Welcome To My Overcompensation, Part II – Pack Dinner And A Sleeping Bag

Wow, can this man write or what?

If Mark Acheson didn’t write about the funniest article ever, then edt will vomit up chunks of his hat and eat them.

The Monday Draft happened, but first there was some Foily Lovin’ to be spread.

Okay, be objective for a second. Here’s the lineup:

Me, Deejer, Jason Da’ Machine Lavigne, Mike”I know I know you from somewhere – do you work at the mall?” Emmert, and ANDREW THE ANSWER BOY

Who in the above lineup (ANSWER BOY) can possibly be counted on (ANSWER BOY) to have all the answers (ANSWER BOY) exactly when he needs them?

And after I was the nice guy and cast New Frontiers for enough to get everyone some love. And after Deejer cast Laquatus’s Champion and then dropped Seton’s Desire on it, then dropped another Champion and Legacy Weapon. And after Mike dropped a 12/12 Ivy Elemental and Jason dropped an 18/18 Lhurgoyf and I dropped Iridescent Angel and…

Yep, Answer Boy had answers to everything. Seriously, when’s the last time you saw someone Spinal Embrace a 12/12 Ivy Elemental?

That reminds me – there was a friggin’ draft Monday night. Wait, six dudes doesn’t really count, does it? But oh, if it did. I was on Mike”Who the hell are you anyway?” Emmert’s right, opened a pack of crap except for Rabid Elephant and something cool in blue, took the Elephant, and was promptly passed Thought Devourer. Heh, sorry about sending you that good blue card, but I now intend to fight you. And no, I don’t care if you did kinda good at some random tourney in Tampa either.

Just like he did to Kibler, Mike pounded me in the ass in the second pack, although I did snatch up a few blue stragglers here and there. After all, Mike only gets one pick per pack, even if he did do kinda good in some random tourney in Tampa.

Feel the wrath of The Other Johnny Magic in the Torment pack, Mr. I Did Kinda Good At Some Random Tourney In Tampa. I sucked up 2x Hydromorph Gull, 2x Cephalid Sage, Eduardo and an Obsessive Search. Wait, I was supposed to get the good blue and rape Mike’s chances of getting any good blue, right? How did I get so friggin’ screwed?

Well, I did get some green too, and it was good times: R to the Ootwalla, Narcissism and, dude, how did I get so friggin’ screwed?

No matter, since Da’ Machine Lavigne dropped turn 4, 5, and 6 Petravarks on my ass in the first round. Yeah, he won that freakin’ match.

However, I beat Jeff”Are you related to what’s his name from the mall?” Emmert like a drum; snare or bass or tom tom or timpani or bongo, congo or assorted World Music beat keeper – it’s all the same. And I only had to drop a turn 1 R to the Ootwalla and turn 3 Leaf Dancer in both games to do so. Forestwalk is ass, unless, like Jeff, you have Forests. With a God Draw, I’m pretty tight.

As for Mr. Random Tampa Do Gooder Guy, I scared him to death with my severe play skillz in the third round. Actually, I played so stupidly that Mike didn’t know what the hell to do. See, he’s still assuming (his mind is still stuck in Tampa) that peeps will actually play correctly – thus, he himself acts and reacts based upon that assumption. Sucka! Yep, I told him I was just gonna outplay him, and did. Okay, I didn’t, but I scared him and his 2075 Limited rating something fierce. Even though the draft was unsanctioned, I think he would still lose like ten points if I beat him on general principle alone.

I lost the match, but I won… Well, I won nothing. Bõt it was fun to think that Mike was having trouble beating me, Johnny The Magic Vacuum.

I have problems, huh? And I still don’t know how to draft O/O/T, but I think that fighting over blue isn’t the worst idea I ever had.

10,057 words. 453 paragraphs. 1,164 lines. 55,036 characters. And it’s only Tuesday.

Can you say”overcompensation?”

“Do you get pissed when you get a bye in a real tournament? I sure don’t.”

Andrew Nonymous

Why, yes, I do, and thank you for asking. In fact, in every tournament in which I received a bye, I was some friggin’ pissed. Yeah, it counts as a win, but ya’ know what – I paid my beans to PLAY SOME FRIGGIN’ MAGIC. If I wanted byes, I’d get like real good at Magic and go to Grand Prixs. All right, perhaps I jest, but there is little that is more frustrating than ending a round in say, fifteen minutes, putzing around for another hour or so until the next round pairings are up and realizing that, since you were”lucky” enough to get a bye, you get to putz around for another friggin’ hour.

Byes are only a little less annoying than sitting down at your table and finding that your opponent has decided to not show up. It’s as annoying as knowing you have a bye, but you get to sit at the table for ten minutes like a total friggin’ idiot, clueless and helpless and in the grips of some jerkie who forgot to drop after the last round.

False imprisonment? Well, it kinda feels like it.

“Don’t have me waiting around like a fool.”

-Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop II

But word ’em up, three points is three points and is that much closer to IDing into the top eight.

Thus begins the Friggin’ Rizzo Activity Page:

It recently occurred to me that many of us think we have a fairly good idea of who the prototypical Magic player is. But lately, I’ve begun to wonder just who is who and what is what. Then I hit upon the idea of doing a sort of”study” of Magic players – a simple questionnaire that might shed a little light upon what drives the average Magic player to do what they do; the method behind the madness, so to speak. Nothing earth-shattering or ground breaking would be the intent, rather a pop-culture-type quiz that would serve two purposes: to let Magic players drop their favorite bombs on everyone else, and to form an amalgam that could become the model.

Now, I’m no George Gallup – although coming up with a list of questions that may serve to reveal what we think we already know seemed like a piece of cake. So, I tried it. And it wasn’t. What are the questions that one could ask a bunch of Magic players that could aid in determining a status quo of likes and dislikes for the entire community?

