Paulo Vitor Damo da RosaCaptain When you think of the greatest players in the history of Magic, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa (PV) is near the top of every list. One of the most dominant Magic players in history, the rate at which he has Top 8’d Pro Tours has been truly extraordinary. PV is an international relations graduate who loves to play games—outside of Magic, his favorites include both bridge and League of Legends. PV is well known for writing some of the best Magic theory articles in history, as well as for his deep appreciation of all things chocolate and Disney. His favorite card is Vendilion Clique and his favorite archetype is aggro-control. PV is the captain of Team ChannelFireball Ice, and he hopes to continue his Pro Tour dominance while leading the team.
Hall of Fame Class of 2012
10 Pro Tour Top 8s
18 Grand Prix Top 8s
Top 4 Player’s Championship 2012
Pro Tour San Juan 2010 Champion
Grand Prix Singapore 2011 Champion
Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2015 Champion
5-Time Brazilian National Champion
Lifetime Pro Points: 556
Team Role: Captain
Eric FroehlichEric Froehlich (EFro) has been playing Magic for over 2 decades. He put up his first Pro Tour Top 8 at 18 years old in 2002 before stepping away from the game to pursue a poker career. Success followed, as he managed to capture a pair of World Series of Poker bracelets at the ages of 21 and 22. His return to Magic in 2010 has also worked out well, as he added 3 more Top 8s at the Pro Tour level and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Once known as a Limited specialist, EFro had the best Constructed win percentage on the Pro Tour the year he was elected into the Hall. At his induction ceremony, he got engaged to Magic streamer and Super League producer Athena Huey. The two were recently married near their home in Las Vegas. His favorite card is Shivan Dragon, thanks to the iconic art that helped hook him on Magic. EFro brings his top-level ability to tune decks and analyze Draft formats to the team.
Hall of Fame Class of 2015
4 Pro Tour Top 8s
14 Grand Prix Top 8s
Grand Prix San Jose 2015 Champion
Lifetime Pro Points: 416
Joel LarssonJoel Larsson brings not only incredible Magic talent to CFB Ice, but also incredible style. Once affectionately nicknamed “Swedish Kibler” due to his similarities in looks, hair, and dress to Hall-of-Famer Brian Kibler, Joel quickly proved that he resides in no man’s shadow. Not only does Joel have a 1st and 2nd place finish in just 22 PT appearances, but he also sports 9th, 10th, 11th, and 15th place finishes! Joel is a brewer at heart when it comes to both Magic and in the kitchen—his other true love is food. Limited has always been his forte, but he enjoys piloting aggro-control the most in Constructed, and his favorite Magic card is Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. Joel brings both his incredible style and results to the team.
2 Pro Tour Top 8s
5 Grand Prix Top 8s
Pro Tour Magic Origins Champion
4-Time Swedish National Champion
Lifetime Pro Points: 262
Mike SigristMike Sigrist (Siggy) has been playing Magic since the beginning, but has managed to put up truly impressive results lately. Always regarded as a top player in the game, especially in Limited, Siggy’s re-dedication to Magic demonstrated his excellence in all formats. He was rewarded with a pair of Grand Prix wins, a pair of Pro Tour Top 8s, and a Player of the Year title—all in the same year. Siggy is the father of twin girls, Sofia and Anabella, and spends every spare moment he has with his family. He loves playing flashback Draft formats and Cube. His favorite Magic card is Sneak Attack, and he always enjoys playing combo decks. Siggy brings his considerable experience and drafting prowess to the team.
2 Pro Tour Top 8s
6 Grand Prix Top 8s
2014-2015 Player of the Year
2015 U.S. National Champion
Grand Prix Washington DC 2014 Champion
Grand Prix Montreal 2015 Champion
Lifetime Pro Points: 223
Ben StarkBen Stark (BenS) is widely considered to be one of, if not the, best Limited players in the history of Magic. Like many others, he started playing Magic from a very young age and stepped away from the game with a pair of Pro Tour Top 8s. His return was extraordinary as he added two more Top 8s, including a win at Pro Tour Paris. Mentored by many of the game’s historic greats, such as Neil Reeves, Ben’s ability to dissect a Limited format and teach those around him is second to none. In addition to his talent as a Limited player, Ben’s peers regard him as one of the best technical Constructed players in the world. An avid sports fan supporting all Miami teams, you can expect to find him watching sports on TV, playing basketball live, or drafting on MTGO. Ben is a level-3 flavor judge, and it’s well documented that his love of all things Magic lore and flavor is what keeps him coming back for more. Ben’s role is to break down new Limited formats as quickly as possible to aid the team’s testing.
