PTSD 17th: The Way You Like It Part 2 – The Calgon Bath

The grand finale of Tim’s adventure, written in a style to soothe the savage beasts, and make you think Tim’s ego is smaller than your own.

(Author’s Note: The views and events expressed here are totally f$%&ed, and are not necessarily the views of anyone. However, the events and suggestions that appear in this article are not to be taken lightly. Children should not partake in the reading of this article with laces in their shoes. Tim Aten is not responsible for your actions. Upon reading this article, you have agreed not to try this at home. Anything else?)

Yeah…don’t do drugs.

Hi, my name is…

Well I’m just guessing that you know what my name is, seeing as how it’s in the byline and seeing as how you probably read part 1 if you’re bothering to read this steaming dung heap. Before I hear about it in the forums (as if) or in e-mail (lol), I would like to apologize for the introduction once again. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s getting sort of embarrassing starting all my articles with pathetic, music-related intros. You’d think I’d be tired of it by now, but nah.

You see, it’s funny and clever since”Tim Aten” rhymes with”Slim Shady” to an alarming degree and I…


Who here likes playing dress-up?* I certainly do… to an extent. I’m not about to dress in drag like Brandon Rickard claims he’s done for Halloween, or wear a pink bunny costume like David Munk, but sometimes I like to try to draw attention to myself with stupid accessories. Look at my feature match picture. Who am I supposed to be? If you guessed Gerry Thompson, you are 100% correct! The best part was, since I already had the same Linkin Park t-shirt he wears to everything, all I had to do to make the outfit completely authentic was borrow his hat. The reason I bring this up is that, unless I get all shy and/or dignified between now and Nationals, I plan on dressing up as a famous historical figure for Day One. I’m not going to say who; you’ll have to wait and watch the coverage.

If anyone else is interested in dressing up for events, here are some quick-and-easy costumes that you can try for yourselves:

Red La Jolla Track Shirt + Running Shorts = Mike”CaptainWacky” Linn

Tie-Dyed Shirt + Headphones + Vampire Fangs (optional) = Brian Kibler

Yellowcard T-Shirt + Vacant Expression = Mitchell Tamblyn

Glasses + T-Shirt Commemorating Whichever Event You’re Attending – Deodorant = Bram Snepvangers

“It’s Pat” Wig + Harvard Sweatshirt + Several Hundred of Someone Else’s Dollars in Your Pocket = Big Dougy Conway

You get the idea. That last section may be considered a little”mean,” but I needed more filler for this article so you didn’t regret your decision in choosing this over the other one, so I just lifted it word for word.

Let’s hop right back into the report, shall we?

When we last left our portly hero, he still didn’t particularly feel like playing Magic in San Diego. I would much rather have helped someone else do well and watch from the sidelines than do well myself. I’m just that lazy, plus I just hated Magic that much at the time. I was telling my friend Alex Melnikow how I hoped I was in the next draft pod with someone I liked – him, perhaps – sitting next to the person and passing to him to ensure his deck was ridiculous. I guess I still sort of had ambition at the time, since I recall making some comment about playing the person to whom I gave the mad hookup in the 2-0 bracket of our pod.

And wouldn’t you know it… in my next pod, I was passing to Alex. Unfortunately for Alex, there wasn’t much up-hooking that I could provide. Over the course of three packs, I passed him Granite Shard, Predator’s Strike, Wand of the Elements, and a few other hits. Meanwhile, I was drafting one of my least favorite decks – Affinity. I ended up Blue/Black, but I had so many artifact lands and Blue cards that I was forced to leave my first-pick Chittering Rats and second-pick Consume Spirit in the sideboard. Oh, also, I third-picked a Chrome Mox pack one out of sheer despair at my chances of doing well.

