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Hall of Fame 2013 Candidates – Paul Rietzl

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with potential Magic Hall of Fame candidates in the 2013 class.
Previous interviews:

Justin Gary
William Huey Jensen
Ben Stark
Willy Edel

250 Lifetime Pro Points
34 PTs played
3 PT Top 8s (8.8%)
1 PT win (Amsterdam 2010) (2.9%)
2 PT Top 16s (5.9%)
4 PT Top 32s (11.7%)
5 PT Top 64s (14.7%)
14 PTs at Top 64 or better
8 GP Top 8s
2 GP wins (Mexico City 2012 and San Jose 2012)
Median finish: 77
3 year-median: 68.5
Years in PoY top 10: 0
Lifetime winnings: $148,480 (30th)

What is your current relationship with Magic? How would that change if you were inducted into the HoF?

I play semi-competitively, attending all the Pro Tours and about 10 Grand Prix per season (about half the North American GPs). At present, not much would change, but I’d certainly use my free invites after I gracefully fall off the tour.

How does having an unrelated full-time job affect your competitive playing? Is it easy to do both? Do you manage to meet up with your team to practice before events or do you just show up and play?

I basically just show up and play. I play a fair amount of Magic Online, but since PTs use new formats, it’s very difficult for me to do any practice. It’s definitely not easy, and I’ve been frustrated by my inability to prepare for events, but I try to make the best of it. I’ve never had more than about one full day of real face-to-face preparation for a Pro Tour.

You’re famous for your preference of aggro decks—particularly white decks and Affinity. Where does that come from? Why do you like those decks so much?

This ties into the last question. Control and combo decks require extensive tuning, practice, delicate sideboarding, and focus. Aggro decks require pattern recognition, and I can get away with experiential knowledge.

What is your best memory from Magic?

Winning GP San Jose with Matt Sperling and David Williams. Winning the PT a close second.

What other accomplishments do you have that are not listed on the stats page?

I’ve never won a PTQ and I’m not much for self-aggrandizement, so I’ll leave this be.

Have you ever written Magic articles? Can you give us the link to the one/ones you like the most?

When I can. Articles take me an inordinate amount of time, so I only write when I can really commit myself to it. Here are a couple of ones that people like:
“A Champion Returns”
“Double Sunday in Paris – 2nd and 24th”

What do you think your greatest strength is as a player, something you do better than most people?

I think I’m friendly and people are generally OK with losing to me. I’m good at building Sealed decks!

Do you have a preferred archetype?

Not really, I play Magic to win, so I’ll play whatever works.

What are your favorite deck and card of all time?

Deck: I’ll go with Esper Stoneblade from PT Honolulu in 2009, since it got me my first PT Top 8.
Card: [card]Steppe Lynx[/card], obv.

What’s your favorite format?

Team Rochester Draft, followed by Team Sealed deck.

What Ravnica guild are you?

Come on.

Imagine every person that gets into the HoF gets to make a card to represent them, like the Invitational. What card would you make?

BW1, Zombie Lynx
2/3, landfall – Whenever a Land enters the battlefield under your control, Black Lynx gets +2/+2 and target player discards a card.

What is your Hall of Fame ballot this year?

LSV for sure. Still deciding after that.

Favorite Movie?

Thank you for Smoking and There Will be Blood.

Favorite Book?

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman.

Favorite Food?

Lobster

Is there anything you’d like to say?

Please don’t vote for cheaters!

Discussion

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