Normally, for an event like a Pro Tour, more time is spent onsite than traveling thanks to a little invention called the”airplane.” This time, however, was different. I woke up Monday morning (three days before I was supposed to leave for Seattle) with a searing pain in my chest, and my parents took me to the hospital. I found out that I have a recurring case of a pneumo thorax, which is an air bubble in between my lung and ribcage. Yeah, it hurts like a bitch.
Anyway, the doctor told me that I couldn’t fly anywhere at all for two weeks as the changing altitudes of the plane would cause my lung to collapse. I think I dropped a load in my pants right there. I told my parents that it was worth the”risk”, but being the Nazis they are, they said no.
I was determined to get to Seattle in any way possible. I was ready to give up when in came Mr. Amtrak, and wow did he ever save the day! At the cheap cost of $400, I could make it in time if I left Tuesday night; it’s only a 38-hour ride. How lucky! I recruited some random barn named T-Bone to ride the train with me, and our journey began.
When we got to the station, we saw that it was filled with senior citizens and other random idiots. I had no idea what kind of hell I was about to go through. The first couple of hours on the train weren’t so bad, as T-Bone and I did some block testing for the PTQs that I actually don’t have to play in anymore (yuuuuuus). After that got boring, I figured I could sleep for a while… no siiiiiir. The train had the most uncomfortable chairs ever, and I think one in four people in our car was either snoring or talking in his or her sleep. I basically ended up listening to Blindside and AFI for about ten hours. At some point, I look out the train window and it’s finally morning. Thank God! Only twenty-eight hours left!
I had never seen so many old people together at once other than at bingo side events at local PTQs. On the plus side, there was this hot Amish chick, and I was going to show her why they actually call me”the caaak,” but she randomly disappeared somewhere. I’m not going to go through the rest of the ride, but as you could imagine, it sucked… almost as much as the Canadians that we lost to who made top 4.
T-Bone and I arrived at our hotel, The Crowne Plaza, at around 11a.m., but check-in time wasn’t until 4 p.m. Good God, blown out. We passed the time playing some more exciting Block Constructed in the lobby. We saw Kai and Marco walk out of the elevator. I yelled out”Dreeafts?” and he said something to me in German, I’m sure it was something like”F*** you” or something, but it doesn’t matter. The actual reason I figured out later was that Marco was eyeing The Cheesecake Factory. I should have known.
Eventually, we met up with one of my teammates, Gadiel, and some random dudes and checked in. We went to the site to do some practice drafts for the PT, but we saw absolutely no one there. T-Bone managed to get a heads-up game with Dave Williams going. After about ten minutes, he was down about 1.5 million dollars, so when Dave wasn’t looking, we booked outta there and headed back to the room.
I’ll move on to the actual tournament report now. Incidentally, our team name, :B, was the best name there. If you want information about my teammates or Grand Prix: D.C., read this.
Round 1 – Get a Life
My opponent – Kevin Desprez
My deck is a solid W/G build with nice tricks, Blinding Beam, and a Sword of Fire and Ice.
Game 1: I get my ass handed to me as he gets a very fast draw. I eventually lose to Vulshok Sorcerer and some guys.
Game 2: This game goes much better for me, as I get a very fast draw and I finish him with Fangren Hunter (awesome) and Blinding Beam.
Game 3: On the play, he goes turn 1 Auriok Glaivemaster; turn 2 Bonesplitter, equip; turn 3 Leonin Scimitar, equip. Yeah, I won that game. He didn’t draw a third land, and I kept chumping with idiots. I finished him with Vulshok Morningstar on a Skyhunter Cub.
Gadiel loses his match to some guy with awesome hair, but Tim wins his match, so we barely win round 1.
Round 2 – Acidulantes
My opponent – Josep Merce Perez
Game 1: He mulligans to five on the play and I keep a two-lander with a Squire and a bunch of three-drops. Well, on turn five he has four lands in play, and I still have two. I actually play more creatures than he does, and I eventually all-in him, but he has the Awe Strike. I lose this one to Fireshrieker on a Clockwork Vorrac. Sigh.
Game 2: I get destroyed by a Spikeshot Goblin and Bonesplitter. He also has a Fractured Loyalty for my Slith Ascendant. Luckily for me, both my teammates win, so we move to 2-0 on the day.
Round 3 – Pocket Rockets
My opponent – Matthew Wood
Game 1: Hearing that they qualified at a PTQ in Canada was comforting. My deck is basically mono-White splashing for a Spikeshot and some removal (I think). I also have two Vulshok Gauntlets along with two Skyhunter Prowler. Game 1 he plays four straight Mountains then Wand of the Elements. I later figure out that he’s 5-color Green. Nice deckbuilding skills! I lost that game.