Draft Two:

1 Arcbound Worker

1 Arcbound Stinger

1 Neurok Spy

1 Neurok Prodigy

1 Nim Lasher

1 Nim Replica

1 Arcbound Hybrid

1 Drill-Skimmer

1 Rust Elemental

1 Arcbound Bruiser

2 Somber Hoverguard

1 Spire Golem

1 Aether Spellbomb

1 Chromatic Sphere

1 Lifespark Spellbomb

1 Necrogen Spellbomb

1 Echoing Decay

1 Essence Drain

1 Terror

1 Thunderstaff

1 Skeleton Shard

1 Override

1 Thoughtcast

7 Island

4 Swamp

2 Ancient Den

1 Tree of Tales

1 Great Furnace

1 Vault of Whispers

To be honest, I’m not sure about the exact contents of the deck, since I’m trying to block it from memory. I’m not used to drafting Affinity, and hence am not very good at it. There may have been one less artifact land, and Essence Drain, Nim Replica, and Arcbound Stinger may not have been in the deck at all. The cards that were in the deck, if I am in fact wrong on those three, were of comparable quality, or possibly much, much worse. Okay, they were all Myr Mindservants. Ya got me.

Round Four vs. Mikael Polgary (B/U)

It’s a good thing we were playing Magic and not Ultimate Fighting, because Mr. Polgary would have kicked my ass. When Gadiel made a comment about the size of his arms, which were literally bigger than my head, Polgary said that he wasn’t much of a fighter. I doubt that would hurt his chances against me in the five-sided ring of fire. I think a more suitable level of competition for me in a physical battle would be Little Girl or perhaps Stiff Breeze.

Game One: We both had nine lands on turn 9 when the game ended. Fortunately for me, one of his spells was a Vulshok Gauntlets, and I had enough removal to neutralize his threats while smashing him with a stupid 2/2 of some sort. Override countered a key Neurok Spy this game and another key spell game two.

Game Two: He got a quick start with a ton of fliers, but I managed to stabilize by drawing a lot more spells than lands. At one point in the game, I had a random ground artifact creature and a Neurok Prodigy as my only dudes, a Lifespark Spellbomb, and one card in hand. He had a 5/2 Dross Golem (thanks to Bonesplitter), and I was at four. I attacked with both guys, and he took it. I then dropped Vault of Whispers and passed the turn. He soon realized that I would be able to trade my Vault for his Drossy if he attacked (since an Artifact Land Creature would have to also be an Artifact Creature), so he thought better of it. Eventually he was forced to trade his Drossy for one of my men, and I was able to cycle the Spellbomb.

A few turns later, Polgary was at seven life and had an Aether Spellbomb and a 3/4 Yotian Soldier. I had that same Neurok Prodigy and a freshly cast Rust Elemental, and was still sitting at four life. Rather than let me sacrifice one of my two or three artifacts during upkeep, he bounced Rust Elemental with Spellbomb and attacked me to one. I replayed Rusty and cracked with the Prodigy to put him at five. He played a Somber Hoverguard and passed the turn, but I had a Terror for it to take game and match.


Round Five vs. Goochie (G/R)

Goochie (nee Walter Egli) is from, with apologies to Minnesota, my favorite region of Magic players in the world: Boston area. There are simply far too many people from Boston who are utter gas to name. Aw, heck, here are a few others: LCG, Bman, Lynch, Kush, Small Child, Josh Smith, Sigrist, MattR, etc etc. The point is, it was good that one of us would be guaranteed day two after this round, but it sucked that the loser would be forced to win the following round or face the ignominy of sleeping in on Saturday.

Game One: I know from Mitchell Tamblyn that Goochie has three Tel-Jilad Archers in his deck. (Both Mitchell and Goochie came up to me before round five and said”I played your buddy last round” :B). This does not bode well for me. He also apparently had a Spikeshot Goblin, which threatened to completely own me. I recall being a bit down in tempo, but I was able to trade Hybrids and put my counters on a Drill-Skimmer. I was blocking some sort of huge monster, probably Juggernaut, with Spire Golem and recursing it with Skeleton Shard while swinging in with the 4/3 Skimma. Meanwhile, Goochie had failed to find his fifth land the whole game, so I managed to steal it.

