All Things Broken and Busted *1st*

Tim Aten’s back, and this time he’s blowin’ s*** up! Not clicking on this article would be the biggest mistake you make this month, and maybe even this year. All your friends are reading this article, so why aren’t you? Don’t be that guy! Click on the link, kick back, and watch as the master of mayhem guides you through his latest Pro Tour: Qualification, plus delivers a heaping helping of the usual randomness, slang bangin’, and music recommendations.

Y’all want an article, f*** that

F*** that, f*** that

Y’all want an article, f*** that

F*** that, f*** that

Y’all want an article, f*** that

F*** that, f*** that

Y’all want an article, f*** that

Boom, boom, boom…

Oh, alright. I’ll write one.

A recent independent survey showed that people couldn’t possibly care less about the quality of introductions. They don’t really give a crap about how good an article is either. You just want trite, boring nonsense that you already suspected was true, because it’s easier to digest. Because of that, I have no qualms about writing right now even though I feel totally uninspired.*

Plus, I’m really bored and the MMD queues are down.

There’s one thing I’d like to make perfectly clear. I never”quit” the writing racket. I don’t want to make a big dramatic production of”ooh, I’m quitting,” and”ooh, I’m making a triumphant return” for several reasons. For one thing, no one cares. People only care about themselves and the people they look up to (their hulls, as it were), and since I’m neither you, nor your role model, it probably doesn’t matter to you whether I keep writing or whether I quit Magic entirely, move to Schenectady, and join a post-modern grunge band with Chris Leather named Dissolve Into Dawn. I’m not the Messiah here. According to Matthew 24:36″No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father, and ye will know his coming by his cool visor and generous use of Tan-In-a-Can.” That clearly ain’t me.

More importantly, you look like a real horse’s ass when you claim to give something up and then you’re back for more the next week. If you feel like doing something, do it. If you don’t, then don’t. It’s that simple. Unless it’s something like smoking, there’s no real need to delineate yourself as a doer or a non-doer.”I’d love to, but I don’t play cards.” Yeah, right, Mike McD!

That’s another thing that the independent survey showed. Any poker references at all are good. To be honest, though, I had a revelation today. Pretty much everything is completely uninteresting if it doesn’t directly concern oneself. No one cares about the MODO crash. No one cares about your AKs getting beaten by 73o. No one cares about which Super Nintendo game is your favorite of all time. No one cares what your top 5 songs of the week are.

Here are mine:

1. Finger Eleven”Obvious Heart”

2. Three Days Grace”Wake Up”

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs”Maps”

4. Hoobastank”The Reason”

5. Mushroomhead”Crazy”

So as you can see, my striking sense of irony is still intact. Neato.

What was I saying? Ah yes. No one cares. Not even your friends. The only reason why people seem to be interested is because they’re hoping something resonates within their own lives. People want their friends to succeed so they can know someone successful and bask in the reflected glory.”I know Pauly Shore! He was in movies!” Or”The singer of Smile Empty Soul looked right at me at the concert!” And so on.

Perhaps it’s just the nature of the species, good or bad, but from what I’ve seen, 99% of actions and words go back to Number One. If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you hope I’m gonna mention your name.

Well, if you aren’t on this list of names, you can just give up the dream now and eschew the rest of the article:

Eddie Anderson

Armando Bulnes

Nate Clarke

Jill Costigan

Aaron Cutler

Luke Duchow

Kurtis Hahn

Benjy Jay

Joe Jones

Mike Krumb

Nick Little

Nick Lynn

Ryan Opalk

Jason Opalka

Brock Parker

Gadiel Szleifer

Geordie Tait

That said, let’s uhhh…

I already used”get down to brass tacks,” I already used”it’s time for the show,” and anything else I came up with was too nerdy or condescending, as though the aforementioned didn’t fit said bill to a great enough degree. I’m going to start the tournament report now, is what I’m trying to say. D infi G, brah.

