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PTQ – Osaka: The Importance Of Being l33t

You know, as an editor, trying to summarize Rizzo’s random tourney reports in a pithy sentence is a real pain. YOU try it sometime.

Until then, here is a Rizzo report. Thank you for your time.

Hey! If you were exhausted on your wedding night, and your wife wasn’t, would ya’ put a bun in the oven? I know I would.


Kevin Cron is broken. He sent me some technology that is so unfair that it should immediately be banned. It involves giving your opponent infinite turns… Well, infinite until they a) scoop out of frustration, or b) jump over the table at you.


And that’s your Free Daily XXX Tease!


Accelerated Black realized that it didn’t know what it wanted to do, other than cast a turn 1 Smokestack or turn 2 Braids, so it became this:


//NAME: Decelerated Accelerated Black

4x Vampiric Tutor

4x Carnophage

4x Duress

1x Winter Orb

4x Dauthi Horror

4x Dauthi Slayer

4x Knight of Stromgald

4x Tangle Wire

4x Contagion

1x Ashes to Ashes

1x Marauding Knight

1x Infernal Darkness

1x Drain Life

19x Swamp

4x Rishadan Port


This is the end of the means of trying to beat Trix and Junk; sometimes it does exactly what it’s meant to:


Turn One: Carnophage

Turn Two: Dauthi or Knight

Turn Three: Tangle Wire


That’s some kind of sexy when it happens, which is more often that I would have thought. With the quickness of the weenies (especially the Knight, who blocks the piss out of Spectral Lynx and doesn’t worry much about River Boa) and the slowdown of Tangle Wire, this bad boy can actually look good sometimes. However, Spiritmonger is one annoying fattie that will kill everything I dare to put in it’s way, and Deed is no picnic either. Still, with a Wire on turn three or four, Spiritmonger isn’t coming to play anytime soon, and if backed up by Infernal Darkness (which is superior to Contamination in a deck like this), you might as well jump back, kiss yourself, and scream”mise!”


Ashes to Ashes? I hear you pondering. Ponder the fact that it removes two non-artifact dudes from the game, which leaves hella targets. While it’s quite dead against Trix, as is Contagion – so? Who plays Trix anymore? (After attending the Q and checking out the T8 for GP: Sendai, the apparent answer is”everyfrigginbody!”)


Mono black is sexy. However, if the beatdown doesn’t beat down in time, the deck simply turns into Sligh, without the benefit of burn to throw at peep’s domes. Not too cool.


In my zest and zeal and otherwise sick-ass desire to beat up on Junk and its relatives, I came up with this:


//NAME: I Like Men.dec (I bet you do… And so does your mom)

4x Force of Will

4x Counterspell

4x Arcane Denial

4x Aether Burst

4x Repulse

2x Withdraw

2x Capsize

4x Impulse

4x Accumulated Knowledge

3x Gilded Drake

2x Morphling

23x Island


Oh, how it does like men. Unfortunately, it really hates wimmin, especially since it just, um, pretty much loses to a deck devoid of the male genitalia. But if I think there will be hella men hanging around in decks at the PTQ, then this is the type of deck to play. Right?


How good is Withdraw against turn three and four Calls? Um, as Mike Turian and/or Mr. Burns would say,”Excellent.” If a deck plays men, this beats it, or at least pisses it off something fierce. If it doesn’t, well, then…. Oops. All right, a turn 2 Multani is pretty friggin’ impossible to deal with, but doesn’t every deck have that problem?


Okay, Junk doesn’t, but whatever.


Hey, Zvi and his boyz made a metagame call in Tokyo, and it worked out, like, kinda good, so why can’t I? (Because your mom is the metagame!)


Testing revealed that Decelerated Accelerated Black beats Junk a significant time, while giving Trix at least a mild headache, and even beat Miracle Gro once in a while (read: once in a great while). Walamies, on the other hand, decelerated its own groove and pounded the tar out of my 2/2’s by drawing only about a billion more cards than I did. Card drawing is unfair and needs errata.


