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Clerical Errors – A Pro Tour Nagoya Report *11th*

Rich Hoaen is one of the best young Limited players in the world, having made 1 Top 8 appearance and 3 Top 16s in his last four Limited Pro Tours. Today Rich tells the story of his latest Pro Tour exploits, and StarCityGames.com is happy to welcome him to our growing staff of excellent writers.

Since this is my first article for StarCityGames.com, I feel I should introduce myself. I am a nineteen-year-old gamer/”student” from Toronto. I’ve played Magic since about Tempest, which was just a little too late to be around during the height of Canadian Magic, when men like Terry Borer and Paul McCabe (the two best players you’ve never heard of) were tearing up the Pro Tour. Fortunately I found myself living very close to one of the best Magic players of the middle generation of Canadians, Gab Tsang. I learned everything about the game from Gab. From how to figure out the correct land ratio, to the tricks that Pro Tour veterans use to gain completely legal advantages. Now I hope I can transfer to you all the things Gab taught me.


Unfortunately, these days Gab no longer plays Magic regularly, and since he organized everything the other Toronto players like Gary Wise, Matt Vienneau, and Elijah Pollock never play any more. I even live with four other Magic players, all of them having had their own tournament successes, and the only place I can get a non-cube draft is on Magic Online. Therefore all of my testing for this pro tour was done on Magic online.


I have nearly 10,000 Champions of Kamigawa commons between my Magic Online accounts. That adds up to about 400 drafts. After lengthy discussions with my teammate Sam Gomersall, we found a couple of things that we had discovered separately and agreed upon about the format. Those were that Black is far and away the best color, and you should almost always play 18 land because it is much easier to recover from a flood than a screw in such a fast format. We also both had a significant disdain for Green.


For example, I have about 120 Scuttling Deaths, and about 20 Order of the Sacred Bells, premier commons in each color. I was feeling very confident before Grand Prix: Chicago. I had just put two of my accounts fairly high into the Hall of Champions, and a third was getting close after starting from 1600. Chicago however was a major disappointment, after my team of myself, Sam Gomersall, and Mark Herberholz failed to make Day 2. Our sealed decks were somewhat mediocre, but it did feel that there was something that could have been done. After returning home from Chicago I was even more dedicated to preparing for this Pro Tour. I knew that a great deal of the world’s best players would be unable or unwilling to make the trip to Japan, making Nagoya the easiest Pro Tour in recent years. I spent the next month continuing to draft and discuss the format until it was time to leave.


My trip to Nagoya began when I left my house early Sunday morning. After another long flight to Japan that I’m now becoming accustomed to, I met up with Swedes Anton Jonsson, Mattias Jorstedt, and Simon Carlson. Since we lost a day on the flight, it was Tuesday when we went to see Eiganjo Castle. Most of the Swedes had their cameras and took pictures of the castle. Anton and I merely followed the others, discussed draft picks, and shared stories while looking disinterestedly at the architecture. After returning to our hotel, Anton and I decided we weren’t very interested in sightseeing and hung out in the hotel lobby drafting Magic Online and pokering the next day. By Thursday other gamers had started to arrive at the hotel, so we did a couple Rochesters before heading to the site. Upon arrival we found out about one of the greatest innovations in the history of the Pro Tour: the player lounge. Not only was there free fruit, cookies and drinks, but there were also great movies constantly showing and comfortable couches for kicking back between rounds. After registering and getting Lava Spiked out of a couple more drafts, I was ready to head back to the hotel and get some very important rest.


I woke up a little early, and was able to grab some breakfast before heading over to the site. Upon arrival at the site, Sam and I began recruiting people for the fantasy draft pool. It was 1K buy-in where we Rochester drafted the players competing in the Pro Tour. The person who picks the player with the highest finish won all the money. It was won by Kate Sullivan, who had the only 2 players in Top 8: Anton Jonsson and Frank Karsten. My picks of Kamiel Cornellostissen and Julien Nutlow were out by round 4. There goes my faith in the Netherlands.


Draft 1

Finally, some actual Magic! I was in seat 8 of my first draft, a seat that is badmouthed far more than it should be. The great thing about being in a late seat is that you can see how the draft shapes up. In fact, seat 8 actually gives you a lot of options, whether you want to go into someone’s colors unusually close to because they seem to have poor card evaluation (one of my favorite strategies because you can almost always get everyone within 3 seats on either side out of a color, and then always get the superior card in that color), or screw the guy in seat one because this is the Pro Tour, and people are usually willing to give up their first pick for better position, you can do all of that from the last seat in the draft.