For whatever reason, I got it in my head that I really wanted to qualify for San Diego. I think it’s about time that I made some good money on the Pro Tour, but I’m not about to go outside the country to make an attempt. San Diego is in the U.S. (little geography lesson for ya), and it’s going to be Booster draft… as in that thing that I do all the time anyway. I obviously had no trouble qualifying for Kobe, since I didn’t really want to go. I may have been able to qualify for Amsterdam as well, which I also didn’t want to go to. I say”may have been,” since I sold the slot to one Beverly”Nick” Lynn and then wrote about how my deck was waaaay better than his. Well, remembering back on it, he had Molder Slug, Plated Slagwurm, and Grab the Reins. Sure, other than those three, my deck was superior, but if he drew any of those, then I would have lost in embarrassing fashion.

Flash forward to the present. I performed miserably at Grand Prix: Oakland, and I went 4-2 in the Losers’ PTQ the next day. I also played a small role in (accidentally of course) preventing Gadiel Szleifer from waking up in time for day 2. I lost some money in money drafts, including one where I only won one of two games that I played turn 3 Troll Ascetic and turn 4 Glissa. And finally, my box containing my concert tickets and cards I was going to give to Kurt Hahn was stolen.** All in all, a successful trip. Well worth my time and money.

The following week, or thereabouts, I played in a PTQ in Detroit. I lost round 3 to one Geordie Tait and round 4 to one Big Foon. In round 4, my adversary Hammered up a Yotian Soldier, then Forge Armored his Arcbound Bruiser onto it. Think about that for a second. That’s right. Meanwhile I had Oxidize and Viridian Shaman in hand, but of course, I had no Forests. Blah blah blah so unlucky blah. The three decks thus far all had their share of hits; between the three I had an Ascetic, two Loxodon Warhammers, an Icy Manipulator, a Wand of the Elements, a Mindslaver, a Glissa, a Fireball, and some other”bombs.” I probably misbuilt them. Aaron”The Reason” Cutler says that no one ever wins with Green in sealed, and he may very well be right. Still, I had bombs and considered myself pretty good, so I was dejected and resigned, spouting”The cards don’t even matter anymore” to anyone who would listen.

The truth of the matter is, all those decks were pieces of crap with random bombs tossed in. I think there were three Krark-Clan Stokers in the collective card pools. The truth of the matter is, I’m not as good as I thought. Granted, I’m still better than, or in a few rare cases, equal to everyone in a PTQ in skill, but I digress. And as you will see after a few more boring prologue paragraphs and a patented lingo interlude, the truth of the matter is, the cards do matter.

Later I was in Boston visiting Jill. There happened to be a PTQ there. I played in it.


I got to play all seven rounds of swiss this time before losing game 3 in the deciding match to a turn 1 Skullclamp. No real story… I just lost to Skullclamp, straight up. You want a story? I’ll tell you about my round 1 loss.

My first round opponent is stalking Jill and is under the mistaken impression that she and I are an item. This makes me his hero. I don’t find out any of this until after the match, but it seemed like telling you it first would help put the mach in perspective. Game one, I keep a one-lander because it’s an artifact land and I have Leonin Bola, Leonin Scimitar, Frogmite. Needless to say, I stall on one land for a solid four turns. I shouldn’t have kept the hand, evidently, but that’s beside the point. The point is, he had a Deconstruct on turn 4 and opted for my Frogmite over my sole land.

Several turns later, he is attacking me with five 1/1 insects and a Leonin Den-Guard with…you guessed it, Sword of Fire and Ice on it. He actually hit me once with the Den-Guard, and impossibly opted not to draw a card. Anyway, I have Bola attached to some guy and Murderous Spoils in hand, but I quickly realize that I had better tap his Den-Guard, because he seemed like the kind of bastard who would have Echoing Courage. I’d waste the Spoils on an insect to fizzle the spell, but I’d still be alive. So then, after I declare no blocks on the insects, he tosses two Courages on the table. The next game, he leads off with turn 1 Auriok Transfixer, turn 2 Leonin Skyhunter. Nice job. I attack my unequipped Den-Guard into his 1/1 and he Echoing Courages.

This would be fine except for the fact that I Kill The 1/1 In Response With The Nim Replica That Was Already On The Board Asjsdlja. He wins that one with Echoing Courage on his insects again. Then he nearly cries when he loses miserably playing Dance Dance Revolution upstairs with his romantic pursuit.

