Top Eighting in Prague *5th*

As we all know, RGD Draft is still a mightily confusing format. Today, we present Rasmus Sibast, fresh from his Top 8 performance at Pro Tour Prague, giving us the highs and lows of his PT experience. His preparation for the tournament was lacking, yet he managed an excellent finish nonetheless. His report is fun of match data and good times… the Oots have never been bigger.

Hello there! Since a lot of you probably don’t know who I am, I decided that a short introduction would be proper.

I went to IKEA last weekend, and bought a reindeer sausage. I ate a little bit, then threw it away. It was horrible. True story.

My name is Rasmus Sibast. I am an 18-year-old student from Copenhagen, Denmark. To all of you ignoramuses out there… no, that is not the capital of IKEA. It is, in fact, a country, and not a name I just made up for fun.

I qualified for Prague through the Pro Players Club, as I am at Level 3. I somehow managed to get to that level last year, although I do not know how. But alas, here I am, and Prague was good to me, as some of you probably know.

I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to attend Pro Tour Prague, but since the $500 appearance fee paid for the travel expenses, I figured “misewell”. I have never had any great results in Limited premier events, and since it was very hard to test RGD draft, I wasn’t hooked on attending.

I did manage to get four drafts under my belt, playing with some other Danes (both Q’ed and non-Q’ed). In these, I went 1-2, 0-3, 0-3, 0-3… so that didn’t increase my confidence. But because my best friend, Alexander Rathcke (GP Copenhagen Top 4), really wanted to go, I decide to attend after all.

Usually, it takes about an hour to fly to Prague from Copenhagen Airport, although Alexander had managed to get tickets where we had to make an intermediate landing in Amsterdam. Instead of one hour and plenty of rest, we had a seven-hour journey and no rest at all. There were five Danes qualified, and I stayed with Alexander and Niklas Nygaard (a.k.a. Das Hopper). Because of the long flight, we arrived too late for us to find Niklas on the site, so we just went back to the hotel to get some sleep before the big day.

My round 1 pod was:

Bradley, James
Fujita, Osamu
Lichtenstein, Drew
Sibast, Rasmus (yep, that’s me)
Luengo, Jorge
Lundquist, Benjamin
Nishiwaki, Kazuhisa
Kok, Christiaan

I only recognized two players, Mr. Lundquist and Mr. Fujita.

In my first booster, I opened Selesnya Guildmage and Brightflame as the only noteworthy cards. I would rather avoid the ugliness of Selesnya Conclave, but due to lack of better targets, I windmilled the token-producer. When my booster returned, it surprised me that the mass removal spell was still in there, so another windmill later and I was safely packed into Selesnya/Boros – which I felt rather sick about. I ended up being saved in the last two boosters, and ended up with a Green/Red/White deck splashing Blue for two Ogre Savants and a Steamcore Weird. I didn’t like my deck at all, but hoped to rely on my enormous amount of luck to guide me to a 2-1 record.

Round 1 I played Osamu Fujita. The first game took forever, since he had a Sporeback Troll and a Stormscale Anarch, which killed all my creatures. Despite having cast both Brightflame and Cleansing Beam, the Sporeback Troll was still around. I somehow managed to get him down to one life, and with no cards in hand, and no creatures on board, with him killing me next turn, I decided I’d draw my Pyromatics. How lucky! Game 2 I managed to topdeck a Selesnya Guildmage the turn before he could kill me, and all-out him with exactly lethal damage, so that was quite nice. 1-0!

Round 2 I faced another player from Japan, Kazuhisa Nishiwaki. He was straight up Rakdos, and I have heard that mass removal plus lifegain should be quite good against that color combination. Obviously I decided to draw my Brightflame both games, and it was a complete blowout. 2-0!

My next opponent was Christiaan Kok, but I don’t have any recollection of the game whatsoever, other than that I won 2-0 fast. Selesnya Guildmage was probably involved… 3-0!

I was so excited to be 3-0, as it was not at all expected. Now I only had to go 1-2 to make day 2, which would be a big deal to me, especially since this was a Limited PT, for which I had hardly tested.

My second pod featured a few more well known faces:

Da Costa Cabral, Bernardo
Binages, Alfred
Sibast, Rasmus (yep, still me)
Zeiger, Geoffrey
Al-Bacha, Wesimo
Oiso, Masashi
Oosawa, Takuya (hmm who might that be?)
Dominguez Roldan, Fernando

My first pick of the draft was a selection among a bunch of weak cards, and ended up settling with a measly Disembowel. During this draft, I made a mental note that the cards moving around the tables weren’t actually that good, and even though I ended up being four colors (UGRb), I still figured I had a good chance at winning some games. I had some solid cards in my deck, including Gruul Guildmage, Wrecking Ball, Ogre Savant, and the fat, fat Streetbreaker Wurm.

