Bad Beats

Reality has a funny way of slapping your face when you least expect it. Today, JFR shares some of the more recent developments in the rollercoaster of life. He also presents some interesting decks, spanning Legacy to Standard to Limited and beyond… The usual cast are here, as are the jokes and the jibes and the angry rants. Mr Rizzo is an acquired taste… and if you’ve not acqured it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

There are beats that are bad, and then there are bad beats. I am intimately familiar with both types, thus, my torment never ends, all of which I deserve btw.

On Thursday, June Eighth, I found myself in a mud and rain and frog-filled 70 foot long by 10 feet wide truck-scale pit of despair, with a shovel. The job was to, well, clean out the pit. By myself, thanks.

Now I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the drudgery that is shoveling one-to-two foot-thick and very wet and/or heavily compacted mud, especially when you can’t even stand up due to the ceiling being only about three-and-a-half feet high, but lemme sum it up: sux. Hard.

When I was down to about sixty-eight feet to go, I pulled a muscle in my back. Now I’m not sure if you’re familiar with how that feels, but lemme tell ya’: also sux. Harder.

Because I am a man’s man, I manned up and got the job done, and it only took about six hours. Did I mention that it was raining too? But I survived, because I’m a tough guy.

I got home and found email from Josh Strickland, one of the buyers at our own StarCityGames. It turns out that the large pile of buylist love that Berto and I had grown weary of was exactly what the heck StarCityGames needed (omg we can’t live without your two copies of Phage!) so send it all in, dawgs!

Okay, I’m weary and bruised and beaten and battered, but at least there is free money in the world. Please don’t mention that the bucks we’ll get from the cards probably cost us three times that, just let me have this little victory, thank you.

There is goodness in this world, Mr. Frodo.

On Friday, I drove to the main office, three hours away in New Hampshire, to exchange some parts. One boss knew I was coming, the big boss didn’t. Upon arrival, the parts get exchanged, and for an hour or so the bosses and I shoot the breeze and set up upcoming service runs and general office shenanigans and all that male bonding stuff, and then, right before I head off:

Me: Anything else before I go?
Boss: There’s no easy way to do this…we’re gonna make today your last day.
Me: Gee, that seemed pretty easy. Out of the f***ing blue much?
Boss: Clean out the truck, I’ll need your credit cards, keys, and cell phone.
Me: Hello?
Boss: Here’s two weeks severance.
Me: McFly?
Boss: We were going to wait until Monday, but since you’re here…
Me: That’s called “serendipity.” Happy to help.

We’re way past shrugs now.

Boss: We expected you to make us billions and go infinite in less than a year and a half out of pretty much absolutely nothing and we’ll pretty much ignore the business that you did bring in because we just determined that it’s not enough and we don’t really care about Maine and changed our mind and even though we invested about fifty grand in you now we’d really rather expand in Southern Massachusetts now and hey sh** happens I’m going to lunch bye.

:set phasers to stun:

So I clean out the truck, turn over the cards, keys, and phone like I’m a detective slamming down my gun and badge on the chief’s desk, load up my stuff in a coworker’s truck and we hit the road.

It was a very long drive.
And quiet.
I scratched my head a little.
Still too stunned to be pissed.
But not too stunned to consider the implications.

We pull into my driveway, and Berto comes running out, excited about something that happened at school. So excited that he called my cell phone and left a message — the same phone that was turned in with my badge and gun, and a message that I’m sure the boss will get a kick out of.

Berto: Did you get a new truck?
Me: Not exactly.
Berto: Is yours at the shop being fixed?
Me: Something like that.
Coworker: Go into your house, grab the fax machine and Oki printer and get that conduit and grounding and whatever else that’s ours from your garage. Right now. In front of your wife and kids.

My wife finds it odd that I walk down the steps carrying many pieces of office equipment. The wifey, much like all wifeys in the history of wifery, senses something is amiss:

Wife: At the risk of sounding patently absurd… did you get fired?
Me: Yep.

I toss the sh** into coworkers truck, hoping that I broke at least all of it, bid a fond go f*** yourself farewell, and thank him for not making arrangements to simply pick this sh** up at a later date, you know, when my wife and kids aren’t watching.

I go back into the house.

The wife is crying. The kids are crying. I feel pretty cool at life.

