Multiplayer Invitational #2 And GP Detroit

Who will reign triumphant in Barcelona’s multiplayer mayhem? Kurt outlines his strategies, and tells everyone how it is in Detroit.

“The Second Multiplayer Invitational will be a 5-Color melee at Barcelona.”

I am very pleased that The Ferrett has included me in his mostly-unannounced group of players that will battle it out for the title of Multiplayer Invitational-Barcelona Champion. The rules that The Ferrett has set forth are on his post, and I will list them here:

1) All decks must be valid 5-Color decks. I say this merely to prevent stupid people from showing up with Uno cards.

Good first rule. I hate when players make me Skip my turn… Can I make myself Draw Four? 🙂

2) No combo decks. Multiplayer’s supposed to be fun, dammit… And I may be an ignorant player, but I know all about that cute little Oath/Anarchist/Replenish trick.”Combo” decks will be defined as”any deck that generates vast amounts of mana to wipe multiple players out in a single shot.” Wiping out everyone with a Furnaced Burst is no fun for anyone.
However, lock decks are extremely welcome, I fully expect Coalition Victory to make an appearance, and anyone who can manage to deck the entire table in one shot will be met with a round of applause and a sturdy hug.

Okay, big fan of no combo. ComboOath can potentially kill everyone at the table in one shot with damage, and generating lots of mana to kill is no fun for anyone. I’m glad that this stipulation was made, and this will promote more diverse decktypes.

3) All multiplayer rules will be the Official Sheldon Multiplayer Rules, as developed by the fine Level III Judge, Sheldon”Orim’s Chant Is Not A Counterspell, Dammit” Menery.

Playing Balance is in GOOD taste in 5 Color. Sacrificing all of your lands to Zuran Orb, then having it countered it the greatest for onlookers. Starting at thirty life is probably out of the question; these games take long enough as is. However, Sheldon makes excellent points, and for those of you who regularly, or not so regularly, partake in multiplayer action, I suggest you read this helpful and well-written piece.

4) All banned and/or restricted cards will be taken from the 5-Color website at 5-Color.com.

Look at this – something I actually have some control over! I don’t foresee any major changes on this list between now and the beginning of May, save for maybe the unrestriction of Eladamri’s Call.

5) All participants must have a silly nickname sandwiched in between their real names. At a table with Rui”18 Montanhas” Oliveira and Kurt”Fat Man” Hahn, I can’t see why everyone else can’t join in the fun. I myself will be The”The” Ferrett.

I’ll make my suggestions for other players below.

6) Last man standing gets the ante, and may also keep all of the nicknames. For example, if I win, I then have the option to call myself The”The 18 Fat
Montanhas Man” Ferrett.

This is similar to the Indianapolis vs. Fort Wayne”Baker” match. Adam Baker and Cory Baker duked it out for last names. Currently, it’s just Cory. Luckily Cory’s wife had a maiden name to fall back on. However, I’d prefer not to put my nickname on the line, but if those are the rules set forth, then so be it. (Don’t worry, we’ll let you trade it back at the end of the night – The Ferrett)

7) There will be NO COLLABORATION BETWEEN PLAYERS. I put up with some low-key fudging between Chad and Michelle at the last Invitational, but this time everybody plays on their own.

Another appropriate rule. This of course, does not stop political maneuverings during the game – but this should prevent Coalition Victory shenanigans.

8) All players must, if it’s early enough after the game, be willing to go out for a beer.

Unfortunately I’m not much of a beer drinker, but whiskey is something I have learned to love. (Trust me, buy me a whiskey and I’ll give you your nickname back – The Ferrett) I look forward going out at any hour with the contestants and/or onlookers of this event.

Past and present 5-Color players with nicknames who may or may not be in Barcelona:

Jacob”Danger” Janoska- I thought for a long time that Jake nicknamed himself, however I found out that it was given to him by a friend in a non-Magic-related context. This Milwaukee player qualified for Nationals last year, has participated in several Pro Tours, and had a strong showing at 5 Color Worlds.

Nick”The Tiller” Little- Nick is currently not playing 5 Color, despite a Top 8 performance at 5 Color Worlds. After a surprisingly poor draft showing in Detroit on day 2, the best Limited player in Indiana does not plan on making the trip to Barcelona unqualified. Nick got his nickname from an LA PTQ in Chicago in which he drafted four Frenzied Tillings in the Rochester Top 8.

“The Great One” Bob Maher, Jr.- This is one nickname I’d love to steal, though the nickname is not”sandwiched in between” his first and last name. From what I have been told, Bob got this nickname from his Mirage-block limited days. Also, my most sincere congratulations to Bob on his wedding this upcoming weekend. Best of luck to both you and your soon-to-be bride!
Bob’s Living Death-based deck garnered Matt Linde a qualification for the next 5-Color premier event. Bob would also gain much attention from spectators, giving the format help overseas.

