The Magic Show #122 – Post-States Bliss

The StarCityGames.com $5,000 Standard open Comes to Philadelphia!
Friday, November 14th – Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to take a look back at States – a video montage of the event, what I played, how I did, and the impact of the excellent turnout nationwide. We also have a special visit from Patrick Chapin and more. Let’s go!

Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to take a look back at States – a video montage of the event, what I played, how I did, and the impact of the excellent turnout nationwide. We also have a special visit from Patrick Chapin and more. Let’s go!

States 2008

States returned last weekend and boy, did you guys put your money where your mouth is. Attendance in Tennessee shattered all previous records, and we didn’t even receive enough promos to provide to players. 154 showed up in my neck of the woods, and a fantastic time was had by all.

Back in February, it seems so long ago, but I was seriously pissed off that my favorite tournament of the year was getting the axe. That is a worry no longer. Whether or not Wizards of the Coast gets behind States 2009, I can definitely tell you that many tournament organizers are willing and ready to hold another next November.

Tennessee, of course, wasn’t the exception. We had incredible turnouts in North Carolina, where they shattered records by getting over 200 players, and in California there were almost 300 entries. These are encouraging numbers, and it sends the message to Wizards of the Coast loud and clear: States is not only wanted, but proven to work.

My hope in all of this is that Wizards of the Coast really does States 2009 right. Whether it’s reinstating the global Champs program or just giving lip service to the Tournament Organizers who hold States 2009, it’s a fantastic feeling to see it back in action.

Special thanks to Glenn Goddard for culling this together, and next year I hope we get an ‘actual’ States or Champs promo, custom created for the event itself. I’m telling you right now, if there was a participation extended art foil of Bant Charm for States 2008, I’m confident you’d have seen even better attendance. Foils, promotions, and Wizards involvement is crucial to getting the best States possible. I mean, let’s face it, I don’t think a single player showed up just to get the foil Dauntless Dourbark, whereas a cool, Shards of Alara extended art foil would’ve been a much better marketing tool.

So if you want Champs to return to your area if you’re overseas, or States 2009 to rock like a hurricane, then be sure to let Wizards know about it. They hold the keys to either support or abandon a States program and move forward with what has and will always be one of the funnest tournaments of the year.

So what did I bring to the tournament? This spicy little Four-Color Control number:

This isn’t Cruel Control, but it’s close. The key interaction of the deck is using Garruk Wildspeaker with Fertile Ground to get an extra mana out of his first ability. This allows you to do plays like Turn 2 Fertile Ground, Turn 3 play Garruk Wildspeaker, untap two lands, then play Kitchen Finks or evoke Mulldrifter. Incredibly powerful stuff that allows you to play Turn 5 Ultimatums, of which this greedy deck has four of total.

In Round 1 I played against a Five-Color Control build. He got mana-screwed Game 1 while I resolved Cruel Ultimatum on Turn 6. Game 2 he had what seemed like endless Cryptic Commands, and Game 3 I pulled ahead with Garruk and he couldn’t stop the beats from Kitchen Finks.

Round 2 I keep a kick ass hand with two Tidings, a Mulldrifter, three lands and Garruk Wildspeaker. This hand would’ve been awesome except anything but Red Deck Wins… which he’s playing, of course. I get crushed in Game 1 after I keep a slow hand, win Game 2 thanks to Primal Command, and in Game 3 I have the following play situation:

My opponent has five cards in hand, three lands in play, no creatures on the board. He hit me with Stigma Lasher on Turn 3, so Primal Command isn’t gaining any life for me this game. He plays Graven Cairns… and passes the turn. Hrm. With four cards he obviously has something juicy like double Demigod of Revenge or something. At least one.

So on my turn, with five mana (four lands and a Fertile Ground), I play Primal Command, putting his Graven Cairns on top and search up a Fulminator Mage.

The following turn he plays Cairns and passes. Myself, having just drawn two non-lands in a row, had a choice. I could:

a) Play Fulminator Mage and pass the turn with Mulldrifter in hand and two mana limply left open…


b) Evoke Mulldrifter with the chance I draw a land being pretty good, and any doesn’t-come-into-play-tapped land would allow me to play Fulminator and have six mana for Broodmate (a.k.a. Double) Dragon next turn.

So instead of the safe route, where I would just hardcast the Mulldrifter the following turn, I Evoked ‘drifter, drew Cruel Ultimatum and something else that didn’t say Land, and he untaps, plays a Mountain and Demigod of Revenge. While I stay in it for
another turn or three, I’m dead soon after. Ouch.

In Round 3 I play another excellent player with Faeries. He draw Turn 2 Bitterblossom and double Spellstutter Sprite in both games. Without some way to push through damage or resolve spells I’m dead. I drop with a Squire-tastic 1-2.

Am I disappointed? Sure. But I had a great time at the event. Lots of friends were there, side drafts were flowing, and the reports from around the country said that States was a success and things were looking up for 2009. You can’t ask for much more than that.

So for all the State champions that were crowned this past weekend, including Pennsylvania’s own Brett Blackman and Indiana’s own Cedric Phillips, congratulations and let’s make 2009 even better.

For those looking for more Standard action this weekend, be sure to visit OMG Games! $2,500 Standard Open happening tomorrow in Ontario, Canada. For those not into Standard there’s the Ontario Vintage Championships, a $500 Sealed Deck challenge and more. Details are available on their website.

States Video Montage

Special Segment – Fireside Chat w/ Patrick Chapin

(Both of these segments are transcript-less)

So until next week Magic players, this is Evan Erwin. Tapping the cards… so you don’t have to.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubs dubs dubs misterorangeproductions dot coms
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Who wants more fireside chats?