Resurrecting The Bogeyman, Part 2 *1st With Caw-Blade*

Tim Pskowski’s epic tournament report, filled with good beats, a sideboarding guide for Caw-Blade, and more, cannot be missed. Make sure to read Parts 1 and 2 for the full lowdown on Caw-Blade and its new face.

Welcome back for part two, thanks to everyone that read Part 1. I was totally blown away by the feedback publicly in the comments and from friends privately. I wanted to write a report mixing tales and tactics, and it looks like I succeeded. Thank you!

So when we left off, I’d just Top 8ed and was facing my friend Ben in the quarterfinals. Top 8 profiles were filled out; a Top 8 split was shot down; I lost my Top 8 pin within seconds of getting it; and we were ready for the last round of the day.

I talked to Glenn Jones and asked him to feature our match. I’d been at the feature match tables all day and really wanted to get on camera.

Glenn: “Are you the U/W mirror?”

Me: “Yeah”

Glenn: “No way.”

Me: 🙁

Before getting to the quarterfinals, let me cover the sideboard and my updates to it, as well as a guide for sideboarding with the deck.

The Sideboard

4 Kor Firewalker – The main card against red decks. It worked well for me on the day. It is also something you can bring in when you want more pressure or more bodies. Going forward I think this might switch to Timely Reinforcements, but I’m not positive. Having them Dismember your Firewalker and then have no answer to Hero of Bladehold is a good way to win.

3 Mental Misstep – This card was run for the Splinter Twin matchup. The Twin decks in recent weeks have been relying really heavily on Dispel. While I think that is a fine plan, I wanted to beat it. Many times Twin will have the combo and one or two counters. The best way to win that fight is Mental Misstep, as it costs zero. If you keep up a Dismember or Celestial Purge along with Misstep, most Twin hands won’t be able to beat that.

Of course the card is also great against red. The downside is that it isn’t that great for Vampires or Tempered Steel where the best cards cost two or three. Give me Spell Snare!

3 Flashfreeze – This is run for its value against Valakut; ideally we’d have a fourth, but I did not see space. It is also a nice upgrade when facing a red deck. Mana Leak is bad in that matchup partly because it does not save you from being burned out by Lightning Bolt on turn seven whereas Flashfreeze does.

2 Celestial Purge – For such a narrow card, this is a great catchall. It is good against Red, Vampires Pyromancer Ascension, and Splinter Twin. It is at its best exiling Bloodghast, but I’m happy to bring it in for any of those matchups.

2 Day of Judgment – For a while online I was running zero. It doesn’t play well with all the Heroes and Splicers in the deck. However it does keep people honest. I’ve had a number of games where, without access to Day of Judgment, I had no outs. With Tempered Steel making the transition from Block and MTGO to SCG Opens, this card becomes more important if not the be all, end all for that matchup.

1 Stave Off – This was a fourth Flashfreeze until twenty minutes before the event. However I really wanted another card to stop Splinter Twin. It was going to be a Dismember, but I know Mutagenic Growths were being played. Kenny ‘The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale’ Mayer and I both got on board, and once someone remembered the name of the card, I went over to the sales booth to get a pair. The card is also good against Mono-Red as it can protect a Firewalker from Dismember. I’d not run it again, but it was far from the worst.

Going forward I think the sideboard needs to be adjusted to take into account Tempered Steel. I think that some Twin and red hate can be pitched, as both decks underperformed this past weekend. The maindeck was great, and I wouldn’t change a card. If I had an event tomorrow I’d run:

4 Timely Reinforcements
3 Day of Judgment
3 Flashfreeze
2 Ratchet Bomb
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Celestial Purge
1 Revoke Existence

Timely Reinforcements is according to many just better against Red than Kor Firewalker. For now I think I’m on board though I wonder if a split is really what we want. It also can come in against more decks or at least do a better job beating them.

Ratchet Bomb gets added as the most flexible card against Tempered Steel. It can slow down their nut draws and answer almost anything the deck does. Maxing on Day of Judgment just leaves you open to Inkmoth Nexus and Idols, not to mention Shrine of Loyal Legions.

