How To Do Better But Still Suck, Even With Help: PTQ New Orleans

Rogue deck designer Adrian Sullivan and classic strategy writer hand Rizzo a deck to help him try and qualify. We’d leave the suspense up, but frankly, the title says it all.

Instead of ten pages of”what I’m playing and how I came to that decision in agonizing detail” that I’ve become so adept at lately, I figured I’d sum it up in one sentence, or two perhaps:

I’m playing AndyJ.dec, which will henceforth be known as”Teen Wolf.dec.” You can obtain the decklist – the same Mike Patnik used to make two Top Eights – somewhere at the PES website. I’d list it, but AndyJ would kick me in the grille. Actually, he picks on me anyway, but he’d beat me even harder if I listed his deck.

By simply looking at the decklist, I am lost in figuring out how the damned thing wins. But I am fully aware that the deck has performed no worse than 6-2 in eight showings, with two Top Eights and six almosts to its credit.

Since I broke down most of the gauntlet to supply non-card having nerds with cards, I have only Jason Means Greens to playtest against, and I left that bad boy at CMU. Good beats – goldfish beats. It’s not like a guy would need to have an idea of how the hell to play this deck.

Apologies to Teen Wolf for the 3-5 day that is on the horizon… Hey, that reminds me…

My wife saw the following on the news, and then saw it on two other newscasts the same night:

After a torrential rain, some superficial newswhore vulture was interviewing a random”Quick, honey, turn on channel 11 and pop a tape in the VCR – I’m gonna be on the news!” nerd, when she asked him to describe the storm. His reply?

“It was raining so hard the rain was vertical!”

Dear God,

Maybe you should not have told Noah about that”flood thing” and started over with something smarter.


Vertical Horizon

Guess what? I um, changed my mind. Again.

On Thursday afternoon, after my last happy 3-5 report was posted, I received an email from edt, basically telling me that I had no game and that me playing AndyJ.dec was assier than anything that has ever been or will ever be ass.

“I see,” said I.

“No, you don’t sucka duck,” said edt, lovingly.

“Sup?” retorted I, playing it cool.

“Lemme get you a good deck, you bastard,” spits edt, again, lovingly.

“Do dat shiz, yo,” said I, moving adeptly from a B-boy stance into a gangster lean.

But first, edt had to ask Adrian Sullivan, he of…”You know who he hell he is” fame, if he would be so kind as to throw the sinking-fast Johnny Riz a friggin’ bone in the form of a deck that does not suck.

This is the aforementioned bone:

Sunny D, by Adrian Sullivan (with much help from JFR. Sike! LOL!)

I’d list the deck, but I am bound by my word to edt (and implied word to Adrian) to keep it on the quiet. However, the more clever readers will be able to ascertain much of the decklist… But not all.

And yes, I feel kind of like a jerky for playing”hide the tech,” but in the immortal (paraphrased because I’m too lazy to verify) words of Tony Montana:

“A man only has two things in this world: His word and his balls. And I don’t break neither of them for nobody.”

And say hello to my little friend while you’re at it.

“I’d like to see you Q,” offers edt, lovingly,”And this is the deck to do it.”

“But are you not aware that I am simply dreadful at this game called Magic?” I retort, questioning edt’s intelligence but not the warmth or breadth of his heart.

Alas, edt is not a man to be trifled with. I think it has something to do with the shiny shirts, which may or may not allow him to bend light.

Man, if I go 3-5 with a secret Corrupter deck, I think I’ll have to take a bridge before said Corrupter tracks me down and beats me unmercifully about my tender parts. We shall see… But I withdrew a little”traveling money” just in case I have to go on the lam to escape Adrian and edt’s blood wrath.

“Become wrath.”

-Kevin Spacey, Seven

Neat. I brought up two decks that I was bound to not list. Who am I, a friggin’ pro holed up in a bunker of secret technology? Wouldn’t wanna let Johnny Sucks At Magic post my decklist, for his readers tune in expecting to find the latest technology on a regular basis. Pardon me, but if I told you that Tolarian Academy was good in a deck that utilized many artifacts, no one would believe me.

I am accidental technology, yet, no one will let me take their hand and lead them unto the road of the 3-5. Why is that? And in case you’re wondering, Sunny D looks nothing like Kai’s winning Domain deck from GP: London. Word to Gary Wise: all you guys that sold your whatever that 3cc artifact that tries to hose Domain is called are now screwed. ‘Cause I bought ’em all up, and you can’t have them.

“And to you they’re gold, and you don’t get them.”

