D is for Deckade
Alright, not really. I will be back later this week with the fourth instalment of my new column – hopefully with some lessons drawn from some optimal plays for a change.
As you are well aware, the hype machine for MichaelJ has been churning at about 110 % of capacity in the months leading up to the release of Michael J Flores: Deckade a few weeks ago. This weekend, in New York City, the Top8Magic crew will be hosting a book signing at Neutral Ground to give people a chance to buy the book in person, meet the author, the staff, and some of the famous names that populate the pages of Mike’s massive tome.
The doors to Neutral Ground open at 10am this Saturday, and once through those doors you will have the opportunity to run your Standard legal deck through a gauntlet of some of Mike’s past Standard creations. Should you get through all five stations of the gauntlet, cool prizes await. Prizes will range from signed copies of Deckade to high-end foils that only the cool kids have.
Sounds easy enough… but the Gauntlet will not be manned by Mike at all five stations. While he will be fielding one of the decks, the other four seats will be filled by some players who have had success with Mike’s decks in the past and decidedly more dangerous with Mike’s decks in hand than Mike is.
Al Tran might not be a familiar name to today’s new breed of Magic players but he was Mike’s constant companion in the early days of Mike’s career and would often win PTQs and $1,000 tournaments with Mike’s creations. He would later go on to helm the Dojo and rule over the Storyline draft tournaments at Neutral Ground.
Josh Ravitz has been piloting Mike’s decks since he was a 37 year-old JSSer, and has continued to play them on the senior circuit. Josh has gone on to play Mike’s decks to a Top 8 at this year’s U.S. Nationals, and just missed the Top 8 of World Championships with Mike’s Wild Gifts.
Osyp Lebedowicz played Mike’s mono-Red deck to a 3-0 record in the Standard portion of last year’s Invitational, and worked with Mike for Pro Tour Honolulu to create URzaTron. The result of that collaboration was a Top 8 appearance.
Perhaps Mike’s most famous deck was played by arguably the game’s most famous player. Jon Finkel is going to give people a chance this weekend to see what makes him so much better than everyone else, as he makes an extremely rare public appearance – even more rare is that he will be playing with a sixty card deck, which may or may not rhyme
with Bapster. Mike and Jon are hard at work on new collaboration – a book about how you can be more like Jon when you play Magic.
That line-up alone is more than worth the price of admission (which is FREE), but in addition we will be putting up the prizes for a FREE admission, sanctioned Standard tournament. Prizes for the tournament include a Foil Sol Ring for the winner, a second place Foil Mishra’s
Factory, Foil Armageddon and Negator for 3rd and 4th, and additional foils for the rest of the Top 8. The tournament is scheduled to start at noon.
I will be there. You might even catch a glimpse of the reclusive Matt Wang. I will be doing live coverage in the form of podcasts, match reports, decklists, and interviews throughout the day.
So even if you can’t make it, you can read and hear about how much fun you missed.