Sideboarding Guide


On the play:

-1 Spell Pierce
+1 Oblivion Ring

On the draw:

-2 Mana Leak
+1 Oblivion Ring
+1 Timely Reinforcements

I sideboarded zero cards in the mirror all day and was fine with that. It is possible that on the draw you can bring in even more Reinforcements, but I’m not sure just how good three non-evasive guys are. Leak is important on the play to stop T2 Hawk.

Generally in the mirror if you’re on the draw, you should mulligan for Hawk or at least Blade Splicer. You can win games without those, but without one or the other you’ll get run over a good percentage of the time. On the play you can have Mana Leak as well as the tempo edge of being able to cast a Hero or planeswalker first. I’d recommend winning the die roll.

If the mirror does become really popular, a Sword of War and Peace would not go amiss.


On the play:

-4 Mana Leak
-4 Squadron Hawk
-1 Spell Pierce
+4 Timely Reinforcements
+3 Flashfreeze
+1 Celestial Purge
+1 Day of Judgment

On the draw:

-4 Mana Leak
-4 Squadron Hawk
-2 Sword of Feast and Famine
+4 Timely Reinforcements
+3 Flashfreeze
+1 Celestial Purge
+2 Day of Judgment

We sadly have lost the “board in 13-15 cards” plan with this sideboard, but the above will make you still favored post-board. If they’re on Goblins, feel free to bring in all the sweepers. Keep your life total high in the early turns, then try to flood the board and kill them quickly.

U/W and U/B Control

-1 Dismember
+1 Oblivion Ring

Again I did not sideboard against these decks in the event. You just need to use Hawks or a Blade Splicer to keep pressure on them. They have a ton of planeswalkers that do little to nothing. You just have to be ready to beat their six-mana creature; that can be with counterspells or removal.

When playing this matchup, always think about the worst thing they could have for you on their turn and play around it. That means sometimes you need to play another creature to get around Wall of Omens or Gideon Jura. That means sometimes you have to hold that Mana Leak to stop Grave Titan. When possible just play two Hawks to make their mass removal really miserable but don’t be afraid to play a third when you have backup creatures.

Also be aware that most of these decks run a few hard counters so be prepared to not have the choice to pay three when attempting to resolve something important.

Tempered Steel

-4 Mana Leak
-4 Squadron Hawk
-1 Sun Titan
-2 Sword of Feast and Famine
+4 Timely Reinforcements
+3 Day of Judgment
+2 Ratchet Bomb
+1 Oblivion Ring
+1 Revoke Existence

With sideboarding this matchup goes from awful to pretty great. As this is the hardest game one to win and I expect the deck to be popular, I’m happy with the change. The problem with this matchup is they have so many lines of attack. First if they have an active Steel Overseer or Tempered Steel, everything is a big threat. If they don’t, you can still lose to the Signal Pest/Memnite/Legionnaire draw or to Glint Hawk Idols or to Shrine of Loyal Legions or to Inkmoth Nexus. Additionally Dispatch is a scary card just due to how efficient it is at killing any threat.

Ratchet Bombs get the nod for being able to beat all of these plans (aside from 1/1 Inkmoths). Generally you’ll want to leave it at two, which answers Idol, Shrine, and Overseer. However be mindful of things, such as whether you’re dead to a Tempered Steel, and be prepared to tick it to three in that situation.


-1 Sun Titan
-2 Gideon Jura
+3 Flashfreeze

This is a matchup that can vary depending on the list. If they are maxing on Inferno Titans, you’ll want to take out Squadron Hawks. A fourth Flashfreeze or third Sword in the sideboard would be a very good thing; probably the Sword is better.

Splinter Twin

-1 Sun Titan
-1 Elspeth Tirel
-2 Oblivion Ring
+1 Flashfreeze
+2 Ratchet Bomb
+1 Celestial Purge

You’ll want to keep the pressure on them. Splinter Twin can have trouble finding their combo quickly, so force them to have it. Flashfreeze is kind of a middle of the road, but I like having a hard counter for the Twin in the late game. If you can then fight over that, it will turn on all the Leaks and such.


I don’t remember much about the games in this match, but it was the most fun I had all weekend. We upped our 20% split from the Swiss to 50%. Despite winning it all, I’d do this again. Playing a friend in the mirror match with a 50/50 split in the Top 8 felt like the match was a free-roll so I was free to have fun. We saw each other’s lists for the second time that day and agreed that there was nothing to side in the mirror aside from a Day of Judgment or two on the draw.