And Reanimator is, like, pretty friggin’ good (read: I can’t beat that damned thing).



Okay – there wasn’t any testing for I Like Men. However, there was a little bit of testing done with After You, the aforementioned Kevin Cron-inspired sick-ass deck. In a total of six friggin’ games, it almost broke even with Nine-Land Green, Junk and Miracle Grow. But each game was a struggle, thus it probably isn’t ready, thus it can think about what it did wrong for another month, thus I decided to go with I Like Men.dec because I believe that fatties are the one true road to victory, just like Wakefield said. Since he really, really, really hated when blue stole his stuff, I also figured that I’d kill two birds with one friggin’ Gilded Drake and let the chips fall where they may.


Yeah, I guess you can say that I expect a few creatures to be seen here and there. If not, well, Johnny gotta pretend that he has a good enough sideboard to keep up with”real” control decks.


But Men hates Mountains. A lot.


John Ritter does the voice of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

And, as Billy Bob Thornton said (paraphrasing, chief) in”Sling Blade”:


“You’re okay for a gay guy.”


Let’s get this straight: John Ritter broke onto the scene by playing a straight guy (who was pretending to be gay) living with two hotties (gimme a little leeway on Joyce DeWitt, will ya?), and then played a gay guy in Sling Blade, and is now reduced to voicing a gigantic red dog?


Lesson: His agent is ass. (Don’t forget he got to play a robot on”Buffy,” too – The Ferrett, slowly getting up to speed thanks to reruns)


Billy Bob Thornton got his ass kicked by Kurt Russell in”Tombstone,” then married what’s-her-face with the collagen lips.


Lesson: There is hope for all of us – as long as we’re rich and/or famous, preferably both.


I’d give y’all a sexy”road trip” story, but I don’t think I can top what’s his name’s”cut my life into pieces” tale of woe and utter bloodshed. And I thought it sucked getting lost. Hey, at least I didn’t need to be revived after handing in my decklist.


Lull, roafil, and a laimo for added comic relief.


As a result of my verbal desire to copulate with Millikin, many of the guys at Crossroads are beginning to see the light – they even draft him! On purpose! Charlie actually drafted four Millikins for his deck, which seemed a tad, well, excessive… But he did have Shower of Coals as well, so I forgive him. You could blame me, but I blame Nate Heiss – who, of course, is to be blamed for just about everything.


Trix is broken? Blame Nate.


David Williams banned? Blame Nate.


Your girlfriend cheated on you? Blame Nate.


The lackluster economy – All Nate. That American kid who fought for the Taliban – All Nate. Keanu Reeves snubbed yet again for a best actor Oscar – Yep, you guessed it: All Nate.


Also, Alex Cunningham will now be known as”Random Guy,” since Adam Reubens called him just that in his report on Neutral Ground. Actually, he called him”random guy with Raisin Bran,” or somesuch, and while we tried to make that Alex’s official nickname, it quickly became too cumbersome, hence, it’s now simply”random guy.”


Something stupid this way comes…


From Yahoo’s front page, December 12, 2001:


“DENVER (Reuters) – The National Basketball Association Denver Nuggets Wednesday suspended coach Dan Issel for four games without pay for using an ethnic slur on a fan who heckled him after the team lost a game in the final seconds.


“On Tuesday night just after the Nuggets lost to the Charlotte Hornets 99-96 Issel was harassed by a fan in the sparse crowd and yelled back: ”Hey, go drink another beer you (expletive) Mexican piece of (expletive).”


Um, where’s the racial slur again? Oh, he called him a”Mexican.” Like, say, if I called an Italian guy an”Italian guy,” or perhaps called an Irish guy an”Irish guy.” Excuse me, but isn’t Mexico a real country? Are not people that live in that country called”Mexicans?” Wow, just when I think people’s heads couldn’t be any farther up their asses, they actually push through their spleen.


In other words, for those studying Political Correctness at a university near you, screaming”Hey, go drink another beer you (expletive) piece of (expletive)” is fine… But if you dare use a derogatory slur, such as”Mexican,” then look the hell out, for the ACLU is all up on ya’ like white on rice.