Hall of Fame Class of 2013
4 Pro Tour Top 8s
20 Grand Prix Top 8s
Top 4, Worlds 2013
Pro Tour Paris 2011 Champion
Grand Prix Indianapolis 2012 Champion
Lifetime Pro Points: 457
Ondrej StráskýOndrej Stráský is still fairly new to the Pro Tour, but his results are nothing short of extraordinary. The young Czech player has already finished in the Top 8 of 2 Pro Tours, and in the Top 16 of two more, in only 11 lifetime PTs played. Ondrej hates math and considers himself to be dreadful at it. He once got engaged after a night of intense partying and questionable decision making. His favorite card is Grafdigger’s Cage due to its power against the Living End deck. (Don’t ask. Actually, go ahead and ask!) Ondrej is a true Spike and likes playing the best deck in every format, as there is nothing more important to him than having a high win percentage. His win rate is truly remarkable, and Ondrej hopes to add to the fantastic start he’s had to what’s sure to be a great Magic career.
2 Pro Tour Top 8s
2 Grand Prix Top 8s
Lifetime Pro Points: 154
PV’s Amonkhet Masterpiece Preview
March 28, 2017
The Masterpiece I’m previewing today is a card that’s very dear to my heart and that I’ve played many times in many different decks over the years. I tried to think about a clever way to preview it, but since I failed miserably, I’m just going to show you the card in all its glory:
Cryptic Command is almost the perfect Magic card—it’s a mix of very common, useful modes with rarely used and potential game-breaking combinations. It’s extremely versatile, and I’ve used every combination of modes multiple times—even the very rare “bounce-tap.” It’s also a card that rewards good play, both by giving you a lot of choices and by being hard to play against.
Overall, I’m much happier playing Magic when Cryptic Command is involved, and the fact that I can now have Cryptics with this new sweet layout (which I imagine is the same for all Masterpieces, but works extra well with Cryptic Command because it’s very, well, Cryptic) is a good bonus.
Unfortunately, Masterpieces aren’t legal in Standard, so you aren’t going to have some sweet Gearhulk-Cryptic turns, but the card is still potent in Modern and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to play your new fancy Cryptics. It’s also of course great in Limited, if you happen to be one of the blessed people that open Masterpieces all the time *cough* Shahar *cough*. If you do find yourself with one or more Masterpiece Cryptics, here are some of the decks you can play it in:
If you want the most mainstream option, you can try Corey’s Grixis deck. Team CFB Fire’s Corey Burkhart has been a diehard Grixis fan, and this was the build he piloted for a 19th place finish at GP Vancouver.
Grixis Control1 x Swamp1 x Flooded Strand4 x Polluted Delta2 x Steam Vents2 x Watery Grave1 x Sulfur Falls1 x Blood Crypt2 x Creeping Tar Pit4 x Scalding Tarn3 x Island1 x Mountain Creatures4 x Snapcaster Mage3 x Tasigur, the Golden Fang Spells4 x Ancestral Vision4 x Serum Visions4 x Thought Scour4 x Lightning Bolt2 x Spell Snare3 x Terminate1 x Countersquall1 x Logic Knot3 x Kolaghan’s Command4 x Cryptic Command1 x Engineered Explosives Sideboard1 x Damnation1 x Countersquall1 x Engineered Explosives1 x Anger of the Gods3 x Fulminator Mage1 x Izzet Staticaster1 x Jace, Architect of Thought1 x Negate2 x Dispel3 x Surgical Extraction Buy This List
If you want a deck that’s still relatively unrepresented but has been rising in popularity recently, you can try Faeries. Here is a list from STLCARDS:
Faeries2 x Creeping Tar Pit4 x Darkslick Shores4 x Mutavault4 x Polluted Delta4 x Watery Grave4 x Island2 x Swamp Creatures4 x Snapcaster Mage4 x Spellstutter Sprite2 x Vendilion Clique Spells4 x Ancestral Vision4 x Cryptic Command4 x Fatal Push4 x Mana Leak2 x Remand4 x Spell Snare4 x Bitterblossom Sideboard3 x Collective Brutality3 x Fulminator Mage4 x Thoughtseize3 x Surgical Extraction2 x Damnation Buy This List
Or, alternatively, you can try UW. UW has almost disappeared from the meta, but from time to time expert pilots still do well with it. As a bonus, UW decks don’t share a lot of cards with other archetypes, so they’re a great choice for Team Modern. This is a UW version that was played by GOTTELICIOUS to a 6-2 finish at the MOCS:
U/W Control4 x Celestial Colonnade4 x Flooded Strand1 x Ghost Quarter2 x Hallowed Fountain2 x Misty Rainforest3 x Tectonic Edge6 x Island4 x Plains Creatures2 x Snapcaster Mage2 x Vendilion Clique1 x Wall of Omens Spells1 x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion4 x Ancestral Vision2 x Serum Visions3 x Supreme Verdict1 x Blessed Alliance4 x Cryptic Command1 x Logic Knot1 x Negate4 x Path to Exile1 x Spell Snare1 x Sphinx’s Revelation1 x Detention Sphere1 x Leyline of Sanctity4 x Spreading Seas Sideboard1 x Dispel1 x Leyline of Sanctity1 x Celestial Purge1 x Gideon Jura1 x Rest in Peace2 x Rule of Law4 x Spell Queller2 x Stony Silence2 x Timely Reinforcements Buy This List
Whatever your choice, I’m sure you’ll have a great time playing Cryptic decks in Modern, and I hope I have the chance to do it soon again.