Earlier this month, the PLAYLive Nation Championship was held, which was the culmination of a qualifier season. The National Champion piloted the boogeyman of the Standard format, Bant Golos, and took down the championship with ease. I got a chance to sit down (virtually) with Andy Truong, and chat with him a bit about himself, his win, and more.
(Author’s Note: The timing on this wasn’t perfect, as bans were announced between the interview and publication, so keep that in mind if any of the questions about previous Standard appear outdated. Thanks!)
Let’s take a look at what Andy played.
Lands1 x Golgari Guildgate1 x Izzet Guildgate1 x Selesnya Guildgate2 x Temple Garden2 x Breeding Pool2 x Hallowed Fountain1 x Plaza of Harmony1 x Orzhov Guildgate1 x Simic Guildgate1 x Blossoming Sands1 x Temple of Malady1 x Temple of Mystery1 x Tranquil Cove1 x Plains (331)2 x Island (335)2 x Forest (347)4 x Field of the Dead1 x Castle Vantress2 x Fabled Passage
1 Golgari Guildgate 1 Izzet Guildgate 1 Selesnya Guildgate 2 Temple Garden 2 Breeding Pool 2 Hallowed Fountain 1 Plaza of Harmony 1 Orzhov Guildgate 1 Simic Guildgate 1 Blossoming Sands 1 Temple of Malady 1 Temple of Mystery 1 Tranquil Cove 1 Plains (331) 2 Island (335) 2 Forest (347) 4 Field of the Dead 1 Castle Vantress 2 Fabled Passage 4 Hydroid Krasis 2 Arboreal Grazer 4 Golos, Tireless Pilgrim 2 Beanstalk Giant/Fertile Footsteps 3 Realm-Cloaked Giant/Cast Off 1 Kenrith, the Returned King - Collector Pack Exclusive 4 Circuitous Route 4 Growth Spiral 2 Teferi, Time Raveler 1 Time Wipe 4 Once Upon a Time 1 Oko, Thief of Crowns Sideboard 2 Disdainful Stroke 2 Assassin's Trophy 1 Knight of Autumn 1 Ethereal Absolution 1 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries 2 Ashiok, Dream Render 1 Planar Cleansing 2 Agent of Treachery 3 Veil of Summer
Let’s meet Andy!
LSV: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do (besides Magic), and what motivated you to play in the PLN championship?
Andy: I’m 29, I was born in Austin but moved to Dallas when I was a kid and never left. For fun I love to travel, play games/sports and eat – I’m a big (Dallas) Cowboys fan. I played Magic pretty seriously for about 8 years then took a year break to try a new game, but decided to come back and saw that this tournament series was happening. I had played in the very first one and really enjoyed it, because it helped me meet a lot of new people and made me want to help improve. I qualified in the second season for the National Championship and disappointingly ended up in second place so I really wanted to try to win this one.
LSV: What tweaks did your list have? What stood out to you as working particularly well? Was there anything you would change going forward?
I added an Oko to my list, and cut down on some of the Wrath effects. Agent and Kenrith were the two best cards in the deck when I hit the mirror. Oko was much stronger than I expected it to be. If I could change something I would of picked a better list to start with as my base and play Fae of Wishes. I would make a lot of changes to the sideboard as well. I submitted the list without much testing before hand and tested the list the night before so I would probably change that too.
LSV: It’s speculated that Field of the Dead will get banned on the 21st. What do you think about the state of Standard? Should Field get banned? Is there anything else you feel needs to go?
I think standard is in an interesting position right now, with Golos coming out of the gate so quickly as the best deck. After playing it I agree it’s very strong because it has such resiliency and can answer so many different situations. Field being in the format I feel is okay because it is very beatable by many other decks, but with Field gone Oko seems too strong and Fires may be as well. However, I’m not a big fan of multiple bans in formats as short as Standard.
LSV: Which other formats do you enjoy playing? Do you have favorite decks in those formats?
I really enjoy limited, Legacy and EDH. My favorite deck is Enchantress and Chain Veil Teferi.
LSV: Is there anything else you’d like to say or any shout-outs you’d like to give?
I’d like to say thanks to Jared at PlayLive Frisco for being an amazing owner and running everything so smoothly, Comrade Car for assisting with deck ideas and being with me for all the trips we take. Also, the Dallas Zoo for always keeping things entertaining.
LSV: Thanks for your time!
There you have it. Golos was the best deck, Andy helped prove it, and he was rewarded a championship for his troubles. We’d like to thank Andy for the interview, and thank PLAYLive Nation for collaborating on this tournament series with us. Take a look at https://playlivenation.com/
Thanks for your time!