A Day At The Old Bender House

How to get Kurt Hahn to help you out with a deck.

FrigginRizzo: <— Invented using eighteen lands in Sealed.

And Nightscape Familiar. And Repulse and Recoil.

Magic: the Gathering, a Dr. Freakin’ Rizzo game.

Dawg as hell, sick.

“…you called him Crypt Keeper. I didn’t know if you knew or not but it is cReeper, not Keeper.”

-David Lanier

What the? I found me a sexy Crypt Guy and looked. And looked again. And once more for flavor. Know what?

It is Crypt Creeper. Damn.

That’s about stupid, ain’t it, Dave?

“…I am in agreement that it should be Keeper.”

How ’bout we petition Wizards to errata Crypt Creeper, for I’m sure they just got it wrong the first time and would happily admit their mistake and correct it. Perhaps they can send out millions of little stickers that we could place over”Creeper” with the corrected, and ultimately correct,”Keeper.”

“Hopefully, people will be able to finally stop spelling it wrong…”

Until then, please grab a Sharpie and all the Crypt Creepers you can find and write in”Keeper.” Teach those corporate boys a lesson they won’t soon forget.

Crypt Creeper. Like that’s an appropriate name for a guy that removes cards from a graveyard. Oh, it kinda is.

But it still should be Keeper.

Multiple sources have informed me that the Odyssey non-random rare sequencing listed on Brainburst have been verified by the actual cracking of boxes. Ain’t that some weird? While I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, wholly for lack of trying, I guess it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to ask your local shop owner to randomize the packs when he cracks a new box. If he says no and gets pissed, then, well… Kick him in the grille or dome or diz or melon con cabeza y mantiquilla or something. Otherwise, better safe than sorry, I guess. Unless you really and truly want that Cephalid Shrine, that is.

And those same sources have also informed me that Torment’s boxes are also, well, let’s just say”predictable.”

Mad Pr0pz to Bennie Smith for having the balls to admit his desire to consider playing Cabal Shrine. Personally, I’d lean towards Oppression, for I’m all about spreading the love and keeping da’ brothers down. But I only have one”N” in my first name, which means that he gets to win every argument and write for Scrye and chat with Rosewater and win States and have a wife and kids and get to register at hotels with his mistress as”Mr. And Mrs. Smith,” and his name gets to rhyme with”Sith.” Fair.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon: Link to Bennie Smith

1. Kevin Bacon was in”Sleepers,” which was a movie featuring Brad Pitt…

2. Who was in”Fight Club,” which co-starred Meatloaf…

3. Who isn’t really edible, per se…

4. Much like Spam…

5. Which tastes only a little better than Eric Taylor’s hat…

6. Whose middle name is”Bennie Smith.”

Mess with that.

You may now look forward to many, many happy weeks of”Six degrees of this pro player and that,” coming to a net near you.

Upon reflecting for a brief period of time (read: not very long at all), it is possible that the Shrines aren’t as assy as they wanna be. Granted, Cephalid Shrine would be amazing in a Draw-Go Highlander deck and that’s about it, but Dwarven Shrine could – notice I say”could” – be a cheap way to punish all those”4x Broken Rare” guys. Heh,”Broken Rare.” Not anymore, y’all.

From the desk of The Demonic Attorney

Re: Cabal Coffers

“Not exactly Lake of the Dead, is it?!”


“You need at least four swamps for this to be better than a simple Swamp…”


“…and the fact that it can’t tap for one colorless dooms this card to complete uselessness.”

See attached reply.

From the desk of Friggin'”I took a semester of business law – well, okay, a half semester” Rizzo

Re: Word ’em up

Cabal Coffers is freakin’ amazing. No, it’s better than that. You heard it here first, or fifth, or something.

Peep these funny snippets from an article from last week:

“…maybe I should of let other…”

“…something I shouldn’t of wrote.”

“…I should of put my toe…”

I don’t even know where to start – thus, I won’t. I’ll just offer up a”heh” and let you go back to your merry lives. One more thing – oh my God, are the public schools really that crappy? Because if they are, we might as well scoop to China right now and save a whole bunch of time and money.

