Chew, De Sio, and Baraniecki prove themselves Worthy

The week before Pro Tour Amonkhet saw three Grand Prix across the globe. The Grand Prix Beijing, Bologna, and Richmond all showcased the new Limited format with Sealed play on Day One and Draft on Day Two. Due to Amonkhet’s early release on Magic Online, players came to these events more prepared than they would have in the past.

First to finish was Grand Prix Beijing. Just over 1,000 players showed up to battle with the freshest Magic set but as always only 8 players stood a chance of glory at the end of Sunday. Included in those final eight was Tomoharu Saito who briefly broke a tie with Martin Jůza and Yuuya Wantanabe for third on the all-time Grand Prix Top 8 list. Saito’s 25 Grand Prix Top 8s placed him three behind Olivier Ruel and two behind Shuhei Nakamura, Hall of Famers both.

Saito was not able to add to his trophy case. That honor belonged to Kelvin Chew of Team MTG Mint Card. The Singapore native piloted an aggressive Red-White deck with five copies of Cartouche of Zeal. The win, Chew’s first in three trips to the Sunday stage at a Grand Prix, put the pro just a few points short of hitting Platinum status. With two more Pro Tours this season netting a minimum of six pro points, Chew finds himself needing two more to hit the coveted status.

Next on the docket was Grand Prix Bologna with nearly 1,670 players descending on Italy. Mere hours after Saito claimed third on the list he was joined by Martin Jůza who made the elimination rounds as well. In a Top 8 that also featured Pascal Vieren and Simon Nielsen, Jůza battled all the way to the finals with a Blue-Black cycling deck but fell in three games to Corrado De Sio and his aggressive White-Blue strategy that leaned on two copies of Aven Wind Guide.

Finally the circuit traveled to Richmond where the Grand Prix drew just under 1,600 players. Current World Champion Brian Braun-Duin ran the table during the Swiss portion by going 15-0 (including his byes). Braun-Duin was a lock for the Top 8 with a few rounds to go and was joined by Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir Champion Martin Dang and Brazilian Pro Thiago Saporito. It would be Dang who handed the World Champion his first match loss of the weekend in the Quarterfinals before Dang himself fell in the semifinals. In the end it was veteran Eli Kassis in his third Grand Prix Top 8 against Michael Baraniecki playing in his first. Kassis had another White-Blue deck up against Baraniecki’s strong Black-Red build. Featuring Liliana, Death’s Majesty, Neheb, the Worthy, Bontu the Glorified, and Insult // Injury, Baraniecki took the title in three games.

All told 4,293 players came out to test their mettle in Amonkhet Sealed. Only three could claim victory at the end of the day, barely 0.07% of the total field. Magic is a skill testing game and with the variety of strategies on display all weekend long the Pro Tour is sure to have some excitement in the Limited rounds.

Amonkhet is now available at!