Road to Nationals Coverage: Week One

5th Aug 2021 Nicola Price

With the Road to Nationals season officially underway, this past weekend saw twenty stores play host to their local communities, welcoming would-be champions through their front doors. After two seasons of Skirmish Blitz events, players are bursting into Classic Constructed events with a wide variety of heroes, with faces both old and new emerging from the meta.

Thank you to Davis Kingsley for providing us his own data from the weekend's events
Hero Top 8s Wins
Azalea 0 0
Boltyn 8 3
Bravo 18 2
Chane 35 3
Dash 5 1
Dorinthea 13 3
Kano 2 0
Katsu 31 5
Levia 0 0
Prism 18 0
Rhinar 3 0
Viserai 3 0

Multiverse Games Comics and More Logo

Multiverse Games, Comics and More - United States

22 players gathered for Multiverse's Road to Nationals event, comprised of players both seasoned and new. Bryce Morgan took the win of the day with his Boltyn deck, leading the Solanian warrior to victory.

Top 8:

  1. Bryce Morgan - Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn
  2. Chris Ray - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  3. Benjamin Pritchard - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  4. Max Leduc - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  5. Brandon Lundie - Katsu, the Wanderer
  6. Logan Vines - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  7. Brett Smith - Bravo, Showstopper
  8. Matthew W - Dorinthea Ironsong

Cerberus Games Logo

Cerberus Games - New Zealand

In the land of the long white cloud, Cerberus Games kicked off their Road to Nationals event with 77 players, seeing a wide range of heroes step up to the plate.

Hero Player Count Hero Player Count
Azalea 1 Kano 4
Boltyn 6 Katsu 13
Bravo 7 Levia 3
Chane 16 Prism 9
Dash 6 Rhinar 5
Dorinthea 5

The winner of the event, Oliver Berry, went undefeated over the course of the event, making it through all ten rounds without a single loss. In the final round of the day, Oliver's Chane faced off against Henry Moore's Prism, Shadow and Light warring for victory, but it was the Demonastery's representative who claimed the win for this event.

Top 8:

  1. Oliver Berry - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  2. Henry Moore - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  3. Daniel McKay - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  4. Mo Nicholson - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  5. Jared Fung - Katsu, the Wanderer
  6. Edward Kim - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  7. Ash Singh - Katsu, the Wanderer
  8. Nic Andisen - Katsu, the Wanderer

Total Access Games logo

Total Access Games - United States

The top 8 of Total Access Games' event featured heroes from both our first and most recent sets, with guardians, runeblades, brutes, illusionists and ninjas duking it out for the final victory. Of the 38 players, it was Max Thomas' Katsu deck who reigned supreme, beating familiar face Rob Cygul to claim the golden Fyendal's Spring Tunic.

Top 4:

  1. Max Thomas - Katsu, the Wanderer
  2. Rob Cygul - Bravo, Showstopper
  3. Matt Henemyre - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  4. Patrick Weiss - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light

Dragonphoenix Inn Banner

Dragonphoenix Inn - Greece

24 players from across Greece gathered for Dragonphoenix Inn's event, featuring two Warriors and an Illusionist of Solana in the Top 4 of the day. However, it was the runeblade Chane who claimed victory, with Nikos Tavoulareas defeating Yorgos Samaras' Boltyn in the final round.

Top 4:

  1. Nikos Tavoulareas - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  2. Yorgos Samaras - Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn
  3. Gregory Pattelis - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  4. Zacharias Aggourakis - Dorinthea Ironsong


Cloak and Blaster - United States

Cloak and Blaster saw 52 people gather for their Road to Nationals event, welcoming a wide variety of heroes through their doors.

"Our one Viserai player was Jeff Tyree, a newer player just looking to get some games in; what a place to start your FaB journey! I also wanna shoutout a newer member of the community that put up a pretty impressive record for a someone of their experience in FaB: Sarah Vandehey. Going 3-3 in a Road to Nationals is no simple feat, but they put out the results and got into top 32! Getting the cold foil Merciful Retribution.

So we can see some really interesting matchups here and you can watch the Table 1 round between Alex Laplume and Bronson over on The FaB Arsenal’s youtube channel, but we had some really amazing games and some awesome players in this top eight with BOTH Boltyn players progressing to the semi- finals! I found it interesting that Katsu and Chane were both highly represented in the meta, but 1 of each got eliminated in this first elimination so our final four was:

  • Katsu – Alex Laplume
  • Boltyn – Jimmy Le
  • Chane – Evan Hernandon
  • Boltyn – Nick Murphy

The most interesting difference here is that both Boltyn players are running different builds of Boltyn, Nick is running Boltyn sabers, a deck that leans midrange to almost an OTK with double or triple Lumina Ascension turns being the goal and Jimmy’s Raydn build which is much more aggro and built around getting the pressure on and keeping it on until you can get some moderately wide turns with V of the Vanguard and perhaps settling for single Lumina turns instead of building to critical mass.

