How Having Your Eyebrow Explode Affects Tournament Play

So I’m actually playing Type 1 again. Along with this comes reading and posting on TheManaDrain.com about all sorts of things. One of these things was an announcement for a Type 1 tournament in Connecticut. This gave me a warm, happy feeling, because I thought it was a posting for one of Ray Robillard’s awesome sauce Waterbury tournaments. Alas, it was not, but there was still the allure of first and second place getting a Lotus. I decided to play Tog a bit more against people, and it was still doing well, but I had seen how broken Slavery was and I really wanted to play it…

Disclaimer: There is very little strategy until the end of the article, so if that’s what you’re after, just skip to it.

I’ve been playing Type 1 a lot more often than usual lately. I get my Limited thrills (and spills) from Magic Online, and I abhor non-Type 1 Constructed, so what’s left? Type 1(derf) and probably a bit more writing, though that’s really hard, because where I normally write/finish articles is populated by lots of pretty girls. I hope you’ll forgive me. Anyway, so I’ve been smashing some face lately at the ‘Cat* with your friend and mine, Psychatog.

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Black Lotus

1 Mana Crypt

4 Underground Sea

4 Polluted Delta

1 Flooded Strand

2 Volcanic Island

3 Tropical Island

2 Island

1 Library of Alexandria

3 Duress

4 Mana Drain

4 Force of Will

4 Brainstorm

4 Accumulated Knowledge

2 Intuition

2 Cunning Wish

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

1 Gush

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Fact or Fiction

1 Yawgmoth’s Will

1 Mind Twist

1 Pernicious Deed

1 Gorilla Shaman

3 Psychatog


1 Berserk

1 Firestorm

1 Vampiric Tutor

1 Fire / Ice

1 Blue Elemental Blast

1 Red Elemental Blast

1 Oxidize

1 Artifact Mutation

2 Rack and Ruin

2 Pernicious Deed

1 Coffin Purge

This is a bit off topic, but whatever. The maindeck is perfect, the sideboard is highly customizable and, well, yeah. Some people are trying to be all”Techy” with like, Fire / Ices and not running good cards. My advice is to just go with what works. And my build works. Enough about that.

Back to the story. So I’m actually playing Type 1 now. Along with this comes reading and posting on TheManaDrain.com about all sorts of things. One of these things was an announcement for a Type 1 tournament in Connecticut. This gave me a warm, happy feeling, because I thought it was a posting for one of Ray Robillard’s awesome sauce Waterbury tournaments. Alas, it was not, but there was still the allure of first and second place getting a Lotus. I decided to play Tog a bit more against people, and it was still doing well, but I had seen how broken Slavery was and I really wanted to play it, but seeing as how I owned less than half of the deck, with that half missing the Mishra’s Workshops, etc, I figured I’d just stick with Tog and do just as well.

About a week before the tourney, a kid in Binghamton told me I could borrow his Slavery deck because he wanted to build some god-awful Affinity deck. I didn’t have the heart to tell him Affinity was teh suxx in Type 1, and I obviously wanted to play Slaver, but don’t tell him that. Eventually he found out Affinity sucked, so I offered him my Tog deck which for some reason he cut Mind Twist for Regrowth. Whatever. His list was playing random stuff like Panoptic Mirror and Wishes, which I hate playing, so I was an unhappy panda. Then Stephen IMed me a few days beforehand and told me how insane Brainstorm was, and since I’m a poser, I ran his version with a better sideboard, because I rule.

