Residence: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Team: Face to Face Games
Qualified via Pro Club Platinum level
Pro Points: 190 lifetime (39 in 2015–16)
Pro Tour Debut: Philadelphia 2011
Pro Tours Played: 15
Best Pro Tour Finish: 2nd
His PTs: http://www.mtgptresults.com/player/jacob-wilson
Top 8: 2 Pro Tours and 7 Grand Prix (3 wins)
Planeswalker Level: 47 (Archmage)
Q: Your first major success was at GP Chicago in 2012. At the time you were 17 years old, probably making you one of the youngest Grand Prix winners ever. After the tournament you said that you had switched to your deck only the night before, and also that Top 4 had been your goal for the tournament all along as you had failed to win a PTQ. Where did you get that self-confidence? Did you ever fall in a hole when things did not go too well? And how did you experience the tournament?
I was very confident in my Magic abilities, evidenced by flying to Grand Prix as a kid with no income. I would regularly spend 100% of my money and borrow to go to events. I qualified for my first PT on rating and regularly had 2k+ rating on Magic Online so I knew I was good enough, even if many pros understood the game more deeply than me. The tournament was mostly a high—I started 9-0. At 10-1 I played my friend Sam Pardee and lost to 10-2—at that point the reality of losing started to sink in. I was very fortunate in the following 6 rounds to win every time (I even mulliganed to 4 in the quarterfinals!). After the GP I won a PTQ with the same deck, so I was qualified for 2 PTs in a row. I missed one after that, Seattle, and have played 10 or so in a row since. After my first PT, Philly 2011, it took me a long time to re-qualify and I certainly fell into a hole of disappointment and doubt.
Q: GP Chicago was Modern, and both your Pro Tour Top 8s were at Modern Pro Tours so you are generally considered a Modern specialist. Is Modern your favorite format? What do you think about the removal of the Modern Pro Tour?
I think Modern is a terrible format. I like Legacy the most followed by Draft. Removing the Modern Pro Tour is a good move but I would like to see a format different than Standard, maybe a strange format like singleton or duel decks.
Q: The current season started with a win at the Team GP in Detroit and includes another strong finish at the Team GP in Washington, D.C. Both times you played with with Sam Pardee and Matt Nass. All three of you are generally more renowned as Constructed than Limited players. What was the key to your success as a team? Considering your exploits as a team this season, and the fact that you all still have a good shot at Platinum, didn’t you itch to make the trip to Sao Paulo like Pascal, BBD, and Shaheen?
We work well as a team because we are good friends, we are able to resolve disagreements quickly and without anyone being offended. I wanted to go to Brazil but I couldn’t find a team after Matt and Sam couldn’t go. I recruited a lot of potential teammates but it didn’t work out. Team tournaments are great and I’m looking forward to Louisville.
Q: In the last 2 years you went to the last Pro Tour already locked for Platinum. This time you need a strong finish to become Platinum for another year. Is that something that makes you nervous or is it pure extra motivation? What are your goals for the next season? Do they depend on your success in Sydney?
I think I am unlikely to make Platinum and that is disappointing. My number one goal currently is to win a Pro Tour, so if that goes well then I will be Platinum next year. I will still play every PT next year as a Gold-level player. Platinum is put on a pedestal in the Magic community, but if you look closely, it is only $12,000-$15,000. I’ll be fine without being Platinum—I will work for my money somewhere else.