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Cheng Han Lin Triumphs at MIT Championship Finals

March 14, 2023
Frank Karsten

This past weekend, 60 players gathered in Taipei City for the MIT Championship Finals, the culmination of months of qualifying events. On the line were not only four Pro Tour slots but also the title of Regional Champion and the corresponding World Championship seat. When the dust settled on the competition after six rounds of Standard and a Top 8 playoff, the trophy was claimed by Cheng Han Lin, piloting a flashy Azorius Soldiers deck!

Congratulations to Cheng Han Lin!

Cheng Han Lin and Huang Yung-Ming play in the finals of the MIT Championship

Cheng Han Lin, who qualified at an RCQ at Academy Legacy Games, chose Azorius Soldiers because he felt it was “good against everything”. His best card of the weekend was Skystrike Officer, as the card advantage was instrumental in his victories. Yet the standout part of his list were the flash elements: Instead of the more commonly included Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Siege Veteran, he used Protect the Negotiators and The Wandering Emperor in his main deck, allowing him to control the game at instant speed.

In the finals, Cheng Han Lin defeated two-time World Magic Cup competitor Huang Yung-Ming, one of the most experienced players in the tournament. He was playing Grixis Midrange, the most popular deck in the Standard metagame. Nevertheless, the Soldier synergies and flash elements emerged victorious, and Cheng Han Lin locked up his invitation to World Championship XXIX!

Standard continued to evolve this weekend, as players adapted to Rei Sato’s victory at last weekend’s Regional Championship in Japan. The Selesnya Toxic deck proliferated into a large share of the metagame at the MIT Championship, with two players making it to the Top 8 with a version that used Audacity and Valorous Stance instead of Annex Sentry and Charge of the Mites. These successful tweaks, along with Cheng Han Lin’s novel take on Azorius Soldiers, confirm that the Standard format still has plenty of room for innovation.

Congratulations to the Top 8 players of the MIT Championship!

The top 4 players of the MIT Championship earned an invitation to Pro Tour March of the Machine, to be held during MagicCon: Minneapolis on May 5-7. We look forward to following your competitive journeys there! The top 4 decklists are provided below, and you can find all other decklists, round-by-round results, and Swiss standings on the event’s MTG Melee page.

All in all, it was a great weekend with high-level Standard play, showing the joy of tabletop competition. Check out these photos for an impression of the event!

The Breeze Center played host to the MIT Championship.

Sideboard strategies were essential to success.

The competition at the top tables was fierce.

Be part of the next round of Regional Championships by joining a qualifying event near you! You can find events via the Store & Event Locator or your regional organizer's website.

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