Adrian”The Corrupter” Sullivan- I have no idea how Adrian got his nickname – however after years of badgering, threatening, and downright begging, Adrian has finally built a 5-color deck, and a very respectable one at that. His decks are always creative and interesting, and you never know what he will pull out next. Adrian would be a great selection for this spectator’s dream.

John”Friggin” Rizzo- John was seen playing Randy Buehler this weekend in 5 Color. The nickname alone certainly qualifies him to play in this event and he actually has a 5 Color deck. I only got a chance to talk to him a bit over one cigarette, but I’m sure he has to be a blast to play with. My biggest regret of this past weekend in Detroit was missing the match between him and Josh Bennett.

“Texan Terror” David Williams- Okay, so I just made this nickname up, but with his great performance in Tokyo and stellar Magic career, it could work.
Dave is a great guy and funny as hell, and while I have not had the opportunity to play with him much, he would be a fun addition to this cast of characters.

The players for the Invitational are of little consequence to me right now, however, as my current sights are on creating the perfect multiplayer 5
Color deck.

Ideally, knowing what the rest of the field will be playing would be an advantage, but not being able to know this, I’ll need to be prepared for everything, and have my main colors reflect my need for control.
I plan to anchor my deck with blue and white. Some counter, some removal, and some card advantage.

Having three to five other targets means that semi-threatening creatures like Thieving Magpie and Ophidian become much easier to use. Using one player as a punching bag for card drawing is great; just attack the player with no defense. The Magpie damage could be annoying, however the Ophidian is not likely to promote a kill spell.

To prepare for any sort of creature beatdown, I’ll hide behind the standard Wrath of God or the new Rout. Casting at instant speed is great, and can make you many friends (or enemies) at once. For early game, some creatures on defense work well too. Something that isn’t threatening but has an advantage. For these purposes, Wall of Blossoms holds off most early beats, and Bottle Gnomes do a fine job killing one-toughness creatures, while adding some life for later.

In my deck currently, I’m playing Stormscape Apprentice too. Keeping opposing creatures at bay is important, and tapping them is one of the most effective ways to hold off the troops while you get your mana base going. He is cheap to activate and can get in some random damage against opponents.

For card advantage, artifacts generally work the best, not draining precious colored mana. Urza’s Blueprints is widely considered to be the best, and has replaced Jayemdae Tome as the standard by which all other artifact card-drawers are measured. There are others that should be considered as well though.

Thran Tome (of land): Thran Tome is unadulterated card advantage. You get two of three cards for five mana, and is deadly with Stormbind and can aid with Mindless Automaton and Masticore.

Phyrexian Grimoire: This is one of my personal favorites. I like being able to reuse cards, gaining card advantage by recurring things like Swords, Bolt, and Impulse. The Grimoire is able to set up terribly difficult decisions for the opponents, and with strategic planning, I’ve been able to cast the same Impulse six or seven times in a game.

Phyrexian Portal: Go look at the website. www.5-color.com. This thing is banned.

As far as spot removal goes, stick with the classic tried-and-true methods of whacking creatures. Generally instant-speed is the best, especially in multiplayer when alliances with other players may send the beats swinging at you all of the sudden. Swords to Plowshares is still the best, though Terminate fits nicely into the necessary red slots. Lightning Bolt is classic, but in this showdown, I’m going to use Incinerate. River Boa and Albino and Sedge Trolls will probably be factors, and killing them for good is the best solution.

While I plan to play a fair amount of creatures, these need to be chosen with some amount of care. Obviously some creatures serve different purposes than just beating down. The Walls and Bottle Gnomes are for early defense, and the Apprentices can get my offensive creatures through or stall their beatings. Ophidian is there to generate some non-artifact card advantage and provide a moderate blocker in the early game.

When going on the offensive, having bigger stuff that is hard to kill is clutch. You don’t just want to send a bunch of bears and get blown out by everyone. Green is the color of choice, and it has some solid ones.
Erhnam Djinn is the classic beatdown creature, and if you want to get a quick clock for little mana, play him.

If you have some good mana consistency, maybe you can drop that early Blastoderm… All the better for the beats. Maze of Ith can’t touch him, and he usually gets in five points and two creatures. Other solid green choices include; Hunted Wumpus (though a bit risky in Multiplayer), Jade Leech, and Albino Troll.

I play Morphling and Masticore as well, but only one or two of each.
Masticore is best to keep the creatures to a minimum, and can plow through lots of stuff, while Morphling is usually the finisher because of its untargetability. (Word or no?) (My word processor says ‘no’ – The Ferrett)

Lots of other random goods in the deck too, but I’ll be revising it over the next month, and I can’t give away all of the trade secrets. On to the GP this past weekend in Detroit.

