It’s me. Like a bad case of genital herpes, I just keep coming back. Before I start this baby off, I have to give some quick props to some people.
First, The Ferrett. The only thing close to as hard as writing one article a day is probably editing one each day from the same putz, a Canadian schmuck who doesn’t even read back through his work before sending it. He’s done a great job considering the mountains of spelling errors, incomplete sentences, and grammatical train-wrecks that I include on a daily basis. (That should be”which” I include – The Ferrett)
Second, thanks to everyone who has mailed me over the last while. I’m glad you’re enjoying the articles, and I’m going to try to keep up this same level of quality in my future work. Read into that what you will.
This will, unfortunately, be my last article of this week. On Thursday and Friday, I’ll be too busy playing Magic and poker to put much of anything together. Still, I can walk away from this with my head held high – eight days in a row ain’t bad, and since Ferrett called for more writing in the wake of that most climactic of departures, I like to think I rose to the occasion.
Now, let’s get on with this. I don’t want to get too weepy. I’ll miss your ugly mugs, sure… But I’ll be back next week with a couple more tournament reports (another T1 and another Friday Night Magic!) and a look at the Judgment cards I might have overlooked. Read on and check out the last 5 In 5 of the week.
Should be called 8 In 10, I suppose.
During the warmer summer months, I spent part of my time on Sunday getting my ass kicked. Why? Because the script says so. Wrestling is more art than competition; it’s a choreographed series of stunts, a staged athletic contest designed for maximum drama in order to amuse the audience.
I’m not only a Magic player, I’m a backyard wrestler. You can check me out here:
Being part of an amateur wrestling federation is like being part of an amateur performance of Hamlet, except you get to hit Laertes with a garbage can. Your job is to make the other guy look good.
Bored yet? If so, scroll down until you see something interesting. I’m just getting started.
Okay, just kidding. I’m finished. I wasn’t going to go into TOO much detail – this is a Magic website. Wakefield talked about Asheron’s Call way too much on his way out, and all that did was annoy real Magic players and sucker idiots like me into trying the game.
I find it interesting that I have two hobbies at opposite ends of the spectrum. One is a collectable card game that is actually a mental sport (but no one knows it), and one is a staged athletic contest that some people still think is supposed to be a physical sport. Go figure.
Type 1 is like wrestling, if you’ll allow me to really stretch to hit this simile. It’s bombastic, with flashy effects that are sure to please the viewing audience. Also, it’s all for fun and the results don’t really matter! I played in a T1 recently in Chatham, Ontario – and since I’m writing, I mise well fill up some space by telling you how it went.
I was playing Keeper, which I’ve loved ever since I started reading Oscar Tan writing. The problem with Keeper is that you have have access to some very expensive cards to play it. As such, I have to borrow heavily from other players in order to play a version that doesn’t have to run Impulse.
This week, I was able to borrow the needed cards from Trent Rogers, proud owner of the crappiest condition Power Nine in the free world. The Mox Ruby alone looks like the previous owner went to GenCon and ran out of toilet paper, and the Ancestral Recall has more seen more play than a Vegas prostitute. Even the Lotus has a bent corner.
Here’s the decklist for my Keeper – it’s changed by a couple of cards since last time:
GT’s Keeper (with thanks to Oscar Tan!)
4 Mana Drain
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Fact or Fiction
1 The Abyss
1 Mind Twist
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Sylvan Library
1 Gorilla Shaman
1 Jayemdae Tome
1 Sol Ring
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Emerald
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
4 Volcanic Island
4 City of Brass
4 Underground Sea
1 Dwarven Miner
2 Powder Keg
1 Circle of Protection: Red
1 Aura Fracture
1 Circle of Protection: Black
2 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Teferi’s Response (protect the Library against Wasteland vs. BBS and the mirror)
2 Red Elemental Blast (I use a mix of Red Blasts and Pyroblasts because of Meddling Mage, which is popular in my area)
The only change to the maindeck is the removal of the Red Elemental Blast and the addition of one City of Brass to smooth out the mana. So far, it’s worked out quite well. I did this because I always seemed to have the Red Elemental Blast in hand while getting Wastelanded into the ground by aggressive decks against which it was useless. Ergo, it seemed like a natural switch… More mana and less dead weight against the early mana denial strategies.