Once I got past the entertainment-related questions, I began to realize that pigeonholing a group as vast as Magic players was not going to be easy. Not that pigeonholing was the intent; it’s more like”creating” a prototypical Magic player from the sum of the parts.

While many Magic writers drop hints and clues to what influences or drives them in their articles, many do not. And what of those players who don’t write? Who the hell has any ideas about what makes them tick? We can make global assumptions based on self-centered generalizations or personal favorites, but unless we ask, how much do we really know?

In lieu of asking”real” questions, thus attempting to come off as some sort of”Magicologist,” I put together a questionnaire that doesn’t really dig too deep. However, in answering questions about random non-important items, we may just find out a few things about our community that we didn’t know. And, perhaps, some of us will find out a few things about ourselves, although that seems a tad lofty, don’t you think?

The ultimate goal of the questionnaire is to”assemble” a Magic player who is everyman – a Magic player that is a true representative of each of us. Or maybe it’s just something mildly entertaining and/or amusing. Yep, that’s exactly what it is: Mildly.

The ground rules:

1) Answer as many questions as you’d like.

2) There is no need to come up with the requested number of answers.

3) Be honest, you lyin’ bastards.

4) Copy and paste the questionnaire into an email, and ship it off to me.

5) Or don’t.

6) I’ll tabulate the results, assemble The Prototypical Magic Player, and unveil our creation eventually.

7) We’ll all say”I told you so,” or”What the hell?” Or maybe no one will care. In fact, I’m already pissed.

8) This thing ends…someday.

The Search For The Prototypical Magic Player

1) How old are you?

2) Five people you most admire (living or dead):

3) Five favorite Magic related websites:

4) Five favorite non-Magic related websites:

5) Five favorite actors/actresses:

6) Five sexiest peeps:

7) Five favorite movies:

8) Five favorite books:

9) Five favorite musical artists:

10) Five favorite songs:

11) Favorite type of music:

12) Least favorite type of music:

13) Five favorite television shows:

14) Five favorite activities other than Magic:

15) Person you’d most like to do:

16) Beatdown, combo, or control?

17) Weenies or fatties?

18) Dogs or cats?

19) Seafood, steak or a big, fat, greasy burger?

20) Beer, wine, or hard liquor?

21) Coke or Pepsi?

22) Rent a movie or go to the theater?

23) Fast food or a sit down dinner?

24) Chat rooms, message boards or they both suck?

25) Cash or charge?

26) Paper or plastic?

27) Five favorite Magic cards:

28) Five least favorite Magic cards:

29) Best fattie:

30) Best weenie:

31) Stupidest card ever printed:

32) Favorite expansion:

33) Least favorite expansion:

34) On top or the bottom:

35) With the lights on, by candlelight or in the dark:

36) Best gold card:

37) Best land card:

38) Favorite artifact card:

39) Would you rather have fun and lose or win but not enjoy it?

40) Would you let an opponent take back a minor blunder at a Prerelease?

41) Would you let an opponent take back a minor blunder at a PTQ?

42) Do you regularly shuffle your opponent’s deck?

43) If you knew a friend was cheating, would you tell a judge?

44) Have you ever taken advantage of a newbie?

45) Have you ever cheated during a tournament?

46) If you could learn the exact moment of your death, would you wish to know?

47) Do you roleplay (online or in real life)?

48) If you do roleplay, do you think you’re a nerd?

49) Would you rather play Constructed or Limited?

50) Would you rather play Sealed Deck, Rochester Draft or Booster Draft?

51) Would you rather play Type I, Type II, Block Constructed or Extended?

52) Who would you most like to face in the finals of a Pro Tour?

53) Who would you least like to face in the finals of a Pro Tour?

54) If you could spend 24 hours with any one person, whom would you choose?

55) How often do you, um, heh, pleasure yourself?

56) How often do you think I, um, heh, pleasure myself?

57) One thing you’d take to a deserted island:

58) Tell me a friggin’ joke:

59) Now, tell me a friggin’ knock-knock joke:

60) Favorite swear word:

61) The worst possible way to die:

62) The coolest way to die:

63) Satin, silk, leather or lace?

64) If you’re pissed I didn’t offer”fishnet” in the above question, go ahead and answer”fishnet.”

And that’s it. Wasn’t so hard, was it? Well, yeah, it kinda was. Ah, but it’s for posterity. Or something. Hey, you guys expect me to come up with the long ass weekly articles, now I’m asking you to contribute directly to a very, very long ass future article. Stand up and be heard – take a friggin’ half-hour out of your lives and kick it. Okay, after the hour-plus you spent reading this article, take another half-hour out of your lives and kick it. Or just let others do it.

Fill the stuff out and send it over to me at [email protected]. It could be cool. Or don’t fill the stuff out and don’t send it to me. That could be cool too.


DO NOT SEND THIS AS AN ATTACHMENT! My days of opening up attachments are long gone, seven viruses later. Copy and paste it into an email – let me worry about the formatting.

You get nothing in return, but I get to stay up late and tabulate this stuff. Heh on me, again. If no one sends this in, I’ll just make stuff up, and believe me, I’ll make you all look bad. Ergo:

Favorite type of music:

Country – 50%

Western – 49%

Polka – 1%

Person you’d most like to do:

FrigginRizzo – 99%

FrigginRizzo’s Mom – 1%

So there. Look at it this way: who else gives a good goddamned enough about all ya’ll to do this?

Or look at it this way: who else is running out of gimmicks at an alarming rate? Heh, not me.

Thus ends the Friggin’ Rizzo activity page.

March 6:

Bam, cat in the face!

Let’s see:

NBC has”Watching Ellie,” with Julia Superficial Middle Name Dreyfus, and”Crossing Jordan” with some manly chick, while CBS has”Judging Amy,” with some chick named Amy (go figure).

If you need any more evidence that TV is complete and total ass, then you think up yet another verb followed by a chick’s name. TV writers = total crap since Rosewater stopped writing for Roseanne. Oh wait, maybe they can put a verb in front of her name and come up with something.

