Grand Prix Trial in Townsville



It’s been almost 3 years but Townsville has finally had a chance to host a competitive REL event since the axing of regional qualifiers for the national event that was hosted in Canberra each year. With 20 players that have already booked their plane tickets to compete in the upcoming Melbourne Grand Prix in March this Grand Prix Trial attracted a lot of competition fighting it out for the right to have the first 2 round byes for this exciting upcoming event.

The latest set added to the standard format – Born of the Gods had only been released 2 days before this trial but that didn’t stop anyone getting hold of the cards that they required to tweak their latest decks. The Townsville meta game is a funny thing, it is more diverse than any other event I’ve played in from all over Australia. It was a grueling 5 rounds and not even I had much success to finish in the top 8 with my Junk brew. Before moving on to the tournament report for the top 8 placings, I’d like to introduce a couple of players with their home brew deck lists.

First is Mark Norton, he is a veteran to the Townsville magic scene. He’s been playing since the release of Revised (1994) and has competed at many national tournaments over 10 years a ago as well as many Grands Prix in recent years. Some of his greatest accomplishments include finishing in 13th position at the $10K Extended side event at the Sydney World Tournament weekend and a respectful 44th placing at the recent Modern Grand Prix in Brisbane last year. When asked what his favourite card is from Born of the Gods, Mark replied with saying Kiora, the Crashing Wave as she’ll be the most useful to him for commander. Here is a copy of the Rakdos deck that Mark used at the GP trial which finished in 9th position.


4   Blood Crypt

8   Mountain

10 Swamp


4   Tormented Hero

4   Rakdos Cackler

4   Rakdos Shred-Freak

3   Spike Jester

4   Mogis’s Marauder

3   Xathrid Necromancer

4   Exava, Rakdos Blood  Witch                                                                                             Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch


2   Dreadbore

4   Lightning Strike

4   Madcap Skills


4   Thoughtseize

1   Dreadbore

2   Rachet Bomb

1   Ultimate Price

4   Lifebane Zombie

1   Xathrid Necromancer

2   Burning Earth


The next player I’d like to introduce is Jason Lynch. He’s an up and coming star from the Townsville scene who will be striving for results at Melbourne’s Grand Prix next month. Jason had only been playing on and off for 3 years around his hiphop/rock band commitments as he learnt to play magic back when Scars of Mirrodin was released. Jason’s greatest achievement was reaching top 4 at the Townsville regional tournament which qualified him to compete at the last national tournament Australia had back in 2011. When asked for his favourite card from Born of the Gods, he replied with Brimaz, King of Oreskos as it was too good not to use in his Orzhov deck which is shown below.


4   Godless Shrine

2   Mutavault

3   Orzhov Guildgate

4   Temple of Plenty

4   Plains

9   Swamp


3   Pack Rats                                                                                                        Brimaz, King of Oreskos

3   Brimaz, King of Oreskos

4   Desocration Demon

4   Blood Baron


4   Thoughtseize

4   Bile Blight

1   Devour Flesh

1   Ultimate Price

4   Hero’s Downfall

4   Read the Bones

2   Elspeth, Sun’s Champion


1   Dark Betrayal

1   Duress

1   Pithing Needle

2   Doom Blade

2   Revoke Existence

2   Drown in Sorrow

3   Lifebane Zombie

1   Sin Collector

2   Obzedat, Ghost Council

I wanted to get photos up of everyone but unfortunately, the smart phone I recently upgraded to the day before was just too smart for me as it was too giant of a step up from my prehistoric Nokia and none of the photos were able to be saved. Anyhow here is a quick snippet from my quick interviews to 5 of the usual suspects that travel a lot around Australia chasing many major events. You can expect all of them to be at Melbourne Grand Prix this year.

Robert Jackway

Deck choice – Boros Aggro

Learnt to play magic – Revised (1994)

Greatest Achievement – Winning PTQ Prague in Townsville 2006 (Guildpact sealed event)

Favourite card from Born of the Gods – Brimaz, King of Oreskos


Matt Finn

Deck choice – UWR control

Learnt to play magic – Scourge (2003)

Greatest Achievement – 28th at Grand Prix Brisbane 2013 (modern)

Favourite card from Born of the Gods – Divination (new art is really sic)


Matthew Holloway

Deck choice – Gruul Monsters

Learnt to play magic – Shards of Alara (2008)

Greatest Achievement – winning the grinder at the Nationals  to qualify in the National tournament in Canberra 2011 (standard)

Favourite card from Born of the Gods – Xenagos, God of Reveler


Andy Eccleston

Deck choice – Boros control

Learnt to play magic – Ice Age (1995)

Greatest Achievement – making a lot of really good friends at high level events

Favourite card from Born of the Gods – Mogis, God of Slaughter


Lachlan Buchan

Deck choice – Devotion to Black

Learnt to play magic – Avacyn Restored (2012)

Greatest Achievement – 20th at Super Sunday Series side event at Grand Prix Brisbane 2013 (Theros sealed)

Favourite card from Born of the Gods – Brimaz, King of Oreskos

Now for the Top 8 of this event

from left to right standing – James De Tarczynski, Matthew Holloway, Fred Alterator, Matt Finn, Luke Gallaghar, Robert Jackway, Peter Pham

at the bottom – Tim Yuen

The final standings after the top 8 elimination:

Winner – Robert Jackway (Boros Aggro)

2nd – Luke Gallaghar (Bant Control)

3rd – Matthew Holloway (Gruul Monsters)

4th – Matt Finn (UWR Control)

5th – Tim Yuen (UWR Control)

6th – Peter Pham (Devotion to Blue)

7th – James De Tarczynski (Mono Black)

8th – Fred Alterator (Devotion to Black)

The winning decklist by Robert Jackway:


3   Mutavault

4   Sacred Foundry

4   Temple of Triumph

12 Mountain


4   Rakdos Cackler

4   Ash Zealot

4   Burning Tree Shaman

3   Firefist Striker

4   Boros Reckoner

4   Chandra’s PheonixBoros Reckoner

3   Fanatic of Mogis


4   Lightning Strike

4   Magma Jet

2   Mizzium Mortars

1   Chandra, Pyromancer


2   Chained to the Rocks

4   Boros Charm

2   Mizzium Mortars

3   Skullcrack

1   Act of Treason

2   Wear//Tear

1   Burning Earth

Decklist from the finalist Luke Gallaghar:


4   Hallowed Fountain

5  Island

2   Mutavault

5   Plains

4   Temple of Enlightenment

3  Temple of Mystery

3   Temple of Plenty


1   AEtherling


1   Elixir of Immortality

2   Syncopate

4   Azorius Charm

1   Essence Scatter

4   Last Breath                                                                                                    Sphinx's Revelation

4   Detention Sphere

4   Dissolve

4   Sphinx’s Revelation

4  Jace, Architect of Thought

4 Supreme Verdict

1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion


3   Mistcutter Hydra

2   Gainsay

2   Negate

2   Revoke Existence

3   Fiendslayer Paladin

2   Archangel of Thune

1   AEtherling


Now that Born of the Gods is out, it’s time to start getting prepared for Melbourne Grand Prix. Hope to see you all there as I’ll be coming down so don’t be shy to say hi 🙂

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