I didn’t really comprehend how hugely, savagely, freakingly sh**ty the boss just did me, until Heather laid it out. You know, sometimes it takes a woman to help a man see that, wow, that really was kinda sh**ty.

I thought taking 20 damage from Hellhole Rats was a bad beat.

Not quite as bad as “get the f*** out, beeyotch, thanks for the memories.”

It’s always good to fire someone on a Friday, that way they can go right out the next day and look for another job. Oh wait.

“Guess I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.”
Lloyd Bridges, Airplane!

F***in’ right I did.

Mind altering drugs4L!

The thing is: it’s easy to not smoke when you’re doing something else (or didn’t just get fired). The problem is: I’m not always doing something else or not just getting fired.

I know it’s all about strength and all that other Stuart Smalley crap, but come on, I’m not good enough (for my former employer) and I don’t like myself that much. If you happen to see me lighting up a borrowed, stolen or picked-up-off-the-ground smoke at a tourney, confront me, take me to task and call me a wuss — I promise I won’t kick you in the ‘nads and tell you to jump off the jock or bring up the “I got fired” speech. Probably.

Whatever, y’all got real problems, such as not being brilliant deck designes nor rogues extraordinaire.

I am Bruce.
I must punish myself.
In Magic.
In life.
Don’t smoke.
Get healthy lungs and heart.
But gain forty pounds and have a bad heart anyway.
Or just get fired.
And look, like, fat as sh**.
But save money!
To invest in my own hospital room in the obesity ward.
My fight is your fight.
And this is Premium.

I blame Limited.
For it is teh suck.

The answer, my friends, like the answer to every question ever, is blowin’ your ex-boss’s head off in the wind, or at the very least, winning some packs at Crossroads.

Berto played Boros Deck Owns You, while I, not much myself since the McFly incident, brought along Friggorid, since it’s the only other deck I had built beside Affinity. I confess the name is growing on me… like something a gynecologist would take a tissue sample of and ship off to the lab post haste. It was even called Friggorid in Inquest, which I picked up because it’s seriously only $1.99, buy it. I did, and got to see all those radical Coldsnap preview cards before you did even though they’re probably on mtgsalvation but whatever. Two bucks for a mag about anything is absurd. Two bucks for a mag that has Magic within its covers? Tubular!

Bad beats, they usually come in threes. Or fours, fives or sixes…

In the first round, I was paired against Josh Boucher, who is probably the most cerebral of all human beings the world has ever seen Crossroads players, ever. The first time I played him, he cast Brainstorm on turn 1. About two minutes later, he put two cards on top of his library. Oh, and he’s, like, good at Magic too. Thinks about stuff and is good? That’ll be about enough of that.

In the first game, he goes Swamp, Ritual, Hyppie. This would give most decks pause. I calmly draw my card, drop Underground Sea, and prove how excellent I am at Magic:

It’s obvious he has Hymn to Tourach, since who takes more than one second to consider if they should go “Swamp, Ritual, Hyppie” unless they also have Hymn, so I call it and nab two and see only a pair of lands to torment me. From there, Ichy and Ghoul do what they do: win.

Josh is famous for always having the turn 1 Tormod’s Crypt when I play Survival, the Enlightened Tutor to go get Sword of Fire and Ice and then Parallax Wave when I play Blue creatures, not to mention the Pyroblast when I try to steal his goblins, and the Force of Will when I try to cast anything that matters. So I expect sideboard love to show up in spades.

I side in two Chalice of the Void (thanks Steve!) ‘cause I expect Crypts-a-plenty, and Energy Flux ‘cause I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.

He opens his game 2 hand and Looks At It For Like Three DaysTM. I figured either it contained multiple copies of Jackie, or, the only other possible alternative…

Me: You have Ritual, Duress, Hymn, oh, and probably Crypt too.
Josh: Swamp, Ritual, Duress.

I have Cephalid Coliseum, Careful Study times two, Chalice of the Void, Ichorid, Troll and some other random card.

He takes the Void, further cementing my belief that after he Hymns me, he’ll drop Crypt.

Me: Hymn me and like it.
Josh: Hymn to Tourach?

He gets a Study and Ichorid. That was close.

We’re both unperturbed: me that he had exactly what I said, him that he didn’t get the one land. Still, Friggorid doesn’t need much more than one land, and I recover like a champ.

Josh plays turn 3 Withered Wretch.

I fought like a son-of-a-bitch and got him to one, with three zombie tokens and Putrid Imp on the board. All the Ichies are gone, Wonder too, and I have one card left in my library.