I become forlorn sometimes when I lose at Magic. Morose. Crestfallen even. What I don’t usually get, is mad. And I was mad then. I didn’t go off on my opponent, because no matter how angry you are, that sort of behavior is still ignorant… unless your opponent is a real pile of excrement. Even then it’s still probably not”the play.” The only time I really let an opponent have it is if he starts it. Very Kindergarten, I know.

That week didn’t count as breaking my rule of”no more than three hours for a PTQ” since I was already in Boston. The trip took about thirty minutes from Jill’s apartment. The next week in Chicago… that broke the rule. I went 2-2 this time, playing no one of note. Two weeks in a row I played a combined eleven opponents who couldn’t possibly win, and yet four of them did.

Chicago wasn’t all bad, though… I teamed with my longtime best friend in the entire world, Eddie Anderson, for a 2on2 that we easily won, I got to chill with Krumb and Gadiel who both made the finals, and I got to absorb some uhhh…”interesting” lingo and see a few spectacles that I was not the cause of.

You like that last sentence? I blame it on being rusty. And tired. Plus my opponent was sooooooooo lucky.

Some Midwest Lingo

Shotgun Peels: Without question the worst piece of lingo I’ve ever heard in my life. I would honestly rather listen to poker stories for twenty-four hours straight than hear this uttered even once. I would rather live to be one hundred, than ever have to be subjected to this again. Originated by Noah Minetz and overused by Benjy Jay, some people say”Shotgun peels?” when they need a topdeck. These people should get a Shotgun and then the homicide detective or whoever has the job I’m thinking of should Peel their brains off the wall. My God. In fact, I issue a challenge. If you can come up with worse lingo than this, and actually popularize it, I will give you a draft set. Good luck.

Yauussss: This one’s”mediocre at best” rather than”God-awful,” as long as you don’t do it in the most annoying manner fathomable. You have to give it a hint of intentional obnoxiousness. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is, I take issue with the way Fast Eddie says it. I’m not a big fan of pronouncing it”yawss,” but it sure beats the hell out of”yowse” (rhymes with house). Eddie, we’re gonna beg ya.

GG: This isn’t exclusive to the Midwest, but man does it suck. It’s short for”good game,” and whenever you use it other than to mean”good game,” I hope you catch the plague. For instance, if a fat guy is eating tacos and you’re all like”GG Tacos!” then you should… I’ve run out of ways to express my hatred. Just like there is no word to describe Mike Long after his recent take on entrepreneurship***, there is no way to describe how awful some of this nonsense is. Oh, and side note. Never ever ever use Magic Online slang for anything anymore. Don’t quote the handy quips like”Hello and good luck,” don’t say how many”tix” something is worth, don’t say anything about the F4 button. We all play Magic Online and we all watch the Simpsons, so find other ways to bond with your fellow nerd. Just let it go.

Sack: Short for”luck sack” of course. It’s not new or anything, but don’t say it. It’s abysmal. If you want to be like your favorite pros, just start playing poker with all the other foons. Unless of course, you already do play poker, which I’m bettin’ ya do. Anyone who started playing Magic and then got into poker other than Nate Clarke, Brock Parker, the King, and a few others is a huge barn, end of story. I can’t stress this enough.

Pippen…To Jordan (tajoordan)!: Yeesh, finally something I like. This one is brilliant and evidently alludes to the Upright Citizens’ Brigade. I have got to try this one locally. Benjy Jay would be playing in the PTQ and his friend Ryan Opalk would be watching from the other side. Benjy makes a game-breaking play, stands up (right in mid-round mind you) and shouts”Pippen!” Opalk shouts back”To Jordan!” as they high-five exuberantly. You’d have to see it first-hand to really appreciate it. It was enough for me to forgive”shotgun peels” to some degree.

Two Quick Kingerisms

skull-CLAMP, Vulshok warBOAR, etc: This works for some cards but not others; you’ll have to try them yourself to see if they flow. Basically, you pointlessly accent the last syllable, instead of what’s supposed to be accented. It’s a nod to the Welshly Arms”Lover” skit where Ferrell is in the hot-TUB with Rachel Dratch. No really, watch the Ferrell DVD. You’ll be spewing phrases from it like an idiot after one or two viewings. I started this by saying Vulshok War-BOAR to King, and he quickly adopted it as his own.