In the sideboard, I took out a Compost and added the REB in, then removed the Scrying Glass because I already play Jayemdae Tome in the main and it’s pretty redundant. I’d rather have REB in the mirror anyhow. I also removed one copy of CoP: Red and put in an extra Blue Blast to deal with Dwarven Miner and Gorilla Shaman.
The tournament itself was held at the Gamemaster’s Emporium, a comic and gaming shop in Chatham, Ontario. We’ve got twelve players for the event, and because we love to play lots of rounds (hey, it’s T1…and we came to PLAY!) we’re doing 4 rounds of Swiss to a Top 8.
Here’s the field, at least the ones I knew about:
- Geordie Tait (me!) with a pretty standard Keeper, built around the tenets discussed in the articles of Oscar Tan. Oscar is a great writer and StarCity should be glad to have him…. But am I the only one who skims past his”random sport pseudo play-by-play” to get back to the actual article? Oh well, maybe his other readers enjoy it…. He has a lot of other readers!
- My teammate John Labute with Teletubbies. It’s a U/B Workshop deck with Su-Chi and Juggernaut backed by Mana Drains, pitch counters, Wastelands and Duress.
- Chris(t) Borek with OSE, a U/B/r control deck similar to Keeper but without the Balance and green cards. Chris was in for a beating, though, because he wasn’t able to find an Ancestral to borrow before the event. No Ancestral in T1 Control vs. Control is like being a one-legged man in an asskicking contest.
- “Evil” Matt Fox with “Blue Bullsh-t”, that deck with a bunch of counters, Back To Basics, and Morphlings.
- Mark Weymouth with Black Beatdown. He’s running Nantuko Shade, Mishra’s Factory, Wasteland, Duress, Unmask, Phyrexian Negator, all the powerful Black restricted cards, and so on.
- Jeremy Kirkendall playing T1 Fruity Pebbles (the Bombardment/Renewal/Shield Sphere combo). No power cards, though, so he’s in trouble.
- Kevin Phelan with T1 Replenish/Pandeburst. It’s not as robust as it could be, since he’s splitting cards with Matt and can’t get some of the required power cards.
- The Chatham contingent included suspected drug dealer Darryl”Fro” Harper, playing Donate/Illusions, and the always intimidating Rob Burke playing B/G Aggro with Rancor, Unholy Strength, and efficient creatures. Knowing Rob, there’s probably a bunch of Emerald Charms in his sideboard… He loves those.
There were a couple of other guys too, but they were playing T2 decks and didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Time to play.
Round 1 vs. Chris(t) Borek w/ OSE minus Time Walk and Ancestral Recall (aka”Bye”)
Chris is in deep trouble and knows it. Without Ancestral Recall, his deck doesn’t have the Mystical Tutor targets it should have, and just isn’t as good. The lack of Time Walk takes away from his options after a Yawgmoth’s Will as well.
I’m going to do this match coverage like Oscar Tan… And my sport of choice will be track and field…the 100 metre sprint!
01:13:39 – – – I R Skillz says:”I SEX U MOM >_<”
01:13:39 – – – BoraTog says:”A/S/L?”
01:13:42 – I R Skillz drew 7 cards.
01:13:51 – BoraTog drew 7 cards.
I step into the stadium loaded on PCP and other performance enhancing drugs. Chris, who has trained clean, is waiting for me since he didn’t have to waste forty-five minutes rigging the pre-race urine testing.
Chris and I are getting ready to get down on the starting blocks – but unbeknownst to him, I just stole the Ferrett’s starter pistol. While he’s stretching, I sneak up and stick it down his pants, then discharge the gun and give him the nastiest case of powder burn in recent medical history. He’s going to have to run this race with wounded testes; one of the bigger handicaps in sport.
While the high school cheerleaders are doing their thing, I sneak the starter pistol back into the Ferrett’s pocket, bringing him back up to two bulges in his pants.
01:14:11 – It is now Turn 1.
