How To Quit Your Job, Not Play Magic For Three Months, And Win A PTQ

God wants Nate Heiss to stay in the game – and as such, He handed Nate the luckiest tournament ever. Read about Erratic Explosions misfiring when Nate was at two! See how his G/W deck beat a blue deck with Arcanis, Quicksilver Dragon, Future Sight, and Krosan Colossus! And how did he channel the legendary”Eubroken” Eugene Harvey?

So there I was – sitting in my car, thinking how much I did not want to continue with the job that I was so happy to have just three months before.

What happened?

I can’t say. I just didn’t have that fire anymore – the one that consumes all perception of actually doing any work. Thus staying true to my credo of don’t do what will make me unhappy, I decided to quit my job that night for the more glamorous job of designing games. No, I am not working for a game company; I’m just going it alone.

If you are like most people – you should be feeling something a little strange right now and think, "What the hell is this man thinking?" Don’t worry – it is natural. Most people would not have made that decision. For me, I love games and I will do my best to produce them. For most people? That’s crazy talk.

Flash forward three days. It is Saturday. I wake up to the ringing of my cell phone: "We are outside!" my ride to the PTQ says. Needless to say, I shake my fist at the alarm clock at scramble to get ready. I run to the car, forgetting to bring the game that I had been working on for the past few days and Rizzo’s foily five (which I bring to every event). Then we are off to Columbus…

Oh, and I had not played Magic in about three months. The job was very demanding and I was out of town all the time. I played in one PTQ during that time, but I made a few mistakes and knocked myself out.

Before registration, I decide to do something drastic: I grab a copy of the Sideboard magazine in the hopes that there is some article on how I should build my sealed deck. There is! Written by Jeff Cunningham? Works for me. I learned a few things by reading the article, and then proceeded to build a terrible sealed deck that included Heedless One and more seven-drops then Timmy’s deck.

After many rounds of refusing to cycle Hundroog and Macetail Hystrodon and building up to seven, I found myself in the top 8! Wait a second – this wasn’t supposed to happen! I have never even drafted this format!

I was very lucky during the sealed deck portion. I would like to believe that I played very well, but I know that at one point I was at two and I got Erratic Explosioned for one. At least two other lucky things happened to me, like somehow getting Heedless One up to 4/4 and flawlessly curving up to seven with the Macetail finisher.

So you would think that I would crack open that Sideboard magazine again to get some insider draft info? Well I would, except it was written by Nick Eisel and I already know how he drafts – regardless of all the other controversy surrounding him. I think he helped me from beyond though, because in my first pack there was, indeed, a Ravenous Baloth jumping out at me. I drafted it for Nick.

Things were looking good – I was going to be beasts, probably splashing red. But then everything changed and Pacifism came to me fourth or fifth.

All I could think was of the master of Green/White himself: The Eugene Harvey. If our national champion can do it – why cant I? I took the Pacifism and plunged myself into the wacky world of Green/White. I was rewarded with another Pacifism a few picks later.

I was very disturbed about going Green/White – it feels like something you should do for fun, not in a top 8. Then again, I have the best two Green/White mages ever on my team – Mike Turian and Eugene Harvey (will they fight over it in the Team Format?), and I have been watching impossible White/Green decks win for years.

Why White/Green? Why not? After all, if I won, maybe I could get Eugene to buy me dinner.

After the draft was done, I was not rewarded for going White/Green I had no Timberwatch Elves and no army of Soldiers or Clerics, just a spattering of a few each. My deck looked terrible, the best part being a large number of Giant Growth-type cards, two of which were Wirewood Pride. My deck had the power level of peanuts – plus one Ravenous Baloth.

My quarterfinal opponent however – his deck – well it was insane. He had these cards in play against me. Future Sight, Arcanis the Omnipotent, Quicksilver Dragon, and Krosan Colossus. Oh yeah’ I won against that. Don’t ask me how – don’t ask him how. Don’t even ask the spectators how! My friends were all thinking, "Well, I guess this one is over."

But no – I channeled the spirit of Eugene Harvey into my little elves. Thus, two Wirewood Elves and two Insect tokens were able to defeat some of the more broken cards in the format. Thanks, Eugene!

Highlight of the match: An insect fighting with Arcanis and living – how very lucky that I topdecked Primal Boost!

In the Semifinals, I played against the Red goblin rush deck. The matchup was actually pretty easy considering I had good early defense and late fatties – oh, and Ravenous Baloth. Somehow, game two went until one minute left before I could kill him. My Foothill Guide was taking his time – but then again, he could, since my Starlight Invoker was gaining ten a turn.

Highlight of the Match: Unmorphing Foothill Guide and then watching Macetail Hystrodon stay back to block him.

I split in the finals and got the slot – Yokohama, here I come!

For those who missed me, I will be writing for now – my job killed my writing career, but I killed my job. The natural order is restored. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Gary Wise to Pittsburgh!

Nate Heiss

Team CMU