The finals of Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings was the culmination of an incredible weekend filled with The Lord of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ Draft and a Modern format finals match thrilling Top 8 was the perfect finish. On one side sat the ultimate fan-favorite and tournament grinder in Christian Calcano on Mono-Green Tron, who found himself qualified for the Pro Tour in Barcelona after a wild series of unlikely events. On the other was Jake Beardsley on Rakdos Evoke, who was on the end of a dream run at his first-ever Pro Tour.
Their decks were the epitome of the tournament, and of Tales of Middle-earth:
The games would all follow a familiar pattern: Beardsley would attempt to tear apart Calcano's hand in the early game, while Calcano would attempt to assemble the trio of
The first game showed the power of Tron's newest addition:
Game 2 showed Calcano the perfect opening hand: a natural draw of all three Tron lands, plus
In fact, he was completely in control. He deployed a turn-two
So, who's the beatdown? Somehow, it wasn't turn-four Ulamog. It was turn-three Ulamog – Beardsley followed up his Voidwalker with a
The third game featured great starts from both players. Beardsley was able to play and bring back
But Beardsley wasn't interested in letting short order come to pass. He attacked and followed it up with more power. All the mana in the world on turn four won't help if you're dead by then, and that's exactly what Beardsley was able to pull off, dodging a
Jake Beardsley had gone from his first Pro Tour, straight to his first Pro Tour final, and now an opportunity to win one more game and take down the entire Pro Tour all in one go. If Beardsley was feeling the pressure, he wasn't showing it as he calmly led out with
But those payoffs were put on hold thanks to a third-turn
As Calcano dug, Beardsley attacked. By the time Calcano was ready and able to pop the
But five life is not zero, and with Calcano finally able to blast the
But Calcano had another planeswalker to take its place.
And that game turned out to be one of the best we've ever seen at the Pro Tour. With the board now cleared, Calcano's decision to get rid of his own
For his part, Beardsley was trying to find a way to end things with the
If Calcano's last card in hand was a land, Beardsley would win the Pro Tour. He cast the Kroxa and Calcano discarded his last card.
That meant that he didn't lose life from Kroxa, and it meant that he could untap and play a freshly-drawn
That meant it would all come down to a final game, with the winner crowned the champion of Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings.
It opened with the classic first turn
And that was that.
Congrats again to Jake Beardsley, the champion of Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings!
🏆Congratulations to Jake Beardsley, the Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings Champion!🏆— PlayMTG (@PlayMTG) July 30, 2023
Beardsley sliced through a field of powerful Modern decks and incredible players to take the title with his memorable Rakdos Evoke deck.
Congratulations again, Jake! pic.twitter.com/OUzG9CVqcq