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Jianwei Liang Triumphs at MTG China Open

June 06, 2023
Frank Karsten

This past weekend, 195 of the best Magic players from across China gathered in Shanghai for the MTG China Open, the culmination of months of qualifying events. On the line were not only eight Pro Tour slots but also the title of Regional Champion and the corresponding World Championship seat. After eight rounds of Pioneer competition followed by a Top 8 playoff, the trophy was claimed by Jianwei Liang, piloting a fiery Atarka Red deck!

Congratulations to Jianwei Liang, winner of China’s Regional Championship!

Jianwei Liang, who qualified via RCQ at Guangzhou Capone Card, chose Atarka Red because he felt it was “invincible”. Indeed, he didn’t lose a match all weekend. His best card of the weekend was Burning-Tree Emissary, as the free creature enabled blazingly fast starts. Yet the standout part of his list were the burn elements: With 4 Play with Fire, 4 Atarka’s Command, 3 Lightning Strike, and 3 Bonecrusher Giant, he had enough reach to close out games after his early-game creatures had brought opponents to a low life total.

Finalist Chan Sze Hang was all smiles before the start of the finals, but Jianwei Liang proved to be invincible.

In the finals, Jianwei Liang defeated the experienced Pro Tour veteran Chan Sze Hang from Hong Kong. Chan Sze Hang was playing his own build of Azorius Control, using Zirda, the Dawnwaker as the companion. However, without Supreme Verdict to contain early rushes, the aggressive Atarka Red deck emerged victorious, and Jianwei Liang locked up his invitation to World Championship XXIX.


Top 8, left-to-right: Zihao Ji, Quiaocen Zhou, Wei Wang, Jianwei Liang, Yi Yang, Mingyang Chen, Chan Sze Hang, Jialun Zhang.

Congratulations to the Top 8 players in the final standings of the MTG China Open, who earned invites to Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings, to be held at MagicCon: Barcelona on July 28–30. We look forward to seeing you represent your region there!

The Top 8 decklists featured six different archetypes, with Azorius Control and Lotus Field Combo both appearing twice. You can find the event’s top 8 decklists here. From among the decklists that came close to the Top 8, the spiciest options with at least two more wins than losses include Azorius Lotus Field, Hammer Time, Jeskai Creativity, and Rakdos Goblins.


The metagame at the Regional Championship in China reflected the enduring popularity of Rakdos Midrange, the emergent rise of Izzet Creativity, and the diversity of the format overall. “Stick to your heart and play your favorite deck,” Zhao Ji said after making it to the Top 8 with Dimir Rogues. Jianwei Liang, who was the only player to bring Atarka Red to the tournament, would surely agree with that. In the hands of a capable pilot, anything can win in Pioneer.

The MTG China Open once again put on display the talent and skill of players from across China, propelling the best players from the region to Magic’s biggest stages. Congratulations again to Jianwei Liang, and to China on another great Regional Championship.

195 players gathered in Shanghai to do battle across two days of Pioneer.

The judge team ensured a smooth operation of the event.

Amidst fierce competition, a spicy Rakdos Goblins deck put up a decent finish as well.

The trophies were ready as the semifinals began.

Jianwei Liang calculates how much damage his opening hand can deal.

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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