Feature Article – Grand Prix: Atlanta Report *Winner*

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Tuesday, November 25th – When you’re fresh of the back of a Constructed Pro Tour win, what could be better than picking up the winner’s check at a Limited Grand Prix mere days later? Luis Scott-Vargas is undoubtedly one of the guys to beat as Worlds looms on the horizon, and today he shows off his Limited skills as he chronicles his ascent to the finals table at Grand Prix: Atlanta…

Going to a Limited Grand Prix is pretty refreshing, especially after a Constructed Pro Tour. No need to really test beyond doing drafts, which hardly feels like testing, and no cards to find or decks to fill out. You just show up, pay your entry, and hope to crack a good sealed. Still, it is very easy to be unprepared, and that is kind of the situation I found myself in about a week before the GP. I was having a fair amount of trouble winning drafts, and often ended up in these awful four- or five-color decks. I decided to rein in my greed, stick to either one shard or one with a small splash, and mostly avoid non-Blue drafts. Every time I drafted a GW deck (whether it be Naya or Bant) I just hated it, so Esper or Grixis was the plan going in. After complaining to Gerry about all my losses on MTGO (and being appropriately yelled at), I settled into just taking artifacts over just about anything. Me and Matt Kurtin (a friend from CA) just forced Esper over and over again, and were satisfied with the results. It was a little awkward once we were both in the same queue online, but we managed to both draft Esper and meet in the finals, so things worked out. I tried to get him to say “it’s Kurtins for you” when he was going to win each match, but seeing as he is a generally sane, he logically refused. I would have run it, but it really wouldn’t make sense, since my name isn’t Kurtin. Enough of my inane ramblings, on to the tournament!

My flight was uneventful, besides the whole matter of making an emergency landing so some passenger suffering from a “medical emergency” could be wheeled off, but we were only delayed about an hour. Luckily, I was on the same flight as one Riki Hayashi, although he refused my generous offers of more free drinks. I got to the site, and promptly lost a draft against Benafel, Heezy, and Nassif. Gwalls (who was on my team) kept this hand against Benafel, playing for the draft: Mountain, Forest, Forest, Plains, Mosstodon, Wild Nacatl, Knight of the Skyward Eye. I walked off, pretty sure we had it, and was unpleasantly surprised to find out that Gabe proceeded to draw five land and an Obelisk, eventually succumbing to Benafel’s crack team of Undead Leotau and other assorted donks. That hand is basically unbeatable assuming he draws even one more decent spell, since he got Benafel to something like 9 before anything really happened. Enough of my bad luck, let’s get to the main event.

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep my sealed pool, since I really didn’t even bring a method of holding cards to Atlanta, instead planning on ridding myself of them all before heading home. My deck was pretty good, and didn’t at all look like a normal sealed deck. My manabase was eight Forest and eight Mountain, which was pretty nice. I had the fortune of receiving the cards for a very aggressive RG deck, complete with three Branching Bolts. The deck I ended up playing, after a whole 6 minutes of deliberation, was:

1 Jungle Weaver
1 Bloodpyre Elemental
1 Caldera Hellion
1 Thunder-Thrash Elder
1 Thorn-Thrash Viashino
1 Cavern Thoctar
1 Mosstodon
1 Vithian Stinger
1 Rip-Clan Crasher
1 Rhox Charger
1 Topan Ascetic
1 Incurable Ogre
2 Elvish Visionary
3 Dragon Fodder

3 Branching Bolt
1 Soul’s Fire
1 Magma Spray
1 Resounding Thunder
1 Resounding Roar

8 Forest
8 Mountain

The last card I cut was the second Thorn-Thrash Viashino, electing to play an Incurable Ogre instead. I didn’t want to draw two Devour guys without the appropriate food, so I was fine with cutting the fourth one. Cylian Elf also didn’t make the cut, since I had six better two-drops already. One package I sided in often was 2 Oblivion Ring and 3 Plains. I didn’t want to maindeck them because they really clunk up the deck, with the Plains and all, but against decks with too many huge Green guys I think I needed them. Seeing as most people build Naya, its possible I should have mained them, but against the Rakeclaw Gargantuan plus Mosstodon Naya deck, I would still rather play straight RG.

