PPTQ winner for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 at MTGAsia Event Centre

Name: Chia Reeve

Age: 21

How did you start on this journey: I started playing around 6 years ago at a small anime card shop and was introduced first into EDH before moving on to competitive MAGIC 2 years ago.

What keeps your drive in the game: The bonds and friendship made through the game and also the competitive events.

Where do you usually play MTG: MTG-Asia Waterloo/ Event Centre

Who’s in the usual group that you play in, do introduce them to the community: Shoutout to David Lim for lending me the deck and Lai Kok Kee for supporting me in every magic events.

What is your best MTG-related story, since you have started playing MTG: Probably during my first competitive GP in 2016 at Tokyo. I was playing Bant Company and went 7-1-1 during Day 1, but couldn’t get a strong finish  during Day 2 to make money finish. In the end, settled at 200th place.

What do you like about our Singapore community: Everyone. Because everyone knows each other. We love to help and disturb one another and that just shows how strong of a bond our Singapore community have.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: Probably timing, hahaha. Magic in Singapore never really starts on time  (╯’□’)╯︵ ┻━┻
Other than that, I think Singapore has a great Magic community.

What do you think of M19: It’s as basic as it gets, can’t wait for Guilds of Ravnica as shocklands are back!

What deck did you play:

5c Humans

Describe your SB plan, and how it works: I actually followed the sideboard plan of the person who won with the deck. The original article is here, but you would probably need to google translate it unles you can read Japanese.

Why did you pick this deck, and how long have you been playing it:I have trust in the Japanese players. He won with it in May so probably 4 months or so? They have fine tuned it pretty well, so there’s no need for me to change any cards.

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: Don’t have any in particular. I think the entire 75 deserves the spotlight cause they work so well together.

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: Probably Daston since he was playing Bogles.

Positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: Both MTG-Asia shops are just amazing and filled with great people. Blessed to be working with each and everyone of them.

If you became the decision maker in charge of running the PPTQ, what will you do differently: I’ve been helping out with the shops event so probably there’s not much I would change. I hope to start the event on time, which I think is what every shop wants, hahaha

Shoutouts: Lai Kok Kee, David Lim, Danial Sim, Koh Kai Che (Road Trip, hahaha), MTG-Asia Staffs and Bosses and everyone in the Magic community 🙂

Guess my Favourite Card (with the 5 statements below):

  1. It is blue.
  2. I had it signed by a Pro Player back in 2015.
  3. It was played during standard, and is currently played in both Modern and Legacy.
  4. There is a human in its card art.
  5. It has been printed in the FTV series.

The answer is

PPTQ winner for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 at Flagship Games

Secret Agent Sheik

Name: Sheik Amirruddin

Age: 28

Occupation: Confidential

Why and how did you start to play MTG: I started MTG as I wanted a non digital game to try. I started to play during the Kaladesh block. I started with no friends playing MTG and now I’m close to some of them. 🙂

What attracts you to keep on playing: I find the social aspect of MTG to be appealing. If it’s not for MTG. I wouldn’t have met/befriended some of the people.

Where do you usually play MTG: JGH and sometimes GOG.

Is there a community that you play together often with: I play with my friends I met via MTG, mainly Yikai, Hafiz, David, Glenn, Danny, Mark and Roses.

Who were your biggest mentors/role model, if any, since you have started MTG: I started MTG without reading or knowing more about it. If I were to choose a role model now, it would be Reid Duke.

Does your job brings any spillover skills/knowledge that helps with MTG, or vice versa: I would say picking up non verbal cues (I do alot of negotiating at work) is something I have learned that can be applied in MTG. I’ll definitely go all in if I can tell/feel my opponent doesn’t have it.

What is your best MTG-related story, since you have started playing MTG: It was in GP Sydney this year, I mulled to 4 and had Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on turn 4. My opponent just walked off. 🙂

What do you like about our Singapore community: The community is friendly in general and that’s what made me continue playing.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: I would say do other stuffs other than magic if you have the time. 🙂

What do you think of M19: I personally feel it is mediocre in terms of card addition to constructed formats. However, I do not play sealed or draft so take my opinion with a pinch of salt.

There are 2 PPTQs on the same day, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: I went to Flagship as it was nearer. Also, my teammate Reeve is defending his homeground at MTG asia. He won, so it’s like a double win!

What deck did you play?

UG Infect

Describe your SB plan, and how it works: I make it a point to sb less than 5 cards to not dilute my game plan. The sb is focused on advancing my game plan rather than disrupting my opponent’s.

How long have you been playing Magic: Since July this year!

Why did you pick up this deck: It is a non interactive deck with a random turn 2 win. My style of magic.:)

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: Blighted Agent. It turned many corners against creature decks.

One card that you are least impressed with for the day: Invisible Stalker. I felt it was a waste of sb slots.

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: Hafiz. He is a good friend and teammate. The only merfolk player that I had to play game 3 in sanctioned matches. (Merfolk is typically an easy matchup for infect)

Toughest matchup for the day: Merfolk from Hafiz. He’s really good at it and the reason why I won is that he drew blanks.

Easiest matchup for the day: Hardened scales, that deck doesn’t interact at all.

Are there any portions of the deck that you would like to change, and why: Rancor and invisible stalkers. Felt very unimpactful

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ: Play what you love

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: It is spacious and comfortable. Also they allowed packs to be credits for the prize payout.

If one day, you became the store in charge of running the PPTQ, what would you do/ how would you changer: Review entry fee and prize structure. I feel that the current structure needs some tweaking.