Even after my amazing string of 3 straight weekends garnering me 351 DCI points, I was still flagged at 1650, thanks to the quarterly updates. I won a trial for Detroit, so I started with three byes. Long story short, deck was bad, and I lost quickly in rounds 4 and 5 and dropped after realizing I lost
65 Limited points. All the sudden I’m told that I should care about my rating; however, now I’m only about 200 points above where I think I should be, and my rating after Detroit should settle in at about 1940-1960. Keep in mind that eight days before GP: Boston my limited rating was 1663, so this whole”Qualifying on rating” theory hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I hope to do well in Barcelona, assuming I get some practice time this month with all of the good players in Milwaukee and Madison who now let me draft with them. 🙂

However, my letdown was temporary, and after friend Nick Little finished 40th after day one all was well, and I started to play some 5 Color and hang out with people whom I hadn’t seen in a while, and to meet some new friends.

I finally met John”Friggin” Rizzo after watching him play Randy Buehler in some 5 Color. I don’t think he did too well… But neither did I against the former PT: Chicago champion. I only got to chat with him for a couple of minutes, but I got to thank him in person for his complimentary email that he sent me after GP: Boston.

I wish I could have seen his Trial match against Josh Bennett. Reading Donais’ writing is fun, but I’m sure it didn’t do justice to the match.

Catching up with CCGPrime.com editor Dan Rowland was good times, and I managed to pawn off the Rage I had gotten in my sealed deck on him for ten bucks. I got a picture with Draw-Go, the cheetah mascot, but I hear he is a whore nowadays, getting his picture taken with anyone. Being seen with the likes of me can’t help the smoking cheetah much.

I got to randomly chat in passing with Joshua Claytor. I wish someone would have told me that he was so tall. I was totally intimidated by him. For those who have seen me, imagine my surprise when I found myself not wanting to approach Josh because of his height. They had a band of writers hanging out, and every one of those guys was like 6’2″-6’4″. Rizzo, Forsythe, and Claytor all stand taller than me, and Rowland’s crazy look in his eyes always makes me think that he’s going to snap my neck at any moment. Christ, even Michelle Bush, who I saw for the first time in Boston, is like 5’10”! Hopefully all of the writers aren’t like that. Who knows? Maybe
The Ferrett is like 4’8″ (perfect chance for an interjection). 🙂 (5’11”, 195 pounds, loves walks in the rain and warm sunsets on the beach – The Ferrett)

Shawn”Best and Worst of the ‘Net” Jackson was my opponent round 5, and we had a fun match. I made a mistake the first game that probably lost it for me (keep track of opponent’s life too, you lazy savage! ::hitting myself on head::) but the second game he rolled me. The conversation was lively through the whole match, and afterwards he asked me to sign his Contract from Below, and I happily obliged. This became a pretty common thing this weekend. All in all, I probably signed two dozen Contracts, but failed to have Randy Buehler sign mine. Bring a Sharpie to Barcelona, I guess.

Several friends did well this past weekend – but unfortunately, not Nick. He didn’t do well in either draft, and finished in the bottom half of day two, failing to improve on his Top 32 showing in Boston, and more importantly, failing to qualify for Barcelona. 🙁

However, Dustin Stern made day two and finished in the money, along with friend Ryan Strand with whom I will be flying to Barcelona. Bob Maher, Jr managed a fantastic semi-final finish getting third place and winning $1,200. He lost in the semis to the”Wisconsin Killer” Matt Vienneau. Matt was the guy who defeated me in Boston in the quarterfinals, and currently has Wisconsin’s number in GPs. I’ll be sure to get him back in Spain. Congrats, Matt, on your win in Detroit, and I wish you continued success!

I did some pretty random drafts in Detroit with friends from Indianapolis and Travis Chance. Also, the nine player 5 Color game was going well for me until Isaac Leath allowed Eric Hefner to win by Replenishing City of Solitude into play and casting Dream Halls. Stupid Sliver Queen/Coalition
Victory. Cost me a Thawing Glaciers.

The following day, Sunday, was better though. We had a two-slot 5 Color Qualifier and after winning my first two matches, I lost to Jayson Manship’s counter-heavy control deck. I fought through the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tourney and after two more wins, I played Matt Linde who was using Bob Maher’s Living Death deck. We decided to split the cash and wound up both qualified. Good thing we drew, too, as later Dave Williams played me with the deck and I was dead by turn 5, as he defended Maher’s Mox Pearl in the ante. My deck is a trim 297 cards, and I was able to show people the error of their ways, using Price of Progress for several kills during the event.

All in all, Detroit was a good time, though I failed to make any Pro Tour points – which won’t help my effort to try to get twelve by the end of Worlds so that I can be on the ballot for the Magic Invitational. Nine more by Worlds is what I need. I’ll need one hell of a Pro Tour effort to get close to that.

Okay, I guess that’s it. I hope to see some of you in Barcelona during the Multiplayer Invitational. It should be a great time, and I hope that
Wisconsin will prevail in the winner’s circle once again!

Kurtis“Fat Man” Hahn
Creator of 5 Color Magic