Innovations – Tezzeret in Paris *6th*: Part 3

Tuesday, February 22 – Patrick Chapin has Top 8ed 4 PTs over his career and is the first to Top 8 in 3 different decades. His Tezzeret deck will play a major part this weekend at SCG Open: DC, so don’t miss the exciting conclusion!

I don’t win.

The event, that is; I don’t win it. I’m telling you this so as to remove the stress of unnecessary anxiety associated with the prolonged continuation
of this tournament report (“My Grixis?”). In fact, Ben Stark wins. While Tom Martell, Ben Stark, and I held a celebration dinner Friday night, Ben
Stark ended up picking up the tab at a second dinner, the night of his win. During this dinner, we had steaks, champagne, and more. Something was
missing, however, and it wasn’t until that missing person stumbled past the window of the restaurant, prompting us to run out in the streets and drag
him in. So as to ensure that some element of suspense is still retained, it will remain a mystery who this person off the street was, until the
appropriate part of the story.

So, say you’re by some strange sort of circumstance sounding suspiciously somewhat surprised seeing such stuff, a recap of Part 1 and Part 2 might be
useful. Just a warning, however, one of the “costs” that goes along with being certified bat-shirt crazy is that sometimes the voices in your head
change their tune. So let’s see, where were we? Yadda, yadda, yadda, I cast Spreading Seas on his Raging Ravine

We’re past that part, man.

Err, Day 2?

Not quite that far.

Did I draft yet?

Yeah, and Drafting with Patrick was riveting. Your brilliant observations were “Getting passed Volition Reins was good” and “Ichor Wellspring
incites euphoria in you.”

So how are we not to Day 2?

For no explicit reason, you abruptly call it a day after the draft portion. So typical. Don’t the Limited games matter to you? Seriously, you know
damn well that the stories about the event that are most interesting are the stories between the stories, not a recap of “I cast Volition Reins,
and this worked out well.”

Okay, so what you’re saying is skip the game analysis? Who are you, anyway?

I’m not saying anything, and you can pretend that I’m just a composite character from your subconscious that is giving you some much-needed
perspective. You Know Who I Am.

What in the world happened? This is supposed to be my PT Paris tournament report…

And it is. Do whatever you want, but you’ll probably find it more useful to stick to the interesting stuff.

Okay, fine. Round six and seven were very easy. I had feature matches every round of this draft, and in these first two rounds, I just curved out with
removal, card advantage, and Control Magics. Going into the final round of the draft against Limited master, Ben Stark (one of primary authorities who
I study Limited Magic theory with), I was definitely feeling good about my chances. At this point, I was 7-0 and battling Ben Stark for the rights to
be one of the two undefeated players after Day One.

Game one, I played a Blisterstick Shaman on turn 3, killing an infect creature. A turn 4 Oxidda Scrapmelter gave me a massive advantage on board,
leaving Ben with just a Signal Pest and a Vector Asp. On his turn, he dropped a Tumble Magnet and had to ship the turn to me. I had four poison
counters at this point, so I swung with Scrapmelter, thinking after I dropped a Ferrovore and an Oculus with Blisterstick at home, it would be enough
defense to protect me from the Signal Pest and the Vector Asp.

This was a mistake.

My hand contained Cerebral Eruption and plenty of good creatures; I was up several cards. Why take any chances at all? I mean, yeah, it’s pretty tough
to anticipate what was about to follow, but with such a good position, what am I gaining by taking an aggressive stance here? Ben only had three land,
anyway. It hadn’t even occurred to me how I could lose.

I was tapped out, mana-wise, so Ben casually tapped my Ferrovore with his Magnet, untapped, tapped Blisterstick Shaman, and swung with his guys, giving
Vector Asp infect and tapping both Forests for a Mirran Mettle and an Unnatural Predation. Err, wait, that is six more poison. Exactsies? Awkward. This
was my game. Tighten up!