After the Semi-Finals resolved we had our two Finalists:

  • Jimmy Le
  • Nick Murphy

YEP. BOLTYN MIRROR FOR THE FINALS. No one would have called it at the start, but both Boltyn players made it not only into top 8, but to the finals. So no matter what happened here, Boltyn was winning this RtN. Coming off the high of a massive triple Lumina Ascension turn in his semi-finals game vs. Evan, Nick was feeling good about the match, but it turns out Raydn just kept enough pressure to hold Nick back and not give him a chance to charge his soul for the triple Lumina kill that he had ready on the final turns of their match. It was close and honestly extremely stressful to watch, but you can all watch it on FAB Arsenal’s YouTube channel as it was streamed live. A really amazing game and a very interesting mirror match, which is something you don’t get to say too often.

In the end we had an amazing event with some amazing players and it just goes to show how excited people are to play this game at a competitive level and show off their builds and abilities. I want to thank everyone that showed up and hope to see everyone again soon! Cloak and Blaster runs armory events every Tuesday at 6pm if you’re local."

Top 4:

  1. Jimmy Le - Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn
  2. Nicholas Murphy - Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn
  3. Alex Laplume - Katsu, the Wanderer
  4. Evan Hernandon – Chane, Bound by Shadow

Dueling Land Logo

Dueling Land - United States

In the heart of Colorado, Dueling Land had 24 players duke it out for their invitation to the National Championship in Orlando, Florida later this year. Two Guardians, three Runeblades, a Ninja and an Illusionist all gave way to the Dawnblade, as Christian Gilbert's Dorinthea deck stepped up to the plate, and secured his final victory for this event.

Dueling Land also streamed some of the event over on their Twitch channel, you can see the replay here.

Top 8:

  1. Christian Gilbert - Dorinthea Ironsong
  2. Joseph Joyce - Katsu, the Wanderer
  3. John Siadak - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  4. Michael Lau - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  5. Ian Carrico - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  6. Matt MacLeod - Bravo, Showstopper
  7. Paul Bradford - Bravo, Showstopper
  8. Michael Read - Chane, Bound by Shadow
Hero Count Hero Count
Chane 7 Boltyn 1
Prism 4 Viserai 1
Katsu 4 Rhinar 1
Dorinthea 3 Azalea 1
Bravo 2

Mythos Games Logo

Mythos Games - United States

Meanwhile, in Utah, Mythos Games were hosting 26 players for their Road to Nationals event. They streamed the entire tournament to YouTube - you can find the first and second parts on their channel. While many of the usual faces appear in the top 8 of this event, you may notice a certain wizard appearing here, struck out by winner Peter Buddiensiek's Katsu before he could make it past the cut!

Mythos Games Road to Nationals - Top 4 Players

Top 8:

  1. Peter Buddensiek - Katsu, the Wanderer
  2. Ryan Marino - Dorinthea Ironsong
  3. Wesley Dong - Bravo, Showstopper
  4. Stephen Leany - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  5. Brian Yee - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  6. Trevor Roddy - Dorinthea Ironsong
  7. Matthew Terry - Katsu, the Wanderer
  8. Anthony Chiechi - Kano, Dracai of Aether

Calico Keep Logo

Calico Keep - New Zealand

64 players gathered in Paraparaumu, New Zealand for Calico Keep's event, featuring a wizard, two rangers, and six mechanologists among the field of players.

Hero Player Count Hero Player Count
Azalea 2 Kano 1
Boltyn 5 Katsu 11
Bravo 6 Levia 1
Chane 10 Prism 10
Dash 6 Rhinar 7
Dorinthea 4 Viserai 1

The solitary Kano player was narrowly blocked out of the Top 8, leaving two warriors, two illusionists, a guardian, a runeblade, and two mechanologists to battle it out for their spot in the final cut.

Top 8:

  1. Matt Rogers - Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire
  2. David Marshall - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  3. Rommel Estalilla -Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn
  4. Keegan Walls - Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire
  5. Cayle McCreath - Bravo, Showstopper
  6. John Jaurigue - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  7. Henry Moore - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  8. Jason Lai - Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn

Hurricane Collective Logo

The Hurricane Collective - Australia

In the land down under, travel restrictions cut the player count down to 18, but The Hurricane Collective upped the ante for those who could make it with some door prizes, including two Alpha Welcome to Rathe booster packs, and a Find Center playmat.

Hero Player Count
Boltyn 1
Bravo 3
Chane 6
Katsu 3
Prism 2
Rhinar 1
Viserai 2

"It was a tight top 8 battle, which saw the top four finishers pushed to their limits. Kevin continued his deep run showing all his hard work practice was paying off. The skill and gamesmanship was exceptional from all players.