-Alec Baldwin, Glengarry Glen Ross

Hey! I think I just got it!”Sunny” as in Sexual Vanilla, and”D” as in the first letter of the name of that deck that uses all of the colors of mana. I am clever, with a little line over the last”R,” just like the infinite numbers that repeat the last digit.

Well. I just read blisterguy article, which basically tells everyone to play D. And he claims that edt willed him to do it. That edt is so damn fickle – he tells everyone to play D! If I didn’t like blisterslick’s writing so much, I’d, um, well, I… Wouldn’t like it so much.

Hopefully, everyone read blisterchief’s article and largely ignored it while thoroughly enjoying it.

Oh, and one more thing before the report comes up in here…

Carl Jarrell.

And one more thing…

This is the deck I sent into Wizards Auction Du Peeps. If you can figure out the theme, I’ll send you way too much cool stuff. In the two years that the decklist has been out and about (with minimal changes, yo), no one has even come close to figuring it out. Ever. Good luck – you’ll need it.

Adult Situations and Themes

Creature type: There sort of isn’t one, chief

3x Brass Man

4x Kavu Titan

2x Whipstitched Zombie

2x Viashino Sandscout

1x Mogg Assassin

3x Brass Secretary

2x Royal Assassin

2x Blood Vassal

1x Stronghold Assassin

1x Titania’s Chosen

2x Viashino Sandstalker

2x Sandstone Warrior

1x Tsabo’s Assassin

1x Notorious Assassin

1x Sand Golem

1x Laccolith Titan

4x Assault/Battery

3x Mystic Compass

1x Titania’s Boon

1x Scrying Glass

1x Star Compass

4x Bayou *** not in theme ***

4x Taiga *** not in theme ***

4x City of Brass

2x Grasslands

2x Quicksand

3x Sandstone Needle

2x Swamp *** not in theme ***

It’s so damn funny to me that, even while the theme is amazingly sophomoric and immature, I laugh my ass off every time I think about just how nutty I am. Again, good luck.

One more thing. You’re likely as sick of reading about IBC as I am of writing about it. Thankfully, this is the last week, at least for me. Hey, I just remembered something from MBC last year – I played R/W in two tourneys… And this year Wizards puts out gold cards that are RED and WHITE.

Say the following in your best”stoopid Keanu voice”:


Onto the report, damnit. Don’t worry, Friggin’ vision ain’t blurry…And no pics, since I have to hear The Ferrett incessant whining after every report. Or maybe I don’t, but I bet he whines a lot anyway on general principle, just like any crotchety, cantankerous editor should. (Damn straight – The Ferrett) Also, my camera is malfunctioning like Mr. Spock in that episode where he kicked Captain Kirk’s ass all up and down Vulcan, so I have a good excuse.

When: Last week some time

Where: Earth

Format: IBC

Number of Players: Bigger than a breadbox

Number of Chyx in attendance: 1

Did she have a nice butt? Not too shabby.

Did you just offend your female readers? Um, what female readers?

I am Sexual Vanilla.


Round 1: Bevan Hilty, R/G

Wow, does this Sunny D suck. I lose the first game on turn six due to never seeing a third land – and in the second, I’m down to one life, when, almost on a lark, I ask the Sophisticated Advocate for help, which comes in the form of an Unkempt Manor. That’s what a brother calls a peel. Upon casting said peel, I further exasperate Bevan’s newfound problem by tapping a little mana into my pool and casting Large-scale Devastation. Before anyone knows what happened, I’m at fifteen. Then nineteen.

The third game involved me being beaten about my soft spots with a Mongoose and friends while I set up. At ten, I manage to find and drop Cooperative Moderation and Insidious Accomplishment, which I activate for just enough to eliminate his pesky team, and then some Large-scale Devastation comes up in here to eliminate any problems I may incur while bringing The Practitioner of Apparitions to the party next turn. The Advanced Flying Men also joined the assault on B’s diz.

We were the last match still playing…

1-0 Kelly, can you handle this?

Round 2: Man Tsoi, W/B/U

Since both of us drop an early Atoll, we play Draw-go for about ten turns. Eventually, I gather what I feel will be enough countermagic to allow my threat to enter (and stay in) play. The Practitioner of Apparitions hits, sticks, and does twenty plus to Man’s melon.

In game two, Man’s Practitioner hits, sticks and does the necessary twenty plus.

The third game became very ugly for me when Man dropped a kicked Desolation Angel with me at fifteen and no answers in the vicinity, general or otherwise. Just as I drew my next card, three or four spectators mentioned that we were on about turn eight of the five extra turns since time was called. In other words, my blood pressure was elevated for no reason; I had him under The Curse of Darwin and didn’t even know it.

1-0-1 Michelle, can you handle this?

