Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Special — Christopher Fennell

Nickname: Gatormagechris fennell
Age: 32
Nationality: United States
Team: a secret
Qualified via Pro Club Gold
Pro Points: 127 lifetime
Pro Tour Debut: Boston 2003 (as Team Mr. Nice Guy with Rachel Reynolds and Ron Kotwica)
Pro Tours played: 19
Win Percentage: 58.1%
Median: 79
80%-Quantile*: 56.8
Top 8: 1 Pro Tour and 8 Grand Prix (1 win)
Planeswalker Level: 47 (Archmage)

* This is the result the player has exceeded in every fifth attempt. The number was calculated with all attendances normalized to a PT size of 400 competitors.

Chris Fennell made his first appearance at the 2003 Team Pro Tour in Boston. His first major success came also in Team Limited, where he won Grand Prix Washington D.C. alongside Charles Gindy and Bill Stead against a star-studded Top 4. Fennell was on and off the Pro Tour for the next decade until claiming Pro Club Level Gold on the back of his Top 8 at Pro Tour Born of the Gods, his biggest achievement so far.

Q: You expressed confidence that this is going to be a good season for you. What makes you so confident?

A: I have been cultivating a culture within the team that I play for and I believe my vision is coming to fruition. We have a team of great people who genuinely care for each other and have amazing work ethics. Things are falling into place you can just feel it in the air.

Q: You are widely considered one of the top Limited players. How does that play out in your actual Pro Tour preparation? In many teams everybody wants to draft, but at some point it’s time do some work, and everybody then has to build Standard decks. However, when somebody is really good at one thing, it might make sense to just let them do their thing. Do you get a free pass to drafting all the time, so that you can solve the Draft format while your teammates build Standard decks?

A: The short answer is yes I get a free pass. I play as much Limited as possible until mid-week of the PT when I jam the Constructed deck to learn. It works well for us as my ideas are sometimes too synergistic and not focused enough on pure power for Constructed.

Q: You have been around for some time, and probably have drafted most formats in the last 10-12 years extensively. With that experience, what do you think makes a draft format good and how do you like Battle for Zendikar so far?

A: Draft is interesting when games are intricate and there is a lot of diversity in what you can do. Battle for Zendikar draft is great because it gives people a lot of ways to use their mana and has very interesting games. It’s much better than the first Zendikar.

Q: Although drafting is fun, on the Pro Tour you don’t get away with only drafting these days. Which Constructed formats do you enjoy most, and what kind of decks do you gravitate to? Googling your name returns a lot of results for Storm. Is that your favorite deck?

A: Storm is my favorite deck but the format is not kind to it now because there is too much Twin. I like combo decks but those don’t really exist in Standard so I prefer reactionary decks. While mono-red decks are good game 1 you almost always lose edge post-board and can’t press a play skill differential.


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