Team Chran Goes To Washington

Chris Andersen had an incredible time at #GPDC with a few very special teammates! Read about his tournament experience and what he thinks players should do to maximize the amount of fun they have in these unique team settings!

SCG Tour <sup>®</sup>Indianapolis: March 11-13!” border=”1″></a></div>
<h2>Friday, 6:00 AM</h2>
<p>The shrill sound of my phone’s alarm stirs me from my way-too-short sleep. I’m lying on my trusty air mattress at Kent Ketter’s house. It’s time to get up so we can drive a whopping ten hours to the nation’s capital to participate in our favorite Magic format: Team Sealed. I gather my things and stumble into the back seat of my car and pass out.</p>
<h2>Friday, 10:00 AM</h2>
<p>I wake up again after getting the appropriate amount of sleep. We are somewhere in the middle of Ohio, and well on our way to the Grand Prix. Kent, Evan Smith, and I spend most of the rest of the trip discussing how good <a href=Containment Membrane is, talking various Eldrazi strategies in Standard, and listening to Kanye West and Panic! at the Disco.

After what ends up feeling like a surprisingly short trip, we find ourselves in Washington, DC just in time for dinner. Having a car full of awesome people helps a ton for really long trips.

Friday, 6:15 PM

I pull up in front of my brother’s house, a few Metro stops from the D.C. Convention Center. Kent and Evan are staying in a hotel on-site, but my brother had enough space at his place for me to crash there and save a bit of cash this weekend. Thanks again, Aren! We spend the night getting food and drinks with some of his new friends from Washington and get to sleep around midnight. I’m feeling confident about the tournament and can’t wait to get started!

Saturday, 7:45 AM

Not as bad as yesterday, but I’m still not thrilled to be waking up an hour earlier for a Magic tournament than I’m used to. I’m used to a 10 AM start time, and to allow for build time, this event started at 9 AM. I manage to figure out the metro system and arrive at the site about a half-hour early to meet up with my teammates, Lucas and Jack Kiefer, and get our heads in the right place before deck registration begins.

Saturday, 9:00 AM

We finally get to see our cards! This is the first event I have been to where all the cards are preregistered electronically. It’s a really cool way to set up registration and I hope this will become the new standard for large events. Our pool is medium-good. No amazing bombs, but plenty of solid removal spells and decent creatures on curve. I end up playing a U/B Eldrazi Control deck with several good fliers and removal. Lucas has a B/W Allies deck splashing green for double Baloth Null. Jack’s deck is G/R Midrange with his favorite card in the format: Tajuru Warcaller. We sleeve up our decks and get ready to battle!

Saturday, 6:30 PM

We start out our day 5-1, and are having a lot of fun. All of our matches have been really pleasant experiences with friendly opponents. We head to the pairings board, and check our opponents.

Lebedowicz, Osyp – Table 162

Looks like it’s time for our first major test of the weekend. Osyp and I joked about the last time we played, at Pro Tour Avacyn Restored. We played a R/G Wolfir Silverheart mirror, and I made the generous offer of a gentleman’s agreement to sideboard out all copies of Bonfire of the Damned. He politely declined and proceeded to give me the Bonfiring of a lifetime in the sideboarded games. Rats.

Osyp and I had another good match. I was able to stabilize and win Game 1, but he was too quick for me in the sideboarded games. Luckily for me, I was teaming with a couple of ringers. Lucas had already won his match against Northeast end boss Philip Napoli, overcoming a Game 1 loss and Game 2 mulligan to five. Finally, the ninth game came down to thirteen-year-old Jack and should-be Hall of Famer Chris Pikula. Jack played a beautiful game where he was able to use his Tajuru Warcaller to deal lethal damage with the exact amount of creatures necessary the turn before succumbing to Chris’s giant flier. It was a really fun match and gave us all a confidence boost going forward.

I’ll get you next time, Osyp!

Saturday, 10:00 PM

Team Chranwich (a Chran sandwiched between two Kiefers) end the first day strongly. We win our last round to go 7-2. Unfortunately, due to the understandable latency between the rounds, we don’t finish up until very late at night. We have to get up early the next day, so we aren’t able to get dinner together. I take the Metro back to my brother’s neighborhood, where we go to Angelico’s, an amazing local pizza place, and head back to his house to get plenty of rest for Day 2!

Sunday, 2:00 AM

This little slice of time seems to have disappeared into the aether. Sunday is every Magic player’s worst nightmare: Spring Forward day of Daylight Savings Time! Looks like I’m not getting as much sleep as I would hope for Sunday. So it goes.

Sunday, 7:45 AM

Brap, brap, brap…

Time to get up, hit the showers, and battle! I get some coffee and breakfast on the way to the site and meet up with the Kiefers. We talk a little bit about what we learned the day before and get ready to open up our next Sealed pool.