Oops, I think I just used a slur: I said”white on rice.”


Issel actually cried (I’m sure it was sincere, too – ROFL!) when he apologized to the fan. Meanwhile, OJ Simpson shot an 85 at a random golf course in California. Well, it’s not like he killed two people or anything. Whoa! OJ Simpson played football on a team… TeamAcademy… Quick! Someone call Chief Gates!


IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MAGIC! So quit asking”what’s that have to do with Magic?” Okay, it doesn’t. I just figured that I’d use this forum, so graciously granted (temporarily, at least) to me by Pete and The Ferrett, to dictate my social policies to young, impressionable Magic players, which should be the goal of every Featured Writer. Don’t make me bring out the white space, damnit!


Please address all hate mail to TeamAcademy. Maybe some random that never wrote an article in his life can”review” it for ya’. Is there something wrong with me if I spend much of my free time wondering if Doctor C is really a doctor? Perhaps I’m out of line, but I seriously question his medical credentials. I also wonder if Pyrostif is that guy’s real name.


But hey, as long as they spell your name right, it’s all good. There is no such thing as bad publicity.


For the record, it’s”R-i-z-z-o.” Thanks much in advance for not putting the”friggin” in quotes, which is ass. Watch: John”Friggin” Rizzo. See, ain’t that wick wick wack?


Hey! If you couldn’t write for crap, would ya’ become a critic? I hope that ya’ would.


Bullies suck. And it’s about time someone said”sup with you being a jagoff, yo?” Since it appears that virtually everyone and their mother is scared to death of being the bòunt of a TA gag, I guess I’ll pick up the gavel and bang it a little. But… They might pick on me! Oh God! No! Please!



Some people never get over being the little kid who pushes other little kids off the swings at the playground. Some people will always take their ball and go home if they can’t be quarterback. Some people think it’s funny to pick on other people. Personally, I blame Nate Heiss. And then he blames two friends, and so on, and so on. So go ahead and”review” people’s articles; have a blast. Just remember that Johnny Rizbox met Stella, who got her groove back, even if she sucks at Magic. Just how many female personalities do I have inside of me?


And what’s with the fascination with people’s moms? Didn’t that go out of style in like 1975?


Oh, you guys weren’t even born yet. My bad.


Maybe I’m just a cantankerous old curmudgeon. But I expect many creatures to be up in here, thus, I’m with I Like Men. Two sentences that have no relevance to each other – and you thought it was hard to write?


Dude.


Per usual, a boatload (two boatloads, actually) of Crossroads guys took the little trek of love, and only a few were spent to death from Friday Night Magic; I was almost one of them. I played Millikin Skywalker, that sexy bitch from States, and for not being taken out of it’s deckbox or even looked at for over a month, that bad boy still shines. But, alas, ’twas not to be: Dude went 2-2. Although Barbarian Ring is more sexy than even Mike Flores can imagine. And Millikin is still cute as hell, dog.


I registered this, and liked it:


//NAME: I Like Men.dec

4x Force of Will

4x Counterspell

4x Mana Leak

4x Accumulated Knowledge

4x Impulse

4x Aether Burst

3x Gilded Drake

3x Dissipate

2x Capsize

3x Repulse

2x Morphling

23x Island


The most random sideboard ever:


SB: 3x Phyrexian Furnace

SB: 3x Extract

SB: 3x Wall of Tears

SB: 2x Disrupt

SB: 4x Arcane Denial


If my opponent is without men, siding out Burst, Drake and Repulse seems like the move, no? I guess Extract, Furnace, and Denial can take their place. Heh, I suck at sideboards. And main decks.


Wall of Tears, you ask? Well, it handles a second-turn Multani pretty friggin’ well. Of course, so does Fog Bank, but that’s a little too Alongian for my tastes. Just a little. Oh, and it sort of laughs it’s friggin’ ass off at Call tokens. A 0/4 wall with the text of”Destroy target attacking Elephant token” for 1U is broken. And you heard it here first. And second. Ad nauseum. Oh, and third. And fourth.