Game 2: This game was very amusing; as he will not stop complaining about being”mana screwed,” even though the only reason I lost game 1 was because I got flooded. I bash his face in and he deserved it. You’re not on Magic Online, so stop your bitching.
Game 3: This essentially was a copy of game 2, except he seemed to be flooded. Unfortunately, both of my teammates lose. We move to 2-1 on the day.
Round 4 – Tool Time
My opponent – Brian Lynch
Game 1: I don’t remember too much from this game, but I do know that I eventually win with flyers and equipment.
Game 2: I reach into my pocket for my sideboard this game and he calls a judge on me to make sure that the numbers on my sideboard match my deck… and they do, obviously. I understand though, as I look like I’m twelve or something. Game 2 is kinda similar to game 1, as I win with a Prowler and I eventually”topdeck” Vulshok Gauntlets for the GG.
He then goes on to act like my last round opponent, calling me a topdecker and whatnot. He then, out of nowhere, attacks me with what appeared to be a crowbar. Don’t worry though, I’m okay. He is given his warning and Tim tells me after the match that my opponent was the unluckiest Magic player he knows, so I forgive him. Both my teammates win anyway, so we are now 3-1.
Round 5 – Truly Lazy Men
My opponent – Terry Tsang
Game 1+2: My deck is the White equipment deck again, this time with Blue for some flyers and stuff. Terry has the team’s 5-color deck and wow… I got destroyed. Both games were the same. I didn’t have a chance either game. Both games involved him entwining One Dozen Eyes turn 6, then getting it back with Eternal Witness. Harr harr. Luckily for us, David Rood and Gab Tsang both mull to five game 3 so we win and are now 4-1.
Round 6 – Shenanigans
My opponent – Adam Horvath
Game 1: This game I win straight up with Mask of Memory, Vulshok Gauntlets, and flyers.
Game 2: This game is close, but I’m a little kid, so I obviously draw Mask of Memory early again and it takes me the distance. I eventually win the game with equipment and Auriok Bladewarden. Winning that round was huge for us, as we didn’t have as much confidence in our drafting ability as other teams did.
That night we did a practice Rochester against Gerry Thompson and some tall, dorky guys with tiny heads. I ended up drafting a G/W deck with some solid tricks, two Eternal Witnesses (ended up being great practice) and a Fangren Firstborn. I bashed Gerry because he didn’t hit his fourth land drop in either game we played. Sorry, Money, ya can’t win them all. We played like seven games after that and I won like two of those. Meh, we won the draft, so it doesn’t matter. We headed back to the room for some much-needed sleep for day 2.
Our plan for draft day 2 was to have me (seat C) draft White/Green and possibly 5-color if the cards were there. Gadiel planned to draft the Affinity deck, and Tim tried to get Black/Red.
Round 7 – Original Slackers
My opponent – Rickard Osterberg
This draft was very different from the rest, as they decided not to have a Green player, so Tim went into 5-color, and I stuck to White/Green. We were getting bashed in the draft, as they had two Viridian Longbows and the only Leonin Bola of the draft. This turned around when we hit Fifth Dawn. Tim’s deck got a huge boost with two White Bringers and good mana fixers. My deck also got a lot of help with a couple of Ferocious Charges and two Eternal Witnesses! Asdfkdlfgjk! Still, I’m sure they had a slight edge in play skill and whatnot, but that didn’t really matter, as my Magic Online rating is higher than any of theirs.
Game 1: I get a fast draw of Slith Predator and random guy. He tries to slow me down with Thunderstaff, but I have the Stand Firm, so the Slith gets a counter. I then Eternal Witness the trick back to my hand. He doesn’t draw too much this game, and I end up winning with flyers and big creatures.
Game 2: He plays turn 4 Etched Oracle and turn 5 Skyreach Manta. My draw is s#$, so we go to game 3.
Game 3: This game wasn’t too exciting because somewhere around turn 4 both of my teammates won, so a lot of the pressure was off. I end up winning anyway with Skyhunter Patrol, Morningstar, and Specter’s Shroud.
You can message Jake Smith (magpiesmn on Magic Online) for more information about the match.
Round 8 – Feature Match – S.A.I.
My opponent – Ryuuichi Arita
You can read more about the match here.
The draft didn’t go too badly for us, as we opened Fireball and two Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] for our team. The problem with those packs was the commons were ridiculous, and all of our opponents got tons of good cards from them. My deck was G/W again with Engineered Explosives, Summoning Station (both of which are ridiculous), and Joiner Adept.
Game 1: He curves out nicely with some awful creatures, Bolts my guy, and bashes my face.