Josh needs Hyppie. Right the freak now. No, there is no need to ask.

Perhaps bad beats abound, perhaps not. I’m sure I deserve them anyway.

Game 3 I cast turn 2 Therapy for Withered Wretch, and see a bunch of stuff that isn’t him. I take Bob, figuring I don’t want to make it easier for him to get that bastard 2/2. He draws his card and remains as stoic as a human being can be.

Me: Gee, wonder what you drew just drew. (I wonder if wonder was underlined in Blue.)

He casts Withered Wretch.

That’s okay, thinks I, for I can play tight for two turns and cast Massacre on his ass.

Not so, thinks Josh, who Hymns me next turn. He sided out some Hymns, and Hymned me anyway. P.S. why the hell would you leave in (probably only a single) Hymn against Friggorid — the answer is: because you’re Josh. So I’m left with very little chance because he’s good at Magic, thinks about stuff, and is the luckiest top-decking savage ch33tr ever in the world. Least he knows it.

Alas, I win the next three rounds and come in fourth, which equals no packs and I still have no freakin’ job. But I did get to beat Berto in round 4, by using Life from the Loam to recur Wasteland (thanks Steve! – Crop Rotation/Strip Mine kinda sorta!) until Berto had no lands, nor hope. It’s not nice to do that to a child. Any child.

Alas, 3-1 with Friggorid, which puts the running tally at 20-4 or so in the six events it has entered, with only four of those entries being piloted by me because I know how unfair it is to beat up on children. Sottosanti doesn’t know, but because he was one of the designers on Planar Chaos, I forgive him. The previous sentence was information garnered from Inquest, which is only $1.99.

Still, win or lose, there’s something so liberating about doing a hundred different things, all of which involve doing absolutely nothing.

For a fun time, call that number on the bathroom stall, or play something like this:

Feel free to debate the Chrome Mox or no question; I no longer do: gimme plenty of opening hands that I don’t have to mulligan, and I’ll call it good. Ditto for Careful Study versus Tolarian Winds, but stop already.

Sideboard to taste, although Ray of Revelation seems kinda good, still, and ain’t a damn thing wrong with Chalice of the Void and your own damned Tormod’s Crypts (for the mirror lol!). Darkblast seems, gee, real freakin’ good against Goblin Sharpshooter, and if you can think of something good for Withered Wretch, add that too.

The draft, which is Limited, which is teh suck, was switched to Sealed because of Champs States Champs Sealed on the 24th, and again I get sucked in. Here’s hoping to open something I can sell, blah same old story.

You have no job, how can you drop all this money? Last week I asked Brendan if he was interested in about way too many cards that have clogged my living arrangements, and oddly enough, he said he’d give $5.00 credit per thousand.

I brought in 50,000.

That’s a very heavy box, or four of them. Thus, Berto and I have an awful lot of Casuals and Drafts on the arm. It’s much easier to be suckered into something when it feels “free,” especially when you have $250 of Monopoly money that probably only cost $3000. Plus, it’s time to start figuring out this “Limited” thing.

Berto and I get our starters and packs and before we crack them, I ask if he wants to trade packs. He says he’ll swap Guildpacks so he can get the dual I would have opened.

He opens something crappy.
I get Steam Vents.
Shrug, I am pack technology.

I put together what I thought was a fairly strong deck, though Berto’s included:

Loxodon Hierarch
Selesnya Evangel
Seeds of Strength
Congregation at Dawn
Last Gasp
Dimir House Guard
Bridge Mix and Circus Peanuts of the G/W/B variety

But I got the Steam Vents so heh.

Turn 5 in round 1 against Brendan, I drop Helldozer, planning to just kill his bouncie land and him to death once I untap. B gulps and draws his card. His eyes turn electric, but only for a split second. But I’m good enough to tell:

Me: You just drew Brainspoil.
Brendan: Sorry, Riz.
Me: If you’re really and truly sorry, transmute it.

Alas, I win the next two rounds and come in fourth, which equals no packs and I still have no freakin’ job. But I did get to beat Berto in round three, which just goes to show you: no matter how bad it gets, you can always count on family to cheer you up, to show you that things are looking better, and to get smashed in the freakin’ teeth by your Skarrgan Skybreaker, Streetbreaker Wurm, and Siege Wurm with Fencer’s Magemark.