1 Black Lotus

1 Sol Ring

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mana Crypt

1 Mana Vault

3 Jilded Lotus

1 Tolarian Academy

1 Library of Alexandria

4 Mishra’s Workshop

4 Volcanic Island

3 Shivan Reef

1 Polluted Delta

2 Ancient Tomb

4 Chalice of the Void

3 Mindslaver

4 Joblin Welder

4 Force of Will

4 Brainstorm

4 Thirst for Knowledge

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

1 Windfall

1 Timetwister

1 Wheel of Fortune

1 Tinker

1 Memory Jar

1 Fact or Fiction

1 Smmenarch(Memnarch)

1 Big Pentz(Pentavus)


2 Gorilla Shaman

3 Blood Moon

3 Rack and Ruin

3 Trinisphere

2 Big Dupes(Duplicant)

2 Big Plats(Platinum Angel)

Myself and”the crew” decide to set the departure date for some random time before the event. On Friday, we decided it would be a good time to leave, as opposed to say, 5 minutes before the event Saturday. I skip my first class, sleep through my next one. After a productive day at school, I go home to get packed. This wasn’t much fun, as when it comes morning time, I take forever to get pretty, sort of like Derek’s mom, though I think she was busy making me breakfast. This by no means makes her less attractive to me, Bryce, Ed, etc. The process is hampered further by my new piercings that I have to clean and make”not dirty.” I had a lot to pack, and on top of that, I had to make sure I had stuff I could bring to the event itself to clean the holes in my face, as I was quite certain the tourney would be grubby and require much cleaning for myself, not to mention the open wounds on my face. Packing took about fifteen minutes, then the rest of the group was picked up around four’ish and we hit the road.

“The Crew”

Myself: Teh winnar is me!!11one!

Bryce: Burn You!

Josh: Um, that one’s three dollars. Yes, I have Avatars.

Eli: Regrowth > Mind Twist or, Why can’t we just give the whores the bottles?

The ride was balanced out by Josh talking about neutral things, Bryce’s hilarious discussions with Josh about their past drug usage and the like, and Eli complaining about me running Brainstorm. Heart. The road trip takes a really, really long time, as we went the slow way through random.NY.towns instead of the ole 88 to 84 to Connecticut route used to get to Waterbury, and beyond, to places like Taco Bell or Denny’s. Taking this ridiculously slow route, it takes us around four hours to reach the home of my homeboy, Chuck, known to many as BigChuck on TMD, the dude who hooked us up with a place to crash, and as a bonus, a pleasant view of his thirteen-year-old sister**.

We play some video games in his basement, and Eli bitches about me running Brainstorm again. While Charles, Eli, Bryce, and a reluctant Josh draft at about midnight, I decide to grab the big comfy couch in the living room, leaving the much larger members of the group with the love seat and chair-that-isn’t-a-recliner. Hehehe. I wake up a few times because Chuck’s sister either drinks a lot of water, or was checking me out. I didn’t pay any mind to either possibility and went back to sleep. No, seriously, I didn’t. Man, she’s like, four, and that just ain’t kosher, k?

Bryce on the other hand…

Everyone wakes up around 8 AM, myself feeling refreshed and great, while everyone else that didn’t sleep on either a bed or comfy couch felt like crap. Owned. We go to some mad expensive buffet because Connecticut sucks and has nothing else open in the morning, and watch Bryce devour the most foul concoctions that he could fit on his plate. I, myself, tasted a few awful pieces of what they called”food,” and proceeded to eat some mini-pancakes and ice cream, all washed down with multiple delicious glasses of chocolate milk. It takes longer than you’d expect to leave, because Bryce had to smoke, but whatev, it’s cool since it took around fourteen seconds to get to the middle-of-nowhere site, some random Knights of the Round Table hall, or something to that effect.

Walking in, I saw around thirty people I didn’t recognize and completely ignored Steve (Zherbus) when he said hi, walking around to find a familiar face. I notice ZherSubmarine a few moments later, and much rejoicing was had. And then he stole my Exalted Angels. I shall exact my revenge. Actually he just forgot to give them back. It’s coo. Soon after, none other than Stephen Menendian, my fellow Team MeanDeck, uh, teammate, showed up. With him was some guy I didn’t know, who turned out to actually be someone I didn’t know, Jason a.k.a. thecapn on TMD. More chats were had, and then some New Englanders showed up, the first I noticed being none other than my partner in ruining Type 1 by building the absolute worst control decks ever built and winning with them, Dave A.K.A. Eastman on TMD. I chat with a bunch of other people, most of the names you probably know from TMD. Many great chats were had, mostly about how amazing the drunken party at Ben Kowal house was.

The hall was pretty large, but there were no table cloths on the sandpaper-like tables, giving the playmat I carry around some street cred, with the side bonus allowing me to taunt people, regardless of if they had one or not. One of the things that scares me most is the one bathroom the hall had. I was very, very afraid of that room. Then I actually looked around and saw two more. Catastophe: Avoided.

I was suddenly very thirsty, and a bit hungry. I walk into the main hall, and Stephen and Jason are gone! I start to fret, but they return with some O.J. for Jason and communal water and crackers! Huzzah! Later in the day, I found a water bottle under a table. Yes, I took it. Yes, I filled it. Yes, it probably saved my life. It may be the cause of why I’m sick though. Only time will tell.