Regurgitating Roseanne. Heh, it works on so many levels.

By the way, why is it that all the peeps from Seinfeld can’t seem to get it through their thick domes that no one likes you, they liked the show.

Jason Alexander’s show was cancelled in about a week or so, Michael Richards’ might have lasted two whole weeks, and don’t bet the mortgage that Julia is gonna be up in here for long.

And i don’t even friggin’ watch TV, since Yahoo is nice enough to alert me of these sexy moments when people fail because they friggin’ suck. Originality? Where? Not on TV or in the movies, that’s for sure. If Bennie Smith ever writes a screenplay that gets turned into a big time flick, he’d better make sure it’s not called”[verb + some chick]” or I will hunt him down and steal all his rares. And then, well, pee in his kitchen sink. Come on, who doesn’t pee in the kitchen sink every once in a while?

Chicks. See my point?

Help us, Uncle Bennie, you’re our only hope.

Dear Screenwriters and/or Teleplay guys,

Wow, you suck. Idea: Go watch an episode of The Twilight Zone or go rent a David Mamet flick. Then blatantly steal from them. A lot.


Johnny Would Not Cry If Hollywood Floated Away Into The Pacific

To be fair, Christopher Nolan, the guy who wrote”Memento,” deserves a big ol’ sloppy kiss all up and down his grille. And that’s about it for this century (so far at least).

“What do you want me to do – dress up and lick him all over?”

-Dustin Hoffman, American Buffalo

Well, tough guy, why don’t you try it if you think it’s so easy.

Chiefs, it is easy. Trust me. Ask Bennie. Ask Rosewater. It’s a piece of friggin’ cake.

This is a Magic: The Gathering website, right? Well, sometimes.

Each cast member of”Friends” will make a million bucks per episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!

26 episodes per season x $1,000,000 per episode = Oh My God.

Schoolteachers make how much per year? Nurses? The people that take care and wipe the asses of old peeps in the”let’s get these old bastards off our hands so we can spend their money guilt free” nursing homes?

Alex Rodriguez makes $25,000,000 per year!!!!!!!

How much did Mother Theresa make, ya think, in her prime? Gandhi?

Do you need any further evidence that perhaps something is amiss in our values system when the highest paid people in the country are friggin’ goddamned lull us into oblivion entertainers?

Ryan Fuller made like $83,000 playing Magic last year. Ryan. Fuller. David Price made, well, considerably less. Is there a point? Yep, there sure is.

How much money does the paramedic that saves Alex Rodriguez’s or Jennifer Aniston’s life make?

Jeez, I sound like a liberal or something. Conservatives, liberals, and independents: they’re all full of shizzou. So am I, but at least I can admit it. And I don’t even sleep with my secretary. Anymore.

But I really think that Zombie Trailblazer would be tight as hell in the mirror match, dawg. Tap him and let your Shade run wild! Pump that bad boy to infinity! All at once!

My realtor informed me that someone actually wanted to buy my sitting-unused-in-Pittsburgh-building – yes, the same one that was appraised (for tax and the raping of Rizzo purposes) at $168,900 for, get this: $90,000. The asking price is $119,000. Neat, huh? Only 30K less than I was asking, which is only 38K less than it is”worth.” Seems fair, right?

Hey, it’s better than the last offer that some random church threw at me – thinking that I’d give them a break or some crap – of, now really, get this: $65,000. Heh, just when I think that organized religion can’t get any more disgusting, they go and offer me half of what I’m asking. I think that I told them to go straight to hell, do not pass the plate, and to feast on the flesh of a million agnostics for all eternity while I sit on a throne made of human skulls, drink virgin’s blood, and listen to Marilyn Manson. They said they’d get back to me on that.


For the first time ever, and I mean ever, my Limited and Constructed ratings are both above 1700. Dude, that’s like unbelievable, hence, the Unbelievable Alert. It wasn’t too long ago that my Constructed rating sat at

(pause for dramatic effect)


(pause for peeps to go”Wow, I knew you were bad, but that’s bad!”)

Heh, I’m not making that up, and no, I am not Hans Tore Finstad or Noel F. Eicher either.

Whoa, a 250 point ratings jump in a year and a half? Someone better investigate me, for Christ’s sake! Oh, crap, I just thought of something. If I happen to do, like pretty sucky on Saturday, my Limited rating could dip below 1700.

Oh no!

Why is it that people don’t seem to like the name”Frog in a Blender” again? Oh, that’s because it’s not as creative as, say,”Counter Rebels,””BlastoGeddon,””Psychatog,””NetherHaups,” or even the king of creativity -“Finkula.” Yep, Jay Schneider certainly deserves to be beaten into unconsciousness for daring to come up with ideas that don’t use the key cards names in the deckname.

Why, for instance, didn’t he call”Wild Plagiarization” (he’s getting closer, but it’s not close enough!) something that other people would appreciate? Perhaps, a name that everyone could immediately understand, such as:

“BlueRedandBlackDeckThatUsesMadnessWithWildResearchPsychatog LootersPitchstoneWallsomeothercardstooandtheappropriatecoloredlands.de”

That would put this Jay Schneider guy on the map, I’ll tell ya. Frog in a Blender – who does he think he is bucking the well-worn trend of combining two key cards into the name of a deck? And what’s with his silly idea of his to not use cereal names for his combo decks?

Friggin’ guy.

“First off, don’t laugh at Blood Pet. This pint-sized Dark-Ritual-wannabe isn’t that bad of a choice.”

Dave Meddish

Yet another card that I invented. I am the metagame.

Peep: What do you think the Regionals metagame will look like?

Other peep: Rizzo.

Peep: Boo.

Other peep: Ya.


