Prerelease Report Of The Stars – Odyssey Prerelease

Two and a half weeks ago, I received an email which contained the location, date and starting time of the Odyssey prerelease. “There will be an Odyssey prerelease at the 22.9.01, Uri” , the email said to me. “The cost will be… 85 NIS (20$)!” (pause for applause) “The location… Matnas Shenkin, Tel-Aviv, Israel!” (pause…

Two and a half weeks ago, I received an email which contained the location, date and starting time of the Odyssey prerelease.

“There will be an Odyssey prerelease at the 22.9.01, Uri” , the email said to me.

“The cost will be… 85 NIS (20$)!” (pause for applause)

“The location… Matnas Shenkin, Tel-Aviv, Israel!” (pause for applause)

“Registration will begin at 9:00 am and the tournament at 10:00 am. Because this is Israel, we will not have enough prerelease foil cards for everyone, so to get one you need to preregister by sending a check to a certain address. Good bye.”

That was a pretty dumb email. It actually said”pause for applause” instead of pausing. Who does that?

The people from Jerusalem going to the tournament were Ayal, Leshem, Yura, Avinatan, and yours truly. If you’ve ever read any of my other articles, I know what you’re thinking – that’s five Magic players from Jerusalem! Aren’t there supposed to be only four?

Well here’s what I have to say to you: Not only is that group of players five, it also doesn’t include one of the original four, who decided to meet some old friends of his and skip the tourney. Yura finished his army service one three weeks ago, and Avinatan used to play Magic and decided that since he had some time off from the army he’d give the tournament a try. Yes, Jerusalem is now officially a Magic empire.

We arrived at the tournament at 9:40, and the place was packed full of people. The previous prerelease had set a record tournament attendance of a 105. As more people slowly but surely continued to trickle in, this one reached 129. It seems that somehow the new advertising system is working – which reminds me, I haven’t mentioned the second invitation I got to the tourney. This one was mailed the regular way, and is said that the Odyssey prerelease was going to be held at 27.1.01.

Is that eight months ago?

Yes, it is.

No correction was sent by either regular or electronic mail, so the number of people was even more amazing than seemed at first glance. 129 people!

Israel has no deck registration, and deck building began at 11:30 a.m. Here are the cards I opened (“!” denotes a card that I won’t play maindeck unless I have to. Also, This list may be missing a few, as I did a draft afterwards and some of the cards got mixed up.


1 Halberdier

1 Whipkeeper

2 Ember Beast

1 Chainflinger

1 Anarchist

1 Mad Dog

!1 Pardic Swordsmith

!2 Tremble (an extremely bad Raze? Wasn’t that also very rarely played?)

!1 Rites of Initiation

!1 Dwarven Grunt

!1 Bash to Bits

!1 Earth Rift

!1 Price of Glory

!1 Battle Strain

!1 Chance Encounter (rare enchantment RR2, whenever you win a coin flip put a luck counter on it. If it has 10 during your upkeep, you win)

!1 Need for Speed (rare enchantment R, Sacrifice a land to give a creature haste until end of turn)


!1 Coffin Purge

!1 Zombie Cannibal

!1 Mind Burst

1 Patriarch’s Desire

2 Last Rites

2 Filthy Cur

1 Ghastly Demise

1 Childhood Horror

1 Malevolent Awakening

1 Dusk Imp


1 Scrivener

1 Aven Smokeweaver

1 Cephalid Scout

2 Repel

1 Puppeteer

1 Syncopate

1 Phantom Whelp

1 Careful Study

!1 Thought Nibbler

!1 Rites of Refusal

!1 Aboshan’s Desire

!1 Touch of Invisibility


!1 Spiritualize

!1 Ancestral Tribute

1 Ray of Distortion

1 Luminous Guardian

1 Pilgrim of Justice

2 Mystic Zealot

1 Aven Flock

1 Second Thoughts

1 Embolden

1 Resilient Wanderer

1 Shelter

1 Master Apothecary (Rare 2/2 Cleric WWW. Tap an untapped cleric to prevent two to anyone)


1 Elephant Ambush

1 Beast Attack

1 Seton’s Desire

1 Werebear

2 Leaf Dancer

1 Diligent Farmhand

1 Nantuko Disciple

1 Crashing Centaur

1 Krosan Archer

1 Druid’s Call

!1 Simplify

!1 Woodland Druid


1 Bog Wreckage

1 Cabal Pit

1 Ravaged Highlands

1 Barbarian Ring

1 Timberland Ruins

1 Mystic Enforcer (rare, GW2 3/3 pro black, threshold – gets +3/+3 AND flying)

Unfortunately, none of the rares were foil. We’ve began calling foil rares McDonald’s Coupons, as Lior Zommerfeld (one of the organizers) is willing to pay more or less the cost of a McDonald’s meal for any foil rare he doesn’t have. This leads to them, not surprisingly, always getting first picked in draft.