In this draft I used the first strategy and wheeled two Red cards in pack one, forcing seat one to move into U/G splashing his first pick Glacial Ray. I was able to get into Red/White (my favorite non-Black color combination) with another White/Red deck across the table in Bernardo Da Costa Cabral’s hands. Between the two of us, we were able to cut nearly the rest of the table out of White, so we had one of the deepest colors to ourselves. This worked out handsomely with Bernardo likely having the best deck at the table, and myself the second. Late in pack one, seat 6 opened a Ryusei. I was afraid that either he would take it and turn into a Red mage – which would have been a disaster – or the guy in Green/Black between us would decide to take it and splash it because he was Green, even though that particular dragon is decidedly mediocre in a deck as based on ground attacks. Neither of my fears came true and I got the dragon, which was complemented two packs later by the Yosei that I opened. Unfortunately, the next 8 packs or so however were horrendous. They kept falling a pick short of me, with a Kitsune Healer instead of a Mothrider Samurai, or a Sozenkan Bruiser instead of a Brutal Deceiver. I was saved by the final few packs of the draft when I got 3 consecutive Hanabi Blasts (likely the best uncommon in the set, even though there has been some debate lately among some semi-pros (Reinhard Blech) that I have had the misfortune of talking to).


My apologies if the game descriptions that follow here aren’t very interesting. I have found that games in this format are quite simple, but when a good, bad, or interesting play comes up, I will talk about it.


Round 1 – Italian Dude U/w

Neither game was particularly close. Game 1 I played some dorks and Hanabi Blasted his team. Game 2 I stalled the board and avoided casting Hanabi Blasts until I drew my sixth land for Yosei. He didn’t draw his Mystic Restraint and Yosei ran him over.


Round 2 – Bernardo Da Costa Cabral W/r

Bernardo was the beneficiary of both some exceptional packs and some moronic picks on the part of others. He got Nagao out of the pack where I got Yosei, and Blind With Anger because a guy who was very heavy Black splashing Red took Kiki-Jiki over it. Not to mention the packs where he got 6th and 7th pick Cage of Hands… Both games were quite close and involved some complicated combat where he was usually able to get the best of because he got Blessed Breaths during the draft where I had none. Both games came down to me casting Hanabi Blast with two cards in hand and winning if I got to rebuy. He picked the Blast twice.


Round 3 – U/G/r

When I sat down for this round I smiled inwardly because I knew my opponent had been screwed by the packs in the draft and his deck was quite mediocre. He was consistently using his early picks on Burr Grafters and Peer Through Depths because there was just nothing else for him. So you can imagine my surprise when he tells me he’s surprised that one of us didn’t 3-0 the table because we had the two best decks. Game one I keep a hand with all three Hanabi Blasts, a Mountain and a Plains, Brutal Deceiver and Yosei. I am able to win without ever drawing a second Mountain because his first play of the game is a turn 6 Moss Kami. Game two he doesn’t play anything because he kept a sketchy hand with two Islands because he felt he needed to get to lucky to win this match – A decision I agree with and have made many a time myself.


I am somewhat disappointed with 2-1 out of that pod, but am not upset, only a little frustrated about the way I lost the match I did. (I felt sick after reading what Terry Soh did with Hanabi Blast against Frank Karsten).


Draft 2

Draft two had quite an unspectacular lineup with no names I recognized other than Alex Shvartsman. Interestingly, Alex wasn’t allowed to draft because he arrived at the draft mere seconds after missing his first pick. Head Judge Colin Jackson ruled that since Alex didn’t make a first pick it affected the draft too greatly to let Alex take a random pick from the pack.



In this draft I was forced into Green, my most hated of colors. It wasn’t too bad because decks usually get quite good when you share a color with only one other person at the table, and that’s exactly what was happening. Unfortunately, the guys on both my right and left went into B/R, one of the worst situations to be in in this format, since combinations of Green White and Blue need so much help from the packs to be able to win. Near the end of pack one I was Green and looking like Blue with two of the second most overrated card in the set behind the Top: Seshiro, the Anointed. He costs so much for such a weak body, and I’ve found so many opportunities to wreck people with an instant removal spell when they’ve played him.