Round 1-3 – Draft against Btaulbee and his fan club (Seth Mansfield and Mike Patnik)

For this draft I had the squad of one NEONCHEON and my roommate from California, Eirik. It’s like Erik, but all Norwiegian-ized with that extra “I” in there. As per the norm, Eirik and Paul both 2-1ed, and I skated by with a 1-2. Justice continued to be served as I won basically all the rares from the draft when we flipped them one by one, with highest casting cost taking all. I tried to use the Gwalls explanation that I made the guys’ decks next to me terrible, explaining how my 1-2 actually helped the team more than it would seem, but Brad 3-0ed and I think I was passing to him, so that argument is pretty much null. That draft kind of sums up my whole weekend, as will soon be apparent.

Round 4 versus Calosso Fuentes

Game 1: Calosso seemed to have been the recipient of many a tri-land, as he dropped three in the first game. With all those lands, it’s no real surprise that all of his spells are good, including an Ajani Vengeant. Still, the combination of my aggressive draw and his total of four spells for the game was too much for him. Ajani was quite the speedbump, killing my Topan Ascetic and forcing one of my guys to take a detour instead of hitting Calosso, but even that seven point life swing didn’t help without backup.

Game 2: Calosso mulliganed to five, and I again had the aggressive draw I looked for. Turn 2 Rip-Clan Crasher followed by some Dragon Fodder was enough against his turn 4 Ajani turn 5 nothing hand.

(Turn 2 Crasher count: 1)


Round 5 versus Alex Kim

Game 1: I was a little worried going into this round, since Magic never goes well for me around Alex Kim. I never beat his team, and when he is on my team, we always lose. For example, in Denver we lost two drafts to Alex, and then proceeded to lose a draft when he was our third. His deck started out looking pretty wild, with Arcane Sanctum, Woolly Thoctar, and Scourglass all making appearances. It turned out that Alex too was on the five-color good stuff deck, with hits like Stoic Angel and Resounding Thunder as well. I lost game 1 to his superior card quality, and quickly reached for the O-Rings in my sideboard.

Game 2: I got a decently fast start this game, and Oblivion Ring (which Alex of course hadn’t seen at this point) was insane. He played a Scourglass, which might have explained why he hadn’t been playing anything else, but I promptly Ringed it and kept beating down.

Game 3: This game was very odd, despite my hand being insane at pretty much all points. Alex mulliganed into what I could tell was a speculative hand, leading with Island and Swamp. Seeing as his deck was five colors with a base of Green, I really wanted to pressure him before he drew out of his manascrew. Unfortunately, despite my turn 2 Rip Clan Crasher and turn 3 Elvish Visionary, I had no other pressure. My hand was two Oblivion Rings (with a Plains in play), Resounding Thunder, Branching Bolt. My hope was basically that he had all creatures and no removal, since if he killed my guys all that removal in my hand wouldn’t really get me anywhere. Alex did eventually draw his lands, Jungle Shrine to be precise, which conveniently added the OTHER three colors mana that he didn’t have in play. He seemed worried I was holding back something, and just took my next attack. When I didn’t add to my board, he seemed satisfied to Resounding Thunder my Rip-Clan Crasher, which was bad news for me. He then played a Woolly Thoctar, which I Ringed. After using my other Ring on one of his bigger guys, and Bolt on a smaller one, the board had settled to my Topan Ascetic against his Stoic Angel, with him at 4. I had no cards in hand, and peeled one of my best outs, Dragon Fodder. Granted, I had three, but it was still insane. It forced him to chump with his Angel and just lose the next turn to my now 4/4 Topan Ascetic, and would have been some 1/1s even if he could deal with the Ascetic.

(Turn 2 Crasher Count: 2)


Round 6 versus Tim Landale

I always used to think writers who just linked to feature match coverage were being lazy, but I was clearly just misinterpreting the situation. See, the capable and attentive coverage staff (in this case being just the multi-talented Nate Price, who in the Top 8 covered multiple matches at the same time) do such a good job that it is actually a service to the readers to link to such coverage, instead of relying on sometimes imperfect memory. In any case, have at it.

(Turn 2 Crasher Count: 5!)


Round 7 versus Gerard Fabiano

Game 1: This game was one of those pretty frustrating ones, since every time I got lucky he responded in kind. It isn’t really fair to say he got luckier, it’s just that we were both in topdeck mode and his cards were better than mine. He was another Naya deck, with more than his fair share of powerful cards. He briefly thought he had me dead on board with Naya Charm, but then he realized he couldn’t regrow the Welkin Guide that I Magma Sprayed earlier, so he settled on getting back the Feral Hydra I had just spent two cards killing. I thought we were still pretty even, since I had a Cavern Thoctar to trade, but his Knight of the Skyward Eye just ended me at that point.