Now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for: Space to think about how you’d build the deck! Most people I’ve seen for leave this space empty, for some strange reason. I don’t understand this. In real life space isn’t empty – it’s full of stars. So why not here?
































Okay, enough.

Pretty soon after looking through the cards, I realized that there were several ways I could not build the deck.

I couldn’t build it to be chock-full of removal and just beat my opponent, because all his good creatures disappear and he’s left with random bears – I had three black removal spells, one white removal spell, one red removal spell, and two Repels (and this was counting the saclands).

I couldn’t build it to be aggressive and smash people’s heads in before they had a chance to do anything – I didn’t have direct damage, I didn’t have combat pumpers, I didn’t have stalemate breakers (like Ensnare and Falter) – and most of all, I didn’t have enough cheap aggressive creatures to make up for these faults. My lack of removal also made this plan bad as someone could just drop a random big creature and stop me in my tracks.

I couldn’t go the way of evasion, at least not completely, because I didn’t have enough flyers.

I could try to build a land destruction deck with my Earth Rift and my two amazing Trembles. Trembles are so amazing I had to at least consider playing with them. In the end, I gave this plan up because I knew if I used it I would so completely and utterly smash everyone that the tournament would be kinda boring for me.

The option that I did have was to build a deck that could win the long game through superior cards. My card pool included Crashing Centaur, two Mystic Zealots, Mystic Enforcer, Beast Attack and Elephant Ambush. The first four can easily win me the game if I have Threshold, and the other two create multiple fatties, which are always hard to deal with. Playing with these cards, if I could reach threshold alive, the game would probably be mine. So all my deck had to do was survive until it reached Threshold, and (logically from the previous part of the sentence), the game would be mine. In order to play the two flashback green cards I would have to be a heavy green deck – and luckily for me, green had enough other quality cards to allow me to do this. Green also provided me with two cards that allowed me to discard cards from my hand (those being the Centaur and Archer), which would be very helpful in achieving threshold.

The way I decided to build the deck it would have to be base green/white, which already gave me the following cards to work with:

1 Elephant Ambush

1 Beast Attack

1 Seton’s Desire

1 Werebear

2 Leaf Dancer

1 Diligent Farmhand

1 Nantuko Disciple

1 Crashing Centaur

1 Krosan Archer

1 Druid’s Call

1 Ray of Distortion

1 Luminous Guardian

1 Pilgrim of Justice

2 Mystic Zealot

1 Aven Flock

1 Second Thoughts

1 Embolden

1 Resilient Wanderer

1 Shelter

1 Master Apothecary

This was twenty-two cards and included some suboptimal ones, and I had good cards in my other colors, so I cut it down a bit to make room for a splash.

From green I cut Druid’s Call, because I was afraid removal or bounce cards would render it ineffective. From white I removed Ray of Distortion, Pilgrim of Justice, and Luminous Guardian (because the deck already had a lot of 4cc cards). I left the Leaf Dancers in because I wanted a lot of green in the deck, and also because they would probably be unblockable against at least half of my opponents, with everyone playing three colours. The splashes I considered were blue, for:

1 Aven Smokeweaver

1 Cephalid Scout

2 Repel

1 Puppeteer

1 Syncopate

1 Careful Study (helps with threshold)

1 Scrivener

or black for:

1 Cabal Pit (I counted these lands as removal because I didn’t notice they have threshold, but I think they’re playable anyway)

1 Childhood Horror

1 Dusk Imp

1 Patriarch’s Desire

1 Ghastly Demise

I also considered making white a splash and blue more of a main color, but doing this would force me to either play a much shakier mana base (I didn’t have as many quality blue cards as white) or play with Phantom Whelp and bad cantrips, which I didn’t want to do. In the end, the Repels and Puppeteer convinced me to go with blue. I also thought Cephalid Scout would be strong, but he ended up being just okay, and in retrospect I shouldn’t have played him.