Eventually, like, an hour and a half after the advertised start time, Stok makes some announcements, but all I heard was something along the lines of,”We’ll take your pants and throw you into the cold if we catch you selling cards.” [Wow, Pete only steals your shoes. – Knut, noting Stok is harsh] I figured, fair enough, and let it slide. Some more stuff was said, but I was in the back of the room. Around twenty minutes later, round 1 pairings went up. I convinced Stephen, Steven, and Jason to join me in the back where it was a) less crowded, b) less smelly, c) likely to contain a set of pairings that would go up soon after the first ones. I was correct on all three counts, and the potato people cheered.

Round 1: Aaron playing Taiga.dec

Game 1: I don’t know Aaron, so I do what I normally do when I don’t recognize someone, assume they suck. This was pretty far from the case, as far as our games were concerned anyway. He beats me up with little guys while I build up a mana base. He gets me down to around eight and starts to throw some burn at me, a good chunk if it coming from a Stormbind(!). He gets me to three life and Incinerates me. I Force and hope he forgets his Stormbind exists. He didn’t.

Game 2: I sided in Trinispheres and he was stuck on two lands for a very, very long time. Chalices didn’t help much either. I end up burning him out with my Slaver turns.

Game 3: Again, he is stuck on two lands for a while and I do the Slaver thing and burn him out again after his mana develops. I think he got in some hits with a few guys, but it ended up not mattering as I was at a healthy nine life when I finished him off.

Aaron was a nice guy, seemed a bit frustrated after games 2 and 3, but kept his cool and was a very good sportsman.

1-0 (2-1)

Round 2: Eli playing MyHulkWithoutMindTwistForAwfulSauceRegrowth.dec

I wasn’t happy with this. Eli is one of the luckiest players ever when it comes to Type 1. Some of you may say I am, but I don’t start games with Lotus, Mox, Mox and either Ancestral Recall or Time Walk two out of every three games. He’s not cheating, as I shuffled him both games, so whatever. Stephen tells me to kick his ass. I proceed to do so.

Game 1: Eli gets one of his insane openings with an early Ancestral, Walk, Tog, then kills me with the usual Yawgmoth’s Will. I think I played a Mox.

Game 2: I side in the two Duplicants that were a house in the matchup against Tog. However, when you are playing a Type 2 deck against Hulk Smash, it’s a bit hard to win. I manage to Tinker out Big Dupes, but Eli sided in Artifact Mutation. Yeah. And he had the mana for it. On turn 3. He ends up getting a better draw off my Wheel of Fortune than I do (read: I’m still playing Type 2) and he ends up killing me with the tokens.

By kick his ass, I mean I played my Type 2 Urzatron deck and lost.

1-1 (2-3)

Then Round 2 is nullified because of some stupid mistake likely brought on by the staff, who’s numbers fit on my right hand, with a great deal of space left. So we get to play round 2 again, with new pairings. Eli calls me lucky, I just nod and go about my business.

Round 2.5 Mike playing Mono Red Burn

Game 1: Mike wins the roll. I keep a hand of Library of Alexandria, Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Volcanic Island, Jilded Lotus, X ,X. He keeps, as do I. We both draw with our Libraries for about eight turns. At that point, he had around six lands in play, excluding his Library. I had a Library and a Volcanic Island in play. He starts throwing the burn he’s accumulated at my head. I Force a Ball Lightning that would have put me precariously low, but it’s all for naught as he plays an EOT Price of Progress for eight, which I have a FoW for, followed on his turn by another FoW for right, bringing me to three, and then finishes me with a Fireblast.

Game 2: I’m a bit stunned by the beating I took in game 1, but Mike was a very nice guy, so I was actually in a pleasant mood, as I usually am when I get kicked in the teeth by nice people (don’t get any ideas Bryce). I think I sided in Trinispheres, but I left Big Plats in the board because I figured he’d bring in a decent amount of artifact hate, and I didn’t feel like going below zero and having Madam Platxime smashed by some dumb Lightning Bolt. I get a good start, he tosses a little burn at me, but I start Slavering him when I have about four artifacts in play, Welder, and lands with nothing in hand. I throw his own burn at him, but I start to get worried as I get down to my last artifact to Weld. I finally hit a draw spell and summon Thirst for Knowledge, which helps me get enough artifacts to finish him off.

Game 3: I get a very broken start, start slavering him very early, and finally going infinite with Pents and Joblin Welder. I explain it to him, but he is quite aware, and just wanted to see it at work, as he thought it was very cool. It really is, despite it being stupid and broken and stupid. I use his burn to kill him.

