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Jiachen Tao Drowns the Competition at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch


Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch is in the books! There were multiple stories destined to converge in Atlanta. How would Modern react to the banning of Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom? Would the Eldrazi menace, powered by Eldrazi Temple prove to be a red herring or the real deal?

It turns out the answer to these questions are the same: Eldrazi is the real deal and it was a dominant force on the Pro Tour.

The Top 8 was stacked with talent - Hall of Famers Shuhei Nakamura and Luis Scott-Vargas both notched their 6th career Top 8 with Colorless Eldrazi. The same list propelled Ivan Floch to his third Pro Tour Sunday. All three were part of Team ChannelFireball/Face to Face. Patrick Dickmann produced his second Modern Pro Tour Top 8 with Affinity and Pascal Maynard - a Grand Prix fixture - made his first Pro Tour Top 8 with a similar list. Andrew Brown and Jiachen Chao, on the same Team East West Bowl, made the elimination rounds with Blue-Red Eldrazi, featuring such limited hits as Drowner of Hope, Eldrazi Skyspawner and Vile Aggregate. Finally, fan favorite Frank Lepore found the Top 8 in his first Pro Tour with a blue-black-green take on Processor Eldrazi with Wasteland Strangler and World Breaker.

With every match in the Top 8 returning to best three-of-five, Sunday kicked off with a Nakamura game win, but Jiachen Tao took the next three to secure his place in the semifinals. Luis Scott-Vargas faced off against Pascal Maynard and took the first two games only the see Maynard battle back and force a game five. In the end the Hall of Famer emerged victorious and advanced to the Top 4. Patrick DIckmann made quick work of Andrew Brown by defeating him in three games. First timer Frank Lepore put up a valiant effort in his first appearance at the Pro Tour but fell to a former champion Ivan Floch in five.

The semifinals saw Jiachen Tao face off the same 75 he defeated in the quarterfinals, again wielded by a Hall of Famer, in Luis Scott-Vargas. Tao’s continued to devour elite opponents as he bested Scott-Vargas in five games. Ivan Floch had a quicker road to the finals as he defeated Patrick Dickmann in four games.

For the third time on Sunday Jiachen Tao was facing the same deck. Familiarity did not breed contempt as Tao was able to defeat another member of the ChannelFireball/Face to Face colorless collective. The third time was a most certainly charm as Tao was able to life to trophy and add his name to the list of Pro Tour Champions

Congratulations to Jiachen Tao, your Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch champion!

During the lunch break, Director of Organized Play Helene Bergeot went over the changes for this year’s World Magic Cup.

Owen Turtenwald also secured his spot at this year's World Championship with his Top 16 finish as the Midseason Master.

What shape will Modern take in the months to come? Can the Eldrazi be contained or will something have to go on, or maybe come off, the ban list? Time will tell. More stories and decks from Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch can be found on the event homepage.

Order Oath of the Gatewatch at CoolStuffInc.com today!

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