Move along, Sonny.

In order to give you more bang for your buck, in between breaking formats, I have decided to do requests. The first such request comes directly from the forums:

Forsythe: I wanna see you make fun of the auto-card dealio that’s just a little sensitive.

Take this to read:

Forsythe: Jump! Bitch!
Rizzo: How high?
Forsythe: What!?
Rizzo: How high, sir?

My pAlms are already sweaty, but at least I don’t have to be there when Forsythe exPlains this stuff to Rosewater. While there is always dAnger in taking requests, I know I can accept this Draconian task and walk into the light from the cold and lonely Dark Triumphant!

Speaking of Forsythe, did you know he’s allergic to citrus? No wait, nEvermind, I need to have my Memory Jarred: he used to avoid all vitamin c products but now he only aVoids lime. Did you know that Aaron comes from a family of HisPanic Opticians, just like his heroes, Mark Justice and Charlton Heston?

His favorite food is CHex mix and if he could be any cleaning product, he’d be streak-free WIndex in a heartbeat. Did you know when Aaron was a reckless punk teen, he was Arrested and actually strapped into foot and ankle Bindings? TRust me, as someone who’s spent years in stir, I bet he stopped pretending to be tough and Brawny and quickly learned the prison Routine.

Still, he’s a little bRazen, particularly regarding both his maniacal love of football and intense hatred of rock band U2. If you ask him why, he’ll give you the speech: “yeah, he can sing, but I’d like to see BoNo quarterback!” As Moon-Unit Zappa might say, “like, oh m’god, that Aaron, he’s such a DIchorid!”

Request line: closed.

[Gotta say, I had to add all of them manually… not one triggered the auto-card function. – Craig, fingers sore from typing.]

Funnest. Deck. Ever. line: open.

Hey, guess what: I we still don’t know all the Guildpact cards, and here comes Coldsnap. Just about the time I we get to mostly know Guildpact, and are vaguely familiar with Coldsnap, here comes Time Spiral. Perhaps that’s too much.

Or perhaps it’s freakin’ awesome, you poverty stricken sunsabitches!

frigginrizzo: ←poverty stricken sunsabitch.

Fourteen hundred billion sets released within, like, half-an-hour is, like, good. Seven thousand cards thrown right at us to see what sticks is, like, good. Five hundred and eleven thousand viable color combinations and decktypes is like, good.

But oh, if you wanted to, like, acquire all of the above cards, you’re, like, screwed, unless you, um, ever did Paris Hilton and taped it.

It might be overwhelming when so many products, all of which are fairly essential, regardless of whether you’re of the tourney maven or kitchen table nerd variety, flood the market and force you to decide: do I pay the rent this month, or buy a box of Coldsnap? Do I purchase food for my children, my much needed Viagra, or go nuts with fat packs until the cows come home!?

Okay, it is overwhelming. But what are you gonna do? Well, if you’re like me, you probably won’t buy five boxes of each release; maybe you’ll settle for one, planning to trade the rares you’re certain you’ll never use (like all the sh**ty White ones) for actual good cards (Black) and take the time-honored lil’-at-a-time pathway to deckbuilding, rent-a-center style.

Nevertheless, prepare for a rash of “omg Wizards killed Kenny Magic” articles, some of which will be absolutely true. Except for that part about Wizards killing Magic.

Blame mista orange, for not only did he kill Magic, but he is truly insanity at its finest. Except for his odd hankerin’ to be oh so rogue when enjoying the relative tough-guy anonymity of featured writer, but put him in a room with gasp! Real People, and he reverts to his true net deckin’ self.

misterorange: ←defies his inner rogue.
frigginrizzo: ←hasn’t masturbated in three days.

He wrote an article about trying to use, bruise and abuse Cloudstone Curio, and after reading said words destined to make me open Apprentice, I did just that and added Curio to Nearly Mono Black In Standard.


It was neat, but not neat enough. While NMBIS had its share of comes-into-play dudes, if Ravenous Rats was included, it just wasn’t fun enough. Thus I harkened back to Zero Confidence, the deck I was (kinda, sorta, maybe, in retrospect I guess not) this close to playing at Regionals. For reference sake only, here it is:

4 Azorius Guildmage
3 Azorius Herald
4 Dark Confidant
3 Hypnotic Specter
2 Nekrataal
3 Ninja of the Deep Hours
2 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
4 Ravenous Rats
4 Shrieking Grotesque
4 Mortify
4 Umezawa’s Jitte
23 lands

If ever a deck wanted to abuse the ever-lovin’ piss out of “comes into play” abilities, this isn’t it, although it’s on the right track. A few days after I wrote about the above deck, I added Mark of Eviction and Peel From Reality to really jump-start some bones. I liked it, but not enough to take it to Fitchburg and throw it against the wall for nine rounds.

