The Back Door to E3 and Grand Prix: Detroit *16th*

Taking Back Sunday not only won a Pro Tour this weekend, but members of the team were posting solid results two weeks ago in Detroit as well. In today’s article, TBS member John Pelcak explains how the Online E3 tournaments helped him prepare for Detroit, and how he ended up fighting for the Top 8 after starting Day 1 with a loss and Day 2 all the way down in 63rd place.

I’ve been so busy with school the past couple months I haven’t had much time to write anything really. Now I finally have some time to write an article and what perfect timing because the E3 Championship just finished on Magic Online and GP Detroit was right around the corner. I qualified for the E3 Championship with a WW/r legend deck that abuses Honor-Worn Shaku and cards like Tenza, Godo’s Maul and Day of Destiny in a block qualifier. There are so many viable decks in Champions Block Constructed right now it makes preparing for the tournament kind of hard. Anyway, back to the E3 tournament.

It wasn’t just a chance to go to the E3 convention to watch the Invitational, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, it was also a chance to practice for Grand Prix: Detroit the following. The following report may contain the following phrases so bear with me: “I bashed him.” “Got mana screwed, he was bad.” “Timed him out with Harsh Deceiver.” “Had to offer him a napkin to wipe the drool that I could somehow sense over Magic Online that was running down his face.” Seriously, the pool I was given had some very powerful cards, but nothing with a solid mana base or good curve, which are two of the most important things when building a sealed deck for tournaments like Grand Prix. You want to have the most consistent deck as possible, without playing cards that makes your deck underpowered. Here’s the pool of cards I was given for the E3 Championship on Magic Online.



Terashi’s Grasp

Candle’s Glow

Ethereal Haze

Hundred-Talon Strike

Quiet Purity

Indomitable Will

Harsh Deceiver

Kabuto Moth

Kami of False Hope

Kitsune Blademaster

Mothrider Samurai

Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens

Silverstorm Samurai



Consuming Vortex


Sift Through Sands

Toils of Night and Day

Field of Reality


Graceful Adept

Ninja of the Deep Hours

Quillmane Baku

River Kaijin

Shimmering Glasskite

Soratami Cloudskater

Soratami Mindsweeper


Waking Nightmare

Call for Blood

Rend Flesh

Genju of the Fens

Oni Possession

Ashen-Skin Zubera

2 Crawling Filth (1 foil HL)

Hired Muscle

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Rag Dealer

Scuttling Death

Skullmane Baku

Takenuma Bleeder


Crack the Earth

Unearthly Blizzard

Yamabushi’s Storm

Crushing Pain

2 Flame of the Blood Hand (another great foil to pick up)

Glacial Ray

Ire of Kaminari

Torrent of Stone

Uncontrollable Anger

Akki Rockspeaker

Akki Underminer


Goblin Cohort

Godo, Bandit Warlord

Hearth Kami

Ronin Houndmaster


Roar of Jukai

Wear Away

Serpent Skin

Burr Grafter

Hana Kami

Humble Budoka

Kashi-Tribe Warriors

Matsu-Tribe Decoy

Moss Kami


Sakura-Tribe Springcaller

Scaled Hulk

Shisato, Whispering Hunter

Taproot Kami



Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper

A couple of things stand out right away when looking at this deck. There’s an Ink-Eyes, which could potentially be one of the best cards in the set. The White is also very deep and has a bomb in Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens. The Blue and Green both don’t look very good, so that leaves us with White, Red, and Black. I basically came up with two different builds out of these colors. White was obviously going to be a main color with 10-11 solid cards. I started with White/Red splashing Rend Flesh and Scuttling Death, but the creature base wasn’t too solid and Red had some really poor cards accompanying it. The second build I made was White/Black splashing Red for Godo, Torrent, and Glacial Ray, which is what I ended up playing. Here’s the final product.