Game 2: This was another game where I thought I was in it, but ended up not being close. The board was his Yoked Plowbeast and Rip-Clan Crasher against my superior team, but an Ultimatum of the Titanic variety forced me to chump a bunch of times and go to 1. My follow up Caldera Hellion ended up not being enough, because I foolishly hadn’t played a land the turn prior. I had been holding two lands, and the one turn I didn’t play one I was immediately punished for it, when I drew a Naya Battlemage I couldn’t play in the same turn as the Hellion. He then played enough threats that I really needed to have played the Battlemage a turn prior, and I lost as a result. Making a game-losing punt is always nice, but no real point in dwelling on it.


Round 8 versus David Irvine (otherwise known as Dirve or DI)

Game 1: It was soon apparent that DI was playing my best matchup, namely a deck with fliers and NOT huge Green men. My Branching Bolts were all of a sudden super powered up, turning into Twinstrikes instead of reasonable one for ones. Still, game 1 went to him, as Sedraxis Specter just beat the crap out of me. I actually had a turn where I could have killed it, but felt I was kind of all in on the aggro plan, and elected to develop my board instead. The card I would discard was Cavern Thoctar, and I was on four lands so I really didn’t think I would ever cast it anyway. His Tezzeret into Executioner’s Capsule halted my beatdowns, and the three cards eaten by the Specter caught up to me.

Game 2: I didn’t bring in the Oblivion Rings, since he was playing the exact kind of deck I should already be good against. I quickly proceeded to mulligan to 5, which is always a nice place to be. Down a game, mulling to five, and just miserable. Luckily, my five was insane, going turn 2 Crasher, turn 3 Elvish Visionary, turn 4 Rhox Charger, turn 5 Resounding Thunder your first play. Just like that, the games were even.

Game 3: DI makes me play first, which reminds me. The whole of day 1, I only had one opponent choose to play first, and that was Gerard. All that was fine by me, since one of the reasons I built my deck like I did was so that I would be able to take advantage of playing first. I had an aggressive low curve and almost no mana issues, so I wanted to play, unlike almost all of my opponents. Anyway, I clearly ripped Rip-Clan (see what I did there, rip, Rip-Clan) on turn 2, and followed it up with some more donks. His turn 3 Specter stayed at home, so I just waited until he played a Fire-Field Ogre on turn 5, and wrecked him with Branching Bolt. Bolting his team and hitting with Topan Ascetic, Incurable Ogre, Rip-Clan and Elvish Visionary pretty much did the job.

(Turn 2 Crasher count: 7)


Round 9 versus Jeremy Shapiro

Game 1: This game went very badly very quickly, as I kept a hand without Mountains and soon assembled a grip of Red cards. Even if I drew a Mountain almost to the turn I died I could have come back, as Branching Bolt on his Sanctum Gargoyle plus Rhox Charger would have swung the game significantly.

Game 2: In came the Oblivion Rings, and in fact my opening hand was two Oblivion Rings, Elvish Visionary, two Plains, Mountain, Forest. This hand is clearly fine, but drawing lands plus Branching Bolt meant I had to start burning my removal on lesser threats. Jeremy also had two Oblivion Rings, so his ate mine and his men ate me.


Ending at 7-2 wasn’t the worst, since with 3 byes I easily made it in. I actually was among the highest of the 21 pointers, finishing Day 1 at 32nd place. Sadly, Eirik also went 7-2 but finished 78th, a victim of his one bye. At least the policy next year ends that nonsense, with all x-2’s making it in. We did another draft, Paul, Eirik and myself against a Canadian squad led by one Mr. Doug Potter. My deck was abysmal, with double Jhessian Infiltrator side by side with Goblin Deathraiders and Undead Leotau. The one match I managed to win was off Swerving his Naya Charm to tap down his team instead of mine, and then cycling Resounding Wave on the following turn, getting exactly 20 in through two attacks. Still, my 1-2 was enough, as again Paul and Eirik 2-1ed. Much like last time, I burgled all the rares, with Planeswalkers and Broodmates going straight into my pile. The payment didn’t end there though, as we obviously credit card gamed dinner. We had to convince Eirik, since he had never gamed, so he promptly lost. Paul and I still had to deal with the wings we got on the side, and I won that coinflip as well. To cap things all off, I found 12 dollars on the ground, basically proving without a doubt that I was still running pretty well, MTGO drafts notwithstanding. (Plus, seven turn 2 Rip-Clan dudes in 6 rounds is pretty insane, considering that’s one of the best turn 2 plays in the format and I only had one of him.)

