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Chen Bor Hong Triumphs with Rakdos Midrange at MIT Championship

November 06, 2023

This past weekend, 90 competitors gathered in Taipei City for the MIT Championship Finals. On the line were not only two Pro Tour slots but also the title of Regional Champion and the corresponding World Championship seat. After seven rounds of Pioneer competition followed by a Top 8 playoff, the trophy was claimed by Chen Bor Hong, piloting a well-tuned Rakdos Midrange deck!

Congratulations to Chen Bor Hong, winner of the MIT Championship!

Chen Bor Hong, a 39-year-old player who qualified via RCQ at CardMaster, is known as "Uncle Jund" in Taiwan. To long-time Modern players, Jund is synonymous with midrange strategies, using efficient interactive spells like Fatal Push and Thoughtseize to disrupt the opponent. In Pioneer, the closest analogue is Rakdos Midrange, which is exactly what Chen Bor Hong brought to the tournament. "I'm very familiar with this deck," he said. His list included two copies of Archfiend of the Dross, a hard-to-kill threat that provides a fast clock, which he picked as his best card of the weekend.

Chen Bor Hong overcame Ho Zhi Mao's Lotus Field Combo in the finals of the MIT Championship.

In the finals, Bor Hong Chen defeated Ho Zhi Mao on Lotus Field Combo, a deck that not many players wield in the region. His version went down to only two copies of Emergent Ultimatum, making room for a singleton Dig Through Time and a second Chandra, Hope's Beacon. Copying the delve spell with the planeswalker was an appealing prospect, but the disruption and fast damage clock from the Rakdos Midrange deck proved too much. With his victory, Chen Bor Hong locked up an invitation to World Championship 30 in 2024!

Top 2 Players Qualified for the Pro Tour

With two Pro Tour invites on the line, the quarterfinals and semifinals were tense. The Top 8 decklists featured seven different archetypes, with Izzet Phoenix appearing twice. Even though only four players started with Arclight Phoenix in Round 1, two of them made it all the way to the single-elimination rounds, representing an excellent performance.

One of the Izzet Phoenix players was Cheng Yu Chang, who had finished in third place at the last MIT Championship, qualifying him for Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings. There, he went 9-7, one win short of earning an invitation to the next Pro Tour. And this past weekend, as the bonus invites granted to Regional Championships in the 2022-23 season no longer applied, his semifinals loss meant that he again came one win short of qualifying for the next Pro Tour. Nevertheless, his consistent deep finishes confirm that he is one of the region's fiercest competitors to follow.

Top 2 players: Ho Zhi Mao, holding Lotus Field, and Chen Bor Hong, holding Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

Congratulations to the Top 2 players in the final standings of the MIT Championship, who earned invites to Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor, to be held at MagicCon: Chicago on February 23–25, 2024. We look forward to seeing you represent your region there! You can see the Top 2 decklists below.

A Memorable Event with a Diverse Metagame

Pioneer showed a wide diversity of archetypes at the MIT Championships. Remarkably, Gruul Vehicles was the most played archetype, making good use of The Huntsman's Redemption from Wilds of Eldraine. However, none of the Gruul Vehicles players were able to convert to a Top 8 finish.

All in all, the event featured plenty of hard-fought Pioneer matches, representing another memorable focal point for Magic in the region.

A crowd of 90 players gathered at the The Breeze Center in Taipei City for the MIT Championship.

Boros Convoke was the third-most popular Pioneer deck at the tournament.

Players and judges gathered to watch the outcome of one of the last matches in the round.

The Top 8 players battled for two Pro Tour slots, the title of Regional Champion, and the corresponding World Championship seat.

Be part of the next cycle of Regional Championships by joining a qualifying event near you! You can find events via the Store & Event Locator or your regional organizer's website.

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