Candle’s Glow

Hundred-Talon Strike

Indomitable Will

Harsh Deceiver

Kabuto Moth

Kami of False Hope

Kitsune Blademaster

Mothrider Samurai

Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens


Waking Nightmare

Rend Flesh

Ashen-Skin Zubera

Hired Muscle

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Scuttling Death

Skullmane Baku

Takenuma Bleeder

Torrent of Stone

Glacial Ray

Godo, Bandit Warlord

4 Mountain

7 Swamp

7 Plains

Now that just don't seem right.

The creature base is light, but powerful. The spells are also very good. The deck has five arcane spells that make both Glacial Ray and Candles’ Glow insane. If I could build this deck over again though I would definitely play Ethereal Haze main over Waking Nightmare or Hundred-talon Strike. I always boarded it in and it never let me down. The Strike wasn’t bad, but I’d rather have something that was never really a dead card. I agree… the mana base is awful, but there was nothing I could really do. I would have killed for something like a Lantern-lit Graveyard, but I shouldn’t complain because the cards I was given is way better than anything that I have gotten before. I’m not going to bore you with details on how each match went, but I’ll go over how the tournament went itself. I ended up going 6-2, losing in the round before the last, which was very disappointing because I knew I could win the final draft easily. By the way, activating a Harsh Deceiver 13 times in one turn is not against the Code of Conduct.

Detroit Rock City

Moving on to the Grand Prix. The person that was originally driving the Minnesota crew to the GP cancelled on us, so Taka (who is part of the MN crew) and myself decided to fly to make sure we had a way to get there in case no one decided to drive. Before I get to the tournament, let me introduce you to the Minnesota crew:


twins that go by the names of Brian and Paul. You may recognize the Ziegler name from the clan on Magic Online that I am currently the captain of. If you ever see them, they will probably either be attacking someone they don’t know or chasing squirrels in the park.

Nate Siftar

Known as being “woman pretty” and proud of it. Brags about the fact he can chew on his hair, which I don’t think anyone else before him has done before. Perhaps best known for winning Friday Night Magic every weekend, gathering a following of barns, or bearls as we call them in Minnesota, every time he wins.

Steve Simon

“Hey man don’t talk bout my boy pap like that”. You probably saw him if you were at Detroit. A 16-year-old kid with a full-grown beard that’s 6’4 or so, wearing a basketball jersey isn’t hard to miss. Steve is usually known for x-0ing tournaments then losing real fast like he has stopped caring. I think he made it further than the rest of the crew in Detroit though. He also had a Jitte. Pap sucks

Tim Bulger

Known as Tbulge on MODO and irl. Pretends he is on the Marvel Pro Circuit and will soon drop out of school and pretend to be a professional poker player until he runs out of money and has to get a real job. Will probably not pay me back the money he owes me ever. Legendary for creating the phrase “Hulluh” and is part of the movement to make Ken Bearl popular.

Dan Schriever

Known as “cavedan” on modo. That’s all.

Takanobu Sato

Probably the most ridiculous person on the face of the Earth besides one Josh Day. He is the only existing fan of Rich Hoaen that I know of and went as far as almost ordering Rich’s Padres shirt off the internet. He’s moving to Japan during the summer, so watch out Grand Prix: Taipei.

Josh Day

One word to describe him would be Jolly. Josh used to play magic, but now sticks to World of Warcraft and Jello pudding commercials. One conversation with him makes you want to “rofl” as he would say.

The rest of the MN crew would include myself, Gerry Thompson, and perhaps the “almost famous” Ken Bearl. He’s not really part of the crew, but I just had to mention his name. Yes, this is where the term “Bearl” came from and I also intend to make bearl happen. Go to Grand Prix: Minneapolis this summer and you will get your taste of Ken Bearl. Also make sure to bring cameras, because he hates the paparazzi.

Taka and I arrived in Detroit around 11am because that was the cheapest flight we could find, so we had to taxi to the site with only the two of us, dropping around $50. Once at the site we found Rich Hoaen, who was obviously being jolly. Not much else was going on, so after waiting for Gadiel, Krumb, and some others we went up to the room to catch some z’s. The next morning I bought some terrible breakfast that made me sick for the rest of the day, which was nice. The card pool I received was not something I am too proud of, or proud to have played. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen, but almost everyone had a better deck than me.