Here’s the deck I ended up with:

1 Elephant Ambush

1 Beast Attack

1 Seton’s Desire

1 Werebear

2 Leaf Dancer

1 Diligent Farmhand

1 Nantuko Disciple

1 Crashing Centaur

1 Krosan Archer

2 Mystic Zealot

1 Aven Flock

1 Second Thoughts

1 Embolden

1 Resilient Wanderer

1 Shelter

1 Master Apothecary

1 Cephalid Scout

2 Repel

1 Puppeteer

1 Mystic Enforcer

1 Timberland Ruins

6 Forest (one foil)

6 Plains

4 Island

And now (after seven pages – yikes I wrote a lot – and I haven’t even reached the tourney yet!), we reach the tournament itself. The honorable soldier Moosh was presiding as judge, and he was assisted by Daniel Bird, Orian, and Lior Zommerfeld in running the tournament, which went very smoothly.

Round 1 vs Eyal Leshem g/r/w

Soldier Moosh pronounced this match a feature match, which meant that it would be the match he would watch at the beginning of the round – and also, as if that weren’t enough, that we got to sit at one of the two wooden tables. These were set a level apart from the rest of the tournament, on a sort of stage, so that we were also seated higher than everybody else.

Naturally we were very excited.

I hated playing against Eyal this early in the tournament (or at all, for that matter), but we couldn’t draw as it was the first round and that would force us to go 6-0 in order to make top 8. I asked Eyal if he’d seen any broken cards, and he told me that he’d seen a kid with a 3/3 pro black creature for four that had threshold of +3/+3 AND flying. I grinned inwardly. And outwardly too, it seems, as Eyal asked me why I was smiling – I couldn’t possibly have a better card than that. I told him not to worry, everything would be all right. I won the”does the card in my hand have flashback” contest and chose to draw.

Game 1 we both started off slowly , and pretty soon we were in a stalemate. I played a turn 3 Master Apothecary, turn 4 Mystic Enforcer, turn 5 Krosan Archer, and turn 6 Crashing Centaur. Leshem, meanwhile, played a white bear, a Cloudchaser eagle, and the green 3/4 that gets +2/+2 whenever it’s blocked. Turn 7 after playing my seventh land, I suddenly noticed my creatures’ discard abilities, and my game plan was set. A few turns later I drew Leaf Dancer, which started nibbling away at Leshem’s life total, and collected more and more cards in my hand. Meanwhile Leshem played the 3/1 green trampler and Chainflinger, and also collected more and more cards.

This scared me, as I had heard there was a white Wrath of God in this set. And Leshem had been the person I had heard that from.

Pretty soon I reached enough cards to have Threshold, Repelled Leshem’s 3/4 at the end of his turn, and smacked him. I played this part of the game very badly by not discarding cards until after putting damage on the stack, as if I waited until next turn to achieve threshold I would be able to save (instead of discarding) both of the Mystic Zealots in my hand. Chainflinger pinging my Crashing Centaur changed the math and forced me to discard one of them anyway.

All this didn’t really matter, as it turned out Leshem’s hand was all lands and my Threshold creatures finished him shortly thereafter.

I sided out my Master Apothecary, as I realized it didn’t make sense that I would be able to cast him anywhere near the beginning of the game, and I had the late game locked with my threshold monsters anyway.

Game 2 is much more interesting. Leshem plays a turn 2 Patrol House again (which lets him discard a card to give it first strike). I play a Puppeteer and he plays a superdecoy (who with threshold taps two), and then beats me for two. I play nothing (tapping his bear), and he smacks me with the decoy and plays an enchant land that lets him generate 1/1 squirrels. Turn 5 I don’t tap his bear when he declares an attack, and try to block it with a Beast Attack token (which he taps with the decoy). My turn untap, Beast Attack again. Suddenly, I realize just how broken that card is. Leshem plays a 1/1 with protection from creatures as I continue the assault with Aven Flock and a Mystic Zealot. He enchants his 1/1 with +2/+2, and suddenly I’m a few turns away from dying. I can’t block nor tap with the puppeteer, and I’ve taken enough early damage that Leshem can win this race. Where is my Repel, I ask?

