Ghost Dad Stories: A PT Honolulu Report, Part 1 *22nd*

Magic the Gathering Pro Tour Honolulu!

Today, Ben Goodman (a.k.a. Ridiculous Hat) spins his tale of Pro Tour Honolulu. With detailed match description and full sideboarding analysis, plus insight and humor on the Pro Tour itself, Ben’s report is perfect for those running B/W at this weekend’s Grand Prix Madison. Love it or hate it, Ghost Dad will be haunting the metagame for many months to come…

psamms: you know what the best part of Tallowisp is?
psamms: someone inevitably asks the following question
psamms: “why don’t you have Faith’s Fetters in your deck?”
psamms: 😀
psamms: it is awesome.
psamms: because I just respond with
psamms: “you’re an idiot.”
psamms: 😀

5 minutes later, on Magic Online…

[Name removed to protect the guilty]: ben goodman?
Ridiculous Hat: yes
Guy: hey, I was at PT Honolulu, congrats on the cash
Ridiculous Hat: thank you sir
Guy: I read your article the other day, I had one question
Ridiculous Hat: alrighty
Guy: if Miren the Moaning Well is such a big problem, why isn’t a Faith’s Fetters in the list somewhere?
Ridiculous Hat: you cannot search for Fetters.
Ridiculous Hat: it’s an enchant permanent.
Guy: ohhh, only creature enchantments

Phil Samms, a true font of wisdom and a generally entertaining lummox. Take his words to heart.

Before I begin, I noticed that I didn’t actually post a complete updated decklist in my last article, so let me take care of that.

This is the first part of my tournament report. I’m planning on it being a lovely potpourri of strategic and detailed reports of my matches mixed with tales of general buffoonery, which should please everyone. Be warned—when I say detailed, I mean detailed. Let me set the stage.

Place: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, United States
Time: March 2nd, 2006
Weather: Sunny, low 80s
Plane flight: Long
Deck: Tested and built
Personal scent: Mesmerizing

And the main cast of characters…

American Contingent:
Benjamin Peebles-Mundy (a.k.a. Peebles, a.k.a. CombatWombat), Pro Tour Top 8 deck designer, CMU student, cantankerous cynic.
Benjamin Ashman (a.k.a. FakeHat), MTGO social overlord, PTQ regular, sarcastic cynic.
Benjamin Goodman (a.k.a. Ridiculous Hat, a.k.a. me), forum troll, legacy mastermind, attorney at law, excitable cynic.

Yes, we’re all named Ben, and yes, we all stayed in the same hotel room. It was confusing for the front desk staff, which was part of the fun.

Islander Contingent:
Anthony Purdom (a.k.a. Agentis), token Australian, married man, actually not cynical.
James Glover (a.k.a. James), New Zealander, honorary Cymbro, wacky cynic.
blisterguy (there can only be one), opponent of capitalization, coverage don, cutie.

blisterguy was there to do coverage, and the rest of us were there to get some hot Tallowisp action going. It was quite the entertaining crew – and yes, blisterguy is that funny in person.

There weren’t many entertaining anecdotes from the first night, other than the hilarious free stuff that we were given. The PT shirts for this event were the most ridiculously uncomfortable clothing I’ve ever attempted to wear. Luckily, there were free Draft sets and sleeves and meals involved, so it was all good. I’m starting to realize how boring the pre-tournament experience actually is to talk about, though, so let me cut to the event itself.

At the event site in the morning, I get to experience the player’s lounge, which is really just a slightly better continental breakfast with a lot more Magic players. I also get to meet Mr. Ted Knutson, who has a handshake that is firm, yet graceful. We sleeve up, register, and get ready to rock the house.

Round 1: Tommi Lindgren (Finish: 383rd) — Zoo
He’s playing a Zoo deck with Skarrg and Rumbling Slum, which is one of the better matchups I can get.

