Rebecca Brings It

A whirlwind of (sorta) strategy from Mister Issues himself. IBC tips. Planeshift looks. The Death of White. Oh, and a tourney report,

The following is a blatant attempt to scoop Zvi, Master T, Seth, any of the Peatross Familia, Flores, "Don’t call me pregnant or dangling" Chad Ellis, Meddish, Derangedest Dad Ever, and/or anyone else who is going to write about IBC. If I’m right… N’yah, n’yah, the booya chips are on me. If I’m wrong, who cares, I suck anyway.

The Nuts:

4x Recoil
4x Repulse

That should be IBC in a nutshell. Granted, I don’t have access to the full spoiler (okay, I do, but, much like our favorite "ha ha, you fell for our fake card" spoiler site, Mag2, I have decided to torture the living snot out of all y’all for no reason whatsoever), but the environment seems destined to be all about the cards with numbers in the lower right hand corner.

While Fires will undoubtedly make more than a few appearances, as it is a Net Deck, therefore requiring that the strength of Planeshift be gauged solely on how it helps Fires and established decks of its ilk, there is not much that is going to be able to handle a strong U/B controllish deck (well, maybe many decks will be able to handle it, but I’ve never been known to believe the hype; long live Flavor Flav). The creatures are slow enough, even with Fires, that "The Nuts," backed up with additional discard and bounce, a few choice counterspells, and annoying and/or otherwise double-duty serving dudes just might equal Bad Times For Beho, Booya, and Becky, not to mention other Becky-endorsed retailers.

How much fun will it be to Recoil a Lair? Or a gating creature? Oh, very, very fun, chief. And make sure you do all kinds of mana tricks to finally cast that Dragon — so it can be Repulsed. In short, and without thinking too much, I see Recoil and Repulse being able to handle everything in IBC; and I mean everything, except for some really lame cards that no one uses anyway. Oh the joy of having two of the most powerful cards in the environment being commons.

Dear Wizards,

Thank you for printing so many cool cards that will be so much fun to play with against any other player but Rizzo.

The Society To Ban Rizzo From The DCI

<Rebecca does not approve.>

Did I mention Exclude? In an environment that just oozes creatures from every festering pustule, do you think that "Counter target beat stick" will be any good? Excuse me, but while you are waiting to cast those aforementioned beat sticks, would you mind terribly if I cast Probe with kicker? I know your hand is chock full o’ cards and you wouldn’t mind ditching a pair, right? I guess that Ravenous Rats I cast on turn two did have an effect after all.

Not to mention how guilty I’ll feel for thinking about casting Yawgmoth’s Agenda in a few turns; not that I mean to Undermine your plans for fun or anything (yes, I think that was a sentence fragment or two; thanks for noticing). Trust me when I say that I will Prohibit anyone’s attempt to infuse any sort of Barrin’s Spite all up in our favorite game. And that’s a Fact; or Fiction. Geez, it’s enough to make a brother have a seat on the table and ready himself for a friggin’ Lobotomy, just like our favorite gum-chewing maniac in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. And stuff.

<Rebecca doesn’t know who Sandy Koufax is, either.>

I mean you no Spite, nor Malice when I say that U/B is good; not that I’ve had any Warped Devotion to it (since the first Invasion spoiler reared its ugly, yet strangely exotic, head) or anything.

The following "decklist" is in honor of the great Rick Rubin, former DJ of the Beastie Boys, producer extraordinaire, and steadfast Rogue deckbuilder.

DJ Double R:

4x Recoil
4x Repulse
…the number of each of the cards below is irrelevant, for, much like Crockett and Tubbs, DJ Double R is on the case…
Ravenous Rats
Yawgmoth’s Agenda
Barrin’s Spite
Fact or Fiction
Warped Devotion, which leads to all sorts of fun, all-inclusive reverse-synergy with…
Doomsday Specter
Urborg Emissary
Distorting Wake
Nightscape Master, which has a red ability and leads us unto temptation/damnation, but still sucks, kinda…
Urza’s Rage
Blazing Specter
Voi…oops, I must’ve been stuck in Sealed Deck mode there for a second, since no one in their right mind would actually build a three-color IBC deck, now would they?

<This does not please Rebecca.>

Just how friggin’ good is Recoil? And how much better does it get when Repulse is added to the mix? Insane — that’s how good. But I suck at Magic, so never mind.

FrigginRizzo: <—Latent homosexual AND sucks at Magic.