01:14:14 – I R Skillz says,”U WANT DIE? >_<“
01:14:20 – BoraTog plays Volcanic Island.
Ferrett starts the race and we burst out of the starting blocks. Chris, who actually runs track and is about three times my speed, starts pulling away.
01:14:21 – It is now turn 2.
01:14:23 – I R Skillz draws a card.
01:14:30 – I R Skillz plays Library Of Alexandria.
Luckily, I manage to kick out my leg and spike Chris viciously in the shin, then pull a tazer out of my underpants and shock the hell out of him while he’s hobbling around. I take off down the track while he’s quivering on the ground.
01:15:24 – It is now turn 3. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
01:16:07 – I R Skillz says:”Hold on, I have a token card you might need.”
01:16:11 – I R Skillz plays Vaseline.
01:16:22 – BoraTog is now the controller of Vaseline.
01:16:25 – BoraTog says:”Very funny.”
01:16:29 – BoraTog draws a card.
01:16:34 – BoraTog plays Wasteland.
01:16:36 – Wasteland is tapped.
01:16:37 – BoraTog buries Wasteland.
01:16:39 – I R Skillz taps Library Of Alexandria.
01:16:42 – I R Skillz draws a card.
01:16:45 – I R Skillz buries Library Of Alexandria.
Chris hobbles back up and wearily starts after me, but I’ve already got the advantage. Flash forward to a couple of turns later. Chris has almost caught up to me, but luckily, I manage to turn things around.
01:17:31 – I R Skillz plays Ancestral Recall.
01:17:37 – BoraTog says:”Arrgh, ok.”
01:17:44 – I R Skillz draws 3 cards.
01:17:49 – Volcanic Island is tapped.
01:17:50 – Mox Jet is tapped.
01:17:52 – I R Skillz plays Time Walk.
01:17:54 – BoraTog says:”Sigh.”
01:17:56 – I R Skillz moves Vaseline from I R Skillz’ removed from game zone to the tabletop.
01:17:58 – I R Skillz says:”You’ll be needing that.”
01:17:59 – BoraTog says:”Shut up.”
Though Chris is trying with all his might, I use this moment to detonate the C4 that I had an agent place in his running shoes before the event. They blast off of his feet and send him flying into the nearby long-jump pit, where he gets spiked in the rear end by former Canadian hero Ben Johnson, now reduced to doing exhibitions. Ben has more drugs in his system than I do.
Ferrett tries to call for a restart, but I have a correspondent increase the size of his bribe. He goes back to watching the cheerleaders. Fast forward about five or six turns to something a little more interesting.
01:17:49 – It is now turn 15.
01:17:52 – I R Skillz draws a card.
01:17:55 – I R Skillz plays City Of Brass.
01:18:02 – Tundra is tapped.
01:18:03 – City of Brass is tapped.
01:18:04 – Mox Jet is tapped.
01:18:05 – Sol Ring is tapped.
01:18:05 – I R Skillz plays Mind Twist.
01:18:06 – I R Skillz’ life is now 17. (-1)
01:18:07 – BoraTog says:”Targeting me?”
01:18:08 – I R Skillz says:”No, I’m targeting the ****ing Michelin Man. Of course you!”
01:18:09 – BoraTog says:”Bite me.”
01:18:13 – BoraTog moves Stroke Of Genius from BoraTog’s hand to removed from game pile.
01:18:17 – BoraTog plays Misdirection.
01:18:21 – Tundra is tapped.
01:18:22 – Underground Sea is tapped.
01:18:24 – I R Skillz plays Mana Drain.
01:18:25 – BoraTog moves Force Of Will from BoraTog’s hand to removed from game pile.
01:18:28 – BoraTog plays Force Of Will.
01:19:34 – BoraTog’s life is now 17. (-1)
01:19:42 – I R Skillz says:”Sorry, not going to happen. Bend over and grab a desk.”
01:19:54 – I R Skillz moves Stroke Of Genius from I R Skillz’ hand to removed from game pile.
01:19:57 – I R Skillz plays Force Of Will.
01:20:01 – I R Skillz’ life is now 15. (-1)
01:20:23 – BoraTog says:”Oh fine, I only have one card left anyhow.”