If you could say something to your past self that has just started MTG, what would you say: Stick to one deck in modern.

Last shoutouts: Have fun, take loses with a pinch of salt. There’s more to life than magic. At the end of the day. Magic is just a hobby.

PPTQ winner for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 at Grey Ogre Games

“一定要跟店买卡的咧,才会拉到。。。“ (Cards must buy from the store leh, then will draw it) Ever heard of this saying? Apparently, there might be some of truth in it!  Let us hear from the PPTQ winner about his winning story.

By Lightning be purged

Name: Daniel

Age: 22

Occupation: Navy regular

Why and how did you start to play MTG: A group of friends invited me to play, but they have all stopped playing…

What attracts you to keep on playing: Mechanics of the game, way better than hearthstone as I was playing it competitively before and was part of Team Abyssus

Where do you usually play: Games Haven (Jurong) & Grey Ogre Games

Is there a community that you play together often with: Yup, the JGH group. Best place to train up for modern and I think the shop has many strong modern players.

What is your best MTG-related story, since you have started playing MTG: 3 masterpieces in 3 different day, opened not more than 10 packs each That’s jackpot! KA CHING KA CHING KA CHING! The 3 masterpieces are Steel Overseer, Lotus Petal and Dark Ritual.

What do you like about our Singapore community: Generally the players are friendly, though people might get salty or pissed, but they might just be having it tough. Most of the players would communicate with you, discussing your optimal plays even though it might be competitive.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: I would say trading wise. I know that we use overseas sites for price guidance, but I would prefer if the same person sticks to a same site for buy and sell prices, instead of cherry picking the different sites for the best prices to buy and sell…

What do you think of M19: Kinda bad, but few years down the road, some cards might spike as it not many people would be interesting in opening m19.

There are 2 PPTQs on the same day, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: I love modern over any other formats, didn’t know that there were another store hosting PPTQ, but most of my friends are going to GOG so why not?

What deck did you play: NAYAWINS!!!

Naya Burns

Describe your SB plan, and how it works: Deck couldn’t beat bridge vines and not many players are bringing burn, so i decided to take out the walkers and put in the bridges. Deck just couldn’t beat them unless dark arts! Nowadays the meta is just about playing the unfair decks and win the game.

How long have you been playing it: 2 years now, still junior

Why did you pick up this deck: At first when I first started to make a modern deck, i was looking at a cheap and easy deck to play as I just left Hearthstone, so I am looking for a deck like face hunter. But as i started to play more, I realise that there were so many more decisions to make when playing this deck. As much as others thought that it is just as easy as 3 x 7 (7 burn spells of 3 damage), so many decisions have led me to a defeat. I had no money to make another deck so I would practice with decks that I lost after matches and understand more on the different matchups and interactions. You must be very familiar with this deck, with this much of practice! As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”.

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: Shrine of Burning Rage. It has led me to victory. With opponents’ Chalice of the Void set for 1 and 2. It is really crippling, but the Shrine has helped to deal an impressive 13 damage!!!

One card that you are least impressed with for the day: Inquisition of Kozilek. It is a hand disruption that doesn’t hurt the one casting it, unlike Thoughtseize.

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: I did not want to face the other burn player as my deck was not tuned to fight burn as mentioned above and the 5c humans. It would be a struggling matchup for me and I feel that the ratio is 6:4 in favor of humans.

Toughest matchup for the day: UW miracle, it was a miracle that I won him actually. I think he played too hastily.

Easiest matchup for the day: Storm, a walk in the park with Eidolon of Great Revel Pew. Pew. Pew.

Are there any portions of the deck that you would like to change, and why: I think that Bomat Courier is flexible to be changed, but it looks like a staple too. The rest of the decks are just pretty fine.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ: Approach Hafiz (Best merfolk IMO) for some luck management guide. Elephants guide you.

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: Buy cards from them and you will have insane draws! Good 40% of my cards from the deck were bought from GOG.

Any points for improvement for the store hosting the PPTQ: Where did my popeyes go? Seaman and Popeye… Wooded foothills must be the spinach! 😀

Last shoutouts: Why’s Danny so bad, always come to JGH and 0-2? Ragnaros‘ favourite quote! “DIE INSECT!” OUCH, that’s such a taunt towards him! Just to clarify, this is a friendly banter, and should be treated light-heartedly. We condone no instances of bullying and its likes.

PPTQ winner for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 at The Card Geeks

We have a winner here! Using a deck that is sleeved up in the morning of the tournament, and catching opponents by surprise! Learn the winner manages to secure the RPTQ slot!

Nom Nom Nom

Name: Wilfred Lau

Age: Too old to share

Occupation: Tuition Teacher

How did you start to play MTG: I moved on from Pokemon when I was 12. The cards seemed a lot cooler, but I didn’t really get into the game until much later.

What attracts you to keep on playing: There’s a huge social aspect to it, but for the most part I like brewing and playing off-the-wall decks. And that’s what led you to winning the PPTQ this time round right?

Where do you usually play MTG: Grey Ogre Games

Is there a community that you play together often with: Not really, mostly I just talk with friends about it. If you want to know more, double down. My job doesn’t afford me a lot of time to attend tournaments.

What do you like about our Singapore community: People are mostly friendly but also pretty competitive.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: Innovation and willingness to experiment.

What do you think of M19: Haven’t played enough to comment on it.

There are 2 PPTQs on the same day, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: I preferred Modern to Sealed. Also, this one was closer to home.