Day 2

I was in Pod 4, with 3 x-2s and the rest at x-1-1:

24 – Wade, Nathan – 22
25 – Greene, Christopher D – 22
26 – Stead, Bill T – 22
27 – Thompson, Gerry – 22
28 – Mills, Michael – 22
29 – Pardo, Alex V – 22
30 – Mathis, Jeremy R – 21

31 – Spears, Jimmy D – 21
32 – Scott-Vargas, Luis – 21

Besides GerryT and Bill Stead, the only person whose name I recognized was Jeremy Mathis, and that was only because he owed Gerry money. The draft started, and p1p1 was a choice between Seaside Citadel and Knight of the Skyward Eye, so I easily took the land. Second pack was similar, with Arcane Sanctum over another Skyward Eye. My first decision came pack 3, with Deft Duelist versus Tidehollow Strix. I took the Strix, despite having two UW lands, because I like UB and even my Esper decks have little White in them. Next pack was a clear signal I was doing it, with a Tower Gargoyle sitting in it. After that the draft went insanely well, highlighted by the 7th pick Master of Etherium, 8th pick Fatestitcher, 7th pick Kiss of the Amesha and 8th pick Sanctum Gargoyle. My final decklist was disgusting:

2 Tower Gargoyle
3 Tidehollow Strix
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
4 Cloudheath Drake
2 Etherium Sculptor
1 Master of Etherium
1 Kathari Screecher
1 Esper Battlemage
1 Fatestitcher

2 Agony Warp
1 Obelisk of Esper
1 Obelisk of Grixis
1 Kiss of the Amesha
1 Resounding Wave
1 Courier’s Capsule

1 Arcane Sanctum
1 Seaside Citadel
4 Plains
6 Island
5 Swamp

The weakest card in my deck was Kathari Screecher, but the rest are just insane. I had 2 Cancel in my sideboard, so I even had a good plan against slower decks.

Round 10 versus Jeremy Mathis

Game 1: By turn 4 Jeremy has three tri-lands in play, as well as an assortment of Obelisks. His deck appears to be exactly the kind of five-color deck I hate drafting, although he does have one of the better finishers in Empyrial Archangel. Well, better against someone who doesn’t have three deathtouch guys, that is. My Strix quickly eats his Angel, and Sanctum Gargoyle plus Cloudheath Drake plus Master of Etherium quickly finish him.

Game 2: I sided in two Cancels, since his deck is exactly the kind that Cancel punishes. I have a good start of turn 2 Etherium Sculptor into turn 4 Cloudheath Drake, but his Branching Bolt racks up a nice two for one. Still, Sanctum Gargoyle plus Tower Gargoyle show up, and I finish him off by Cancelling his Archangel and bashing with a bunch of fliers. I wish I could talk about the strategy needed to win these games, but I really just cast a bunch of fliers while he did nothing.


Round 11 versus Jimmy Spears

Before this round, Gerry (who also won round 1) and I watched the other matches of our pod. One such match was basically Bull Cerodons against Exalted, with Jimmy piloting the triple! Cerodon Naya deck. When we got paired, I figured it was probably a solid matchup, although Bull Cerodon can win games out of nowhere.

Game 1: My draw was sick this game, with turn 2 Strix, turn 3 Kathari Screecher, turn 4 Tower Gargoyle, turn 5 Tower Gargoyle. I even left back Strix the turn he was going to hit 6 mana, to preemptively head off any Bull Cerodon shenanigans.

Game 2: If possible, I had even a better draw, with turn 2 and turn 3 Strix, turn 4 and turn 5 Tower Gargoyles again. He did Bloodpyre Elemental my first Tower Gargoyle, so we certainly still had a game, but when I blew him out with Agony Warp on turn 7 it was essentially over. He attacked a Rakeclaw and a Bull Cerodon into my Tidehollow Strix, with one mana open. I block Cerodon, he tries first strike it, and Warp kills Rakeclaw and shrinks the Cerodon’s power, denying the first strike. While it was still a two for two, he paid 12 mana and I paid 4, leaving me pretty far ahead in tempo.


Round 12 versus Gerry Thompson

Gerry and I have very similar views, and one of those views involves determining who a win benefits more. Based on the amount of Pro Points we each had, as well as the fact that he was x-1-1 and therefore was not eliminated by a loss, he decided to concede. It didn’t hurt him in the end, so the decision was a good one. (Uh oh, that sounds suspiciously results oriented, and I hear that that’s a bad thing.)