I think I won the die roll. Ben tanked for a little bit on keeping his seven. He then said “would you keep this” and lay out a really nice one-land hand complete with Squadron Hawk, the most important mirror card. I laugh, and he picked it up and was going to mulligan but actually considered keeping it after having shown it. He shipped it and kept six. I Mana Leaked his Hawk (nice die roll!) and went on to win pretty easily.

Game two he had a turn two Hawk, and I was never really in it. Some friends watching told me I played pretty poorly in this game, but honestly I don’t remember anything past his turn one, so I can’t comment on it. I think they were right in this game but not the next one where we disagreed.

Game three I remember the most, of which is to say I remember a key turn. In this game not that much was going on, but I managed to connect with Inkmoth Nexus and a Sword. I’d drawn both Swords so was hoping to connect with both, sealing the game but was not planning on it. So I hit him once for value when tapped out but then played around Dismember.

His board: lands, Tectonic Edge

My board: lands, Sword, 2x Inkmoth Nexus, Tectonic Edge

I could have gone: Edge your Edge, lose a Nexus to his Edge, equip my other Nexus, and get in a Sword hit. That however would leave us even on cards with him getting a 2-for-1 on my lands as I make him discard. The other issue is if he had Dismember, I’d go from being ahead in the game to not being ahead in the game. Even without Dismember, I didn’t want to lose my Nexus to Edge or waste my own Edge. If I could hold onto the Edge, he’d be forced to hit a Nexus soon, so I could really set him back on lands.

Based on all of that, rather than attempting an attack, I just summoned Sun Titan. I knew he had boarded in one or two Day of Judgment, and I had Blade Splicer as my only target in the yard. Ben untapped and cast Day of Judgment.

I was unsurprised and perfectly fine with this. It let me untap, Edge his Edge, and get him with the Sword. When you’re ahead due to Inkmoth/Sword, you can let your opponent one-for-one your Sun Titan with Day of Judgment. I had no need to throw away an Inkmoth Nexus to pressure him, so I didn’t. I was in a position where I could present a threat, and if he answered it, I was still winning. If he didn’t have an answer, I won the game.

On my next turn I only attacked with one Nexus, which I’ve been told was a mistake, but I don’t remember the rest of the cards in my hand/what I did with my mana.

Ben wasn’t able to recover from the second Sword hit, and I went on to win. It sucked to beat a friend in the quarterfinals, and our games were pretty bad, but it was a really fun match. There was non-stop chatter, and I think those watching also enjoyed. I was actually afraid that the match next to us would ask us to quiet down. Our table judge stopped me on Sunday to say congrats and that he really enjoyed being watching the match.

Saturday Night

After winning, I was forced out of the building by friends en route to Ruby Tuesday’s. While I had wanted to use the bathroom, this was still good news to me, as ‘Rubes’ is my favorite generic chain restaurant.

We showed up around 11 with seven people, and they pulled a table together for us. Shortly after we sat down, some more people showed up, and a table was added. I think this addition to our table pushed the restaurant to being >50% Magic players.

Being better at food than I am at Magic, I knew to order Rubes’ insane buffalo shrimp along with a burger (blue cheese and bacon obvobvobv) and beer. When ordering my burger I found out that you can get baked mac and cheese as a side with it, so I shipped the extra dollar for the gooey goods.

As one might expect, the service at 11 pm with an eleven-person table suffered. Klug ordered a Coke not once but twice. About fifteen minutes after the second order, he was asked if he’d ordered a Coke, and one was provided arriving minutes before our food. By this point, Wienburg had finished at least three raspberry iced teas. I crushed my shrimp, which were insane as expected, and then we waited. Around midnight, people’s food started coming out. Every time a burger came out, I’d get excited, then die a little. When you have eleven gamers at a table, there are a lot of burgers, so my hopes were crushed quite a few times. This was quite a vicious cycle, as you get more excited and then crushed harder each time. Kenny ‘Sejiri Steppe’ Mayer got his charred hunk of dead meat well-done burger with mine nowhere in sight, and I started to get worried.