“I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I have been an extra in movies and stuff. One such quality film was”Mercury Rising.” Coincidently, Alec Baldwin was in Mercury Rising. Even more coincidently (or not), Alec Baldwin has a Kevin Bacon Number of 1, since he was in ‘She’s Having a Baby’ with Kevin Bacon.

That makes my Kevin Bacon number a legitimate 2. Now, I seem to remember various photos that contain both you and I from your glory days here in the ‘burgh. I’d say that makes your Kevin Bacon number an illegitimate 3. Just thought you’d like to know.

-Dhuse” (“Dhuse Dhuse Revolver was my problem solver” from CMU for those of you who just joined us)

I. Am. Broken. Even the illustrious Kai to the B to the ooh, ooh, oodie doesn’t have a Kevin Bacon number of three, or, as we say in the biz: KB3. Or, as I say on the net: K to the B to the mutha frickin’ three. Jigga.

Someone fix me.

Tons and tons o’ peeps are/have been sending me Type 2 decks, and many are looking kinda good. In fact, unless someone sends me a deck that has absolutely no chance to be anything other than awful – and you can tell an obviously poor deck just by looking at it for long enough, I usually build it on Apprentice, or, if it looks tight as hell, dawg, in real life. And then goldfish it about thirty times.

Why do I do this? Simple.

A week or so before Pro Tour: Tokyo (IBC) last year, someone I’ve never received mail from sent me a R/G decklist with tons of weenies and fatties and burn. Just looking at the list didn’t particularly impress me – it only had 8 burn spells – but I did throw it into Apprentice, and before I got a chance to even goldfish it, my laptop crashed. However, I remembered”most” of the list, actually built it, and took it to CMU for the last testing before the guys left for Tokyo. For some reason or another that I can’t remember, it didn’t end up getting tested at all.

Flash forward one week, and the results from Tokyo are in: R/G kicked ass. Although it didn’t take the cake, it did put four guys into the top eight. When I got my laptop fixed (about three weeks later), I was checking older mail to see if I forgot to reply to any of it, something I do from time to time, and checked the mail that had that R/G decklist.

That son of a bitch was a card-for-card copy of 4th place finisher Ryan Fuller’s deck. About an hour later, my AOL service was terminated, and the mail was lost forever. Ain’t that a kick in the grille? I never knew who it really was that sent me that mail, but I learned my lesson – big time.

So now, when someone sends me a decklist that doesn’t look like an infant built it, I load it into Apprentice and print it out… For I never know when the next PT winning deck is going to fall into my lap. However, no lists sent since have come close to being the Next Big thing, and I’ve probably printed out and at least goldfished about five hundred decks since.

The most recent occurrence of free tech was for States. Doug Scheinberg sent me a deck that I tested out a lot, and liked, but I decided to go with The Millikin Deck. Doug made top eight in whatever States it was he played in (New York, I think) while I finished 16th. Now, that’s not exactly a PT winning deck, but it is an example of what can happen when you get a hundred decklists sent to you for each event or season.

Thusly, I find myself not discounting ideas that don’t particularly appeal to me. After all, I’m the guy that thought a deck with 4x Blurred Mongoose and every playable green two-drop with only eight burn spells was a little sub par in IBC.

For Regionals, the decks have been flowing. I’ve received about fifteen different versions of black control, with and without white or blue, ten to twelve versions of blue/green threshold, a fistful of R/G beats, a few takes on Jay’s Wild Plagiarization, and even a couple of creatureless decks. And I’m trying every one of them.

But I really wanted to play monoblack beats with Braids.

So what I did was test each of the decks that I thought I might want to play against my black hooka. My black hooka either crushed them – or, at the very least, held its own. So I played it at the first FNM with Torment legal, won that event, and then played it the next day at the T2 cash tourney and won that as well. That can mean a lot or nothing, but as of right now, that’s the deck I’m concentrating on. But there are still a dozen or so decks in the mix – and they have all been sent in by peeps trying to hook a brother up.

As Zvi might say, it’s all about asking the right questions. Or maybe he wouldn’t say that, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. Considering that in most every Constructed event that I’ve had even a little success I’ve had help from others:

FrigginGreen was my idea, but I was helped by Jon Chabot writing an article about how good Survival of the Fittest was, Mike Flores sending Aaron Forsythe his version of Survival/Natural Order, and the guys at CMU with the testing and further modification. It garnered a top eight without even trying. And with me piloting it, which is saying more than something.

My deck from last year’s Regionals (G/W Fattie Rebels), in which I started 4-0 but ended up 5-4 due to some bad luck – and you know if I say that it was some bad luck, then it really was – was born from an decklist thrown at me by Jay Moldenhauer Salazar. Yes, that’s back when he was just a lowly Star City columnist. His input and testing, as well as Aaron and The Bag at CMU, led to a very strong deck that ran into some bad times. Yes, it was a good friggin’ deck – it killed Fires, and that’s saying something right there. It could’ve, perhaps, made Top Eight if some of that bad luck, well, wasn’t so bad.

Lastly, we have The Millikin Deck for States. Nate Heiss brought it up, helped me with it a bit, and quickly abandoned it. But Jon Becker and Mike Flores didn’t. A bad matchup and a Cloaked Monger in the first two rounds aside, I think the deck could’ve and should’ve made top eight. And if it did so, I think it would’ve had at least a decent chance to win the whole thing – even with me behind the wheels.

With apologies to both of the Emmert Bros, Jackal Pop, Nick Camire and Mike Dupre – all top eighters at States – it would’ve wrecked you! But it still would’ve lost to James Kindness’s R/G aggro deck, that was, coincidentally, almost a card for card of Doug Scheinberg’s. Heh, small world, huh?

I think that automatically discounting this or that is going to keep me in the Sligh bracket. And I’ve spent more than enough time there; ’twas fun for a while, but I’d much prefer to see how the other half lives, for I’ve seen the good times that can happen when you keep an open mind.