01:20:25 – BoraTog randomly buried: Morphling.
01:20:32 – BoraTog says:”You’ve only got one card left after those pitch counters. We’re almost even.”
Chris is catching up again. I make a signal to the stands as we near the finish line.
01:20:38 – I R Skillz buries Black Lotus.
01:20:47 – I R Skillz plays Yawgmoth’s Will.
01:20:49 – BoraTog says:”(assorted unprintable epithets)”
My planted sniper takes Chris down from 200 feet. Ferrett is given another 10,000 reasons to hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. This race goes to Geordie!
And that concludes our Oscar Tan-esque review of Game 1. Remember, kids… If you can’t win via skill, at least try to have better cards! I outdraw him by 500%, take extra turns, tutor for Morphling, draw more cards, and win.
I sideboard in Red Blasts and Blue Blasts, though I’m not sure how many Dwarven Miners he is boarding. I also bring in my Miner.
This game is annoying as he Teferi’s Responses my early Miner, but he’s royally screwed because I was able to get a Jayemdae Tome down early and it’s going to win the game for me. He tries to put pressure on, but the Tome is too much, and I end up casting Ancestral three times as well.
An early Mystical Tutor for Blue Elemental Blast protects me from his Dwarven Miner and set to work gaining card advantage. The fact that the Tome hits play is an indication that his hand is poor, probably filled with Morphlings and Edicts. Eventually I Yawgmoth’s Will back my Miner, tutor for a Mox Monkey, and leave him with no permanents and no cards in hand, or close to it.
I love Keeper. Mana denial and control in one nice little package. In all seriousness, Chris needed god draws to win this match… There’s no way a non-Ancestral, non-Walk version of OSE or Keeper can beat a full Power 9 version without some serious luck. The poor guy was casting Impulse instead of Ancestral, and he could Mystical Tutor for Yawgmoth’s Will only. In the early game, he could get Force Of Will. Blech.
1-0 and feelin’ fine. By the way, as I’m writing this I just got done reading Seth Burn Judgement analysis…I sure missed the boat on that Blue instant that lets you draw cards for each attacking creature. I assumed for some reason that you couldn’t use it during your own attacks. Viva la Fish! Seth also made the same mistake I did in his test scenario involving Anger. See if you can spot it.
Looks like I’m playing Kevin Phelan and his Pandeburst…uh…thingy.
Deck. His Pandeburst deck.
Round 2 vs. Kevin Phelan w/ Pandeburst
I beat Kevin last time we played this matchup, so I have high hopes for this one, especially since I’ve learned a lot about how to sideboard since last time.
Hold on…do you really want to hear about a boring matchup where I won 2-0 because he got poor draws, I Wastelanded him a bunch of times and cast Ancestral Recall repeatedly?
Didn’t think so. I’m running on empty, here folks, really I am. I made it this far…but I’m almost spent.
But wait I cant abandon The Ferrett in his hour of need
…(heavy, labored breathing)
Round 3 vs. John Labute w/ Teletubbies
he rolls me both games with Wastelands and fast Juggernaut and Su-Chi beats I’m 2-1
Arrgh Look above and see what I’ve been reduced to!
I NEED COFFEE!
Okay…I’ll be alright for the next few sentences.
Round 4 vs. Evil Matt Fox w/ Homo Blue(homo referring to, of course, the homogenous color breakdown of the deck’s contents)
This is will be a heated…
Christ, it’s DECAF!
me play many spells countered are
help, me can’t write good no more
arrgh morphling no removal
wait, will for orb, balance, sac all land with no cards in hand 4 moxes and Jayemdae on table…haha broken!
other games arrgh manascrew + back to basics I lose
mise mise infinite beatings smash face tight men mise
qarterfinals vs. John Labute aasdasdjals
ARRRGH teammate in quarters, gayer than gayerson
arrgh, get ass kicked 2/3
teammate is savage miser
doh me lose match
help…last bits of intelligence fading…
(here the last vestiges of creativity and intelligence finally evaporate)
I wonder if Survivor is on?
“Your daddy he is.”
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