Finally it came; the mac and cheese looked amazing as did the burger. But what would the inside hold? Was I going to be two-for-two on getting blown out by burgers this weekend? I bit in, and there was a flood of flavor and juice. Success.

Matt Scott at this point had offered to have me pay for the table about five times. I thought this a little absurd, as I was only a lock for $375 at this point, and we had Korey Fay from top 4 also sitting at the table. The real joke however was on him when the waitress had separate checks for us, and he couldn’t find Candelabras to run High Tide on Sunday.

As I previously mentioned, the hotel had overbooked us. Adam Styborski however was kind enough to offer space in his room. This of course led to the following.

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Klug is like 6’4″—not sure how comfy that could have been. He did live in Korea for a year so maybe he is used to cramped spaces. I got to sleep pretty quickly on the floor hoping to get a solid six hours.

Sunday Morning

I ended up waking up around 6 am and putzed around on the internet. Let me just pause to say that I hate hotels that offer free internet at sub-dialup speeds with the option to pay more if you want to watch a YouTube video, check StarCityGames.com, or load www.google.com.

About 7:15, I went down to breakfast, and there was no waffle line, so I got excited and started making one. After it was done, I found out there was no butter, just ‘whipped spread.’ As I dislike fake butter and fake maple syrup, I ate the waffle plain. At one point, I confused my Styrofoam coffee cup with the waffle and almost made a horrible mistake that could have resulted in a sweet lawsuit. Klug came down, and I offered him the half of the waffle I wanted nothing to do with and headed over to the site.

For some reason I’d gotten the brackets wrong and thought I was playing Caleb with U/W Puresteel. I think that is a quite winnable matchup, but it was the deck in t4 I wanted to play the least. I was happy to see that I was going to be facing Korey with the Jund deck.

Top Four

Playing in the semifinals for the Standard Open is weird. You start close to 8 am, and the site is pretty dead. The fact that I’d finally made it on camera and had 2000 watchers online made this even weirder.

Regretfully the videos from the event are not posted yet, and I wanted to get this up this week. So as it stands it would be very easy to call me on making stuff up, and I’ll skip the details and just talk about my plan going in.

I think this is a pretty good matchup. Looking at the decklist, I quickly say that Garruk and Grave Titan were the two cards that I felt I could lose to.

This means that I have to not worry as much about cards like Grim Lavamancer or Solemn Simulacrum. They are fine cards but won’t beat my plan by themselves.

I was also happy to note that once a Sword is in play, it’s staying there. Care would have to be paid to the possibility of Obstinate Baloth post-board, but the Sword itself would be safe.

The games went quite well for me. As during the rest of the event, I tried to put him under pressure. In one game, I played out all four Hawks, which is a lot more than Grim Lavamancer can deal with from his deck.

At one point, he tapped three lands for Dismember, and I picked up my pen to change life totals. Luckily an opponent yesterday had informed me that Dismember does not in fact always cost four life. I’m glad I’d learned that on Saturday, so I didn’t have to embarrass myself with a Sunday judge call.

Putting this deck under pressure and countering the five and six mana bombs it has is the way to win. Oblivion Ring of course also stops the bombs but not as well as they’ll get tokens out of the deal. Sword of Feast and Famine is also great, as it gives Jund very few ways to interact with your creatures.


Well I’d done it and was into the finals. Vampires and Paladins were still in game three, so I just hung around, didn’t really watch their match. I was really hoping for Matt to win, as I felt like that was a much better matchup. I hope Caleb won’t hold it against me that I was rooting for his opponent in light of the rest of his Sunday. Congrats!

Eventually Matt won, and I was set to face B/R Vampires. I declined a split, and Matt offered a 1800-1000 partial split, as he really wanted to be locked in to four figures. Now I can appreciate wanting to lock in the #sickbrags, but with Ben owning 50% of me and a good matchup (I think), I wanted to maximize value.

I’d not filled out my Legacy decklist yet and didn’t even have all my cards. However my opponent needed to re-sleeve so that gave me time to mostly finish filling out the list. I sent out someone to track down Ben Wienburg for the last lands I needed but didn’t get them until the finals were under way.

By this point we had quite the crowd in the event hall, as people were waiting for Legacy, which gave this match another feel from the semis.