Game 1 — The game starts off looking like it’s in my favor, as I get a Tallowisp and a Thief of Hope down. The Thief ends up dying to a Lightning Helix, while his Kird Ape gets hit with a Sickening Shoal (removing a Pillory of the Sleepless) when he picks up a Jitte. He plays out a second Kird Ape, which falls to a Pillory, followed by a Watchwolf who meets the same fate. Then, finally, when he’s at a fairly low life total and I have the win in two turns, down comes Rumbling Slum. Of course this won’t be a problem, I’ll just search up another Pillory and oh crap I only play three in the main. Remember when I removed one from the game earlier? Normally this would be fine, mind you, but he has a Skarrg in play, so Jitte will actually matter. He takes my Thief off the board with the first couple counters, and then he has a couple more sitting around.

I draw for my turn, feeling the game slipping away, and Ghost Council is sitting there waiting for me. Yus. Skarrg is going to cause a problem for me—except that for the first time he attacks into Dad, he forgets about the second ability and doesn’t pump with Skarrg. Block with Council and Wisp, stack damage, remove the Council from the game. No counters for you!

Unfortunately, he still has a large trampling guy and he draws a Helix to kill my other blocker and to bring him out of Pillory range. Two more counters, six more life points gone. The game is close. He swings again and I have to block with Ghost Council – four more life points gone.

I’m at five, he’s at two. He has two counters on Jitte and two Pillories on his guys. I have no creatures. We’re both empty-handed.

I draw for my turn… and it’s a Shining Shoal. I wonder if I’m actually going to end my first game at this PT in this strange fashion.

His upkeep, ping for one. He gains two from a Jitte counter, and loses two to Pillories. He draws and sends Rumbling Slum into the red zone as a 5/5, 7/7, 8/8 trample… damage on the stack? Sure.

Shining Shoal for 4?

He looks at the life pads, then looks at the Shoal, then looks at the life pads again, and then confirms with me that it’s an unintentional draw, which it is. What a weird way to start the event.

Sideboarding: -2 Dark Confidant, -1 Strands of Undeath, -1 Indomitable Will, -1 Teysa, Orzhov Scion, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +2 Blessed Breath, +1 Pillory of the Sleepless

Game 2 — This game is a lot less eventful—and just as a spoiler, I end it at twenty-two life. His Kird Ape is matched by my Tallowisp, Shining Shoal makes his guy die and my guy not die, and Thief of Hope comes down. Drain you, drain you, drain you, oops he died, here’s another, drain you, drain you, Ghost Council, kill your guy, Pillory your other guy, Pillory that guy, nice Cleanfall, kill you. I think he had a Naturalize in there somewhere too, but it didn’t actually make my blocking that much worse because I have eight free spells.

Game 3 — This game is even less eventful. He gets stuck on two lands and neither of them are White. I steamroll him rather quickly with a very nice curve that goes something like Koala, Teysa, Ghost Council… while he is completely Zooed (I combined “Zoo” and “screwed,” because they have mana problems so often. Aren’t I clever?). He shows me his hand afterwards, with lots of Helixes and two Cleanfalls and Hierarchs. I guess it’s a good thing that he kept a hand that couldn’t cast them.

Me: 1-0
Peebles: 1-0
James: 1-0
Ashman: 0-1
Anthony: 0-1

Round 2: Takuma Itou (Finish: 156th) — RG Beats
His list seems pretty standard, though he does have Genju of the Spires.

Game 1 — I did not see any Thieves of Hope this game, but fortunately I did see Shining Shoal, Tallowisp, and Kami of Ancient Law. He drops Frenzied Goblin early on and it hits me a few times, but when Wisp comes down he can’t really mount an effective offense. He gets down a Burning-Tree Shaman, which gets Pilloried, and then he tries for Genju. Block, stack damage, kill your Genju. How lucky! He doesn’t really have that many Mountains left in play and I get the second and third Pillories, which start to take huge chunks out of his life total. He goes to eleven, I play a Teysa and he goes to eight. I attack for two and drop a Ghost Council to bring him to five. He then goes to two on his upkeep, and packs ‘em in. Whoo!