After winning game two very easily with Volition Reins, game three looked like another winner for me. Eventually, I arrived at a spot where we each had
an empty board, and my hand contained Scrapmelter, Galvanic Blast, two Halt Orders, and a Volition Reins, among others, though only three Islands and a
Mountain. Ben was a bit flooded, with a slow draw, but eventually played a Liquimetal Coating with four more mana open. I kind of wanted to let it
resolve, so that I could get some value out of my Scrapmelter and put some pressure on Stark.  

This was a mistake.

Ben promptly turned my Mountain into an artifact and played Viridian Corrupter. Why would he be playing Liquimetal Coating if he didn’t mean it? I
didn’t draw a land in time, and eventually an Untamed Might finished me off. This match was mine to win. Coverage of this match can be found here.

Long-time readers will no doubt recall the different Pro Tours in which I have punted enough matches to cost me a spot in Top 8. Pro Tour Berlin 2008,
Pro Tour Honolulu 2009, Worlds 2009 in Rome, and Pro Tour San Diego 2010, not to mention a number of other punted matches that would’ve led to
completely different pairings, and so on. Obviously, you change a single match in any of these, and everything would have been different, but still
it’s painfully clear that there’s just an absurd amount of skill in Magic. There’s no one on Earth who consistently finishes Pro Tours while punting
matches or making mistakes that cost them the event, even if those mistakes relate to deck choice.

In the eight Pro Tours before Paris, I punted enough matches in each event to cost me Top 8 in at least four of them. That seems about right, as it
sure seems like with perfect play, one could actually Top 8 half the time, and that’s just with the deckbuilding technology that we have now. Imagine
if we built decks even better! Magic is really, really challenging.

Okay, so 7-1? Not too bad. Always sucks to “punt” a match, but I would much rather continue to be painfully aware of how many matches I’m losing
because of play so as to learn from my mistakes than to convince myself that all of my losses are due to mana screw or variance or whatever.

Thursday night, I declined going out on the town, instead opting to acquire some much-needed rest back at the hotel MJ and I rented a mile from the
site. Protip: If you’re going to rent a hotel room in Europe, instead of just showing up and trying to book a room, making an internet reservation
through a service like Priceline.com can be a major boon. Priceline not only provides a convenient way to search through tons of possibilities, it also
has a tendency to allow you to secure the rooms for discounted rates (as most hotels are willing to rent their rooms for well below advertised prices).

Speaking of Priceline.com, if you’re serious about going to Magic events, such as numerous Grand Prix requiring flights, learn how to Priceline.com,
Cheapoair.com, and Hipmunk.com! Taking the time to learn sites like these will pay major dividends. Spend some time each trip and experiment with every
possible permutation of departure times and days of the week, return times, neighboring airports, and other variables. You’ll begin to notice patterns
in where the best deals can be found and with which variables, and information of this sort can save you literally hundreds of dollars every trip.
Playing professional Magic takes a lot more than just mana bases and mulligans. Managing the travel presents a multitude of challenges itself.

Guillaume Matignon, who had also played my Grixis Tezzeret list, finished the Constructed portion 4-1 (6-2 on the day), while MJ had bombed out
(4-3-1). MJ was severely ill from the Parisian Phyresis that was going around and was certainly not able to bring his C game, let alone his A game. In
MJ’s words, every single non-victory he obtained was his own fault, including writing Trinket Mage instead of Treasure Mage on his deck reg form and
not having anyone double check it. Not only did he get a loss from the deck check, he also had to play out the event with Trinket Mage instead. Then,
to add more injury to injury, he drew Trinket Mage in a game that if he had a Treasure Mage he would win easily.

Still, all in all, the weekend ended with a very strong showing out of the Grixis Tezzeret list, as it was the deck with the highest win percentage
that was played by more than one person (Guillaume, MJ, and I combined for a record of 15-8 in matches without a draw). Caw-Blade is without a doubt
the strongest deck to have come out of PT Paris, presenting an impressive 60%+ win percentage, despite a massive sample size of 396 matches, but we
were definitely happy with our deck for this event.  

Sick brags, bro!