Of the three things that I did not want to lose to this season – Contamination lock, Wasteland, and Perish – Men succeeds in handling two out of three… Which, according to Meatloaf, ain’t bad.


Yeah, I’m fairly random. Fairly?


(Fairly? – The Fairlett)


Holy cowpiss and assorted entrails – ten Crossroads dudes at one PTQ? Why, yes, ’tis true, and thanks much for that”cowpiss” thing. Oh, and what possessed the first guy to drink cow’s milk?


First Milk Drinker’s thought process: Whoa! That big, disgusting, fly-infested thing is leaking some sort of pustule-like liquid from its nasty teat-bag. I wonder how it tastes…


We didn’t get lost, which is a moral victory in itself. Talk to the hand, girlfriend.


Here’s the list of peeps you don’t know but better get used to reading about:


In Car Number one, a 1998 Plymouth Breeze (heh, I’m so whipped) is CoryA with Ten Land Green, Random Guy with Walamies, Charlie-Post with Counter-Post (yes, I said”Counter-Post”), and Jackal Pop with Reanimator.


In Car Number two, a random vehicle in general, is DJ (soon to become a real DJ) with Junk, JBone with Junk, Andrew with Junk, and as a special bonus, Maine’s best player with a Composite of 2000 give or take – Mike Emmert, playing Trix.


Upon arrival, we bumped into James Kindness, he who busted my Maine Tourney Cherry, and has been paired up with me in the first round of every tourney we’ve played since, playing Reanimator.


Oh, how the press (I originally typed”paparazzi,” but the spellchecker suggested”papaya.” Man, computers are dumb) had a field day with the sheer volume of celebrities and other assorted movers and shakers (who will also be known as”name players whom I may or may not finish above”). Cub reporter Jimmy Olsen. Heh,”Cub.” Ergo:


Eric Ziegler, Jon Sonne, Chris Senhouse with a goatee that’s both a shocking departure from the button-downed Sensai of old and a fresh, new look of recklessness, Paul Jordan, who still hasn’t ever said”sup, chief,” but now I know what he looks like so he can no longer avoid me, The Linebacker Corps of TeamAcademy, and last but not least… Daniel O’ MS, who is supposed to be on the Tour or something – what’s he doing playing in a qualifier? Perhaps there are two Dan OMS?


Oh, sorry, I guess I should have warned you of the name-dropping section. Beatchoo!


I like my deck, dammit, and while it may be weak (read: just loses) against Sligh and assorted decks with red mana, which owns by the way, I relish the thought of stealing a Yavimaya Elder and saccing it for the stoopit card advantage. If I can only do that once in my lifetime, I will die a happy man.


78 dudes/7 rounds and stuff.


Round 1: DJ (soon to become a real DJ) Collins, Junk


Heh, I sort of had DJ’s deck in mind when I built Men. However, I hadn’t playtested it, but I still think I like my end, yo. And I really want to steal a Mystic Enforcer with Threshold. Or a Spiritmonger. I almost put a Bayou or two in the main in anticipation of regenerating my! Monger.


Game 1: DJ (soon to become a real DJ) Verdicts me on turns two and three, drops a Lynx and Deed, and beats me like a bitch. Yeah, you’re real tough when you draw your Hymns, buddy. I did manage to Drake for a River Boa, which just got Swordsed for spite. Think you’re badass, chief?


Okay, you are… A little.


Game 2: Since I’m going first, I get to win. At the end of turn four, I Accum for one, draw another Accum, cast it, untap, draw another Accum, and cast it, revealing everything a brother could need. Oh, and I Impulsed a couple of times there too. Soon after, I drop Morphling and ride that bad boy like a rented pony at a petting zoo. Bad similes are what Magic is all about.