Early in the draft the guy to my left decided to cut a few Green cards from me on the way back for no reason. Therefore I was looking for a way to get back at him, and found that opportunity when the guy on my right switched out of Black. The very next pack after I see this window of opportunity, I get a late-pick Befoul, and the look on the guy on my left’s face when I took it was priceless. On the way back in pack two, the guy on my left opens a pack with only a Befoul in my colors and I want to kill myself. Then, miraculously, he takes the third most overrated card in the set: No-Dachi. I have a chuckle and snap up my Befoul with a smile on my face. In pack 3, I crack a Sosuke to turn my deck into one of the best at the table. The only thing I worried about was playing against the Dampen Thought deck at the table. Everyone but me seemed afraid to cack his card drawing and Eternal Hazes with their late picks and were just letting him get everything he needed. To make matters worse, although I was Black there was never an opportunity for me to take any discard.


Round 4 _ U/R

I felt quite ill after this match. My opponent had nearly identical draws consisting of turn 2 Soratami Cloudskater, turn 3 Roning Houndmaster, turn 4 Consuming Vortex splicing Glacial Ray, turn 5 Lava Spike splicing Ray, turn 6 Ray splicing Ray. I was very frustrated after this match, but knew that I had byes into day two as long as I didn’t play against the dampen deck.


Round 5 _ B/R/W

This was the guy sitting to my left who I went out of my way to screw. On top of that he made some of the worst picks I have ever seen, in addition to the No-Dachi pick. Game one he plays turn 2 Nezumi Shortfang and some other dorks, but is unable to handle my combination of lands and spells. Game two I’m feeling quite cocky and lose my head for a moment, so I keep a one-land hand thats perfect if I draw another land. Deservedly, I don’t draw another land before he has three solid monsters. Game three I have a reasonable hand and am able to wreck him at a pivotal junction with a Serpent Skin on one of my many Serpents, a Matsu-Tribe Decoy if my memory serves.


Round 6 _ R/W

I was quite nervous coming into this match. I knew my opponent had one of the better decks at the table, and it looked like he would be able to play competently based on his drafting, supplemented by the fact that its hard to feel confident with Forests in your deck. Fortunately my nervousness was for naught as my deck delivers two of the best possible draws. Game one I go up the curve with Cruel Deceiver, Decoy, Sosuke, Serpent Skin, Seshiro, Pull Under using nearly all of my mana every turn. Game two my draw is even better and I play Sustainer, Sosuke, Decoy, Cutthroat, Seshiro.


4-2


Draft 3

My table for Draft 3 contains Craig Krempels, Masahiko Morita, and Antonino De Rosa. I’m in seat seven this time with Craig two to the right of me and Antonino behind me. Seat one first-picked Mystic Restraint out of a solid pick showing an obvious color preference. The guy in front of me takes a White card, I get a Red zebra and Antonino wheels two Green cards, the last of the playables. Pack two is opened with a He Who Hungers, Kami of the Waning Moon, and a Red card that has no chance of getting to me. I’m am then shocked and appalled when seat two takes the Kami. I expected the Kami to get to me so I could solidify myself in the best color combination, and then something happens that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams: the He who Hungers gets to me!



Craig moved into White/Red after the guy behind him took a White card pack one, and the guy wasn’t willing to release his dead hand. After picking a Devoted Retainer, he was somehow White-committed in his mind. I would have considered not taking the He who Hungers myself because it puts my friend and former teammate Antonino into the unenviable position of being behind a B/R player, but I was so surprised it got to me I didn’t have time to think about the implications. This put me into a great seat with the two guys on my right fighting for White and lots of space for both my colors on either side. Since I had a lot of room to get Black cards, I took a Devouring Greed over Kami of Fire’s Roar. Unfortunately there were never any spirits getting to me and the Greed ended up riding the bench while Battle-Mad Ronin got to see some rare floor time in an otherwise solid deck.


Round 7 Antonino De Rosa G/w/r

This match was interesting because we both thought our opponent’s deck was better than it was. In Rochester drafts people get into the habit of just remembering their opponent’s first picks. What they don’t remember is the five packs in a row where someone got nothing. Game one I play turn 2 Nezumi Cutthroat turn 3 Honden of Infinite Rage, and am able to race his Green mediocre monstrosities with the help of some timely removal and discard. Game two the Ronin comes out, because I figured he would end up suiciding against Antonino’s fatty boom booms. Game two I again have turn 2 Cutthroat turn 3 Honden and hit his last two cards: Kodama’s Might and Jugan, the Rising Star with Waking Nightmare. After this, my devouring Greed is plenty good enough to win the race against his one-power snakes.