The latest versions of NMBIS featured Loxodon Hierarch and Hunted Wumpus as Boros technology proper, and in many ways, they had been superb. Still, I wanted… more; something downright wacky, nutty, zany and perhaps even a little batty, but not as batty as repeatedly bouncing Wumpus. Tip: don’t do that.

So I set my mind to buildin’, and immediately realized: you can’t use Curio without the peanut butter — Coiling Oracle. Hey, he’s almost nearly kinda sorta exactly like Dark Confidant without the loss of life, with a free Wood Elves thrown in. Adding blue to a B/G/w deck tends to move a body into all sorts of directions, most of them probably what Wizards was thinking when they brought back the gold.

Thus, I offer the baseline version of the Funnest. Deck. Ever. Except for Friggorid.

Don’t say anything. Just look. And look some more. Oh dear!

It’s so fun you won’t believe it, and damn if it’s not actually half bad.

I wanna tell you a secret:

Turn 2 Halcyon Glaze, turn 3 assault your freakin’ grill.

Don’t tell anyone, k?

I checked a little of the Pro Tour Charleston coverage, and haven’t really seen much of The Glaze, so perhaps I can claim Complete Invention Of Halcyon Glaze…?

True, there are a number of decks that can remove his ass, though it’s not as easy as you think. He’s immune to Wrath of God, doesn’t really care about Wildfire, can’t catch a Demonfire, blah, blah, we get it: he’s a 4/4 flyer for three that can’t block (although Plaxmanta, dawgs!). That’s fun.

Another secret:

Turn 2 Azorius Herald, turn 3 Jitte, equip and kill you.


Okay, we understand that gaining four life for three mana is decent, and sure, an unblockable guy attacking on turn 3 complete with Jitte seems good, but we’re going to withhold judgment. Fun, though.

Repeatedly bouncing Heralds and Wood Elves and Oracles and Hussars and Hierarchs doesn’t sound too awful, but again, show us the money. No, show yourself, I’m done trying to convince you that this deck is the lead-pipe cinch Funnest Deck In Standard. All right, Warp World is a pale full of silly putty as well, I’ll give ya’ that, but it’s not as fun as watching an opponent pack up his deck after he just lost to a card with “glaze” in its name.

“On and on and on and on, the bitch been around before my mother’s born.”
Slick Rick and Dougie Fresh, La-di-da-di

Anyway, the deck is fun, so try it, try it and you may I say. Or don’t try it and you won’t, and instead net deck this, which will remain my most favorite Regionals deck ever except for the one JMS, Forsythe and Teamann helped me build in 2000 and which got me off to a 4-0 record though ended up 5-4 due to 12 mulligans in 23 games see I only ever lose to bad luck or savage topdecks by lucksack cheaters!

Please note the intricate combo of Moldervine Cloak plus a creature.

I had a copy of Paladin of Prahv in there for a while. I dunno, kinda fun. I guess. WTF do you want me to say! Re: Breeding Pool – Now that I’ve convinced you that I used them only as decoys, they’re no longer decoys lol reverse psychology FTW!

Akuta. Yes, Akuta. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve wished for a haste creature? Now I have one, and he’s all mine and he’s nearly as good as Ichorid. Yes, nearly.

‘Nuff’a that.

The Saturday Casuals are starting to become heavily metagamed, with more than a few guys coming up with decks that will smash the current deck that is being overused to win too many tourneys in a row. Can you believe it — a casual tourney has become its own metagame. Evil or no, though I lean toward “kinda neat.”

It all started with Friggorid a few weeks in a row (back in January), which saw a huge investment of Tormod’s Crypt and Withered Wretch and Phyrexian Furnace and even Morningtide in sideboards everywhere.

Oddly enough, I quickly switched, okay, actually built another deck, Secret Freakin’ Sauce, a deck that abuses the piss out of Survival of the Fittest. Hate my ‘yard? I’ll show you! By using Squee! And sometimes Recurring Nightmare!