Everyone’s favorite uncle, Kurt Hahn, either on a lark or as a gesture of true love, sent me a deck and said”word them up.” After notifying him that the correct spelling is”word ‘EM up,” he apologized profusely and re-sent the deck in a new email, which included the proper verbiage. Said deck included Torment cards. FNM is apparently never going to allow Torment cards, so I mangled his creation to reflect that the new cards are never going to be legal. Thusly:

With Love, From Kurt (crappy modifications by The Other Johnny Magic).dec

4x Careful Study

4x Peek

4x Sleight of Hand

4x Nimble Mongoose

4x Standstill

4x Aether Burst

4x Blurred Mongoose

4x Wild Mongrel

4x Werebear

4x Kavu Titan

2x Mana Short

6x Forest

5x Island

4x Yavimaya Coast

3x Cephalid Coliseum

SB: 2x Spellbane Centaur

SB: 4x Compost

SB: 2x Boomerang

SB: 4x Bind

SB: 3x Dodecapod

“The Other Johnny Magic?”

Gimme an”R!”


Gimme an”O!”


Gimme an”F!”


Gimme an”L!”


What’s it spell?

It spells”heh.”

I made a few modifications, a couple of tweaks, spins and random left turns and threw together an even more random sideboard. And we have talent. Props to the one of you that got that James Watt reference. I give you that one because it’s a little too obscure, even for me.

Mess with a turn 2 Mongoose, turn 3 Standstill. Go ahead. Counterspells? Who needs ’em? Titans over Skyfolk? Well, the”I can become a 5/5 if needed, plus I’m a rare” beats”I can’t become a 5/5 and I’m a lowly common” any day of the week. Tru dat?

However, an end of turn Mana Short, followed by Standstill, is ridiculous, and I stake my claim right now against any and all encumbrances. I think that means that I think I invented it.

FrigginRizzo: <— Invented end of turn Mana Short followed by Standstill.

Net deckers to the left o’ me, IDers to the right, here I am… Back in the saddle again.

For those who thought FNM tourney reports would never become a regular feature of mine, I can only offer you condolences. I’m fresh out of issues, so you can grab that tissue and stick it up your b*tt. I censored myself, for Christ’s sake. Goddamn, I am Johnny Friggin’ Responsible Journalist all up in this Asstablishment. Props to bitch-ass skeezers slinging the ‘cane and smoking da’ mad rock everywhere.

Round 1 Andy B – Orbosition

My turn 1 Lil’ Goose, turn two Big Goose are kinda telling him that he’s in for a long haul. He counters with Merfolks of Da’ Pizzearl and Voldalian Merchants and a whole bunch of guys that just die to a Mongrel, which coincidentally, ends up killing his whole team. Aether Burst is dawg as dawg, hell as well. You can’t tap eight of my men – neener neener.

Game two starts with Lil’ Goose, Mongrel and Standstill. Yep, even though he has two Merfolk out, he’s under the gun cause they got me on the run. What’s he gonna do – kill my Mongrel in combat with two 1/1s? I’m not that bad, but it’s close. Needless to say, I kill men, draw three cards, cast another Standstill, kill men, draw three cards, kill men and beat with enormous Bears and Geese and drunken Steeler Fans.

Me to a Drunken Steeler Fan:”Drunken Steeler Fan” is an oxymoron.

Drunken Steeler Fan: Who you (belch) callin’ a moron (pause to vomit) you freakin’ (pause to urinate on eight-year-old kid who had the audacity to wear a Cleveland Browns jersey to Heinz Field) jagoff?

1-0 to the Uncle Kurt

Round 2 Eric Coulombe with R/B Machine Head dot targeted removal dot Void dot dec

Eric in no way, shape, or form enjoys my gaggle of geese. He does, however, drop a kicked Scuta up on me, letting me know that I’m glad I put in Titans instead of Skyfolk. I quickly achieve threshold, drop multiple Bears and backup Geese, Burst or whatever seems most annoying at the time, and swarm over for the win.

Game two is all about two things:

1) His turn 4 Johnny Blaze, finding Dodecapod.

2) Me casting four Aether Bursts.

Cheesy? Sure. Dodecapod? Snicker, chortle, guffaw and random bellyaches for Becky. But nothing for Lauren; for it’s too hard to find an appropriate adjective or verb that fits.

2-0 to the Uncle Kiz

Round 3 Brendan Hill Uncommon.dec

B put together a”getting’ to know ya” type of anti-rare deck that abuses the snot and piss out of Muscle Burst and Farmhands. With Flametongues, Facts andor Fictions, Beast Attacks, and some random love, this dot dec ain’t too dot shabby at dot all.

