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Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
Date 22–24 April 2016
Location {ESP} Madrid, Spain
Attendance 378
Format Standard and Booster draft
Prize pool $250,000
Winner {USA} Steve Rubin
Previous Pro Tour:
Oath of the Gatewatch
Next Pro Tour:
Eldritch Moon

Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad was the third Pro Tour of the 2015–16 Pro Tour season. It took place on 22–24 April 2016 in Madrid, Spain. It was the 100th Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour event. 378 players participated, and after a final day featuring three Hall of Famers, American player Steve Rubin emerged victorious, defeating Italian World Magic Cup champion Andrea Mengucci in the final.

Day one[]

Featured players for the first three rounds of the day, a Shadows over Innistrad draft, were Martin Müller and Reid Duke. Duke's draft was complimented by the commentators, but it only got him off to a 1–2 start. Müller, on the other hand, lost in the pod finals to Valentin Mackl to finish 2–1. Famous players to 3–0 their pods included Jon Finkel, Luis Scott-Vargas, Olle Råde, Brian Kibler, Ben Rubin, and Jelger Wiegersma. Additionally, Thiago Saporito, already in joint lead for the Draft Master slot for the 2016 World Championship, took the lead in that race by going 3–0 in his pod.

There had been a couple of independent SCG Standard events leading up to the event, in which the dominant decks were Bant Company and Monowhite Humans. At the Pro Tour, however, numerous other decks were introduced: Jon Finkel of The Pantheon went 4–1 in Standard with a Black-Green Control deck featuring Seasons Past; Seth Manfield ended the day in fourth-place piloting Esper Control. The two 8–0 players, Luis Scott-Vargas and Brad Nelson, representing team ChannelFireball and team Eureka respectively, also played innovative decks: Scott-Vargas played a Black-Green Aristocrats deck featuring Cryptolith Rite, while Nelson had opted for a Red-Green Ramp deck with Pyromancer's Goggles.

The top eight players after day one:

Rank Player Points Rank Player Points
1 {USA} Brad Nelson 24 5 {AUT} Valentin Mackl 21
2 {USA} Luis Scott-Vargas 24 6 {CAN} Dan Lanthier 21
3 {USA} Jon Finkel 21 7 {USA} Allen Wu 21
4 {USA} Seth Manfield 21 8 {JPN} Katsuhiro Mori 21

Day two[]

The second day of competition started with another Shadows over Innistrad draft. Luis Scott-Vargas and Brad Nelson from pod 1 were featured; both players went 2–1. Nelson, with Black-Green, defeated Scott-Vargas' Blue-Red deck with three Fevered Visions in round 9 before falling to Jon Finkel in round 11, the latter winning the pod; the three of them thus emerged from the second draft portion with 11–1 records and leading the field. In fourth-place, after winning pod 2, was 2013–14 Player of the Year Jérémy Dezani, two points behind on 10–1–1.

The four overnight leaders did not falter during the final five rounds of Standard; although Luis Scott-Vargas lost two matches towards the end of the Swiss, he won the last round against Malaysia's Yian Hsiang Chye to safely advance to the top eight with 39 points. Brad Nelson and Seth Manfield also picked up the necessary wins to make it to Sunday play, while Jon Finkel put together an undefeated run, though with a last-round intentional draw with Steve Rubin, to secure his sixteenth Pro Tour top eight finish. The final round featured several matches that had potential top eight ramifications; ultimately, despite being a non-featured match, the final game of the match between teammates Katsuhiro Mori and Andrea Mengucci, both with 11–4 records, was shown on live broadcast. The match did not reach a natural conclusion, but Mori decided to concede to Mengucci, who then made it into the top eight on tiebreakers.