What deck did you play: Cheeri0s. (For the uninitiated, Puresteel Paladin Combo)

This seems like an off radar deck, how many opponents did you actually surprise: The first few for sure! After the cat was out of the bag it was still fun though.

Describe your SB plan, and how it works: The idea is to board in more cards to protect my combo pieces, and also to have solutions to potential cards opponents bring in.

How long have you been playing it: I only sleeved it up on the morning of the tournament. Woah! It seems like a complicated deck to be with… That being said, I’ve played these types of decks before, but this is by far the fastest of the bunch, which is great when opponents aren’t prepared.

Why did you pick up this deck: I got bored with my other decks and decided I actually wanted to end games quickly that day (for reference, the other deck I was considering was Lantern Control). Ahhh… the deck with high potential to be undefeated… winning with 1-0 or drawing 

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: Puresteel Paladin. It’s almost like all my victories have involved casting it early.

One card that you are least impressed with for the day: Monastery Mentor. I could’ve showed up with a 13 card sideboard and it would not have made a difference.

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: Anyone playing burn. I did have to face it in the finals though.

Toughest matchup for the day: I got destroyed by Blue Tron in round 1. I kept some hands that weren’t very good and stalled for a few turns, giving my opponent the time he needed to set up his interaction.

Easiest matchup for the day: Merfolk. Sorry Hafiz! For people who are unfamiliar, Hafiz has made a name for himself playing fishes (merfolk), that people nicknamed him Ha-fish.

Are there any portions of the deck that you would like to change, and why: The sideboard needs a ton of work.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ: 1) Play tight. 2) Get lucky.

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ Tournament: It was decently well-run, judges were pretty cool.

Any points for improvement for the store hosting the PPTQ: Try posting your pairings in an area that isn’t cramped. Also, use both your doors!

PPTQ winner for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 at Card Nation

Is Nicol Bolas a must play, if you have opened it in your sealed pool? Let the winner of Card Nation’s PPTQ talk about his own experience.

Good stuff cannot lie!

Name: Kelvin Soh

Age: 36

Occupation: Investment Banking Manager

How did you start to play MTG: Some secondary school friends introduced me to the game. 4th Edition back then. Was enthralled by the game mechanics and the thrill of opening packs for the most sought after rares!

Have never really been a competitive player though. Didn’t have the time and preferred casual games like Commander. Only recently did I start to play competitive events occasionally, when there are limited formats. I suppose winning a PPTQ is just one of the items in the bucket list to do should I eventually stop playing the game some day!

What attracts you to keep on playing: New cards/mechanics constantly making it interesting to play and collect. I’ve amassed a group of friends through magic over the years and it makes it fun to have a common activity and common discussion topics whenever we meet up.

Where do you usually play MTG: Sanctuary Gaming, Gamersaurus Rex and Kovan Mcdonalds (Many of my MTG clique stay ard that area)

Is there a community that you play together often with: Gary Chua, Gabriel Cheng, Alex Lu, Gary Goh, Peng Chee, Fu Hai, Clifford

What is your best MTG-related story, since you have started playing MTG: Nothing really specific or spectacular. Just many friendships borne out of the game since way back when I was a student! That’s one of the most commonly recurring theme that I’ve heard why people are still into MTG, after so many years, and explains for the name as Magic: the Gathering. I suppose that’s really the reason why we are still in the community! Hopefully, the digitalisation doesn’t take away the gathering portion.

What do you like about our Singapore community: Most of them are pretty friendly and are eager to share what they know and what they think.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: Setting the metagame instead of just following most of the time.

There are 2 PPTQs on the same day, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: This was the one with Limited format. Constructed format is tough for me because I don’t play very often so I don’t get a lot of practice and exposure to the metagame. Besides, I feel that Limited is more fun because of the variations and the spontaneous nature.

What color combination did you play during the sealed, and why: Grixis. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager made me do it! Lol I didn’t want to force the colours just because of one awesome card but luckily my pool did manage to support that combi sufficiently.

What color combination did you play during the draft, and why: Red/Black. Happened to open playable rares in Red and read the signals from adjacent players. Just kept clearing the path for my creatures (I had 6 menace creatures in my deck) to push the damage and finish the opponent off with Banefire.

How do you think of M19: One of the more interesting and advanced level core sets compared to the past ones. Was a bit disappointed that they reprinted quite a few mythics which is tough to play in Standard (Crucible of Worlds/Scapeshift/Omniscience) Buy a booster box promo Nexus of Fate turned out to be quite a surprise hit though!

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: No one specific. I was pretty confident of my deck so I was just hoping I won’t encounter issues with lands.

Any specific tips and advices to players who are playing for the sealed and the draft portion too: Keep it simple and remember to pick cards not just by their power level but also whether they fit into your deck strategy and proportions.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ; Keep trying and don’t be too affected by defeats, no matter at which stage. It’s just a game after all!

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: Thanks to Card Nation for hosting! They were friendly and well-organized. And thanks for exposing me to a part of the island which has always been alien to me.

An Overseas Perspective – European GP

Welcome back to the instalment of an overseas perspective from a local. This time round, Evan will be talking about his experience of competing in the European GPs. Also, he is going to talk about his 1st GP in Bologna (back in 2016). For those who are travelling overseas for GP Hong Kong in September, we hope that you could share some perspective with us! Do ping us! I’ll leave the rest of the content to Evan!

