The Daily Shot: Behold The Terror Of My Deck!

  • My deck is like a box of Raisin Bran. Every match consists of two scoops.

  • My deck is so good, Kamahl/Shower decks pay it protection money.

  • My deck is so amazing, it entered itself in a flight and already won me a box. It has a deck of its own that is better than yours.

  • Hollywood children go to bed at night and pray to God, Steven Spielberg, and my deck…and not in that order.

For the uninitiated, let me catch you up on where we left off. Here’s the situation: The Canadian players are out to try and take a chunk of the prize at the Prerelease in Garden City, Michigan. The prize in question? Judgment boxes. We’re like the guys from Ocean’s Eleven, one big crew out out to make the big score.

I guess we’re more like”Yotian’s Eleven.”

When it comes to ugly plays on words, the type that would make Isaac Asimov roll over in his grave. I’m a genius!

Not only that, but it sounded wussy. Who names their group after a 1/4? Still, I’m blameless – it’s not my job to sound bad-ass. We’re Magic players, for crying out loud!

Yotian’s Eleven is a dandy name. We even have a white van, a shortened version of the model that Bernie Mac was able to buy from that dealership on the cheap, thanks to his persuasive handshake and knowledge of skin softeners. Ahh…. Long live Bernie Mac, the finest black comedian of our age and the man who taught me that, in his words,”if you’re old enough to talk back, you’re old enough to get ****ed up.”

Yes, Bernie Mac, so brilliant as”Dolla’ Bill” in the otherwise unremarkable movie”The Player’s Club.” We need more men of such delightful flamboyance and vision.

Let me run through the team just so you have a vague idea of who I’m talking about should I need to mention them, for better or for worse.

The guys from Canada are myself (Geordie Tait), the UNbeatable Babin Brothers, Kevin”Trying To Win A Box But” Phelan, Mark Weymouth, Nick”Grandpappy” Martiniuk, Andy”**** Me For A Buck” Kornet, Chris(t) Borek, Teabaggin’ Trent Rogers,”Evil” Matt Fox, and last but not least, Jay Vanderwielen, the noted vehicular speeder and keeper of the feared and oft-revealed”Forbidden Ass.”

Garden City is in for some good times today. We’re a spirited bunch of guys.

Once again, I’ve packed sandwiches for the afternoon – but in trying to eat healthy, I’ve encountered a small problem: Nick Martiniuk is the devil. Every time I think I’ve escaped fast food, he shows up with five cheeseburgers, raves about the great prices, and proceeds to offer me one. To make matters worse, later on he buys me dinner at McDonalds on the way out of town. And who am I to refuse? I don’t have the willpower to resist such temptation.

The lesson is simple – don’t try to lose weight around Nick Martiniuk, especially if you have no willpower.

If you were reading yesterday, you know what I opened…a ton of powerful cards spread out over all five colors. I’m running a three-color deck with GGG, WW, and B requirements. Sound crazy? Well, it’s not the most stable of manabases, but the cards are worth it – Battle Screech, Glory, Overrun, Grizzly Fate, two Treacherous Vampires, and some great removal and creatures. If I get my mana, I won’t lose many games.

Time for Round 1. Will I taste the honeysuckle sweetness of victory, or the secondhand cheeseburger belch flavor of bitter, bitter defeat?

Round 1 vs. Todd Davis w/ U/G

Todd is a pretty good player and it looks like I’m in for a tough Round 1. His deck has got middle-quality Blue and Green cards, but it’s mostly just Aboshan. Of course,”just Aboshan” is good enough to run draft tables from Burkina Faso to the Alps, so it’s likely this guy will be good for my tiebreakers if I can beat him… Especially since Aboshan hammers on G/W and that’s most of the field.

Game 1:

I stall the ground and cast a turn 5 Glory. He doesn’t attack because Glory is like the Moat with wings and an attitude. Then I put an Ironshell Beetle counter on it and it’s suddenly 4/4. I stall the ground and then put Seton’s Desire on the Glory and start serving for six in the air. It ends quickly thereafter.

Looking up, that match coverage looks pretty short. Of course, nothing much happened besides what I described, so if I was going to make it longer I’d have to tell some sort of well-embellished anecdote replete with tastelessness and human folly.

Right now, nothing like that comes to mind.

I just added two paragraphs to this coverage just by wondering aloud how I could accomplish just that.

I love writing.

I sideboard out my Prismatic Spray for a Plains.

Game 2:

I get off to a slow start here, and though we have a standoff of sorts around turn 6 or 7, I’ve only just cast Grizzly Fate when he finds Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor. There’s not much I can do without Ghastly Demise, which I’ve already used on a Phantom Tiger. A couple of turns worth of attacks has me dead, even after flashing back Grizzly Fate. Big, small, numerous, or singular… Aboshan taps ’em all. The declaration of each step of the process, each turn, is like an incantation against what losses may come.

