Meet your Champion of Pro Tour Phyrexia: Reid Duke.
Path to The Finals
Piloting the team deck, Reid Duke was able to take Izzet Creativity to the finals of the very first Pioneer Pro Tour. After a clean 3-0 in Draft on Day One, Duke actually started off the Pioneer portion on a rocky footing, losing the first round of constructed to would-be finalist Benton Madson. From there, it was a relatively straightforward shot into Day Two, securing three additional wins to meet the requisite 4-4 record at 6-2.
Day Two started off in the Champion’s favor as well, with another 2-1 showing in the Draft portion, followed by a clean sweep of the rest of the event – only dropping one game for the remainder of the Swiss rounds. The Top 8 was where the real story took place though, with victories over Nathan Steuer on Lotus Field Combo and Derrick Davis on Enigmatic Fires. Finally, in a relatively anti-climactic bout against Benton Madson in the pair’s rematch, it was more a story of Benton vs His Deck than Reid vs Benton, as the Auras deck took several too many mulligans through the three games. Reid took the whole thing down just as he had all day with a tremendous swing from his 30/30 Wurm.
A Team Effort
This is Duke’s first claim at a stage that he’s no stranger to, securing him his first of hopefully many Pro Tour victories. He expressed many thanks to his team throughout every interview on the weekend, showing that his success was really a reflection of the hard work and dedication of many of the best minds in the game coming together. He made mention that his deck for the weekend wasn’t his first pick, but he so firmly believed in the team that it was the correct call anyway. Reid has been nothing but a shining example for the Magic community in his actions throughout his entire career, and sets a magnificent standard for the rest of us to aspire to.
In terms of the deck, Creativity was certainly the correct call for this weekend, with pilots of the deck going a cumulative 106-80-3 on the weekend and with two Top 8 finishes. We can see here a breakdown of some of the deck’s matchup spread and win percentages on the weekend. As we knew coming into the event, Creativity bears a less than amazing matchup against a majority of the A Tier decks in the format, but is quite strong against essentially the rest of the field. With tight play and some lucky misses, it’s no surprise that the deck was able to sneak its way into the finals. Moving forward, we can surely expect to see many players pick up the deck and try it out, but only time will tell in terms of the deck’s longevity in the format. It is a resilient strategy with a straightforward game plan, which makes it a very good Pro Tour deck, but not every tournament is the Pro Tour. We are confident though that we and many others may have been underestimating the true power of the deck.
Congratulations to Reid on this historic landmark victory, the culmination of a true career’s worth of good sportsmanship, hard work, and dedication. We look forward to seeing more from the man himself as Magic’s Pro Tour journey continues, and are excited that we get to share this moment with everyone. Regardless of who may have ended up victorious, this entire weekend was a win for Magic on the whole. We look forward to bringing you coverage of more Pro Tours to come!