Lord of the Rings Top 8


On Sunday, the Lord of the Rings Pro Tour Barcelona concluded with its final Top 8 playoff broadcast. This tournament included three rounds of Lord of the Rings Draft followed by five rounds of Modern Constructed play.

Javier Dominguez has advanced to the final eight with a stock Mono-Green Tron list, while Dominic Harvey is playing an Amulet Titan deck for big mana play.

Javier Dominguez

Javier Dominguez stands as one of the greatest players in the game, boasting multiple World Championship titles and multiple top-eight finishes. Additionally, he is part of an exclusive club that has made back-to-back finals appearances – something no other player has achieved thus far.

He’s the current Grand Prix champion, winning Paris GP and ten other top 16 finishes en route to two Spanish National Championship titles and placing fifth at Mythic Championship V! Plus!

This week in Barcelona, he’s back at it with a standard Mono-Green Tron list and a full playset of The One Ring. Since March of the Machine, his deck has been slightly modified to add Urza’s Saga cards, which provide more explosive threats such as Sheoldred, Apocalypse, and Orcish Bowmasters – expanding upon Urza’s Saga even further.

This tournament took place from July 28-30 and included three days of Modern Constructed play before a single-elimination playoff featuring Modern. Only players with 13 or more wins advanced to the playoff, and at its conclusion, any remaining slots were determined based on standings at that time.

Simon Nielsen won his quarterfinal round unbeaten with a Tron-based deck, using Urza’s Saga and Expedition Map to recruit land searchers to track down significant threats like Raghavan, the Fury, or Dauthi Voidwalker. He had an edge against Jake Beardsley, who was playing Rakdos Evoke.

Jake Beardsley

Jake Beardsley made it all the way to Pro Tour Lord of the Rings’ top eight with Rakdos Evoke, and it showed in the quarterfinals against Italy’s Marco Del Pivo’s Temur Rhinos deck – one of its most robust options – edging out Marco 3-1 with some innovative variations like pairing Persist with land cyclers like Troll of Khazad-Dum and Oliphaunt to pitch Grief and Fury; ultimately however, its core trio Prismari Command, Crashcade, and Dismember was victorious against Del Pivo.

At the final Pro Tour of the 2022-23 season in Barcelona, hundreds of the world’s premier Magic players converged. This two-day competition featured both The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Draft and Modern Constructed formats; those who earned 13 match wins would advance to a single-elimination playoff and eventually reach the Top 8.

Simon Nielsen and Christian Calcano earned spots in the Top 8 by playing Mono-Green Tron decks, though each player added their flare to it. Some observers may be concerned with so many Tron decks making an appearance, yet Tron remains powerful enough to stand up against competing deck options.

Simon Nielsen

32 players made it through three rounds of LTR Draft and five games of Modern Constructed on day one at Pro Tour Lord of the Rings Barcelona; those in the top eight earned direct invitations to the Magic World Championship. Day two’s tournament featured three more LTR Draft rounds as well as five Modern Constructed rounds.

Simon Nielsen took control of Swiss rounds with his Mono-Green Tron deck. He was joined in the top eight by Javier Dominguez and Kai Budde, both needing to win their remaining Modern Constructed matches in order to reach the top eight and secure World Championship invites.

Their inaugural match was an intense Tron mirror in which both players controlled their respective sides of the bracket. It was an engaging five-game competition filled with explosive play involving haymakers, prison pieces, and plenty of mana exchanged by both participants – a delightful one-on-one match to watch, with both participants reveling in playing their decks to the maximum!

Nielsen was next faced off against Stefano Vinci, an Italian pro who also plays Temur Rhinos. Vinci attempted to utilize a nearly identical list to that which he used against Dominguez with some modifications, including adding an extra copy of Fury and one Brazen Borrower as a means to combat Prismari Command and Golgari Yawgmoth while still functioning effectively within Modern’s environment.

Christian Calcano

Pro Tour 2022-2023 marked a triumphant return of Modern for several World Champions, who secured top-eight playoff finishes across multiple formats over four days in Barcelona, Spain. Over 250 of the best players battled it out from July 28-30, competing in Lord of the Rings Limited Draft rounds and Modern Constructed Swiss rounds.

Javier Dominguez and Christian Calcano squared off with Mono-Green Tron decks for five long games of intense battle, trading haymakers, prison pieces, and mana through five matches that ranged from slow and grinding to explosive and decisive victories for Calcano, who ultimately defeated Dominguez with a turn three Tron that resolved The One Ring.

Simon Nielsen faced off against Jake Beardsley in another semifinal match with their respective Mono-Green Tron decks. Both players boast powerful creatures that work effectively against one another’s deck, and both include several copies of Blood Moon; Beardsley has several, while Nielsen contains three.

The winner of this match will go on to face Calcano in the finals on Sunday morning, providing for an exciting battle between these veteran Magic players. The Sunday Top 8 broadcast will show full quarterfinal matches as well as much of the remaining semifinal matches before moving on to finals matches.

Del Pivo

Over 250 of the world’s premier Magic: The Gathering players descended upon Barcelona, Spain, for the final Pro Tour of the 2022-2023 season to compete in Modern Constructed and Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Limited Draft formats at this year’s Pro Tour event. Six rounds were dedicated to this new format, while 10 Swiss games featured Classic play; finishing in the top eight guaranteed an invitation to Las Vegas for the 2023 Magic World Championship tournament.

The top eight playoffs featured best-of-five games, with competitors allowed to begin side-boarding after game two. Dominguez defeated Harvey, Beardsley defeated Nielsen, and Calcano knocked out Del Pivo with his Mono-Green Tron deck – Calcano used red in all eight decks (all but Del Pivo played it, having an additional copy of Fury instead). All eight competitors ran red as their primary color; all but Del Pivo used Prismari Command instead (having an extra copy of Fury instead).

Stefano Vinci of Italy qualified for this event by placing fourth at PT March of the Machine and is one of two Italians to reach the Top 8. He played Temur Rhinos, one of the top decks from this weekend, which featured three copies in the Top 8 (Vinci stated he selected it because it fit his playstyle); evidently, he made the right decision!

Stefano Vinci

Pro Tour Lord of the Rings brought together almost 250 of the world’s premier Magic players from across five continents for its final high-level tournament of the 2022-2023 season in Barcelona, featuring Modern format for the first time since 2017-18 Pro Tours had previously featured it and offering top eight players an opportunity to earn an invite to Las Vegas for Worlds 2023 World Championship.

World Champions Javier Dominguez and Kai Budde each secured their spots by playing Mono-Green Tron and Rakdos Evoke, respectively. Also competing were Calcano, Nielsen, Beardsley, Del Pivo, and Vinci, who all piloted Temur Rhinos decks – familiar ones from Del Pivo’s run to second place at this event.

Like his fellow Italian, Vinci also took up Temur Rhinos with great success, although his list was slightly different than Del Pivo’s. Instead of running any Prismari Command cards, he added two extra copies of Fury and one Brazen Borrower, as well as including a Cascaded Living End that allowed him to cycle numerous creatures into his graveyard before resolving an ultimate.

Players earned 13 match wins across the three days of play to advance to the final day of this event, which featured five rounds of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Limited Draft and six rounds of Modern Constructed Swiss. A Top 8 playoff broadcast started at 10 am CEST, showing full quarterfinal matches followed by as much of each semifinal match as possible, followed by finals matches.