“I’ll declare an attack. Before blockers are declared, I’ll tap all creatures without flying.”

I fold.

No sideboard changes.

Game 3:

You know what really chews the proverbial bowel burger? Starting off 0-1. I’d rather drop the soap at Riker’s. If I don’t win this game, it’s going to be a long climb up the list. You know the one I mean. The one that hangs on the wall starting Round 4, maybe Round 5. The day starts out fresh and anything can happen, sure. Later on though, when lunch has come and gone and you’re starting to think about dinner, it goes up unannounced.


And below, your fate is writ.

Black letters on white paper, dangling there like the pale, flaccid unmentionables of an octagenarian. If you’re near the bottom, having lost in Round 1 and probably once or twice more, this list is nothing more than the lifeless wang of defeat. Enjoy the ride home.

If you’re doing well though…


So anyhow – Game 3.

He’s threatening first with a Wormfang Drake, but on turn five the Treacherous Vampire comes out to play.

Todd Davis:”I figured you might have splashed for that.”

I lock up the ground with Zombie Infestation, Grizzly Fate and Hallowed Healer, and start swinging with the big guy. Eventually he has to block with his Wormfang Drake, and I put Seton’s Desire on the Vampire and start swinging for six. He has no answers.

His life: 16, 10,4,0.

Match Record: 1-0

The mana came together that time, and the deck performed. Grizzly Fate is just great – it mucks up the ground like a garbage strike. Then the big guys come over the top and claim the prize.

Round 2. SCHWING!

Round 2 vs. David James w/ U/G/W

David is playing a three-color deck that includes the powerful combination of Wormfang Crab and Nantuko Disciple.

Game 1:

And he’s got it out on me in Game 1. I’ve got Zombie Infestation and some weenies, but nothing big. Looks like I could be in trouble. He’s stalled the ground and he’s serving with the Crab and pumping it up to 5/8. Even if it were blockable, I couldn’t do much to kill it… And Kirtar’s Desire is nowhere to be found. My life has gone from eighteen to thirteen to eight. I have no time.

Remember though…my deck is full of bombs. And I have one big one in my hand.

I cast Grizzly Fate, take another five damage to go to three life, make a couple of Zombies at the end of his turn, and then untap and Overrun to kill him from seventeen life.

Imagine how much it sucks to be David James in that position? It doesn’t just suck in the conventional way either; this isn’t the type of sucking where you can just say”it sucks” and be done with it. This brand of suckiness has to be elaborated upon. It is the type of suckiness that drives men to wince when they even read about it. He was going up 1-0 in this match and there are two cards that can change that… Kirtar’s Wrath and Overrun. Sure enough, I have the Overrun and instead of going up 1-0, he has to win two straight. It doesn’t just suck to be David James, it smokes the biggest pole in the land. Books will be written about the absolute misery of losing to Overrun.

Still, what can he do besides shake his head and pack ’em up? I’ve got more bombs than Bomberson, and let me tell you, that’s a lot. (As you can probably tell from the name, Bomberson has one heck of a lot of bombs).

  • My deck is like a box of Raisin Bran. Every match consists of two scoops.

  • My deck is so good, Kamahl/Shower decks pay it protection money.

  • My deck is so amazing, it entered itself in a flight and already won me a box. It has a deck of its own that is better than yours.

  • Hollywood children go to bed at night and pray to God, Steven Spielberg, and my deck…and not in that order.

I decide to try and control the Crab and side out all of my Black, bringing in my Blue including the Puppeteer.

Game 2:

I get turn 3 Puppeteer, and then a fast Wormfang Drake and Giant Warthog. Puppeteer just owns the table and all of my attacks meet little resistance. It helps a lot that he’s land-flooded.

I wish there were more to say about this game, but he gets maybe two creatures and neither one of them is a match for what I’ve got. The Puppeteer takes care of one and the others are either too small for the ‘Hog and don’t fly.

He pulls out a last-ditch Chastise on the ‘Hog, but I don’t miss a beat – I’ve got Grizzly Fate and then a Treacherous Vampire. A couple of turns later, that’s the match.

Match Record: 2-0

Everything is going according to plan. No major mana problems, and the sheer power of the deck is leading me to victory. Let’s move on to Round 3.

Round 3 vs. Bill VanBergen w/ U/B/G

This match was a beating. All I know is what colors he played and the fact that his deck had Wonder in it. I crushed him and didn’t take a single point of damage.

Yeah I know… I’m not exactly leaving you in suspense. If you want to spend half of your time wondering what the hell is going on, go read Boydell’s article from last week – it’s like Edgar Allen Poe butting heads with Tom Greene.