Jack: Short for”Jack the Ripper,” it is the name given to any opponent who can topdeck whatever card he wants on a whim. Similar to Ally McPeel or Rippy Longstocking.

And Finally, March 12, 2004…

…the day before the tournament. The story starts here (yup, just starting now…Welcome to Hell), since the King and I actually went down to Indianapolis the night before. Actually. I suppose the highlight of the trip down was King’s take on Hoobastank’s”The Reason.” King has a bit of a history with the song. I was on the Hoobastank website looking for a hoodie, and there was a picture of the group laughing. King says they’re so happy because people like myself are giving them lots and lots of money for stupid things. Then I played a few songs from their most recent album, including”The Reason.” King liked it so much he bought the CD. Who’s laughing now? Anyway, he had recently dubbed Aaron”Cuts” Nutler”The Reason” because”he is the reason that I keep playing this great game of ours. I enjoy his antics.” Here, though, he simply degenerated into replacing every instance of the word”you” with the word”Jew.” Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not a chosen person…

I never meant to do those things to Jews…

and also…

A reason for all that I do…

And the reason is Jews

Trust me, the song has a lot of”you”s in it. And another thing. Don’t get all accusatory of anti-Semitism or whatever the hell. You can use the Gibson movie as a scapegoat for that. King and I are not anti-Semitic. In fact, his girlfriend is Jewish. This harkens back to the GPLA team sealed, where our team name Jewdrop was deemed offensive by the judge, even though the other two members of my team were both, in fact Jewish. Find something better to do with your time… like me. Yesterday I played an OLS draft and then stared into space, wishing death would come and take away this boredom. Productive, no?

The rant that made up that entire last paragraph assumes you found the”The Reason” parody offensive. I sort of hope you did, otherwise I end up looking like an idiot. An ugly idiot.

I don’t think there’s a transition in the world that could rope this back into talk of the PTQ, so I’m just going to jump right in. We stayed at the Super 8, waded through some sort of medieval dress-up party on our way out of the hotel, and went to the convention center. Naturally, a nine-year-olds’ cheerleading competition was being held concurrently with our Magic event. This sort of contrast happens far too often to be coincidental.

The competition looked pretty weak until the Chicago area people started showing up. Nick Little also made an appearance, which really brightened my day. So loud, so obnoxious… both good things, if done tastefully. And he has one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s basically”Haw Haw Haw Haw Haw!”

All told, though, I guess the skill level of the crowd was fairly typical of PTQs. 105 or so players, we register, we get decks back, and Daddy wins the lottery:

Sealed Deck:

Disciple of the Vault

Gold Myr

Leaden Myr

2 Vedalken Engineer

Arcbound Ravager (15 Dolla Bill, Y’all$)

Wizard Replica


Rustspore Ram

Pewter Golem

2 Spire Golem

Goblin Dirigible

Arcbound Fiend


Quicksilver Behemoth

Leonin Bola

Vulshok Gauntlets

Echoing Decay


Skeleton Shard


Essence Drain

Promise of Power

7 Swamp

Vault of Whispers

7 Island

Seat of the Synod

All strong cards, two colors, plenty of synergy… I even had two on-color artifact lands. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better MMD deck. It may have been slightly misbuilt, though. I’ll list all the rest of the cards (even though Black/Blue was clearly the correct color combination), but pay special attention to the artifacts I didn’t play. Cards like the Arcbound Worker and Arcbound Stinger may have belonged in the deck. I switched Stinger out for Fiend at the last minute because of last week’s debacle where all my guys had one power. I chose to play Gauntlets and Dirigible because they are powerful cards that could help me avoid the manaflood I risked by running twenty mana sources.