Game 3: Turn one: Duress. Turn two: Duress. Turn three: Verdict. Turn five: Verdict. Fair or no? While DJ (adorned in headphones and carrying oldschool 12″ singles, like a real DJ) dumps my hand like its Black Summer, I manage to recover and drop Morphling, with enough land to race his Lynx. When I’m fresh out of permission, DJ (an all-around mixmaster) drops City of Solitude. Okay, thinks I, I can still race the Lynx – he’s at eighteen and I’m at fourteen.


I serve for five and prepare to untap Morph to block his Lynx. Um, no: City of Solitude. Wow, kind of makes Morphling look like an overcosted 3/3, doesn’t it? So, Morph is only able to serve, and is going to be completely vulnerable on DJ’s (a turntable wizard if there ever was one) turns. Fair or no?


When he points a Swords at Morph and I try to make him untargetable, he says”sup, can’t you read the Solitude?” Dude. Damn. For fun he also drops Choke. Heh. I guess City is pretty good, after all. Friggin’ Crossroads tech.


0-1 but with a sexy deck that just ran out of counters at the worst possible time. Oh, and Verdict is kind of fair.


Idea: Dodecapod? Disrupt? Divert? Disk?


Kindness, CoryA, Alex and Andrew join me in the big loser pile, while the others think they’re cool because they won – which of course, they are.


Round 2: Eric Ziegler, Walamies Kind of Thing with Meddling Mage


Okay, so I get to play Johnny Good At Magic, and he also got paired down. Fair or no?


Game 1: I rule. No, I mean, I friggin’ rule. I stole Eric Mystic Enforcer (and I had Threshold, baby!). After an early Gilded Drake and Aether Burst on a Call token, he plays Meddling Mage and names the Burst. When I Capsize that bad boy EOT, he chuckles and wonders exactly what the hell kind of crack I’m smoking. He can only laugh a laugh of”I can’t believe that, but since he’s Rizzo and I’m Ziegler, I’ll figure this out.” But it’s to the sideboard for him a few turns later.


Game 2: Eric turn 2 Meddling Mage (naming Gilded Drake) is bad times for me. All I can do is bounce it and figure out how to win a counter war or steal it. Although, there’s a reason Eric like good at Magic and stuff: he simply beats the piss out of me with Faerie Conclave until I’m dead. Yeah, Back to Basics main might have been a good idea. Yeah, Wasteland might have been a good idea.


Game 3: I side out the Drakes, Bursts and Repulse and try to make it all about winning with Morphling. Heh; double Conclave beatdown ruins that emotion in a hurry. Actually, not very much in a hurry – he more like bled me to death over a whole bunch of turns.


Idea: Back to Basics main, Wasteland, or the kicker: Dominate. Boo – ya. Say it like Homer Simpson:”Mmm, Dom-in-ate.”


0-2, but still thinking my deck is sexy, even if it has some major problems. Hey, going to three against Ziegler, playing a bombastic deck, is worth something… At least to me, dammit. After all, the two decks that I figured would be all up in here had to fight tooth and claw to beat me, which is funny in its own unfunny way.


DJ (surrounded by his posse and bevy of random ho’s, just like a real DJ) and Emmert are the only 2-0s; the rest of us suck.


Round three: Aaron Vanderbeek, Ponza-type thang


I’m sitting next to JJ Storrs, he of Enchantress fame (check out his article on Brainburstand then go play his deck at the next PTQ – it rulez), and it’s very hard for Aaron and I to keep our eyes on our game. JJ is taking like ten minute turns, casting Rancor five and six times per turn and drawing hellacious amounts of cards. I said a while back that the Enchantress engine is the most broken card-drawing engine in Extended, and JJ went and proved it to everyone.


Game 1: As soon as Aaron drops a Mountain, I know this is gonna be over quick. I steal his Dwarven Miner and force him to kill it, and the fun ends soon after. There is no way I can beat red game one, and game two ain’t looking too pretty either. With dudes like Mogg Fanatic, Jackal Pup, Avalanche Riders and Viashino Sandstalker, who the hell am I supposed to steal? Alas, mana that is red has a tendency to just own.