Game Two: Both Somber Hoverguards and Neurok Spy were down and swinging early this game. I also had Thunderstaff to stop any bleeding his creatures may or may not have been causing. By the time he was able to play his first Archers, he had to block my Somber Hoverguard (that I pumped to 4/2) to avoid dying. I Overrode his next attempt at an Archers and attacked for the win the next turn. I really hoped Goochie would win his next round and told him so. Sometimes when I say stuff like that I don’t mean it, but this was not one of those times. Goochie is one of the best guys out there. That’s probably why I beat him. Poor nice guys don’t stand a chance.


Round Six vs. Alex Melnikow (G/R)

Scrumtrulescent. Alex and I were both guaranteed to be in day two, and I couldn’t have been happier. Well, maybe I would have been happier if I had gotten a 100% split with someone and could have rooted from the sidelines instead of playing, or if I’d opted to take the swan dive into the asphalt that had presented itself before me the previous night.

Game One: On the play, I mulliganed into a one-lander with two spellbombs, Sphere, and Thoughtcast on the play. On turn 4 I got to Thoughtcast. I eventually drew out of the screw, but he had board advantage and a lot more cards than me and the Wand of the Elements I passed him so I lost.

Game Two: I double mulliganed on the play and scooped to his turn 4 Wand of the Elements with four Mountains in play.


My next pod featured Antonino, two other Italians, and an Italian table judge. Allegedly, Jose Barbero tried to ask Ant in Italian what colors he liked to draft, but the judge obviously was keen to his game and would have none of it. In addition to Barbero and all those Italians and Marco Blume, my table featured something else intriguing: an empty seat. Throughout the draft and pretty much every second until I looked at the pairings, I was hoping for the bye. It’s not really like I was afraid of anyone at the table, but let’s face it: If you have the choice between a free win or not-a-free-win with thousands of dollars on the line, which would you prefer? Would. You. Eat. The. Moon. If. It. Were. Made. Of. Ribs? Just say yes and we’ll move on.

I was so sick of Magic and drafting so badly that I figured I could use that free win more than anyone at the table. Unfortunately, this isn’t tasteful foreshadowing. I actually had to play all fifteen rounds.

My opening pack was absurd, featuring Platinum Angel, Betrayal of Flesh, Blinding Beam, and countless other hits. Well, not”countless,” since it was at most twelve, but anyway, I took the Betrayal. As much as I love the Angel, I’m not about to let a personal unfounded affinity for a particular card cloud my judgment. I got a third-pick Mask of Memory, and the White cards were pouring in. I hoped the Skyhunter Cub I opened would somehow table, and it did. I also picked up two Raise the Alarms, one of which I received eleventh. Pack two wasn’t so hot, but I did manage to get a Longbow. In pack three, I was passed a pack with the rare, Fireball, and the other two uncommons still present. I wonder what the person to my right took over it. I also somehow got Pulse of the Fields 7th. Curiouser and curiouser…

Draft Three:

1 Disciple of the Vault

1 Pteron Ghost

1 Auriok Bladewarden

2 Raise the Alarm

2 Skyhunter Cub

1 Dross Prowler

1 Frogmite

1 Scavenging Scarab

1 Goblin War Wagon

1 Arcbound Hybrid

1 Razor Golem

1 Viridian Longbow

1 Fireball

1 Mask of Memory

1 Talisman of Indulgence

1 Fireshrieker

1 Arrest

1 Pulse of the Fields

1 Talon of Pain

1 Essence Drain

1 Betrayal of Flesh

1 (other card)

9 Plains

5 Swamp

2 Mountain

I had to leave Darksteel Ingot in the sideboard, since I was running the bare minimum of creatures and all my other spells outclassed the seemingly-perfect-fit mana-fixer. I remembered telling Gerry that I would in fact blow someone out with Masked Drossy. Had I completely forgotten how to draft, by the way? Can you even fathom a worse deck that had Mask of Memory, Betrayal of Flesh, and Fireball? I was playing Dross Prowler for God’s sake. And War Wagon, and Scarab, and if I were a betting man, I’d put good money on a wager that the mystery card was a Drill-Skimmer. I can only imagine how many mistakes I made to end up with this monstrosity, especially considering the quality of my deck after pack one.