Example: Today, someone sent me a decklist that sported 3x Mirari. Your natural instinct, and formerly mine too, would be to say”H, that guy’s a scrub.” But I’ve learned to give things a try. Know what? After playing the deck – okay, a close version tweaked into Rizzovision, I upped the number of Mirari to four. Yep, it’s that friggin’ good in the deck.

Since it’s sort of on the quiet, all I can really say is that Mirari is as stupid as we all thought it would be. Oh, wait, we all thought that it was way overcosted. Well, except me, who thought it was cracked waiting to be broken. It’s not quite broken yet, but it’s damned close. Out of nowhere, that deck has jumped into the”thinkin’ ’bout takin’ you to Regionals” category.

Consider my mind open wider than Madonna’s legs in the 80s. And good luck explaining to little Lourdes that it really isn’t a good idea to be a friggin’ slut.

I still wanna play my Black Deck.dec at Regionals. But man, it has a lot of trouble with burn. A lot. And I have no solution – yet. Yes, that’s a hint for all you intrepid builders and tweakers out there.

March 7:

Nothing to see here. Move along.

March 8:

F to the Night to the Magic.

I was trying to find something else to play, for I’m easily bored, but I really couldn’t find anything that was, well,”ready” enough for prime time. However, there were a couple close calls that were almost ready. And more than a few that were quite asslike.

Here’s an assy deck that you should probably not play at Regionals:

//NAME: Assy Deck

4x Blurred Mongoose

3x Spectral Lynx

4x Wild Mongrel

3x Kavu Titan

4x Longbow Archer

4x Call of the Herd

2x Spellbane Centaur

4x Shelter

2x Fleetfoot Panther

2x Overrun

2x Voice of All

2x Mystic Enforcer

8x Plains

8x Forest

4x Elfhame Palace

4x Brushland

Well, it sure looks like it should just beat peeps down, ain’t it? Notice one thing: There is no removal. At all. Yes, in this day and age you should probably do a little more than just cast dudes and smash. A little interaction outside of the combat phase might be peachy keen.

While the dudes are all pretty good, and there are way too many of them, trying to win by simply casting more dudes than your opponent and dropping a Shelter here and there might just not be enough.

But, oh, if Overrun resolves! Yeah, Overrun resolves a lot in Constructed. (That means that it doesn’t. Sarcasm is sometimes difficult to catch, huh?) And the deck is green and white. White? Come on, Judgment isn’t legal yet, is it?

Prediction for Odyssey Block Constructed (post Judgment):

If your deck doesn’t contain black cards or white cards, you will end up in 9th place.

But I could be wrong. Kinda.

I was also contemplating using the Mirari deck, but methinks that it’s not quite 100%. It’s close, but not close enough; this much I can see just by playing with myself. I see a lot when I play with myself, for I have decent vision and a fertile imagination.

Heh; I said”fertile.”

Thusly, Corrupt became Strands of Night because, well, it can recur Braids forever. Or until you run out of Swamps or life. Peep this: Activating Strands to get yourself a Gravedigger is unfair.

But I could be wrong. Kinda.

It seems like it could be one of those win more cards, and it certainly isn’t going to help against the uber quickie beats and Sligh type thangs. But the sickness with Braids is plain ol’ stupid, phat, nutz, word ’em up and fricky fresh.

There are 66 black cards in Type 2 that have the word”graveyard” in their text, and most of them suck. The few that don’t and are worth discussing as a substitute for Strands or for the sexy recursion type feel:

Buried Alive would be cool to get three Ichys in the yard, but really that idea sucks. If you have enough dudes in the yard to make that worthwhile, then you are already halfway into your deck and likely have an Ichy or two in the yard.

Malevolent Awakening could be a poor man’s Strands, but slower. However, infinite Gravediggers could be a very difficult program to mess with.

Morgue Theft is almost convincing me that it could be Constructed-worthy. Almost.

Mortivore was Brenden’s mirror match tech – a fattie regenerator, but the synergy with Ichy is not just awful, it’s downright non-synergy. So there.

Phyrexian Delver is basically Gravedigger number 4, but he’s not a guy you would want to cast more than once or twice per game – the life loss could get annoying or just kill you when you’re not looking. Still, Delving up Gravedigger and pulling a Shade to your hand screams,”Something might be wrong here!”

Repentant Vampire would be great mirror match tech – if you could get and keep Threshold. Ichy says that’s not real likely, although Braids says that it might be. Don’t give up on us, baby, though.

Screams of the Damned is more non-synergy with Ichy. But it could be neato.

Shade’s Form is tempting me to try it out. With 3x Mutilate and 4x Edict, putting this on anything gives me a good chance that I’m going to get it. Particularly funny when put on an opposing Spiritmonger before killing it. Sexy on my Braids – when I get sick of saccing stuff, sac Braids and get the bizitch bizack.

Shambling Swarm is cute with Braids, to be sure, but he’s still going to be difficult to control. Yep, still.

Strands of Night – Everything is telling me to not use this card, for it seems rife with strife and loss of life, so says my wife.

Yawgmoth’s Agenda sucks with Ichy. Really? Although it rules with just about everything else. Ichy is the boy. Yawgmoth is a jerk who always leaves the seat up.

See what I go through for one card? And most of you are probably thinking that there are many more problems with the deck. You may be right, I may be crazy, but something about Billy Joel and a lunatic seems appropriate.

I think that the possibilities that Malevolent Awakenings provide are going to give it the edge over Strands. The lack of killing me softly with his song is a shiny gold star at the end of the day as well.

With Awakenings and one dude (or even more) on the table, Flametongue is a non-issue, and any targeted removal is going to be very disadvantageous for its caster. Plus, the possibility for recurring Braids is just as realistic as with Strands, and perhaps even more so since I won’t just friggin’ die by Awakening myself to zero. Oh, and there’s that silly”damage on the stack” thing that could be annoying to peeps that think they’re killing my stuff.


Yeah, but it could be more if it works out well, you bastards.

