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. Andrew Jessup
Andrew Jessup is one of the top Elves players on the SCG Tour®, so it was no surprise to see him crush the Swiss once again with his army of little green creatures. Jessups rattled off 12 wins before taking his first loss and coasted into the elimination rounds as the top seed. For Jessup, it was his sixth Open Top 8, and the Team MGG player was looking for his first trophy after three finals losses in those appearances. But Jessup’s run came to an abrupt end when he had to face Eli Kassis on Miracles in the quarterfinals. Kassis found his sweepers when he needed them and locked Jessup out of the games with Counterbalance and Sensei’s Divining Top to send Jessup home empty handed. In a field full of Miracles and control decks, Jessup still showed the power of the Elves combo. Check out Jessup’s Elves decklist here.
4. Nathaniel Red
Few decks turned more heads than Nathaniel Red’s Mono-Red Sneak Attack build that picked up many lopsided wins on camera. Red displayed the strengths of Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void in a format dominated by dual lands and one and two-mana spells. Red quickly defeated Tony Murata on U/G Eldrazi Post in the quarterfinals before matching up with Eli Kassis in the semis. Red was only able to lock out Kassis in one game before succumbing to the permission from the Miracles deck. With the rising popularity of Sultai and Four-Color Control decks, Red’s deck of choice proved to be a great meta pick. Check out Red’s Mono-Red Sneak Attack decklist here.
3. Jonathan Morawski
Jonathan Morawski made the Top 8 of the last #SCGWOR Legacy Open with Reanimator in 2016 and looked to improve on that finish this year. Morawski did that, playing the same deck, and reaching the semifinals after a strong run through the Swiss, where he only dropped two matches. The 2015 Players’ Championship competitor took down the highly successful Miracles pilot, Sam Roukas, in the quarterfinals, setting up his semifinal match against Nate Barton on Grixis Delver. While Morawski was able to take Game off the play of discarding a Griselbrand to hand size on the draw, he was unable to take either of the following games. Check out Morawski’s Reanimator decklist here.
2. Nate Barton
Nate Barton might be a new face to the SCG Tour®, but he already had success in Legacy this year with a Top-4 finish at Grand Prix Louisville back in January. Barton ran back Grixis Delver just like in Louisville and cruised into the Top 8 as the No. 2 seed, not being tempted into playing four colors for Leovold, Emissary of Trest. Barton took down Chris Allan on Infect in the quarterfinals in two quick games before eliminating Jonathan Morawski on Reanimator in the semis, setting up a finals match against Eli Kassis on Miracles. Barton made it to Game 3 on the play, but kept a risky no-lander and missed on two Gitaxian Probes and his first draw step before finding a Tropical Island. By the time he found the needed lands to play, Kassis had already set up Counter/Top on rode the lock to victory. Check out Barton’s Grixis Delver decklist here.
1. Eli Kassis
Eli Kassis has been playing on the SCG Tour® long before it had that name, dating back to when the events were 5Ks, but still didn’t have a trophy. While Kassis took down two Classics over the past year, Kassis converted in his 13th Open Top 8 and claimed the hardware. Kassis squeaked into the Top 8 as the No. 8 seed with Miracles and made the most of his opportunity. First he took down Andrew Jessup on Elves in the quarterfinals in two decisive games, then he dispatched Nathaniel Red on Mono-Red Sneak Attack in three games – coming out on top of a tough matchup. Finally, Kassis clinched the trophy by defeating Nate Barton on Grixis Delver in a three-game set. The win not only granted Kassis his first trophy, but also put him in the lead of the Season One points race. Check out Kassis’ Miracles decklist here.