Round 4 I faced off against Japanese Juggernaut Masashi Oiso. As we start playing, I figured that the players in the pod didn’t have solid cards, as Masashi had to play Dizzy Spell and more spells of that caliber. The first game was won on the back of a Gruul Guildmage that Masashi couldn’t deal with. The second game saw him Rally me Righteously for the win, so it was on to the rubber game.

Game 3, I topdecked a Gruul Guildmage out of nowhere, when I had an Infiltrator’s Magemarked Mourning Thrull already on the board trying vigorously to keep me in the game. That Thrull began draining some rather large chunks of life out Masashi, while I remained on a healthy life status. Another game won by a topdeck, and I was starting to feel that things were actually going my way for once. 4-0!

Round 5 I squared off against Geoffrey Zeiger. I was on the play, and made turn 2 Gruul Guildmage, turn 3 Shambling Shell, turn 4 Assault Zeppelid. On this turn, Geoffrey plays his first creature of the game. I look at the Ogre Savant in my hand, and thinking that there can only be one right play, put it into play. Geoffrey had the neat response of scooping. For game 2, he unfortunately floods like crazy, drawing something like twelve lands four spells, so that wasn’t too hard for me either. 5-0!

Round 6 saw me face off against Wesimo Al-Bacha. I was surprised that I didn’t have to play against any of the name players, but when I sat down to play I was quickly informed that Wesimo had just made the finals of Grand Prix Cardiff.

This was one of the weirdest matches I had at the entire tournament. Game 1, Wesimo was land screwed, so even though I played my first guy on turn 4, I had no problem winning. Game 2 I was extremely flooded, and his deck was better than mine so he crushed me. For the third, he was land screwed again, and I killed him on turn 6 with the nut draw (not that it mattered) 6-0!

Even though I was still undefeated, I didn’t expect too much, and I would still be happy just to make money at this event.

My third pod looked like this:

Soh, Terry
Gary, Justin
Donavan, Michael
Hüttenberger, Christian
Doise, Jan
Karsten, Frank
Sibast, Rasmus (at this point, I’m actually unsure if this is still me)
Oberbek, Przemek

When I opened my booster, it was rather empty on playable cards. The only card that was even close to playable was Tunnel Vision, so there was not much of a choice. When I got passed the pack from Frank, I saw an insane pack featuring Bottled Cloister; Ribbons of Night; Keening Banshee; Galvanic Arc; Last Gasp; Vedalken Dismisser; and Compulsive Research… but when I came to the end of the pack, I saw a Junktroller! I knew I had to go for it, and in the end of the Ravnica booster I had several Dimir House Guards, Ethereal Ushers, and Netherborn Phalanxes. My deck ended up insane, and I swept the pod 3-0 with no problems at all, taking down Frank Karsten, Justin Gary, and Christian Hüttenberger!

Okay, so I lied. Here is what really happened.

I opened a rather weak booster, but it had an Hour of Reckoning, so there was no doubt about my first pick. Frank was to my right, and he passed me a Bottled Cloister. For the rest of pack 1, I picked up Boros cards. Pack 2 saw me open Debtors’ Knell, and I was passed Belfry Spirit. After that I got almost every card you’d like to have for your competitive Orzhov deck. In the last pack, Frank passed me an Azorius Guildmage and other good cards, so I ended up with a BWu deck that looked like this:

I was really happy about my deck, and I was expecting to make at least 2-1.

Round 7 versus Christian Hüttenberger

This was what people will call a “fake” feature match.

Game 1, my opening hand had three land and four spells. Seven turns later and I have drawn only lands. My four spells couldn’t deal with his threats. Game 2 I made an early Cloister, but I still struggled to stay alive since I didn’t really draw anything. In one turn, when I had sixteen mana available, I drew Orzhov Guildmage and Revenant Patriarch. A few turns later, I won the game. Game 3 was a pure massacre, as I again made my Cloister, but this time I also had my Debtors’ Knell. Since he couldn’t deal with either, he conceded.


One couch: just add potatoes

After my match, I found Alexander Rathcke and Nikolas Nygaard and then went back to our room. We figured that we had a problem, since there were only two single beds and all of us had made Day 2: no one wanted to take the floor. Alexander mentioned that there was a couch on the third floor, and suggested that we should get it and bring it to our room.

