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.
5. Todd Stevens
Todd Stevens came into the weekend looking to give him some cushion in the Players’ Championship race and did just that. While the Standard main event didn’t go well for Stevens, the best-dressed player on the SCG Tour®hit big in the Modern Classic on Sunday. Stevens piloted his recently adopted pet deck, Sun and Moon, to a first-place finish, taking home his first piece of hardware and 16 SCG Points. The boost in points puts Stevens ahead of Caleb Scherer by six points going into the Invitational and now is the second person into the #SCGPC by yearlong points, moving ahead of Scherer and distancing himself from Todd Anderson and Jacob Baugh. Stevens will look to convert his year of work into an invite to the Players’ Championship at the Season Three Invitational in Atlanta in two weekends. Check out Stevens’ Sun and Moon decklist here.
4. Emma Handy
For Emma Handy, this weekend was a longtime coming. Handy had fallen short of an Open Top 8 a couple times before finally converting on her win-and-in here in Knoxville. Despite starting the tournament at 1-2, Handy closed the Swiss by going 11-1, using a win over Robert Graves on camera in Round 15 to secure her first Open Top 8. Handy did her share of beating B/G Delirium with her build of W/U Flash, but her quarterfinal opponent, Brad Nelson, had other plans. Handy pushed the match to a third and final game, but couldn’t take down Nelson as her weekend came to an end. The Top 8 came at a great time as Handy celebrated her birthday on Saturday. The Top-8 finish was a great present and the first in what will most likely be many Open Top 8s. Check out Handy’s W/U Flash decklist here.
3. Eric Flickinger
Eric Flickinger was near the top of the standings all weekend, using B/G Delirium to punish player after player. Flickinger used the momentum to intentionally draw into the Top 8 in Round 15 and secure a high seed in the elimination rounds. Once in the Top 8, Flickinger defeated Joshua Morgan on W/U Flash in the quarterfinals, setting up his semifinal match against Brad Nelson in a B/G Delirium mirror. While Flickinger won their showdown in the Swiss, he couldn’t duplicate the success in Top 4, falling in two grindy games. Flickinger walks away with a bunch of cash and his second Open Top 8 in the memorable weekend for the Kentucky player. Check out Flickinger’s B/G Delirium decklist here.
2. Bradley Hill
In a sea of B/G Delirium and W/U Flash, Bradley Hill was a shining light of format diversity. Hill piloted Jeskai Control to the Top 8, defeating Chris Andersen on W/U Flash in Round 15 to lock his berth into the elimination rounds. Once in the Top 8, Hill took down Christopher Johnson on W/U Flash in the quarterfinals and Grant Christopher on B/G Delirium in the semifinals. Standing between Hill and an Open win, however, was Brad Nelson – one final opponent on B/G Delirium. Unfortunately for Hill, the finals were anticlimactic as Nelson took two quick games to deny the spiciest deck in the Top 8 a trophy. Despite the loss, Hill showed that a non W/U or B/G deck can still hold its own in the format. Check out Hill’s Jeskai Control decklist here.
1. Brad Nelson
Brad Nelson wants back for his third Players’ Championship and needed a strong finish this weekend to put him in the Season Three points race. Nelson delivered, showing why he is a Standard master, putting on a clinic on how to play B/G Delirium all weekend. Nelson annihilated the Swiss on Day 1 to be the lone undefeated player, but took three losses in the first four rounds on Sunday. Despite the road bumps, Nelson refused to lose from there, winning Round 14 and 15 to make it into the elimination rounds as the No. 3 seed. Nelson continued to bulldoze the competition, taking down all comers in his ninth Open Top 8. Nelson’s path to his second Open trophy required defeating Emma Handy on W/U Flash, Eric Flickinger on B/G Delirium, and Bradley Hill on Jeskai Control. In the end, Nelson showcased the power of B/G Delirium and earned 30 SCG Points to jump into third in the Season Three race over Todd Anderson and Jacob Baugh. Nelson now controls his own destiny at the Season Three Invitational in Atlanta and has another #SCGPC in his sights. Check out Nelson’s B/G Delirium decklist here.