You can read coverage of the games here. I’m not going blow by blow just talking about what I think is important so I’d read that first.

I lost the die roll, which I think is pretty big. I think I’m favored in any game of this matchup except on the draw game one.

Sure enough Matt had a pretty good, aggressive hand, and his four creatures in the first three turns were too fast for me. I think I had a shot if he didn’t have the Arc Trail, but he did. On the play I would have won this game pretty easily, but so it goes.

After game one Matt offered the 1800-1000 split again, and I again declined though I really considered it, being down a game.

I boarded in a ton of stuff with Kor Firewalker getting the most questions. I wanted Firewalker because my plan was to clog the board, which he does an okay job of as well as letting me play around Arc Trail. Just having a 2/2 in play usually stops a Highborn from attacking, so I wanted to give myself that option. It also makes it more likely he’ll run out of removal so something like a Hero will stick.

In game two it was a little annoying for him to have Bloodghast and Lacerator on turn three after I O-Ringed his first Lacerator, and I think without that, the game would not have been too close. I actually don’t like my attack on the second to last turn, but I don’t see a better attack/how I’d lose because of it.

After game two, I made my biggest (only?) mistake in the finals. Matt again offered the split, and being on the draw, I had ‘the fear.’ I accepted. This was clearly a horrible idea, as he’d made the same offer when up a game. What was I expecting? To win game two and have him get a game loss? So yeah, turning down the split when down a game and then accepting it before game three made no sense.

Game three started, and I was happy that he had to go to six and missed a one-drop. The play that seems the most questionable was blocking his Highborn with one Squadron Hawk not two. I mainly wanted to play around a removal spell. I also was fine trading a Hawk for two life, as I had many more creatures to play. In this matchup, if you can live to play out your hand, you’re doing well.

A Sword and a Hero later I’d won the game and the event!

“Do We At Least Get to Play on Camera?”

So I’d been signed up for the Legacy Open and was going to play as soon as finals were finished. I’d been told by other players to expect a bye if the timing did not work out. We were still early in game three when the player’s meeting started so I was pretty sure that is what would happen. Pretty early on in game three I was pretty sure I had won so I was looking forward to having time to finish my decklist and maybe do an interview for SCGLive before round two.

So, after Matt gave me the handshake I was congratulated on all sides and feeling pretty great knowing I just made over $1000 and won a trophy. It felt really good to show myself and others that a PTQ win was not a fluke especially after SCG Baltimore being a train wreck.

I asked the judges about Legacy and was told I would have a round one bye as pairings had already gone up. Directly after this, the head judge arrived to tell me that I didn’t have a bye. I was playing Alex Bertoncini…

Now I and my friends spend a lot of time trying to “get” each other, but this is one of the best beats I’ve ever had laid on me.

However I just won the largest event that weekend so I was feeling pretty good. I asked if we at least got to play on camera. I mean, can you think of a better feature match? I was told yes and started finishing my Legacy deck.

About two minutes later I was asked to move to table 128.

It turned out that Alex had not been on the round one pairings. I have no idea who was at fault, but the event staff accepted fault by pairing him round one. Rather than repair the round, they figured they should just match us up.

This was a very bad decision. I understand the desire to avoid repairs—they slow things down. However if the tournament integrity is impacted, you need to repair. In this situation it was. If Alex was a player who had to pay to enter into these events, I’m pretty sure the situation wouldn’t have happened. However as there is no money changing hands, registration is a less-clear process on both sides. So this means that someone, who got left off the event partly because he was level eight, was paired with someone who wasn’t paired round one because he’d just won an event. Clearly this was a non-random round one, and I would strongly urge any judge in this situation in the future to make another choice. I’m not complaining because I didn’t have a bye but because the pairing was non-random.

I don’t blame the judges (and certainly not coverage who I doubt knew what was going on), but I do wish that it had been handled another way. On day one, my round seven match with Ben had been reported correctly but entered incorrectly and had caused a repair. I just wish that was not the only time my match had caused all the players to groan and stop shuffling.

As I’d not turned in my decklist yet Alex told me I’d better register some Llawans. I’m pretty sure however that he was still on NO RUG, but I guess you could apply it if he was playing 1/1s or 10/10s. I guess he thought I was some kind of fish.


