Magic Online Musings: This Week on MTGO #28

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Blisterguy shuns the usual MTGO content, opting instead for more hilarity involving photography and card desecration. He tells the tale of his attempt to qualify for Pro Tour: Kobe with his signature hilarious style…

(This article was written while enjoying “The Big Lebowski”, “Mallrats” and season one of “Black Adder”)

Well, shenanigans. Shenanigans, I say! Some of you might be thinking that I am saying shenanigans because famous Worlds Finalist Frank Karsten is now writing what appears to be a vastly superior version of this article for MagictheGathering.com. That is incorrect, but I will get to that momentarily, or at least eventually… you know me.

No, this week’s shenanigans have been brought to you by the Premier Events scheduling for the last week. I was somewhat confused when I saw that the weekend was almost entirely made up of Coldsnap Release events. I paged through the replays, and not one single Standard event has played out since last we met over a page of html and general digitalery. Well, either that or any replays of Standard events have mysteriously disappeared and were replaced by countless Five Packs of Coldsnap Tournaments, but I think we all know that’s a myth perpetuated by the likes of Benjamin Peebles-Mundy in a last-ditch effort to get people to actually read his articles.

Lol, just kidding, Peebles-Mundy is Solid Gold Technology. I read his stuff cover to cover – or at least banner to forum discussion links – about his stuff in preparation for the PTQ I played at in the weekend. Yeah, that’s right… I took a break from working on my Playstation Tan to venture out into the Real World for some of that tasty RGD Sealed and with any luck, Coldsnap Draft action.

As you can tell, this week’s column will be a bit of a departure from our usual Magic Online discourse. But of course, if you’re an even remotely regular visitor of these pages, you’ll realize that this is clearly par for course and bound to happen nine weeks out of ten. I guess that’s what I’ve got over that Frank Karsten chap over at for MagictheGathering.com, I can go totally off-topic, stray from the point and generally do what it is I do best often.

(Ah, strikethrough text. All the other cool kids seem to be doing it, so I figure I get to have a play with it as well.)

That and judging by the response on the MagictheGathering.com message boards, he had better be branching into the casual scene more than a little, lest the audience lynch him spectacularly. This should mean that I will be relatively free to continue on as normal. But not this week! Other than the lack of Standard events held this week, I’ve also decided to skip the rundown on online card prices as well. If you’ve been following week in and week out, you’ll have noticed that many of the prices are barely moving at the moment, so I figure I can get away with skipping those this week too, but that’s possibly because unlike Master Karsten, I destroy cards in my column!

If you remember last week, I tried to destroy the Worst Draft Deck Ever with fire, my personal favorite method of disposal for things that fail to please me. I mean, have you seen the Ferrett recently? Yeah, well, I didn’t set him on fire or anything, but I could have, that’s the point. Anyway, the fire failed to burn the deck, and even failed to toast our marshmallows while it was at it or, as it was, not at it. I decided to let nature have a go at crushing my foe instead.

The sun shone for several days, giving us a generally enjoyable weekend for Winter in upside-down land. After the sun had caused the cards to fade a little, and the wind had scattered one or two of them about our wee backyard, the clouds finally rumbled over last night and pelted them with rain, and even a little icy snow. Here are few pictures, apparently the most popular part of these writings (again, trying not to take offence at that) showing how the deck has fared after one week in the outdoors.


As you can see, the marshmallows did eventually catch a little, but other than that, nature has left them mostly unscathed. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little put off by that. I shall be abstaining on the marshmallow front for a while, methinks.

Can't [card name=

LOL Withstand, did you at all?

Swamp in the grass

I liked this picture, the burn marks are pretty cool. Heh, heh. Buuurrrrrn marks, heh.

Anyway, to the PTQ. I’m not sure what I did with the cards in the sideboard, so I can’t give you a full card pool so you can play “make the sealed deck” game, but here is the deck I ended up playing.

5 Mountain
5 Plains
1 Island
1 Breeding Pool
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Boros Garrison

1 Selesnya Signet
1 Boros Signet
1 Simic Signet

1 Thundersong Trumpeter
1 Azorius First-Wing
1 Azorius Guildmage
1 Mourning Thrull
1 Tin Street Hooligan
1 Veteran Armorer
1 Sparkmage Apprentice
1 Nightguard Patrol
1 Benevolent Ancestor
1 Sandsower
1 Guardian of the Guildpact
1 Torch Drake
1 Belfry Spirit
1 Vedalken Dismisser
1 Cytospawn Shambler
1 Djinn Illuminatus
1 Guardian of the Vitu-Ghazi

1 Wildsize
1 Cackling Flames
1 Seed Spark
1 Flame Fusillade
1 Flash Conscription

I remember the deck being quite hard to build, and as you can tell, I ended up playing Red/White splashing Blue and Green from the multitude of Color Fixers I was lucky enough to open. I mean, those fixers are just the kind of thing you hope and pray you open when playing in one of these events. Notice that my luck at opening Dual Lands hasn’t faltered any. The Flame Fusillade is also one of those things you secretly wish for, and true to its hype, it won me any games where it showed up. Sadly, it didn’t show up all that often, but clearly often enough to push me into the Top 8 where I would get to try out Peebles-Mundy’s sage-like draft advice.

I went in with the intention to draft either Green for Aurochs, or Blue for Snow-heavy Rimewind Taskmage goodness, with a preference for the latter. The first pack didn’t have a Taskmage, or anything else particularly broken, other than an Aurochs Herd, with which I started a small but potentially fruitful pile of cards in front of me. I was fed a pack where the standout second-pick gem was a Snow-Covered Island.