Sideboarding: -2 Dark Confidant, -1 Strands of Undeath, -1 Indomitable Will, -1 Teysa, Orzhov Scion, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +2 Blessed Breath, +1 Pillory of the Sleepless

Always carry a spare

Game 2 — Main Entry: blow·out
Pronunciation: ‘blO-“aut
Function: noun
1 : a festive social affair
2 : a bursting of a container (as a tire) by pressure of the contents on a weak spot
3 : an uncontrolled eruption of an oil or gas well
4 : an easy or one-sided victory (as in this game)
If it’s possible, this game went worse for him than the previous one. He has no one-drop, where I have a Rusalka. Turn 2 he has a Jitte, and I have a Tallowisp. Turn 3 he has some irrelevant creature, and I have a Thief of Hope. Guess how many Shoals I have in hand? Hint: The number I’m thinking of starts with a t and rhymes with “blue”. I end the game at twenty-two life, and his Genju ends up hitting him in the face. His own creatures’ constant insomnia ends up being the death of him, and I finish the match with about forty minutes to spare in the round.

Aside: Before each game, after sideboarding etc, this guy laid out the 15 cards of his sideboard face-down in front of me and had me look at them. I thought it was pretty cool and I did this numerous times throughout the event, though I noticed that it seemed to be a practice that only Japanese players followed.

Me: 2-0
Peebles: 1-1
James: 2-0
Ashman: 1-1
Anthony: 1-1

By now, news was starting to spread a little about our deck. Peebles lost to Chambers in this round, but Chambers got some pretty good draws and was really impressed by the deck. It also helped that for the next round, I was playing at table 1. Hells yeah!

Round 3: Richard Hernandez (Finish: 71st) — Greater Gifts
He had a stock list, from what I could tell. Spanish cards look really cool, though.

Game 1 — I wasn’t entirely sure what he was playing, but then he started playing duals and Farseeking. After a few turns I guessed it was Greater Gifts, which I was not expecting or hoping to see at this tournament. However, I had a pretty good start, opening up with a Koala [a.k.a. Kami of Ancient Law. — Craig] and a Thief of Hope, and taking big chunks out of his life total. I got him down to nine before he Wrathed me – luckily, he only had three cards in hand at the time, so Strands of Undeath came to play and he pitched a Greater Good and a Kagemaro, leaving him with nothing in hand. He did have a Top, though, and eventually dug his way into a Goryo’s Vengeance to clear my board.

That was the point where I dropped Ghost Council and a Rusalka and passed the turn. Ruh row Raggy. (These are all extremely American references. Sorry, Craig.) [Yeah, I think I got that one… – Craig]

Ghost Council proved to be impossible for him to deal with, as I ended up drawing a couple creatures and I’d sandbagged a Tallowisp for sacrificial purposes. Finally, he gets down to seven and has three cards in hand. I attack him with a Koala and the Council. He Goryo’s Vengeances, blocks Council, draws a card with Top, and uses Okina to make his Kagemaro a 4/4. I stack damage and Shining Shoal him for two… and then he lets damage resolve. “He’s dead, right?” “Nope. Take three.” Kagemaro goes to the graveyard without doing a thing and he packs it in after an untap. How lucky!

Sideboarding: -4 Shining Shoal, -1 Indomitable Will, -1 Pillory of the Sleepless, -3 Plagued Rusalka, -2 Sickening Shoal, +3 Cranial Extraction, +2 Pithing Needle, +1 Kami of Ancient Law, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +1 Miren, The Moaning Well, +2 Persecute

Game 2 — My draw was a little worse here. I get down a Koala and attack him twice, but then he drops a Fetters on my dude. How unfortunate. Even more unfortunate is when he follows up with a Kokusho. He attacks once and passes the turn, and I draw a Cranial and cast it on him, naming Kokusho to make sure that I don’t die immediately. His hand has a Hierarch and a couple of lands, but I notice something odd when I look through his deck. Namely, there are no more Greater Goods. You know, that card that destroys my deck. Yeah, it’s gone.

He bashes me and drops a Hierarch. I drop a Ghost Council, but even though I can Pillory his Kokusho, it’s getting rather pointless to keep playing and the second Hierarch convinces me to pack it in.