Look, I’m just saying we were happy with our choice, or at least I was. I mean, who’s got the chips?

Didn’t Caw-Blade win the event?

Ahem. So, a lot of people have asked me if I would recommend Grixis Tezzeret moving forward. My response is that it is a fantastic strategy but one
that needs to evolve. If you play the same list as two weeks ago, it will generally be the same as playing two-week-old Five-Color Control.
Additionally, this is the exact sort of deck that needs to be customized for the meta you’re expecting to face, as well as your personal play style. It
can make an excellent starting point, but if you want to enjoy tournament success with it, I highly recommend spicing this one up. Some decks shouldn’t
be tinkered with much. This is not one of those decks, as tinkering with it and changing it up is just about the best thing you could do. New ideas
aren’t necessarily better, but if you come from a new direction and hit, you will crush.

Caw-Blade is a fundamentally solid strategy that will continue to perform well, despite being aimed for. It’s resilient, full of good cards, and has
two of the three best cards in the format in it (Jace and Stoneforge Mystic, but not Primeval Titan). Tezzeret is one of the better cards itself, but
you do have to build around it, and it’s much more linear, leaving it vulnerable to prepared opponents. Additionally, some of the value of the Tezzeret
list was how much no one had any idea how to play against it. Now that they do, much of the edge is lost. Additionally, Valakut is going to make a
comeback, which is bad news for my list (whereas Juza’s list is much better against Valakut, though soft against aggro).

Anyone interested in discussion on Juza’s build? If so, let me know in the forums, and maybe I’ll do another article this week on Juza-style
Forgemaster Tezzeret, otherwise could just go back to discussing Extended, as it is the PTQ format.

So anyway, MJ and I get back to the hotel, and MJ needed to kold early, as he was pretty ill. Fortunately, I’d already had the Paris bug like five days
earlier, so I was already immune. What I wasn’t immune to, however, was MJ’s snoring. I’ve shared a room with MJ something like 50 times for a combined
number of nights in the several hundreds. In all that time, I have seen MJ snore like three times and always only when he’s grossly fatigued and sleep

I’m a light sleeper, and snoring is generally an absolute deal breaker for me, when it comes to sharing a room. Obviously I have to cut MJ some slack,
as he does succeed around 99% at not snoring. Still, I’m not going to miss a night’s sleep with the PT on the line, so I was forced to poke and push
and prod and roll MJ over and over in an attempt to stop his snoring. Finally, I ended up meditating in the shower, sitting in the lotus position for
thirty or forty minutes with the lights off and the shower raining down particularly hot water.

I realize this sounds a little unusual, and this is hardly in my usual playbook, but it did the trick and helped me refocus my mind, relax, and get
into a mental space where I was no longer buzzing with anticipation for the day to come. After exiting the shower, I rolled MJ over again and found a
spot where he wouldn’t snore for at least a few minutes (until he rolled over again), giving me a window to fall asleep in.

Day 2 began with another draft, and this time, pod 1 was absolutely stacked, containing Ben Stark, Eric Froehlich, Yuuya Watanabe, Kentaro Ino, Vincent
Lemoine, Naoki Nakada, and Conrad Kolos. The second draft can be viewed here. I
also did a draft tech video with BDM
that explains a lot of my perspective on this format. In summary, I ended up U/W:

U/W BSS Draft by Patrick Chapin

1 Glint Hawk

1 Leonin Relic-Warder

1 Sunspear Shikari

1 Riddlesmith

1 Iron Myr

1 Palladium Myr

1 Auriok Replica

1 Glimmerpoint Stag

1 Lumengrid Drake

1 Rusted Slasher

1 Precursor Golem

1 Darksteel Sentinel

1 Lumengrid Gargoyle

2 Ichor Wellspring

1 Arrest

1 Dispense Justice

1 Stoic Rebuttal

1 Corrupted Conscious

2 Quicksilver Geyser

1 Venser, the Sojourner

1 True Conviction

9 Plains

8 Island

Round nine was yet another Limited feature match (no interest in Tezzeret, huh?), this time against Petr Brozek. This would be a good example of “Yep,
Control-Magic-ed him out, again.” As I told Luis after this round, I don’t know what I would do if I had to play without Control Magics in my draft

