It has been 15 years since the start of Goat Format, so we here at GoatFormat.com want to take a moment to honor the true legends of Goat Format. We are proud to announce the GoatFormat.com Hall of Fame and its inaugural member, Max Suffridge.
It is difficult to put into words exactly how big of a deal Max Suffridge was in 2005. Suffridge didn't just win the United States National Championship that year; he single handedly defeated two larger-than-life dynasties and ushered in a new era of competitive play.
In the months leading up to US Nationals, the narrative of the tournament scene had revolved around a rivalry as old as time itself: west versus east, old versus young, Comic Odyssey versus Overdose. Suffridge broke the mold at Nationals by claiming first place over both of those teams, a virtually unprecedented feat at the time, with wins over Bryan Coronel, Rhymus Lizo, Brent Yetter and Miguel Garcia. Representing DuelistGroundz and the now-legendary-but-then-unheard-of Alpha Omega, he carved out a new space in the metagame for online players who had long hungered for their days in the spotlight.
As one of the eight Goat Control decks in top 8 of US Nationals, Max was certainly on the right side of the metagame for that event, but he went a step further by teching his deck out for all of the decks that were expected to make a splash that weekend. Many forget that aggressive decks -- Beastdown, Zombies, and so on -- were widely considered the decks to beat going into Nationals that year. Max was the only competitor in Top 8 that responded in kind with main decked copies of Gravekeeper’s Spy and Swords of Revealing Light. He even logged into DuelistGroundz during the early Revival era to remind everyone that was netdecking his list at the time to cut Swords of Revealing Light, because it was specifically main decked for Aggro and was no longer an appropriate metagame call.
Suffridge was remarkably ahead of his time. Cards like Abyss Soldier, Thunder Dragon and Skilled White Magician were already on his radar by SJC Indianapolis, long before they became as widespread as they are today. Almost none of the breakout decks of the modern era would have taken him by surprise.
So without further ado, we are naming Max Suffridge the first member of the GoatFormat.com Hall of Fame. We'll be posting more information on how the Hall of Fame will work in the coming weeks, so you'll definitely want to stay tuned. But for now, it's all about Max, and rightfully so.
Rest in Peace Max Suffridge 7/1/85 - 10/10/17