My next pod was significantly harder, with ManuelB, Stoyven, DI, and Chris Woltereck as people who I recognized.

9 – Scott-Vargas, Luis — 30
10 – Bucher, Manuel – 30
11 – Wolansky, Steven – 30
12 – Ross, Tom – 30
13 – De Los Santos, Julian L – 30
14 – Irvine, David – 30
15 – Gregath, Brent – 30
16 – Woltereck, Chris E – 30

This draft went fairly poorly, and I ended up with a very clunky BR deck featuring four Obelisks and light Green and White splashes. The only saving grace was a Hellkite Overlord I got pack 3, which was one of the ways I could realistically steal games, and steal games I did.

2 Blood Cultist
1 Vithian Stinger
1 Bloodpyre Elemental
2 Corpse Connoisseur
1 Scourge Devil
2 Blister Beetle
1 Carrion Thrash
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
1 Rockslide Elemental
1 Puppet Conjurer
1 Hellkite Overlord
1 Undead Leotau
1 Dregscape Zombie

1 Obelisk of Grixis
1 Obelisk of Naya
2 Obelisk of Jund
1 Minion Reflector (played primarily for its synergy with Hellkite Overlord)
1 Blightning
1 Executioner’s Capsule

1 Seaside Citadel
7 Swamps
7 Mountains
2 Forests

Round 13 versus Julian L. De Los Santos

Game 1: I accelerated out a turn 6 Hellkite Overlord via Obelisks, but Julian shrugged and killed me on his next turn. He cycled Viscera Dragger, untapped, and unearthed it, then attacked with Dragger, Steelclad Serpent, Kederekt Creeper, and Kathari Screecher, all pumped by a Grixis Charm. That was more than enough damage to put me down, making me doubt my odds in the match. If a turn 6 dragon (with other plays earlier, I didn’t just play dragon that game) wasn’t enough, I was in trouble.

Game 2: One of the cool things about my deck was its squad of pingers, and this game I was able to assemble two of them. Blood Cultist plus Vithian Stinger kept him off balance long enough for random hill giants to do their job.

Game 3: Julian started this game with five cards in his hand, then he failed to play a third land for three turns. I was on four lands with all five-drops, although my team of Blood Cultist, Rockslide Elemental and Puppet Conjurer was getting in for three a turn. He finally drew a third land and promptly Infested my board away. After that, we actually have a real game. We both were able to start playing out our hands, albeit 5 turns later than normal. On a key turn I ripped Sanctum Gargoyle to get back Executioner’s Capsule for his Cloudheath Drake, and again I win with random beats. He then showed me the Cruel Ultimatum and Prince of Thralls still lurking in his deck, as he had more than enough lands to cast either.


I got pretty lucky to win that round against a vastly superior deck, but next round was even more unlikely.

Round 14 versus Tom Ross

Game 1: Just as we were rolling to see who decided, the judges come and pull Tom away. Apparently he forgot to register two cards in his sideboard, which comes with the penalty of a game loss. Pretty rough beat when playing for Top 8, but certainly welcome news for me.

Game 2: Tom was WRG, but was stuck on Mountains and Forests for the first part of the game. I needed my 8th land to cast the Hellkite, but it was sure taking its sweet time. Meanwhile, he played Knight-Captain of Eos and Rakeclaw Gargantuan. I had two Blister Beetles, and I figure killing the two tokens is better than killing the Captain, especially since there is a Titanic Ultimatum in the draft somewhere. Just as things are getting bad I rip the 8th land, although he does Naya Charm to tap my team. Still, he can only get me to 4 on his turn, and the Overlord is more than enough to kill him.


I feel like I completely mised that draft, but you gotta catch breaks to win a tournament, or even Top 8. My deck was probably worse than both my opponents, but they had some bad luck (or hurried registration) and I was able to squeak by. Sadly, ManuelB lost his 14th and 15th rounds, when winning one would probably see him make Top 8. He had to play against stoyven’s ridiculous double Rafiq double Oblivion Ring deck, and then he lost to Tom Ross.

Round 15

ID with stoyven (For those who are confused up until this point, stoyven is Steven Wolansky’s MTGO name)


To make things even better, GerryT also made Top 8! This makes me feel much better about him scooping to me, since even though I was glad to accept I still didn’t want to end his tournament. Luckily, it didn’t, and we even got to sit next to each other in the draft.