Game 2: I think I was almost able to put out a Morphling this game. Actually, I did, and even had two mana open to protect him and a Force in hand. Still, when a dude is facing an active Scroll, two Fanatics, two Seal of Fire, two Barbarian Ring and a Pyroblast or two, even Morphling’s gonna bite the dust.


Idea: Chill? Douse? Glacial Wall? Propaganda?


0-3 Realizing that I can’t beat red, and who the hell plays red anyway?


Emmert is the only unbeaten in our crappy group. We suck. However, he rulez.


Round 4: Greg Dabkowski, Rock and His Millions


Greg is giddy at the prospect of getting his name in lights, or at least my report, but I think he’s really giddy because he knows that I suck, thus should be a bye. Oh, and he’s paired down, too.


Game 1: This game lasts forever and a day, but some of the highlights: I was able to steal two Wall of Roots to hold off his Treetop Villages, and while his Furnace was impacting the hell out of my Aether Burst and Accums, I was able to save Morphling from three Deeds with Capsize (br0ken) with buyback (which is also br0ken). When it becomes obvious that I’m not about to Capsize anything he can sac in response (and ride Morphling like a rented hooker), he scoops ’em up.


Game 2: I fully expect Chokes and additional Living Deaths to come in, and maybe even City of Solitude (but that’s just Crossroads tech, right?). I’m also painfully aware that while Deeds are annoying, Capsize with buyback is l33t. Heh, Becky said I was”l33t.” Aw.


I’m such the hacker.


I Burst and Repulse Greg’s Spike Feeder for a few turns, and he doesn’t gain two life before it bounces. It’s hard to say if that would have mattered at all In The End (even though I tried so hard), but he was putting just enough pressure on me that I couldn’t just let it sit there and watch it beat me to death.


Keyest play ever: At the end of one of my mid-game turns, Greg attempts to Vampiric Tutor. Now, the common wisdom is to let him pay the two life and counter whatever he gets on the backend. However, I’m an uncommon kind of guy and countered the Tutor, which Greg found interesting, to say the least. But I figured that it was one of the few good plays I made all day, especially since he was representing at least one Choke in his hand at the time and I couldn’t counter both and any other funny times he was holding.


After I get Morphling into play and Greg gains a few life here and there, he starts to dump his hand – all of which I allow because I cannot let Choke resolve. Two walls, another Feeder and a Yavimaya Elder later, I’m feeling fine with twelve mana, a Capsize, Drake, a random counter or two, and two Aether Burst in hand. When he drops Deed and Phyrexian Plaguelord next turn, I figure I better make my move, since he only has four land untapped. I cast Drake and he sacs the Elder and Plaguelord, and instead of letting the Drake die, he animates his Treetop Village, and lets me have it. I happily make that trade, but wonder a little what his motivation is.


When he casts Living Death next turn, I understand. With the Drake in my yard (if he let it fizzle – er, counter itself upon resolution), Death would give him virtually nothing, since I’d likely steal his Plaguelord and make it eat his guys to death. However, I have the counter and Capsize Morphling when he Deeds for five. After recasting Morphling, Greg drops Choke, which does not resolve, and scoops, never having drawn a single Diabolic Edict and only one Choke. See, boyz and girlz? Playing super cautiously sometimes has it’s merits. Although he did have a one-turn window to kill Morphling with an Edict if he had drawn it.


Capsize is good. So is Morphling. So are the Steelers, who are like 10-2 or some crap. What’s that all about?


1-3 And this is what I’m talking about – Drake likes creatures. A lot.


Emmert wins again, while JBone, DJ (he was an Emcee in a former life), and Jackal Pop drop. The rest of us just suck.


Round 5: Ryan Davitt, who decided not to show.


While annoying, I’d like to thank Ryan for the points – I needed the hell out of them.


2-3 Idea: Mark”drop” on the friggin’ match slip, yo.


Friggin’ Emmert wins again, like the machine he is, while CoryA, Alex and Andrew move on up to 3-2. We still suck. Oh, and Emmert is the only undefeated guy in the entire place. How’d that happen?


Round 6: Chris Stowell, Sligh kind of thang


Woohoo, Mountains. I guess I get to lose. Horribly.