Hi guys, I’m back to talk about my experience of competing in the EU GPs! The first GP I participated in was GP Bologna 2016 (Modern). I almost wasn’t able to board my flight as I did not do the required visa check at the counter before clearing security. Do remember to check what you’re supposed to do on the airline u choose to fly(some silly requirement for non-EU travellers by Ryanair, they literally just look at your passport then chop your ticket, why can’t they do it just before you board!) Tip No. 1: Our passport may be great, but we still need to check out for Visa requirements!

If you are wondering if that’s him in the video, YES! that’s him! Head over to CFB Events to check out the GPs! Or the renamed MagicFest!

I flew from Dublin to Milan, and had to take a train to get to Bologna. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It’s the home of the ubiquitous Bolognese sauce, apart from being a major cultural centre.

Yummy!

To give a bit of context, GP Bologna 2016 was in the weekend of GPs right smack in the middle of eldrazi winter, after it ravaged the top 8 of PT Oath of the Gatewatch. Surprisingly, the attendance for the GP was still pretty good at 2176 players. For the sake of comparison, GP Melbourne 2016 on the same weekend had 1105 players. Usually the attendance at EU GPs are much better than the ones in Asia/Australia, as the cost of travel is cheaper and the playerbase is considerably bigger. Especially for the Europeans, because they don’t live that far away, and can literally drive to the GP venue. Ireland is geographically separated by water from the rest of Europe, which leaves me with little alternatives apart from flying.

Eldrazi was out in full force, and I distinctly remember seeing it to my left and right as I sat down to participate in the trials on Friday.

Language is one big difference when it comes to competing in the EU. Varying nationalities have different standards of spoken English. Naturally, the bulk of my opponents during the GP were Italian, and communication wasn’t the smoothest. As Singaporeans, I find that we tend to speak very fast and don’t enunciate our words, which is a problem for the Europeans. I constantly have to remind myself to speak slower and pronounce my syllables while in the EU.

Also, there are more professional players in the EU compared to Asia. The pro lifestyle is easier to pursue over here, given that there are more GPs and they are more accessible compared to those in Asia. You have to almost fly in order to attend every other GP, and to have the required Visa (if applicable). I distinctly remember seeing Andrea Mengucci walking around, among other pros. A nice souvenir I received from this GP was from Patrick Dickmann.

His favourite card from modern affinity!

Live coverage is more prominent in the EU compared to Asia. I was fortunate enough to be featured in round 6 of GP Warsaw 2017 (IXN standard) You can watch the featured match stream here.

You can hear Riley mangling my Chinese name at the beginning of the video. It was an interesting experience playing under the spotlight, and it’s only after experiencing it that you understand why people make the silliest of mistakes under the camera. I got steamrolled that round, playing against a deck that I considered to be a rouge strategy. My speed of play left much to be desired, and it is something I strive to improve with every game of magic. So don’t be surprised if you are running pretty well at a EU GP and you’re summoned to the feature match table!

Side events payouts tend to seem to pay out better in the EU compared to Asia. For example, an on demand booster draft costs €15 (which is about SGD 23.50), and pays out in prize tix of 300-100-20-20. In contrast, looking at GP Singapore 2018, the same booster draft costs SGD 22, but pays out in prize tix of 120-80-40-40. Upon a detailed comparison, the event cost : payout ratio seems similar.

However, for Constructed swiss events, the payout for different regions are the same, but the ones in EU are cheaper ($25 vs $27). Among the weekend, some of the scheduled events are doubled-up events, which gives double the payout! Imagine that you get to win double the prize! Towards the end of the day, some of the events turnout will be lower, and that’s what you should aim for!

Also on the topic of side events, I feel a chaos draft is worth doing at least once at the EU GPs! It’s great fun especially after a day of competitive magic at the main event, and it offers a different style of magic that one might expect. Fancy a game that you have to read every single card that is played? Sign up for a chaos draft! A chaos draft functions similarly to a booster draft, but the pod of 8 players receives different packs from a pool. These include really old sets from the pre-modern era, to the current sets that are in standard

This was one of my chaos draft decks that managed to reach the finals, only losing to the eventual winner. You can’t go wrong with aggro in such a nonsense format, and 2 drops are key! Colourless equipment is at a premium as they function as manasinks, and make your bears more threatening as the game progresses. I even had  a “bad” Glorybringer in the form of Mordant Dragon!I remember at one of the GPs, one of the booster packs of the chaos draft came from a pre-modern era set and was in Italian, and there had to be a judge at the table translating what cards were passed to the receiving player. It really is full of nonsense! Imagine playing UNsets in the draft too! Hahaha. Also, sometimes the more obscure cards that have some monetary value may unknowingly table, so it does pay to know which older cards are worth something! Tip No. 2: All we want is to have fun! 

Allow me to leave you with one of my more memorable experiences at a side event. This was at GP Utrecht 2017 at a side event, and it was a booster draft (AER-AER-KLD). I reached the finals of the event and agreed to split the prize with my opponent. As I still wanted to play the final round for fun, he suggested that we both have a normal game, then switch decks for another game. He reasoned that the better player would be able to win with both decks. I agreed to his suggestion, and he won both games. Despite losing to my own deck, that was one of the most enjoyable games I played in recent memory.

Writer’s Profile

Evan is a Singaporean player currently based overseas in Dublin, Ireland. He was first introduced to MTG during his NS days at Khans block. His first taste of competitive magic was at GP Bologna 2016 à la Eldrazi Winter.

Notable achievements include a 34th place finish at GP Guangzhou 2016 (modern). Evan favours aggressive, proactive strategies, and prefers to be the one asking the questions rather than finding the answers. Outside magic, Evan enjoys playing the violin, amidst mugging for medical school.