Mike was a great guy who just happened to stumble onto TMD while the announcement for the two Lotus dealie was up and decided to give it a shot. He told me it was his first Type 1 tournament, and was having a great time. I felt pretty scummy when he told me he was 2-0 before the re-pair. I directed him first to TMD, and when he mentioned he had seen Slaver first on StarCity, I told him there was also a great deal to read there. I obviously mentioned my articles. I’m awesome.

2-0 (5-4 – I’m counting the Phantom Round of the Opera because it happened. So there.)

Round 3: Ashok, a.k.a. MethodXL (though I think he changed it. I should pay more attention to TMD) playing teched out TnT

Game 1: We’ve played before, and I just had the best draws I had had all day (It was me playing Keeper and him playing Dragon). I had a feeling it would happen again, but didn’t get overconfident, as I knew he’d give me a tough game. I play a draw 7 on turn 2, which gives me a great hand with dub Welders, some card drawing, etc. It gave Ashok… crap. He played a bunch of mana thingies and passed. I played the Welders after I drew a third. He does nothing again, and next turn I play my third Welder because they’re fun and I’m awful. To be fair, I had a fourth in hand, just in case he had Triskelion. Once I laid the third, I looked him straight in the eye and said,”I hope you don’t draw Triskelion.” He laughed and said he hoped he did. How rude. Anyhow, he draws his card, looks at his hand. Looks at his board, laughs, and I already know what he drew. He started tapping the mana thingies and I announced,”Triskelion!” as he plopped the Little Robot That Could on the board. I don’t have a Force, so he gets to pop off all three of the Welders, leaving him with a threatening 1/1 droid, downgraded from the status of”Giant Smashing Robot Killer Device Of Doom.” Next turn, I obviously drop the fourth welder. Ashok laughs, and we end up going to game 2.

Game 2: I boarded in Big Dups and probably Madame Plats as well, but I’m not sure on Her Majesty. He drops an early Survival of the Fittest and passes. I play some mana thingies and pass back. He EOT Survivals for Squee, Anger, etc, and drops the bomb the following turn: Big Juggs himself. The turn before I’m fairly certain he dropped a Ground Seal, and he had a Tormod’s Crypt from earlier on. I proceed get in some beats and drop Mr. Smmemnarch. He holds back for a while, and I beat him up for a few turns. I get greedy and drop Big Pents the next turn, and he obviously Rack and Ruins. I am awful at Magic. I tell him as much, and he laughs. In the end, I have a Pentavite and Welder, and his board is clear. I Duplicant something (I think a Juggs), and continue the attack, hoping that his Survival engine is slowed down by the Twister I played, removing all of my good cards minus two Mindslavers. He survivals for a Keldon Vandals to destroy something of mine (I think it was big Dups), and decides to attack as he’s at a healthy five and had Anger in the yard. The turn after, I cast and use Mindslaver. I am able to attack him to three with the Welder/Pentavite tag team, take his turn, and reprogram his Triskelion to turn on him, all the while staring at him with his empty, soulless eyes. The eyes that make you shiver, not from fear, but from the possibility that they are only a reflection of your own eyes…

Er, enough for the creative writing. So I won. Ashok took it well, as our last game was very, very good, and we both enjoyed it a lot. Those are the awesome games, the ones that swing back and forth, leaving both players unsure of who will win.

Though the true victory lies not in the game itself, but what you do outside the game. The life you live, the friends you make, having a wrong, but oh so right, one night stand with Derek’s mom…

Remind me to get my keyboard fixed. I think I’m channeling the spirit of Tim Aten.


Round 4: Joe playing Mad Old School Mono Red(I’m talking Varchild’s War Riders, Earthquake, etc)

Game 1: We sit down, shake, etc. Then we don’t talk. We finish shuffling, do the mulligan thing, but he draws an extra card after his mulligan. This puts me in a bit of a pickle. At a PTQ, I’d call a judge and he’d get a forced mulligan to five. This is a Type 1 tournament though, we generally don’t worry about things like that. However, we are playing for some very expensive prizes, and I came with my game face on, and reluctantly tell him as much. He understands, but seems a bit miffed and takes his mulligan. I’m on the play and drop a Volcanic and pass. He plays a Mogg Fanatic and says go. I put out a Chalice for one, which he’s not pleased with at all, then drop another Chalice on the table for two, but I hadn’t paid my mana for it yet. I look at it, then look at my lands, about to tap them, and he tells me that it has to stand. I kinda look at him funny, but I’m so tired and I’m feeling wicked sick at this point so I just say okay, and leave it at zero.

