I Doubt It Could Have Been Worse

The list of what went right this weekend is too short to warrant space on Star City’s server. I’ve broken this week’s story into Mini-Series form. This will be a long one, but it’s chock full of funny, and more than worth your while. Episode 0: The OMC consults an , Adam Consults for the…

The list of what went right this weekend is too short to warrant space on Star City’s server. I’ve broken this week’s story into Mini-Series form.

This will be a long one, but it’s chock full of funny, and more than worth your while.

Episode 0: The OMC consults an Oracle, Adam Consults for the Queen of Spades

Josh Bennett as The OMC
Disheveled Shrieking Crazy Man as Sky Winslow Roy
Sundry others as themselves, uninterestingly

The theme music for our little enterprise is provided by Swans, but won’t be featured until next Episode. Our players are quite unaware of their fate. Apologies to Swans, who don’t deserve whatever butchery I practise on their lyrics. (Swans: Music so sad you’ll be too depressed to kill yourself)

A late start Saturday evening sees most of Team Comf assembled at our King City launching pad, erratically preparing for Sunday’s Oshawa qualifier. It’s still an hour out of reach, so we’re guaranteeing ourselves a sleepless night.

The whole trip I’ve been agonising over the proposed changes to Dance Dance, our version of Necro/Donate. I’ve got to give players of the inferior "Trix" one thing, the Firestorm technology is the first true genius I’ve seen from them. I must find a way to incorporate it into our deck.

The red mana won’t be a problem. We can remove the green from our sideboard (Firestorm makes the Hatred matchup easier). But what to take out?

Adam wants to play DDDI too, but we just don’t have the cards. He playtests it awhile anyways. At one point, he had virtually lost the game, and so cast Demonic Consultation, naming the Queen of Spades. Duncan tells him that he has to name a Magic card, putting the kibosh on my "Consult for My Sense of Decency" concession gambit.

I decide to lapse into unconsciousness, in hopes that dreams of deck perfection will fill my night.

Sky shows up at some point to rouse me from slumber and jabber on and on about some genius deck he’s come up with. I declare it a steaming pile and try to salvage my sleep.

Morning comes, and I’m no closer to an optimal solution. In the van, I construct this:

DDDI (Wing And A Prayer Remix)

4 Necropotence
4 Illusions of Grandeur
4 Donate
4 Demonic Consultation
4 Force of Will

4 Force Spike
2 Mana Leak
2 Firestorm
3 Duress

4 Dark Ritual
2 Mox Diamond

More Tutors:
2 Lim-Dul’s Vault

4 City of Brass
4 Underground Sea
4 Underground River
3 Gemstone Mine
4 Badlands
2 Volcanic Island

4 Chill
1 Duress
1 Pyroblast
3 Perish
3 Annul
3 Cards that I didn’t side-in once. They should have been more Pyros.

Episode 1: The OMC knows the score, Adam points out it’s zero-sum

Starring: The cast from Episode 0, reprising their celebrated roles.

And I, I’ve learned nothing,
So my hands are
firmly tied
to the sinking
of failure.

The turnout is pretty significant, considering the remoteness of Oshawa. Deck registration goes slowly for me. I triple check the works, buy some new sleeves, and start shuffling my library and sideboard together, to ensure even wear.

Adam calls me over for a couple of good luck games against his Modal White Weenie. The early game is pretty standard, Adam busts in with a shadow guy, while I counter his Empyrial Armour and Aura of Silence. I’m able to put a Necropotence on the table at twelve life, and next turn Ritual out an Illusions of Grandeur, holding a Mana Leak.

But I am doomed today.

I do some quick calculations, and draw exactly enough cards so that he can play a land, hit me for two, then hit me for two again after paying the Illusions upkeep.

"Thank goodness I won’t make that mistake again!"