PPTQ winner for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 at Mag-Strength

An analyst during the week, and a title defender during the weekend! Our winner at Mag Strength’s PPTQ, has denied other contenders from winning the Mag Strength RPTQ slot for 2 seasons!

Name: Dylan Yeo

Age: 36

Occupation: Analyst


How did you start to play MTG: Started MTG in 1995 after passing by a comics shop in Tiong Bahru and seeing a bunch of people sitting down and playing an interesting card game. Was a big fantasy fan, so the MTG genre appealed to me. Was hooked on the game and played somewhat competitively with the group at Tiong Bahru (“The Force”) for a few years. Stopped playing during the Visions set after losing by Type 1.5 deck (UW good stuff control). Being a student who put all my savings into the game, the blow was too big to handle.

Eventually, I came back to play during the Scars of Mirrodin block at MagStr, and a combination of my childhood memories and cool people at Magstr kept me in the game on and off since.

What attracts you to keep on playing: Been a fairly casual player over recent years due to family and work commitments. But always tried to spend some free time playing MTG because of all the fun friends, and my love for the game and some competition.

Where do you usually play MTG: Mag Strength, and sometimes at Grey Ogre Games and Agorahobby.

Is there a community that you play together often with: The awesome and funny Magstr community. We typically hang out together for FNM and sometimes go out for “expeditions” to other shops on weekends.

What is your best MTG-related story, since you have started playing MTG: Playing at the team RPTQ in KL and my Magstr teammates told me not to take food from people because it means bad luck. Didn’t believe in that, and ate some fries offered by Yong Xin. Guess what, we really kept losing after. The fries taste good though cause we didn’t had lunch! Sorry Wei Teng and Sebas!

What do you like about our Singapore community: The friendly and competitive spirit of Singapore players. Going to any MTG events is like catching up with a bunch of old friends, while everyone is also having a great time trying to win.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: I think the Singapore community can be more collaborative to improve our MTG level, advance our tournament scene and create greater MTG content for current and future players. While the community is small compared to other nations, everyone seem to be passionate for the game. We have seen many initiatives recently, which I think are great (e.g. mtgrojak.com, GOG’s streaming content and general effort to help new players, etc.).

There are 2 PPTQs on the same day, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: Because it’s at Magstr and we have an internal joke to always try to defend Magstr’s PPTQ. We had collectively been successful over the last 3 PPTQs 😀

What color combination did you play during the sealed, and why: U/R splash B/W removal. 4c good stuffs! My pool had limited removals across the colors, with a bunch of complimentary dual lands. So I decided to play all the removals and live the dream or go home. and you lived the dream!

Was locked into U/R main because of Demanding Dragon and other red heavy beaters, as well as Windreader Sphinx with a bunch of filler flyers.

What color combination did you play during the draft, and why: U/B fillers plus Tezzeret, Artifice Master. Pack 1 was depressing for my seat and I ended with Graveyard Marshal, 2 Plague Mares and a bunch of fillers in blue, white and green. Opened Tezzeret in pack 2 and decided to force the color, despite it looking pretty dried up. The final deck still looked pretty bad, but Tezzeret rewarded me with wins in the quarter and semi.

How do you think of M19: M19 seems more fun than the typical core sets. The smaller creatures seems to be irrelevant quickly, making aggro pretty weak, and allowing for longer games. I do love grindy limited formats (preferably with 5 color decks).

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: Ken Hu, fellow defender of Magstr.

Any specific tips and advices to players who are playing for the sealed and the draft portion too: Play your sealed different from your draft. Play your best cards and removals in sealed (or a synergy deck if you are lucked out). Have a plan for draft (aggro, control, value grind, abuse a bomb), even if it means drafting weaker cards.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ: Try… harder.

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: Come to Magstr for a truly unique local PPTQ experience, and fill your tummies with amazing food just next door! 😀 Oh come on… that’s really the great draw! I always look forward to eating over at ABC Brickswork Market everytime I’m there! If you need any recommendations of what to eat! Ask the friendly players over at Mag Strength or me!

Any points for improvement for the store hosting the PPTQ: Sturdier chairs please. Oopssssss… Tell me, have you ever broke any of their chairs… Ahh, I understand, that will remain a secret between us.

Last shoutouts: Dennis for doing these interviews for the SG community. Benedict for being a great sport despite the “chao qiu” AKA “dark arts” in the finals. Kuo Feng for graciously letting me up in the final swiss round. Do refer to the previous features on who are the Dark Arts master! Do refer to the previous features on who are the Dark Arts master! See ya next week!

PPTQ winners for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 (Dueller’s Point & Brick’s Play)

And now… we have our feature of the PPTQ winners. Ah Jian and FBro to the rescue!

Planeswalker FTW!

Name: Joshua Yang “Ah Jian”

Age: Every year 25 年年都25岁,發啊!

Occupation: Membership Executive

How did you start to play MTG: I started during Secondary 2 where my classmate introduced me to an Alliance booster pack. I thought the art looked nice and given my weakness for “kuji” (sure-win lucky draw games), I started to buy more packs and started building decks.

However, competitive gaming only started during my polytechnics days when my friend introduced me to Serene Center. Ahh, yes, comics mart in Serene Centre and that macdonalds. We used to play most of the premier events like Nationals Qualifier, PTQ in Comics Mart.

What attracts you to keep on playing: Need to be number 1 in lifetime planewalkers points in SG. Ahh, you wanna be the very best, like no one ever was.