He plays two-mana things and eventually kills me, while if I could have dropped any of the Moxen or my Lotus, I’d easily be able to win. I get really mad at this, especially when I realize how to play Magic correctly. I vow to not be dumb like that again.

Game 2: I side in Her Majesty herself, the fine Big Madam Plats, and a fine woman she is. I also bring in my Trinispheres, as they rule. I get some early lockage with Chalice at one and Trinisphere. He is displeased and is stuck at two, saying go and discarding, while getting in his hits with a first-turn Fanatic again. I am not under any pressure, so I develop at my own pace, and eventually get around to Slavering him, going infinite with Pentavus. He understands the combo and concedes.

Game 3: He gets out a bunch of early guys and plays a bunch of burn, with me losing a pair of Welders to an Earthquake. Who hears that in a Type 1 report? Regardless, I find myself unable to get the Slaver thang going on, so I poop out a Chalice for one, then drop Big Plats. With the Chalice and Trinisphere ,I attack unmolested for four turns, taking tons of Mana Crypt damage and burn/attacks from him. I Slave him and destroy his side of the board and leave him with three lands and a couple of cards in hand. I play a Chalice for six to keep him from Fireblasting my beautiful lady, and kill him the next turn with Big Plats.

There seemed to be no hard feelings after the match, which made me brighten up a bit, and I tell Stephen about the match. Jason, the Steves and I do the high-five thing because Plats was a great metagame call. I’d have probably lost without her.

4-0 (9-5)

Jason, Menendian, Steve O, a few other guys and myself hang out a bit, because there’s some time before the next round. Someone tells a really funny joke and we all laugh really hard. Two minutes later, Steve looks at me and says,”Dude, you’re eyebrow is bleeding.” Naturally, I freak out, grab the cotton balls and my bottle of Sea Salt water (Preparation rules) and dash to the bathroom with a good mirror. What I’m greeted with is a nice black and red scabby thing on the bottom ball of the barbell. Then I see a little under and around the top one. Awesome.

I spend about 20 minutes trying to clean it up as best I can, soaking, softly rubbing, and yelling at it. Someone walks by and informs me that the round has started and I’m playing against the twelve-year-old combo player. I ask a passing Brian Phelon to tell andystok I might be a minute or two late as I’m tending to my wound. About five minutes later I give up and head to my table with a cotton ball over my eyebrow. I drop my medical supplies on my table, realizing I didn’t have a backpack anymore. Those usually hold decks. So I ask a few people if they know who was holding my bag, and no one knew, so I bolted to where we were sitting, and amazingly, my bag was still there***.

Round 5: Noah playing Rector Trix

Game 1: I shuffle up really quickly and give him a quick shuffle, as I was late getting to the table and didn’t want to eat up time. I then press the cotton ball to my head again, then put it on my score pad, which leaves a little bloody residue on the page. Hardcore. He sees the blood on the cotton ball and tells me I should probably go to the doctor. I smile and tell him I’m alright, but I probably won’t be making any facial expressions for fear of blood spurting out onto the table onto all our expensive toys. He’s cool with that and we begin.

He disrupts me a bit, taking my Brainstorms, leaving me with a sketchy hand, and later takes my Jilded Lotus over a Thirst, I think. The Thirst gets me back into things, letting me do the drawing thing, getting me into a really good position with a Welder in play, and a Slaver and Workshop in hand with nine mana untapped after dropping the Shop. I think for a bit, then cast the Workshop and say go. I also had a Thirst in hand. I’m pretty awful. I was afraid of him countering my Thirst and leaving me unable to use my Slaver for a turn. So by casting it, I give him a window to win. He has Yawgmoth’s Bargain out, so I’m going to get to kill him when I Slaver him. But between playing a very thought intensive deck that I’d never played before, too little food and drink, and a bleeding eyebrow, I miss the correct play and lose the next turn.

Game 2: I sided in some stuff I don’t remember, but we both mulligan, and his hand is much, much worse than mine. He gets out a Bargain by hardcasting it, but I Slave him out next turn.