Silverstorm Samurai

Horizon Seed

2 Kitsune Diviner

Kami of False Hope

Devoted Retainer

Kami of Ancient Law

Silent Chant Zubera

Moonlit Strider

Opal-eye, Kondas Yojimbo

Mothrider Samurai

Kami of the Painted Road

Kami of the Tattered Soji

Innocence Kami

2 Hundred-Talon Strike


Terashi’s Grasp

Terashi’s Cry

Candles Glow

Reverse the Sands



Sire of the Storm

Azami, Lady of Rolls

Soratami Rainshaper

The Unspeakable

Graceful Adept

Callous Deciever

Shimmering Glasskite

Kami of the Vanishing Touch

Quillmane Baku

Hisoka’s Defiance

Phantom Wings


Counsel of the Soratami

Psychic Puppetry

Peer Through Depths


Nezumi Cutthroat

Takanobu Bleeder

Scourge of Numai

Gutwrencher Oni

Kami of Lunacy

Okiba-Gang Shinobi

Painwracker Oni

Crawling Filth

Deathcurse Ogre

Pull Under

Call for Blood


Three Tragedies


Scaled Hulk

Kami of the Hunt

Sakura-Tribe Elder

Loam Dweller

Jukai Messenger

Traproot Kami

Child of Thorns

Vital Surge

Joyous Respite

Feast of Worms

Commune with Nature

Kodama’s Might


Blademane Baku

Akki Avalanchers

Cunning Bandit

Shinka Gatekeeper

Battle-Mad Ronin

Sokenzan Bruiser

Glacial Ray

Unearthly Blizzard

Unnatural Speed

Crack the Earth

First Volley

Clash of Realities

Yamabushi’s Storm

Not much to look at is it? The White clearly stood out to me while I was building and I knew for sure I wanted to splash the Glacial Ray. I tried making White/Red to start out, but the cards I would have had to play would have been terrible. I knew I was either going to be White/Blue splashing the Ray or White/Black splashing the Ray. I made White/Black, but I think White/Blue could have easily been as good or possibly even better. The Black creatures were so much better than the Blue, so I think that’s what made me decide to go with that combo. Also notice how similar this deck is to the one I got on Magic Online. Here’s what I played for Day 1.

2 Kitsune Diviner

1 Kami of False Hope

1 Devoted Retainer

1 Kami of Ancient Law

1 Nezumi Cutthroat

1 Silent-chant Zubera

1 Moonlit Strider

1 Takanobu Bleeder

1 Opal-eye, Jimbo Jones

1 Mothrider Samurai

1 Scourge of Numai

1 Gutwrencher Oni

1 Kami of the Painted Road

1 Kami of the Tattered Shoji

1 Innocence Kami

1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi

1 Kami of Lunacy

1 Hundred-Talon Strike

1 Glacial Ray

1 Candle’s Glow

1 Pull Under

2 Mountain

7 Swamp

9 Plains

Bunz Ketchup, 57 Varieties of pootastic action.

Looking back, I still can’t believe I played Silent-chant Zubera over Reverse the Sands. I boarded in the Reverse almost every game and it was a flat out bomb about 90% of the time. I was afraid of falling behind early in the damage race so that’s why I ran the Zubera. That exact argument can be made in favor of Reverse the Sands. Another thing to note is that the Scourge of Numai was BUNZ all day. It killed me more than once and was never really a card I wanted to draw. It can be very good with multiple ogres, but I only had one and the odds of drawing both aren’t very good. The Pull Under was a lot better than I thought it was going to be though. It won me a couple of games I would not have won without it and I was short on removal, so it was a fine card for my deck.

I had two byes for this Grand Prix, but then I decided that I might as well play in a trial that was close to my house, which I won to get that third bye. Going from 2 to 3 byes doesn’t seem like much to many people, but it makes all the difference. If you have two byes, you most likely have to go 4-1-1 to make Day 2. If you have 3 byes, you only have to go 3-2, which is soooo much easier to do than 4-1-1. So during rounds 1-3 we went up to the room and went over each other’s decks to see what possible sideboarding we could do and went down to play round 4.

Round 4: Robert l Tabor

This guy seemed like he was very happy to be at the 3-0 table, which was nice. However our games were not even close as game 1 I got severely flooded (obv) and I lose to Horobi, Waxmane Baku, Kabuto Moth, and That Which Was Taken. Game 2 he plays an early Nezumi Graverobber again and I lose to Horobi and That which was.

Record 3-1

Losing the first round that you play in a Grand Prix is so disheartening, but looking back on my last couple of tournaments, I know to not give up after the first round.

– First round played in Grand Prix Austin:



Patrick W Hereford





Finished 16th.

– First round of a PTQ for Nagoya:



Jack R Ewing





Won the PTQ.

– First round played in a Grand Prix Trial for Detroit:



Darek A Flaten





Won the Trail.

Losing round 1 here gets me down, but giving up is not an option, ever.

Round 5: Kenta Hiroki

I get pretty scared when I see the name, but come to the conclusion that he didn’t come from Japan to play. Game 1 I trick him by using the degraded face, (you may know this as the “pretend you are flooded, but you really have the Tangle Spider”) face, into attacking me with all of his flyers. I have the Candle’s Glow, so get to stay alive then I cast Hundred-Talon Strike on my Kami of Tattered Shoji, giving it flying and giving my Kami of the Painted Road protection from Black so he couldn’t block and swing in for exactly enough. I’m kind of mana screwed in the beginning of game 2. He’s flooded though, so I eventually win with Jimbo Jones and Cutthroat.

Record 4-1

Round 6: Kyle Reid

Seems like Kyle has an insane deck, especially with the turn 5 Kumano that destroys me game 1. He probably thinks that I am the shadiest person ever, since throughout the match I forgot to take damage from Bleeder multiple times, almost accidentally drew an extra card for my turn, and many other things of the sort. I think I was just thrown off my game from seeing the Kumano turn 5 the first two games. Game 2 he plays Kumano off the top of his deck again, this time using Sensei’s Divining Top. He gets me down to three with Kumano until I peel Pull Under on the last turn possible. I can’t believe I actually peeled in a game that actually mattered. Anyway, I cast Reverse the Sands next turn and attack with Cutthroat for the win. Game 3 he draws only Plains and I play a turn 2 Cutthroat followed by Jimbo Jones later on, and he concedes. After the match I say that I am sorry for his mana screw and he replies with “No, you don’t mean that”, which was true. I hope everyone I play against mulls to five or draws only Plains.

Record 5-1

Round 7: J. Evan W Dean

The last round I boarded in a Swamp and a Distress to take care of his Kumano, but obviously forgot to take the Swamp back out and we get deck checked and I get a game loss for forgetting to de-sideboard. Last time this happened to me was against Craig Krempels in the late rounds of Grand Prix Chicago, which my team (:B) won. In the match with Craig, I did go on to win in about ten minutes, so I assumed it was going to happen again here. Game 2 he starts out fast with Thief of Hope and a ton of spirits. He could have easily killed me by just attacking, but I eventually win with Hundred-Talon Strike, Glacial Ray, giving two of my guys fear, giving Painted Road protection from Green and Black, giving Tattered Shoji flying and attacking with everything, dealing him exactly enough. Game 3 was a joke, as I didn’t draw a Swamp ever with Okiba-Gang sitting in my hand and with him having nothing in play. In fact, I never draw the swamp and he wins with Devouring Greed. Good work. Thanks, game loss.