So as I finished my deck I found out that people were more awesome than needed, and I ended up with six Flooded Strands and five Tundras, so I put the others in with my Standard deck (thanks Ben, Jonas, and Kenny ‘Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth’ Mayer!). Once I was done moving Mental Missteps from my Standard side to my Legacy main, we started shuffling.

If anyone cares this was my list:

Yep, I want nothing to do with Jacey B in Standard but in Legacy? Hook it up!

Round One – Alex Bertoncini, NO RUG

The situation causing this match was unfortunate, but it was a good match. Game one I couldn’t find any Swords and lost to Tarmogoyfs.

Game two there was an unfortunate communication error when there was confusion over whether I said he could resolve a fetchland. As I suspected, he was fetching to get a red source when my Vendilion Clique found Ancient Grudge in his hand in response to the sacrifice. That sealed the game.

Game three I was on eight, and he had a Vendilion Clique, Tarmogoyf, and Progenitus in play. On my upkeep Ancestral Vision resolved and then I Brainstormed but couldn’t find a Wrath.


Round Two – AJ Sacher, U/W Mystic (Standstill)

During round one I and Alex were joking about making suboptimal Brainstorms. This clearly led to me being paired up with another level eight in round two, AJ. Our games were not particularly interesting or close. I just outdrew him, but I do also like Ancestral over Standstill—lots of reasons which I won’t get into now.


Round Three – Kelson Reiter, Reanimator

Game one he used Careful Study to discard Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and then used Reanimate on her. I had Swords and Misstep but he had two Missteps. Luckily a 4/7 is not that fast a clock. I drew another Swords on nine life. So on the end of his turn I cast Vendilion Clique, putting it right into the graveyard to see his hand. As Vendilion Clique is my favorite Magic card, this felt like betraying a friend. I was leaving a man behind. I was abandoning ship. However I lost if this Plow didn’t resolve so sacrifices had to be made. His hand was just reanimation and lands so I let him keep and cast the Plow. Stoneforge mopped things up pretty quickly after that.

Game two I just had all the counterspells in the world. I ended the game with a hand of blue card, Force of Will, Surgical Extraction.


Round Four – Scott Ruggiero, Merfolk

Game one I kept Tundra, colorless land, Mystic along with other cards. I Misstepped his turn one Vial and played and resolved Mystic. On his second turn I made a judgment call that lost the game. I declined to FoW a second Vial. If he had Dismember in hand, that play would have lost me the game. If he had Wasteland in hand and I didn’t find a new white source for a couple turns, declining to FoW would lose me the game. He had the Wasteland and had four creatures in play before I hit another land. I think I made the right play, but FoWing the Vial would probably have won the game.

Game two I activated a Mishra’s Factory to block hoping he didn’t have a second Dismember. He did, and my play was awful. I took a really unnecessary risk and got punished. I ended up being one land short of casting Wrath of God vs. his Cursecatcher and friends.

2-2 Drop

Draft Open

I rushed to sign up for the second Draft Open. This was one of the most stacked Draft Opens I’d seen, and I was sitting between Matt Landstrom and Christian Valenti. I opened a weak pack with an Overrun so I had to put myself in green, which wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was passed a Fireball by Matt, which put me on the path to be G/R, which again, I did not want. Third pick I got a Chandra’s Outrage passing a Doom Blade, and after that I never saw another red removal spell. I ended up with “The Worst Fireball/Overrun Deck You Can Imagine.” Showing it to people, others seemed to think it was okay. Pretty sure they were wrong.

In round one I faced Matt and picked to play. I saw no lands in my seven- and six-card hands. I counted out five cards face down on the table and said “keep.” It turned out to be four lands and Runeclaw Bears, which was about what my deck was. It looked like I had a tiny shot of pulling the game out until I saw what Matt picked over Fireball, a Frost Titan.

Game two he had double Child of Night, which I didn’t want to trade my 2/2s, playing to the Overrun. Matt however kept on dealing with my larger guys, and the Children of the Night kept getting in. I guess that is why this guy is a Vampire master. I packed it in to the Gravedigger getting back Frost Titan.

Sunday Night and the Trip Back

After going three for five on facing Open Champions, I was happy to relax for the rest of the day.