Round ten was the Ben Stark rematch, though this one was a lot less interesting. I just rolled over his Mono-Red deck. He couldn’t beat the Sentinel,
and my card advantage and lack of vulnerability to removal made this a very bad matchup for him. If you’re interested in more specifics,

the coverage can be found here


The final round of Limited was against a hyper-aggressive infect deck, this time in the hands of eventual Top 8 competitor, Vincent Lemoine. He was on
the play, leading with Signal Pest into Plague Stinger, into Plague Stinger, into Tel-Jihad’s Fallen, into Bellowing Tanglewurm. Good beats. Game two,
I chose to play, as it’s clear he’s capable of some very fast starts. After he dealt the final poison counters with Ichor Rats returned with Morbid
Plunder, he showed me that he still had all these cards that beat me.

So going into the home stretch, I was sitting pretty decently, with a record of 9-2, which meant that I needed a record of 3-1-1 in the final
Constructed portion to lock up the Top 8. For reference, here’s the list I used in the Standard portion:

My first Constructed opponent on the day was Nico Bohny, with G/W Quest. Finally, this pseudo-cliff hanger is getting resolved! Game 1 he mulled to
five but had turn 1 Quest on the play. Still, a quick Tumble Magnet kept me safe. Games 2 and 3 were both turn 1 Quest, a story about hoping to draw
Jace, then hoping to draw Tumble Magnet, then finally letting go.

“One time, be Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Please, just one time, let me draw a Jace, the Mind Sculptor.”

My adversary’s Ornithopter with Argentum Armor was weighing heavily on me, though even if I drew another Jace, he would still have a Glint Hawk on the
board to ensure I would not keep a planeswalker on the table. This was the deciding game, and I was trying to imagine what sequence of draws I would
need in order to win this game. The first card I would need was Jace, and it would have to be this turn.

Ever so slowly, I slid the top card of my library away from the remaining cards. I believe in the heart of the cards, I really do.  

One of the perks of getting your face kicked in by G/W Quest is having plenty of time to slow-roll yourself during the match…

I peeled the card up…

Jace, the Mind Sculptor!

I regained my composure and assessed the board, determining that in fact I did have to just play the Jace as a four-mana Eye of Nowhere; still, I could
come back!

My opponent played Ornithopter, Kor Skyfisher, and Ornithopter on his next turn, triggering his other Quest. Sword of Body and Mind entered the
battlefield, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor left just as quickly as he came. Now what was I going to do? Not even another Jace would help me; protection
from blue is no joke. It was then that I imagined drawing Tumble Magnet on my next turn. I could still do this!

One time, dealer! One time, like!

On my next turn, after untapping, I slowly slid the top card off the stack of unrealized potential I called a library.

Another sick self-slow-roll…

Tumble Magnet!

Could it really be? I tapped three lands and set the Tumble Magnet onto the battlefield. Don’t call it a comeback!

Of course, I didn’t win this game. That’s right; despite one-timing Jace, the Mind Sculptor, then immediately asking for and receiving a one-time
Tumble Magnet, I still didn’t win. As I signed the match slip and watched Nico Bohny walk away, I felt a wave of calm wash over me. Yes, I had
just received my first Constructed loss, my third overall loss of the event, meaning my back was against the wall, and I would have to win the next
three straight. Still, it was as though the sun had just come out after an ominous thunderstorm. A torrential downpour of confusion had been replaced
with a crystal-clear sky with complete, unabashed clarity abounding.

I laughed out loud, as I sat there by myself. I realize the “humor” may be lost a little in translating the experience into English words, but it was a
profoundly joyous laughter, as I let go. I let go of my attachment to what it was that I thought I wanted and just thanked the Universe for what I was
in the midst of experiencing. From my perspective, the Universe doesn’t make mistakes. Every experience, even every hardship, is a blessing. After
asking “one-time” twice in the span of thirty seconds, receiving exactly what it was I thought I wanted, I still didn’t win. Was my mistake not asking
“to win?” No, that’s just more of the same — attachment to what it is that I think I want.

