Kai Budde, "The German Juggernaut," is considered by many to be the greatest player in history—given his incomparable resume, he has a strong case. As a member of Team Pantheon, Kai often handles "risk management." With his years of experience, he can quickly spot which decks have what it takes to truly succeed on the Pro Tour. In 2013 he helped construct Mono-Blue Devotion with Gabriel Nassif—a synergy deck built on the back of many unassuming cards, that together formed a powerful aggressive deck. A similar build eventually took down Pro Tour Theros in the hands of Jeremy Dezani.
• 15 GP Tops 8s, 7 Wins: Barcelona 1999, Vienna 1999, Amsterdam 1999, London 2001, Lisbon 2002, Antwerp 2002, Madrid 2004
• 10 PT Top 8s, 7 Wins including: Chicago 2000, Barcelona 2001, New York 2001, New Orleans 2001, Nice 2002
• Two-Time World Champion: 1999, 2002
• Four-Time Player of the Year:
• German National Champion, 2002
• Invitational Champion, 2001 (Invitational card - Voidmage Prodigy)
• Team Masters Series Champion, 2002
As a college student from Boston, MA, Matt Costa has been playing Magic on and off for the better part of 10 years. He got his start in competitive Magic in the Junior Super Series, and played his first PTQ in 2008, qualifying in 2010. Originally considered a Limited player, Matt is now best known for playing blue decks like Delver, Flash, and Faeries. As the youngest member of Team Pantheon, Matt is there to remind the old guys of their glory days. He focuses his energy on tempo decks and "normal" ideas to leave room for everyone else to work on more... creative projects. He prefers to help his team members improve their decks, rather than dedicate himself entirely to developing his own. Huey Jensen, on Matt Costa: "Andrew Cuneo once told me that he thought there was a good chance that Matt was the best player on our team. On a team that contains the three greatest players of all time, all of whom were at one point considered to be the best player in the world, this is very high praise."
• GP Top 8s in Montreal 2011, Kansas City 2011, Miami 2013, Atlantic City 2013
• Grand Prix Baltimore 2012 Champion
• Pro Tour Honolulu 2012 Top 8
Reid Duke burst onto the competitive scene in 2011 by winning the Magic Online Championship at Worlds, and has since grown to become one of the most widely respected players in Magic. For Team ChannelFireball: The Pantheon, Reid functions as more of a fine-tuner than a pure deckbuilder, always ready with an improved version of a known deck. Since joining The Pantheon, Reid has cashed 6 out of 6 Pro Tours played, and designed the Jund deck that teammate Owen Turtenwald took to the Top 8 of Pro Tour Gatecrash in 2013.
• Magic Online Champion 2011
• Runner-up, 2013 Magic World Championship
• Grand Prix Nashville 2012 Champion
• Grand Prix Miami 2013 Champion
• 8 GP Top 8s including Providence 2011, Montreal 2011, San Antonio 2012, Charleston 2012, Quebec City 2013, Detroit 2013
Andrew Cuneo is an old-school player most famous for inventing "Draw-Go," his penchant for slow control decks means that The Pantheon will always have a strong control deck if it exists. A tremendous deckbuilder and ping-pong player, Cuneo's presence is invaluable. His favorite creations don't always make it past the cutting room floor—in 2012 he designed a unique Laboratory Maniac deck for Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, though the team eventually settled on a Bant Hexproof aggro deck that took two of its pilots to the Top 8.
• GP Top 8s in Lincoln 2012 and Washington D.C. 2013
• PT Top 8s in New York 2000 and 2001
Jon Finkel's prolific talents and sterling resume earned him the nickname "Johnny Magic" long ago. After a substantial hiatus, Jon Finkel returned to the Pro Tour and immediately demonstrated why he's widely considered the greatest player of all time by winning PT Kuala Lampur in 2008 and Top 8'ing PT Avacyn Restored and PT Dark Ascension in 2012. For Team ChannelFireball: The Pantheon, Jon solves Limited formats with ease, and fills a fundamental leadership role.
• 14 Pro Tour Top 8s
• Pro Tour Champion New York 1998, Kuala Lampur 2008
• 1997-98 Player of the Year
• 2000 Magic Invitational Winner (Invitational Card: Shadowmage Infiltrator)
• 2000 Magic World Champion
• 9 GP Top 8s, including Zurich 1997-98, Vienna 1998-99, Kansas 1998-99, Pittsburgh 1999-2000, Amsterdam 2002-03, D.C. 2003-04
• 3 Grand Prix Wins: Rio de Janeiro 1997-98, Boston 1998-99, St. Louis 1999-2000
• U.S. National Champion 1998 and 2000
Tom made his Pro Tour debut at PT Chicago 2000, and kicked off his comeback with a 32nd place finish at PT San Juan in 2010. Since then, Tom has been dominating professional Magic. With GP wins in Indianapolis and Sacramento, and a PT win at Pro Tour Gatecrash, Tom is undoubtedly among the best players in the world. Tom's playskill and keen perception make him invaluable in the final stages of Team ChannelFireball: The Pantheon's preparation, from refining decks to hammering out the final draft pick order.