Currently second :p The gap is approximately 600 points and I believe you will be able to break through very soon.

Where do you usually play MTG: Dueller’s Point, Games Haven (Paya Lebar) and Grey Orge Games

Is there a community that you play together often with: Yes, shoutout to my fellow grinders, Lucas Wong, Chris Tiong and Yong Xin! Four Heavenly Kings -四大天王?

What do you like about our Singapore community: Singaporeans are very hardworking and competitive. We often cheer each other on despite the occasional tilts. Just like you can see that it is full house for this PPTQ from their fb video.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: Need to guide the younger generation of players. My “batch” getting old liao. Hahaha… … Well, experience counts –还是老的辣 

There are 2 PPTQs on the same day, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: Dueller’s Point is 10 mins from my house! Oh yea~

What deck did you play:

UW Control

Describe your SB plan, and how it works: No secret tech for my SB, just the usual white hate cards for the appropriate matchups (RIP for GY, Stony Silence for artifacts) and usual blue cards for turning the corners (Dispels, Negate).

How long have you been playing it: I have been playing UW control for 3 weeks.

Why did you pick up this deck: I got bored of aggressive Eldrazi decks and they can’t beat Humans (top tier deck atm), hence I swapped my Eldrazi cards to UW cards. Ka ching! Ka ching! RPTQ slot added for that choice. I also wanted to play with Jace, The Mind Sculptor since its unbanning…

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: Vendilion Clique, MVP for trading with the nexus fliers, “cycling” extra Terminus out of hand too. It also created a counter war during my opponent’s eot, then I slam down my Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.

One card that you are least impressed with for the day: Damping Sphere, which sat in my SB the whole day.

Toughest matchup for the day: I was lucky to meet 6 aggressive decks and only 1 control deck the whole day. Toughest matchup was Infect and Shiek beat me 2 weeks ago in a win-a-box finals.

Easiest matchup for the day: Easiest matchup were affinity decks. 1 in swiss and 1 in semis. The 5 board wipes and 4 field of ruin made it easier.

Are there any portions of the deck that you would like to change, and why: I would like to experiment by changing Opt to Peek. U get information on when to land your planeswalkers or if your opponents are sandbagging any important creatures.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ; Stick to what you know best, just modify your sideboard accordingly to the metagame. Keep trying, don’t give up. Modern is a high variance format.

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: The event ran very smoothly. Well done!

Last shoutouts: Shout out to my team – Last Magic Event, you guys are the best! 😀 Most importantly, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my lovely wife’s support.


Haters would say this was photo-shopped

Name: Faizal Bin Rosmarudin (FBro)

Age: 31

Occupation: Stuffs that you wouldn’t want to know

Why and how did you start to play MTG: Started in secondary school when my friend taught me during a school trip.

What attracts you to keep on playing: Competition made me kept playing.

Where do you usually play MTG: Mostly at PPTQs. Sometimes GOG on weekdays, and GH on Fridays.

Is there a community that you play together often with: Chye Hwee and Tan Chin Heng.

What do you like about our Singapore community: SG players are actually good at MTG. The high level of competition is conducive to produce players to capable of competing in the Pro Tour.

What do you think that our Singapore community needs to improve on: Innovation.

What color combination did you play during the sealed, and why: GW Blanchwood Armor – the limited Bogles Deck. It’s the most completed colour combination in my pool (got removal, bomb, decent creatures, etc).

What color combination did you play during the draft, and why: UW artifact. Gearsmith Guardian was pretty good in this format and people underrate it.

What do you think of M19: Boring with low EV. I didn’t want to draft it after my sixth draft.

During the top 8 cut, which top 8 player did you not want to be paired with, and played against: Goh Guo Wei. He’s very good at dark arts.

Any specific tips and advices to players who are playing for the sealed and the draft portion too: This format allows you to splash bombs/removals. X/1s are not very good. Most colour combi in draft works, but I don’t like UG specifically.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ: Don’t waste time, I’ll be winning the slot in KL. YEAH! make us proud!

Any positive comments for the store hosting the PPTQ: Thanks to Bricksplay for for holding the PPTQ. The staffs are always friendly.

Any points for improvement for the store hosting the PPTQ: Try to make the next sealed PPTQ start earlier. Or on a Sat.

PPTQ winners for Pro Tour #1 of 2019 (Games Haven Paya Lebar & Project EXT)

Hello Eric and Fenfei! Congratulations to the both of you for winning the invite to the RPTQ for Pro Tour Ravnica Allegiance. For those who are not familiar with them, we have gotten them to write a quick self-introduction about themselves, before delving into the questions!

Name: Eric Seah

Occupation: Biz Support

Date started playing MTG: I think it was during 5th Ed Era. I was playing the game casually but due to commitment, I had to disappear from the game for a period of time.

Thanks to a friend who kept asking me to rejoin the game. It was around the 2013-2014 season, where I tasted the thrills of my first GP SG and followed by GP Bangkok. Although my results were not good but this inspired me to play the game more seriously.

