Tonight Is The Night I Feel Asleep At The Wheel: Diary Of A Bad Magic Player

I guess my preparation for the Extended season started as soon as the Kentucky State Championships were over. I had the Master’s decklists everywhere I went, and was busy trying to figure out what the best decks could be. I thought Trix would be tough, and Trade Survival would be everywhere. I did, however, want…

I guess my preparation for the Extended season started as soon as the Kentucky State Championships were over. I had the Master’s decklists everywhere I went, and was busy trying to figure out what the best decks could be. I thought Trix would be tough, and Trade Survival would be everywhere. I did, however, want to build a competitive Extended deck without having to spend several paychecks to do so. That thought, however, kept me from making the best decks. I missed out on CounterSliver, Turboland, and the ever-popular Oath decks. After looking at the decklist again, I decided that I could build any of the following decks:





Space to think about what I built:

Space to realize that I am a bad Magic player:

Sligh: It is a red deck that centers around the power of cheese and cheap efficient creatures. Any kid with the basic fundamentals of Magic can win with this deck. However, it does have its own little intricacies. I mean, do you burn the critter or the opponent? I feel dumb when I play Sligh – or red, actually – so I stay as far away from this deck type as I can.

Forbidian. Jon Finkel played this at the Masters Series, and I had been itching to use my Ophidians in a real tournament. However, his comments about the deck in an interview I did with him (Which can be found at 7towers.net OR Starcityccg.com) made me think that this would be the wrong call. When the world’s best player calls himself a jackass for playing it, I also have to stay away.

Stompy: In my mind, this is just a different color Sligh. Replacing the burn for combat tricks such as Giant Growth, Wild Might, and Bounty of the Hunt, it is a wonder this deck does not see more play with Cursed Scroll (naming FIREBLAST!). When I tested this deck I never seemed to get the right amount of stuff that I needed, so I put it away.

Fish: Well, Faithful Reader, you’ve gotten this far and saw me blast three other deck types – have you figured out what I played yet? Packing Counterspells, cheap merfolk, Curiosity, and the ever-powerful Lord of Atlantis, I thought I had a potent recipe for a PTQ win. I built this the night before the tournament, and tested it against Trix (which I owned) and TradeSurvival (which I only played one game against). I did not test this deck well enough – and if I had, I would have been watching the tournament instead of playing in it.

Round One. Bedford Crenshaw. Sligh.

Yeesh. If you keep up with anything on MTGnews.com, you would have recognized this name. He and I have had an ongoing argument about the tournament status in Kentucky, and he always has unkind words to say about some of my friends. We let each other know our feelings on the message board, and the air was hot when I sat down to face him in the first round.

Aside: You know, when I look at Magic players these days, I see a lot of things. I see players that are dressed nice, ones that are dressed and bathed, and the ones that look like they only get new clothes at Christmas time. I always bathe before a tournament and I do believe in the power of deodorant – but some people don’t, and this very well could be a reason Magic is not taken as seriously as it could be. I can’t stress strongly enough the power of being clean.

Game One: I apply quick steady beats, but I fail to Counterspell a Cursed Scroll. This ends up costing me the match, as he throws his Scroll at my fish, and chucks his childish burn at me.

In between rounds, I witness what may be the most bizarre thing I have ever seen in my life: He picks up his deck, fans it out, and plants a wet one on it! He kissed his deck, and something goes off in me, thinking unkindly that it may have been the only thing he has kissed beside his mother.

Game Two: Bedford applies beats like it is something out of a bad 1980s movie. I try to counter stuff, but I lose this bad match. We finally speak to each other after the game and I realize my mistake.

If you are going to trashtalk, talk that trash DURING the round, not after it.

And that, readers, is exactly what I did. Getting the attention of the guys next to me, I get in a rant that sees me call my friend Shaun Cobble over to make sure that I do not get up and attack this poor poor man. He continued to kiss his deck and his penguin, and he MOONWALKED away from the table. Shaun laughed at me, and the rest of my friends did as well. I had talked about getting a piece of him all the way up to Indy – and when I did, I choked. He did win the game, and he did so without having to resort to unfair tactics (even though kissing his deck threw me off a bit). He won the game, but so far it looks as if I have won the game of life.


Round Two. Todd. Stompy.