Other Cards:

Altar’s Light


Auriok Bladewarden

Awe Strike

Echoing Calm

Loxodon Mender

Loxodon Mystic

Pteron Ghost

Razor Barrier

Soul Nova


Inertia Bubble

2 Magnetic Flux


Shared Fate

Contaminated Bond

Dross Prowler


Crazed Goblin


Drooling Ogre

Krark-Clan Shaman

Molten Rain


Fangren Firstborn

Fangren Hunter (put it in your deck...it is awesome)

Reap and Sow

Viridian Acolyte

Wurmskin Forger

Arcane Spyglass

Arcbound Stinger

Arcbound Worker

Clockwork Beetle

Clockwork Condor

Darksteel Ingot

Dead-Iron Sledge

Dragon’s Claw

Goblin War Wagon

Myr Landshaper


Neurok Hoversail

Omega Myr

Pearl Shard

Power Conduit

Slagwurm Armor

Soldier Replica

Tooth of Chiss-Goria

Wirefly Hive

Round One vs. Black/Blue/red (Armando Bulnes)

Game One: I double mulligan on the play, while Mr. Bulnes rolls his eyes in sympathy. I don’t know how it’s possible to do that, but he pulled it off. He didn’t need to worry, though, as my five were two lands, Myr, Skeleton Shard, Juggernaut. He had Dismantle for the Juggernaut, and it took some time to get it back online. Most of his offense consisted of Clockwork Condor, Myr, and a Clockwork Vorrac. He made an ill-advised attack with the Condor one turn that allowed me to deal some extra damage. He played Longbow sometime this game, but I Rammed it before it got out of hand. The Vorrac was menacing, but one turn when he attacked with it he was forced to trade it straight up for Dirigible. He played Barter in Blood, but thanks to Skeleton Shard, it did little other than forestall the inevitable.

Game Two: He drops an early Longbow that stifles my mana development a little bit. Later in the game, he passes on the option of killing my Vedalken Engineer before it gets active, and I am able to play Triskelion. A few turns later, I draw Disciple of the Vault to go with Ravager to insta-kill him on the turn before he was going to Fireball me out. I remember that in one of the games, probably game 2, Bola was a key player; I think it belongs in every sealed deck that opens it.


Round Two vs. White/blue/red

This match isn’t particularly interesting, since he’s a little land flooded and isn’t… um… an especially threatening sort of player. Heh. There are also several turns where he has Equipment and either no guys to equip, or guys that were still irrelevant after being equipped. I’m really getting disillusioned with Equipment in general. You really want to use it sparingly. Avoid the white Equip-guys if you can, and only play the best flair you get, hopefully only two or three pieces. I wouldn’t want to run Scimitar in sealed anymore, for instance. I hope not to get Vulshok Morningstar either, because I know I have to play it, even though it’s not thrilling. Utility equipment, like Longbow and Bola, are always welcome. Thanks go, in part, to The Reason for that insight.

This match, I mulligan either one game or both, but it simply does not matter. I mulliganed approximately eight times, I stalled on one land and discarded, and I still failed to lose a game. I’m not bragging about my alleged skill, I’m just trying to illustrate how silly the deck was.


Round Three vs. White/Black/Red (Eddie Anderson)

He’s afraid of my deck, and I’m afraid of his, since he has Fireball, Solar Tide, and Murderous Spoils. He offers the draw and I accept. It was cowardly, I know. In retrospect, it didn’t really help either of us; it was basically the same as us both losing. Eddie lost the next round, won the rest of his matches, then missed top 8 on tiebreakers. Drawing out of mutual respect before the last round of swiss is for the birds.


Round Four vs. White/Blue (small child)

I ask him how old he is, and he tells me he’s fourteen. I mention that because he is in fact twelve-years-old, and at the 2-0-1 table, so his deck must be something else. He and his friend one table over both have a laugh at my apparent presupposition that the child was unskilled, as though he’s some sort of master or something.”Hehe this guy doesn’t think you’re any good,” and so on.

Game One: He drops a turn 3 Slith Ascendant that grows to monstrous proportions before I can Irradiate it. At one point in the game, the ground is locked up, and he has the 5/5 Slith Ascendant and a Spire Golem in the air, whereas I have no fliers. He’s at twenty. I’m at three. He excitedly attacks with just his Slith Ascendant. I can finally Irradiate it. I play Triskelion and Equip Vulshok Gauntlets to my Rustspore Ram. Next turn, he attacks with Spire Golem and Arcbound Hybrid. I block Hybrid with Ram and drop to 1 from the flier.