Round 3: Adam Miller, R/G/U

Everything goes according to plan: I drop Cooperative Moderation at a discount with the help of Sexual Vanilla, cast Large-scale Devastation, drop a Very Bad Against Adam 5/5, and The Advanced Flying Men with Spirit Link. The scary part is that I did this when I was at four. However, with the elements in place, I was impervious to most infections, airborne or otherwise.

Game two took about forty minutes, but I managed to stay alive long enough to drop Unkempt Manor with about fifteen Healing Salves in play. From there, it was just a matter of finding the kill mechanism. With about twelve cards in my library, I performed United Tactics and found all three. One hits with a thud, and another follows momentarily. An Insidious Accomplishment cleared the path, and the good guy won.

We were the last match still playing…

2-0-1 And to let me know I’m rockin’ the microphone, everybody say”Ramo.”

Round 4: Andrew Lam, Kowalish thingy

My turn eight Practitioner, which was the only dude that hit the board all game, goes the distance, which was helped by an amazingly timely Large-scale Devastation. Countermagic is tech when you have a deck full of bombs. Tip: It is rarely bad for you when your opponent double-mulligans and lays three consecutive painlands. You know the fist? Well, I pumped it. Twice.

The second game is all about Lobotomy. Well, mostly all about Andrew casting said spell thrice and clearing away each card that had numbers in the lower right-hand corner. And Sexual Vanilla ain’t doing much attacking these days, so the math is simple:

Johnny + no ways to win = ;- (

Since I had not seen Recoil or Rushing River from Andrew, I dropped an early Unkempt Manor in game three and dared him to race my steadily-increasing life total and the clock. After about ten turns of me building up resources to try and overwhelm him, he snuck through a Deed and forced me to gain life now or forever hold my peace. While I gained as much as I thought I would need to survive until I could drop Fat Men onto the table, or at least until The Curse of Darwin prevailed, it was not enough – and your humble narrator met a grisly fate.

2-1-1 Beyonce, can you handle this? Beyonce can handle anything. Or get her dad to help.

Round 5: Chuck Bowman, Go-mar variant that he’s had since GP: Columbus

Game one, Chuck goes first and does this on his second turn:

Drop Plains, tap Plains and Island for one white and one blue mana, and cast Meddling Mage.


Well, I had one whole Island in play at the time, so of course I expected him to name something out of left field…


Cooperative Moderation.

After that, Chuck sat behind his man and countered everything that could hurt him. However, he did allow me to cast multiple Terrain Arrangement and Plow, along with an Orb Du Colour or two. But he possessed way too many counters for me to resolve any spell of import.

Game two is even funnier. Again he casts the turn two Mage, naming the same spell, but the funnier part is that he got even funnier when he cast a turn five Mage naming Insidious Accomplishment, which is one of four ways I have to remove the Mage. The others were Malevolent/Cruelty, Tumult, and The Birthright Bludgeon Machine. And best of luck resolving any of those, chief. Especially when you sided out two of them for 3x Refute.

Hmm, what a coincidence that he named the exact spell, on turn two, in both games, that I really, really, really, really wanted to resolve…

2-2-1 Beyonce, hit me a little harder, but put some ass behind it, girl.

Round 6: Tony G (just”G” because wow, is my penmanship awful), U/W/R

He goes first in game one and drops a turn two Mage. Yes, he knew what to name. That is very annoying.

Game two was even funnier. LOL! See? One a-Goblin, two a-Goblin, three a-Bolt to your friggin’ dizzy. In fairness, I did come out of the gate slowly. Still, I scooped on turn six and he showed me a hand of Bolt, Rage, and other assorted tools to lower opponents life total.

2-3-1 Bad Times For Beyonce. Are we witnessing the replacement of Becky?

Round 7: Some guy that didn’t show up, even after the round was repaired. I did sit down to play Mike Stewart, he of beating me about the melon at the PTQ at Origins, before the repairing. We actually started playing before the judge whispered that we could begin, and when I dropped Sexual Vanilla, he said”Hey, this is Sunny D, isn’t it?”


Needless to say, he wasn’t at all amazed when I dropped a turn four Practitioner. In fact, he pretty much expected it. Apparently, Mike knows Sullivan enough to know that JFR sucks at Magic. And I really, really suck when my opponents scout my matches and know exactly what to name with their friggin’ turn two Mage.

No, there will be no treatise on the moral implications of scouting, because I don’t think it’s even a slightly immoral. But thanks for asking.

3-3-1 Dude.

Yes, the deck is good. Yes, it is very good. And yes, it is much better than 3-3-1.

But it’s not my fault, damnit!