In that moment, I let go and just realized how thankful I was for whatever the Universe brings me. Rain or sun, hardship or easy ride, I’m down for
whatever. Besides, in that moment, I also realized that I was so busy thinking about the lucky card I wanted to draw that I didn’t even bother focusing
on the game enough to realize that much earlier, when my opponent first triggered his Quest to go get the Argentum Armor, I could have made a much
better play. I was holding a Galvanic Blast and used it in response to Quest for the Holy Relic’s acquiring its fifth counter (and ensuring that I was
not hit with the Armor this turn). What I should have done was Galvanic Blast the Ornithopter in response to the Glint Hawk. Not only would my
opponent’s Ornithopter and Glint Hawk both die, he would not have been able to put the fifth counter on that turn.

Was Nico fortunate to have Quest on turn 1 in all three games? No question, but he did mulligan to five in the first game, so it isn’t like he wasn’t
doing his part. Besides, what good did it do me to focus on that, rather than just making the best plays? Now, my record had dropped to 9-3, and I was
without a margin of error. There were four rounds left, and it appeared that it would take a record of 12-3-1 to Top 8.

Smile from ear to ear, ear bud and ear bud entered my ears; with the gentle hum of bass ever so near, I slowly stepped from the table and surveyed the
entrancing scene playing out before my eyes. I watched the mass of people twisting and turning, but my mind had already rolled back away from this
moment and was replaying the week’s adventures.

You copy-pasted your Part 1 intro?

But this is where in the story it actually happened!

And it is just such a golden nugget of goodness that everyone wants to read it again?

I kind of think the most important idea in the entire three-part series is contained within it.

Hey, it’s your article; say whatever you want. Just asking…

After recovering, I went on to face a number of challenging opponents, needing to win three straight to Top 8.

1. Former player of the year, Shouta Yasooka with Esper Caw-Go.

2. Ultra-Hot Paul Rietzl, who has Top 8ed three of his last eight Pro Tours with a specialty of his, Boros.

3. Ultra-Hot Owen Turtenwald, who has finished well in the three premier events this year with Top 8 at GP Atlanta, Top 12 at Pro Tour Paris, and Top 4
at Grand Prix Denver, armed with Caw-Blade.

We already know you made Top 8.

You’re supposed to ask if I won!

Okay, did you win?

Very easily!

Actually, that is completely in jest, as all three matches were extremely challenging ordeals against extraordinary players. It’s just that I have
recently learned from the godfather of Magic Lingo, Luis Scott-Vargas, that when someone asks you if you won your last match, the optimal answer is
“very easily.”

Long story short, the two Caw-centric matchups were classic struggles between blue decks, which is exactly what I want when Top 8 of the PT is on the
line, and I was fortunate to run reasonably well. I was certainly a dog on inherent player strength. The Paul Rietzl feature match was fortunately a
result of Paul getting paired down, so my win did not eliminate him. He was not familiar with my deck at all, so he played around a lot of cards I
didn’t have and sideboarded incorrectly, lessons that he would learn from and use against me in the Top 8. To say I played embarrassingly in this match
would be an understatement.

With Kai Budde watching from the sidelines, I even remarked that I was certain Kai would think I was a terrible buffoon after this match. Fortunately,
after making three blunders in a row, I sucked up my pride and admitted I had been wrong during the match and switched plans, despite how painfully
clear it made it that I had been playing terribly turn after turn. This one was actually one of the best and hardest plays I made all tournament.