Record 5-2

Round 8: Matthew R Frazier

It all comes down to this round. We both have good tiebreakers, so either one of us can make it with a win. Game 1 he gets badly flooded and I win with awful creatures and Jimbo. Game 2 is looking good for me until he flames my Nezumi Cutthroat and I use Jimbo to save it. He then attacks with Lantern Kami and ninjitsu’s out a Throat Slitter killing my Opal-eye, and basically ending the game for me right there. Game 3 was one of the closest games I have ever played. I play a lot of guys early and he has Split-Tail Miko to prevent himself from taking too much damage. I play out a Scourge of Numai at 11 life, which I think is the correct play because I needed a way to win fast as we were running out of time, but he has the Cage of Hands for it. I eventually get an Innocence Kami and a Kitsune Diviner out also and we go to time. One turn I think I have him dead, but he has the Candles’ Glow, forcing me to have to kill him on my next turn. I play out a Kami of Lunacy, which he is forced to move his Cage onto. I go to 1 on my upkeep from Scourge, but he doesn’t draw anything and I win after I attack with everything.

Record 6-2

After 8 rounds, I finish 6-2, which I am definitely not happy about, but I am please to find out that I am in 63rd place heading into Day 2. StarWarsKid who was in our room that weekend, got 64th as well. Actually our whole room Day 2’d, including myself, SWK, Gadiel, Mike Krumb, and Takanobu Sato. Unfortunately no one else from the MN crew made Day 2, except Gerry. I look at my pod, which contains Star Wars Kid, myself, Krempels and no one else I have heard of. We then hit up this awesome Steak and Ribs place with Matt Shmaltz, Gadiel, Mike Krumb and Tbulge. After that we head back to the hotel to get some sleep. Here is the pod that I was in for my first draft.


Patnik, Michael


McDaniel, Chris


Pelcak, John


Feinstein, David


Norris, James


Mack, Shaun


King, Stephen


Krempels, Craig

The first pack I open I see a bunch of Blue cards, a Kami of Ancient Law and a Thief of Hope, which was the only Black card that was playable, so my pick wasn’t very hard. I proceeded to get a couple of Ashen-skin Zuberas, Scuttling Death, and a 7th pick Moss Kami. The next pack I open Devouring Greed and get shipped a Kokusho, the Evening Star. Seems lucky. The rest of the pack I pick up more cards like Kami of the Waning Moon, Dripping-Tongue Zubera, Commune with Nature, and Distress. The last pack I get late Takanobu Bleeders, three of them to be precise, which is one of my favorite cards in black from Betrayers. I also opened a Horobi’s Whisper, which gave the deck a solid removal spell. Here is the deck I ended up with:

2 Bile Urchin

2 Ashen-skin Zubera

1 Cruel Deceiver

1 Dripping Tongue Zubera

1 Skull-snatcher

1 Loamdweller

1 Kami of the Hunt

3 Takanobu Bleeder

1 Villainous Ogre

1 Thief of Hope

1 Gibbering Kami

1 Blood Speaker

1 Scuttling Death

1 Kokusho, the Evening Star

1 Moss Kami

1 Commune with Nature

1 Distress

1 Horobi’s Whisper

1 Devouring Greed

6 Forest

11 Swamp

The deck turned out to be very solid in my opinion. I love the three-power three-drops from Black because they get in so much early damage then you just win with whatever finisher you have.

Round 9: David Feinstein

This is the guy that passed me Kokusho, so I thank him and we move to game 1. He ended up Blue/Green somehow during the draft, probably because I shipped some early Green while I took Black cards and I also shipped a ton of Blue. Game 1 I get a very fast start with Bleeders and Bile Urchins. He eventually stabilizes with Isao, Enlightened Bushi, but I Devouring Greed him for the win. Game 2 is very different as I draw almost all lands and he wins easily with some flyers and Green guys. Game 3 he stalls on mana while I am flooded, but I eventually draw Kokusho and end the game shortly after that.

Record 7-2


Okay, so just read the Pro Players Club article by Randy Buhler and all I can say is WOW. I can’t believe that they did this. Right now I am sitting at 24 pro points and because my eight points from last year’s Seattle PT don’t “fall off” until after Worlds now, and there are 3 Pro Tours before Worlds, thus giving me Level 4 before Worlds. Therefore I would not have to pay $700-$800 for a flight and I get a grand just for going? Seems nice.