Yet another match that I did no testing against. I thought that no one would be playing it. After this round, I was sadly mistaken.

Todd is a good guy, and we were able to get some trading done before I left the city.

Games One and Two: I remember nothing from this match, except this – he stomped a mudhole in me. He did it with a quickness, and at the same time, pretty much ended my hopes for making the top eight. He played his deck well and deserved the win.

0-2, 0-4

Round Three. Guy Whose Name I Have Forgotten. Rogue.

Game One: I get out some early merfolk and am able to counter away whatever threats he tries to cast (Diabolic Edict). Two Lords of Atlantis seal this game. He attempts to block my fish, but when I point out that they have islandwalk and he has an Underground Sea in play, he scoops.

Game Two: He elects to play. He sets a turn one, two and three Cursed Scroll on the board. I considered Misdirecting a Fact or Fiction to him so he could stop killing my stuff, but I think that may have been an illegal play. I scoop on turn 6.

Game Three: I beat him down the way fish are supposed to beat someone down. Turns three and four see a plethora of merfolk, while the Lords of Atlantis (not to be confused with the Lord of the Dance) Crusade my creatures, and in the end they take them to an Underground Sea for a bit of a vacation.

Round Four. Shaun Cobble. Rogue.

Hooray! I get to play two people that I know at this tournament. The king of Old School Beats brought a decklist with him to this PTQ – and Jamie Gray, Robert Knecht, and I helped him complete his deck before the end of registration. I hate playing against friends; I always seem to make more mistakes.

Game One: Trashtalk is rampant between the two of us, and he can talk a great deal. The difference between him and I, though, is that he can back up his mess. People are wondering if we know each other, and in a very weak attempt to get attention, the game to our right was trying to outtalk us. Sorry, guys, but you lost – you just can not match up to our wits, and you got rolled like it was 1996. (Thank you, Brian Hacker.)

Anyway the first game was short, I drew into two Legacy’s Allures, a Hydroblast, and another random sideboard card. Mistakes from States are now biting me in the butt. I lost this game, and it was because of a simple mistake that I could have prevented… had I actually looked at my deck in between rounds.

Game Two: I lose interest in playing this match, Cobble eventually outcreatures me, and then I get outcountered. The end of this round is watched by his current female (hi, Betsy) and we go report after I crash and burn at yet another PTQ.


Round Five. Nick. Lake Hate

I do not remember his name, but I do remember my envy of him for being ballsy enough to play Hatred at a PTQ. He played the deck very well, but I think he ran into to many Counterspells/Shocks at this event.

Game One: He attempts to block with a shadow critter, and I feel like I already have this game won. He cast some critters, but at this point I have a Lord and I attack; he loses all of his critters, while mine can swoop in for the kill next turn. However turn three sees him try to Hatred his lone shadow guy, and I counter the spell. On to two.

He plays first and Rituals out a Negator! (Yep, Ritualed it out; three swamps equals one Dark Ritual!) I have a Manta Rider that is Curious, and a Vodalian Merchant that is willing to chump his Negator. Turn Six he plays a Duress while I have a Force of Will, a Misdirection, and Brainstorm. I Brainstorm hide my Force and the Misdirection, and he is forced to stare at a hand full of creatures. I get the Misdirection back, and the next turn he tries to Hate his Negator; I block with the Merchant, Misdirect the Hate to it, and whip him clean of permanents. I go on to win this round.


What did I learn here? Adrian Sullivan is a great guy, he signed my playmat, and I hope one day to get more people to sign it for me.

Cursed Scroll is the bane of every creature deck that is not using Slivers.

Fish is a good deck in the environment, as long as you see no red or green.

Stasis is a viable deck in this format.

Flame Rift should be able to find its way into a Stupid Red Deck.

I did enjoy my time here. I got to see some people that I have not seen since States, or people that I have not seen since I lived in Minnesota (Adrian). It was a good weekend, and I had a good time with my friends.


Robert Knecht. Thanks for the ride up, the sideboard cards, and not getting the rest of team Your Momma killed on the way back. When I get my license, I promise that I will drive.

Team Your Momma. You guys are great.


Me. Really, who makes the same mistake twice? Who gets the game of his life and chokes on it?

I hope to see some of you at PTQ Nashville.

Joshua Claytor