Round Seven vs. Norberto Giusti (G/W)

I was apparently sitting at the wrong table at the start of this round, so a judge came over and got me to move one table over right before the round started. I narrowly escaped a game loss. Norberto, however, was not as lucky. He was nowhere near the vicinity until about 1:15 into the round, so I sheepishly accepted my game win. Alright, that’s a lie. I celebrated fanatically, hoping for the full match win. When my opponent sat down, Antonino shouted over at us something about”the nicest Italian vs. the nicest American.” In light of my recent”sportsmanship,” BenS had a nice chuckle at the irony, while conceding that I was only being honest.

Game Two: Up until a minute ago, I must have blocked this game from memory. I know I made a bad judgment call and ended up losing to a flying Fangren Hunter. I had a Pteron Ghost, a Soldier Replica, and an Auriok Bladewarden on turn 4. My play was Arresting the Patrol and swinging. The correct play would be to just swing; he wouldn’t have blocked out of fear of trading Patrol for Soldier Replica, and I could have furthered my board position with Scarab. Instead, I had to wait to play Scarab, and he ended up playing an even more Arrest-worthy target (the Fangren). At one point he accidentally flashed a card in his hand that happened to be Battlegrowth, and based on this information, I would have been able to absorb just enough trample with a 2/2 Pteron Ghost to survive his attack and swing back for the win… but he had Echoing Courage too.

Game Three: I masked up Drossy and eliminated his few artifact blockers. However, each Mask activation netted me more and more land. Once he activated his Stalking Stones to join his pair of Tel-Jilad Archers (one Battlegrowthed), my offense was completely halted. With him at nine and myself at six, I topdecked Viridian Longbow. I tapped all 10 of my mana sources (and remember, there were even more in the ‘yard), to play and move it to my three non-Drossy dudes and thus kill the Stones. I swung with Drossy to knock him to seven, and prayed that he had nothing to deal me the final point. He didn’t, so I won. Sometimes fortune just smiles upon me.


Well, that was an exciting day one. Stay tuned next week for the shocking conclusion of… huh? I have to finish it now? Jesus. Fine. [Whine much? – Knut]

Round Eight vs. Antonino de Rosa (G/B/r/w)

Antonino and I are sorta friends, so we weren’t particularly happy to play each other. Excepting Goochie, if you look at day one, I defeated all those who didn’t speak English as a first language and lost to all those who did. Antonino is bilingual. Hm.

Game One: I basically conceded this one. I kept an opener of five lands, Longbow, and Fireshrieker. You know, because Longbow is insane. If I drew two creatures I would simply win. Ant’s hand was mediocre as well; by the end of the game he had only played five spells. I took a huge beating from Grimclaw Bats, Elf Replica, and later, Goblin Dirigible while my lone creature, a Pteron Ghost, watched from the sidelines. I was able to stay in the game for awhile thanks to Pulse of the Fields, and I topdecked Fireball on the last turn, but I was one short. I had neglected to ping him with Longbow one turn because I understood that the lower Ant’s life total got, the less I could Pulse. I honestly can’t recall whether the missed ping allowed me to Pulse one additional time. If it did, then my play didn’t matter. If it didn’t then I probably cost myself the game. Antonino knew I had the Fireball, so he may still have been able to play around it. I should have focused more on the goal of topdecking Fireball and playing to win if I did so. Well, no actually, I should have mulliganed. C’est la vie.

Game Two: This game had creature development on both sides in the early game. I Arrested his Leonin Battlemage and got some early damage in, but he looked to be turning the game around with his slightly better creatures. I entwined a Betrayal of Flesh to kill his Fangren Hunter. On his turn, he entwined the Hunter right back into play with a Betrayal of his own, taking out my Razor Golem in the process. Since his creatures were far superior to mine, and he had a Leonin Bola, and he had seven mana sources of various colors to my three, I thought for a second about conceding on the spot. I didn’t, and managed to get through with a Masked creature. I kept Arcbound Hybrid and pitched Skyhunter Cub. I was at nine life, and Ant had a Dirigible and Fangren Hunter in play. He attacked with both to put me at one, and my surprise Arcbound Hybrid combined with my other men to deal him just enough damage for the win.