Top 8[]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1  Jon Finkel 1  
8  Andrea Mengucci 3  
  8  Andrea Mengucci 3  
  5  Shota Yasooka 2  
4  Luis Scott-Vargas 1
5  Shota Yasooka 3  
    8  Andrea Mengucci 1
  6  Steve Rubin 3
3  Brad Nelson 0  
6  Steve Rubin 3  
  6  Steve Rubin 3
  2  Seth Manfield 2  
2  Seth Manfield 3
7  Luis Salvatto 0  

The quarterfinals were played two at a time, with the first being between Jon Finkel and Andrea Mengucci, and Luis Scott-Vargas against Shota Yasooka. Finkel, although he had experienced success in the Swiss portion of the event with The Pantheon's Seasons Past Control deck, was thought to have a bad matchup against Mengucci's Bant Company deck; according to his teammates, it was the deck's only bad matchup. They split the first two pre-sideboarded games, but Mengucci took the two sideboarded games to win the match 3–1. Meanwhile, Scott-Vargas, in his second straight Pro Tour top eight, was also thought to have a bad matchup against Yasooka, and like the other match in the set, the pre-match favorite won 3–1, with Yasooka's Esper Dragons taking down Scott-Vargas' Black-Green Aristocrats. The remaining two quarterfinal matches also turned out to be quite lopsided. Former Player of the Year Brad Nelson went down in straight sets to Platinum pro but Pro Tour top eight debutant Steve Rubin, whose Green-White Tokens deck proved quite effective against Nelson's Red-Green Ramp. Similarly, reigning World Champion Seth Manfield, wielding Esper Control with numerous Planeswalkers, had no issues taking down Argentina's Luis Salvatto and his Red-White Eldrazi with Pyromancer's Goggles 3–0.

Whereas the four quarterfinal matches were all fairly one-sided affairs, the semifinals were both very close. Shota Yasooka's Esper Dragons deck went down to Andrea Mengucci in five games, and Seth Manfield also lost 2–3, putting Steve Rubin into the final. When Rubin defeated Mengucci 3–1, Rubin became the Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad champion. Fittingly, the Green-White Tokens deck that Rubin piloted to victory ended up being the most successful deck in the ensuing Standard format.

Place Player Deck Prize Pro Points Comment
1 {USA} Steve Rubin Green-White Tokens $40,000 30
2 {ITA} Andrea Mengucci Bant Company $20,000 26 Second Pro Tour Top 8
3 {USA} Seth Manfield Esper Control $12,500 22 Second Pro Tour Top 8
4 {JPN} Shota Yasooka Esper Dragons $12,500 22 Third Pro Tour Top 8
5 {USA} Jon Finkel Black-Green Seasons Past Control $10,000 18 Sixteenth Pro Tour Top 8
6 {USA} Brad Nelson Red-Green Ramp $10,000 18 Third Pro Tour Top 8
7 {USA} Luis Scott-Vargas Black-Green Aristocrats $10,000 18 Seventh Pro Tour Top 8
8 {ARG} Luis Salvatto Red-White Eldrazi $10,000 18

Player of the Year Race[]

Owen Turtenwald began the weekend with a 13-point lead over his closest competitor, Martin Müller, and the commentators speculated whether he could run away with the Player of the Year-title already. Instead, reigning World Champion Seth Manfield, in fifth-place coming into the weekend, catapulted into first place by finishing third. Turtenwald only managed to pick up four points at the event, and as such ended up trailing Manfield by a point. Meanwhile, Steve Rubin entered the top five leaderboard thanks to his win.

Player Pro Points
{USA} Seth Manfield 71
{USA} Owen Turtenwald 70
{GB-ENG} Fabrizio Anteri 57
{DNK} Martin Müller 56
{USA} Steve Rubin 56

Notable performances[]


  • Although the rules of Booster drafts involving sets with Double-faced cards state that double-faced cards are to be revealed during the draft, it was announced that for the Pro Tour, the draft portion would proceed as normal, with tournament staff pre-sleeving all the packs.[1] The policy was later applied to all Professional REL draft events that involved Double-faced cards until further rule revision in Ixalan.

External links[]


  1. Alex Ullman (2016-04-19). "Update to Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad draft". GatheringMagic. Retrieved on 2016-05-22.