Pro Tour Return to Ravnica was the first Pro Tour of the 2012–13 season. The event had 383 competitors, and took place on 19–21 October 2012 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The formats were Modern and Return to RavnicaBooster draft, and was the first constructed premier event where Return to Ravnica was legal. It was the second-ever Modern Pro Tour (excluding the 2011 World Championships), and featured a dominant performance by Czech player Stanislav Cifka, who, using an infamous "Eggs" deck utilizing cards like Second Sunrise, finished the Swiss portion with a 15–1 record, losing only in the final round, and then went on to win the event, defeating Japan's Yuuya Watanabe in the final.
The event started with five rounds of Modern. At the time of the Pro Tour, the largest deck by far was Jund. Sporting cards like Bloodbraid Elf and Tarmogoyf, the deck was already a force to be reckoned with before the release of Return to Ravnica; Yuuya Watanabe had used the deck to take down the 2012 Players Championship two months earlier. Return to Ravica also introduced Deathrite Shaman, which served to put Jund squarely into the forefront of the metagame. At the Pro Tour, Jund made up fully 31% of the field. The second most popular deck was Affinity; this deck was also fairly successful, with 28 of 36 total pilots advancing to day two of competition. In third was UW Control centered around Restoration Angel, Kitchen Finks, and the like. Famous players posting 5–0 records to start the day included Tom Martell (playing Storm), Ivan Floch (RUG Control), Josh Utter-Leyton (Jund), Yuuya Watanabe (Jund), and Jon Finkel (Storm).
As was customary, the order of the formats was reversed for day two, with it being three rounds of Booster draft followed by five rounds of Modern. Live coverage followed Conley Woods, who had started the event 7–1 playing Jund in Modern. Woods drafted a Rakdos deck with highlights such as Necropolis Regent and Dreadbore. The commentators noted that he didn't quite get enough aggressive Rakdos creatures, and Woods ended up going 0–3 with the deck, losing to Stanislav Cifka, Ivan Floch, and Alex Majlaton. Cifka was the one who posted the 3–0 on pod 1, further extending his overall record to 11–0. In second-place coming into the final rounds of Modern was Yuuya Watanabe, who followed up a 5–0 run in Modern on day one with a strong 5–1 performance across the two Booster drafts. On 9–2 was French Hall of Famer Gabriel Nassif, as well as Ivan Floch, David Ochoa, and Lee Shi Tian all chasing their first Pro Tour top eight.
The first player to clinch a top eight slot was, unsurprisingly, Stanislav Cifka, who at 13–0 was a mathematical lock with three rounds to spare. His attempt at copying Luis Scott-Vargas' 16–0 performance in the Swiss portion of Pro Tour San Diego was thwarted by Kelvin Chew in the last round, but he advanced to Sunday play in first place, five points ahead of David Ochoa, who was in second. Yuuya Watanabe had a more difficult time, losing the first three rounds of Modern to fall back to 10–4. He won the last two rounds, however, which thanks to good tiebreakers saw him through to the top eight in sixth-place. Lee Shi Tian became the first Hong Kongese player to advance to a Pro Tour top eight when he defeated Satoshi Yamaguchi in the penultimate round. Eduardo Sajgalik, on the other hand, had started the tournament with an unremarkable 2–3–1 record, but from there went on to win ten straight matches and advance to the knockout stage. His round 16 opponent was Brazil's Willy Edel, who had only recently returned to professional play after an absence from the scene. Despite the loss to Sajgalik, Edel advanced in seventh-place with a 12–4 record. Rounding out the top eight was Edel's countryman Pedro Carvalho, who edged out Ari Lax and Gabriel Nassif on tiebreakers; this was the first time two Brazilian players finished in the top eighth of the same individual Pro Tour.
William Jensen missed induction into the Hall of Fame by a single vote, and received a special invite to Pro Tour Return to Ravnica. This was his first Pro Tour since leaving the scene after the 2004 World Championships. Jensen finished 122nd.
This page was last edited on 2 July 2020, at 05:20.
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