After the second match when Mage shut me down, I was hella bummed. Man, this deck is good, but it’s very hard to play when your security blanket is snatched up from under your ass and backed up with measures that make it difficult at best to bring it. ‘Twas brought; ’twas countered or blown up.

The Sunny D Flowchart:

1) Is your opponent with more than eight counterspells?

a) No. Go to”I win automatically.”

b) Yes. Go to 2)

2) Is your opponent with Meddling Mage?

a) No. Go to”It’s tough, but I think I can I think I can.”

b) Yes. Pack it up pack it in.

After the swiss:

1 Cuneo, AndyC.dec

2 Patnik, AndyJ.dec

8 Forsythe, U/G/R

10 T-bag, The Solution

39 Rizzo, No Clue

78 Chiggitty Chas Tressler, Dec.dec

91 Deranged Heiss, AndyJ.dec How the mighty have fallen…

Mike Turian, DNP

Eubroken, DNP

Teen Wolf, DNP

AndyJ.dec is now 53-17, with three Top Eights. And that’s including Nate’s 1-2 Go Trade.

AndyC.dec is now 14-3 with a Top Four and a Ninth By Tiebreakers. And you will not see a deck that is weirder. Ever. No one except for CMU guys play AndyJ.dec, but I can guarandamnedtee you that no one would touch AndyC.dec with a D-20. And no one should. Except for AndyC – er, I mean Andrew C.

While trying in vain to come up with a nickname for Patnik – I had almost decided on”Spikey Mikey” – I simply decided to ask him for his input.”Why don’t you just use what Teamann uses?” queries Spikael Michael. It turns out that T-bag calls Patnik”Pat-Ass.” How fifth grade is that? So fifth grade that it’s actually funny as all hell. Try it.





Pat-Ass it is.

And yet, Turian is still Turian. No wonder he can’t make it to the Invitational – he uses his real name. Unlike David Price, who is known as David Price, Chris Pikula, who is known as Chris Pikula, Gary Wise, who is known as Gary Wise, and Brian Kibler, who is known as Brian Kibler. See, Turian needs a nickname, and fast.

And so does Cuneo. But not Forsythe.”Aaron Brockovich,” Eron the Relentless,” and”Flametongue Forsythe” fit him like mittens.

Like a bored little whore, I again took notes in the Top Eight. The Forsythe/Cuneo match was a classic, and will be told in great detail in Aaron’s report. Unless of course, he doesn’t write one, which would be quite nerdy of him.

Cuneo beats Forsythe and Patnik’s Top Eight Curse continues. Pat Chapin trounces Cuneo in the semis by casting Void on three consecutive turns, then dropping Agenda.

I don’t know who won, since hungry Magic nerds are even nerdier than usual, and we took leave of this rank, nerd-infested venue and noshed. But Chapin probably won.

Four tourneys – four different decks – four crappy performances. Unless 12-18-1 is no longer considered crappy, that is.

When I arrived home, I checked out my camera – the damned thing works. Apparently, three year-old disks suck, while brand spankin’ new ones are technology proper. What does this mean? It means I am 12-18-1 in IBC.

FrigginRizzo: <---Used to do this a lot.

I suck.

On Sunday, I took the results of mixing sperm and ovum to a family function. Uncle Ron, who was the inspiration for the Rizzo/Boydell Christmas split card”Because We Have To/Exempt,” which reads…

Because We Have To



All players must dress in nice sweaters and slacks.

Exempt, 0


Target bummy uncle must dress in flannel shirt and sweatpants

0: Target bummy uncle may counter Because We Have To by stating”I was in ‘Nam! I don’t have to dress up for no one!”

0: Target youth who wasn’t in ‘Nam gets target bummy uncle another friggin’ beer. And some more pretzels.

…asked the following question after someone had asked about my play:

“The bottom line is did you see any money out of the deal?”

I answer that, no, I had not, chief.

“Then why the hell would you bother to write it?”

Perhaps that little exchange will allow you to understand why I am so friggin’ retarded. And why I hate people. And why I own guns.

Now back to happy thoughts…

The good news is that my Constructed rating is now so low that if I can manage to beat anyone else on the planet, I should be looking at a geometric doubling of my rating. That’s an exaggeration. Maybe.

Alas, Harrisburg (the site of a future IBC PTQ) is a-callin’. Perhaps my mints and I will listen. And maybe we’ll even listen to Tbag, who has incessantly chirped into my ear: play The Solution, damnit! What does he know? He’s only 10-2-3 this season with said deck that solves problems.

But somehow I think that whatever deck I do play will not rhyme with”Retribution.”

12-18-1. Beyonce and Becky sitting in a tree, K-i-s-s-i…whoa.

That rocks.

John Friggin’ Rizzo