Joshua X Presents: Braids And Beatings

It’s been a long time. Stuff has went down. I left my cozy little house, and entered the cold world to run a little Magic store in Leitchfield.

It’s been a long time. Stuff has went down. I left my cozy little house, and entered the cold world to run a little Magic store in Leitchfield. My fiancée, Laura Karem, randomly decided for us to start seeing other people – and well, I just had no desire to write Magic articles. I have not for a long time. I made a huge mistake when I came back from Grand Prix: Minneapolis all huffy and pissy that I got no respect.

Heh; why respect me? What exactly have I done in the Magic world besides write some second-rate articles?

If you said”nothing,” then, well… You’re right.

I made a mistake, and I ended up paying for it. I can admit when I did wrong, and I am sorry for what I wrote. I’m crap, no better then any other player that has dreams of making the tour. Drowned at birth or not, I’m not a bad guy – ask Rizzo. I make mistakes, like other humans. I’m sorry.

I pretty much stopped writing after that. I did some random match coverage. In Atlanta, I got to cover my then-fiancée. In Tampa, I got to cover eventual champion Sol Malka. I’m happier when I am watching other people play. I get to learn from that. Covering good players has in turn made me a better player. I’m not ready to burn up any Pro Tours yet, but I can always be competitive at Pro Tour Qualifiers.

There is an article involved, and a decklist as well.

The only Grand Prix trial for Milwaukee that I could attend before the night of the event was this past weekend in Louisville. Run by Brennan Moody, there were no problems to note, other then me being a random jackass. I gave Laura back everything she had at my crib, and announced the contents of said”care package” to the room. Do I feel any better? Not really – and besides, she punched the crap out of me, and might well have bruised a rib or something like that.

After the drama, I sat down to play some Magic. I picked up the deck I was slinging the night before at a Friday night magic at the store I run. It seemed okay, had some bad draws – but other than that, it was workable, and fun.

Not Battle of Wits; I gave up my pipe dreams of being the next magical reverend long ago.

This is what I played. Keep in mind that the board I used was indeed pure goat ass.

4 Braids

4 Mesmeric Fiend

4 Spectral Lynx

4 Nantuko Shade

3 Phyrexian Rager

3 Shambling Swarm

2 Ichorid

4 Duress

4 Vindicate

4 Chainer’s Edict

4 Tainted Field

4 Caves of Koilos

1 Plains

13 Swamp

Random goat ass:

2 COP Black

2 COP Green

A bunch of other cards that were just crap. It was a load of two-ofs, and I hardly sided the entire day.

Round One: Jason Siwula B/U/G

Jason beat me to a report. It was posted on Brainburst, and well… When control is mana screwed, you typically lose. When you were as horribly hosed as he was, you get slaughtered. I swear to God, no jokes, he drew four lands the entire round. We play for fun afterward, and his deck rolls me. How lucky?

Round Two: Eric Summers

Winners at Books and Music Exchange get treated like kings. You win, and you get to sit down at the few tables they have room for. Lose, well… You’re standing up, flopping cards on CD racks or comic books. Sitting was golden, because I am husky – it gives me weak ankles or something. I hardly remember what Eric played, so I can not be of any use in this section of the report. I do not think he was playing U/G madness, but I now know to take better notes if I plan on writing a report.

I win, though, so I am 2-0.

Round Three: Laura Karem, Black/Green Rizzo-style.


I run my mouth some, play some Magic, and lose. I get underneath a Braids lock the first game, and the second I return the favor after I strip her hand with a few Fiends. Third game, I lost; I drew nothing but garbage, and she was dropping as many elbows as she possibly could. I tried to keep up a few late-game spells of my own, but she outdrew me.

Round Four: Ross Wright, U/G madness.

How this player got to 2-1 is a miracle. He had no idea of how the stack worked, or combat damage, or anything like that. He was a pretty average player – and during the game, I had to give him help with like everything involved with Magic. I win pretty easily, even though I had to rip a Vindicate off the top to get past a friggin’ Glacial Wall.

Round Five: Justin Atwood, Red/Green

I can not say enough about this kid. I know he can be really good. He was the victim of shady hands both games. I draw Vindicates for his lands, and get him Braids-locked pretty quickly. It was no real contest – but I know if he would have mulliganed aggressively, he could have made it more than the lopsided result I posted. Anyway, what more could you ask from an eleven-year old? He has a great grasp for the game already, and a father that has an unmatched passion for this game. He can, and will be, really good. No doubt.

Round Six: Cody, damn Infestation-Go

We drew, the top eight was set to where everyone with twelve or more points could get in, and well…. We all took advantage of that. I am positive that this was a favorable matchup for him. I have found out that Upheaval is bad for the deck unless I get out an early Braids.

Top Eight: Jason Dooley, ‘Tog

The worst part about knowing everyone is eventually having to play one of your friends. Jason, had to miss out on Regionals this year, but his wife is expecting a child, so that is very excusable. I wish I had a baby!

Anyhoot, going into this round, I knew I had a distinct advantage the first game: Strip his hand of countermagic and force a Braids into play. Vindicate or Chainer’s Edict away the ‘tog, and well… Just win with the card advantage I gain. Even with the help of Compulsion to cycle his useless draws, I kinda felt like I had the match won already. Game one goes according to plan. Strip, slam, sacrifice, and force him to discard with the Compulsion. Needing an Aether Burst to really stabilize, he was unable to find one. Second game, he gets land-screwed, and I took advantage of that.

Top Four: Cody. Damn.

Cody, in a move to get home, conceded and took his box of torment with him. I get into the finals, and waited out to see who would win between Brian Fox’s secret deck, and U/G Madness. If Madness won, I would get some byes for the GP – but if the other deck won, I would have to draw all the good spells, enough land to cast them all, and recycle my good spells.

I did not want to play Brian Fox.

Brian Fox won.

Finals Brian Fox. Super Deck.

Well, he got out a lock down, and it was too late for my Braids to even contend. He won the match, and if there was one person in that room I wanted to lose to, I could have not picked a better person to lose to.

I swear to God, though, someone is gonna q for Nationals with the deck he played.

Anyhoot, here is my new sideboard:

3 Slay

3 Plague Spitter. Helps out with the Braids lock a bit, and it could help in the mirror

2 Circle of Protection: Black

2 Ichorid

2 Disenchant

2 Mutilate

1 Shambling Swarm

I could see fit to maybe add a few Aegis of Honor, maybe… Or not. Or Twilight’s Call or something that in theory helps me recover from a Deed. Maybe I should just play Black/Green; I’m not sure.

Anyhoot, good luck at Regionals and all. I’ll be in Columbus; see you there!

What do YOU think? Share your
opinion with the community
and you just may walk away with some FREE Magic cards… courtesy of your friends at