magic-the-gatheringSo last night I was on my deck having a Marlboro and was wondering if I had to play in a Pro Tour T8 and I could pick who were the other 7 players that would make for the most fascinating Top 8, who would I pick?  That brought up a ton of other ideas for posts that I will eventually work on (mostly Top 10 lists etc) but to set the stage there is a few variables we need to assign values to for us to continue.

First off, we need to set the stage for what format this T8 is because that influences who I’d pick to be in the T8.  Let’s say “Standard” is the format of choice and I only say that because draft is not my strongest format (although I’m not horrible), but I’ve always been most comfortable playing in Constructed events.

Next, we need to pick a location for this event. Does it really matter where this event is held? Not even remotely BUT this is my fantasy so I get to pick where it’s being held and if you dont like it , just click that X button in the top right corner. 🙂

I’ve always wanted to go to to Europe but if this is my T8 and I get to play against my own best imaginary T8 in an imaginary Pro Tour, then I want this to be in either Arizona or New England. Just because of the concentration of friends I have in those areas, it would make for a good celebration if I pulled this off……if I had to pick one, I’d have to say Arizona only because I know my New England grinder friends would watch it on stream anyways.

Also, let’s just assume that everyone I name in this list is playing at pretty close to their prime in terms of skill. Let’s say to a 85-90% of top skill level. So someone who was good in 1999 would be as good in 2014 comparatively. Just keep that in mind.

Lastly, this is who I’d want in my Top 8, not who the best T8 would ever be. So some of the picks may not fit the mold, but understand this isnt a “Who is the T8 best players ever” discussion, this is “Who would I think make my dream T8 if I were in a PT T8”.

Now onto the rest of the T8 and figure out who would be my dream T8 to play against.

Jon Finkel – Do I really have to say anything here?

Kai Budde – See above

Zvi Mowshowitz – For as long as I remember, Zvi was one of the best deckbuilders in the day and he had a great knack of applying game theory to a lot of situations. I remember the first time I got him to engage in conversation about a deck in #Mtgwacky on IRC and I was sitting in the computer lab scribbling down everything he said. With his Hall of Fame level career and how good he was, I’d want him there on Sunday.

Mike Long – For good streaming coverage, we need a villain and no one was a bigger villain than Mike Long.  He could play, he was brash, and he was always in the hunt. Was he shady? I dont know – I never got to play vs him, but others have their own opinions I’m sure.

Reid Duke – If we are going to have the polar representation of evil, then we need the polar representation of good, and who is a better choice than Reid Duke? My intention here is that hopefully I would get paired vs him in the finals, and I’d win because he was busy changing a tire for a 92 year old lady.

Shuhei Nakamura – I played Shuhei a couple of years ago in a featured match on stream at GP Boston and got a game loss because a card my opponent had taken control of the round before never made it back into my deck. It was pretty embarrassing to get a game loss on camera, so only for that reason I’d want Nakamura in this T8 to get my revenge.

Mike Turian – Turian..everyone know Turian. Now this slot was almost Randy Buehler but in the end, Turian was part of that same CMU crowd so any one of them would work. I’m currently 0-x vs Turian lifetime and in my fantasy land, I’d want to make that 1-X if I was going to go for the cup.

Now some notes on people that could have made it but didnt.

William Jensen – If this was limited, he’d be my #1 over anyone in the above list – hands down.
YMG People (Rob D / Dave H / Darwin) – Almost made the cut, but I’d played w/ them before.
Patrick Chapin – He almost made the list but in the end just fell a tiny tad short.
Wafo Tapa – I dont want to sit around for 9 hours waiting for his match to end.
Kibler – I want to be the best looking guy in the T8 , so bye bye Kibler
LSV – Same boat as Chapin

And on and on it goes, I could go on forever about who DIDNT make it, but if you ask me in the comments, I’ll gladly post my thoughts on individuals.

Hope you enjoyed!