I topdeck one, smile, and play it. I finished the game at five life by achieving threshold and then playing Seton’s Desire on a creature in order to force through thirteen damage.

Games: 2-0-0

Matches: 1-0-0

Round 2 vs Nitzan Bleiberg b/g/?

Nitzan is a very cool guy and good player, who I’ve played in many prereleases in the past. He stopped playing Magic seriously 1-2 years ago, and has been arriving only to prereleases since. Despite this, he still regularly makes Top 8 in them. Unfortunately the games aren’t very exciting, two of them ending because of manascrew.

Game 1 is Nitzan’s turn. He’s missing a color (his deck was g/b/something, I think) and doesn’t cast more than one spell the entire game while I beat him down with random creatures.

Game 2, Nitzan gets turn 2 white bear, who gets first strike, and turn 3 Seton’s Desire on it. I have sided in my Spiritualize for this game, thinking that it also prevented the damage and was therefore a playable card I had missed. Wrong.

I play turn 4 and 6 guys, turn 7 a 3/3, and Spiritualize Nitzan’s overgrown bear in between, playing it as I thought it worked and gaining four life instead of staying at the same total. One of my guys was a Nantuko Disciple. When I block Nitzan’s bear, he has an instant pumper and both of my guys die. This pumper not only gives +2/+2 and trample, it also has flashback, which means I can’t block the bear unless I have a creature with five toughness (which will be pumped to seven through Nantuku). I want very badly to draw a Repel, but don’t and die horribly.

Game 3 I paris to 5 and Nitzan to 6. I’m mana flooded while he’s missing a color, so the game stalls as my Mystic Zealots stare at his army of 2/2s and 3/1s. This is the situation my deck is designed for, and it soon proves itself as I draw Beast Attack and mess up his blocking with Shelter and Repels. Game 3 to me.

Games: 4-1-0

Matches: 2-0-0

Round 3 vs Yoni u/w/r

Game 1, I play out two 2/4s and a 3/3, and play a few combat tricks to save them from Yoni’s removal attempts. Yoni doesn’t have any fatties, so I smash him with mine.

Game 2, Yoni plays a small blue 1/1 guy that lets him choose each turn which of my top two cards to mill.

I look at my hand.

Mystic Zealot.

Mystic Enforcer.

I read them.

T-H-R-E-S-H-O-L-D, they say. Seven cards in your graveyard and we will win you the game.

I read Lior’s 1/1 again.

M-I-L-L (that’s what it should say, anyway. If you can call haste haste, why can’t you call milling milling?)


I play a turn 4 Mystic Enforcer and gladly race, and next turn attack, holding a Beast Attack in my hand. When Yoni attacks, I consider not playing it so he can mill me for one more (I want threshold, dammit!), but in the end I figure I can get threshold anyway and play it. He Syncopates, which isn’t very fun. Two turns later I draw and play Krosan Archer, who proceeds to become very paranoid and tosses my entire hand into the graveyard in order to pump his toughness. My 6/6 flier finishes Yoni shortly thereafter.

We go ask Soldier Moosh when there’s going to be a lunch break, and he tells us there isn’t going to be one due to time constraints.

Shocked, I lose my balance and crumple to the ground. No food? I hadn’t eaten a bite from seven in the morning, and the tournament was going to end at nine p.m. Everything around me starts getting black and blurry, and as the darkness closes in around me, I hear a voice in the distance. It’s Yoni.

“Uri, there are still twenty minutes left in the round. If we run, we can make it to McDonald’s!”

The darkness recedes and my vision clears. I get up from the ground, run to McDonald’s, and buy food for myself and three other people, one of which is Soldier Moosh. He is very grateful and promises to give me a bye in return 🙂

Games: 6-1-0

Matches: 3-0-0

Round 4 vs Tom Teman b/u/r

Tom also stopped playing Magic a few years ago (he wrote an article for StarCity about why he quit). Since then he has come only to Limited events. He also still seems to be doing pretty well – last year at Nationals he went 6-0 in draft (and dropped, since he doesn’t have any Type 2 cards and doesn’t want to play it anyway).