Some of you must be thinking this the worst pack ever, fit for naught more than a ritual burning by me later, but it turns out that Snow-Covered lands are especially powerful in this format. I figured I could grab the land, and change direction towards the Snow deck, or at least throw it in with my Aurochs Mash. The third pick gave me another Aurochs Herd, which I was kinda hoping would have had a Rimewind Taskmage, but all was going at least mostly to plan.

The fifth pack did have a Taskmage though, and after staring incredulously around the table at those in front of me, I flipped it on top of my Aurochs and Snow-Covered Island. From there I endeavored to make my non-Auroch creatures at least Snow-based, and tried to grab some Snow lands to back it all up as I went. I even managed to pick up twelfth, thirteenth, and fifteenth pick Rune Snags in the pack two, which made me giggle some. Here is the deck I played.

5 Forest
3 Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Snow-Covered Forest
3 Snow-Covered Island
1 Boreal Shelf
1 Arctic Flats
1 Scrying Sheets

2 Boreal Druid
1 Boreal Centaur
3 Rimewind Taskmage
1 Phyrexian Ironfoot
1 Frostweb Spider
2 Frost Raptor
1 Simian Brawler
2 Adarkar Windform
3 Aurochs Herd

1 Into the North
4 Rune Snag
2 Frozen Solid
1 Surging Aether

1 Martyr of Frost
1 Sound the Call
1 Survivor of the Unseen
1 Steam Spitter
1 Perilous Research
8 Other cards that were picked late, late in the packs.

As you can see, I was rewarded with triplicate Taskmages and Herds to pull everything together nicely. The Scrying Sheets was a first pick in the last pack. I was looking for more Snow lands, and almost took a Frost Marsh until I saw the rare at the back of the pack. The Sheets is simply ridiculous, and drew me over twenty cards in the quarterfinals alone, probably more.

I played and beat Matthew Webb in the quarters, my Taskmages keeping him tapped down until the Aurochs Herd came down and trampled over for eighteen. I was then forced to beat a good friend of mine, Richard Martin in the semis. Again, I used the Taskmages to hold him at bay until I managed to bring the Herd online. This brought me to the finals, and a single match away from a free trip to Kobe, Japan.

After my trip to Japan last year to play at Worlds, I have been quite keen to head back that way, and getting my airfare paid would be somewhat convenient, I would have to say. Sitting across from me was one Dan “Dandan” McKay. Dan had watched me beat Richard and was not hopeful of his chances against my deck. I suggested he drop before the finals, to save his ranking perhaps, but he decided he’d give it a chance anyway.

He won the roll and lead with a couple of Bull Aurochs. They took me to four life before I managed to stabilize by trading a couple of my guys with his, and dropping an Auroch of my own to hold off a third Bull Aurochs that had shown up to join the others. Having exhausted his resources, Dandan was left peeling off the top. The turn I finally played out my first Aurochs Herd, he managed to rip one of his two Shape of the Wiitigos and plant it on the last Bull Aurochs to trample over me for the win.

I had the Surging Aether in my hand, but I suspect I would have tapped low for the next two turns anyway, deploying my Auroch Army, and swinging with any of them who had been in play long enough to shake off their Summoning Sickness (man, I miss that term). Dandan would have been able to squeeze out the win with one of those off the top on any on his next few turns, as I tried very quickly to put him away before any he had chance to do such a thing.

Game 2 was somewhat easier for me, what with me getting to go first and so on. Dandan managed to get a couple of Disciple of Tevesh Szat down, but they were so preoccupied with trying to kill my Rimewind Taskmages that a Frost Raptor got in for enough that by the time the Aurochs Herd arrived, Dandan was all but out for the count.

Going into the third game, I could tell from the sly smile on Dandan’s face that his hand featured one of his Shape of the Wiitigos, and possibly a Zombie Musher as well. Sure enough, after Krovikan Rotting a Taskmage, he dropped the Musher on turn 4, and the Shape soon followed. Without my tapper or the Surging Aether, I was crushed so quickly that I’m still having trouble standing several days later. The worst part is, I have been told that he kept a two-land hand, and therefore drew the perfect mana to be able to play that beating out.

Oh well, I guess there’s still a slim chance I’ll get flown to Kobe as a writer or something.

I drove home cursing Shape of the Wiitigo, and not long after setting foot inside my living room, I stumbled across a Foil Shape that I had somehow managed to open between the Prerelease and now. Accursed ugly thing.


And oh, it was ooorrrn. With help from my lovely assistant, Tama Gomez…

Flames of the Wiitigo

Hehehe, I can’t stand Foils anyway, especially Foil rares that cost me a free trip to Japan.

Flagburning for fun and profit

We were pleasantly surprised to see that unlike regular cards, Foils seem to burn quite nicely.

Cardboard Inferno

Very nicely indeed!

Nearly done...

There will be no leaving this one outside to see if it can perish in the long run, oh no.

Nothing but ashes

This one is well and truly f***ed.


Next week we will be back to our regular MTGO-like discussion, including a look at the recent price increase and its possible implications on the message board market. If a booster pack costs four dollars at the store, will people still get away with offering to buy them on the message board for three tickets? Or will they be two for seven, or four each? I guess we’ll find out next week, eh? Until then, send all hate mail to [email protected]