’s deck fired on all cylinders, defeating Fronsee’s Bant Eldrazi is two blisteringly fast games. Cucunato’s run came to an end when he ran into Tom Ross in the semifinals as The Boss picked him apart in two games with the power of Karn Liberated and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Check out Cucunato’s Affinity decklist here.
3. Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones is already qualified for the #SCGPC, but another Modern Open Top 8 is always nice. Jones will be missing the Knoxville Standard Open to participate in the World Magic Cup so some extra Modern practice couldn’t hurt the member of Team Metagame Gurus. Jones played his trusty Grixis Delver to his second Modern Open Top 8 of the year (winning in Dallas in Season Two) and faced Ben Wienburg on Burn in the quarterfinals. Jones won the match 2-1, setting up his semifinal match against Matt Ayers on Dredge. Jones’ run abruptly ended as Ayers won two quick games where Jones’ lack of graveyard hate was apparent. Check out Jones’ Grixis Delver decklist here.
2. Matt Ayers
Dredge’s numbers dipped this weekend, but Matt Ayers showed the deck was still incredibly powerful. Ayers opted for a build with Simian Spirit Guide to facilitate quicker games with Turn-1 Cathartic Reunion. Ayers’ explosive build did him wonders in the Swiss, cruising into the Top 8 as the No. 3 seed. Ayers dispatched Dan Musser on Bant Eldrazi in the quarterfinals in two games that didn’t get past the fourth turn. Ayers kept it going by crushing Kevin Jones in two as well, setting up the finals against Tom Ross. Ayers never showed the deck’s true potential against Ross, taking mulligans to five in both games as he joined a long list of players to fall to The Boss in the finals of Opens and Invitationals. Check out Ayers’ Dredge decklist here.
1. Tom Ross
Tom Ross had his eye on taking back the lead in the Player of the Year race and did it in the most dominant fashion. Ross shocked many by sleeving up G/W Tron and blazed through Day 1 as the lone undefeated player. As the only Tron player on Day 2, Ross only took one loss to lock up the top seed in the elimination rounds. The Boss took down fellow VS. Video star, Todd Anderson, in the quarterfinals before eliminating Robert Cucunato on Affinity in the semis. The only thing standing between Ross and his third Open win of the year (and fifth overall) was Matt Ayers on Dredge. The Boss showed the strength of his deck in the Dredge matchup, taking the set in two with a little help from mulligans by Ayers. In the end, Ross took an 18-point lead over Jeff Hoogland and will look to build on it at the Invitational as he missed the Knoxville Open to play in the Epic World Championship. Check out Ross’ G/W Tron decklist here.