Game Three: His Battlemage really hurt this game. I Essence Drained it, but he had the Predator’s Strike. Like game two, I put on early pressure, but he was able to stabilize. I kept drawing lands, but time was called with me still at sixteen life. I was forced to cast Raise the Alarm for just enough chump blockers to stay alive, and he definitely would have killed me if he’d gotten one more turn.

Iiiiiii’m reealllly luckyyyyyyy

UN-derneath it all…

Okay, no more singing.




Un-derneath it all!

Alright, I’m really done now.


Round Nine vs. Ilari Vallivaara

There’s really not much in the way of exposition for this match. Neither one of us really said much throughout the whole match.

Game One: I play a Plains and say”go.” He plays a Mountain and a Steel Wall. I drop another Plains and pass the turn. He plays Mountain and Slith Firewalker and attacks. I drop Plains #3 and Razor Golem. He misses the land drop and passes the turn. I perk up and drop Fireshrieker, forced to pass the turn because of Steel Wall. Visibly frustrated, Ilari misses the land drop and passes it on back to me without action. After I dropped Frogmite and equipped my Golem, he decided he didn’t want to show me any more of his deck and scooped.

Game Two: I was obscenely flooded and he had Longbow and Spikeshot and bounce spells to thwart my attempts at removal. He took a lot of damage from my Soldier Replica, opting instead to focus all his direct damage at my dome. Pulse of the Fields kept me alive for a long time, and there were a few turns at the end where I could have topdecked firrrrball for the win, but I did not.

Game Three: I had a few early creatures, Longbow, and Talon of Pain. Those in conjunction with an Essence Drain and a Betrayal of Flesh on his back-to-back Arcbound Bruisers were enough to keep the board clear and make the game a rout. He bounced my Talon at one point, but the counters were quick to return. He admitted after the match that if he had used his Goblin Replica on my Talon instead of my Longbow, he might have been able to win.


I looked at the next Pod to discover that none other than Gerry Thompson would be at my table. Unfortunately, there was someone sitting between us, so I wouldn’t be able to give him the mad hookup that I had tried, apparently with some success, to give Alex Melnikow. All told, the table looked relatively weak, but it had a bunch of the hardest sort of player for me to defeat: lesser-known-yet-pretty-good Americans.

This draft wasn’t very interesting other than the fact that I finally saw some Red cards, so let’s just get on with the freaking decklist:

Draft #4

1 Arcbound Worker

1 Alpha Myr

1 Tel-Jilad Chosen

1 Krark-Clan Grunt

1 Spikeshot Goblin

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Grid Monitor

1 Tel-Jilad Exile

1 Vulshok Berserker

1 Hematite Golem

1 Drill-Skimmer

1 Tel-Jilad Outrider

1 Fangren Hunter

1 Tangle Spider

1 Electrostatic Bolt

1 Leonin Bola

1 Battlegrowth

1 Predator’s Strike

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Barbed Lightning

1 Blinding Beam

1 Creeping Mold

1 Forge[/author] Armor”][author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] Armor

8 Forest

8 Mountain

1 Plains

As with my second deck, there are a few marginal cards that I’m not entirely certain were in the deck, including Vulshok Berserker and the seventeenth land. I’m pretty sure I decided to play the seventeenth land because of the abundance of four-drops. I didn’t think it was even possible, but I managed to draft an even worse deck than my first and third ones. My second pick of the draft was Neurok Spy over Vulshok Berserker, and then I took Tel-Jilad Chosen third, seeing it as a signal to play Green, I guess. I took Cobalt Golem fourth out of a repulsive pack, then abandoned Blue entirely. If I had stuck to my guns, I could have picked up two Thoughtcasts and two on-color artifact lands and, as it turned out, about three Spire Golems pack three. I don’t want to say I’m”awful,” since I’m not, and I’m sick of hyperbole (“this is the besssssst””you’re the worssssst”), but let’s face facts: I was not drafting optimally this weekend. I don’t think I was anyway. I think I made the best out of some crappy packs during some parts of my drafts, but in other parts I simply dropped the ball.