Say what you will about all the neato gatekeepers; DJ Double R cares not about your Fleetfoot Panther, Shivan Wurm, or Silver Drake. In fact, said disc jockey prefers that you do nutty things like willingly putting stuff back in your hand, for that makes everyone’s favorite master of the Techniques even better — although a 7/7 trampler has the potential to be, well, not exactly super times for da’ brotha like no otha. But it seems to be a kiddie card at heart, with its big numbers in the lower right hand corner… And no self-respecting pros would use a kiddie card, would they Zvi? Right, Kibs? ("Kibs" implies a comfortable kinship with Brian Kibler – and implication is the mother of invention.)

(Psst…Vodalian (Clinton) MArchant might be good in a deck like that.)

<Delete a few pages of more proof of U/B technology, because The F would have to decide if this should go under "strategy" or "casual.">

Here’s the scoop:


You’re welcome. I hope.

<Reinsert above deleted pages because long articles tend to piss off some readers. And I’m all about pissing readers off, then placating them by dolling out free rares like they’re going out of style — which, of course, they are. The Hundred-Page Article is in the works.>

All right, there may be other viable builds in IBC, and I would be remiss to deny them the obligatory lip service that they truly deserve.

Fires and G/R thingies: Um, uses Fires and guys with big bottoms. Shivan Wurm will fit in like Flynn by coming over as a potential 9/9 trampler. How’s that for apples? Although Saproling Burst and Blastoderm will not be available for utter brokenness, there are a few suitable replacements — even if they are only suitable because Fires could make even Goblin Spy a 3/3 haste stick.

<Rebecca secretly adores Goblin Spy.>

Jade Leech is still a bitch, as is Karma Chameleon; both of these dudes are unfair with haste. Kavu Titan, kickered or nay, Raging Kavu, better known as Kavu Fuerens to us classically educated mages, Serpentine Kavu, straight Outta Harlem Djinn, and Skizzik are a bunch of fat that may or may not fit the bill of fat, hasty, greasy dudes for inclusion. That’s a lot of Kavu; does it not perhaps beg the question of adding Kavu Monarch?

Tahngarth, Talruum Hero, Horned Kavu, and Gaea’s Herald may be decent Planeshift additions as well. (By using words like "may" and "perhaps," I have set myself up for hella glory if I turn out to be right and hella denial if I turn out to be wrong. After all, I said "MAY be decent additions" — which means that if they are used, I said it first. If they see no play, I can easily say that I didn’t say they WOULD be used. Ah, playing both sides of the fence is open to so much interpretation.)

<Rebecca beams proudly.>

Problem: Um, where’s the mana acceleration? Quirion Elves? Utopia Tree? Yeah, those are hella good replacements for Birds and Elves. Overabundance? That would seem to help, but it doesn’t come out until turn three, so how much exactly would it hasten the beats?

Solution: Um, if you play Fires, you’ll have to play fair (sort of) like the rest of us. So there. Or use Aether Rift because you still want to cheat a little.

U/W and other assorted reactionary thingies: With a huge lack of reliable, and/or free countermagic, don’t expect this archetype to spout all up in here. Okay, expect it anyway. For some reason, U/W mages like to play with fair cards like Rout and tappers, and will also jump head first into the Repulse/Exclude/Fact or Fiction Draw-Go mode with virtually no provocation. They might even be inclined to add Prohibit for kicks. Some of the mtgwackier souls will be in a rush to play The Handsome Mage, Absorb (how white is this card?), Teferi’s Moat, Shackles, and any number of pretty damned crappy white creatures. In scrolling though Invasion’s white dudes, I noticed that so many of them just stink to High Heaven. I call that justice for the utterly wrong Rebel mechanic. Wizards, like many other referees and judgey-type people, realize their error and are making it up to us by screwing the white mage senseless. Kudos and stuff. (Always makes ME happy — The Ferrett)

Was that me that just downloaded three Andy Gibb songs?

<Rebecca steps up to take the blame.>

Planeshift will offer up the truly whitest creature ever, Voice of All, Stormscape "ooh it says gain life in the text" Battlemage, Silver "are there any white or blue creatures that are worth gating besides Vodalian (Clinton) MArchant" Drake, and Planeswalker’s "if anyone uses this card they should be embarrassed" Mirth. Not a lot of good times for white. Vengeance mine, and stuff.

<"You didn’t mention Angel of Mercy," barks Rebecca.>

"I was too embarrassed," retorts J-Bone.

B/R and Machine Head stuff: This bad boy could be the sleeper… If it has enough balls to add a little blue for fun. Blazing Specter, Skizzik, Shivan Zombie, too much burn and way too many Kavu make a very solid Dave Reddish foundation. Add a bunch of removal from black, as well as some very unimpressive creatures, and you could have an archtype that uses Void and does WELL. Straight Outta Compton Djinn (yes, I still mean the red one) adds even more meanness to the micky-micky-mix as well.