Re-sideboarding: -2 Pithing Needle. -2 Persecute, +1 Pillory of the Sleepless, +2 Sickening Shoal, +1 Plagued Rusalka

Game 3 — I’m prepared for his creatures this time. I start off with a Koala and then a Tallowisp. He drops a Hierarch and smacks me with it once, but then I Pillory it and get my beat on. He untaps and Wraths, and then Yosei comes out to play. I untap and drop a Tallowisp. He bashes. I untap and Extract him for the remaining Yoseis, searching up another Pillory. Yeah, you get to bash me for another five, but then your Yosei ain’t gonna do nothin’. How you like me now? The Yosei he has left gets sacrificed to Miren, and my Wisp gets tapped down. Draw, go. He draws something that he keeps in hand and says go.

Untap, draw, ooh-may-zah-wah’s gee-tay.

He sinks in his chair as I equip it and hit him for the most painful point he felt all day. He takes five next turn, and drops a Hierarch. Oops, Pillory. He sacrifices his guy after taking five, untaps, and Putrefies my Jitte. Oops, another one fell out of my hand right onto this Tallowisp. After another couple of turns, he’s had enough and packs it in. Yus!

I should mention that during game 1, Ted Knutson came over and laughed at a Strands of Undeath being in play at a Constructed Pro Tour, which I can’t blame him for. But hey, publicity is publicity. Spread the word!

Me: 3-0
Peebles: 1-2
James: 2-1
Ashman: 2-1
Anthony: 2-1

Round 4: Tomohide Sasagawa (Finish: 57th) — Zoo
This was again a rather stock list, though he did have Moldervine Cloaks.

Game 1 — He mulligans on the play and then thinks really hard… and keeps. I, on the other hand, have the nut monster draw in this matchup – Tallowisp, Shining Shoal, Thief of Hope, Sickening Shoal, and three lands—and my first draw is a Rusalka. He has one Temple Garden and a pair of two-power one-drops. He does not draw another land and I do not have any trouble savaging him repeatedly. It isn’t pretty.

Sideboarding: -2 Dark Confidant, -1 Strands of Undeath, -1 Indomitable Will, -1 Teysa, Orzhov Scion, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +2 Blessed Breath, +1 Pillory of the Sleepless

Game 2 — This time it’s my turn to mulligan. I throw back my first landless hand, and draw the following grip…

Caves of Koilos
Godless Shrine

Now, of course I can’t keep this. I’d have to draw runner-runner spirits and hope that my Tallowisp doesn’t die in the meantime. If he has a lot of gas, I can get run over, and if he has a normal draw I’ll probably end up losing.

So I keep, of course. Yeah, I’m not very good. I draw four more lands before I die.

Game 3 — I’m on the play and I’m feeling pretty confident about my chances here. I have a Thief and a Koala in my opening hand so things should be fine. I get bashed a couple times by an Ape and my Thief ends up getting burned out, though I retaliate by dropping a Pillory and continuing to race. He has a couple of two-power guys ready to hit me fresh off the top of his deck, so I start to lag behind. I get a Ghost Council down to try and stem the bleeding and hit him with Shizo while I can still race him, but my hand is a bunch of lands and he keeps drawing gas.

He peels a Dryad Sophisticate, then a Helix to bring him up to seven, and then a Moldervine Cloak to kill me out of nowhere. I was bewildered at how my deck just didn’t seem to deliver anything, but sometimes it happens.

Frown town. At least I’m 3-1, and at least Becker came over to watch me lose with a “nice Draft deck”. Oh, that Becker and his cantankerous attitude. He’s a teddy bear at heart, though (and he needs to write more, seriously). I must soldier on to my next round and fight the good fight. Tally ho!

Me: 3-1
Peebles: 2-2
James: 2-2
Ashman: 2-2
Anthony: 2-2

Round 5: Ichirou Shimura (Finish: 230th) — Zoo
Yes, he had another stock list. This is getting repetitive, though I guess it’s better than playing against more Greater Gifts or something.