Game 1:

I lead with Benevolent Bodyguard, kill Ironshell Beetle with a Toxic Stench in response to it getting the counter, and then play a turn 3 Hallowed Healer, followed by Grizzly Fate on turns 5 and 6. Meanwhile, he gets out a lone Wonder – but it isn’t much of a clock, so he plays Wormfang Drake and buries it under there.

You know what sucks when you’ve just buried your Wonder under a Drake? A thresholded Kirtar’s Desire. His face goes from hard to limp like morning wood after you stumble to the bathroom and empty your bladder.

I run him over and sideboard the usual.

Game 2:

Another obscene game. Turn 1 Benevolent Bodyguard, turn 2 Werebear, turn 3 Battle Screech and flash it back, turn 4 Grizzly Fate, turn 5 flashback on Grizzly Fate.

I attack with birds and bears and he’s dead in no time. His life goes 20, 16, 10, 2, dead. Have I mentioned Grizzly Fate is good? This deck is a beating. I just smoked this guy and I didn’t even draw my”bomb” cards like Treacherous Vampire x2, Overrun, or Glory.

Match Record: 3-0

Chris Borek and Matt Fox are both also 3-0. Looks like the Sarnia guys are making good. Time to see if I can keep that one win cushion under my ass for a few rounds longer.

Round 4 vs. Chris”Christ” Borek w/ W/G

Chris simply opened a very solid deck with tons of white and green Phantom creatures, efficient early drops, good tricks, and two Battle Screeches. I’m sorry, but that is just broken, and there’s no White Judgment uncommon of which I’d rather open two – not even Chastise. He’s made it to 3-0 with solid play and a solid deck that is super consistent – two colours, strong cards and a great mana curve.

Game 1:

I win this one, but unfortunately, my notes are sparse. I do know that we both cast one Battle Screech, which ended up cancelling each other out. I’m betting it probably involved a quick standoff at the early-midgame, and then a win with my Treacherous Vampires. I know it wasn’t Glory – because except for Game 1, Round 1, I never even drew Glory all day. I know it wasn’t Overrun because his life went down gradually and not from 17-0 like some sort of inverse Mercedes.

The main point is that I won.

Game 2:

Here’s the notes for Game 2.

Mana flood + too fast draw for Chris + color screw.

I think this was the game where I drew one Plains and six Forests, and died with a bunch of double white and black spells in hand, having cast nothing but a Benevolent Bodyguard all game. No one to blame but the deck… That’s the danger of running three colors.

So it’ll come down to game three, and once again an even game turns lopsided because of one card. Guess which one.

Game 3:

My turns this game:

Land. Benevolent Bodyguard. Go.

Land. Ironshell Beetle. Go.

Land. Nullmage Advocate. Go.

Land. Go. At the end of your turn, Elephant Ambush.

Land. Overrun. Attack with everything for a total of 22 damage.

All of your guys die because they have to block or you die. You end up taking sixteen damage and losing every creature you have. I, on the other hand, keep all of my creatures.

Good game.

What can I say? Has there ever been a better uncommon for limited than Overrun? And though it hardly seems possible, it’s even better when the entire format is built around creature combat. Overrun is sick.

Match Record: 4-0

Matt Fox is 4-0, and Kevin Phelan is 3-0-1.

Round 5 vs. Kevin”Trying To Q But” Phelan w/ W/G

Kevin has an excellent deck as well, and you can find his report here.

He did well despite some suspect card evaluation when it comes to Limited. A couple of weeks ago he tried to convince some guy in a team draft not to play Squirrel Nest. Now, he says in his report that he made a mistake in running Spellbane Centaur.

Yeah Kevin, 3/2 creatures for three mana suck in Limited. *rolls eyes*

Ok, in all seriousness… he’s a terrific technical player, but why would you ever not play a 3/2 creature for three mana? Especially one with a nice bonus like Spellbane Centaur? You don’t think people are going to be opening Aether Bursts and Repels in their Odyssey starters? And what about Cephalid Retainer or Puppeteer?

Sigh. The worst part is that I still lost to him.

Game 1:

I got land flooded early, and I’m trying to dig out of it with a Giant Warthog on turn 6, but he’s kept up the pressure the whole time with efficient creatures, and I can’t stand up to his attacks with just the ‘Hog and a few stragglers. He ends up slapping down Unquestioned Authority on a Phantom Tiger and serving. I can’t use my Patriarch’s Desire because he has Sylvan Safekeeper, so I have to take the damage, and just as I’m getting back into it by drawing several useful spells in a row, he ends it with Muscle Burst.

Game 2:

I get manascrewed and he goes Sylvan Safekeeper, Wild Mongrel, Phantom Tiger, and Phantom Centaur on the first four turns. There’s nothing I can do but die.