Tom had shown me his deck before the first round of the tournament, and the things I remembered seeing were a 6/6 blue flyer, Shadowmage Infiltrator, and some insane 3/3 creature which had the most powerful ability I’d ever seen on a creature for Limited – stronger than Tradewind and Morphling, even. It read UUU: tap all creatures. There aren’t a lot of things you can do if something like that stays in play.

Game 1, Tom starts out faster than me with a 2/2 that can gain flying for a discard, a 1/1 with fear and threshold +2/+2, and a Chainflinger. He then plays a 4/3 that can gain first strike. I take some damage and start laying my own guys, starting with two Mystic Zealots (I was missing green mana).

When Tom attacks with his 4/3 I double block it, holding Shelter and Second Chance in hand. Tom kills one of them with the one mana banishing that depends on your graveyard, and I Second Chance his 4/3.

I proceed to start beating down, laying down a Krosan Archer and a Crashing Centaur, and Sheltering one of my guys to protect him from removal.

At the end of one of Tom’s turns, after he’d just reduced me to eight life, I discard enough cards to Krosan Archer to achieve threshold for my Mystic Zealot and Centaur. I draw – Seton’s Embrace!

I play it on the Archer and smack him for a lot, him pinging me to six in response. I play the Master super-healer and pass the turn. Tom is going to die if I get another attack.

Tom thinks for a lot, then discards his hand of two to achieve threshold, Chainpings me for two, and attacks me for five, two of which the healer prevents, putting me at exactly one. Wow. I hadn’t even noticed he could do that. That was pretty lucky – I could’ve easily lost because of that play, and for no reason – I could easily have kept the Mystic Zealot back for defense and still killed him on my next turn.

Game 2 is also pretty close. I am very manaflooded, and would definitely have lost… Had one of my cards not been Beast Attack.

If it isn’t clear yet, that card is broken. And I don’t mean Agonizing Demise broken – I mean Pestilence broken. It’s as if you were in a wrestling match with someone, evenly matched, no one has an advantage. He moves towards you, and then suddenly two huge, hairy gorillas jump on him from behind and wrestle him to the ground.

I start with Diligent Farmhand, at which Tom shoots the Bolt that lets me take five to prevent it, which I do. The Farmhand beats him for three before getting me my third forest. He plays the U/B Atog and I play Nantuko Disciple. When he attacks into it I Emblazon, to which he discards a card and removes his graveyard to still kill it. I draw my third forest, and it’s time for the Beasts. Tom bounces one of them, accidentally runs his Atog into the other, then gets mad at it and plays an enchantment that says it doesn’t untap, but I can discard a card to untap it.

Tom smiles. I can guess what he’s thinking:

“I’m at twelve life and have several potential chumpers. There’s no way Uri’s going to toss that many cards to the beast – he’d have to lose two before I even begin chumping, and that’ll give me too great an advantage.”

Tom is, of course, quite wrong. My hand is all lands so I happily attack for four every turn, with Tom being unable to attack back for fear I would untap the beast.

Tom plays his 4/3 that can gain first strike to stabilize the ground when he’s at four. I don’t notice my Emblazon for a few turns and hold back, Tom beating me with his 1/1 fear and then playing a Finkelphidian. Luckily for me I notice the Emblazon before it’s too late, and kill Tom when at four life myself.

I played these two games badly, something I’ve been doing quite a lot lately. I always considered myself a good player, but these past few months I’ve played terribly time and time again. The reason is that I’ve stopped thinking about my plays before I make them – I just play sort of on autopilot, letting my intuition guide me without pausing in the middle to let my brain do any work.

The first time I noticed this was at the IBC PTQ last month when playing Dromar-go. In a fairly complicated situation, with more than five creatures on each side and both of us at low life, I attacked with everything, and then started thinking about whether or not I should attack. I’ve reversed the order in which I do things. First I make a play, and only then do I think about whether or not I should make it.

It’s probably pretty obvious that this is a terrible way to play, and yet I can’t get myself to stop it. Could I maybe have contracted some rare Magic players’ brain disease?

No, I know what it is.

The DCI has some sort of magic Mlaying goodness detector, and when it detected how good I was, they got scared. That is why they have started using their mind control devices to try to contain me. Yup, that’s why I’m playing so badly – because I’m good!