Game 1 — I took one point of damage this game, from my Caves of Koilos. I drop a turn 2 Koala on the play, to face down his turn 1… nothing. He has a turn 2 Watchwolf, so I drop a Wisp, Sickening Shoal the 3/3, and get in there. He has a Burning-Tree Shaman next, but that gets Pilloried and I bash once more. Down comes another guy — also Pilloried. His life starts going down in large chunks before he packs it in.

Sideboarding: -2 Dark Confidant, -1 Strands of Undeath, -1 Indomitable Will, -1 Teysa, Orzhov Scion, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +2 Blessed Breath, +1 Pillory of the Sleepless

Game 2 — He actually manages to deal me damage this game, so it might be a little more exciting to read. He Apes me on turn 1 and then drops a dual on turn 2 so he can get Watchwolf ready for me. I drop a Wisp to block his Ape but I still take the three from the Wolf. I untap and drop a Koala and get ready to start the Pillory action. He still gets in there with Watchwolf and I still take it, but then when he tries to kill my Wisp with a Helix, somehow the damage hits his 3/3 instead. Isn’t that odd?

Even more amusing is when I untap and drop a Ghost Council to start the beats. Untap, Pillory, bash. Untap, Pillory, bash. Untap, oh look you scooped, gg. This match was over in less than fifteen minutes.

Me: 4-1
Peebles: 3-2
James: 3-2
Ashman: 3-2
Anthony: 2-3

Round 6: Ben Lundquist (Finish: 21st) — URTron
His deck was not your average Tron build – he had six signets and Wildfire.

Game 1 —I took a lot of damage from my own lands this game, but he didn’t inflict any additional pain upon me. I get down a Kami of Ancient Law early, and just start bashing him. He has a Shivan Reef that he has to keep using, so I just bash him for two and play a guy, which he counters (and takes a point). This goes on for a number of turns, and he stops on five lands. I keep trying to force stuff through – Tallowisp? Countered. Bob? Blazed. Thief of Hope? Hindered. Ghost Council? Resolves. Wait, what? Oh yeah, he ran out of counters and I landed a Ghost Council (with no mana up) and dropped him to six while I was at fourteen. He finally hit his sixth land, paid two to drop his Steam Vents, and tapped out for Wildfire.

Hrm… so you’re at four? And you’re tapped out? And there’s a damage spell on the stack? I think I will cast this Shining Shoal targeting you, removing another Ghost Council. And you know what you can do about it? Literally nothing.

Sideboarding: -4 Sickening Shoal, -3 Plagued Rusalka, -1 Pillory of the Sleepless, +2 Persecute, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +1 Kami of Ancient Law, +2 Blessed Breath, +1 Miren, the Moaning Well

Game 2 — So I had some good luck last game, but it caught up with me this time. I mulled to six and keep a one-land hand on the draw with a Bob, a Tallowisp, a Kami of Ancient Law, and two high-mana cards. I figured that he doesn’t have any real counters left in his maindeck, and has no pressure whatsoever, so even if I miss a land drop for a turn I should be fine. He starts off with normal Tron plays and I start off by drawing nonland cards. Crap, discard, go. Crap, discard, go. I’m so bad at Magic, discard, go. You get the idea.

I hit my second land on turn 6 or so, at which point he already has complete control. He counters a Bob, I get a Tallowisp down and he Hammers it, I get a Ghost Council down and he Blazes it, and I’m screwed. However, he’s already used up one Blaze, and I’ve drawn a Shining Shoal… and there’s the other Blaze. I Shining Shoal 4 of it back to him to drop him to 11 and to keep me alive, but I’m wondering what in the hell he’s going to use to kill me. I haven’t seen a creature from his deck either game, and he’s digging like crazy, but still has nothing that will make me die. Once he gets about forty cards deep into his deck, he starts tapping Urza lands. Tower, Tower, Mine, Mine, Plant, Plant, Orochi Hatchery for seven. Yeah.

Since I haven’t seen any creatures from him in any of the games, I think it’s time to re-sideboard.