Episode 2: Team camaraderie is replaced with a Team Comf Curse

The Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, Who Penned The Forbidden Necronomicon Only To Be Devoured By Invisible Demons Before Screaming Onlookers as my first round opponent, Josh Alvarez

My face in the mirror tells me
it’s no suprise that I’m
the stone
up the hill
of failure

My Worthy Opponent busts out turn-1 Taiga, Elvish Lyrist, saying "I’ll just let you kill yourself.". I wish I had known.

He is playing 3Deuce, which he insists has no bad matchups. I have a solid hand and no worries. I counter an early threat, and then tap out to play Necropotence. I Necro for 6, and draw four lands, a Donate and a Duress. Not a problem.

Next turn, I play a City of Brass, and Duress him, taking an Incinerate, seeing another. I Necro for six more, Firestorming his Lyrist and him, but drawing only land, a Donate, and a Duress. Hrm.

His turn, he plays a Skyshroud Elite and says go. I Necro for two and somehow draw the "Concede! You’ve lost!" card.

Sideboard in some Perishes and out some Vaults. Shuffle up for game 2.

My opening hand is questionable. Gemstone Mine, Mox Diamond, Demonic Consultation, Necropotence, Force of Will, Mana Leak, Illusions of Grandeur. I have to keep, but I’m uneasy about having to say Mox, go.

Anti-Josh makes a Skyshroud Elite, and I Consult at end of turn for Dark Ritual. The top six cards are almost all land, and I watch more go by while I wait for the Ritual.

Then it hits me that I’ll be needing that land in order to win.

"Come back, Land, come back!"

Draw Underground River, play it, and ritual out Necropotence. I Necro for four, but don’t see any lands. Evil-Josh beats me for two and plays a second Elite.

Over the next two turns, I over-Necro by one each time, desperate to find a good land, but coming up with City of Brass and another River. Necroing down to four sees me with Donate, Illusions, Force of Will, Donate, Dark Ritual, Demonic Consultation, and a second City.

Retro-Josh casts Land Grant, revealing his hand of Pyroblast, Incinerate, Spike Feeder. I let it go. Maybe he’ll tap out for the Feeder? No. Incinerate Necro-Locks me. Sigh.

Jer laughs that I lost to 3Deuce. I curse him to lose to it later that day. In hindsight, I should have cursed him to give me hundreds of dollars.

Episode 3: Someone sideboards Idiocy into my deck

Starring Bob Hoskins as Dan, my round 2 opponent.

Except on the goddamned
of failure

I Duress Dan and find a nightmare. His hand is Claws of Gix, Peace of Mind, Devout Witness, Radiant’s Dragoons, and land. I take the Peace of Mind, and Force of Will his Claws. Firestorm cleans up a third-turn Witness, and the combo practically falls out of my hand.

It turns out that Dan is playing a high-tech version of Sneak Attack, with much more utility, and a lot of Necro/Donate Hate. The fact that Dan has cards that he wants to side-in bothers me.

When Dan played Mountain, Claws of Gix, go, I knew I was in trouble. With no Force of Will in my hand, I was already behind. Unfortunately, in my mind I had already given up this game, and ended up throwing it away. I pitch my last Donate for reasons unknown and hope Dan makes an exotic play to lose. Dan reveals no flair for the exotic. On to game 3.

Dan informs me that he still hasn’t revealed his sideboard technology yet, and the look on his face tells me it ain’t gonna be Pyroblast. Turn two, he taps out for…


Ka-Pow! I’m stunned for a full minute, my face making the slow contortion from shock, to fear, to disgust, to resignation. I cast Mana Leak and feel ashamed.

His next play is a Devout Witness, and I Firestorm it, and the two of us. I cast Necropotence and prepare for the business of victory. I Duress him, and see False Prophet and two Dragoons. With a large library, I decide that the prudent line of play is to go through the combo twice, since he can go up to twenty-seven.

Dan plays Plains, Dragoons, go. This apparently opens up some dimensional door, because next turn I Duress him again, for no reason.

"Yep, those ARE the same cards. Just keeping tabs."

But I have a sound line of play. Cast Illusions, Necro for some cards, say go.