Games: 8-1-0

Matches: 4-0-0

Round 5 vs Eviatar Olpiner g/u/r

Eviatar is a red-headed guy who is convinced he’s a squirrel. He always keeps a small wooden box tucked under his arm, occasionally opening it to put small morsels of food in. When we noticed this and told him about it he stopped – and now, instead, he and his box sometimes take trips to buy food and drink in between rounds.

The box is actually filled with small toy animals – elephants, guerillas, squirrels and more. Whenever I played a Beast Attack or Elephant Ambush, I would go to Eviatar and get one of them to be the token.

The intimidation factor of these things is huge. When my opponents look at the board to consider whether or not to attack, their eyes move from cardboard rectangle to cardboard rectangle. They have five creatures and I have one, and he’s a Diligent Farmhand. Then suddenly they see an elephant.

“Damn, this isn’t fair,” they think.”That elephant is fifty times as tall as my cards! I have no chance. Might as well concede right now and save some time – maybe go catch a bite to eat, because there is no friggin’ lunch break.”

Or, for the slightly less connected to the real world souls among us –”Help! An elephant is attacking me. Oh no I’m going to die. Time to run very quickly. While at it, maybe get some food as well, because there is no friggin‘ – oh no, it’s getting nearer, it’s moving too fast.”

Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, Eviatar is also an excellent player, and we consider drawing but decide against it, mainly because we didn’t think about it enough.

Eviatar wants to go first and I want to go second, so there’s no problem there.

Game 1, Eviatar starts out fast with a turn two Wild Mongrel. He beats me down to about eight before I manage to stabilize, due to the green instant that gives +2/+2 and flashback, making blocking a nightmare for me. Eviatar plays a blue 3/2 flyer and I play the superhealer. I start taking one a turn while trying to stabilize the ground, since Eviatar continues to play creatures. I take some damage, then at four life I draw and play a Krosan Archer, which Eviatar Repels, bringing me to three. I save my healer from his burn with Emblazon, replay the Archer, and am about to achieve Threshold.

Eviatar jokes that maybe we should still draw. I think about the situation. I’m slowly but surely gaining control of the game, but am at a precarious life total, and if Eviatar draws Demoralize or Seton’s Desire, I lose on the spot. I say if he wants to, I’ll draw. He thinks and decides against it.

At this point I have only one mana untapped, and next turn I will be safer thanks to the Emblazon in my graveyard protecting me from burn. Eviatar topdecks a red sorcery that does five divided any way he chooses between me and my creatures, and wins.

We only have about fifteen minutes left, so I ask Eviatar to play quickly, which he does. I go first and get an extremely aggressive draw, with Leaf Dancer, Elephant Ambush, Nantuko Disciple and Seton’s Desire. Eviatar has a bad draw and I kill him in about five minutes. We figure we won’t have enough time to finish the round anyway and so draw, which puts us both in a position where we need to win one of the next two rounds to make top 8.

Games: 9-2-1

Matches: 4-0-1

Round 6 vs Gidi b/r/w

Gidi is a relatively young, new, and good Magic player. He’s the only 5-0 in the tournament and offers me a draw, which I tell him I can’t accept since it would help my chances of making top 8 about as much as losing to him.

I’d heard from both Leshem and Amit (who are both 4-1 at this point) that Gidi’s deck is so good it’s scary, but I had to play. At this point the rest of the Jerusalem players were doing well, with Ayal and Avinatan both also at 4-0-1, Leshem, as I said, at 4-1, and Yura also 4-1. Yura’s deck was pretty good, starring the 4/4 flying”protection from all” Angel. Ayal’s and Avinatan’s weren’t too shabby either, with one having the new Control Magic and a 6/1 haste legend that taps to bolt (!), and the other having extremely efficient creatures, including three three-power blue flyers and the green sorcery that puts a 6/6 wurm into play (which has flashback).

Game 1 Gidi and me both play some creatures and nothing much is happening – I have a Puppeteer, super-healer and Mystic Enforcer, while Gidi has a 2/1 red guy that sacs for two damage and two other random guys.

Gidi beat me down in the beginning because I was afraid to lose my healer, and now I was beating him for three a turn. He plays Second Thoughts on the enforcer, which I Repel in response and replay next turn. He then blocks with enough guys to kill it (despite the Puppeteer/superhealer combo). I replace it with a Mystic Zealot. Gidi then untaps, lays a land and taps six to play a black enchant land that reads: Enchanted land gains,”tap – target player loses three life.”