Okay, I’m awful.

I’d like to reiterate once again how much I do not deserve my rating. I’m embarrassed. What makes it worse is, I’m not allowed to voice my opinions on card qualities to my friends anymore, since they assume I’m all cocky because of my finish and that I think I’m waaaay better than they are. I can’t say”you’re just jealous,” even if it is true to some extent, because it makes me look even worse.

My only option is to hang my head in shame and not give any advice or opinions on anything Magic-related until my good fortune blows over, at which point I can resume not being listened to because I lack the credentials. It’s amazing how you can act the same before and after a completely arbitrary occurrence and be received so differently. This is why I hate people and resent being a representative of the species.

Round Ten vs. Ben Rubin (G/W/?)

First, Ben made the judge reseat us, since we’re sitting next to another match from our draft pod. Then, when we got to the new table, Ben spilled a cup of water all over the play area, and we were once again repositioned. We then had some nice discussion about deck quality. He said he thought his deck was good, I said that that meant it was probably insane, because the good players tend to be modest and lowball themselves, and he said that he doesn’t lowball himself. He keeps it real, basically. Despite what you may have heard, Ben Rubin is actually one of my favorite people to play against in the whole world.

Game One: He played two Viridian Acolytes this game. Not much of note happened other than my killing his Glissa with Barbed Lightning, so I’ll just cut right to the last turn of the game. It was Ben’s turn, he was at eight, and he had five lands, an Acolyte, another Acolyte trapped under Gauntlets, a Wizard Replica, and a Tel-Jilad Chosen. I was utterly tapped out except for Ingot, but I had Electrostatic Bolt in hand. My tapped guys were Krark-Clan Grunt, Hematite Golem, and Grid Monitor. I had a Forge[/author] Armor”][author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] Armor in hand to finish him off if he only left one blocker back. I figured he would call my”bluff” and attempt to move Gauntlets to one of his creatures and swing for the win. I would Bolt his new Gauntlet target in response, thus wrecking him. He instead attacked with just Wizard Replica and Chosen to put me to four.

I didn’t use the Bolt during combat because I was afraid he’d wreck me with a combat trick. Plus, if he had a blocker in hand, I wanted to be able to Bolt one of his untapped guys and swing for the win. Thanks to Forge[/author] Armor”][author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] Armor, the game was mine even if he had one blocker. This was all academic, as the game ended with him filtering a Red mana through his Acolyte and Fireballing me out. I then shouted”Ben Rubin has fireball!” repeatedly, loud enough for everyone in our pod to hear.

I should have suspected something if someone as good as Ben was playing dubs Acolyte. I figured his hubris had just gotten the best of him. Given his particular attack, there was a good play on my side that would still have allowed me to win: Bolt his untapped Acolyte with damage on the stack. There was no way he had two more blockers in hand, so I would have been in the clear if I had killed it then. I assumed he was simply going to reposition his Gauntlets, but there was no need for me to wait…unless I suspected he was going to play two more creatures, which I really didn’t. I didn’t see Fireball coming, but that game loss still could have been prevented.

Game Two: He got Glissa again, but this time it got active. I was behind the whole game thanks to a clunky draw And A Clunky Deck Ahaisnfsdhi, and I may have mulliganed; I forget. I killed Glissa with a surprise Tangle Spider, and I may have stabilized to some degree, but he had Blinding Beam, Roar of the Kha for my Beam, and yes, Fireball to seal the deal.


Round Eleven vs. Peter Adams (U/B)

His information said he was from the United States. That’s bad. His accent suggested that his information may have been inaccurate to some degree. That’s good.

Game One: I got the best draw possible (especially considering his artifact-heavy deck), featuring Tel Jilad-Chosen, Battlegrowthed Spikeshot, Electrostatic Bolt, Barbed Lightning, and a few more guys.

Game Two: See game one.


It’s a good thing I’m good enough to draw all my best cards when it counts.