Re-sideboarding: -2 Pillory of the Sleepless, -1 Tallowisp, +3 Cranial Extraction

Game 3 — I keep a hand that’s light on early threats but has lands and two four-mana Black spells. The plan is to wreck his hand and then wreck his deck. My turn 2 Koala is Mana Leaked, my turn 3 Bob gets Remanded, and my turn 4 Bob gets Hammered. He has two Tron pieces and two Blue producers in play, so it seems like the path is clear. I’ve also drawn a second Extraction in the meantime to go with my Persecute, so I plan on making it impossible for him to win. I Extract him, it resolves, and I take his Blazes. He only had two, as I thought, but it turns out he does have creatures – four Keigas, to be exact. His hand is the last Tron piece, two more lands, Volcanic Hammer, and Tidings. Perfect. If he casts Tidings I can either nut-punch him with Persecute or take away his win conditions with Cranial. He untaps, draws, lays the third Tron piece, and says go. Hrm, just says go, huh? The only counters left in his deck are three Mana Leaks, so I assume he’s trying to bluff one. Untap, Extraction… oh, you weren’t bluffing, you actually drew the Mana Leak. And then he untaps and drops a Keiga right off the top.

(This is where you can insert an expletive of your choice. Whatever you do insert won’t be nearly as foul as what I was thinking.)

Anyway, since I have no creature removal left in my deck and he dealt with all my threats, I pretty much die after four swings.

Well, that was disheartening. Maybe I shouldn’t have played the Cranial there and cast the Persecute instead, but the way his deck was ordered there was no way for me to not lose the game. Oh well. Magic happens.

Me: 4-2
Peebles: 3-3
James: 3-3
Ashman: 4-2
Anthony: 3-3

About this time, I have another chat with Mr. Ted Knutson. This conversation may or may not have been exaggerated for dramatic effect.

Ted: “So, how did the last match go?”
Me: “I lost. I just have to win one of the next two rounds, though.”
Ted: “Win both rounds.”
Me: “But I only have to win one.”
Ted: “Win both rounds.
Me: “But-”
Ted: “Win. Both. Rounds.”
Me: “Okay.”

Guess I’d better do what the man says.

Round 7: Carlo Mazzurco (Finish: 113th) — Heartbeat
Oh, joy. My worst matchup. I hope that he goes to the man plan post-board, because otherwise it’s hard for me to win.

Game 1 — In testing, game 1 against Heartbeat was nigh impossible unless their deck completely fell apart on them. I drop a turn 1 Rusalka and a turn 2 Kami of Ancient Law. That’s the start I need to have a chance here, though the Sakura-Tribe Elder he drops doesn’t make things any easier. My Rusalka dies and I attempt to play a Teysa, which gets Remanded. My turn 4 Ghost Council gets Mana Leaked, and then turn 5 I drop the Teysa again and a Tallowisp. Both resolve. He hasn’t really done anything while I’ve been attempting to kill him. Sure, there was an Elder here and a Kodama’s Reach there, but I mean, it’s turn 5 and he has six lands in play and says go again.

I untap on turn 6, bash him for five, and then play Tomb of Urami and pass the turn. He drops another land and… just says go. End of turn a 5/5 huge flying evil demon comes down and he dies. A turn 7 goldfish against Heartbeat was good enough.

Sideboarding: -3 Pillory of the Sleepless, -4 Sickening Shoal, -2 Shining Shoal, -1 Indomitable Will, +2 Persecute, +2 Pithing Needle, +3 Cranial Extraction, +1 Kami of Ancient Law, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte

Game 2 — My deck is set up with massive disruption, so I’m ready for this guy. I’m ready for his turn 1 Top and I’m ready for his… no, wait, that’s a Vinelasher Kudzu. I’m not ready for that. The man plan is terrible against me, but he had the draw to make it happen and I didn’t have the answers to stop him. Vinelasher Kudzu is followed by lots and lots of lands, a Savage Twister to clear my board, and yet another Vinelasher. Things get ugly, I’m out of guys, and the last minute Cranial I fire off to see his deck gets Muddled. It was a quick game and there wasn’t a lot I could do.

