The players in today’s production:
Carl Winter – The reigning Type 1 Champion and super cool guy.
Owen – Magic supervisor at the local card shop who makes fun of people in such a way that they think they’re being complimented. Only not.
Bryce – Also known as Devo Awesome, Bryce came with the intent to, um… I’m still not sure why Bryce came. I think it was to sign women’s underwear.
Ben Kowal – Ben is really hot. It’s very fun to sit next to him and draw on his face while he’s asleep.
The Brass Man – He had a mini-van. Mini-vans are awesome for long car trips because there’s lots of space, only there was very little leg room. I blame Bryce’s book bag on the floor where I wanted my feet to be.
Others(i.e., the people not in the van):
The Rednecks, I mean Southerners
and last, but not least, Devo Awesome (He doesn’t count as Bryce because he’s a separate entity)
The kids from school who want to know they’re known and loved
I should have stayed home. It was such a terrible weekend. I was constantly tired. My hip killed from my man-purse banging against it all weekend. I spent far too much time away from girls. Far too little food. A really, really wicked long drive which was far from hot (take that California)*. And pile on top of that, I did mad crappy in the tourneys (And that. Consider yourselves owned)**.
That’s a lie, I had a great time, despite doing poorly in all the tourneys I entered(all two of them). I can’t think of a way to lead in to the report, so whatever, it starts here.
Actually it starts below this sentence. Just so no one gets confused.
The trip begins Tuesday morning with me waking up at around 10 AM so that I can get my stuff ready before Kowal and The Brass Man show up to get me at 2:30. I have everything sorted out and ready by 1:30 then get a call from Kowal telling me they’re probably going to arrive at around 5. Oops. So I kind of putz around for a few hours getting in a few games on Magic Online with Cranial Affinity. The deck is so sick. I think I’m something like 4,673 and 1 with it.
Kowal shows up and my mom decides to yell about it a lot. I think the purpose was to annoy me as much as possible before I left the house for five days. I hate getting Momowned. Though, it’s not nearly bad as getting Dutched. Poor Bryce. I go outside and bring my stuff so that I can toss it into The Brass Man’s mini-van. Kowal tells me to take it back inside while we go pick up Bryce and Owen.
Before we leave I decide I want to grab some dinner, so I mised some pop-tarts from our cupboard before hopping in the van. The pop-tarts had no frosting :<. I stole some water from Owen to wash them down because they were really, really dry. Hate, hate, hate bad pop-tarts.
We drive for hours and hours and hours. It was really dull. I entertain myself by listening to a CD I burned the night before. It had about 200 songs on it, but from the way the random shuffler was working, you’d think I had five. Sigh.
After a few hours we stop at a Greasy Spoon somewhere in the middle of west bumble-funk PA. The place was mad sketchy, but they had many varieties of pie available for consumption by wayward travelers such as myself. Unfortunately I didn’t notice the pie sign until after I ate my greasy, but delicious cheeseburger. Such is life.
Before we leave, some random trucker is walking by and notices some small roses in really tiny tubes on the counter and points them out to us. He asks us if we know what they’re used for, and only myself and Bryce knew. Everyone else had no idea what was going on and were really confused when we were laughing. The trucker said that they were a really good value for what they were selling them at and could probably be bought and turned around for a reasonable profit. I love trucker economics (they could be used as crack pipes, for those not in the know).
The rest of the trip consists of stopping at random gas stations/rest stops with me being hardcore and not getting out of the van. My bladder ironmans it out the whole trip.
We hit Indianapolis at around six in the morning. On Wednesday. Yeah.
Since we’re in Indy, a trip to Steak n Shake was obviously in order. (For those not fortunate enough to have ever been to a S&S, it is essentially a Denny’s, only better, with cheaper food, and decor oddly resembling a bathroom.) I get pancakes with strawberry sauce. Sweeeet. Kowal gets a banana milkshake that actually tasted really good. I considered jumping the table, knocking him out, and then taking his shake, along with his home and his room full of concubines. Mise. That eats up, oh about an hour, though with the random stealing, I’d have probably filled up the whole day. So yeah, it was 7 AM and we couldn’t check in until ten. How terrible. Waiting for hotels is definitely not wicked hot (Take that California!)***.
Sooooooo we get to sit around for fourteen and a half hours until we get into our swanky pad at the Marriott. Myself and Owen go to this nice park thingy and find some benches to read and listen to music. By nice park thingy, I mean this grungy little garden with two benches and a sign post. It was next to a bar and a barber shop. Indiana is so random.
We go into the hotel in groups (we’re staying with some other New Englanders) so as to not tip off the hotel staff to our plan to crowd our hotel room with gamers so that it’s wicked cheap. Being frugal rules. My grandmother would be so proud, and I’m all about being a hero to old people.
Anyway. We get into the room and play some of the proxied up decks that Andy brought with him. Myself and Kowal lay into each other, and I’m fairly certain he crushed me over and over again. That may have been because I insisted on trying to actually win a game with the version of TPS Andy had built. We eventually figured out that I was having such a hard time winning because the deck only played one freaking Tendrils. Sigh.
Some Type 4 is also played with Andy’s deck (The Brass Man is so handy for decks!) and it’s really fun. I end up on the receiving end of Kowal’s Kamahl, Fist of Krosa to become the first person knocked out with my insane deck containing: Vedalken Orrery, Mirari, Holistic Wisdom, Bosh, Memnarch, Acquire, etc etc. But Kowal got his when Jay kicks up an Agonizing Demise into Kowal’s face. The game eventually ended by the Andy and Chris getting KO’d at the same time, bringing the game down to Bryce and Jay. Bryce literally can’t lose, but somehow does by messing up with Capsize so that Jay is able to burn him out with Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] a few turns later. I love Type 4. It’s like Type 1, only four times better!
Myself, Charlie, Andy, Kowal, and Bryce decide to check out the awesome inside mall next to the convention center before getting our badges. We find the sweetest dollar store ever. Like, it even had ghetto medicine. I considered buying some”Tylenol”, but decide against it, though I’m pretty sure I could survive whatever weird crap they put in it because I’m hardcore like that. Someone notices a bin full of really fabulous looking notebooks, and we all dive into the bin, competing to find the most fabulous notebook of them all. We all settle on our respective fabulous notebooks when we notice another bin. Sigh. We dive into that one as well, only this time we actually look farther down the isle, finding no less than three more bins, all full of fabulous looking notebooks. I feel a strong connection with the pink, spiral bound notebook featuring some daisies and a couple of cute bumblebees playing around on the front cover. My attention is drawn to a rack of markers where I find a hot gold/silver marker package. I snap them up with the plan to use them to get cards signed, as well as possibly signing a few myself****.
After waiting forever, we finally leave to go get our badges at the convention center. Going the day before the Con is a good idea because no one else will be there and getting badges will be quick, right? Apparently a few thousand other people had the same idea we did. Oh well. We waited in line for about an hour and a half, roughly half the time I waited last year, and grab our badges. I lose my goody bag, and thusly my coupon book. I had to scrounge for one later so that I could pick up a ton of free dice from the YMG booth. I then lost the coupon that I got signed to bring back later when they had another shipment of dice getting in, so I had to find another book and demo again to get my dice. I took them out last week to show them to some kids, and I now have no clue where they went. Sigh*****.
While waiting, I see Josh O walking by with some people I didn’t know/recognize. One of them turns out to be someone who used to play on the local scene a bit, but kind of disappeared for awhile. Turns out he’s like, a third of the person he used to be. It doesn’t happen often, but when a gamer decides to turn his life around, lose some weight and start eating healthy, Baby Jesus gets his wings.
A few hours later we mosey on back to the room, dodging the steam vents and gawking at the fifteen foot bong in front of the state capitol. Now, I’m no stoner, but that’s pretty darned cool. Indiana is so random, but in that good, fuzzy way, as opposed to the bad fuzzy way which we learned about in elementary school. I miss being a first grader.
Yeah, so like, we sleep and stuff and get up bright and early to hit up the con come Thursday morning.
After breakfast at Steak n Shake.
It’s nice to be able to just walk in and start doing stuff. Getting badges early is awesome. Myself, Charlie and Andy are forced to wait around a bit before the Art Hall opens, but we’re able to get in early as a result of our patience. Rock. By doing this we also are able to avoid the crowd of people that show up later in the day and on Friday and Saturday. I end up getting a bunch of awesome stuff signed, yay! My Accumulated Knowledges, Intuitions, Lotus Petal, Thirst for Knowledges, Alpha Swords to Plowshares, Goblin Welders and much, much more, along with some random Mark Zug cards I dug out of some boxes before the con are now prettied up with ink. So is my playmat. It’s so pretty. I went into the con with three doodles and autographs, and left with about eighteen. Awesomes.
From there I went in the wrong direction to the CCG hall, much like I did last year, only I noticed my folly before actually entering the wrong hall. At least I learn from my mistakes. Once I get pointed in the right direction, a.k.a. the other way, I find myself in the TCG Hall, surrounded by people I don’t know. Screwed. I settle down to throw Revenge together before people show up to scout me out before the 1 PM tourney, which they always do. They’re always after me Lucky Charms!
But not really.
4 Mana Drain
4 Force of Will
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Decree of Justice
1 Holistic Wisdom
1 Future Sight
1 Chainer’s Edict
1 Mind Twist
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Zuran Orb
1 Darksteel Colossus
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Sylvan Library
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
1 Undiscovered Paradise
4 Flooded Strand
3 City of Brass
3 Underground Sea
3 Tropical Island
1 Dust Bowl
This deck is sooooooo good. I cut the Red to try and tighten up the mana base, but I then remembered I’m playing Revenge and that I have the most terrible mana base known to man or otherwise. *shrug* . I missed Kaervek’s Torch a few times, especially when I was comboing out (Zuran Orb, Fastbond, Crucible of Worlds), but I still had Braingeyser along with Yawgmoth’s Will, Holistic Wisdom, and Regrowth to get it back, so not having a way to win really wasn’t an issue. Sometimes people forget how awesome recursion can be.
Thursday, 1:00 PM, 46 players.
Disclaimer: All events in the following report actually occurred, odd as they may seem
Round 1 vs. John playing 4cc
Game 1: I have an awesome opening hand with Balance, Tinker, some artifact mana, and a Force of Will. I go for the Balance after dropping all my stuff, but he fetches a Tundra and Mana Drains it. This sucks, because now if I Tinker out my Colossus he could possibly Swords it. That would be bad. If he had gone for any other dual, I would have likely let his Drain resolve and Tinker. Instead I Force the Drain pitching the Tinker. I don’t draw any gas for a while and he kills me with Angels.
Game 2: I resolve some broken enchantments after going back and forth for a while and then I piece together the Fastbond/Crucible/Zuran Orb combo. I use Holistic Wisdom to grab Braingeyser for the kill. He’s speechless.
Game 3: I get out an early Zuran Orb and gain life while he’s stripping my lands. He takes control of the game, but we have very little time left. We go into time and he’s forced to counter all of the removal I throw at him, but in the end he’s one turn short of taking me out.
John was very displeased with the outcome of this match, but I think he was impressed with the awesomeness that is Revenge.
Round 2 vs. Manuel playing Dragon
Game 1: He slaughters me, as I really don’t do much of anything.
Game 2: I get an early Braingeyser for three with a Mana Vault, but I’m unable to get to four mana to untap the Vault. He gets off the combo and mills me out with Laquatus, going down to only ten or fifteen cards in his deck. I show him the Gaea’s Blessing and he nods and passes the turn. I eventually untap the Vault, but he animates a Verdant Force and I’m unable to draw a White source to cast Balance and lose.
Baby Jesus cried a river of pudding after that match. It wasn’t pretty.
Round 3 vs. Willie playing Oshwa Stompy variant
Game 1: He gets out Crucible and Wasteland, but I have a Mox Pearl and Mox Jet to play Balance to clear the board and nearly empty his hand. He bounces back, but I Will, cast Balance, then Tinker out Colossus. This makes Willie sad, and understandably so.
Game 3: I get an insanely nutty draw featuring an early Fastbond which gets out Future Sight, Sylvan Library, Holistic Wisdom and Zuran Orb. I find the Crucible eventually and combo him out with Braingeyser. Willie is speechless.
I love Revenge.
Round 4: Taylor playing WTF (the version with Red)
Game 1: I stave off his beats and try to get some sort of sense of control, but he’s able to pull ahead with a Grim Lavamancer with Curiosity on it and takes me out with a swarm of Wizards.
At this point I get bored and decide to drop so I can hit up the exhibition hall and get some more things signed. And no, I didn’t actually run a Hundroog. I was just making sure y’all were paying attention. Those who scroll up to check the decklist to see if there is actually a Hundroog listed, shame on you. Those who chuckle and say”Oh you little scamp”, you’re the ones I write for <3. And the people who say"Wow, he's a moron", well, you suck.
The exhibition hall isn’t nearly as big as I remembered it being, but was nevertheless quite impressive with almost all of the big game companies representin’ and hawking their wares to passersby. Sort of reminds me of this bazaar I went to in Jamaica once. My dad made me haggle over the price of a little sailboat.
I spend a little while trying to find the Ninth Level Games booth (see my Origins report for more details on the wonderful boys from Ninth Level), but to no avail. I even had my dice for the Game Who’s Name Must Not Be Spoken. And I lost******. Crap.
I waste some more time wandering around and looking at the booth babes that were actually hot this year. Hot, in the good way. I’m pretty sure they were hired help, though I’ve never heard of a Booth Babe rental service. Maybe I should start one. Ohh, ohh, I’ve got it! I could steal Kowal’s concubines and use them! And I could mise his banana shake while I’m at it! Concubines and banana shakes? What a bargain!
Who says crime doesn’t pay?
The people in jail.
I should know, my school is right next to the county jail. We have sheriffs deputies zooming around the campus all the time. It provides an atmosphere of fear and security. Hrmph.
Anyway, let that be a lesson to you kids. Stealing is ++ ungood. Unless you’re getting concubines and shakes. Then it’s a savage ++++++++ good.
The rest of Thursday is spent hanging out and making some phone calls back home to tell everyone how much fun I’m having and how much Binghamton sucks. I don’t think they like me very much anymore. That’s ok, I have the internet and the warm glow of my monitor to keep me company. Take that cruel world.
Later in the evening Phil Stanton, a.k.a. Dr. Sylvan himself (I met a celebrity!) and I go to the Dungeons and Dragons 30th anniversary party. Only it’s not where it was supposed to be. Free food and drink, along with the allure of prizes, lead us to some random hotel down the road where the loud noises of crappy music and loud gamers let us know that we were in the right place. Saying it was the right place only applies to the fact that we were where the party was supposed to be. The”free food” consisted of either a turkey leg (and those things were huge) or a keilbasa, accompanied by corn and an ice cream sandwich. Huh? Needless to say, it was quite the disappointment. Eventually we’re scared off by large groups of gamers dancing in the middle of the room and go back to the con.
Upon my arrival I get a call from one Stephen Menendian (I met another celebrity!) telling me that they had arrived. Hurray! We’re able to hang out for a while and get a little playtesting in before I go to bed.
I don’t know why playtesting reminds me of this, but on my way home from school today (August 31st) there was a guy on top of a parking garage threatening to jump. Binghamton is so random. Though possibly not as random as myself, or my writing. Sigh.
I awake early on Friday morn to venture, once again, to Steak n Shake for my morning feeding. After I’m fed and watered (and the feeding and watering was sooo good), I go hang out at the con for a while. Nothing really important happened, but I got to meet up with a lot of people and cruise the exhibit hall some more. I end up demoing YMG’s games, but they’re out of dice and I end up having to pick them up Saturday, only I didn’t because I was busy playing in the Type 1 Grand Prix.
More hanging out is done, meals are eaten, and more playtesting is done by myself, Joe BushMAN, Kevin Cron and Stephen Menendian (Celebrities!). They help me settle upon my deck for Saturday’s main event:
Three Color Tooge
4 Mana Drain
4 Force of Will
4 Accumulated Knowledge
3 Cunning Wish
3 Back to Basics
2 Deep Analysis
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
4 Polluted Delta
4 Underground Sea
3 Tropical Island
4 Island (Basic lands rule!)
1 Swamp (Basic land rules!)
1 Strip Mine
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Crypt
1 Black Lotus
The weeks leading up to GenCon I once again did zero playtesting. I did tinker about with some decks that I thought had some promise, namely 4CC and Crucible Slaver variants, but none of them panned out. I toyed around with the idea of playing 3 color Tog, drawing up a few rough decklists, but never gave it much thought until Friday night.
The night before the Grand Prix I put together Stephen’s DeathLong build and was quite impressed with it. I didn’t really feel like playing through a sea of Trinispheres though, so I eventually audibled to the 3 Color Tog. The format was and is very slow now, so mana denial rules, and Back to Basics is just incredibly powerful right now, as evidenced by Stephen Menendian Mono-Blue build that he played to a slot in the Top 8. I considered running his Mono-Blue deck, but in the end decided I liked the Tog card drawing engine better than the Ophidians.
Looks like I chose wrong.
Saturday morning rolls around with me waking up bright and early to make sure I get a decent breakfast in me. My plan for a”decent breakfast” was some McDonalds washed down with Sprite. I chose to go to Subway instead. It was so much better, and I got cookies that I was able to save until later, nibbling on them in the later rounds of the tournament, making everyone around me jealous. I saw the looks in their eyes and I was very uncomfortable. They’re always after me Lucky Charms….
So yeah, I chow down with some kids (unfortunately I can’t remember who) and head to the convention center with Kevin and Joe. They have event tickets ready to go while I… don’t. Five minutes till start time I’m waiting in line for my tickets. Sigh. I give Stephen a call and tell him to beg the judges to hold up the event for a few more minutes, which thankfully they did. Mise. I take this as a sign that I will do well.
Type 1 Grand Prix, Saturday, August 21st 2004
Round 1: Ryan Austin, Top 8 at last year’s GP playing funky Drain Slaver
Game 1: I win the roll and we just drop some lands and cast random Brainstorms for a bit. Eventually he Vampiric Tutors for something (bad notes, sorry), we get into a counter war, but my Intuition for Deep Analysises lets me break through. Mana Crypt hurt me only once this game. Yay!
Game 2: We do the land going thingy, but he eventually Tinkers out Darksteel Colossus. Oh boy. I have like, one answer to that, and that has to be Wished for. Ahhh tempo. I get out a Tog and it looks like I might be able to push through, but he drops a Psychatog(!) and is able to kill me with the Darksteel Colossus before I can punch through his Psychatog.
Game 3: We have very little time left in the round, and it looks like it’s going to end up a tie. He has out a Colossus again, and I must have dealt with it somehow (I probably Hurkyl’s Recalled it). We get into turns and we get to turn 4, which is mine. I have to kill him now or it would be a draw. He’s pretty spent and seems relaxed. My board consists of four lands and Black Lotus and a hand of Brainstorm, Cunning Wish, 2 Force of Will and another Blue card. My only hope is to Brainstorm into either Demonic Tutor or Yawgmoth’s Will to be able to cast Psychatog and the Time Walk to be able to kill him on turn 5. Well, I topdeck the Demonic Tutor off the Brainstorm, grab the Yawgmoth’s Will, cast it off the Lotus and use the Lotus and a Wasteland I’d used earlier from the graveyard to cast Psychatog and Time Walk, untap, attack and Cunning Wish for Berserk dealing twenty with just enough cards between my hand and graveyard.
Ryan seems displeased with the outcome of that game, but copes. Kudos.
After winning this round, I totally know I’m winning this tournament. I won an unwinnable game. I rule. This sentence really has no point though, seeing as how you all know I didn’t win. Oh well. For those few who didn’t, it’ll come as a huge shock. Rock.
Round 2: Jeremy playing Workshop Aggro
Game 1: He gets out an early Trinisphere, but no action, giving me time to recover with a Deep Analysis. He’s able to cast a Juggernaut that I’m unable to answer in time. To make matters worse, he piles another one on. If the Trinisphere hadn’t been in play I think I would have been able to pull out of it. As it was, I was one mana short.
Game 2: I take a beating from my Mana Crypt (hate hate hate Crypt) and he’s able to sneak out a Darksteel Colossus. I have a turn to block with a Psychatog, but I have to use up my entire hand and graveyard. Something that kind of irked me was that he had out a Tormod’s Crypt that he didn’t use during my turn, giving me the ability to pump when he attacked. It didn’t matter, but it still bothered me. Play like that doesn’t win tournaments. Then again, maybe I’m just bitter.
I’m not. Fooled ya!
I hate getting 2-0ed. Sigh.
Round 3: Jake playing Drain Slaver
Game 1: We fight over some draw, the usual control stuff, but he’s able to get a Titan through that I’m unable to deal with. Sigh.
Game 2: This game goes a bit better as I’m able to get some mana acceleration to help power out some threats. I had some key Duresses that let me force some things through, eventually culminating in a ticked off Tog. Once again I took a huge beating from Mana Crypt, putting me into a situation where I could have possibly lost had the game went on any longer.
Game 3: This is a very swingy game. Each of us resolve draw spells, but are able to bounce back and get the advantage over the other. We wear each other down to the point where I get off a Deep Analysis which taps me out, but nets me Mana Drain and Intuition, giving me the win next turn barring Yawgmoth’s Will from him.
He untaps and casts Yawgmoth’s Will.
He gets out a Titan and Welders and stuff and does things that are very rude and painful.
I Magic so good. One and two. Sooooo bad. I was quite disappointed, but I wasn’t down. My losses were out of my control. I played perfectly (at least as far as I know), but it wasn’t in the cards. Sometimes, your opponent just draws Yawgmoth’s Will. He had had it for a few turns, so it wasn’t really a surprise when he cast it. It kind of sucked because I knew he had it by the way he was playing, but couldn’t do anything about it.
But then again, sometimes you draw Yawgmoth’s Will.
Type 1 (sorry, it’s Vintage now) is a fickle mistress.
Round 4: Darren playing Stompy(!)
Game 1: He starts playing Forests and little Green men. I love byes.
A few turns later my ass is getting kicked and I’m down to one, using my Togs to fend off his guys as best as they can. His triple Rancor draw overwhelms them though. The game went very slowly because I needed to think over a lot of things each turn to try and get out of it.
His friends are near by and are happy for him when he wins the game.
I lost to Rancor. That makes me sad.
Game 2: This game I decide to play Type 1 (Vintage, sorry) and go all broken on his punk ass (He was actually a very nice guy, but seemed kind of bitter once he started losing). Most of the key plays involved me Wishing for Submerge to slow him down. Rock.
Game 3: We’re on the clock as the first game took a very long time, and he seems kind of sad, so we’re somewhat rushed. I let him start hitting me early on because I’ve drawn up a quick plan to kill him within a few turns. He resolves a bunch of guys, but I’m able to get out a Tog to hold them off long enough to go for the Berserk kill, getting rid of everything but a few cards to get to lethal damage.
He plays Fog.
Good game boys.
Well, for me anyway. I had the Force of Will that sent him packin’.
I beat Stompy, go me!
Round 5: Matt playing something with Ancestral Recall and Timetwister.
Games 1 and 2: My notes show a few points dealt to me by Force of Will, fetchlands and Deep Analysis. His has one point taken away from a fetchland, and the other 39 going directly to 0. My notes also tell me that he mulliganed both games, so it must have been a fairly rough beat.
Round 6: Roy from Dutchieland playing Workshop Aggro
Game 1: He gets out an early Trinisphere and I counter a Chains of Mephistopheles (w00t!) and stabilize a bit, but he gets out a Welder and a few Juggernauts which I can’t stop in time.
I hate Juggernaut.
The game wasn’t really that simple, just the usual”Counter your guys, hope you don’t cast something threatening that resolves and kill you with Psychatog”.
Type 1 is so exciting.
I love the Dutch and Roy was a real pleasure to be around and we had a few good laughs, despite the harshness of our games. Europe > America.
Round 7: Josh playing 4CC
Game 1: We both get some land drops, but I follow the”get basic lands because they rawk” plan to keep his Wastelands from being too effective while keeping him in check with a few of my own. He has a turn 1 Monkey chipping away at me the whole time, but nothing too serious, though Deep Analysis does take me down to an uncomfortable enough level to have to call an adult over because I’m having the”uh oh” feeling. It gets worse when he resolves a Fact or Fiction, nabbing a Mind Twist and some stuff, but he’s lacking a Black source to use it. My Duresses render him unable to answer the rest of my draw, allowing me to get the lethal Tog across the table.
Game 2: He cycles a Decree early on and starts attacking while holding off my card drawing with Red Elemental Blasts and counters. I have Duress along with Intuition and a few other spells, though no counters or Black mana sources for that matter to use them. I know he has a Red Blast, so I have to try to wait it out, but I don’t draw one until he gets out an Angel and it’s too late.
Game 3: This game is much of the same, only I have a mulligan to make things worse. As with last game, if I had been able to get a Black source by a certain point (either the second or third turn before I lost) I would have been able to force through enough spells to win. Without my Duresses it’s really hard to fight back against the efficiency of his Red Elemental Blasts, which coincidentally make my Back to Basics much worse.
At this point I still have a shot at top 32 prizes, so I tough it out and run the last round, despite a burning desire to leave, make phone calls, and eat at Steak n Shake. Mmmm, Steak n Shake.
No, I’m not obsessed with Steak n Shake. Not one bit.
Round 8: Bryan playing Dragon
Game 1: He gets out a Bayou, which for some reason makes me think he’s playing some sort of God awful Nether Void deck (shrug), but an Intuition a few turns later for Dragons and Squees makes it clear to me what he’s playing. I don’t let him do much and by getting out a Back to Basics, I’m able to slow him down enough to draw enough cards to get an overwhelming enough advantage so that he’s unable to fight back, allowing Psychatog to go through unmolested.
Game 2: Xantid Swarm is really, really bad for me. I don’t have Fire / Ice or Pernicious Deed at my disposal, so I have to rely on slow Cunning Wishes to answer Swarms. Luckily he has to mulligan down to five, so he isn’t able to put up much of a fight. He draws a Swarm fairly late in the game, but he was just never in it.
At least I had a winning game record. Hurrah.
I end up finishing in 34th place (heh). Go me.
Ben Kowal asks me if I’d like to do some match coverage, so I do some for him. I love doing match coverage. Lately though I’ve been kind of bad at it. At Star City’s Power 9 tourney, I lost half of the quarterfinals coverage I had typed up because the computer died. This time I was watching the Belcher on TnT matchup and the game was over within five turns. I honestly wrote next to nothing because, well, next to nothing happened. Sorry to all of you (especially the guys I was covering) for being sloppy. Won’t happen again. Or if it does, I’ll come up with a really good excuse.
The tournament wraps up with a large group of TMD members going out to some swanky dive near Steak n Shake. This obviously didn’t sit well with me, but everyone complained about a possible wait at Steak n Shake, so rather than sit around for ten minutes to eat super awesome food, we settle for this okay, somewhat overpriced place. The tables end up being kind of messed up with one being the South, another being most of Mean Deck, and the last being myself, some Californians, and Steve Houdlette and David Lawrence.
Dinner conversation is very amusing, mostly discussing regional differences, and those of us from the northeast telling the West Coast guys how much better the East Coast (represent) is than their own. I don’t think they bought it.
Whatever, I can admit defeat.
But I won’t.
Dinner ends and there are plans to go drinking and look at strippers. I see no point in getting smashed and paying to see boobies when I can do it for free, so I decide that I can wait and opt to go to bed. Sleep is awesome and I get a bunch of it. Oddly enough I got more sleep while at GenCon than at home.
See, my family decided that it would be a good idea to buy a new dog because our old one (and by old I mean like, 17) died about a year ago. This dog likes to bark a lot and looks like a deranged weasel. I hate dogs. At least when I have to take care of them and I don’t like them.
Where was I going with this? Whatever, dunno, don’t care.
I spend most of Sunday in the exhibition and art halls to get last minute things done and eventually head back to the TCG hall to chill with my home boys. Some good laughs are had and I beat up on a Dutchie with DeathLong. Rawr. I end the day having all the players I know within ear shot sign my pretty pink notebook. It reminded me of my high school yearbook in that I’m popular and get/got lots of signatures, only this time they were from people I don’t hate. I loved high school. Only not. Sooooo boring.
Anyway, back on topic. Signing, pretty notebook, and silver pens. On the way out, I chat with my son and Scott Limoiges. I sign some stuff for Kerzner while I have him and Scott sign my notebook. I then get the awesome idea of having Scott sign my Quirion Dryads. He does, and I am happy. I think either Dr. Sylvan or a Dutchie signed Kerzner’s bottle of hot sauce, but I don’t remember for sure. The only thing I am sure of is that a bottle of hot sauce was signed and it was ridiculously random.
I loves the randomness.
I end up leaving and hooking up with everyone along with Josh O, who has decided to hitch a ride with us, which is cool. Trips with Josh O are fun because he tells lots of really random stories and such. We end up leaving around 5 PM. I have to be in Binghamton by 8 AM to get to school. Sigh.
The trip back takes forever and we end up visiting even more sketchy roadside stores and gas stations. Joy.
Then all hell breaks loose.
I finally manage to get to sleep when we’re somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania, thank Jet Li. When it’s about 5 AM, and I see a random country road and some hills that look a lot like the ones around home. I’m pretty happy because I think that we’ve made awesome time and I’m going to be home in time for school.
Oh boy, was I wrong.
Turns out we took a detour off of I-81 because there was a sign saying”Detour”. So we end up on this country road in Jet Li-know’s-where, in the middle of the woods. We pass a trailer park, and for a few miles all we see are trees. After a while we see some houses. Only they aren’t whole houses. They’re like, chopped in half and where the missing half should be, there’s road. That was really freaky. We start to see some more detour signs and think we’re on track. We end up at what looks like a construction site with a bridge high overhead with cars going back and forth on it, and the only thing we see is a truck, pointed straight at us, with it’s lights on.
It’s at this moment I start to think I won’t make it home and that my tuition is going to end up being wasted money. I felt kind of bad, because I didn’t think the school would give my family a refund because I was torn apart in the middle of Pennsylvania by some knife-wielding madman (or woman). Everyone in the van is in agreement that it’s time to go back the way we came, so we do. We get to an intersection and Josh forces us to pull over so he can talk with the guy behind the counter and get directions. Josh works in a gas station, so he’s all like, down with the gas station attendant lingo, a very useful skill indeed. Well, at least in situations like this.
Josh informs us that the detour was for trucks. Not vans. Especially not vans full of gamers who think that they’re going to be stabbed to death in the middle of some random Pennsylvanian forest. I was somewhat miffed because I had to be to school in like, three hours, so I advised Andy to gun it, which he did.
We go on for a while with Andy eventually tagging Bryce in to take over the rest of the way home. About 45 minutes out of town we stop at a K-Mart so Bryce can pee.
Baby Jesus begins to panic, and I follow suit. Being late for school on the first day is very very ++++ ungood. Luckily, before Baby Jesus starts to cry, Bryce shows up and we head out.
We hit the New York boarder around 7:30 and Binghamton at about quarter till. Wicked hot. We take Josh home first for some reason, despite it being sort of out of the way and my needing to like, go to school. All weekend this”getting home in time for school thing” kinda worried me, but it ended up working out okay. My first class was at nine, so I didn’t really need to be home that early. I end up getting in around eight and to school at about 8:30. I stumble through my first day of classes and come out relatively unscathed.
Interesting note; My history teacher informs the class that he had gotten home from vacation about ten hours ago (around when I had gotten in). Then when talking about post Civil War native American populations in the midwest, he compares their numbers to a city of the size of Indianapolis. Random? Oh yes sir.
He looked the part of a gamer, talked like a gamer, and happened to return home around the time I did and mentions an obscure city such as the one where GenCon was held? Coincidence? I think not!
Anyhow, that was my GenCon experience. My only notes on Three Color Tog would be that I missed Red Elemental Blast a lot, but Duress was awesome. It’s either one or the other, and I think that given the current metagame, Duress is better.
I love cons, especially since I get more sleep at them than I do at home. Does that seem right to you?********
To those who made GenCon fun, I salute thee.
To those who made it bad, I raise my nose at you. There’s no need to raise my nose, because no one made it suck. Yay!
I will see you all around, and everyone please go to this September’s Waterbury tournament and the Binghamton Power 9 tourney in late October plz tks.
Former Type 1 World Champion and not missin’ it
Member of Team Mean Deck
Member of the sort of defunct Team Paragons of Vintage
And Moderator-but-not on www.TheManaDrain.com
Also, I forgot to mention awesome sauce, proving to you all that I can write an article and not mention it. Only I just did. If I were less honest, I would have deleted that sentence. Only at StarCityGames.com do you get that kind of honesty!
* Look, I’m Tim Aten!
** At dinner Saturday night TracerBullet complains about how we East Coasters(represent) say”wicked” and”hot” a lot. Well, I’m doing this to annoy all those on the West Coast (owned). Sorry to those caught in the crossfire.
*** See above.
**** No one asked me to sign any cards :<
*****I’ve noticed that I end a lot of paragraphs/sentences with the words”Heh” and/or”Sigh”. I vocabulary so good.
******”The Game” is an age old classic played by gamers the world over. Whether you know it or not, you are always playing the game. The only rule is that when you become consciously aware of the game, and it may not be for weeks, or months even, you must announce in a loud voice”I Lost” to anyone who may be in your vicinity. You may only describe The Game to them if they ask about it. Otherwise, you’re alone in your suffering. I will be starting a support group for those who’ve suffered severe and irreversible psychological damage in the near future. Stay tuned to StarCityGames.com for more information.
******* This is a quote from the last episode of the most awesome TV series you’ve never seen: Firefly. It’s an amazing show done by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, among others. Fox killed it when it first came out, but due to overwhelming requests for it to come back, they are making a movie titled Serenity which has the original cast (who rule) and some new characters. Rock. Lots of stores sell the entire series for around forty bucks. It’s a good buy. It’s got the CCW Seal of Approval, co-signed by Baby Jesus and Jet Li. What more do you need?