This was a good matchup; I got good draws, and Paul wasn’t familiar with the matchup. All things considered, I should’ve been a pretty massive
favorite, at least in the Swiss. Still, maybe it was nerves; maybe it was fatigue, but I was playing absolutely awfully. Sometimes, the most difficult
play to make is to stop making the wrong plays and admit you were wrong. I can’t even tell you how many times I have made bad plays and then continued
to make bad plays in an effort to justify the original bad play. Once you go down this road, you may realize that the current line you’re on is a
couple percentage points lower than admitting you were wrong and just switching to what you should’ve been doing the whole time, but if you switch, you
immediately look like an idiot.

Still, a true champion will suck it up and admit to himself that he was wrong. Just calmly, professionally, switch to the line you could’ve been taking
the whole time, knowing that it’s obviously double-digit percentage worse than having done it last turn or the turn before, and your opponent knows it.
This time, I found the strength to suck it up and admit I was wrong (three times, in fact).

My final round against Owen was intense. I’ve played with Owen quite a bit, but this year, there is something different about him. I think Owen will
prove to be a major player in the Player of the Year race. His game was good, but now, he’s just absurd and will probably Top 8 a PT this year. After
edging out the win, I was filled with that old familiar rush.  

I had Top 8ed the Pro Tour! Oh sweet, sweet victory, I had almost forgotten the bliss of your taste on my tongue!

Still, I’m not one to count his chickens before they’re fried. Someone was going to get paired down and not be able to draw.

When the final round was posted, Tom Martell and I smiled and started laughing. We had done it! Additionally, Ben Stark was able to draw into Top 8,
though we were all heartbroken to see that Luis had been paired down. His opponent? Paul Rietzl. Frown.

We were obviously rooting for both Paul and Luis to make it into Top 8, so this was disappointing to say the least. Caw-Blade had performed quite well
against Boros all weekend; however Paul had Hero of Oxid Ridge, technology that most Boros players had missed (that happens to utterly destroy
Caw-Blade). Paul had already defeated nearly half a dozen Caw-Blade players, and this round was no exception.

After the Top 8 was announced, I was feeling good but determined to not get overly confident. The Top 8 consisted of four Caw-Blades, two Boros, a G/W
Quest, and me with Grixis Tezzeret. This was a good field for me, to be sure, as both Caw-Blade and Boros were good matchups.

Friday night, Ben, Tom, and I took a bunch of our friends out to a giant celebration dinner. I’ve been to my fair share of celebration dinners over the
years, and I have to tell you, there is nothing like being the one actually doing the celebrating. That has to be the best check to pick up at a
restaurant ever.

While quarterfinal opponent, Paul Rietzl, spent the lion’s share of his Saturday Grand Prixing, I relaxed a bit, did some railbirding, went shopping
with my good friend Liz (Nassif’s GF), and tested my matchup against Paul. It looked good but not great, as careful and informed play on his part
brought the matchup much closer to 60% than what it looked like in Swiss. Rietzl had tested the matchup as well and knew that it was a rough one for
him (though he believed it closer to 67%). His plan was to play out our match, take a loss in the GP, then go back to that event, and try to win that
one. Easy game, I guess.

The morning of the event, I was filled with energy but was focused and feeling good. Let’s do this!

Coverage of my quarterfinal match against Paul Rietzl can be found here. There was not much I could do
game one, as my draw just didn’t match up well to his, and he played very tight. Game two, I was easily beating him and ended up again in a situation
where I was so far ahead that I didn’t see how I could lose. Rietzl, on the other hand, is a champion and looked for how to give himself the 1% chance
to actually get out of the game. He needed to draw very well for several turns, for me to make a few minor mistakes, and for me to draw terribly, but
he found the line, and I made enough mistakes while drawing poorly enough for him to turn the tables.

I could’ve tapped his guy with a Sword instead of his guy with a Gear, which would temporarily put me at five (I was playing around a Bolt in his last
two cards, which I couldn’t actually afford to do). I could’ve countered his Goblin Guide, which would’ve eventually forced him to lose his Hero to
kill my Wurm. I could’ve not leaked information about my hand, helping him block correctly (he correctly read me for the third Magnet at one point
because I tapped three lands then untapped them).