At first it sounded stupid, but we ended up at the third floor looking at the couch, trying to figure out how to get it down to the first floor and our room. First, we tried to get it in the elevator, but the couch simply wouldn’t fit. We ended up carrying and pushing it down the stairs, almost dying from laughter. On the second floor, we realized that the hotel had video cameras dotted around… so we considered taking it back up again. However, since we were halfway there we thought we mise just finish the job.

When we got to our room, the couch didn’t fit through the door.

We pushed and forced it through, and then we realized that the bottom of the couch was destroyed.

After that, we all just wanted to go to bed… but right before we did, Nikolas asked why the sheets were covered with black spots. When we looked closer, we saw that all the tiny black spots were actually small bugs!

Luckily for us, Nikolas had a plan. He grabbed his sideboard and found a Rain of Embers to try and kill them. Nothing happened. Now there was only one thing left to do!

We took the sheets off the bed, put them outside the door, and went to sleep.

Next day, we woke up about an hour before the round began. When we arrived at the site, Alexander and I talked with the rest of the Danes that made Day 2. Four of us had made it, out of five Danes in attendance, so maybe Denmark would get some decent finishes this time…

Round 8 versus Frank Karsten

After the last round of Day 1, I heard Antonino De Rosa say that whoever played Frank next round would have a bye…

Game 1, and my deck was simply a lot better than his – I destroyed him. Game 2, and again I was winning with loads of good guys on the board. He didn’t really have anything, so I asked if he could draw anything that would save him. He said yes. Hmmm… he could only make Red, Blue, and Green? Is there a Wrath effect in those colors? On my next turn I drew and played Debtors’ Knell. He then scooped. After the game, he showed me the card he could have drawn: Kindle the Carnage.


Round 9 versus Justin Gary

Justin was also 7-0 after Day 1, but had just lost to Terry Soh, which meant I was the last undefeated player in the tournament. I tried to pinch myself, but I didn’t wake up so this was not a dream.

Game 1, and Justin came out fast with several Minister of Impediments, Ogre Savant, and Steamcore Weird. While doing this, he told me he had been looking at the coverage and he knew about my two rares. At this point he had almost emptied his hand, and I was still holding 5-6 cards, which were all spells. My turn…

Me: I actually have three rares in my deck.
Justin: Really?
Me: Yep. [I cast Hour of Reckoning.]
Justin: I didn’t see that on the coverage…

On my next turn I played out some guys, and since Justin was all out of gas the game ended quickly.

Game 2, and Justin lacked his third color. My draw was very good, so when he finally found his final color it was simply too late for him to get back in the game.


Again, after the game I tried to pinch myself to see if I should wake up from what was a fantastic dream, but still nothing happened. I was thinking that maybe I would make Top 8…? I didn’t really believe in it, because people always tell me how bad I am at Magic. I had no confidence at all.

Here are the players from pod 4:

Da Costa Cabral, Bernardo
Boj Perez, Israel
Ruel, Olivier
Oosawa, Takuya
Crosby, Joseph
Sibast, Rasmus (Not me!)
Donavan Michael
Hüttenberger, Christian

To be honest, I don’t really remember much from this draft, other that it didn’t go too well. I ended up being four-color (without White), playing a deck that lacked good cards, but some of the cards were okay: 2 Streetbreaker Wurm; 1 Ulasht, the Hate Seed; 1 Rakdos Guildmage; 1 Assault Zeppelid… while I wasn’t too happy about this deck, I still hoped that I could pilot it to a 2-1 performance.

Before I saw parings, it was announced that I had a feature match against Olivier. He was the only player at the table I didn’t want to play. Usually, when I go into a match, I feel like I can beat anyone, but here I felt like I’d already lost before starting the match.

Round 10 versus Oliver Ruel

The match is covered here.

For those that can’t be bothered clicking the link… I lost.


When the Match Reporter mentions a Gruul Guildmage, he means my Rakdos Guildmage. I didn’t have a Gruul Guildmage in my deck. Would have been nice, though.

After the match, I was feeling down. I didn’t like my deck at all, and I had to play two more rounds with it. While walking around listening to music, Christian Hüttenberger comes to me to say that he is also 9-1 now. I’m confused, and reply, “eh, okay…?” because I really didn’t know why he was telling me that. He also informed me that he was sure that in the next round he was going to get a game loss due to a misregistration.

Round 11 versus Christian Hüttenberger

When I saw this pairing, I almost jumped for joy! I was so happy, because now maybe I had a chance to win a match with my hated deck. And, just as he predicted, when we said down a judge came by… Christian got a game loss, so I was up a game before we started.