At the conclusion the top four deserved their places, the matches all going down to the wire.

Gavin's Chane took on Nathan's Bravo and Julian's Bravo took on Kevin's Chane !. The two heroes were superior on the day. Gavin managed to halt Nathan's amazing run with a hard-fought runechant victory. Kevin and Chane weren't able to break down Julian's hardened Bravo battle deck. Thus our top two were set.

In no surprise to the Bunker faithful the two best players on the day met head to head for all the chocolates. The match went into overtime with Gavin down to almost his last cards after several draws with Chane missing. Julian and Bravo were able to see off the final attacks and counter for the win. An incredible effort. He continues to show why he is at the top very often.

In other fun, the breaks were hard and fast, with an unlimited eye, mask of momentum and alpha packs being cracked. It was the true spirit of a local games store in full flight."

Top 8:

  1. Julian Cavenoni - Bravo, Showstopper
  2. Gavin Chappell - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  3. Nathan Lucev - Bravo, Showstopper
  4. Kevin Baatjes - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  5. Zac Beames - Katsu, the Wanderer
  6. Corey Greenwood - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  7. Tom Farrell - Katsu, the Wanderer
  8. Adam Parker - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light

MTGFirst - United States

"The Road to Nationals event hosted by MTGFirst Game Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland, saw 41 players competing on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for their shot at National Championship invitations, and the coveted Fyendal Spring Tunic playmat and extended art combo. Eleven (11) of the 12 Classic Constructed heroes were represented among the participating players, with over half of the field consisting of either Bravo, Katsu, or Prism."

Graph courtesy of MTGFirst Game Center

"Starting shortly after noon, players battled through six preliminary rounds that saw a bevy of tough control matches every round that threatened a draw result for many players. For many, this event was their first classic constructed tournament, so getting used to the longer rounds was a learning experience. However, for some of the more seasoned participants, they were not only battling their opponent, but also battling their own fatigue as some had participated in other Road to Nationals events the day before.

The elimination rounds themselves also held its own slate of memorable moments including:

The only Viserai player in the entire player pool made it to the elimination rounds.

A Katsu deck that was proudly inspired by Newsun’s deck from the DEV-astation! Series made the cut!…but with an extra bit of spiciness with the lovable, Stony Wootonhog.

A Prism player overcoming an early intellect penalty only to slam down the fabled Great Library of Solana to help punch their ticket to the semi-finals.

After the dust settled, it was Danny McGeehan who stood alone at the very top with Bravo, winning against his friend, Matthew Henemyre, who piloted Prism in the final round."

Top 8:

  1. Danny McGeehan – Bravo, Showstopper
  2. Matthew Henemyre – Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  3. Don Gallitz – Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  4. Mikael Conrow – Chane, Bound by Shadow
  5. Sam Yuen – Bravo, Showstopper
  6. Anthony Junta – Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire
  7. Jacob Krebs – Viserai, Rune Blood
  8. Dennis Gleason – Katsu, the Wanderer

TGG Gaming Logo

TGG Gaming - United States

Forty players made it out to TGG Gaming's event in Minnesota, fighting for their place in the top cut. Prism and Katsu were the heroes of the day, dominating the field in their attempt to intimidate Bravo, who was following close behind.

Hero Player Count
Boltyn 1
Bravo 6
Chane 4
Dash 4
Dorinthea 6
Katsu 7
Prism 8
Rhinar 3

However, a Dash snuck her way into the top 8 players, a surprising emergence in the meta. The final battle came down to ninja vs. runeblade, with the Wanderer emerging as the victor of the day.

Top 8:

  1. Dagan White - Katsu, the Wanderer
  2. Dennis Irisarri - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  3. Kyle Wislocky - Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire
  4. Jordan Nelle - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  5. Blake Lathorp - Katsu, the Wanderer
  6. Nick Gabler - Bravo, Showstopper
  7. Yeng Her - Katsu, the Wanderer
  8. Haven Sherrell - Bravo, Showstopper

Printed Meeple Logo

The Printed Meeple - United States

Twenty-six players stepped through The Printed Meeple's doors for their Road to Nationals event. The top 8 players consisted of heroes from both Welcome to Rathe and Monarch, with a warrior of Solana and a runeblade from the Demonastery facing off in the final round.

Top 8:

  1. Ryan Youngquist - Dorinthea Ironsong
  2. Joel Grizzelle - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  3. Nicholas Arnaut - Rhinar, Reckless Rampage
  4. Christopher Francis - Chane, Bound by Shadow
  5. Osvaldo Curiel - Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  6. Jesus Siller - Katsu, the Wanderer
  7. Kyle Gress - Dorinthea Ironsong
  8. Matthew Gazda - Katsu, the Wanderer

For more information on our Road to Nationals series, and to see what events are coming to your local community, check out the link below: