Some People Never Learn…

PTQ Chicago 8/12 Pittsburgh, PA For the actual tournament report, moonwalk yo’ booty down to where it looks like a tournament report, then return to the top of the page. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. FrigginRizzo: <—Moonwalks on a regular basis. Friday Aug 11. OK, I’m getting sick of red/white. After staring at every red MBC card…

PTQ Chicago 8/12
Pittsburgh, PA

For the actual tournament report, moonwalk yo’ booty down to where it looks like a tournament report, then return to the top of the page. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

FrigginRizzo: <—Moonwalks on a regular basis.

Friday Aug 11.
OK, I’m getting sick of red/white. After staring at every red MBC card for
the last four weeks, I have learned that there really are NOT that many cool ones out there. And as for white? Well, I have seriously considered sending all of my white cards back to Wizards in hopes of trading up to a booster box of Chronicles.

So, let’s build a deck from two annoying colors AGAIN! Once in a while I do actually learn from my mistakes, but the next class doesn’t begin until September. I played Fine Print version 1.0 last week at the Columbus PTQ and just kind of…sucked. Here’s a refresher for those who have not copied and pasted the decklist into their deckboxes:

(You pesky kids… Keep your deckboxes off my lawn!)

Fine Print, version 1.0

3x Cave-In
3x Parallax Wave
3x Disenchant
4x Chimeric Idol
3x Lesser Gargadon
4x Veteran Brawlers
4x Scoria Cat
3x Tectonic Break
3x Citadel of Pain

4x Mana Cache
3x Tooth of Ramos
17x Mountain
6x Plains

Although I thought this deck was interesting, and my opponents mostly agreed (while simultaneously beating your humble narrator into a pulp), it just had tendency to suck. A lot.

So we move on to the latest incarnation of Fine Print.

Fine Print, version 2.0 (available on VHS and DVD August 12, 2000. For the actual Laserdisc and Betamax release dates, contact your local retailer):

The sickening color, but used with the utmost responsibility:

4x Disenchant
4x Parallax Wave
1x Seal of Cleansing

These are better than Mana Cache and Citadel of Pain:

4x Seal of Fire
4x Rhystic Lightning

The metabolically challenged:

1x Avatar of Fury
1x Lithophage
2x Ancient Hydra
4x Scoria Cat
2x Lesser Gargadon
4x Arc Mage
2x Squee, Goblin Nabob

The sources I intend to use to pay for my lavish lifestyle:

1x Tooth of Ramos
17x Mountain
9x Plains

Sideboard (Quite on the random tip.)

FrigginRizzo: <—Attempts to bond with the younger readers by using street slang terminology.

3x Cave-In– More direct damage. It still sucks, but Rebels do too.
3x Cho-Manno’s Blessing– For when I get sick of my opponents’ pesky targeted removal.
1x Seal of Cleansing– Six Disenchants are better than five.
1x Aura Fracture– Saproling what? Rising who?
2x Searing Wind– The ultimate late-game solution.
3x Keldon Firebombers– For those silly people who like to overextend their lands.
1x Tooth of Ramos– If Cho be comin’ in, then this bad dude can help a brother out.
1x Nightwind Glider– One just never can tell, now can one?

What sucked the least from last week that got promoted to this week, and why:

Parallax Wave-I can’t blame it on the Wave, despite what Milli Vanilli thinks. This card HAS to be good. Okay, it is. I was always pleasantly surprised to draw one, as if a bit of serendipity had oozed its way into my deck. These takes care of way too many threats, if only for a moment, which will allow me to draw all the wrong cards anyway.

FrigginRizzo: <—Wonders if serendipity can actually ooze, or if ooze was copyrighted by machismo.

DisenchantChimeric Idol. Saproling Burst. Rising Waters. Cho-Manno’s Blessing. The above cards are reason enough to pack four of these bad dudes up in here.

FrigginRizzo: <—-Said "dude" and "up in here" in the same sentence. Is that legal?

Lesser Gargadon– Really fat. Six is fat. Saccing lands really does suck, but so does picking up your little pen and scratching out "20" and writing "14."

Scoria Cat– Six is still fat, and three ain’t exactly backing down from Kate
Moss either there, chief.

The Cat may just be my favorite creature from the entire block. (With appy-poly-loggies to some fat Cateran swampwalking mug over there.)

FrigginRizzo: <—Referenced A Clockwork Orange to appear hip to the British readers.

Tooth of Ramos– A few months back, while my Marathon Man dentist was attempting to pull out my appendix through my throat, I decided to take better care of my teeth. Or Tooth, as the case may be.

FrigginRizzo: <—-Is known to randomly utter "Is it safe?" in conversations with self.

Mountain– I need these to "pay for" my spells that have a red mana symbol in the upper right hand corner of the card. To "pay for" these spells, I turn my card sideways, which is called "tapping." This in effect generates imaginary "mana," which is a sort of monetary unit that I use to… Heh.

FrigginRizzo: <—-Bought the Wizards starter CD pack.

Plains– Ditto the argument I used as per inclusion of Mountain.

Please rise as we welcome the newest members!

Seal of CleansingDisenchant is so cool that I thought I would invite his little brother to join up with me and my boys to cold bust a cap up in dis joint.

FrigginRizzo: <—Has now completely bonded with all teenage readers.

Seal of Fire– Two to the dome of said creature or player. A nice little one-drop that, coincidentally, can come out on turn one. A little, and I do mean little, direct damage works wonders for your complexion.

Rhystic Lightning– Too much direct damage never hurt anyone, right? It certainly cleared up that Jay Schneider’s pesky complexion.*

Ancient Hydra– I guess it’s time to give this guy a hand. Another source of direct damage, as nice complexions are what I strive to deliver.

Arc Mage– He has the potential to be just a little more direct damage, and
He does have a very nice complexion.

FrigginRizzo: <—Going to be an Avon lady in next life.

Squee, Goblin Nabob– He’s willing to take one for the team and come back for more. He’s not in it to win it, but quite possibly just in it so he can tell his mother how much everyone on the team likes him.

Avatar of Fury– I just like to have the fattest creature available. Plus, I would very much like to make my opponents Bribery worthwhile for him/her/it/cyborg/R2D2.

Lithophage– The fattest creature on earth! Between him and the Gargadon, I figure to have a graveyard full of land that will come back when my opponent plays Planar Birth**. Also, his seven toughness comes in handy when blocking Ornithopters***. Also, he is really good if an opponent plays Show and Tell****. And better yet, I can Sneak Attack***** him in and not have to worry about his upkeep. And lastly, I feel better that he can’t be targeted by Terror******, since he’s not an artifact creature.

(Side note on Chimeric Idol: I think it’s time we realize how the Idol encourages sloppy play. For instance, if you wanted to cast a creature AND attack with the Idol, you must tap and cast during your first Main Phase. I am beginning to realize that your opponent doesn’t need to see you cast a Cat before you attack. It’s possible that this situation is responsible for quite a few game losses, or at least some revised blocking ideas. So, for that, the Idol can sit this one out and think about what he did wrong. So there.)

So what we have here is a pile. With a different aroma, however; it smells vaguely of oranges. Hmm. I hope to do a little better with this deck, since I did not waste main deck space on useless cards such as Mana Cache and Citadel of Pain. I noticed last week that a few hits here and there with some direct damage might’ve turned the tables on a few matches. Maybe. So, as per usual, I overcompensated. Neat.

FrigginRizzo: <—Starts virtually all fax quotes with "per." Per our conversation, I have attached….

Well, we shall see if I can improve on the 1-3 from last week. Using a deck with really fat creatures, very little synergy, self-induced sacrifice, and Mountains (Oh, the humanity!) might not be the best way to achieve Magic enlightenment, but, dare I say, it could be fun.

* In no way do I mean to imply that Mr. Schneider had, or intends to have, a bad complexion.

**Yeah, I know about Planar Birth. I know it’s restricted in MBC.

***Yeah, I know that Ornithopter flies, but if an opponent plays a Frog
Tongue on Lithophage I will be ready.

****Yeah, I know that Show and Tell isn’t as good in MBC as Aluren, but the double-green makes Aluren harder to splash.

*****I am aware that Sneak Attack isn’t really viable in MBC, but you never know with those Rogues.

******Yeah, I know that the guy who maindecks Terror will just cycle it anyway.

FrigginRizzo: <—Said the word "pesky" twice, but promises to consider using the term more often.

Saturday, Aug 12
PTQ Chicago
Pittsburgh, PA

One hundred and change showed up for 7 rounds of swiss. Hmmm, maybe 3-3-1? Well, that’s a realistic goal that I’ll set for myself. Went to tourney. Paid cash. Did paperwork. Got paired up. Sat down. Onward….

Round 1 DJ Hothinsky G/B

Game 1
It seems unfortunate, for him at least, that he died with a Rath’s Edge and a Forest in play. A Cat and Mage did the nasty to his life totals. He scoops at ten. He did get to discard a lot, though.

Game 2
A very slow start for both of us. The first action card to hit is my Cat.
And it hits him twice for six. DJ decides that that six hurts, so he Snuffs it and goes a little nutty with two Crawlers, an Idol, and a Shambler over the next TWO turns. Jeez. I can only sit and watch as Squee steps in front of things in a futile attempt to save his rapidly decaying captain and our more rapidly decaying life total. Two Waves also try to help out the team, but they only delay the inevitable, as the rest of my creatures were in the clubhouse drinking martinis and playing backgammon. Or something.

Game 3
I start with some Mage beatdown, which eventually runs into a Crawler, Idol, and Squallmonger. I cast Squee and try not to cry. I succeed. I do not cry. Squee does his "dive on a grenade for ya, captain!" routine, and begins his endless cycle of imitation immortality. After 2 turns of returning and recasting Squee, I forget to pop him back during upkeep. Oops. That same turn I draw a Wave and hide some of his fatness, which allows me to relax a little as I cast a Mage. He answers with a Wumpus. I answer with Lithophage, and start to think I can win. On my next upkeep the Wave says goodnight, and I am forced to play a little D here. So I sac my mountain for Litho and cast Squee. He has quite an impressive army of fat staring me down. He plays some serious offense instead. Hmmm, let’s see. I’ll Snuff Out the Litho, then I’ll Massacre. Where did my men go again? I’m down to six and not liking it one bit. I do, however, calmly untap and Searing Wind him for 10. Woohoo. He’s at 6, and I’m dead.

match 0-1
games 1-2

After round 1, I went outside, to the front entrance, conveniently devoid of persons, to have a chat with myself. I was contemplating getting the hell out of dodge to save myself another 1-3 day when, over yonder, I see this guy who looks a lot like Aaron Forsythe coming into the building. Turns out it was. Here’s a guy who just beat the hell out of the world in Brussels, and he’s coming to a PTQ to draft. For fun. After a few minutes of my "Congrats at Worlds," and his "Are you playing that R/W deck again?" his "World-beater" aura rubbed off on me. If Aaron Friggin’ Forsythe can come down from the his godly performance at Worlds to play with the little people, then I sure as hell can go back in there and give em’ hell.

Player of the year? He’s got my vote.

FrigginRizzo: <—-Feels invigorated, and no one gains three life either.

Round 2 Chris Mondon R/G

Game 1
Chris double-mulligans, so I just rudely go Seal, Seal, Seal, Mage. He’s stuck on three land but finally casts an Idol. It’s met with a Disenchant. Five turns of Mage beats gets him to ten and he still has no creatures. So what the heck… end of turn Mage for two, sac three Seals, untap, draw, Mage for two. Ouch.

Game 2
An Idol for Chris is the first guy to enter, and I throw down a Mage. We trade serves, then he lays a Blasty. Another Mage for me, but he lays a Saproling Cluster and makes a dude. Serving with Blasty and Idol, I can only make a dude to throw at the fat untouchable. I draw crap, so
I Disenchant the Cluster, as he had ditched a Squee to make his dude-that could be trouble in a hurry, folks. He serves again, and lays another Blasty. So I do the right thing and draw Wave and …Wave. Hmmm, not too good. Scoop.

Game 3
I start with a Hydra, he responds with a Spider. I wanna get rid of that annoying thing, so I attack and offer to trade. We do. Four to the dome with Hydra. He calmly makes another Spider and I’m not enjoying myself. But, per usual, I topdeck a Cat and am happy to put a fat 6/6 into play. A Trellis enters next turn, and the Spider wisely decides not to challenge the pesky Cat with the sleight weight problem. What do ya know? I top deck a Plains and cast the pretty Wave in my hand. I serve. It begins to look good for the home team, as Chris seems hell-bent on drawing land after land, while I keep serving for three, as burning for nine to attack for six seems a little hasty. It becomes clear, however, next turn when I draw and play a Seal. He’s at eight. Do I want to tap and burn for eight to serve for game? I start to think out loud, then figure that, well, I really have to pee, and I AM at 20 after all, which leads to tapping out and accepting Chris’s hand. Whew.

match 1-1
games 3-3

FrigginRizzo: <—Just cast double Invigorate on self, AND gained six life.

Round 3 Max Pacolay Control Black

I walk up to the table and am amazed that Max remembers me from States. That was the better part of a year ago, and Max still remembers it as it happened yesterday. Very cool.

Game 1

I cast a Mage. Vicious Hunger. I cast a Mage. Vicious Hunger. I cast Gargadon. Vendetta. I cast Cat. Heh. I serve and cast another Mage. It ends soon after. Max was stuck with two Swamps and discarded some serious hurtings.

Game 2
I’ll just run down Max’s turns here.

Turn 2: Rain of Tears.
Turn 3: Rain of Tears.
Turn 4: Chilly.
Turn 5: Rain of Tears.
Turn 6: Despoil.
Turn 7: Wumpus.
Turn 8: Serve and Wumpus for a whole friggin’ bunch.

Game 3
I cast a Mage. Vicious Hunger. Yet again. He casts a Chilly. I play Squee and get ready to do some serious Rec-Sur action. He brings Chilly to meet Squee, and casts 2 Nakaya Shades. I begin to sweat. A topdecked Wave lowers my body temperature back under 100. Squee beats. Wave number 2 arrives, as it should, just as Wave number 1 was ready to call it a day. Three Seals come to play. Squee beats and is joined by a Gargadon, which prefers to hide under a Wave instead of getting Snuffed. Squee beats until the Wave goes away, and things start to get complicated. Until I draw a Mage, that is. We stalemate for three turns until I Rhystic Lightning him to twelve. I get the pesky combo thing going: End of turn Mage for two, sac three Seals for six. Untap, Mage for two, Lightning for two. Ouch. It’s enough to remind you of "End of turn Bolt you twice for six, untap Incinerate, Incinerate, Fireblast." Sort of.

match 2-1
games 5-4

FrigginRizzo: <—Forked that second Invigorate.

Round 4 Brian Grimm B/G

Game 1
I get out a Mage – ACC Snuff. He makes two Trellises, which bring out a Blasty. I answer with a Gargadon. Blasty serves. I take it. I serve and play Squee. Blasty serves, and Squee bites it. Another Blasty comes to play. I cast a Cat and replay Squee. One Blasty serves through, and one runs over Squee. I cast a Wave to take out the Trelli and a new Crawler: It’s time to wait out the Blastys now. He brings both of the rapidly fading guys, which meet with Squee and a Gargadon, which, true to his nature, hides under the Wave. the Blastys go away, so I serve with the Cat and Squee and Lightning him to death.

Game 2
Two quick Mages serve down to ten. He stabilizes with Snuff, Vendetta,
Blasty. Uh oh. Blasty comes hard and a Wumpus joins up with him. Squee to the rescue! Nah. Vendetta Squee and serve. I recast Squee and prepare to die. I do as he Wumps for one, serves, and Wumps for just enough.

Game 3
A bunch of nothing happens until about the fifteenth turn. Brian’s at six, I’m at three; I Waved a Wumpus and a couple Trellises, and they are due back during my upkeep. I have a Seal. They come back and he looks at me and says "Wump for 3?" For about 5 turns I held a Lightning, waiting for him to over-Wump. He finally did. I sac the Seal and Lightning for four. Whew.

match 3-1
games 7-5

FrigginRizzo: <—-Berserked self.

Round 5 Lee Schuster Mono White with Angel, Mageta, and at least two maindeck Story Circles.

Game 1
He starts out slow as I beat him with a Mage. He casts Circle: Red. I Disenchant. A Squee joins the beats, getting him down to twelve. Another Circle: Red comes to play, but I have another Disenchant. Does he worry? Nope. Here comes the Angel. With a Cho-Manno’s Blessing. Nice. Here comes Mageta. With a Blessing. Nice again. I hate White.