Terminate is fair.

<Rebecca does not agree.>

For some reason, the idea of slapping Sinister Strength on a Shivan Zombie appeals way too much to my pleasure zones. That’s a 5/3 coming at you on turn three, for those who suck at math. Back that up with burn/kill/general bad times, and you could have a force that just wins, and in a hurry. The seemingly unplayable Nightscape Familiar might sound just a little better with a couple of Lords of The Undead thrown in for additional beatings. Diabolic Intent/Phyrexian Delver, anyone? My bad, for apparently I am the only guy in history to think Delver is just insane. Delver/Draco? Pardon me while I laugh my ass off at that nutty play, then begin to realize that it would be way too much fun to pull that one off.

G/W and other imitation Blasto/Geddon thingies: Invasion kicked white’s ass. Planeshift appears to add insult to injury; it’s about friggin’ time! Although there are quite a few juicy green things floating out and about, white is so bad that this archetype should pack it in and wait for the next expansion. Even if there is a viable G/W archetype, pack it in anyway and play like a man, dammit.

Still, U/B is a man in a world of teenagers. No, U/B is friggin’ Henry Fonda in a world of Keanus. But I didn’t mention three color decks yet. Will adding a third color make the other archetypes better? Sure will, slappy. But not good enough to carry U/B’s jockstrap. Then again, I could be way off base and everything BUT U/B could rock The Nation of Islam all over (and up in as well) this joint.

<Rebecca has faith in J-Def.>

Next week: part 2 (of 459.3) of The Rebecca Files, tentatively entitled
"Police Academy Had Sequels, Why Can’t I?"

A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Me and You, A Dog Named Boo, and Some Drunk Guy Who Puked On The Blueprints For The Canal.

This is the story of nerdy gamers. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, then changed back, because everyone is guilty, damnit. In my typical grandiose (how many times did I type that word until it looked right?) style, I’ll make this process as long and painful as possible, but, since I took pictures you’ll keep reading to see many people in comproMISEing positions, while scanning the backgrounds of said pictures looking for hot chicks and whatnot.

<Rebecca begins to feel "vulnerable.">

Tuesday: Too many CMU guys are planning to go to Columbus. So
many that I will fill my Silver 1999 Ford F-150 Extended Cab with about forty more payments of $499.00 remaining and a six-foot bed to capacity and strap the rest to the hood, a la the unlucky deer with blood coming out of its nose that some drunk dude actually ran over, but will tell his buddies that he shot between the eyes at four hundred yards (or meters, if you are in a backwards country that uses the metric system, which is pretty much every friggin’ country on Earth except for Thine Estados Unidos). We’ll draw straws to see who gets to ride inside the truck. I sure hope I don’t draw the short straw…

Wednesday: Star City gets a facelift. I think I like it, but Rebecca is noncommittal as always. Fun times:

1) Pick an article on Star City, preferably one that annoys you as much as this one does.

2) Be assured that you have twenty minutes of "private" time.

3) Click on said article one hundred times.

Who cares why; just friggin’ do it, it’ll be fun. And it will wreak havoc on someone’s hit counts, not to mention inflating the hell out of their ego. So do it, you damn mindless clone Rizzo fanatics.

Rizzo Fanatic R
Creature – Enigma
When Rizzo Fanatic comes into play, choose a target player. Until end of turn, that player must follow target marching orders of a reckless, ambivalent columnist while searching for altruism and stuff that may abound all up in here. Or maybe it’s just stupid.

Why hasn’t Wizards printed a card that has "all up in here" as its flavor text? I blame Omeed, and I will put his hair into French Braids the next time I see him — which, coincidentally, should be in about ten minutes.

<Rebecca enjoys astral projection.>

What is it about a challenging conventional wisdom that just gets me all wet? Why the hell do I like to hear "you cannot" and reply with "yo mama?" Why am I the kind of guy who seems to bite the hand that feeds him by attempting to get a rise out of everyone at Star City and anyone who might read my articles?

How can the guy that seems to insult players who use Net Decks and daydream about accepting round six and seven ID’s be the same guy who is searching for some dude named Jamie? What the hell does it matter? Can I ask a few more questions and not answer them? How is it possible that one guy can simultaneously love and hate so many things?


What surprises me is that while I may seem to be some sort of deviation in the Magic Matrix, you guys are, too. And don’t seem to realize it. Yet. But you will.

