Coming off a World Championship run in 2021, Magic The Gathering star Eli Kassis has won the Neon Dynasty Championship with Orzhov Ventures in Alchemy.
Kassis defeated upper-bracket finalist Zach Dunn 2-1, winning matches two and three, to become the tournament champion. The match was a tense midrange affair that’s become rare for Magic Arena formats as of late, with Historic and Standard being heavily dominated by aggro and control decks over the past year.
With this being the first showing for Alchemy at the elite tournament level, both Kassis and Dunn showed off unique aspects of the Standard-derivative format.
Kassis’ Orzhov Ventures deck was enabled by the rebalancing of key cards in the archetype like Triumphant Adventurer. This allowed the archetype to flourish, going from nearly unplayable to a force in the metagame. Dunn entered the match running Mardu Midrange, a strategy that leans heavily on value generated from Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Wedding Announcement.
The match was close, as most midrange battles are. Each game came down to key top-decks and tight, technical play to edge out advantages over the course of several turns. Kassis was able to outlast Dunn thanks to the dungeon mechanic providing hits of value that Dunn couldn’t overcome.
Kassis is joined by five other players who qualified for this year’s World Championships by finishing in the top six of the event. All players who earned an invitation through the Neon Dynasty Championships are:
- Eli Kassis
- Zach Dunn
- Yudai Miyano
- Johnny Guttman
- Yimin Zhi
- Jean-Emmanuel Depraz
This brings the number of players with invitations to 13. There are still plenty of invitations up for grabs. The top six players in the New Capenna Championships will earn invitations. Then the top five finishers in league play and top eight Challenger players will obtain invitations.
During the top eight bracket, Wizards of the Coast also revealed cards from the Neon Dynasty: Alchemy expansion that will drop on Magic Arena on March 17.