Game 3: He gets out an early Rector, and I’m trying to race him to a Slaver or something. My memory is a bit spotty here, again. Most of the match for me was spent by holding a cotton ball up to my ‘brow to see if it was bleeding, which it wasn’t. I took that as a good thing. He eventually killed me. I took that as a bad thing. Now I had to win out. At least I didn’t bleed to death. Which is a good thing, or so says I.

4-1 (8-5)

Round 6: Micah playing EBA

Game 1: I sit down, ask my opponent if he’s Micah, and he says yes and starts congratulating me. I’m kinda confused, but he tells me no one can ever pronounce his name correctly. I tell him I’m awesome like that, and we get to start pummeling each other.

He gets an early Angel morphed up, but I’m building up to a point where I can make sure Slaver/Welder gets through and stays. That goal is accomplished with the help of a few Brainstorms, and I Slave him a lot, but without a Pentavus, I’m starting to get worried about running out of artifacts. I draw enough to get me to a Wheel, which gives me more options. His Angel is still on the board, and I’m at four life, so I want to get rid of it and try to kill him. After much drama where he gets to watch me play the game, I finish him with Big Pents.

Game 2: He drops an early Meddling Mage on Red Elemental Blast, and I giggle on the inside. My sideboard is teh rox. I’d brought in Big Dupes and Blood Moons, so his Mage hit nothing. Yay. Then he plays Energy Flux. That’s worse than the Mage for me. I scramble for a while to keep some artifact mana in play, and get to the point where I can get out Smmenarch with the hopes of stealing his Flux and sacrificing it. I follow that up with a Blood Moon after protecting Smmenarch. I am able to turn the Flux into an artifact, but I wasn’t able to steal it, which is why I summoned Blood Moon. I’m not sure how, but he starts killing me, which makes me displeased. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it and I bite the bullet.

Game 3: I keep the board the same, but it really doesn’t matter. I lead off with Workshop, Mox, Mox, Jilded Lotus, allowing me to cast Ancestral, Mana Vault, Thirst for Knowledge. He’s fairly impressed, as are those around us. He really can’t match my skillz and ends up getting the infinite Slaver thing going down on him.

5-1 (10-6)

Micah was pretty cool, and we and the guys next to us cracked a lot of jokes about things I don’t remember. They may have had something to do with Derek’s mom, as do most things. She gets around, but it’s highly likely they didn’t know her. Yet.

Round 7: Jason playing Food Chain Joblins

Game 1: If I won this round, I was auto Top 8. I didn’t let it get to me, because I’m cool like that. We both mulligan, and Jason drops a Goblin Tinkerer. I start to get the Slaver on line, but he’s able to combo me out. I wasn’t expecting that.

Game 2: I think I brought in Trinispheres, but I might not have. He doesn’t do a whole lot in the first few turns. I’m able to take advantage of this lull and get Slaver going. On my second activation, I get a chance to start comboing him. Now I hadn’t heard of Food Chain Goblins until a week ago, much less what’s in it, or how it works. So I took roughly twenty minutes to figure out how to combo him out. I eventually pull it off with Goblin Sharpshooter.

Game 3: We start kind of slow, but I’m able to pull off a slaver. Then I mess it up. He had a Prospector in play, a Recruiter, Ringleader and a Matron and three mana sources in play, one being a Mox. And I had Memnarch in play. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but what I was supposed to do was Recruit all of his five-to three-mana guys, then take his lands and win. Yeah, I didn’t see that. See how you do with a bleeding eyebrow, every moment fearing that death will come to you… But it’s inevitable, like the rain, or the moon, or Derek’s mom putting out… These things we cannot…

That really needs to stop. Maybe I need an exorcism or something. If I’m really lucky, the Ghostbusters will rejoin and zap the baddie out of me!

So about the tournament itself. It was a nice idea, but very, very poorly executed. The hall was decent, but looked really shabby with the grubby tables and colors on the floor and whatnot. Aesthetics are very important. I didn’t know how to spell aesthetics, and my stupid word processor sucks, so I took the initiative and went to www.Dictionary.com. Man, do they rule. Err, yeah, tournament hall. There didn’t seem to be enough people actually, like, running the event. To myself and a few others, it looked like there was only the guy at the computer, and I don’t know if he was there all the time. The only people I saw answering judge calls were players who got up from their matches and answered them. To those who did: You’re hardcore and you rock. Then there was the whole Phantom Round 2. That sucked.

Then there wasn’t anywhere nearby so that I could buy food and liquid refreshment. At least in walking distance. Walking is for hardcore kids. Like me.