As usual for when I lose, I get pissy and leave the table in a hurry to go stew a little.

Match Record: 4-1

Kevin asks me if I’m pissed off at him, and of course I am not… I’m just pissed off in general. Now I have to win Round 6 so I can draw in Round 7. A loss and it’s over. Kevin, now 4-0-1, will be playing”Evil” Matt Fox, who is 5-0. Normally I’d still be confident, but I know who I have to play. Peter Jesuale. People have been talking about his deck all day.

Round 6 vs. Peter Jesuale w/ U/W/G

People have been talking about this guy’s deck all day. I’ve seen in it action, when it crushed Jean-Marc Babin in Round 4. Table to table, people are watching him play and they can only shake their heads – they’ve never seen anything so degenerate in Limited.

The question is on every set of lips.”Have you seen the guy with the two Mirari’s Wake in his deck?”

“Yeah, it’s absolutely sick… He has Upheaval too. Last round I saw him Upheaval and then drop a Tunneling Wurm and an Aven Flock on the same turn,” they reply. Then continue on about how he also has a Nantuko Monastary, and an Aven Flock that can pump so high on defense that when it’s toughness is read, stockbrokers yell”Sell, Sell!”

So yeah… I have to play the guy with two copies of Mirari’s Wake and an Upheaval in his deck. I asked Jean-Marc Babin what he said to Peter after their match, and he replied:”I told him you’re not allowed to go to the dealer and pick out your rares before the event.”

I have to play him, and beat him, or no box.

Game 1:

You know how Overrun gives all of your creatures +3/+3 and trample for the turn? Pretty broken, right? Well, in this game I have to send my creatures into combat against a guy with two Mirari’s Wake on the table and a Brawn in the graveyard. His guys have +2/+2 and trample every turn. All the time.

I try to fight for a while, but who am I kidding? He kicks the absolute crap out of me. I would like to be more articulate, sure, but let’s call a spade a spade.

I side in both copies of Ray Of Revelation.

Game 2:

Now it’s my turn to show him what my deck can do.

I flash a Battle Screech on turn 4, and then play a Werebear on turn 5. His first play was a turn 4 Aven Cloudchaser, which I ran over with Muscle Burst while nailing him for three.

He taps out on his turn 5 for Mirari’s Wake, and I throw Overrun out on the table. With the Werebear and the Bird tokens, it’s twenty damage, and the game is over.

Every game should be so easy. That was even more lopsided than Game 1.

So it comes down to this. His deck is nothing great, but still very solid, if he can’t keep the Wake on the table. I have two Ray Of Revelations and an Aven Cloudchaser in the deck. If they don’t come up and his Wake does, only Overrun or Glory is going to save me. If I keep Wake off the table, Upheaval is less of a bomb and my deck matches up well with his.

Game 3:

It starts out neck and neck. I do indeed draw a Ray of Revelation, and it does indeed get rid of his Wake, with the flashback ensuring that his second Wake won’t cause problems either.

We trade damage until we’re both at about twelve, and then I hit him for six more before he trades Brawn for one of my guys and totally stalls me. Gradually, he starts hitting back, but I draw Giant Warthog and that, combined with my Hallowed Healer, holds the fort. There was little room to spare – I’m at three life.

I have only a Warthog and Healer (no threshold), and he has an Aven Cloudchaser and a Nantuko Monastery, also without threshold. I swing with the ‘Hog and he doesn’t block. That puts him at six, and I’m at three. On his turn, he lays a land and sacrifices his Timberland Ruins for green mana, putting him at threshold and bringing his Monastery online. He uses the green mana to activate it.

I have five cards in my graveyard and one card in hand. Threshold would be nice, but threshold isn’t what I’m interested in. The card in my hand is Ghastly Demise. Though under normal circumstances I could chump-block his Monastery with my Healer and prevent the Aven damage, living long enough to ‘Hog him to death, I can’t do that because Brawn is in the graveyard and the Monastery would just trample on over for the win.

He sees this, and sends for the win. Sure enough though, I Ghastly Demise the Monastery and that’s all she wrote… The Warthog finishes him on the following turn.

Match Record: 5-1

YESSSS! That’s a box of Judgment right there… And I beat the strongest deck at the tournament to do it! That’s what I call gratifying. I intentionally draw in Round 7, and when the standings are announced, I’m 2nd. Kevin Phelan manages to beat Pat Chapin’s uncle for first. Matt Fox is 4th, and Chris Borek sneaks into 8th place.

You know you’re playing with the right people, locally, when four people who play at your local store fill up half the Top 8 at a prerelease.

I hope you enjoyed the report. I’ll see you tomorrow for more of the same drivel I usually spew.

Geordie Tait

[email protected]