Mikey built Fluctuator, which is a deck that should not see the light of day in any tourney where the word “casual” may be thrown ‘round with reckless abandon, and after losing to it two weeks in a row, despite blowing up dozens of Fluctuators with Monkeys and Deeds and never being able to draw my Crypts, I simply chose to play mono Blue. Sure, cycle all day long… oh, there’s your kill spell, Haunting Misery — I think I’ll counter that.

Boseiju showed up the next week, and I figured it would, but I also figured that Tradewind Rider wouldn’t mind – that quirky land’s good’n all, ‘cept it comes into play tapped. Yep, go ahead and play it again, and again, and again. Fluctuator is no longer played, and good freakin’ riddance.

Grimm has his own Survival deck that just happens to house the extremely fun combo of Goblin Bombardment, Enduring Renewal, and Shield Sphere. A few of us cornered him and looked real threatnin’ like when we said “we frown upon crazy sh** like that.”

He hasn’t been seen since. Okay, he has, but now he’s playing Sneak Attack.

Legacy is a format with so many viable decks (forget what you read — this isn’t Grand Prix style, it’s “casual”) that, when I have the time, and the other guys do as well, we try to one-up each other and catch the others off guard.

That’s part of the fun: rock, paper, try to outthink the other guys. This, combined with vicariously living through the decks I build and desperately hoping they meet approval, is why I play this game, except for Limited, which I play in order to hurt myself today to see if I still feel.

As such, my latest and probably-not-so greatest deny-you-deck:

Unable to decide on a win condition much?

No Dark Ritual, thanks for noticing, but that’s not as bad as the 4 maindeck Phyrexian Negator that was the original inspiration. Negator is about as good in combat as Ichorid is at blocking, although both are excellent at dying to Cabal Therapy. Also notice the complete lack of ways to draw cards; in fact, check out Contagion and ‘Core, which allow me to actually lose cards.

Skeletal Vampire? I always tried to show-teach Berto that when a control deck establishes control, it doesn’t matter what the win condition happens to be – if it’s “Tim you for one” twenty times, then that’s just as good as four swings with Morphling. But man, talk about a super fatty that brings sex straight into the living room — this hot guy strips during the commercials of your favorite reality show.

Blinding flash of the obvious:

Reality shows aren’t real.

Know why? The camera.

If the camera wasn’t there, then hells yes my brutha, that sh** would be realer than MTV’s The Real World, which is so goddamned real I can’t stand it… by the way, to do anything on MTV, must you be a complete and utter disgusting whore? Girls gone wild? Um, how about the entire world (of peeps under say, 30) gone wild?

I’m so old I can’t stand it. Mostly jealous though. Oh so green.

Thus, the best reality show will be the one that isn’t a reality show. I’m talkin’ ‘bout hidden cameras, in fact, the peeps on the “show” don’t even know it’s a show. You tape the 16 weeks or whatever, then tell everyone “by the way, you guys were being taped, it’s a show, here’s say, 100,000 bucks and we know you’ll take it instead of sue us because you’re all whores and we have the tape to prove it.”

You heard it here first, though I’d really rather have Kokusho.

Where the hell was I? Oh yeah, Karn, and how much I wanna animate one of those new-fangled artifact lands. Or five or six of them even. I think that would be worth the price of admission. Er, Null Rod and Karn is not a combo. You heard that here first too.

So that’s that. In toying around with Friggorid, mostly ways to kill Withered Wretch… omg Avatar of Woe. Omg, like there won’t ever be ten creatures in the ‘yard and I can play the dude for two freakin’ mana on turn 2. Omg omg omg omg omg.

Well, one thing led to another, and I came up with this:

Can you say “turn 1 Ashen Monstrosity, turn 2 Laquatus’s Champion?” Good f***in’ game, *sshole, thanks for coming! Whatever, sometimes that even happens, due to the sheer amount of redundancy built into this bad Johnson.

I’ll leave your little minds to contemplate the absurd fun factor of this deck – it doesn’t matter the opponent will have Force of Will or Swords to Plowshares, but it’s still neat to swing with a 7/4 that must attack every turn what an obscene drawback.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to remove anything in play with Nullstone Gargoyle on the board? Yes, that’s right, not so hard at all: you only need one Swords. So long as you’re willing to waste another non-creature spell, and I bet you will, damnit. Never mind, I’m sure I’ll play Josh, and he’ll have 0cc spell and Swords in his opening hand. Every game.