What deck did you play: Mardu Pyromancer

How long have you been playing it: Less than a month

Why did you pick up this deck: I feel that this deck is well balanced

Where do you usually play MTG: With my friends for practice and FNM/PPTQ tourney held by different shops

There are 2 PPTQs this weekend, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: Comfort level with the shop (Games Haven)

Who do you play together often: We have a chat group for Magic discussion and decks practice sessions

And of course, your decklist:
Mardu Pyromancer

Main Deck4 Blackcleave Cliffs2 Blood Crypt4 Bloodstained Mire3 Marsh Flats2 Swamp1 Plains1 Sacred Foundry3 Mountain4 Young Pyromancer4 Bedlam Reveler4 Faithless Looting2 Fatal Push3 Inquisition of Kozilek4 Lightning Bolt3 Thoughtseize2 Collective Brutality1 Dreadbore1 Manamorphose1 Terminate3 Kolaghan’s Command4 Lingering Souls2 Blood Moon1 Liliana of the Veil1 Liliana, the Last HopeSorry, but sideboard is secret tech! (0)

For the other top 8 decklists, please refer to the Games Haven fb page. Kudos to them for writing them out!

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: I am impressed with all the 75 cards

One card that you are least impressed with for the day: None

Toughest matchup for the day: All my opponents. They are all skilled players and to win them was a very big challenge for me.

Easiest matchup for the day: None

Any portions of your deck that you would like to change: Currently none, unless the meta changes

Any tips and advice to players who are continuing to grind in this season’s PPTQ: I always advocate “practice make perfect”. Don’t be disheartened by the current poor result, if you are persistent enough, you will see the Dawn from the Darkness.

Last shoutouts: A special mention to one of my opponents (Chong Teng) during this PPTQ event, for he has shown me, we need not just the skill in the game but also the character who I have my utmost respect for him and Thank You. I would also like to thank my family and friends who have  supported me. You know who you are, no need for me to mention names.


Name: See Fen Fei

Age: 24

Occupation: Student

Date started playing MTG: Magic Origins pre-release 15 July 2015

What deck did you play: RG Scapeshift

How long have you been playing it: 1 week

Why did you pick up this deck: I like the multiple angles of attacks for the deck to win, via ramping and casting a Scapeshift at 7 lands or just the old fashion beat down plan with prime time (Primeval Titan) and BBE (Bloodbraid Elf).

Where do you usually play MTG: Gamersaurus Rex /Flagship Games

Is there a community that you play with together: Yes I do, usually with the more experienced Grex players for competitive magic, and dino-chicken-rex for edh and casual stuff. For those who are not too sure, a cafe named “dino cafe” exists below Grex, and they serve good food!

There are 2 PPTQs this weekend, why did you select this particular store’s PPTQ: I forgot to pre-register for Games Haven’s, and since I haven’t went to Ubi/Tai Seng before, I want to explore that place.

How is your decklist like: I netdecked it online.
RG Scapeshift

Main Deck4 Sakura-Tribe Elder4 Bloodbraid Elf1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar4 Primeval Titan2 Anger of the Gods1 Explore3 Farseek4 Lightning Bolt1 Prismatic Omen3 Scapeshift4 Search for Tomorrow2 Summoner’s Pact3 Forest6 Mountain4 Cinder Glade3 Stomping Ground4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle1 Verdant Catacombs2 Windswept Heath4 Wooded Foothills (0)
Sideboard2 Ancient Grudge1 Anger of the Gods2 Damping Sphere1 Fracturing Gust2 Grafdigger’s Cage2 Hour of Devastation2 Obstinate Baloth1 Reclamation Sage2 Tireless Tracker (0)

Describe your SB plan, and how it works: I wasn’t expecting anything to be dominant so I just went with a general list. I guess, disruptive cards vs combo decks that are faster than you (eg. storm), and sweepers against creature aggro decks.

One card that you are most impressed with for the day: Prismatic Omen. Managed to shoot Chu Heng for 12 by laying 1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle with 3 other Valakut on board. #Feelsgoodman

One card that you are least impressed with for the day: Grafdigger’s Cage. Should have listened to Keith and play Relic of Progenitus instead. It is better, since Bridge Vine and KCI archetype are on the rise and Cage doesn’t hit those.

Toughest matchup for the day: Vs Malcolm’s RB Hollow One. During G2, I top decked a couple of times and the game could have went the other way if I had misplayed and had given him another turn. Almost miscalculated the damage in the end. Burning Inquiry and Goblin Lore really speeds up the game plan of their deck by a lot.

Easiest matchup for the day: Vs Malcolm’s RB Hollow One. During G3, he discarded 2 hollow one on T1, due to Burning Inquiry.

Are there any portions of the deck that you would like to change, and why: I guess, other than the change from Cage to Relic, I would also like to try out the Naya version with Renegade Rallier or the Jund version by PETERSEN, ANDREAS from the PT25 with slaughter games in the sideboard.

Any tips and advice to players who are grinding for this season’s PPTQ; I don’t think I am qualified to answer this question as I am still relative new to the modern format.

However, I noticed there are a lot of combo decks at the moment. I think a deck with disruption, together with sweepers that can deal with combo and hyper aggressive graveyard decks (eg. Hollow One/Bridge Vine) might be my direction (Jund Scapeshift by PETERSEN, ANDREAS from PT25 with sb slaughter game and 3 mb sweepers).

Any kudos for the store hosting the PPTQ: Place is big enough to host all the players and not feel very suffocative

Any suggestions for players who are intending to visit the store: The place is hard to find. It took me around 1/2 hour to get there, even though it seems very close from Tai Seng MRT on the map.

Last shoutouts: To the people at Gamersaurus Rex, thank you for helping me learn the deck in the shortest period of time. I have to admit that lady luck was on my side that day and I could have played better. Without the playtest sessions with them, I think I would have made even more mistakes. Also a shout out to Stanley for selling me most of the cards.

That’s the end of the interview for the winners! Do join us next week for our weekly Wednesday feature of the PPTQ winners!
 