Dan does the unexpected, and echoes his Dragoons. This sets my mind in motion to a supposed BETTER plan. Wouldn’t it be great, I think to myself, if I just Necroed down to my Firestorm, and killed him? He IS at twenty-two life. That seems reasonable.

OMC: Upkeep Illusions, Donate them to you, Necro for a billion cards, and Firestorm you and your Dragoons.

Dan: Ok.

OMC: It appears that I am a giant idiot.

Dan pays the upkeep and smacks me for two damage, corresponding to my two life points.

Episode 4: Someone else’s turn to get pantsed

Brad, my round 3 opponent, as himself
The Configuration of Brad’s Deck as The Only Way I Can Win a Match

I’m laid on
with a double share
of the punishing
of failure

In between rounds I cram half a Bounty in my face and get supercharged. Brad is playing Negator-Necro and is no more pleased to be 0-2 than myself.

Not much to report, as I have the power of Coconut, and Brad has two seriously awful draws. I am able to go off uninhibited, and join Brad in cursing his deck.

Episode 5: OMC experiments briefly with disobeying the rules

Starring Val Venis as Shantam, my fourth round opponent.

You can’t escape the beast
In the
null and void pit
of failure

Val: Helllllllo, Ladies!

OMC: Isn’t wearing just a towel against the floor rules?

Val: You know, the Big Valbowski’s a lot like a game of Magic…

OMC: Okay, that’s GOT to be Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Shantam is playing a Mind Games/Sapphire Medallion/Winter Orb deck, with Morphling for the kill. I’m pretty sure that if I out-mana him, I’ll be cool.

An early counter-war over Necropotence ends in my favour, and I become complacent. I tell Shantam I’m Necroing for three, and put the cards from the top of my library to my hand, one at a time.


You know, throughout the tournament to this point, I had been counting the cards onto the table, then grabbing them in my End Step. Maybe the sight of an oiled-up wrestler rattled me. I don’t know.

Head Judge Chris Page comes over and I give him the skinny. Turns out, that mistake is worth a game loss. Bombo! I wish that it wasn’t entirely my own damn fault.

Shantam tells me he’s sorry.

You know, I have no idea what he was apologising for. It’s clear what was going on. If he didn’t want me to have a game loss, he could have said: "Hey, OMC, you’re an ass, don’t do that.". But no, he called a judge. He wants that game loss, so what’s he sorry for? Sorry I’m an idiot, maybe.

I’m fuming at myself, and snap at him when he addresses me as "My Friend.” He didn’t deserve that, but I don’t even bother to apologise.

What a rotten day.

Game two, my mediocre hand meets his head-on. He draws two Rishadan Ports to keep my mana down, and I’m forced to play out a City of Brass to avoid getting too far behind. The damage is somewhat inconsequential. He plays his last card, Morphling. My sketchy line of play is to play Illusions, upkeep them, and Donate them to him, assuming he draws something that isn’t a counterspell.

He draws … Winter Orb.

Oh yeah, I lose to that, too. Sigh.

He shakes my hand, and I muster a smile.

Episode 6: A shocking turn of events, nothing goes awry!

Starring Jim Varney as Dan-Prime, my fifth round opponent

"I am the fuel
that fires
the engines
of failure."

Dan is sporting polychromatic nail polish and what looks like an old-school 5 colour Donais deck. I could have sworn that was a Type II deck, but I’m 1-3 and not about to argue.

Game one, I Duress Dan, taking a Disenchant, seeing a Forbid, a Gaea’s Blessing and another Disenchant. I cast Necro, and he doesn’t Disenchant. Even though he has countermeasures in hand, he can’t stop the combo, because my disruptive elements are all nearly free.

I think he should have axed the Necropotence, but I’m not about to tell him that.

Game two goes much the same way. Dan seems amused when I Necro down to four. He seems amused when I take 2 more damage casting Donate. He seems amused when he cannot pay the upkeep on the Illusions.

Dan is apparently having a great time.