Thursday: I’m writing this on Wednesday night at 12:20 a.m. How’s that for irresponsible journalism? Also, I plan to fill in details for Friday in about ten minutes. I are a scumbag that lies to my public. But you like it, you bastards. Heh; I said "my public."

<Rebecca searches for definition of "megalomania.">

"…a delusional mental disorder that is marked by infantile feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur."

What a coinkydink.

This is pretty weird, but I have been thinking a lot lately how a blind person would go about playing Magic. While the game seems to rely almost exclusively on vision, could someone who couldn’t see play competitive Magic? Surely it would be insanely difficult to manage, but for some reason I think it could be done with Braille cards and a very, very strong memory. How cool would it be to be looking at your cards in hand, the board, and whatever else and have your blind opponent continuously execute flawless combat phases? If there ever was a game in which those who had virtually no chance to succeed did indeed taste the fruits, Magic is it.

And you thought you got slack for losing to a GIRL.

Nothing much happened today, at least I think nothing much will happen tomorr- I mean today.

Friday: For those of you so concerned about my devastating loss of way too much musical equipment in the Grand Flood of 00, an update:

While I tried to weasel the insurance company out of forty grand or so, I agreed to settle for about twenty. Considering that virtually all of the stuff was salvageable to some extent, I figured I could bite the bullet and reluctantly take half. The check should arrive today, which is actually like a day and a half from now. I think.

Insurance companies: Scum. But stupid scum.

Irrelevant news from the Rizzo File:

The city of Pittsburgh decided to reevaluate its property tax assessments. The assessment on my building went from $53,500 to $161,000. Um, okay. Lesson: bend over the people who own property in your town so you can build TWO new stadiums for a bunch of friggin’ hoodlums who a) don’t live in your town during the off-season, b) don’t give two rat’s asses about the people who are stupid enough to pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket to watch them play, and c) don’t even pay taxes in the town where they earn millions of dollars.

<Rebecca is not bitter. At all.>

What does any of this have to do with Magic? Um, nothing. If you are reading this right now, you are either a fellow crappy player (and I love the pants off of each and every one of you), or a good player (I even like all y’all two or three who read my stuff) who is trying to keep tabs on what said crappy players read. Plus, I’m the new Wakefield, but not as buff, dontcha know? (Don’t expect to read threats on my life at the CPA (http://www.casualplayers.org/) for the Wakefield reference. I have become a member of aforementioned Certified Public Accountants for the express purpose of kissing their asses and making them docile in preparation of forcefully taking over the site and turning it into a posting forum for Net Deckers, with an additional forum for espousing the benefits of Intentional Draws. So there, Mr. Universal Net Deck guy.)

For no reason at all, barring residuals, insert random CCGPrime mention here.

Okay, I bought a box of boosters and Starters and practiced like I was Camryn Manheim and stuff. That’s twelve decks I built; is there such a thing as too much preparation? If so, it’s all me, chief. But, nine of the decks ended up U/B/R, which bodes well for me and my idea that those colors are the absolute stickiest in Invasion Limited.

Is it just me, or does virtually any woman that plays Magic immediately become intellectually sexy? Take your Pam "beat me just a little harder, Tommy" Anderson and I’ll take the woman who plays the Power Ten unsleeved. Every time. Well, okay, most times.

<Rebecca becomes offended by Pig Boy.>

Mag2, the "we are more than just a site that has partial spoilers" self-important site, is down; for how long, no one seems to know. DG, webmack of MTGNews.com, has some kind of recurring nightmare of an infection that is preventing the posting of the Planeshift partial spoiler. And the Grandaddy Caddy of them all…

"If The Dojo is hurting, we all should feel it a little. If they go away and never come back, we should mourn the loss…"

Never before have my own words sickened me so much.

Troubled Times Alert:

I just heard the news that TheDojo is "concluding operations" for good. I don’t think there is another person on this stupid blue marble that is more livid than I am right now. Fact: None of us would be here today if it wasn’t for Frank and The Dojo. The OLD Dojo. The REAL Dojo.

Opinion that can be treated as fact: The Dojo is gone because some Net-Made, Dot Com Millionaires think Magic is a business.

Dear Net-Made, Dot Com Millionaires that think Magic is a business,

[Expletive] you.

Sincerely (hoping that you choke to death on your P&L statement),
John Friggin’ Rizzo

Some things are important. Welcome to reality, where only one thing is truly important: Green.

<Rebecca thinks it is time for Issue Boy to reappear.>

I guess it wouldn’t make any sense to ramble on and on about how little things mean a lot and whatnot, but "sense" is a highly subjective word.