Game 1 saw Christian mulligan to six, and his draws were terrible. My deck, on the other hand, chose to feed me turns 4 and 5 Streetbreaker Wurms. Christian didn’t draw anything significant, and I won the game quickly.


After the game, he asked if I wanted to play a few for fun. We ran through about four more games, and he demolished me.

I prayed not to play versus Joseph Crosby in the next round, because my friends had just seen him play versus Olivier, and they thought his deck was insane.

Round 12 versus Joseph Crosby

This was also a Feature Match, and you can read the coverage here.

Again, for those who can’t be bothered clicking through… I won.


Now I just needed to 1-2 the last pod to make Top 8, which I felt was more that possible… especially after making 2-1 with my last deck.

For pod 5, we had the following:

Da Rosa, Paulo Vitor
Ruel, Olivier
Sibast, Rasmus (I guess that this is me)
Nakamura, Shuhei
Martin, Quentin
Oosawa, Takuya
Hütternberger, Christian
Soh, Terry

The Draft Gods covered this in detail, so you can see all my picks here.

After the draft was over, I was so mad. The deck was simply terrible: it was four-color, and the mana was awful. I would need a miracle to get one win with this deck. At this point I wanted to die, since I was so sure I couldn’t get the one win I needed to make Top 8.

Round 13 versus Shuhei Nakamura

Go back to the draft viewer, and take a look at the cards Shuhei picked. Then take a look at the ones I picked. His deck was actually really good, and mine really bad, but here is how the match played out…

Game 1, and I have the nuts draw. I draw all my mana in the correct proportion, and make turn 3 and turn 4 guy. He plays a guy on turn 4, which I bounce with Ogre Savant on my turn 5. He replays it on turn 5, but my turn 6 is Vedalken Dismisser, and the game ends there.

Game 2 sees us both color screwed, but I’m still able to get out a guy that starts beating him down. Eventually, Shuhei drew his last color… I didn’t draw mine, so I lost.

Game 3 was really tight. Even though I had a turn 5 Ogre Savant and a turn 6 Vedalken Dismisser, I still almost died. I killed his Belltower Sphinx twice in this game, and both times he replayed it the turn after! The turn I killed him I went to one life from two Pillory of the Sleepless. Close indeed.


Yes! I was now in the Top 8. I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. The next two rounds saw me take IDs with Christian Hütternberger and Takuya Oosawa.

After the Top 8 was announced, all of the Sunday players had to get information for the next day, fill out some papers, and have their picture taken. After we were done with all this, I went back to the hotel with Nikolas and Alexander to get something to eat and have a good night’s sleep.

The first part went fine, but the “good night’s sleep” part didn’t turn out well at all. I went to bed at 11.30pm, but I was lying in my bed with my eyes wide open at 2.55am. I was so excited.

At 4.00am, someone hammered at my door. Who could it be?

Right before I opened the door, someone yelled “Room Service!” and I realized it was another Dane – David Jensen, a.k.a. Bottle Gnome — and he was very drunk. I thought that it was probably best not to open the door; any of you that have seen him drunk will know why.

At about 5.30am, I finally fell asleep… so I got a good three-and-a-half hours of sleep in total. How Lucky!

When I awoke, both Nikolas and Alexander were sleeping like babies. They went out the previous night, so I left them to their rest and wandered to the site by myself.

When I arrived, it was almost empty. I sat down and promptly fell asleep. I tried to walk around, listening to my iPod with the volume to the max, but still I felt like I could drop off any second.

After pacing for about thirty minutes, feeling like I wanted to die, the Top 8 was finally scheduled to begin.

You can see here how the final draft went here.

My deck ended up like this

The only thing I have to say about this draft is this: I really screwed it up.

My deck could have been exceptional, but I mispicked my second pick, where I should have taken Snapping Drake. And again pack 2: I take Belfry Spirit over Streetbreaker Wurm. When I look at the Top 8 draft now, I have no clue what I was doing. I feel like I threw the finals away. But I didn’t realize that before I came home and saw it online. Right after the draft, Brian David-Marshall came over to me and asked me about my first picks. I looked at all my cards, and the only thing I could say was, “I have no idea.”

Of course, I lost in the quarterfinals. You can read of the match here. Sure, I took the match to a fifth and deciding game… but losing hurt nonetheless.

So, that’s the story of my Pro Tour Top 8. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I’ll see you at a tournament soon!

If you have any questions, I can be contacted here:
Sibist on MTGO
[email protected]
[email protected] (msn messenger)
Sibast1 on AIM

Until next time…