Round Twelve vs. Mika Nyfors (G/w/r)

Gerry had played Mika the previous round and said he had no idea how the kid had lost his first round with his ridiculous deck. I would also later find out that he was Mozzam on Modo, and later still that Mozzie and Mozzam are two completely different people.

Game One: His creatures featured Drill-Skimmer, Titanium Golem, and Yotian Soldier. In other words, Mika probably drew cards twenty-two through twenty-four this game.

A note about Drill-Skimmer and also Goblin War Wagon: I find these two cards sketchy. There is an entire class of cards that I hate to have in play on either side, since I can’t win with or against them. These include Rishadan Port, Goblin Archaeologist, and well, every goblin ever printed, among others. Skimmer and War Wagon are in the ultra-rare subset of cards that I’m always happy to have on the board on either side. While decidedly mediocre, they always seem just dandy in my decks. So if you play a Drill-Skimmer against me, and I chuckle at how bad it is, then drop one of my own, I’m actually not making a little joke.

There really isn’t much else to say about this game except that I Beamed him right out.

Game Two: I mulligan into a bad hand. I Blinding Beam him again, but it only serves to forestall the inevitable. I’m glad that he got a very good draw concurrently with my very bad draw.

Game Three: I steal the win with Blinding Beam. That’s right. Pod one, I won one game and Pristine Angel won three. This pod, I won two games and Blinding Beam won two. I’m proud of my outstanding achievement. If not for drawing singleton cards at the exact instant I needed them in multiple games, I would not have even made day 2. Go me.


Finally we’ve reached the point where I don’t have to list my deck since it’s posted on The Sideboard. I can tell you a little bit about the draft, though. This table was chock full of people that I have a horrible record against, most notably Ben Rubin and Ben Stark. I opened a nice Shrapnel Blast, regretfully passing Spikeshot Goblin and another good Red card. I then got a Fangren Hunter and some Myr. Pack two featured a second pick Shrapnel Blast, my second Predator’s Strike, and a late Deconstruct. In pack three, I picked up some Essence Drains that I was debating splashing thanks to Journey of Discovery and my Myr, but the splash would have hurt my deck’s explosiveness. The hardest part of constructing this deck was the land. The initial build wanted 15.5 lands, which is of course not physically possible, so I added the other Vulshok Gauntlets to give me something to do with excess mana late game and settled on sixteen lands.

The URL for the deck appears in my notes on Round 14.

Round Thirteen vs. Adam Gendelman (U/B)

Adam was a rather friendly fellow. No, I don’t remember much else about him. Yes, the fatigue resulting from writing about twelve actual rounds of Magic is setting in. Yes, I’m getting lazier as the article progresses. No, I don’t want Ted Knutson to live.

Game One: We both kept sketchy hands. The problem with his hand was that its only land type was”Swamp;” the problem with mine was that it had two Forests, a Myr, and nothing else castable unless I drew some key lands. Fortunately, I did draw the key lands, and after a few turns of smashing with a Tangle Golem and Myr that played catch with a Vulshok Morningstar, a Predator’s Strike and Shrapnel Blast finished him off.

Game Two: The game quickly degenerated into an exciting ground stall. I was keeping his Nim Shrieker busy with a Bola, but I tapped out one turn to further my board position, not leaving mana to equip Bola. I figured I could afford to take one hit from Shrieker rather than wait for an additional mana source. He then played Spire Golem and had a Bola of his own. With the life totals standing sixteen to four in his favor, I tapped his Bola’d Gold Myr on my turn so that I could move my Bola elsewhere and hence still be able to tap his Nim Shrieker on his turn. He attacked with Spire Golem, sending me to two.

I drew, and I examined my hand. I could Shrapnel Blast a flier, make the board somewhat more stable, and hope to draw a game breaker before he did. The way the life totals looked, I was in no position to play the waiting game, so I tried something else. I moved Vulshok Gauntlets onto Tangle Golem and announced an attack. The previous turn, he had correctly tapped nothing, saving his tapper to tap whatever I attached Bola to. (Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I had the sense to tap his tapper so I wouldn’t die on his turn). This turn, I was hoping he would follow the same game plan and tap nothing, despite the fact that he had seen Shrapnel Blast and Predator’s Strike, and despite the fact that my having an active tapper on his turn no longer meant anything, since the Spire Golem would still be able to sail over for the win.