Round 8 Masahiko Morita G/B/u

I wasn’t looking forward to this matchup very much, although I did think my deck was a lot better after a night of playing practice games where I kept curving out. I also realized that the two Rend Spirits in my deck were better than usual because all of the important creatures in the draft were Spirits with the exception of Morita’s Meloku. Game one he mulligans on the play and I keep a four-land Cutthroat, Bloodthirsty Ogre, Blind with Anger draw. I am able to draw just enough spells to get him to zr0e the turn before he kills me, thanks mostly to the Honden and Cutthroat. Game two I get the same draw with another land instead of Blind with Anger. I keep it again after he mulligans. He is mono-Black this game until he plays a Kodama’s Reach on turn 5 and I’m able to get him to exactly zero the turn before he kills me once again, this time with Frostwielder and Devouring Greed.


Round 9 Craig Krempels W/R

Craig is an interesting person with a personality trait that I can understand, but don’t admire. When he’s playing you in an important match of Magic, he acts like a jerk. He will do whatever he can within the rules to try to win – when there’s an important decision you have to make, he’ll try to chat superficially with you just to throw off your concentration. I noticed this when we were playing, because he was doing annoying things I had only noticed when I had played him before in PTs, when I didn’t know him outside of Magic tournaments. Then between games, we were joking around as usual.



Game one Craig gets off to a pretty fast start with a Retainer then Kabuto Moth and Kitsune Blademaster. I can offer up merely a turn 3 Honden, on the draw. I kill his Blademaster turn four, but he plays a Mothrider. Turn 5 I have Scuttles to his Fire’s Roar. I attack with Scuttles and he takes it, dropping him to 9. I play Lil’ Wayne (Kami of the Waning Moon) and Red Zubera, and chump block with me at four, him at eight. On my upkeep, the Honden hits him, I Blind with Anger his Mothrider, give Scuttles fear and hit him for exactly seven for the win.



Game Two he once again has a one-drop, then Blademaster and Moth. I play nothing of relevance for the first four turns, only hitting him with a Waking Nightmare. Turns 5 and 6 I drop Bruisers and hope I don’t fall too far behind in the race. My turn 7 he taps out for a Mothrider Samurai. I use this opportunity to Swallowing Plague his Blademaster, which puts me to 14, and him to 11. He draws, drops me to 10, and passes. This turn I have 6 lands, and have the choice of playing a Cutthroat and a blocker in case he has a removal spell, or He Who Hungers him to get rid of his last card. After a few moments thinking about it, I get rid of the last card, which turns out to be Devouring Rage that would have killed me with the land on top of his library. I win.


7-2


I knew I had been very lucky to win this pod. My draws were quite good for the most part, and I always won races by a single turn. On the other hand, I was quite unlucky to be paired against the three players I least wanted to play both before and after the rochester draft.


Draft 4

I don’t like the looks of this pod when we sit down – it has three TOGIT players sitting quite close to each other on the other side of the table. I knew they would use this to set up good colors for themselves, but also to be able to hate my cards without me being able to get them back. My draft was for the most part quite friendly with only a little craziness coming from Mark Dictus to my right, who I knew liked to play lots of colors and make some weird, unfriendly picks based on previous drafts. I went into White/Red early in the draft, two to the left of Ravitz playing the same colors. This happened because I refused to play Green, and the guy on my right went U/B from the beginning, but apparently Black was only a fake, and he went into Green as soon as he was given an opportunity, which was too late for me to move back into Black.



I sucked it up and stayed with White/Red and nothing came… I was repeatedly taking Bruisers and Healers with my early picks. I did get an Eight-and-a-Half-Tails at the beginning of pack two and a Glacial Ray at the end of pack three. Unfortunately, in the time between those picks I was getting “excellent” *ahem* cards for my White-heavy deck like Zozu and Akki Coalflinger. I was pretty excited when I got the second Lava Spike – I had a way to win now, but it still seemed like every single pack of the draft fell a card short of me. This was likely the worst deck I have ever drafted at a Pro Tour. Multiple early drops with WW and RR in their casting cost, cards to end the game in a fast deck like Lava Spike and Terashi’s Cry, and slow creatures like Kitsune Healers, and Sokenzan Bruisers, not to mention my only removal was a singular Glacial Ray.