Maybe I’ll let Berto play this instead; I can already see the headline:

“Child Pays Nineteen Life To Win Game Of Magic!”

Kory J. Whitfield of Damariscotta, Maine is the number one ranked Eternal player in the United States, with a rating of 2055. By the way, he’s the second highest ranked Eternal player in the world.

Maine: the other white meat.

That’s funny, my new job will take me to Damariscotta now and again. Yeah, real funny.

Me, I should be about an 1800 Eternal by now, but with oh so many events still to be processed, I’ll just hit refresh on the DCI page and know I’m good at Legacy. So long as my opponents are guys like Brian Smith and other tremendously awful Magic players of his ilk.

This article is like twenty pages and don’t quote me boy I ain’t said sh**.

“They’re payin’ for it, you eat it!”
Lee Ermy, Full Metal Jacket

For school-age children, two tips from your Uncle John:

Roy G. Biv
King Phillip Came Over For A Good Supper

In three months, there will be a ton of fourteen-year olds who will ask their teachers “did you get that from frigginrizzo?” They did.


I went 1-2 with Legacy Reanimator, and despite my belief that it’s an awesome deck (which it isn’t), don’t play it. A turn 7 Angel of Despair just doesn’t have the impact that it does six turns prior. But hey, that’s what you get when you look at your opening hand and say, “wow, this hand would be soooooo good if .”

Alas, in round 3 I did manage to get a turn 2 Spirit of the Night, and in game 2, a turn 1 Spirit of the Night, which goes to prove that I am not bad at Magic after all.

But I did lose, for the first time ever, to John Rizzo III, playing a modified Counter-Sliver deck with Survival of the Fittest. No, he doesn’t intend to ever let me live it down. However, I can take solace in the following:

Round 1, Berto in mid-match across the room, apparently with Sliver Queen in hand:

Berto: Dad, did you put in any Red sources?
Dad: No, why would I…?
Berto: Wow, you really are bad at Magic.

I threw in the Queen last-minute, but neglected to add a Red source. Hey, it still pitches to Force of Will, and makes one hell of a Survival outlet! In the finals, Berto was playing Chris Hardy, who was putting on a rush of lil’ dudes in Berto’s grill. He pitched Sliver Queen to Survival and on the following turn Chris cast Iwamori.

Lolz everywhere.

After as dismal showing, I must heart Limited again – it is no longer teh suck, since this is the Sealed Deck I played:

Remove much fly much relevant signets and bounce lands much? It is decks like this that make me forget all about Hellhole Rats and reaffirm my belief that I am good at opening Sealed decks. Almost.

Bad beat alert:

Brennan Howe drove all the way to Brighton for the PTQ, and was late. He was late for a PTQ that YMG ran. What’s wrong with this picture? Since YMG always starts their events exactly on time, I guess nothing. But I bet he’s the first guy in the history of Magic to be late for a YMG tourney just sayin’ not meanin’ nuthin’.

This is why I didn’t head to Brighton. Okay, this and the fact that I got canned a week prior and think I might have better uses for, say, fifty bucks, like feeding my sad, lonely and frightened children, not to mention that Limited is all about luck! lol sarcasm which part!

Anyway, Champs is seven days away as of this writing, and since I’m starting my new (extremely sub-par) job on Monday that sometimes involves Saturday work, prick up your ears in anticipation of even more tales of the utter bad beat, staring your host Mister Rourke. Otherwise, prepare to face the wrath of Curious Pun Goes Here, for it will be sexy, or at least fun.

Isochron Scepter plus Nightcreep equals I just broke Extended again. Or not. But if I, er, Sotto does, and you lose because you decided to not play Black, don’t whine about a bad beat. Because they’re all bad beats and we all get smacked upside the diz with a lemon now and again.

But as the saying goes: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and then stab your boss in his ass neck. Inspirational lines like that are what gets me up and roaring at the break of dawn, and can do the same for you.

All you need to do is put on a happy face, bounce Azorius Herald with Loxodon Hierarch, Reanimate the turn 1 hasted fatty, open six mana fixers in your exact colors and a ton of removal too, and you, nutty bastards, can be as completely f***ed up self-actualized as me and omg lol so much at everything.

Yours, in gainful employment,
John Friggin’ Rizzo