We are looking for people who are interested to generate content, and also any comments and feedback from the community of what you all are interested in!

An overseas perspective – Dublin

Welcome to the first instalment of an overseas perspective from a local, where we talk about overseas MTG experience. Today, we invite Evan Chia, who is a student to comment about his MTG experience in Dublin, Ireland .

Noah Bradley, one of my opponents in GP Liverpool 2017

Name: Evan En Yao Chia

Location: Based in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland since late 2015. I do come back to Singapore at least twice a year though!

Reason for being overseas: Medical School, expected to graduate in 2020.

Proudest MTG accomplishment: Winning limited master Martin
Juza at a sealed CFB foiled again side event, the picture says it all 😛 This
was in 2017, before he got inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Bragging rights! :p

Comparison of Overseas MTG Scene:
Ireland is approximately 100+ times larger than Singapore, but the Irish magic community is much smaller. There are only 3 stores located in Dublin, and a few others are all scattered over, both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK). Back at home, we are extremely blessed to have so many stores in close proximity.After coming here, I can relate with the American players that talked about driving for hours just to get to a PPTQ venue. The furthest I’ve ever travelled to compete in a PPTQ was at Derry, in Northern Ireland. The total car ride took 6 hours! I doubt you’ll find a PPTQ venue in Singapore that requires more than an hour of travelling.

Another example would be that their Nationals is a single day event of swiss, followed by the top 8 on the next day, whereas Nationals back home in Singapore is 2 full days.

Also, paper magic isn’t cheap. The cost of a draft is around €16, which is slightly more than S$24. I believe it is due to boxes being more expensive in the EU. Events start earlier too, at 6.30pm or 7.30pm on weekdays, which reflects the difference in pace of life and working hours as well. I really enjoy pre-releases in Dublin, as they are much longer than the ones in Singapore. The longest ones I’ve seen in Singapore are 4 swiss rounds, but the ones in Dublin scale with attendance. The day pre-releases can be as long as 6 swiss rounds, which in my opinion, leads to a more satisfying experience.

A smaller player base also has its perks, as most people would tend to know majority of the community. I found the Irish community to be extremely friendly, both inside and outside the game.

This photo exemplifies it all.

Favourite Story at the overseas LGS

I was playing at a modern week night event at the central Dublin LGS. I was up against Ad Nauseam. Before round 4, I was currently 2-1, and needed to go 3-1 or better to win any prizes (this shop only pays out to those who come in positive). My opponent was 1-2 before round 4, and he graciously conceded to me before round 4 started. We decided to play out the last round for fun. He’s on the play, lays his land, casts his spells and passes the turn. Halfway during my turn, he exclaims that he had forgotten to suspend lotus bloom on his first turn, has a good laugh and says he needs a reminder. Next moment, I see him rummaging around some scrap paper on the table, writing “NOTE TO SELF: SUSPEND LOTUS BLOOM ON TURN 1”, and promptly slides it in front of his glasses, in front of his forehead. It was my turn to have a good laugh. He left that piece of paper there for the rest of the round, and of course he still managed to topdeck his way to the typical turn 4 kill, which he would have anyway if he had suspended his lotus bloom on turn 1. Where else would you find such humor!

Most memorable PPTQ experience: The most memorable PPTQ I participated in was the one I mentioned earlier, in Derry, Northern Ireland. This PPTQ was memorable in more ways than one.

First, I would never forget the car ride there and back, which took 3 hours each way. As Ireland is not too warm usually (doesn’t get warmer than 25 degrees), cars aren’t equipped with aircon, and most people wind down part of the window to let the cold air in. However, this was in the early part of June, and it was starting to get warmer and sunnier. We had to drive through farmland (agriculture is quite common throughout Ireland), and you could smell the animals especially when you drove past the more wulu areas.

The attendance was quite dismal at the PPTQ, as 7 people including myself showed up. I suspect the date wasn’t very ideal, along with the location, as the bulk of the PPTQ grinders from Dublin weren’t willing to make such a long trip just to compete.

One of the shopkeepers had to fill in as the 8th man, and the PPTQ was going be straight into the top 8 single elimination. This was the first time in my life that I participated in such a small PPTQ. It honestly felt like a FNM with much higher stakes. I was playing a mono red deck similar to the list that won PT DOM.

In the semifinals, I faced against a Sultai pile, running Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Rite of Belzenlok and all sorts of graveyard shenanigans to recur with Muldrotha. I won game 1 and was all ready to scoop in game 2 when my opponent started to recur Orazca Relic and could consistently gain 3 life. However, I decided to play it out as the matches were untimed. I lost game 2 in the end and was lucky enough to win game 3 after making quite a serious mistake during the game. Interestingly, the finals ended quite quickly and I was fortunate enough to win the entire thing. I suppose the opportunity cost of travelling really dawned on me after winning the PPTQ, as 6 hours of travelling is really no joke. The entire PPTQ didn’t take longer than 2.5 hours though, which was the most memorable part of this story!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I’ll be back with more about my experience in competing in the EU GPs!

Writer’s Shoutout

Evan is a Singaporean player currently based overseas in Dublin, Ireland. He was first introduced to MTG during his NS days at Khans block. His first taste of competitive magic was at GP Bologna 2016 à la Eldrazi Winter.

Notable achievements include a 34th place finish at GP Guangzhou 2016 (modern). Evan favours aggressive, proactive strategies, and prefers to be the one asking the questions rather than finding the answers. Outside magic, Evan enjoys playing the violin, amidst mugging for medical school.