Lil’ Goose, Big Goose, Standstill is a little tighter than Farmhand, go. As a comparison, consider the tightness of Madonna vs. say, any chick from Little House on the Prairie.

The second game is kinda cute: My two-land hand, with my only blue being a Colisseum, is never able to keep up with Beast Attacks and Skyfolk and Flametongues with Burst from hell backup.

Game three sees me being beaten down to fourteen, with two Bears and a L’il Goose on the table with quite a ways to go before Threshold. With B at twenty, I draw Careful Study and cast it, find Sleight and cast it, find another Study and cast it, find two Aether Burst, drop one to Mongrel and cast the other and swing for – heh – eleven. With no dudes on the board, and facing two 4/4’s and a sexy Dawg, B skewps.

3-0 to the…does Kurt have nephews or nieces? If not, then he’s not really anyone’s uncle, now is he?

Round 4: Nick Camire Enforcer Go

My turn 1 Li’l Goose does not please Nick, nor does the turn three Big Goose. However, he manages to draw lots of cards and counter a few things here and there (mostly my attempts to find as many Geese of many colors as possible), when a crucial Fact or Fiction ends up like this:

Wrath of God and three other cards


Mystic Enforcer

Nick takes the big pile, Wraths, and is none too please to see me drop the Geese Bros. and Standstill.

Yep, that was pretty good. Oh, and he ended the game with six lands in hand. Props to Nick for being a landlubber. Heh; a nautical joke.

Game two was a little different. Nick takes Geese beats until he’s at nine or so, Wraths, and drops Enforcer. See, this time, when the Fact or Fiction split went”four cards or Enforcer,” he took the Enforcer.

I hate when people learn. Well, I guess Pavlov was right. Heh – a scientific joke.

The third game is sex. Lil’ Goose, Big Goose, Big Goose drop in a hurry, aiming to see if I can kill him before he gets to Wrath mana. His first land was a Forest, followed by a Plains and another Forest, so I figured he was hurtin’ for certain and overextended a little.

He find blue, cast Da’ Facts and gets this:



Four other cards

He takes Plains and promptly Wraths. After the game, I leaned that he did indeed topdeck the Wrath – but hey, he put it in his deck for a reason, right? Jesus is the reason for the season. Heh – a Christmas joke.

No matter, since I drop Mongrel and a fat Bear and try to squeeze in another six points, which, oddly, is his life total. He is able to Aether Burst here and Repulse there, but with me havin’ more dudes than Michael Jackson, his only real answer is another Wrath, and it ain’t up in here at all.

4-0 to the… Me vs. Kurt facing off in Da Writers War and we both invented Big Deck formats. Okay, I, um,”modified” his format – but hey, I’m all about taking credit for other peeps hard work and innovation. And I invented peanuts, so don’t listen to those peeps that ramble on about George Washington Carver and whatnot.

“…Karl wants you to know that he… wants John Rizzo…”

Chris Romeo

For letting Chris pass me a love note in study hall, Karl is now officially on my cool list. But, dude, I am married. And straight. Mostly.

<insert a bunch of peeps going”hmm” here>

<insert me going”heh” here>

<insert a bunch of peeps now going”huh?” here>

<insert me going”heh” here again>

Top Four vs. Brendan with his thingy.dec.word to someone’s mom deck

Game one sees B drop a Skyfolk and triple-Muscle Burst it with Farmer’s Daughters in the yard. Still glad I chose Titans over Skyfolk? I guess.

B’s girlie showed up to cheer him on and basically harass and tease me and otherwise tell me I have no chance, so I knew I was sunk. Two against one. Fair. Well, B did try to scoop to me so he could get something to eat or hang wif’ da’ girlie, but she had to be a tricky with her”No, go ahead and play – you can hang out with me anytime.” And she actually meant it, too; there was no,”I’m saying this but it really means this and you should know that it actually means something else because I’m a woman and I’m complicated and I menstruate and have menopause and have to go through childbirth and it’s all you fault, you stupid man!”

Huh? What’s with this total lack of being a possessive jerk?

Needless to say, B sits down and stomps a mudhole in my butt. And my ear. And my, well, whichever orifices that I might have omitted.

4-1 to the tick tock ya’ don’t stop, to the tick tockin’ ya’ don’t quit, hit it

Who puts a Dougie Fresh and Slick Rick reference in his article? A punk-ass wigga from da’ old school, dat’s who.

