This past weekend, Phoenix, AZ played host to the first North American Players Tour event of 2020.
The field contained many recognizable names, including SCG Tour regulars Edgar Magalhaes, Pete Ingram, and the 2019 Players’ Champion Oliver Tomajko, as well as MPL stars such as Reid Duke, Seth Manfield, and William “Huey” Jensen.
The Top 8
After breakout performances last weekend at both Players Tour Nagoya and Brussels, but coming up just short, Dimir Inverter finally took home the trophy in the hands of Corey Burkhart.
Burkhart’s journey to victory began with a rough 2-3 start, putting him at a severe disadvantage, but he rallied, proceeding to not drop a match for the rest of the tournament.
Burkhart entered the Top 8 as the #5 seed, which paired him against the #4 seed and SCG Tour regular, Peter Ingram (Dimir Inverter). Burkhart easily navigated the mirror-match, defeating Ingram 2-0, before moving on to face the #8 seed Zachary Kiihne (Mono-Red Aggro) in the semifinals.
In what seemed like a favorable matchup for Kiihine, Burkhart managed to easily overcome the red aggressive deck 2-0, advancing him to the finals against the formidable Magic Hall of Famer and MPL veteran, Huey Jensen.
Jensen was one of two players in the Top 8 piloting Pioneer’s newest combo deck, Lotus Breach, which aims to make large amounts of mana using Lotus Field, Thespian’s Stage, and Hidden Strings to cast big threats regularly.
Despite only two copies appearing in the Top 8, the Lotus Breach deck was easily the most dominant deck of the tournament, posting “win percentages above 60% in Pioneer and gaining the most metagame share from Day 1 to Day 2.”
Game 1, Jensen kept a potentially explosive but land-light hand. Jensen failed to find a second land to enable the rest of his hand and Burkhart quickly found himself up a game.
In Game 2, Burkhart found his sideboard copy of Damping Sphere, which effectively shut off Jensen’s mana engine. The lockdown from the Sphere was accentuated by Jensen’s mulligan to four, and not long after, Burkhart’s Jace, Wielder of Mysteries widened the gap leading, to a 2-0 victory and his first win on the big stage.
Read the original article from Wizards of the Coast.