We’d noticed earlier in the day that my trophy had a “Made in Canada” sticker on the bottom. While this clearly cheapens the entire SCG Open Series, I’m not too salty about it. Matt (Scott, not Matt Farney who did well and whom I faced in the finals) told me that they misspelled Canada. I’m a very poor speller, but even I can’t imagine how that happens. This clearly will not do so I flipped the trophy over to take a look.

u dum

That’s game, boys.

At 6 pm I was told we’d leave for dinner at 7 pm, so I had another hour to waste. I watched GerryT Lose a Box to Mono-Red while packing four sideboarded Dragon’s Claws (or so I was told). I then explained to Kenny ‘Marsh Flats’ Mayer how Blood Moon and Riftstone Portal interacted, blowing his mind.

Eventually I headed back to Klug’s booth. I found Matt there again, and I was told that he had a ‘U Dum’ in store for me but that his idea had already been done. Being filthy degenerates, we soon came to a gentleman’s agreement that I was going to attempt to guess what he was planning on doing. After some intense negations that made the current Congressional debate look like child’s play, we agreed on:

  1. I have two yes or no questions.
  2. Matt can use a ‘pass’ on a question but I then get to ask a third.
  3. Then I have three guesses and get 2-1 odds if I get it.

I came nowhere close even after Matt gave me a third yes/no question out of pity. Turned out Matt was going to get me to trade sunglasses for a while. He would put tape inside my lens writing ‘u dum.’ This has been done before, and it is pretty insane. Well done on coming up with it independently.

At 6:30, Klug packed up his altering stand, and we headed over to where some Ohioans were cube drafting and trading. Klug said we were leaving for dinner in 30 minutes. Jon Medina counter-offered with 40 minutes. Klug, knowing that Shark Week was coming up and not wanting to look a fish, dropped his offer to 25.

45 minutes later, no progress had been made. I, Klug, and Adam went to the Japanese restaurant a few doors down. Tempura was crushed; noodles and sushi were consumed. It was a nice low-key end to the weekend. I paid for dinner. This partly because I made a bundle, partly because it was not twelve people, and mostly to run the rub-ins on Matt for the previous night.

We headed back to the site, and I watched Alex lose to Caleb in the semifinals. As Alex was shuffling for game two, he realized that he’d punted game one by not playing a fetchland to get Dryad Arbor as a blocker. Not a super complicated play, but it seemed that everyone else had also missed it. Remember when your opponent is one damage from killing you, sometimes it is correct to play that fetchland.

Later I was talking to Kenny ‘Volrath’s Stronghold’ Mayer, and he said, “Why didn’t Alex get a Dryad Arbor?” Clearly Kenny would have seen the play. The man is clearly the master of weirdlands.

I and Klug headed back to his place, and I got a solid four hours of sleep before my 6 am flight. This one was easy and made pretty sweet by some Lady Gaga and a sicko Latte. If you’re ever in the Dayton airport, I offer my condolences and recommend making the best of a bad thing by stopping by the Boston Stoker. I was home by 8:45 am and showered before heading into work to write this report. While getting started on this report, I got a phone call saying I was getting a 33% raise. Must be.

The End

I hope everyone enjoyed these; let me know any questions you have in the comments. Winning this event was awesome. I saw my finish affect card prices for the first time and met a lot of cool people. I and Drew Levin both live in the DC area but have never really met or talked. On Sunday, he said that he’d been talking to Jarvis Yu who said I was one of like twelve people he thought could win the event. Yu certainly made a good call on that one!

If you’ve not come out to the Opens yet, you’re missing out; they are a great time. It also isn’t too late to get some levels in the Player’s Club. After just three Opens, I’m locked in for free entry and have an invite to December’s Invitational!

Please follow me on Twitter @timpskowski and feel free to say hi at an event. I should be at SCG Open: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Richmond, and maybe Boston before heading back to Pittsburgh for the GP and then on to Philly for my first PT. Hopefully I’ll do well and write another report.

Lastly thanks to everyone who lent cards, let me bounce ideas off them, or just said congrats on Sunday. Good luck to everyone in Seattle or at a PTQ this weekend! Extra good luck to the local players in Star City Games’ back-to-back Richmond PTQs this weekend—still need more to test with!