Game 1: I get the turn six Morphling, while countering every one of Chris’s spells that mattered – which is no mean feat, since a whole bunch of those bad boys matter.


Game 2: Three Fanatics, a Pup, Scroll, Seal, and a few choice burn spells make quick work of me. However, I did drop a turn 7 Morph, which would have turned the game around if Chris didn’t have Pyroblast. Seriously, what red deck sides in Pyroblast against blue? All of them, you dumbass.


Game 3: Chris gets stuck on a Mountain and Wasteland for about five turns, but it’s all I can do to find anything worth doing except drawing a ton of Islands. When he drops a Scroll, I can do nothing but nod. Who doesn’t have a counter on turn six? He starts to Scroll me during his main phase – with four cards in hand. He names”Ball Lighting,” and I manage to hit that bad boy three times in a row. Eventually, I begin to think that maybe he has like four of them in his hand. When he gets bored with Scrolling me, he drops an Urza’s Rage here and there for fun, and since I’m Johnny draw a bunch of counters (now!), he Scrolls me to death with his four-Ball Lightning hand.


How embarrassing: Scrolled to death, which is not the sign of a well-built deck.


2-4 Idea: Toymaker to animate Cursed Scroll, then take it with the Drake. Hey, only a four-card combo!


Friggin’ Emmert wins again. What’s his problem? Andrew also wins to go to 4-2, while the rest of us can only hope to go .500 or worse. We suck.


Round 7: Dan Katz, Goblins and more Goblins


In the previous round, Mouth was”educating” Dan, whom he was beating about the face with Illusions, about cumulative upkeep, and the fact that it does not reset to zero when the permanent changes controllers. Ah, Mouth, whomever said that he was a diplomat was, well, just being diplomatic. However, I saw that Dan was with Mountains, which means I lose.


Game 1: Does any red deck not have a friggin’ one -rop? Two Raging Goblins and the 1/1 Goblin that you allows you to sac a Goblin to give a creature +1/+1 later, I’m thinking that even Glacial Wall wouldn’t stop this madness. Oh, and Gilded Drake really hates when whatever creature you target can be sacced in response. Really, he hates it. A couple of Goblin Kings later, and it’s to the sideboard, a-hopin’ and a-prayin’ that I have a bunch of Mountains and a few Pyroclasm and Earthquakes waiting for Godot. Since I don’t, I muster up the determination to at least not let a Raging Goblin be the one to administer the fatal damage.


Game 2: A Raging Goblin administered the fatal damage. A Flunky and friends had a hand in my demise, but it was that friggin’ Raging Goblin that did me in. But I told Dan that it was the Flunky. Bonus points for me and my savage mising of a lie.


2-5 Actually, 1-5…actually, 1-2 since I knew that red mana owned, and hey, the matches against DJ (owner of too many gold chains and random five-finger rings) and Ziegler were pretty damned close, so it’s actually 1-0. Heh. But the DCI will treat it as a 2-5 day, which is utter crap on their part, damnit.


The deck did what I wanted it to do: Play tight against what I think are three top-notch decks: Junk, Walamies and Rock. While my record indicates a crappy day, I believe it to be otherwise, especially for a deck that’s so raw. So there.


Emmert IDed into Top Eight as the number one seed because he can mise. No, I mean he can really mise. Case in point:


During the round 5 or 6 feature match against Josh (the guy Jill beat in the finals at the last PTQ), Mike played a couple of turns ahead to get off Ruination (Josh had only duals in play). He manages to cast it and back it up with Force of Will, leaving him no cards in hand, and only eight mana to keep him company. Off the top… Anyone? Yes, Morphling. Mike later told me that, at that particular moment, he knew what it was like to be Kai.