Sunday, 9:00 AM

Our pool looks decent. Not as good as yesterday’s pool, but not a flop by any means. I end up playing the black cards again, because that is what I have the most experience with. This time, however, I’m on a very aggressive R/B deck instead of U/B Eldrazi Control. Jack is still on G/R, but instead of midrange, he’s more of a green ramp deck with just a splash of red to give him enough removal. We’re ready to take on the Day 2 metagame.

Sunday, 10:25 AM

Unfortunately, this is where things fall apart. We have a very negative experience with our opponents this round. We are paired against a notable pro Magic player and two of his friends. Things start out fine as we greet each other in the typical pre-match rituals and start the matches. Unfortunately, things go downhill pretty quickly.

I’m paired against the pro and he tries angle shooting me three different times over the course of the match. Jack is also the victim of an angle shoot during the match as well. Luckily, we know our Magic rules and policy, and they aren’t able to take advantage of us, but the experience leaves a very sour taste in our mouths that sets the tone for the day.

This is my first time playing with younger players by my side, and I look young for my age, so I feel a bit camouflaged by my teammates. We’ve had opponents underestimate us frequently over the weekend, but in this instance, it feels as though our opponents are using our collective age as an opportunity to take advantage of us.

I should just call a judge every single time something goes wrong and allow them to sort things out. I deal with it myself instead, and I regret that. Nevertheless, I am disappointed that people, and especially supposed community leaders, feel like they have to resort to underhanded tactics to gain an edge.

The games themselves are fun and interesting. We play three close matches and ultimately came up just short of winning. Unfortunately, that would become the theme for the day.

Sunday, 1:45 PM

Alas, things continued to go downhill. I keep winning Game 1, but can’t for the life of me pick up a sideboarded game. Jack and Lucas do okay, but my personal record on the day is an abysmal 0-4. My teammates pick up a match despite my dead weight, but once we pick up our third loss on the day, we are eliminated from prizes in the event and choose to drop.

C’est la vie.

Even though we ultimately come up short, I’ve absolutely had some of the most fun at a Magic event in a good while. Battle for Zendikar / Oath of the Gatewatch Limited is a blast, and I wish there were more relevant events with the format in the future.

Moving forward, the format of choice is going to be Standard. Personally, I’m looking at the best way to port the Eldrazi menace into the Standard format. I really like Mono-Blue Eldrazi and G/R Eldrazi Ramp, and I’m intrigued by rumors of a new Mono-Red Eldrazi list floating around. Who knows what I’ll end up on for #SCGINDY, but one thing’s for sure, Lotus will be preparing hard for our home turf Open, and I am incredibly excited to see all my friends from around the area this weekend!

What would a tournament report be without Props and Slops?


Jack and Lucas Kiefer – My two amazing teammates! Getting to play an event with Jack and Lucas was a treat. Both kids are so talented and pulled through in clutch Game 9 moments over the course of the tournament. I am super-proud of both of you guys and can’t wait to run it back for the next Team Sealed event.

Team #BestBuddies – Made up of Invitational Champion Caleb Scherer, Jack and Lucas’s youngest brother Quinn, and last-second-addition savior Roger Bodee. These guys had one of the most impressive Day 2 runs I’ve seen in a long time. The team was off to a rough start early with a 6-3 Day 1 record, but they turned up the heat for the second day of competition. Both the team and ten-year-old Quinn put up an undefeated 5-0 record, including getting the best of Luis Scott-Vargas, Eric Froehlich, and Ben Stark, one of the best teams in the world! They finished with an 11-3 record, coming in 22nd place and picking up three Pro points. Congrats on the finish, guys, and way to go, Quinn! #QuinnHasProPoints #QuinnItToWinIt

Andrew Tenjum – Tenjum once again came agonizingly close to getting back onto the Pro Tour this weekend. He, along with his teammates Ben Rasmussen and Daniel Cecchetti, came just short of making Top 4 of the Grand Prix, losing their win-and-in to Rich Hoaen and Tom Martell’s team. Keep it up, Tenjum. You’re probably the best player I know without a GP Top 8, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Mike Hron and Richie Hoaen – Holy Cow, what an impressive accomplishment for both of these players! Both had won the last two team Grand Prix they had played in, and for this event, the only thing that stood between them and a threepeat was each other. Mike ended up winning the match and the tournament, but both players accomplished something legendary in Magic history this weekend. Congrats to both.

Matt Severa – Congrats to Matt on his first GP trophy. Matt has played the game at an extremely high level for as long as I’ve been in the Midwest magic scene, and his victory is a long time coming. Well-deserved, Matt.


Our shady Day 2 opponents – Professional Magic players are supposed to be role models, not bullies.

Spencer Garnier – Poor Mango had to cancel on our car at the last second because of work. We missed having you in the car, buddy. Maybe next time!

Daylight Savings Time – I hate you with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns.

I’ll see everyone at #SCGINDY this weekend!

SCG Tour <sup>®</sup>Indianapolis: March 11-13!” border=”1″></a></div></p>
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