Let’s just have a moment of silence for The Dojo and go right back to living exactly like those who shut it down. Let’s bury our heads in the sand and move on. So another Dot Com bit the dust; that happens every day, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the Dot Com that is gone was the foundation for our entire Net Community. But perhaps I’m taking this a little too seriously.


Do you hear that? That’s what they call a death knell. Luckily, it’s also a friggin’ wake-up call; perhaps we should heed it. Nah, we should look beyond what appears to be a sad-but-minimally-important event. After all, we’ll still wake up tomorrow and go through our routines. Hell, it doesn’t really affect me, so let’s say a goodbye and move on. Let’s not dwell on the past; instead, let’s shrug it off with a halfhearted que sera sera. It was a cool site, but its day in the sun has past; it’s time to put the old girl to bed. She did stay up way past her bedtime, after all.

There are plenty of other sites to pick up the slack. Actually, The Dojo hadn’t really been updating much lately, so maybe there isn’t any slack to bother picking up. I mean they were a good site way back when, but they eventually became The Dojo in name only. They had been falling apart for over a year; we should be surprised that they held it together this long. In fact, if anything, the surviving sites should band together in a collective sigh; one less competitor to worry about and all.

Seriously, their writers hardly bothered to send in articles, the submissions were very slow to be posted, if posted at all, and the entire site just seemed to be dated and irrelevant. Really, it’s no big deal that they went under, really. While there is a certain amount of sentimentality towards the site for many of us, they were just a friggin’ web site that posted article about Magic; lots of other guys do that, and they do it better, so why cry over spilled milk?

I mean, I would check the front page a couple times a week to see if there was a Flores or Sullivan article, so it’s really no skin off my teeth. I guess all this really means is that I’ll have to check other sites to read articles from those guys – that’s not a major concession, and one that I can live with. I’d be checking those sites anyway, so it’s like I’ll be killing two birds with one stone. And anything that helps speed up my lunchtime Magic fix has got to be good news. Well, doesn’t it?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who will feel that saying "good riddance" may be apropos. Hasta la pity, I’ll click on Star City. Heck, this means that Star City might get more hits, and might even pick up a couple of the unemployed writers. Man, it sure would be nice to get Flores, wouldn’t it? And Passmore. And maybe even Peter Jahn and Chad Ellis, too. See, there is much more upside than down. Good times are abounding all up in here. The Dojo’s demise is everyone else’s gain.

If the above five-paragraph diatribe sounded like the words that you either said or wanted to say upon hearing the news, please hit your browser’s back button this instant. And don’t click on another one of my articles. Ever.

While I’m pissed, I thought I’d delve into "The Whatever File" for
kibbles and bits.

"I find it difficult to respond to every email, however. In the future, I will pick the best two responses I get to each of my articles, and I will respond personally to those two."
-Darwin Kastle


"So 5 rounds down, and two to go, I get paired up against this random ho, I got hosed in 2 games, wouldn’t you know."
-Peter Szigeti


"Most internet magic writers are s***. Notoriously, judges and writers do not know how to play the game. The next time there is a Pro Tour, find your favorite internet columnist who is qualified, and see how he did."
-Peter Szigeti

Whatever. But with kicker paid…

Taking Peter’s sage advice, Scott Forster checked out PT: Chicago:

7 Mowshowitz, Zvi $8,000
26 Shvartsman, Alex $1,700
40 Turian, Michael $875
80 Burn, Seth
81 Kastle, Darwin
99 Sullivan, Adrian
198 Forsythe, Aaron
209 Price, David
327 Szigeti, Peter

I may have to revive the word "Booya" for that piece of beauty. (As did Shawn Jackson — The Ferrett)


Strap yourselves in, for Rebecca is in rare form today…

I was spent when I awoke. It was probably because I was out carousing at a crack house and inserting random medicinal-like liquids behind my eyeballs with a dirty-as-hell hypodermic until the wee hours and stuff. Or maybe I was tired because I suck at sleeping.

I pick up Scott Teamann at six and float on down to the Greyhound Bus Terminal to pick up Mike Patnik, who figured that the terminal, being filled with such a pleasant variety of street urchins and random people-without-addresses would be a nice place to begin our journey. We wait until about 6:25, then shove off Mikeless.

Tip: When you wake up on tourney Saturday, check your friggin’ email, for it just might save you twenty minutes. But we did get to meet oh so many interesting people and be deathly afraid of them. And Mike got some well needed. Well needed.

It snowed. A lot. Whatever.