After a marathon game, I eventually ran out of cards one turn before winning with Tezzeret. This game was absolutely epic; I mean there is no way
anyone watching could think Paul had a chance. This game was one of the finest performances I’ve ever witnessed from the other side. Rietzl’s A-Game is
one of the absolute best in the world, and I was honored to have witnessed it first-hand. The corollary is that it appears the most important area that
I need to work on is making sure to figure out what I’m supposed to play around when I’m just massively ahead. I’m great at playing from behind, but
this is the third crucial game that I punted in this event from not seeing how I could lose.

Game three was a bit anti-climatic, as I kept a hand of Tezzeret, Tezzeret, Prophetic Prism, Creeping Tar Pit, Scalding Tarn, Inkmoth Nexus,
Blackcleave Cliffs. I would keep that hand in the dark, no question, but against Boros, that draw is probably ill-advised at best. While I’ve been a
little too loose with keeps in the past, I’ve been much better in recent events. Still, perhaps I was mentally weakened from the shock of losing the
previous game. Either way, I got ran over and never had a chance once I locked myself into that seven. Congratulations to Rietzl; he certainly earned

Sunday night, after the event, a group of misers including Ben Stark ended up going out for steaks, with champagne following. During the celebration,
many good times were had, stories shared, and Gruesome Encore jokes made again (and again). Something was missing however. It was in that moment that
we happen to notice Efro walking by outside. A search-and-rescue mission was immediately put into motion (a mission that lasted upwards of forty-five

I went into this Pro Tour determined to overcome issues that have plagued me in the past, such as jetlag, lack of meat at international events,
fatigue, and so on. Coming to Paris weeks early accomplished this in spades, and while it was a massive challenge, it felt extremely satisfying to
accomplish some of my goals. I have not yet won a Pro Tour, so to say that it was a mission accomplished would be a bit inaccurate, though becoming the
first player to Top 8 a Pro Tour in three different decades is certainly something I’m quite proud of (NY ’97, LA ’99, NY ’07, Paris ’11).

I probably won’t be able to make it to Nagoya, but that means there are still two more shots for me to win a PT, this year. To make it even sweeter,
both are in the US, which will seem like a cakewalk compared to preparing in Europe…


Michael Jacob, Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, Guillaume Matignon, Lucas Florent- You guys contributed so much to the Grixis Tezzeret deckbuilding process, and I
can’t thank you enough, especially MJ for also teaching me to draft this format.

Gabriel Nassif, Antoine Ruel, Raphael Levy, Pierre Canali, and all of the other Frenchies who helped make the playtesting such a success!

Kibler, Brad, Efro, Sperling as well as all of Team Channel Fireball for not only breaking it but being the best of teammates, even when we weren’t
working before the event on Constructed.

Rietzl, Martell, and Stark- Nice work!

Michael J. Flores- His motivation, focus, perspective, and advice leading into the event helped keep my mindset in a very good place, and for that, I
am supremely thankful. His article ” How to win a PTQ” was one of the major
influences before my Worlds finals appearance, and before this event, I had the privilege of an exclusive look at some pretty inspiring material he is
working on.

Pete, Steve, Evan, Lauren, and all of StarCityGames.com for their continued support and always believing in me.

Amanda- For the eternal support, love, and understanding

Mom and Dad- I can never thank you enough for backing me up on my dream of playing Magic, as a kid. An awful lot of people wouldn’t have been as
supportive, but you guys helped me build the strength to realize my fondest dreams!

Everyone that wrote in ideas for how to use Mirrodin Besieged cards- I’m very fortunate to have so many excellent minds to bounce ideas off of and to
hear ideas from.


Parisian Phyresis– I’m starting to think that the Mirrans won’t endure after all.

Japanese Customs- I’d really, really like to play in the next PT.

Forgemaster Tezzeret or Extended PTQ ideas? Let me know! Thanks again to everyone that has shown support over the years. I can’t tell you how happy I
am to have stepped my game back up again!

And I’m out.

Patrick Chapin

“The Innovator”

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