Pop Quiz #1: What life would I have been at if the child had been playing correctly?

I’m going to admit here that I made a mistake, though. I shouldn’t have equipped the Ram. I had Skeleton Shard in play and was going to ting the Golem for two and Trisk for one, get it back with Shard, and replay it, finishing the Golem off. The child put the Arcbound counters on the Spire Golem, making it 4/6 and ruining my plan because I’m a moron. I figured that I had to attack with Triskelion and hope he blocked it so that I wouldn’t have to waste a counter on killing itself. Fortunately, he blocks (with Myr Enforcer no less), so I am able to deal six to the Spire Golem and stabilize. I point out that he could have won if he hadn’t neglected to attack with the Spire Golem one turn and mock his earlier conversation with his friend a little bit.

Pop Quiz #2: When did I become such a scumbag?

I wouldn’t have been so derisive if not for their little chat at the start of the match. If You’re Old Enough To Be Smug You’re Old Enough To Take Beats. You Want Sympathy, You Go Home To Mommy.

Game Two: I get an early Ravager, and basically I win with superior cards, including my good friend Mister Triskelion. The kid’s deck was very good, even including a Pentavus he flashed me after the match… but my deck… wow…


Round Five vs. Red/Green (Mike Krumb)

Mike is dejected coming into the match since he knows how good my deck is. His deck is slow and he is land-flooded both games. I mulligan each game, but thanks to the flood, it doesn’t really matter. I think there is some truth to the following statement, albeit not much, despite the fact that it sounds like total hokum: Krumb’s deck sensed his bad attitude and chose not to cooperate. He admitted to me the previous week that he never beats people he knows in PTQs and the like, he knows that I’m relatively good, and he knew that my deck was… uhhh… yeah. Plus, he really wanted to Q for San Diego and was probably lamenting selling the slot to Gadiel. These factors can really hurt morale, which seems to be able to affect not only one’s skill, but one’s very luck.


Round Six vs. White/Red/Black

Game One: I keep a one-lander on the draw, since I have both Myr. I stall on one land and have to discard for a turn before hitting a land pocket. He drops a turn 6 Pristine Angel. I have Irradiate to kill it, if I ever get a window. Fortunately, the turn after he played it, he attacks and main-phases a Raise the Alarm post-combat to untap the Angel. If he had saved the Raise for the next attack step during which I Irradiated, I certainly would have lost. My opponent is playing aggressively the whole game, which is appropriate, considering our respective draws. Nonetheless, barring a burn spell of some sort, all that’s standing between myself and board stability is a noble Pteron Ghost. I’m at four and my opponent is at nineteen. He sacrifices a few guys to get me down to two. I realize that I tapped poorly the previous turn: I tapped Gold Myr for mana rather than Leaden Myr, meaning Leaden Myr had to block, meaning I only had two Black mana available, meaning I couldn’t Promise for a 2/2 flier. I sigh and drop to one on the ensuing attack. My board is 4/4 Ravager, Gauntlets attached to nothing, and 3/3 Arcbound Fiend. His is tapped Ghost, untapped Soldier token, and he has one card in his hand. I need to draw a flier or a removal spell to stabilize. Instead, I draw Winthegamethisturn. I play it, shoot his Soldier token, attack with Ravager, sacking both Gauntlets and Fiend to put my opponent down to ten. I then sack Ravager to itself to make Winthegamethisturn a 12/12, and I shoot my opponent for eleven for the win, she-bang, she-boom-boom, thongsong.****

Game Two: We both stall on three lands and a Skeleton Shard, with my Wizard Replica staring down his Bottle Gnomes. The game was rather challenging for both combatants and rather complex… for several turns, each player controlled about six creatures, many of which could be recursed on a whim. Then my opponent Solar Tides to eliminate my freshly cast 6/6 demon. It had to be done, but it didn’t really help any, since I was able to save my Pewter Golem and begin bringing back my artifact guys before he can. After the match he asks where he’d heard my name before, and I tell him about the writing and the Regionals win eight hundred years ago, and the almost-comically-out-of-place mention in BDM’s”noticeably absent” article in the Kobe coverage. He was one of several gamers over my weeks of tribulation across the country who told me they recognized me, most of which

seemed to want me to write again. Who woulda thought? I sure hope this article is up to par, even if I get the sense that it’s not. I don’t want to let these people down. Also, I hope that my increasing hostility isn’t too much of a turn-off. I can actually be quite civil.