Does this benefit everyone and who exactly does it benefit the most? Well instead of paying the top 50 players more money at the end of the season, they made it more of a flat payout. I think it benefits someone like myself the most, who can barely get to level 4, but couldn’t finish very high in the player of the year race.

Round 10: Shaun Mack

I hear from “a very upset” Star Wars Kid that Shaun has a solid Black/White spirit-based deck. He seems like a nice guy and game 1 is looking well for me, since I have a Kokusho on the board, until he plays his own Kokusho. We have a nice laugh and I eventually draw either a Bile Urchin or Devouring Greed for the win. Game 2 I draw a ton of lands and he wins with a top decked Devouring Greed. Game 3 he stalls on mana and I win quickly with my guys.

Record 8-2

Actually I couldn’t remember anything from that round besides us both having Kokusho and him peeling Greed before I could to win a game. I don’t even remember what order those games happened in, so if Shaun wants to post in the forums what actually happened that’d be nice.

Round 11: Michael Patnik

I hear from some people in my pod that his deck is ridiculous. I wouldn’t expect anything less. Game 1 I curve out nicely with Takanobu Bleeders and a couple of other guys. He stalls on mana for a while, and I get him low enough to win with a couple of Bile Urchins to the dome. Game 2 is looking very good for me because of my good curve again, but he top decks Meloku and I lose shortly after. The third game I get out a turn 6 Kokusho along with a couple of Bleeders. My hand contains 2 Bile Urchins and Devouring Greed and I have Kokusho, two other spirits and two Bleeders in play. He has just stabilized at, well, 20 life and has Blue honden, a million guys out, and two flyers. I know that my only way of winning was to get one attack with Kokusho in and finish him with Greed, which is exactly what happened. I attack with Kokusho and he could have either chumped with a Cloudskater or a Shimmering Glasskite. He decides to go down to 15, which presumably seems safe. I proceed to play both Urchins after combat and cast Devouring Greed (x=4) sacrificing my Kokusho in the process, dealing him exactly 20 in one turn. I was later told he also had a Patron of the Kitsune. Nice Deck.

Record: 9-2

So I 3-0’d the pod, which makes me pretty happy. I should probably be at table 2 for the next pod and need a 2-0-1 to make Top 8. Here’s was my next pod:


Wolff, Zach


Lepinski, Chris


Pelcak, John


Berkowitz, Jordan


Szleifer, Gadiel


Martel, Jason


Brown, Chester


Smith, Kyle

Doesn’t really seem to be any harder than my first pod. I am seated to the right of Berkowitz and Gadiel, so I should be getting some nice cards from the “guys” to my right. I know Zach from random PTQs in Nebraska and I couldn’t get away from Kyle Smith the entire tournament.

My first pack contains a Glacial Ray and nothing else is close to it, so I pick it up. I get passed some solid White cards including a late Cage of Hands. I get a late Godo and hope to mise a Maul the next pack or something. I ship a Sosuke to Berkowitz late knowing that he likes Green, in hope of getting some nice picks in the next pack and it pays off. I open a pack with absolutely nothing close to what I wanted and take Kitsune Riftwalker. Berkowitz passes me a Glacial Ray, which gives me new hope for the deck. I then get a third-pick Nagao followed by Indomitable Will, Blessed Breath, and a Masako. I top it off by getting a 7th pick Godo’s Maul, which has got to be the best combo in CCB draft. Next pack I don’t get much besides the two Waxmane Bakus and a second pick Shining Shoal (how lucky). Here’s what I ended up with:

1 Devoted Retainer

1 Kami of False Hope

1 Split-tail Miko

1 Masako, the something

1 Kitsune Riftwalker

2 Waxmane Baku

2 Kitsune Healer

1 Mothrider Samurai

1 Nagao

2 Kami of Painted Road

1 Godo, Bandit Mauler

1 Samurai Enforcers

1 Hundred-talon Strike

2 Glacial Ray

1 Indomitable Will

1 Shining Shoal

1 Blessed Breathe

1 Cage of Hands

1 Tenza, Godo’s Maul

11 Plains

6 Mountain

The deck turned out to be good besides the two Kami of the Painted Roads that I was forced to play because of a low creature count. I like Kami of the Painted Road in sealed, but not in draft. Removing a card to cast Shining Shoal for free splicing Glacial Ray onto it seems good. Too bad I never drew either of these cards together and only drew Glacial Ray once. I didn’t have any trouble however drawing multiple Painted Roads and Kitsune Healers in a game though.

Round 12: Gadiel Szleifer

Sigh, the one person that I didn’t want to play against. We figure that we can both make it without looking at the standings and I was pretty sure I could 2-0 with this deck, so we draw. BDM said he thought about doing a feature match with us, but figured we would draw. So smart.

Record 9-2-1

Round 13: Chris Lepinski

This was the guy to my left that passed me all the good White cards and knows I have a Shining Shoal, but didn’t play around it at all. Game 1 I get destroyed by a turn 4 Fumiko after he played a guy turns 1-3. I would have won easily if I drew a Glacial Ray, but no sir. Game 2 I get a good start with Split-tail Miko and Nagao. He has Fumiko again (obv), but I have Shining Shoal to take care of it. I eventually win with a Kitsune Healer + Masako combo, which he concedes to. Game 3 he curves out again and I draw my sh***ers, again. He plays a late Fumiko and I draw more sh***ers. He gave me a couple of turns to draw Shining Shoal, and then didn’t play around it the last turn, but I don’t draw it so I lose. Figures.

Record 9-3-1

Round 14: Zach Wolff

Like I said before, I kind of know him from PTQs in Nebraska. Seems like a decent guy. Game 1 looks like he is mono-Green and I think he is color screwed or something, but he actually he mono-Green. He plays a Genju of the Cedars and gets me low, but I eventually stabilize on Kitsune Healer, Masako, Miko, and Nagao before the kids and a Mothrider take it home. Game 2 was all big Roads (Painted Road). Seemed like every turn I was giving it protection from Green and dealing him 3. He plays a very early Orochi Hatchery, which scares me a little and we start to race. I think he misplayed when attacking three of his tokens into two of my guys just to get in a point. Maybe he was just trying to bluff a pump spell, but I don’t know. I eventually draw a Kami of the False Hope, which is insane against mono-Green apparently and win with a Mothrider Samurai equipped with Maul.

Record 10-3-1

So after starting 5-2, I finish at 10-3-1, which I was happy about, but still was disappointed for not Top 8ing. I got very lucky to make Day 2 at 63rd and even more luck came my when I saw that I got 16th. My last 2 Limited GP’s I’ve placed 16th both times. Hopefully I can get 8th one of these days. The Top 8 was actually the best I have ever seen. Every single person in the Top 8 has Top 8’d a Grand Prix or Pro Tour (or Nationals). Even the Top 16 had some names with Gadiel, myself, Krempels and John Fiorillo. I wanted either Pat Sullivan, who I’m starting to become a fan of, or Mike Krumb, who I have known for a while, to win, but Mike ended up losing in the semis after beating Pat. Taka and I were stuck at the site until the following night, so he decided to get some drafts in, while I decided to get yelled at by a judge for kidding around and offering Matt Abrahms’ (xeracy on modo) opponent in the PTQ Cosmic Bowling and half a pizza plus some chicken kickers to concede. Apparently that was a bad idea and I learned my lesson from that. Matt still owes me a Dominos large Pepperoni Pizza and Chicken Kickers to go with it. We ordered Dominos at the site, but either it never came or we didn’t wait in the lobby long enough. I would assume two hours would be long enough. Anyway back to testing for this weekend. Thanks for reading… Bearl.

Ashkar on modo (geeg)

Ken Bearl on AIM