Corey Burkhart won Players Tour Phoenix Sunday afternoon with UB Inverter, defeating Magic Pro League member and Hall of Famer William Jensen and his Lotus Breach deck 2-0 in the finals.

Don’t miss our coverage of Day 1 and Day 2 of Players Tour Phoenix, or last weekend’s coverage of Day 1, Day 2, and Top 8 of PT Brussels as well as Day 1 and the Top 8 of PT Nagoya.

Burkhart started the tournament at 2-3 and then didn’t lose another match. He’s only the seventh player to make Top 8 after starting 2-3 in a 16-round Pro Tour/Mythic Championship/Players Tour, out of 4682 opportunities. That’s an absurdly low 0.15% conversion rate that he then followed up with an undefeated run to win the whole thing.

After 16 rounds of swiss—and 11 victories in a row—Burkhart was at 13-3, in fifth place, and paired against Peter Ingram in the quarterfinals for a UB Inverter mirror match. Both players took a more control-oriented approach, trying to run their opponent out of resources before going for the combo kill, and Burkhart maneuvered into position to combo off first in Game 1 and then won Game 2 thanks to a swarm of Pack Rats.

The Top 8 bracket at Players Tour Phoenix

He then faced Zachary Kiihne, on Mono-Red, in the semifinals. Kiihne couldn’t apply enough pressure quickly enough to out race the Inverter of Truth/Oracle of Thassa combo in either Game 1 or 2. Burkhart, continuing his undefeated run after starting 2-3, won the match 2-0 and advanced to the finals of Players Tour Phoenix to face William Jensen.

Jensen piloted the breakout deck of the tournament, Lotus Breach, to a 12-4 record in the swiss and the sixth seed in the Top 8. He continued to combine the deck’s namesake card, Lotus Field, with untap and mill effects to defeat Austin Bursavich (UW Control) in the quarters and Jacob Wilson (Sultai Delirium) in the semifinals.

In Game 1 of the finals, Burkhart quickly assembled his combo while Jensen never played a second land, putting Burkhart up a game in just over two minutes.

Game 2 started with both players mulliganing, but while Burkhart kept his six-card hand, Jensen continued to mulligan all the way down to four cards. Jensen was able to combine a scry from Temple of Mystery and a Satyr Wayfinder to play a Turn 3 Lotus Field, and it looked like he might have a chance to fight for an unlikely victory.

But Burkhart untapped and slammed a Dampening Sphere on his own Turn 3 to reduce Jensen’s Lotus Field to tapping for a single colorless mana. Jensen, who was very far behind on cards, couldn’t find enough action to overcome Burkhart’s hand full of disruption, giving Burkhart the time to find a Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and finally a Pack Rat to close out the game, finals, and Players Tour Phoenix.

Burkart lifts the Players Tour Phoenix trophy

Players Tour Phoenix was Burkhart’s first Pro Tour/Mythic Championship/Players Tour Top 8 and his first win. He also has nine Grand Prix Top 8s, two of which were against William Jensen. Burkhart, along with Shuhei Nakamura and Martin Juza, lost to Jensen, Owen Turtenwald, and Reid Duke in the finals of Team Limited Grand Prix Cleveland in June 2017. The teams met again in the finals of Grand Prix Providence—another Team Limited event—in October 2017, with Andrew Baekstrom taking Nakamura’s place, this time with Burkhart’s team coming out victorious.

Players Tour Phoenix Finals Decklists

Pioneer UB Inverter by Corey Burkhart (1st)

Creatures (8)
Inverter of Truth
Thassa’s Oracle

Planeswalkers (3)
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Spells (23)
Thought Erasure
Dig Through Time
Drown in the Loch
Fatal Push
Hero’s Downfall

Enchantments (1)
Omen of the Sea
Lands (25)
Choked Estuary
Drowned Catacomb
Fabled Passage
Fetid Pools
Ipnu Rivulet
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
Hero’s Downfall
Cry of the Carnarium
Damping Sphere
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Legion’s End
Mystical Dispute
Pack Rat
Witch’s Vengeance

Pioneer Lotus Breach by William Jensen (2nd)

Creatures (14)
Arboreal Grazer
Fae of Wishes
Satyr Wayfinder
Vizier of Tumbling Sands

Spells (19)
Hidden Strings
Pore Over the Pages
Strategic Planning
Sylvan Scrying
Dig Through Time
Expansion // Explosion
Mystical Dispute

Enchantments (3)
Underworld Breach
Lands (24)
Blast Zone
Botanical Sanctum
Breeding Pool
Lotus Field
Sheltered Thicket
Temple of Mystery
Thespian’s Stage
Yavimaya Coast

Sideboard (15)
Mystical Dispute
Underworld Breach
Anger of the Gods
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Lost Legacy
Natural State
Supreme Verdict
Thought Distortion
Tome Scour
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Unravel the Aether

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.