After the tourney at like, 8:30 on Tuesday 2025, we make our way to Substantially-larger-in-size-when-compared-to-other-smaller-people-than-he-Charles’ house again. This time I get stuck on the love seat. His sister can’t see me from the kitchen, so obviously she shows up once to scout the scene, then books, only to be heard rocking out on her guitar the next day. The parents of Chuck were really cool to be so hospitable to us for pretty much the whole weekend. Mad props. And they bought us donuts. Start out on Main St, take a left at the mouth, go south down the Esophagus, right to the stomach. Can’t miss it. From there, it’s a very, very short trip to the heart. I love donuts.

The drive home really sucks. We stop at a Pilot somewhere in New York and people defile the bathroom and eat Arby’s. I’m not sure which is worse. Did you know that Pilot gas stations carry a wide variety of items for you to choose from? I was pretty stuck between my CB radio, or my briefcase. Bryce bought a knife, me and Josh checked out the Pilot’s movie section and they had some decent ones, which made me very uneasy for some reason. The chick behind the counter in the front (not the nasty one in the back) kept giving me the eye. I was considering talking to her, but then I remembered she was working in a Pilot in the middle of nowhere. Disaster: Averted. Eli ate some nasty Arby’s food, and after Bryce is done chasing twelve-year-old girls with his newly bought knife, we head home.

An hour later we’re in Pennsylvania.

I was pretty confused, but didn’t really care enough to bring it up. I pass out for the rest of the trip, and wake up just as we get to Binghamton****. Our lovely city greets us with a shiny day, and then dark clouds and rain as soon as we enter the city limits. I hate you Binghamton, and now it’s in writing.

We get near my sleepy little town, which is in the opposite direction of where everyone else wants to be, and I point out a very awesome sign that contains the words”Bottle Babes,” featuring a portrayal of scantly clad women giving each other high fives. Bryce immediately sees the connection between prostitutes and recycling. The plan goes a little like this; Give your bottles to the Pimp. He takes the bottles up to Michigan in his truck with a big ole pile of money. Then the prostitutes do their thang to reward you for being an environmentally sound citizen. We come to the conclusion that recycling rules. I get home, sleep, etc.

What did we learn from this?

-Some thirteen-year-olds are just lying.

-Big Plats is a house.

-Connecticut sucks

-Binghamton sucks even more.

-Recycling is a good thing

-Recycling is a very good thing.

-Unless the prostitutes are ugly. Then just throw cans in the trash.

I hope you all enjoyed your lesson for today.

Carl Winter

Paragon of Vintage (I think)

Member of Team Mean-Deck

Moderator on TheManaDrain.com

Writer who needs to write more often.

Winner of the first annual (hopefully) Type 1 Grand Prix

I guess I should actually talk about the deck, so don’t click back just yet. As I see it, there are two best decks in Type 1: Tog and ComboSlaver. There are decks that can beat these, true, but they don’t put up the numbers against the field like Tog and Slaver do. The meat and bones of the deck is Gilded Lotus. When you aren’t able to get a Gilded Lotus into play, doing, well, anything, becomes much harder. This doesn’t mean that not resolving a Jilded Lotus is”Gee Gee sir,” but more of a”Now I have to play fair?” because that’s what the card is. Unfair.

Actually, I think I was lying. The real heart and soul of any Slaver build – control or combo – is Thirst for Knowledge. Stephen presented a question for the forums about whether or not Thirst should be restricted. I brought up that topic a few times this weekend. Personally, I think it can stay. Slaver is in no way unbalancing the format, as there are many ways to get around the Slaver lock. Most of these are also good against other decks, like Ground Seal (Dragon), Tormod’s Crypt (derf derf), Coffin Purge (Dragon, TnT, random Reanimator decks), random creature removal (the exception being Ember Shot), and, of course, Noble Panther. Slaver is the new Keeper. It will bow before the cat.

When playing the deck against aggro, it’s all about managing your life. You can afford to take damage for a while, as any control player knows, but unless you can get them in a hard lock, there’s the potential they can surprise you with a random Bolt or Stormbind activation. Big Pents is pretty good at holding off swarms, but Triskelion might deserve a maindeck slot. Trike is great in the mirror and against TnT, as it mows down their Welders, and if they don’t have Welders in play, it brings the pain. It also gives you an extra win condition. Then do your card drawing thing and Slave ’em out.