16,616 words. And it’s only, holy crap – it’s Friday already! I better get a move on.

“Everyone that ever opened a Millikin in a draft or otherwise, with the exception of Nate Heiss, took one look at the card and relegated it to the ‘don’t use’ box.”

Mark Slack

Now there’s a statement that couldn’t be any more wrong. I’ll give it up that Millikin doesn’t see much Constructed use, but in drafts and sealed, I rarely see peeps put him into the”don’t use’ box. In fact, lemme check out the feature match decklists for GP – Tampa.

Chris Benefal used Millikin in his deck in round 4…

As did Ben Rubin in round 9…

As did Dan Clegg in round 11…

As did Eugene to the machine Harvey in round 11…

As did Nick Eisel in round 13…

As did Mike”I give up – who are you?” Emmert in the top eight.

That seems like thumbs up for our boy, ain’t it? Put it this way: in all the feature matches covered, everyone who had Millikin used Millikin.

Props: Millikin.

Slops: Idi Amin.

I loaded up four decks – Black Deck.dec, Mirari Thing.dec, that crappy G/W thing from above, and a U/W lifegain/Reborn Hero mess, and off I went to FNM. As it turns out, FNM was to be Sealed Deck. The Boy Scouts are ass, what with their motto being”Be Prepared.”

Again, there were twenty-odd peeps, or if you prefer, a whole buncha freakin’ nerds.

This was my deck, and I didn’t like it at all:


Faceless Butcher


Childhood Horror

Whispering Shade

Crippling Fatigue

Shade’s Form

Innocent Blood


Skywing Aven

Cephalid Sage

Treetop Sentinel


Rites of Refusal

Chamber of Manipulation


Deep Analysis

Aether Burst


Arrogant Wurm

Nantuko Disciple

Springing Tiger

Rabid Elephant

18x Lands but no sac lands

The rares I opened:

Karmic Justice, Dawn of the Dead, Verdant Succession, Hint of Insanity and Insist,

That’s funny.

I’m not sure why I thought the deck blew, but it might have something to do with splashing five green cards, with one being double green. Alas, whatever.

In the first round, Larry Latham thought he was cool because he had some good white cards – and he was cool. In the first game, Larry thought he was cool because I mulliganed and never recovered – and he was cool. However, in the second game, I realized that Chamber/Innocent Blood is a combo, especially when he loses Anurid Scavenger and Hallowed Healer. In the third game, I knew I was cool because Larry had a lone Swamp and I Whispered all over his ass. I bent him over and Whispered all up in his ass!


Rappers used to have dancers – guys whose sole purpose in life was to dance when the rappers were rappin’ on stage. Larry Love was Grandmaster Flash’s dancer. You can hear all about it on the Flash ditty”Larry’s Dance Theme.” Heh; dancers.

Round 2 sees Josh Holbrook, and his Kirtar’s Wrath and Vengeful Dreams come up on me. But, since Dave Shuster had mentioned that Josh did indeed pack two Bombays, I figured that I’d try to play around them. Heh, sure.

The first game is all about Chamber/Blood, with Josh losing Mystic Zealot and Grotesque Hybrid. ‘Twas grotesque indeed, which allowed my Skywing and fattie Horror to take full advantage of Narcissism. Neither of his Bombays showed up to ruin Johnny’s fun.

The second game sees me mulligan to five and keep Millikin, an Island, and a Forest for mana. Hee and soopa doopa heh.

Game three sees Josh drop an uber-quick Compulsion and search for the Bombays in a hurry. He never found them, but I found enough green to cast Disciple, Wurm and Da’ Elephant, with Skywing, Shade and Butcher beats as backup. Rool? Nah, but thanks for thinking that I do.


Old school rappers used to have call and response with the crowd. One such call and response was devoted to getting the crowd to scream out their zodiac signs. Heh; zodiac signs.

Round three sees The Ben Klar trying to play Tog, but since this was a Sealed event, he wasn’t allowed.

Ben has Overrun, but in order to justify playing Overrun, he filled his deck with a ton of green and white wussy guys. My guys are tougher, I have removal, and I’m Friggin’ Rizzo, dammit!

Game two was a giant ass creature stall until I found bounce and Chamber and punked his little dudes like they were the new fish in C-Block. Removal is really good. Not having removal and little dudes isn’t. At one point, Ben needed to draw Overrun for the win, and was getting frustrated at well, not drawing it, so he sacced a Farmhand to see where the hell it was.

Q: Where was it?

A: Come on, you have to friggin’ ask?


The first Billboard top ten hit in which the artist actually said their own name in the song was Falco’s”Rock Me Amadeus.” Or so I’ve heard. Now everyone does it. Heh; peeps say their own names in their songs.

Round four, and Dave Shuster has a fast deck. But I think I’m cool when I Butcher a dude of his and drop Shade’s Form on my Butcher. Dave thinks that’s wack, so he drops Aven Cloudchaser. Kewl? Nah. An Aven Flock joined his cause, and with me deciding to not find flyers, it was unfair. Oh, and he cast Demoralize too.

Game two sees Dave drop Hell-Bent Raider and Reckless Charge it twice on turn four. Tip: Taking ten on turn four is not something you want to do often. But with me getting the all my guys are belong to being four-drops hand, I took it like a man. A Blazing Salvo here and a Firebolt there, and I’m fresh out of guys again. But Dave isn’t. He’s wack, huh?


Who has a top four at FNM? What, four rounds aren’t enough?

Run-D.M.C. had a breakthrough hit in 1983 (or 84) with”Rock Box.” A lyrical sampling from this revolutionary ditty:

“I’m D.M.C. I can draw.”

He said he can draw, as in ‘give me a pen and paper and I’ll draw you a bad ass picture.” Heh, what a friggin’ braggart, huh?