Booty Call of my jiggas in the hizouse…

CMU nerds:
Scott "no nickname yet" Teamann, Andrew "no, I’m the OTHER Andrew" Johnson, Eugene "broken beyond repair" Harvey, Nate "I broke Manakin and tried to explain how I did it to Rizzo, but he didn’t understand" Heiss, Mike "I should start every game I play with five life while my opponents get to start with fifty life to make it fair" Turian, Bryan "I won the draft at CMU with a 43-card deck" Bandes, Chas "I beat Rizzo in his first tournament match ever, therefore, I own his ass, but will consider renting him out for company picnics/bar mitzvahs" Tressler.

Assorted nerds:
Anthony "I win everything and don’t even care" Florian, Walter "I played it out because the spirit of Rizzo compelled me" Huber, Dan "Rizzo just met me today, thus doesn’t know me well enough to give me a nickname that could be deemed offensive and get away with it" Ford, Antonio "my ratings are ridiculously high because I just friggin’ win" Powell, Theron "I knew Rizzo was here, yet I made no attempt to introduce myself even though Rizzo was asking everyone where I was so he could introduce himself to me but didn’t know what I looked like so he was sort of screwed" Martin.

Upon arrival, Walter encourages me to partake in a game of Magic. Though I thought that request was odd, I nevertheless acquiesced to his nutty suggestion, but with kicker: I would use my Five, while he would use his 1.x White Weenie. Fair.

Teamann grabbed half of my Five and proceeded to smack Bandes in
the teeth with flying Moxen and assorted other broken goodies. Or maybe Bandes was killing El T-bag to death. I’m not sure because I was busy showing Walter the beauty of top-decking unsleeved mint Juzams, Ancestrals, Time Walks, and Ill-friggin-Gotten Gains. With Megrim. Walter was nice enough to cheat for me and allow me to beat the living snot out of him for the sake of seeing how my "deck" worked. Once he had obtained that vital information, he proceeded to be oh so very White and play weenies and Disenchants and ‘Geddons and stomp random innards for fun and profit. Enough of this fun stuff; let’s get to the "real" tourney thingy.

Here’s my stuff with what I played in parenthesis for both of you that care:

Black: Cursed Flesh, Urborg Phantom, Phyrexian Battleflies, Tainted Well, Bog Initiate, (Exotic Curse, Annihilate, Crypt Angel, Urborg Emissary, Mourning, Ravenous Rats, Soul Burn, 2x Recover)

<Rebecca admires the choice of black cards.>

White: 2x Benalish Trapper, Shackles, Holy Day, Orim’s Touch, Pledge of Loyalty, Restrain, Sunscape Apprentice, Prison Barricade, Atalya, Samite Master, Dismantling Blow.

<Rebecca sees those tappers, damnit.>

Red: Viashino Grappler, Crown of Flames, Turf Wound, Savage Offensive, Stun, 2x Shivan Harvest, Thunderscape Apprentice, Mages Contest, (Ancient Kavu, Kavu Scout, Hooded Kavu, 2x Kavu Aggressor, Urza’s Rage, Pouncing Kavu)

<Rebecca thinks 2x Shivan Harvest is technology.>

Green: Thornscape Apprentice, Llanowar Vanguard, Vigorous Charge, Llanowar Elite. The following green was sided in about ten percent of the time to replace Blue: Kavu Chameleon, Nomadic Elf, Harrow, Pincer Spider, Canopy Surge.

<That tapper didn’t get by Rebecca’s prying eyes.>

Blue: Shoreline Raider, Vodalian Hypnotist, Traveler’s Cloak, Sunscape Apprentice, Prohibit (Wash Out, Metathran Zombie, Tidal Visionary, Faerie Squadron)

<"This blue sucks," says Rebecca.>

Gold: Seer’s Vision, Coalition Victory, Llanowar Knight, Galina’s Knight, 2x Wings of Hope, Stand/Deliver, Fires of Yavimaya (Sleeper’s Robe, Plague Spores). I sided in the Fires when I went with the green/blue switch.

<Rebecca would’ve mised the Victory.>

Brown/lands: Dromar’s Attendant, Sparring Golem, Irrigation Ditch, Tinder Farm, Ancient Spring, (Crosis’s Attendant)

<Rebecca is feeling confident about this deck.>

That’s a few pretty good cards with a couple of viable builds. So viable that I almost used the white. Almost. Scotty T-bagmann was insanely jacked that I didn’t use Fires with some green, and he might’ve been right, so I would switch the blue with the "Scotty T sideboard" when relevant. Damnit.

Round 1: David McElhatten, B/U/R?

