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John Daroen Sahagun Wins SEA Championship Final

March 08, 2023
Riley Knight

Southeast Asia’s most skilled Magic players headed to the Philippines over the past weekend to put their abilities to the test as the Southeast Asia Championship Final. With eight Pro Tour invitations and a slot at the World Championship on the line, players arrived ready to do their very best to win - but when all was said and done, it was John Daroen Sahagun who emerged victorious!

Congratulations to John Daroen Sahagun!

Four of the eight players who made it to the Top 8 were playing Grixis Midrange, but Sahagun had been preying on the de facto best deck in the format all weekend long, and he didn’t slow down in the Top 8. His incredible Five-Color Control list dismantled the opposition, including his finals opponent, Nonthakorn Kositaporn, who brought Mono-White Midrange.

Kositaporn and Sahagun face off in the final

Sahagun rallied after a round one loss, not losing another match throughout the Swiss - or, indeed, throughout the Top 8. With his terrific performance, he secured a position at the World Championship, taking place in Las Vegas later this year. Additionally, the entire Top 8 is now qualified for the next Pro Tour, taking place in Minneapolis in May.

Aside from Grixis Midrange and Sahagun’s spicy five-color list, the Top 8 also saw Esper Legends, Mono-Red Aggro, and the aforementioned Mono-White Midrange. Grixis remains the deck to beat, but this Top 8 shows us there are plenty of ways to do it.

The SEA Championship Top 8

And while Grixis Midrange was the most popular deck in the Philippines, plenty of other lists were put through their paces across the weekend. Mono-White Midrange had a strong showing, while the rest of the field consisted of decks from Azorius Aggro to Azorius Control, from Mono-Red Aggro to Rakdos Reanimator.

The metagame from the SEA Championship

The SEA Championship propelled players from the Southeast Asia region to Magic’s biggest stages, but there is still an opportunity for you to join these players at events like the Pro Tour and the World Championship. Find a qualifier near you, and see if you’ve got what it takes to play in the next Regional Championship, happening later on this year!

The South East Asia Championship gets underway

Kelvin Chew on his way to topping the Swiss rounds of the tournament

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