Top Four: Robert Foley

Robert drops a turn 1 Mystic Penitent and turn 2 Tireless Tribe and then laughs, so I take advantage of the fact that I’m under very little pressure to Analysis and flash it back, filling my hand with guys with bigger asses than those guys. Along the way, I manage to counter a Patrol Hound and Dirty Wererat, and drop fatties all over the place. His Hallowed Healer keeps him alive for a few extra turns, but with ten points of love coming at him every turn, the math, as they say, was done.

The second game is fair. Robert doesn’t drop any early dudes, so again, I Analysis and flash it back, letting my 2/3 guys crunch him in the grille, which was hastened by the arrival of Narcissism and a horde of fat assed green men. Aether Burst, Repel, and Butcher made token appearances to make sure that nothing could become rotten in Denmark, and my Denmarkians cold kicked some ass.


The Fat Boys broke new ground in the rap world by actually acknowledging that they were, well, fat. They were the goddamned Rosa Parks of fat rappers. Nowadays, I think all overweight rappers are required to either have some fat guy reference in their stage name or must constantly refer to themselves as either”large and in charge” or being”the overweight lover.” Heh, chicks like overweight lovers, don’t they?

Top Two: Josh Holbrook and his broken white cards.dec

I mulligan in the first game, get stuck on three lands, and am Compulsed to death when Zealot and Hybrid get all fat up on me.

I let Josh go first in the second game, and he groans a bit before he keeps. I drop Skywing, Butcher, and Whisper sweet nothings, but Josh can’t find a second white mana to up and kill my stuff. When he finally finds the elusive white mana maker, Rites of Refusal, well, Refuses to let my dudes get punked.

While shuffling up for the third game, Josh offers to concede if I give him the foily that da’ winner gets. Since it’s late as all hell, and I already won said foily last week, I offer the hand and say,”Word ’em up, Jazzy Josh can’t take no mess.” After I explain to him that that means”Sounds good to me, chief, I’m gonna go home and try to get some sleep,” I do just that – go home with a victory and try to get some sleep.

5-1 with a fairly unexciting deck. Or was it?

Aiming to capitalize on The Fat Boys idea of naming your group based on the physical appearance, within a year a new rap group,”The Skinny Boys,” made their debut. Heh, where’s”The Medium Build Boys?”

“I’m a badass rapper with a medium build, Grab my average-sized ass and your ass’ll get killed!”

-MC Just Da’ Right Size

Wait a minute…I attended three tourneys so far in this article, and won them all. Does this mean that I get to win the PTQ as well? Or does it mean that my fifteen minutes are up? Can Johnny make it four-for-four, or does the Joker have something planned for our tight – but only to a point – hero?

Is this a bona-fide lucky streak, or nothing but a to-be-expected deviation in the Law of Large Numbers?

Since the PTQ is really the only tourney that matters, can Johnny bring the sickness when the money’s in the pot and he’s down to his last enchilada? Can Johnny mix a few more metaphors? We shall see.

Has Johnny written 18,000 words to this point? No, it’s only 17,958, and aren’t you a keen observer of minute details? Quantity is really all that matters – ask Anna Nicole Smith, who gets 88 million bucks for being married to a 90 year-old guy for about a freakin’ year before he – surprise! – died. She probably didn’t even have to have sex with his wrinkly ass. Fair.

If I’m ever that rich and that old, I think I’ll just rent chicks. What can they cost – ten grand a night? Maybe for an extra couple grand, I can get them to tell me they love me so I can save like 87 million to give to legitimate heirs and not surgically altered golddiggers, who are not quite as tech as Gravedigger.

But I guess when you’re 90 years old, Gravedigger isn’t quite so tech, huh? In fact, he’s probably one evil-ass harbinger – unless of course, you choose to get your head cut off and frozen in case someone comes up with a way to attach your old ass dome to some young ass body. Or something.

Walt Disney: Son, when I takes the dirt nizzap, peep this – cut off my diz and freeze dat mofo!

Good thing his kid was schooled in street slang technology, or we’d be hearing stories about how Walt’s”little Disney” is chillin’ all up in some cryogenic lab in Florida. And wouldn’t that be one hell of a tourist attraction?

Da’ P to the T to the motha freakin’ Q, Nice

Turns out that my old navigator from CMU, Scotty Too Hotty Teamann, a.k.a. The Bag, Bags and Bagger Vance, decided to come out of retirement and fly up to Providence to play a little Magic here and there. The plan was for me to pick his too-cheap-to-take-a-cab-for-less-than-a-mile-to-YMG ass, play in the PTQ, and then go back to the hotel, eat too much, burp and emit other manly gasses (and loudly and foully at that), and have a spirited Britney vs. Christina discussion. This was to be followed by a few hours of sleep, me taking his ass to the airport, then myself home, and forgetting all about Dre.

Well, you know how plans go, right? This plan actually worked.

A handful of Crossroads guys were slated to drive down with me, but with kicker. I told them that I was staying overnight, and they were welcome to either find their own ride home on Saturday night, or pony up the herb and get their own room and get a free ride on Sunday afternoon.

When you get right down to it, sixty bucks is probably a little too much to ask a bunch of teenagers to cough up, thus, the herb was not ponied and they all chickened out.

But why not let them stay in your (actually The Bag’s) room?

Chief, taking a bunch of teenagers across state lines for a day of Magic is scary enough. Having them sleep in the same room has district attorneys everywhere lining up and licking their chops. Well, at least that’s what I told them.

I pick up The Bag, who oddly, left at least one bag at the hotel, and we head on into the venue.

“Look at that friggin’ nerd!”

-The Bag

“That’s me, chief.”


In attendance for this star-studded event were La Team D’Academae and their subsidiaries, and Chris”Holy” Pikula. And that’s about it. When PTQs can get the A-list celebs to start showing up, then, and only then, will we begin to make progress and be noticed in The Hollywood Reporter and get some love from Vibe Magazine. (hope hope!)