Game 2
I mulligan to six and keep two Seal of Cleansings, two Disenchants, a Seal of Fire, and a Mountain. I draw no land until turn six, which is irrelevant as he has a Cho-Manno and an Angel. He beats me 4 a turn until I draw a Wave. He lets it resolve, out of sympathy, I think. I do manage to get out a Mage, which promptly gets Toppled. That’ll teach him to be the big man on campus, huh? He just sits there waiting for the Wave to go away. I cast a Cat. Okay. I cast a Mage. Okay. Untap… Wave of Reckoning. Oh well, better luck next time. His guys come back and, shortly thereafter, put me to bed. I hate White. A lot.

match 3-2
games 7-7]

FrigginRizzo: <—-That Berserk got Mana Drained.

Round 6 Brian Akers, Mono Black Avatar deck?

Game 1
Seal, Seal, Mage starts the fun for me. A Chilly arrives to put up some resistance. I just Wave it and play another Mage. Cool. He Tutors and passes. I beat him to ten with the Mages, and finish with the patented
"End of turn double Mage, double Seal sac, untap, double Mage."

Game 2
I am an idiot, I think. I have two Plains and a handful of Disenchants when he throws down a turn three Belbe’s Portal, aided by double Bog, Ritual, naming Avatar. I zone out and play a Mage. He end of turn Portals out an Avatar of Fury, with the help of a Ritual. It turns out I AM an idiot. But even if I HAD Disenchanted the Portal, he still would’ve Ritualed the Avatar anyway. It goes all the way.

See, boys and girls, sometimes you can miss the right play and it doesn’t even matter.

Game 3
I get the "Optimist Draw." Cat, Cat, Hydra, Wave, Mountain, Mountain, Plains. He casts a turn 3 Chilly, I cast a Wave next turn, and try to figure out if it is even possible to lose this game. Ever. Turn 5 Cat. An ACC Snuff is useless, as I hide the Cat. Turn 6 Cat. Vendetta? Nah, I’ll just hide it. I end of turn Disenchant the Wave and have two fat Cats looking to put a hurtin’ on something. I cast the Hydra and send two to Chilly. He regens twice, but takes twelve in the process. He Tutors. I untap, burn Chilly out of the way, and serve for… A LOT.

match 4-2
games 9-8

FrigginRizzo: <—-Force of Will on that Mana Drain.

Round 7 Owen Stupka, U/W Control

Game 1
I drop Seal, Mage, Mage and feel cool. He Waves them, but takes four to his beanie. He casts Mageta. I kill it. he casts Mageta. I kill that one too. He casts Mageta. I hate my life. He Wraths and counters a lot of my cool stuff. Two Hatchlings speed up the death knell. What the hell is a death knell? I hate White.

Game 2
I play a turn 1 Seal and nothing happens until my turn 5 Cat. He answers
With an Angel. I hate my life. The Cat hits once and that’s all she wrote. He pecks me and pecks me, all the while letting me cast a ton of good stuff: another Cat, a Gargadon, a Mage, and…another Mage. Cool. Next turn I’ll have two active Mages to make a date with an Angel. Ummm, no. Wave of Reckoning. Neato. For kicks, he Briberies out a Hydra and sends a few to my melon. I do manage to easy-cast an Avatar though. Woo hoo. Oh, in case you’re wondering, I really do hate White.

match 4-3
games 9-10
20 something place.

FrigginRizzo: <—Got Unsummoned. Damn.

Lessons learned…for the two or three players that suck more than me….

1) Arc Mage is godly.
2) Seal of Fire is godly.
3) Arc Mage and Seal of Fire work REAL well together.
4) White is sickening.
5) Scoria Cat gets better every day.
6) Veteran Brawlers can stay in my box. Forever.
7) Parallax Wave is so FRIGGIN’ GOOD.
8) I suck at sideboarding.
9) If you use white responsibly, you can still sleep at night.
10) Most players don’t use white responsibly. For proof, read a few tourney reports. The guys that play white, their reports start like this: "I got about 2 hours of sleep." That’s because they play white: Therefore, their guilty conscience keeps them awake. I think.
11) In a dozen tourneys, I’ve only played against ONE jerk. Kudos to Magic players everywhere.
12) Wizards did good.
13) It feels good to do okay with your own deck. Try it. No, really, try it.

John Friggin’ Rizzo
[email protected]

"The whole match the only damage I took was from my Snuff Outs and Vendettas." – Numerous players.

Should have been the flavor text on all Net Decks.