It is hard to explain just how bad this was for me. That enchant land affected the game about as much as the discovery of gunpowder affected war. I was still limited to the old technology, and tried to race Gidi with my creatures. Gidi plays creatures of his own and we trade some and I get some damage through. While all this is happening, Gidi’s land is shooting cannonballs at my head.

Gidi kills my Puppeteer, eliminating what slim chance I might have had to race him, and I lose shortly thereafter.

I don’t remember much about game 2. I think I just got Beast Attack going and managed to break through Gidi’s defenses with it. I think I Repelled twice for card advantage each time.

Game 3, I draw both Elephant Ambush and Beast Attack and put a lot of pressure on Gidi. He plays Second Thoughts to kill a token, and trades creatures with another. I also play an Aven Flock, and Gidi is facing flock, elephant, and beast with a 1/3 pro red guy, a black enchantment that lets him discard two cards to make a 2/2 zombie, and two cards in hand… And I still have the Beast Attack in my graveyard! I attack and he chumps. He untaps, discards two to achieve threshold and make a 2/2, and taps the rest of his mana to play a red spell that (because he has threshold) deals four damage to three of my creatures. Ouch. Luckily for me, I have enough mana to save my Aven Flock, and it kills him two turns later.

Games: 11-3-1

Matches: 5-0-1

Round 7 vs Evgeni g/u/?

Before this round begins I check the standings to see what my position is, and find out I have the highest tiebreakers in the tournament and am going to make Top 8 regardless of the outcome of my match. Evgeni’s tiebreakers are lower and there is a small chance he won’t make Top 8 if he loses.

This puts me into an uncomfortable position, as Evgeni obviously wants to draw, but if he makes Top 8 because of the draw then someone else doesn’t.

So basically I am given the power to decide whether Evgeni will get into the Top 8 automatically, or have to play for it. Situations like this shouldn’t happen in competitive sports. I tell Evgeni this, and that I feel I have to play.

Game 1 we both play plenty of green creatures, and he plays a Nantuko Disciple so the ground is stalled. I Repel his Krosan Archers and attack for two in the air once. When he replays them, I Repel them again, and on my turn play Shelter (pro green) on my Crashing Centaur. I then proceed to discard my hand to achieve Threshold, and attack him for thirteen (which is what he was at) with Mystic Enforcer, the now 5/6 Centaur, and the flyer. He can’t block because all his creatures are green.

Game 2, Evgeni and I both play creatures, and he beats me with some 3/3 creature with Seton’s Desire. When I manage to stall the ground, he plays some blue card that lets him exchange creatures between us, and trades his Werebear and another elf for my Mystic Enforcer and Mystic Zealot. I nearly manage to come back with Second Thoughts, Repel, and achieving Threshold, but Evgeni also plays the 4/5 Basilisk (the prerelease card), which makes blocking impossible, and manages to kill me with it the turn before I would kill him.

Game 3, Evgeni plays Wild Mongrel while I play Diligent Farmhand. I chump and get a land, take another two (play a Leaf Dancer), then block it with a Beast Attack token. Evgeni tosses his entire hand to kill it and save his Mongrel (he’s also played another bear or two by this point), at which point the game is mine – as not only can I replay it, I also have two other creatures in my hand.

Games: 13-4-1

Matches: 6-0-1

Me and Ayal both make top 8, with Avinatan coming in ninth, missing out on tiebreakers at 5-1-1. Yura and Leshem finished 5-2.

By this point it’s very late, so we split the prizes and… Go do an Odyssey draft 🙂 I draft a bad u/r/b deck and lose quickly. Ayal notices it’s very late, and we might miss the last bus to Jerusalem.

Me, Yura, Ayal and Leshem (Avinatan went to sleep at his cousin’s house at Tel-Aviv) quickly took a cab to the central bus station. We ended up missing the last bus by about ten seconds, as we saw it driving away just as we arrived at the station.

We ended up having to take a taxi home, which was especially bad for Leshem, as soldiers get to take busses for free.

By the time we get to Jerusalem it’s 1:30 a.m., and we all quickly disperse to our homes.

Until next time,

Uri Peleg

Wild Mammoth Hunter

Wishes someone would ask him why he keeps calling himself that

[email protected]