He tapped nothing.

I swung for the fences, a few guys got through, and Tangle Golem was blocked by a pathetic Nim Lasher. I cast Predator’s Strike, and he took eleven from the Golem and a few more from unblocked attackers, easily putting him in Shrapnel Blast range. Ba-zing.

I know that sounds arrogant, but hell, even my humble self-deprecating side would want the world to know of that sort of mastery.


Round 14 vs. Ben Rubin (U/B)

This was a feature match. You can read more about it here.

After looking through his deck just now, I’m even more disappointed than I was then. He drew all of his good cards game 1. Game two, I perhaps should have known he’d have the bounce spell when I went to Predator’s Strike, but the Override on my sided-in Leadfoot was simply uncalled-for. I wasn’t really even considering Top 8 as a possibility, so I didn’t feel as though I had let it slip through my fingers or any such nonsense.


Round 15 vs. Matt Schmaltz

Matt is someone who I met briefly at GP: Oakland. He seemed like a nice enough guy, which boded well for me. I don’t remember too many details about the games we played since they were quick and uneventful, but I recall attacking him for exactly fifteen both games. This would be a”bummer” for any deck but my own; for my deck it was a”mise” or a”GG” or whatnot, thanks to Mister Shrapnel Blast and his twin brother.


Blah blah final standings blah 17th place blah blah. Top 16 would have been nice I suppose, but not really. I mean, sure it’s one extra pro point and a little extra money, but the major difference between 16th and 17th at a PT is”bragging rights.” I can’t claim a”Top 16 PT finish” on my resume. Rough beats there. It’s all so meaningless. I could not possibly care less, and neither could any of you. Let’s cut right to the post-PT summary, the Epilogue, some more song lyrics, and the signoff.

Basically, all I wanted to say about San Diego after the PT is that Ken Ho put me on full tilt, and I’m man enough to admit it. In a money draft, he took an hour to draft, half an hour to build, and ten minutes to shuffle, no exaggeration. This frustrated me and caused me to walk right into a bounce spell, and I didn’t win another match for the rest of the weekend. In that draft, fortunately, Gerry and Gadiel carried me… in the one on Sunday, LCG and Lynch did not. I still say my deck was fine! I’m sorry about that, though.

One last anecdote from Sunday – I’m watching LCG build a sealed deck in a side event. When he gets up for land, his first round opponent looks at me, and the following conversation ensues:

“Aren’t you a pro?”

“Hahahaha. No.”


“Are you a writer or something?”

“Yes I am.”


“So what do you write?”

Not bad.


I received the following e-mail from a Jason Maxwell in re Erik Guthrie:

“Erik Guthrie lives in Williamsport, PA where he owns a nice gaming store called the White Knight Games. He doesn’t play competitively because he has a shop to run. But he is very good, pro caliber I am sure. Not that he gets very strong competition in the weekly drafts he hosts, but to almost never lose has to say something. I personally have beaten him once, I don’t play every week cause I am a bit out of the area. Look at his vintage rating too. He was also in a bad accident some years ago that still affects him today. I am sure this affects his ability to easily travel and have the endurance which is required at a professional level.”

I’m glad Jason took the time to clear that up. I apologize for doubting Mr. Guthrie’s skill. This e-mail proves to me that I was way off, and in the future I will not be so quick to judge others.

“Can’t stop this agony

Cancel my therapy because

I just thought of you

And now I feel fine.”

–Finger Eleven,”Therapy”

Tim Aten


Always Nice to His Mother

Never Wrote a Bad Check

I Resonate on MODO

DanC3 on AIM

[email protected]

I’ll get inside you…

*I accidentally deleted the footnote when I was transferring and editing the stuff from the other article. You wanna know what it said, read that one instead.