• 5 GP Top 8s, including: Columbus 2010, Salt Lake City 2012, and Indianapolis 2013
• 2 GP Wins: Grand Prix Indianapolis 2012 and Grand Prix Sacramento 2014
• Pro Tour Top 8, Paris 2011
• Pro Tour Gatecrash Champion
Huey Jensen on Gabriel Nassif: "Completing the trifecta of the three best Magic players of all time is Gabriel Nassif. Affectionately known to his friends as “Yellowhat,” “Hat,” or in my case “Big Papa Hat,” Gab is quite possibly the greatest deckbuilder of all time, truly excelling at all facets of deckbuilding: construction, tuning, and sideboarding."
• 6 Grand Prix Top 8s, including: London 2001, Prague 2003, Amsterdam 2007, Brussels 2008, Tampa 2009
• Grand Prix Chicago 2009 Champion
• 9 Pro Tour Top 8s, including: New York 2001, Venice 2003, New Orleans 2003, Kobe 2004, Worlds 2004, Worlds 2006, Worlds 2007
• Pro Tour Champion: Atlanta 2005, Kyoto 2009
• French National Team 2004
Paul Rietzl is a renowned master of aggressive white strategies—particularly Boros. That he is one of the best players in the world despite his demanding work schedule is a testament to his talent. Recently, he conquered the first Team GP in 7 years in San Jose alongside his friends Matt Sperling and David Williams in 2012.
• 9 Grand Prix Top 8s, including: Anaheim 2003-04, Oakland 2003-04, Chicago 2009, Seattle-Tacoma 2012, Anaheim 2012, Portland 2013, Albuquerque 2013
• Grand Prix Mexico City 2012 Champion
• Pro Tour Amsterdam 2010 Champion
• Top 4, Pro Tour Honolulu 2009
• Pro Tour Paris 2011 Finalist
Hall of Famer William "Huey" Jensen is one of the leaders of Team Pantheon, and brings exceptional skill and a deep knowledge of the game to testing. He focuses primarily on Limited testing, and shares that knowledge with the other members of the team.
• 13 Grand Prix Top 8s
• 3-time Grand Prix Champion: San Diego 1999-00, Pittsburgh 1999-00, Oakland 2013
• 4 Pro Tour Top 8s, including: London 1999-00, Venice 2003, Chicago 2003
• Pro Tour Boston 2003 Champion
With the help of a record-setting seven Grand Prix Top 8s in 2011, Owen Turtenwald claimed the final Player of the Year title in 2011, cementing his position as one of the best players in the game. While he gained quite a reputation for playing aggressive decks (like Goblins in the era of Flash/Hulk at Grand Prix Columbus 2007), his tight technical play makes him a formidable threat with any archetype—in 40-card and 60-card formats alike. Owen's incomparable playskill make him the ideal test partner, and ensures that The Pantheon's decks are always given the rigor required to prepare a list for the Pro Tour.
• 14 Grand Prix Top 8s
• Back-to-back Grand Prix Champion, D.C. and Albuquerque, 2013
• Player of the Year 2011
• Top 8, Pro Tour Gatecrash
Huey Jensen on Gaudenis: "Gaudenis is the grinder of the team. He tends to play a lot of games online leading up to the event, and grinds away day after day in testing. He usually has a good grasp of the metagame, and is able to use that information to make educated decisions about card choices and deck selection."
• 6 Grand Prix Top 8s Including: Indianapolis 2008, Hanover 2009, Niigata 2009
• 3-time Grand Prix Champion: Tampa Bay 2009, Denver 2011, Atlanta 2012
• 2 Pro Tour Top 8s: Nagoya 2011, Avacyn Restored 2012
Matt is a frequent competitor on the Pro Tour, often at the center of controversy due to the outspoken opinions he expresses in his column. All talk aside, his accomplishments include a team win at Grand Prix San Jose, a Top 16 finish at Pro Tour San Juan, and a 2nd place finish at Grand Prix Minneapolis.
• GP San Jose Champion
• Top 8, GP Minneapolis
• Top 8, Pro Tour Magic 2015
An old-school veteran of Magic, Jamie Parke makes his return to the Pro Tour with Team Pantheon. His resume includes a Worlds finals appearance, another Worlds Top 8, and 3 Grand Prix Top 8s.
• 2008 Worlds Finalist
• Top 8, Worlds 1999
• Grand Prix Top 8s in New Orleans 2001, Indianapolis 2008, and Richmond 2014