Top 8 Draft

Nate was as busy as can be trying to keep track of multiple drafts at the same time, and he did a really good job. I basically first picked Feral Hydra over Tidehollow Strix, immediately moved into Grixis splash White for some Esper cards, and then wheeled the Strix. That pretty much let me know the table was ripe for the picking, and the 5th pick Sharding Sphinx I got pack three just drove the point home. My deck ended up absurd, with good mana, a ton of removal, and plenty of bombs. It was pretty much exactly the style of deck was aiming for too, and even had card draw to back it up.

1 Crumbling Necropolis
2 Esper Panorama
5 Island
4 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Savage Lands
3 Swamp

1 Caldera Hellion
1 Cloudheath Drake
1 Esper Battlemage
1 Etherium Sculptor
2 Kederekt Creeper
1 Master of Etherium
2 Sanctum Gargoyle
1 Sharding Sphinx
1 Sphinx Sovereign
2 Tidehollow Sculler
1 Tower Gargoyle
1 Vithian Stinger
1 Agony Warp
2 Courier’s Capsule
1 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Infest
2 Obelisk of Esper
1 Obelisk of Grixis

More exciting Top 8 coverage!

Round 16 versus Ken Adams

Ken’s deck seemed… slightly less powerful than mine, shall we say. Shore Snapper maindeck, as well as Dregscape Zombie plus Naya Charm, all seemed a bit random. He did get game 2 with Blightning into Naya Charm into Blightning, but my huge artifact men got him the other two games.

Round 17 versus Chris Fennel

Playing against what Tim Aten might call the “archetypal Floridian” was my next round, as I faced off against Gatormage himself. I have drafted with Fennel many a time, and therefore was surprised that his deck was as controlish as it appeared. He seems to favor the beatdowns, but this time he apparently just couldn’t pass on all the good removal. All of our games were quite close, and game 2 had a particularly interesting turn.

I had Sphinx Sovereign, Kederekt Creeper, Tidehollow Strix, and a tapped Cloudheath Drake. He had Mosstodon, a 3/3 Nacatl and Cavern Thoctar. He was on 7 lands, and had 4 cards in hand. Chris went in the tank for a good long time, and came out with a mainphase Jund Charm as Pyroclasm. He bashed with his three guys, and I decided to just block Thoctar with Creeper. At this point I died to a Soul’s Fire, since he gives Thoctar trample then nugged me, but I didn’t think I could beat Soul’s Fire if I threw away the Sovereign either. I also declined to block Nacatl with Sovereign, since that would open him up to Ajani Vengeant or Resounding Thunder. Luckily for me, Chris was missing the 8th land to trample the Thoctar then play and kill me with Ajani Vengeant, and instead had to settle for using Ajani to Helix the Cloudheath. A few turns and an Agony Warp later and Sphinx Sovereign brought it home.

Round 18 versus Gerry Thompson

Meeting one of your best friends in the finals is just awesome, especially considering the fact that he actually conceded to me earlier in the tournament. Him making it to the finals means the concession was ultimately not harmful, taking a weight off my shoulders. We had a good battle, although he missed on any Forest or Mountain in game 1 for Titanic Ultimatum. Game 2 was his combat tricks plus Mosstodon against my infinite Sanctum Gargoyles, and I eventually Infested his guy away with the help of a Vithian Stinger.

And that was that, I managed to mise two events in a row. I actually did something similar last year, winning U.S. Nationals then GP: San Francisco (San Jose), but a PT is certainly a bit different than Nationals. I’m not exactly sure how this all happened, but I’m certainly not complaining (at least about this, I still manage to express my displeasure at any number of trivial matters). The next stop is the most Awk of all GPs, but luckily I’m accompanied by Paul and Gerry, on the same flight nonetheless. The usual post-GP shenanigans occurred, up to and including the “one draft too many” syndrome, where you start a draft in the hotel lobby at 4am. Of note was that Paul and I almost missed our flights because we went to a steakhouse with Gabe and Gerry, and in fact the he did miss his flight and I did not. Just had to have that cheesecake, eh Neon.

Thanks for reading!



For those of you who missed it, Gerry posted half of a conversation of ours in his last article’s forums:

LSV: okay
LSV: just died
LSV: to Conclave
LSV: being 4th land

I, of course, was quick to post the other half:

LSV: to be fair
LSV: I probably lose
LSV: either way
GerryT: nope
GerryT: too late
GerryT: you said it

And before anyone reaches the same conclusion one of the next people did, that is actually just a purely legitimate conversation. Not that I am above fabricating such things, but that conversation happened exactly like that. Whether that proves or disproves Gerry’s dislike of Faerie Conclave is yet to be seen, but I thought I’d throw that out there.