Round 10 Mark Dictus G/U/r

This match just depressed me. I knew my deck was awful, but I thought if I got a good draw I’d be able to run people over. Game one I had turn 1 Retainer, turn 2 Ronin, turn 3 Coalflinger, turn 4 Healer, turn 5 Bruiser against his Red deck. He did nothing until turn 5 Kodama’s Reach. He then had turn 6 Rumpshaker and Kodama’s Might, which kept him on one. Then he played two spirits next turn to deal with my mountainwalker, and he killed me the turn before I would have drawn a Spike. Game two I get an even better draw with turn 2 Samurai of the Pale Curtain, turn 3 Houndmaster, followed by Eight and a Half Tails and Battle-Mad. This game I won because he didn’t draw Rumpshaker. Game three we both had solid draws playing and were trading creatures through the early turns. Then I ran out of gas and he played Kashi-Tribe Reaver and Kodama of the South Tree. Interestingly, he won this game because he drew Pinecrest Ridge instead of Mountain for my Bruiser to walk over. I consider the depletion lands worse than basics in 99.9% of situations, even when you are four colors with no mana fixing.


Round 11 Tsuyoshi Ikeda U/B

Tsuyoshi and I have some history – I beat him for 7-0 on Day 1 in Yokohama, he then beat me on Day 2, and we both made Top 8. Game one, I have a turn 1 Retainer, turn 3 Houndmaster that keep hitting. He is afraid of my Uncontrollable Anger, so I run it out at end of turn on my Houndmaster. I am racing his Thief of Hope, Cursed Ronin and Scuttling Death, and losing the race after he Revivals and plays his Zubera, putting him on nine, me on two. I say aloud “this had better be a damn good draw.” And there it is… I don’t even do the math. Use the Spike in my hand, and splice Ray on his Zebra, cast Ray on him and attack for exactly enough to kill him after he uses his Scuttling Death. Game two, I once again have a couple dorks and he is racing with Teller of Tales and Soratami Mirror-Guard. I attack with Pain Kami and Houndmaster, and he doesn’t block, so I get a free two points with a Pain Kami that was being sent to his death regardless of blocks. I draw Glacial Ray and once again kill him with it and my Spike. He shows me all the lands he had drawn, and I see that I was going to win without the Ray this time.


Round 12 Chi Chung Hwang G/B

I knew he had quite a good spirit deck, but I thought it may be too slow for my deck. Before game 1 I wish him good luck. He says thanks, I tell him he’s screwed now, he understands and just laughs. He mulligans and I play turn 1 Retainer, turn 2 Pale Curtain, turn 3 Houndmaster, turn 4 Ray your guy, Ronin. He didn’t have a chance. Game two we both mulligan and I’m stuck on three lands with only a Zo-zu against his Cutthroat and Decoy. I draw a fourth land attack and Anger in attempt to race. He swings back dropping me to 10 and is done. I make a Healer and attack him to 12, he swings with Cutthroat and makes a Gibbering Kami (Jibber Jabber). I attack and drop him to 8, but I’m forced to drop a land to make two guys to swing the race in my favor. He untaps, draws, thinks forever, and drops Lil’ Wayne and casts Wear Away on my Anger… just enough to swing the race back in his favor. I go to one on his attack, draw and concede.


For game three I say Good Luck again and he just laughs. I curve out with 8.5 Tails, Houndmaster, Initiate of Blood, Kitsune Riftwalker, and Glacial Ray. On the last turn he drops Moss Kami, and is dead on board. He thinks forever when I attack, and finally concedes. He then drops his hand of Joyous Respite on the table. I was surprised at first, but then realized he couldn’t win even if he did cast it. I guess he didn’t give me much credit.


9-3


I was ecstatic to get out of this draft with two wins. I felt I had been fortunate with pairings as opposed to draws this time.


Draft 5: The pressure is on.

Two people from this draft will go 2-0 and be able to draw into Top 8. I’m in seat 2 with Horvath in 1 and Jeroen in 3. Note that I am sitting to the right of Jeroen Remie after we had been discussing the fact that Black is so much better than all the other colors. Pack 1 is opened with two Black cards and a White card… looks like I’m getting squeezed out of Black again. I am, however, in a great seat for White with only two other players in it at the other side of the table, but I am never really able to find a second color with Horvath B/G on my right and Jeroen B/R on my left. I eventually decide I don’t want to fight either of them and jump in as the fourth Blue player. My early picks suck for most of the draft even though I’ve got five total seats of White first picks. Towards the end of the draft, my deck improves a great deal when I get a pair of Kabuto Moths. I felt confident during the draft until about halfway through the third pack, when bombs kept getting opened and a lot of “mediocre” decks improved to “very good” status. Simon Carlsson didn’t have a deck until he got Meloku then Glacial Ray. Murray’s deck was quite mediocre until he got a pair of Glacial Rays.