Hahahahahahahahahcough! Cough Cough Cough Wheeze *gasp*


Round Seven – Intentional Draw


The top eight is unimpressive, in that I’d only heard of three other people in it. I usually assume that if I’ve never heard of you, you’re not very good, and this assumption holds a solid 99% of the time. Sorry if that sounds arrogant. I’m not here to mince words. I’m here to make gold records.

So, of the three others I’d heard of, only two were any good: Nick Little and Luke Duchow. Both of them were on the other side of the bracket, and both of them were willing to sell the slot, should their finals opponent wish to buy. Scrumtrulescent. That said, let’s get on with the draft…

The pack I open has Terror, Pyrite Spellbomb, and Glissa. I have no qualms whatsoever about passing the Elf Legend. Every time I play it, it simply dies, and I don’t really want to be Green. I grab Terror and hope I’m not making a huge mistake. The next pack has another Pyrite Spellbomb and a Somber Hoverguard. Since I took the Terror, I figured I’d take the Somber and go for affinity, even though I’m not a huge fan of it. Yes, I know, it’s the best deck to draft blah blah.

Then came pack three. The notable cards were Leonin Skyhunter, Arrest, and Leaden Myr. I saw the White cards as a strong signal that the color was open. I didn’t even think passing the Arrest would gum up my second pack, since I hadn’t really passed any other White cards. I took the 2/2 flier and didn’t look back. The rest of my pack included picking up a Longbow, a Gold Myr, and a Transfixer, among others.

I open my second Mirrodin booster and see Blinding Beam as the best card in White. There are no notable Black or Blue cards, but there is a Spikeshot. In the end, I deem Spikeshot to be so much better than Beam that I was willing to fight for Red in order to play it. Then I get passed a Spikeshot. Then another. Sweet lord.

As you’ll see in the draft decklist, the Darksteel pack wasn’t too kind. I took Echoing Ruin first over Emissary of Hope, since Goblin Replica was my only artifact removal. I then mised a third-pick Stir the Pride. After that, the playables pretty much dried up. I think literally every pack had an Echoing Calm.

Draft Deck:

Auriok Transfixer

Gold Myr

Leonin Skyhunter

Leonin Den-Guard

Raise the Alarm

3 Spikeshot Goblin

Goblin Replica

Arcbound Hybrid

Loxodon Mystic

Clockwork Vorrac

Rustmouth Ogre

Arcbound Fiend

Leonin Bola

Viridian Longbow

Echoing Ruin

Banshee’s Blade

Fractured Loyalty

Vulshok Morningstar

Razor Barrier

Pearl Shard

Stir the Pride

9 Plains

8 Mountain

Not as focused a deck as I would have liked, and there were some decidedly mediocre cards in it, but I did have triple Spikeshot, and I was playing my favorite color combination. Viridian Longbow is ridiculous and should be taken very highly. The Europeans are so smart. Cutler and a few others turned me onto the idea of maindeck Razor Barrier in White, and I really like it. Try to find room for it; I like it better than a lot of Equipment cards even if it isn’t”better” per se. I ended up siding out the Banshee’s Blade both matches, once for Razor Barrier number two and once for Spawning Pit. Also, I should have taken Auriok Siege Sled over Arcbound Fiend. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to play whatever I took, but that was in vain.

Quarterfinals vs. Red/Blue/Black

Game One: My draw is slow and features *gasp* no Spikeshots. His draw involves a turn 4 Hoverguard Observer. Fortunately it involves a lot of land as well, and I am barely able to race his sole threat with my pathetic assortment of buffoons.