The control matchup is a bit more tricky. I’ve heard a few ways to approach the matchup, but depending on the deck, you might play either or both roles as beatdown or control. Against Landstill, they really can’t do anything to you. Tog is tricky. They have more disruption, a faster kill, and an amazing sideboard against you. Your advantage is that you have more card drawing than they have, and the ability to annihilate them with one Slaver activation; especially when they have a Tog in play or in hand. You can go with the fast combo-slaver approach, but that can be messed up by a well-timed Cunning Wish for Coffin Purge, Fire/Ice, Rack and Ruin, or Artifact Mutation. I’m more of a fan of playing the control. Thirst is just sooooo good, and if you’re able to resolve a Welder, Thirst is now a possibly game ending threat to them. Keeping ahead of their card drawing is more important than I can stress.

With the addition of Brainstorms, it’s a lot easier for the Slaver deck to keep up with the Tog’s drawing, though you don’t have the benefit of shuffling away junk with fetchlands, but that’s not really the point of Brainstorm in the deck.

Stephen went over this already, so I’m not giving some groundbreaking analysis of the card, but Brainstorm is a digger in this deck. Other control decks seek to use it to smooth out their draws, and with fetchlands, get rid of dead cards(Like Swords to Plowshares in Keeper against combo). Slaver uses it to get down to the more broken cards in the deck, much like Long.dec, TPS, etc. It’s essentially three Time Walks for the deck. Sometimes you do get stuck with fourteen lands on top of your deck, but the times where you dig into a Mindslaver or Thirst more than makes up for the random land flood draws.

Post sideboard, Tog will bring in Rack and Ruins, Deeds, and some number of REB’s if they feel like it. I’ve seen Artifact Mutation and Oxidize brought in, but I like those better to Wish for, if the need arises. The ability to Wish for solutions is more important to me. As for Slaver, with the board I used, bring in three Blood Moon and two Duplicant. It’s not much, but Duplicant is really good to Tinker out or just Weld in a few times to take out their Togs. Then they serve for one. Savage. Blood Moon is just good. End of story. (Though I did feel a little dirty having them anywhere near a deck I was playing.) It felt kinda good now that I think of it… I only played one match against Tog, and I boarded out Chalice and Time Walk. Most of the day, I wasn’t a huge fan of Chalice. It was a house against random aggro and burn decks, but I don’t like trying to get cute and get a Chalice for two off, only to have them Deed later because you probably only have one Force to back it up.

In Tog, I like to take out Mind Twist, (or in Eli’s case, Regrowth), Deep Analysis (if you run it), and after that it gets a little sketchy, as some lists run multiple Deep Analysis, Red Blasts, Coffin Purges, or the like. In my Tog list, I bring out Gush, Mind Twist, and three Duresses for my two Deeds, Rack and Ruins, and Fire/Ice. I like boarding in Fire/Ice a lot because it cycles. Cycling is good. And it goes to the dome if you want. I love Fire/Ice. I’m not as big of a fan of Duress as you might think I would be. Personally, I hate sorceries. A lot. I’d just rather have more Wraths and removal than cards that will, a good amount of the time, put a Slaver or Big Pents into the graveyard for them.

I’m not a very optimistic person when it comes to certain matchups, but I think it helps in a way. I try to have all of my bases covered, as opposed to being really strong in a few areas, then have a couple of weak spots that my opponent can capitalize on. There will always be some holes in the deck, but it’s best to plug as many as you can, otherwise your ship will sink, and then how will you terrorize the whole of the Caribbean?


-Draw lots of cards against Tog

Mindslaver ASAP against, well, everything.

Brainstorm is good.

Thirst for Knowledge is better.

Thirst for Knowledge doesn’t need to be restricted, yet.

-Sideboard better than I do.

-Take up the life of a Pirate: You’ll thank me when you’re knee deep in plunder and womenfolk.

-Derek’s mom’s number is 607-2**-****.

-Don’t trust me when it comes to Derek’s mom.

* Fat Cat Books, 187 Main St. Johnson City, NY. Type 1 every Saturday at 1 PM to when we finish.

** There is no way that girl was thirteen.

*** I am always telling people to keep track of their stuff. I do it, and it works for me. Yay for being lucky.

**** http://www.cityofbinghamton.com/. It’s deceiving. It’s not that pretty at all. They’re hyping it up as some metropolitan paradise, with golfing on the side. It’s really not. There’s lots of drug trafficking, prostitution, and prostitutes selling drugs.