FrigginRizzo: <—Punk ass wigga from da’ old school.

Kurt’s deck was sexy. Kurt is sexy. Life is good. Kurt’s good life is sexy. Kurt’s sex is good life.

And then I drafted. With ten guys.

Cards of note in my deck:

2x Mesmeric Fiend

Cabal Torturer

2x Faceless Butcher

2x Teroh’s Faithful

Second Thoughts

3x Crippling Fatigue

Kirtar’s Desire

Sideboard cards of note:

4x Unhinge. Heh.

1-2 go home and cry. Did you see the 3x Crippling Fatigue up there? Or the 2x Butcher?

Wow, I suck at life. Let’s see: that’s an 0-3 and a 1-2 with decks that I thought were ass kickin’.

I mean, it only took me three months to get my Limited rating well over 1700, and two drafts to put it back down to where it belongs.

“If your rating isn’t 2000, why do you care?”

Because when you look at your rating, you’d kind of like to see an upward movement. This may denote some progress on your part. If you’ve been playing for three years and notice that your rating is pretty much stagnant, well, then… That’s a wake-the-hell-up-call, ain’t it? It might mean that you suck. No, really. Seriously. Awful. Kill yourself. Slowly. And painfully. Over a period of a year, like Kevin Spacey did to that guy in”Seven.”

Are the new cards ever going to be legal?

Nope. It’s going to be February 28, 2002 forever. But we don’t get to do Geena Davis at the end of this story. But she’s getting kind of old, and that thing with Jeff Goldblum seems a little shifty.

As if Kurt Hahn couldn’t get me any more”chubbified,” I find a foily Contract From Below in my mailbox. If you happen to see me at a random bus station late at night picking up cigarette butts and asking for spare change, and if you ask me very nicely, I might be tempted to show you. I’ll probably show you.

“If you take me and Alex to the JSS in Gardiner on Feb 2nd, you won’t have to write article about FNM and a random cash tourney at Crossroads.”

-Jackal Pop

Heh. These kids today, I’ll tell ya. Speaking of those wacky kids…

The funniest thing that anyone who viddys my columns even semi-regularly read over the weekend:

“The relatively unknown Mike Emmert leads a star-filled field into Day 2.”

Standings after Round 7: GP -Tampa

1 Mike Emmert

15 Mike Turian

24 Jeff Emmert

27 Nick Eisel

54 Eugreen Harvey

Now, I seem to remember hearing something about”osmosis” in Biology (or was that Chemistry?), and I’ve often heard the expression”learning through osmosis” bandied about to and fro now and again here and there non compos mentis. One thing I’d like to know:

Where’s my friggin’ osmosis?

What, I’m immune to osmosis? Can I get even a little for the hell of it?

Or the smell of it?

Ding, dong goes the bell of it?

Three’s Company co-starring Norman Fell of it?

Speedstick antiperspirant in stick and now the new smooth glide-on gel of it?

Jodie Foster in Nell of it?

I shot an apple off my kid’s dome like William Tell of it?

My tech new deck uses 4x Tainted Well of it?

Billy Idol had a bunch of hits but my favorite was Rebel Yell of it?

Apparently, when God was passing out”random Magic skills and/or osmosis abilities” I was around the corner using street slang, obscure references and random semi-humorous antics to try to score some free porn.

Good call, huh?

Since I’m sending this in way early, I have no idea who won GP: Tampa, but I bet it’s that guy; that sumbitch that made day two. You know who I mean. Yep. Him.

How can that prediction be wrong?

Oh; a chyk could win.


Whoa, peep this:

302 Reggie Jackson

351 Anthony Edwards

397 John Savage

Okay, I know Magic is getting more and more popular (okay, I don’t, but I assume) by the day, but a Hall of Famer, the star of E.R., and a hella actor with roles in such blockbusters as The Godfather III, The Deer Hunter, The Thin Red Line and The Onion Field, all attending GP: Tampa? I know Dr. Garfield never envisioned this much love from the rich and famous.

Or did he?

Grand Prixs: always good for a page or two of random musings. Although, Grand Prix: Detroit, if I remember correctly, was good for, oh, let’s see…forty freakin’ pages. I truly feel for The Ferrett when I get back from GP: New Jersey and PT: Boston. Really, I do. But the person I should truly feel for is myself.

In fact, I’m gonna go feel for myself right now.

John Friggin’ Rizzo