Re-sideboarding: -2 Persecute, -1 Extraction, +3 Pillory of the Sleepless

Game 3 — Let’s try this again. I can deal with the man plan, and when he drops that Vinelasher Kudzu I am a very happy man. For you see, I had a Tallowisp in play, and when Tallowisp in play, my opponent’s creatures tend to become liabilities for them. The Vinelasher did in fact get Pilloried as my barrage of beaters started to show up—Thief of Hope resolved, Teysa resolved, Kami of Ancient Law resolved, and just for good measure I Needle his Drift of Phantasms. He does nothing threatening to me at all, and when he drops a Drift to block I know I’ve won. I drop a Jitte and he kills it with his own, but then I drop a second Thief of Hope and a Ghost Council. That was enough for him.

This is where I started celebrating. Becker interviewed me for the video thing right before the next round started, and I feel like all that testing paid off. I’ve avenged my performance at New Orleans, all of my teammates are poised to make it in to Day 2, and I’m ready to take some people down. Yaus.

Me: 5-2
Peebles: 4-3
James: 4-3
Ashman: 5-2
Anthony: 4-3

Round 8: Luc Beekx (Finish: 134th) — BW Rats
From everything I’d seen of this deck, it did not seem very good. This round did not change my mind.

Game 1 — I win the roll and have a draw that can best be termed iconic. I play a turn 2 Tallowisp, he reads it, and he plays a Ravenous Rats. I lose a Strands of Undeath, which he also reads. Then he reads the turn 3 Thief of Hope I play, and the Pillory that I search up. He plays another Ravenous Rats and I discard one of the Ghost Councils in my hand. I untap and play the other one, searching up another Pillory, and draining him for two. He drops a third Ravenous Rats and I discard a Pillory. I Pillory a Rats, swing, and he takes a bunch of damage. He untaps and plays nothing. I untap, swing, and he scoops in disgust.

Sideboarding: -4 Shining Shoal, -1 Strands of Undeath, +1 Kami of Ancient Law, +2 Umezawa’s Jitte, +1 Enfeeblement, +1 Pillory of the Sleepless

Game 2 — I once again drop a turn 2 Tallowisp because I am very, very good at Magic. He gets a turn 3 Shrieking Grotesque down, I play a naturally drawn Pillory on it and I get in there with the Wisp. He taps out for a Ghost Council, so I do the same thing, only mine searches out another Pillory. He drops a Hand of Cruelty and a Jitte, so next turn I bring down Kami of Ancient Law and Enfeeblement his ass. There’s some discard involved at this point, with the all-star Cry of Contrition making an appearance, so we’re both pretty much empty-handed for a couple of turns. Luckily, I have the creatures and he doesn’t. He drops a second Ghost Council on me, so I just drop a Rusalka and pass the turn. Sure enough, he phases out his Council to get Pillory removed, and when he untaps and swings, I fizzle Jitte with Rusalka, Pillory up his Council, and serve. He does not draw anything next turn and he packs it in.

I know that going 6-2 on a PT is not that exciting for a lot of people out there, especially some of the other Feature Writers on this fine website… but for me, with only five Pro Points to my name before the event, it was quite exhilarating.

Me: 6-2
Peebles: 5-3
James: 5-3
Ashman: 6-2
Anthony: 4-4

Four out of five of us made it in, with Anthony receiving the unfortunate luck of being paired against BWG Control four times during the day. 80% still made us the best-performing deck on the day, and I think I can safely say that I’m quite pleased with the way things are going.

So what will happen on Day 2? Listen as Tallowisp continues to be derided! See the excitement of wild bluffs and total blowouts! Feel the fear in the room as Osyp Lebedowicz smites a small child in a feature match and then devours his still-beating heart! (He’s still a good man, though.)

Part 2 will be up early next week, so for now, let me know what you think in the forums. You can be sure that I’ll be watching. My eyes are always vigilant, looming over every thread and lurking behind every reply.

If you say anything negative about my deck, I will see you in court.

Benjamin Matthew Goodman, Esq.
RidiculousHat just about everywhere

The Trophy of Respect