Newton Hang qualified for this Saturday's Champions Showcase by winning the Legacy Showcase with Elves, and preparing for a multiformat tournament is a different experience.
"It's more challenging to prepare for more than one format. I have been alternating between Modern and Zendikar draft. That way, I repeated testing with both whiles trying to avoid rust in either," Hang tells manaecho.com.
He is the competitor with the fewest registered Modern and Limited matches on Magic Online, where he mostly plays Legacy.
"For Modern, this is essentially the first time I've ever played in Modern. I feel ok about it, though. The practice helped, and I also like the deck I selected," he says.
"I picked up Standard this spring for the Magic Arena Players Tour, and picking up Modern felt similar. Not too bad. The draft portion I was more concerned about because I've never played Limited beyond prereleases."
The tournament is a pod of Zendikar Rising Draft and a Modern pod, with the two pod-winners competing in the finals, but every win counts to Hang.
"There are six total rounds for each player regardless of record to determine 3-8 standings, so I still wanted to do well in both formats, in case it didn't go my way. It also gives me two chances to make the finals instead of being all-in for one."
With $70,000 on the line and $5,000 guaranteed even for finish last, this tournament has the highest stakes the American has ever competed to win.