Episode 7: Seven Lands and a Dust Bowl? I’ll respond with: Jig

Starring The Cast of "The Sound of Music" as Bill, my sixth round opponent

I’ll remember and
you can bank your
hard-earned money
on failure

Bill is playing Counter-Pheonix, and the fact that he is composed entirely of Von Trapps makes me reminisce for Voltron.

In game one, Bill develops his land with Thawing Glaciers. I take an opportunity to cast Necropotence, only to find it Force of Willed. Next turn I cast a second Necro, but he has Forbid (now with Buyback!), and I gracefully concede. My hand of land wasn’t interested in continuing.

Second game I stall at two mana, while Bill’s second land turns out to be Thawing Glaciers, jet-propelling him to a mana-base I can only dream of. He plays Dustbowl as his seventh land, and Thaws for an eighth. I stand up and do a little dance.

His land destruction engine prevents me from getting to a position of sure victory, but I trudge on. I cast Illusions, and Necro into land, Ritual, Donate, Force of Will, Force of Will, Mana Leak. Decidedly Non-Optimal.

I play land, Dark Ritual. Bill casts Counterspell. I Force Of Will, removing Mana Leak from the game. With one of the mana, I Duress Bill. He Pyroblasts my Illusions in response. I Force, removing my Donate from the game. I take Force of Will, but am now one Donate short of victory. Bill takes this opportunity to destroy a land at the end of my turn, and another on his turn.

So what am I now? 2-4?

Episode 8:

Starring Adam Hurd as Himself in Remote Control Pants for easy access

Because I’ve yet to be shown
how to pull myself out from
the sucking
of failure

It’s around this point that Sky can intentionally draw into the final eight. Just so you know, Sky is playing a virtually untested deck.

Quote from Sky about his deck: "You know, I have a lot of garbage in here."

Teammate Adam steps up to bat. We lay our respective sideboards face up on the table in complete disregard for our Opponent’s abilities. Adam is still playing his Modal White Weenie.

Adam Turn 1: Plains, go.

OMC Turn 1: Mox Diamond (pitching Gemstone Mine), Underground Sea, Ritual, Necropotence, Necro for six, go.

Adam Turn 2: Draw, go.

Adam is holding three Disenchants when I combo him, but can only cast one of them.

Game two sees me with turn one Ritual, Necropotence, and the rest of the game is a foregone conclusion. Adam gets a laugh out of me when he thinks his Ivory Mask will enter play.

Episode 9: The OMC eats a big slice of Justice

Starring Jer Elgar as someone who is worse at Magic than the OMC, though that seems theoretically impossible at this juncture

I can’t even elegantly bleed
out the poison
of failure

Only two things of note happen at this point. One, Jer loses his last match to 3Deuce, as predicted. Two, Sky loses in the finals to Gab Tsang. Thus, the remainder of Episode 9 will be the ever-present Props & Slops. Next week, the Final DDDI Legal PTQ!


Team Comf, for not kicking me off the team in light of my no skills.

Nick Page, for going 5-2 with an inferior version of DDDI. He was missing a Mox Diamond, and it cost him a match and a top-eight berth.

Sky Winslow Roy, for getting to the finals with the worst deck ever conceived.

Josh Alvarez, Dan, and Doug, players who play with class, win or lose.

Bill’s Brother, for liking my afro.

Swans, for Failure. I *am* the fuel that fires the engines of failure.


The Macho Man Randy Savage: "I’m in the Danger Zone." "Where is that?" "East of the Pacific, west of London England, south of Mars, and north of Hell."


The OMC, for not bothering to playtest because he knew the deck, and then making three very serious, easily avoidable mistakes. If you emulate The OMC at home, avoid this part.

Sky Winslow Roy, I’m sorry my rage couldn’t get you to NY. Your deck is the worst, the absolute worst, worse than my play.

The DCI, for not banning Necropotence. You’re wrong if you think it isn’t broken. Do you know what I consult for in this deck? It ain’t Mana Vault.

Josh Bennett
[email protected] Too long, too short, not funny? The OMC depends on you, the reader, for feedback. Write him and expose MORE of his flaws.