David cheesed me out with an eight-point Ghitu Fire in Pittsburgh last month, and I wanted blood!

Game 1: Here’s where game details should go, and would… If I could remember anything at all. Ditto for games 2 and 3. My scoresheet notes that I won games 1 and 3 with fourteen life, and I didn’t side in the "Scotty T board." I got blood! Pity I can’t remember how.

How much do I suck for not remembering anything?

– You suck so friggin’ much and should be fed to alligators.
– You suck, but I always thought you sucked anyway.
– Heck, we are all old bastards with fading memories.

(So that’s why I can’t remember anything – I was asleep.)

1-0 (Happy times for Becky)

Round 2: Jeff Jenkins, B/U/R ?

Game 1: My first Kavu meets Prohibit, while my second finds an Exclude. After that, it was all smooth sailing, with steady dude drops applying pressure. Jeff cast a turn six Tek that met the bouncy end of a kickered Emissary and got Plague Spored the next turn, along with his lone mountain.

Game 2: Kavu get nutty, coming out on turns 3, 4, 5 , 6 and 7. Jeff puts a dude or two in the way, but they get Annihilated, Raged, or Emissaried, allowing my dudes to end the game with the quickness. Thank you, boys, for coming out play.

(Still sleeping away, chief.)

2-0 (Happier times for Becky)

Round 3: Adam Minnear, B/R/G

I remembered the name, but I had no idea where until Adam said he was at the PTQ in Columbus where I made Top Eight. Then it hit me:

"The final story of the Swiss: in the last round, John Rizzo is paired with ntonio Powell. Antonio’s in regardless; Rizzo’s in with a draw. Rizzo forces Antonio to PLAY IT OUT, and then loses. What he was thinking is a good question."
-Adam Minnear, Mindripper

I’m supposed to win this friggin’ match, dammit, to show Minnear the ropes and make him eat a little crow, right? Alas…

Game 1: Adam drops a stupid amount of dudes; killing most of them was very cool until I killed a Rooting Kavu. Then it was not cool. At all. Although he did try to Demise with kicker one of my red dudes when I had an active Tidal Visionary. Small — very small — moral victory, I guess.

Game 2: Way too many dudes, which rained down like frogs or cats or
some other biblical story ruined my day. A good deck played well leads to Rebecca heading to the 2-1 bracket.

(I decided to be a man about it and ask Adam to join my gang. He showed me his chrome 44 and we went outside and rolled a little old lady, took her shoes, drank a few forties, and smoked a few fat blunts. Hella good times for Rebecca and the Crips.)

2-1 (Becky begins to pout)

Round 4: Bradley Sherman, ?

Game 1: My removal showed up to play, killing all his dudes while letting mine go through for way too much dome damage. Man, I should take notes or something. But it’s hella difficult in Limited since many of the matches last long enough to facilitate hitting the head and hurriedly smoking a fat one in order to make the next match on time. But this match was over fairly quickly, so what the hell is my excuse?

Game 2: T-bag o’ donuts steps up behind me to watch just as I side in the "Scotty T board." It figures that I would drop a turn 3 Fires and have a handful of guys and removal to make this match all kindsa stupid. And Fires is all kindsa stupid in Limited. David vs. Goliath, with me Goliath –
and winning – was this match in a nutshell. Scotty T is pleased, placated, and otherwise thinking he is the be-all, end-all of Limited knowledge, which of course he is.

(Bradley steadfastly refused to join the gang. A brotha best be growin’ eyes all up in da’ back of his dizome. Or not, as my attorney has advised me that statement could be construed as a thrizeat. And stuff.)

3-1 (Becky has a happy face)

Round 5: Craig Curtis: G/R/? Feature Match

Game 1: I thought I had him when I used Wash Out to put his entire army back in his hand and beat the hell out of him with an Aggressor and Ancient Kavu. I did have him until he later attacked with a Quirion Elves and Pincer Spider to my Kavu Scout and second Aggressor. One guy was getting through; one guy got a nice little kickered Explosive Growth which smacked my life to -2, which meant that I lost the game, as my life total had dropped below zero. That hurt. I was playing catch up the whole game, and just when I thought I not only caught up, but took the lead, he goes and cheats like that. Ban Explosive Growth. And you thought Force of Will was too good!

Game 2: I let Craig go first. Um, mistake… For he has a turn 3 Fires. I had sided into the "Scotty T board" thinking that I needed a little help, but I needed a friggin’ miracle to keep up with tons o’ fat coming at me with haste. While I hung on for dear life, in the end I just couldn’t stop 543,232, 586 creatures coming at me. Ban Fires. And you thought Explosive Growth was too good!