Round 13 Jeroen Remie B/R/u

Game one we both had solid draws, me with Diviner and Moth, him with Brutal Deceiver, Jibber Jabber, Big Scuttles, I drop Kami of the Painted Road and Innocence Kami and stabilize on 10. I tap his Scuttles and he makes a pretty fishy looking attack into my untapped Moth with Jibber Jabber and Brutal Deceiver. I decided only to block with Innocence Kami, because he had multiple opportunites during the draft to take Devouring Greeds and didn’t, so I figured he didn’t have enough spirits to make Rage worthwhile. He of course has the Rage to kill me. I couldn’t have possibly lost if I merely blocked because I had White Myojin in my hand – I merely needed a land for it. Game two he gets a quick draw and mine is quite slow after a mulligan. I am eventually able to play my Myojin, but by that point I have to use it right away and he is able to take it with his Keiga.


Round 14 Mark Dictus G/W/b

Game one we both have Pale Curtains turn 2, but I have Indomitable Will for mine. Sadly, the combination of his Ghostly Prison and my stalling on four lands make it difficult for me to put anything together, while he keeps playing guys. He draws Jugan, the Rising Star, but I have the Mystic Restraints. Eventually he is able to kill most of my relevant creatures through combat and removal. For three turns I have seven land and Myojin in hand but am unable to find the eighth land before he kills me. Game two I get a good draw with a turn 3 Moth that dominates the entire game. He tried to put up a fight with Jugan, but I again have the Restraints. Game three once again goes long. We both have solid board positions that make attacking difficult. I’ve got Diviner and Innocence Kami locking down his big men, and I’m attacking in the air with a Mirror-guard until he Indomitable Wills his Venerable Kumo. By this time I’ve drawn my eighth land and am able to lock the game down with the Myojin. It only takes a few turns of attacking with my 4/6 indestructible until his defenses crumble.


Round 15 Simon Carlsson U/R

I had been hanging out with Simon since arriving in Nagoya – he was here with the other Swedes mentioned at the beginning of this article. Game one he plays a turn 5 Meloku. I give him some applause and try to act like I’m drawing dead, while really I’m stalling on lands. I can’t trick him into attacking, even though he says he doesn’t remember if I got a Reciprocate and I lose shortly thereafter. Game two I get a real quick draw, but he has the Restraints for my Moth. I draw a Call to Glory, and use it main phase to tap his guy with Innocence Kami and still attack. This took away the surprise factor of my Moth, but it made his blocks impossible, since it put him to two, and got rid of five of his six creatures while leaving four of my five. He couldn’t recover from this attack and died two turns later after trying to put up a fight.


Game three is for all the marbles and we’re playing for yet another encouraging yet disappointing Top 16 finish. He plays a turn 5 Meloku again and most of my cheering section seems to disappear. I have the Myojin and a couple lands in my hand, so I need to do two things at this point: convince him that I can’t possibly win and get him to overcommit, and keep my life total as high as possible while expending the least amount of resources pre-Myojin. The first goal was successful, as I get him to play a Sire of the Storm leaving him with 1 card the turn before I play the Myojin. The second goal was also pretty successful, as I was at 7 with two spells in hand after playing the Myojin. After the big whitey, he is unable to race my Innocence Kami and Myojin with just Soul of Magma and I also drew three straight spells to keep him locked out. I don’t think I had ever seen Patrick Sullivan happier or jump higher than he did when I dropped that Myojin. And I even have the pictures from his wedding!


Well, that is my tale from Pro Tour: Nagoya. The rest would just be some uninteresting stuff like wandering around lost in Japan looking for an Outback Steakhouse (brilliant Gabe), then heading to Karaoke with Gabe Walls, Jeroen Remie, Jelger Wiegersma, Gabriel Nassif, Gadiel Szleifer, Dan Rodemann, John Pelcak, heading back to the hotel and drafting, then winning the team PTQ the next day on no sleep.


Thanks to everyone I discussed the format with, especially Sam and Anton, and thanks to Wizards for the player lounge. Keep it coming.


Rich Hoaen

[email protected]

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