Game 2: I get a much better draw with like a turn 6 Summoning Station that he never kills. I also get Engineered Explosives for three and clear his board, making thousands of 2/2s in the process.
Game 3: This game was very similar to game 1, as I got bashed by awful creatures again with his ridiculous curve and one removal spell. My draw was terrible and I think he challenged me to a DDR duel afterwards when he was celebrating his victory.
Any Day Of The Week, Ryuuichi!
Tim ends up losing to the guy topdecking Condescend to counter his topdecked Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]. Sigh. This loss was heartbreaking, but we refused to give up.
Round 9 – The American Way
My opponent – Gerard Fabiano
My deck this round was G/W again, and I had a great matchup against his U/B deck.
Game 1: He draws every single land in his deck this game, and I win with some random guys.
Game 2: This game he changes his whole game plan to try to throw me off my game. He wishes me good luck and shakes my hand, which ends up being a huge mistake for me, as I have to wipe my hand off on my pants afterwards.
I attack turn 2 with Arcbound Worker and put him to nineteen. He then moves my die back to twenty really fast and says,”On the stack… sac my Bauble.” I immediately know what he’s trying to do. Either he’s an awful player, or he decided that the only way he was going to win was if I didn’t know what my cards did. Sorry, Brah. I go on to win this game easily, and Sonne gives Gadiel the match, so we move to 7-2. Tim says that Krempels topdecked the mountain for Savage Beating with entwine or something like that, but it didn’t matter.
Round 10 – The Max Fischer Players
My opponent – Chris Pikula
The draft went so well we thought we had no chance of losing to them. My deck ended up being G/W again with Pentavus, Summoning Station, One Dozen Eyes, and the best tricks ever including Predator’s Strike and Stir the Pride.
Game 1: Before the game, I ask Chris if he would sign four Meddling Mages I had after the match. He laughs at me, stands up, grabs his chair, and bashes me in the face with it like they do on T.V. I guess he gets asked that question too often or something. When I come to, he says no, and we start the match. This game I play a turn 6 Pentavus or something and since it doesn’t die, Pikula does.
Game 2: This game is a lot closer. I have a bunch of guys and he has Woebearer. I draw Beam, think for a while, and say”Go.” He then tries to kill one of the Pentavites I made before he Dismantled my Pentavus. I tap my Anchorite to prevent two to it, because I want him to attack with Woebearer so I can Beam him right outta the game…and that’s exactly what happens. I actually draw Stir the Pride, so I tap two of his guys and give all my creatures +2 +2 for the win. Unfortunately, Gadiel gets the”Thanks, Brah” from Ravitz, and Igor Frayman, even though he tried sooo hard to give away the game, manages to pull through; we lose 1-2. That brings our record to 7-3 with one round to go.
Round 11 – Bottom Set
My opponent – Bob Maher
Not exactly who we wanted to see in the last round of the Pro Tour. They asked us to concede out of the generosity of our hearts, but there’s none in there, so we played. The draft went fine for us, as I was R/G with Oxidize, Viridian Shaman, 2 Bolts and other great spells. My creature base was a little shaky though, and Bob had a Crystal Shard and Triskelion.
Game 1: This game he gets a turn 2 Thought Courier and he draws about ten cards with it. Around turn 6, I tap out for Arcbound Fiend, hoping he doesn’t have the Shard. He does have it, but he attacks with his 2/2 flyer into my Condor. Hoping that he bounces his own guy with damage on the stack, I block his guy and he saves it. The Fiend goes on to deal him the last fifteen points of damage.
Game 2: He stalls on four Islands and I kill all of his early guys in an attempt to end the game quickly. This plan turns out to be a good one, as he doesn’t draw another land for his Triskelion and I win with a bunch of 2/2’s. Gadiel loses a terrible matchup and Tim is up a game. I come back from the bathroom to see Williams going”all in” with two artifact flyers, one of which is a Thermal Navigator, backed by an Arcbound Crusher with about thirty counters. Tim has the Awe Strike though and wins the next turn with Predator’s Strike. Mmmmmyaus.
After the match, Dave says,”Good job winning the $20 or whatever you get.” I actually can’t believe he said that. He’s literally infinite with money and he’s talking to us like he just lost top 8 of a premier on Modo. Sorry Big D, maybe next time.
Final Record: 8-3
With that win, we moved into seventh place, making us the American team with the best finish. We got $2,900 each for our efforts, and Gadiel and I got an invite to Pro Tour: Columbus, which means no block season for me!
Now it’s back to bashing idiots on Modo. I’ll see you in Columbus if I don’t die over the summer.
Modo accounts: Ashkar, ScrubbyZ