(Picture taken seconds before I drilled Craig in the nads for using broken cards.)

3-2 (Becky drills Craig in the nads as well)

Round 6: Andrew Benanzer, U/B/R

Game 1: This game is stupid. We both have the same dudes out, exchanging beats until I draw some removal to wax his guys into oblivion. But Andrew got funny and Probed and Clouded me, both times with kicker. It became even funnier when I top deck two Recovers and Crypt Angel.

Game 2: This game is the epitome of retarded. Here’s the first twenty minutes of the game:

Me: attack with Tidal Visionary.
Andrew: attack with Tidal Visionary.
Me: attack with Tidal Visionary.
Andrew: attack with Tidal Visionary.
Me: attack with Tidal Visionary.
Andrew: attack with Tidal Visionary.
Me: attack with Tidal Visionary. Cast an unkickered Faerie Squadron to slow the bleeding.
Andrew: no attack.
Me: attack with Tidal Visionary and Squadron. Please block one so I can use this friggin’ Crypt Angel or Recover in my hand!
Andrew: nope.

Eventually, he did block. Then he lost. In the U/B/R mirror, it’s all about who will be the first to block the Tidal Visionary. I think.

(Andrew tried his "imma sneeze on you, chief" attack, but I defended myself with the patented "Three Deuce" defense that I learned from reading Berto Digimon comics at bedtime.)

4-2 (Becky prefers the "Four Three" defense)

Round 7: David Spindle, U/B/?

Game 1: The Kavu army comes to play, dropping themselves into play
like clockwork and overrunning the speedbumps that David casts that I
don’t bother to remove. I drew guy after guy after guy, which led to mindless smash. I are a gud majic playir.

Game 2: Mana screw comes to visit, even after double mulligan. I must thank David for making it quick and painless, even though I tried to make some headway by casting an Aggressor and sending it into his army in order to Recover it and try to draw a friggin’ land.

Game 3: Mana screw comes to visit, even after a double mulligan. I must thank David for making it quick and PAINFUL by Plague Sporing one of my ONE lands. What a way to go. Bunches of games with fair mana on both ends, then two games of hide and go seek.

(David laughed at my "Double W" attack, but check out his reaction after facing down the angry W’s…)

(Yeah, boyeeee.)

4-3 (Becky stands by her man in these trying times)

I GAINED 35 points or so.
Teamann went 2-2 droppo.
Johnson beat Theron Martin, but no other Internet writers.
Bandes went 5-2 or so.
Huber went home without giving me a hug.
Heiss ended up 5-2 or so.
Tressler went 0-2 or 1-2 or 2-2 drop. Or something.
Theron went 0-2 drop/leave in a flurry. I think. He’ll use that as an excuse for not giving me a "sup, chief."
Ford drew in rd 7 vs. Jason Means but didn’t make Top Eight, yet I
feel for a brother a little.
Antonio dropped, but was 4-0 in the GP Boston trial at last call.
Broken-ass Harvey made Top Four, but couldn’t bring home the bacon.
Florian made Top Eight, but didn’t like bacon either.
Turian played some Medici and worked the room like the friggin’ Pope, but without his own Popemobile. We should get him one. And he LOST in a Type 2 side tourney! GASP!

I have no idea who won, as it was snowing cats and snow; heading home seemed like a better idea than getting stuck in Ohio. Not that I have anything against the flattest state in the friggin’ union or anything.

Tip: If you want to be a state, have some friggin’ terrain.

Look at this motley friggin’ Rochester:

(Clockwise: Standing: Famous Amos Claiborne, some guy who is way too good but I still don’t know who he is, Nate Heiss, Jerry Allison, Eric Taylor, Mark Globus, Mike Turian, Andrew Johnson.)

Total combined Top Eights: zillions.

Oh, before I forget…someone didn’t learn ANYTHING from PT- Chicago’s use of the Red Zone playmats:

Tip: STOP FRIGGIN’ PUTTING YOUR LANDS IN FRONT OF YOUR FRIGGIN’ OPPONENT, DAMNIT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! The guy on the left is doing it right, even if he is using white cards.

Rebecca realized that her man played very well for the most part, but thinks the deck he built was not optimal. She also believes that Fires is akin to Demise: When you open it, you friggin’ play it. Her man is starting to agree with that idea.

Departure time from Columbus: 8:15 PM
Arrival time at RizzoCrib: 2:30 AM
Number of visible snowplows on interstates: 1
Number of near-death experiences: 19

Rebecca Mode: Always on.

John Friggin’ Rizzo