Top Eight:


1 Emmert – Trix


2 Mike Bregoli – Stasis


3 Paul Jordan – Miracle Grow


4 Brad Wojceshon – Squirrel Prison


5 Andrew Ranks – Sligh (yes, I said”Sligh”)


6 James Benjamin – Dark Force


7 Eric Ziegler – Meddling Walamies


8 Will Morgan – Tinker


There were three 5-2s on the cusp of making T8. Three. Dude, that like, never happens. Oh, and JJ Storrs was one of them. Hmm, two PTQs, a T8 and a 9th. With his own deck. Sometimes, the lamb kills the butcher, but we always bet on the butcher. Yes, that’s a rip on Net Decks, although it was more than a little thinly vieled.


For those of you keeping score at home, that’s eight different decks in the Top Eight, only five of which sport Force of Will, although six kick da’ blue mana maker of choice. Hey, didn’t anyone pay attention to GP: Vegas? They said Islands suck, damnit.


In following Emmert around like the lap-dog that I am, I decided to cover his quarterfinal match.


The shortest game one summary ever written (Will went first):


City of Traitors, Grim Monolith, Voltaic Key, Phyrexian Processor for ten.


Game two:


I have the play-by-play, but it’s about ten pages. And I’m tired. Highlights:


Will dropped Metalworker, Mishra’s Helix, Winter Orb, Processor for Nine, Processor for two, Helix number two, Winter Orb and Phyrexian Colossus. Sexy, huh? The fact that he had to cast Upheaval TWICE during this game is a true testament to the insane utter brokeness that is Mike Emmert.


When the first Helix hit, I cried. Mike handled it. When the Orb hit, I cried. Mike handled it. When the first Processor hit, I cried. Mike handled it. When the second Processor hit, I cried. Mike handled it. When the second Helix hit, I cried. Mike handled it. When the second Orb hit, I cried. Mike handled it. When the first Upheaval resolved, I cried. Mike handled it. When the second Upheaval hit, I cried. Mike almost handled it. Almost.


Dude.


Afterwards, the boyz went upstairs to sell utter crap cards to the store, which really seemed to pay too much for said crap. Hey, what do I know? Well, I know that a Japanese Tempest Starter Deck seems a hella deal at $15.99. DJ (he wasn’t even alive when they were making actual”records”)


agreed, as did Jackal to the Pop.


I wondered aloud as to what the best rares could be (besides Scroll and Tradewind). No matter, Johnny 2-5 busts a Tradewind, while da’ udders busted crap. As that Vietnamese guy said in that Chuck Norris movie after winning: You lose.


I don’t know who won the event, for we left soon after witnessing Emmert’s Thrilla in Manilla, but odds are on whomever won the Bregoli/Ziegler match. Mike got a box and split it up among all the Crossroads guys. Fair or no?


Oh, and Wall of Tears is tech. Gilded Drake wrecks creatures. I had ’em both…And still went 2-5. Perhaps I am too much technology? Nah, red mana makes me a bitch, and I’m considering filing an appeal with the DCI.


Dear DCI,


Ban red mana.


Love,

Johnni with a heart over the”i” just like in the notes that your girlfriend passed you in study hall


And of course, I have to throw this little shout out:


AndyStok vigorously stated that he isn’t a”name player,” but I say….


ANDY STOK IS A NAME PLAYER!


(so long as I finish above him, that is)


Watch:


Name players that I finished above:


DNF Andrew Stokinger, a name player


Man, I’ll never get tired of doing that. Now, if I can just finish above AndyStok, Matty Too Hatty, and for the heck of it, Mouth, then there will be joy in Mudville. See, only an optimist such as I can take away something of intrinsic value from a 2-5 day. By the way, I love my deck, and after a few necessary tweaks and turns, I’ll be playing it at the next event. In the words of Sol Malka:


“You know what I’m playing – beat me if you can.”


And I know you can. Well, you should, but in the back of your mind you’ll be thinking about the Gilded Drake that may or may not be there, which is truly funny: Who sweats Gilded Drake in an Extended tourney? If the Sligh guys start to maindeck Brand, then I will be officially br0ken. Now, if I can just work Cron’s sick-ass infinite engine into the deck, which could just work, yo, then it’ll all be better than good.


And that’s l33t.


John Friggin’ Rizzo