Game Two: I have the board stabilized with my Loxodon Mystic and Leonin Bola, but he rips Murderous Spoils and Mirror Golem on consecutive turns. He then equips his Golem with Bonesplitter and Fireshrieker, and he has a Tooth at the ready. Since I had used up my Echoing Ruin already, I have no answer to the Golem and lose to it.

Game Three: I get Spikeshot finally, but he kills it. After many scuffles, he plays Murderous Spoils to kill my Mystic, and I gang up on his Quicksilver Behemoth with Myr and Den-Guard backed by Stir the Pride. The dust clears, leaving us both empty-handed and my Longbowed Gold Myr as the sole survivor. I comment to the onlookers that we’re now in full topdeck mode, a place that I don’t really want to be. I rip Arcbound Hybrid and say”Okay, I lied.” My opponent draws land for a few turns in a row while I draw Raise the Alarm. These creatures are sufficient for the win.

Semifinals vs. Red/Black

Game One: I get an early Longbow and kill his Leaden Myr. Sword of Kaldra looks to be a problem, but I draw Echoing Ruin for it. He stalled on three land for a little while, and other than that, I don’t remember much about this game since I was hella tired. I win without a problem, though.

Game Two: This one doesn’t have an auspicious start. I play a Spikeshot turn 3 that he doesn’t kill, but he doesn’t have any one-toughness men, and I can never afford to leave a mountain untapped. I stabilize with other creatures and Bola at a around ten life or so. There was a creature stall, but my board featured Spikeshot, Mystic, Bola, and later, another Spikeshot. He didn’t seem to have any way to kill creatures. My Spikeshots and Rustmouth Ogre go to work on his team, and I eventually attack for the win. I was in control the whole game after about turn 5.

Mister duke12 emerged victorious in the other half of the bracket, and negotiations were soon underway:


Me:”Should I lowball you or do you want me to just tell you the highest amount I’m willing to pay so we can get this over with?”

Him:”Eh, I don’t care, I’ll probably take pretty much anything.”

What I should have said:”150?”

What I did say:”Okay, um… I’ll give you two hundred… and ten dollars… and a draft set.”

Oh well. I assumed he wouldn’t have minded going to the Pro Tour himself, so I would have felt bad lowballing him even if my deck had three Spikeshots. They were pretty shy in the other top 8 matches, and they were a rather integral part of my deck’s remote resemblance to anything good. Even so, and even though I expect a good return on my investment come PTSD, I still consider Duchow the winner of the PTQ, if you consider only prizes. To boot, I only get half my box, since I agreed to a box split with King before the PTQ.

Well I guess that about wraps it up. I guess you’ve thought of everything. But both you and I know There Is No Film In This Camera.

How badly did I mess up that quote? I was watching the movie the other day to refresh my memory as to the oft-quoted lines, but I didn’t make it to that point.

I’m not gonna do a props/slops this time, since I think you pretty much know where I stand on people. I would like to thank my best friend and biggest fan, the cupofjoe, for believing in me even during my darkest hours. Dude, I’m not the best Limited player in the world, as you claim to think, but I do appreciate the sentiment.

And mad props to the little kid in the TrustCompany hoodie. Obv.

I leave you with a song:

cuzthere’s a hungerrrrrrrr

a longing toooo escaaaaaaaaape

from the life i live

when i’m a-waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake

so let’s go there…

let’s make our escape, c’mon

let’s go there…

Let’s Ask Can We Staaaaaaaaay

Can U Take Me Higher *Points Up*

To A Place Where Blind Men Seeee

Can U Take Me Higher *Points Up*

To A Place With Golden Streeetsnldnasldnsladgoulet

Tim Aten


“Funny Looking” according to Krumb, that bag

10 24 and an embarrassingly high amount of other nicks on Modo

The Scum of the Earth in spirit if no longer in name

[email protected]

Please don’t hate me. Unless I hate you.

*I actually feel a little inspired now, but this part of the article was written about a week ago. I don’t want to scrap the introduction, even if it’s not entirely applicable right now since I’m very lazy.

**If anyone tries to sell you the limited edition 10/24 Mystic Enforcer, arrest him on the spot.

***[I’m sure they can find it on their own. – Knut] It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

****If you know the reference, I love you.