For the Love of Five, we busted out said Five, with me teaching Baggie a lesson in beats. He learned well, thus, returned the favor the next game, after which J to the I to the L.L. Kewl J pulled up a stack and proceeded to get smashed in the retina with a Cloaked Dromar. Heh, I beat a girl in a non-sanctioned, borderline idiotic format.

Some guy asked me to sign an Escape Artist, which I did because I’m all about lovin’ the little people, but I didn’t get the significance until about five minutes ago. Yep, that was me that wrote an article entitled”The Effect of Escape Artist on the Metagame” a while back. How pathetic is it that I didn’t catch that at the time? How pathetic is it that I don’t even remember my own articles? How pathetic am I at life?

Fairly pathetic.

Nick Gage opened up an awful sealed deck. I know this because we were to write our names inside the deckbox after we register them, and the deck I received had Nick’s name embroidered on the inside. I guess it’s too much to ask that he open up four Bombay rares and about fifty other sexy cards.

However, I don’t think that he’s the same Nick Gage that wrote the bestseller”The Mafia is Not an Equal-Opportunity Employer.” And why the hell do I own that book? Oh, Rizzo is an Italian surname, which means that, along with having greasy skin and the desire to reposition my testicles in public, I must be in the Mafia.

This was what a brother got, with totally unplayable by any stretch of the imagination cards omitted in the interest of space, which is, of course, at a premium, what with this being page 45 or so.


Hydromorph Gull

Cephalid Looter

Hydromorph Guardian

Thought Eater


Skywing Aven

Deep Analysis


Words of Wisdom

Cephalid Illusionist

Thought Nibbler

Seven playable creatures, with three playable card drawing spells seems kind of cool. The spellchecker told me that I should put a hyphen between”card” and”drawing” in the previous sentence. I told it thanks much for the offer, but I’ll pass.


Patriarch’s Desire

Crippling Fatigue

Waste Away

Shade’s Form

Sadistic Hypnotist


Cabal Torturer

Boneyard Slasher

Last Rites

Whispering Shade


Insidious Dreams

Five playable creatures, nice removal and a couple tricks ain’t too shabby. The spellchecker told me that”isn’t” would be an appropriate correction for the word”ain’t” in the previous sentence. I think that it ain’t appropriate at all.


Barbarian Lunatic

Pardic Firecat

Ember Beast

2x Longhorn Firebeast

Sonic Seizure



Violent Eruption



Rites of Initiation

Six decent-to-fair cr33tures, three good removal spells and two”I win” combat tricks are times. Just times. The spellchecker had no spelling suggestion for”cr33tures” in the previous sentence because it suX0rs.


Floating Shield

Dedicated Martyr

Pilgrim of Virtue

Aven Archer

Hallowed Healer

Angelic Wall

Mystic Visionary

Kirtar’s Desire

Spirit Flare


There’s a whole bunch of ways to stall in white and that’s about it. The spellchecker didn’t have a problem with the previous sentence.




2x Acorn Harvest


Seton’s Desire

Deep Reconnaissance

Moment’s Peace

Worst. Green. Ever. Oddly, the spellchecker thought the three previous three-word sentences were fine as well, but it hated”Werebear” and”Twigwalker.”


Catalyst Stone

Patchwork Gnomes

Centaur Garden

Timberland Ruins

Since the green sucks, of course the cool lands I get make green. However, the Gnomes is sexy. Or should that be”the Gnomes are sexy?” But it’s only one Gnome, which indicates to me that the singular tense is more better.”More better” pissed off the spellchecker something fierce, but this’ll piss it off even more:

SpellcheX0rs suX0rs

What I did:

Put the green and white back in the box and get to work on U/B/R, with Gnomes hangin’ out, comfortable in the fact that he made the cut. Yep, I built the deck wrong, but really didn’t realize it until after the tourney when I was trying to figure out if I built the deck wrong, which is a bad time to try to figure out if I built the deck wrong.

And that is advice that you can take to the bank.

Obviously, the deck is strongest in the blue flyers and black and red removal, but is kind of thin in the quality creature department in both black and red. It’s the old”lotsa removal – crappy creatures” conundrum.

I couldn’t decide if the deck should’ve been B/R with a splash of blue’s best, or U/B with a splash of the cool red removal. So, of course I went with U/R with a splash of black. Heh.

Wrong Deck.dec:

Barbarian Lunatic

Pardic Firecat

Ember Beast

2x Longhorn Firebeast

Sonic Seizure


Demoralize (iffy)

Violent Eruption

Radiate (sided out every game)

Patriarch’s Desire

Crippling Fatigue

Waste Away

Hydromorph Gull

Cephalid Looter

Hydromorph Guardian

Thought Eater


Skywing Aven

Deep Analysis


Words of Wisdom

Patchwork Gnomes

8x Mountain

7x Island

3x Swamp

The Bag: How’s your deck?

Matty Too Hatty: How’s your deck?

J to the iLL: How’s your deck?

Matt Villiamamoaanooaoaoaoo, Da’ Judge Dat Don’t Budge: How’s your deck?

Joseph Kambourakis: How’s your deck?

Mouth: How’s your deck?

(Yes, Joseph Kambourakis is Mouth, but he asked me twice)

My answer: It sucks.

Not that I had anything to do with that – I had everything to do with that, but it’s still a fairly unimpressive array of cards, any way you slice it. So there.

The idea was that the early dudes would do a lot of damage, and either the flyers, burn or Demoralize would finish it up.

But one thing I failed to realize until it was too late was the fact that having 2x Firebeast and Ember Beast in the same deck was akin to giving my opponent the ability to easily negate a full 25% of my dudes. When you sort of depend on the Firebeasts hitting the board to power up Ember Beast, then you’re in a world of hurt. In essence, I was playing with nine creatures, with an additional three”sleeping enchantment dudes” as backup.

Drawing a Beast and Firebeast is not too cool. It’s even less cool when you have been sitting with a lone Ember Beast on the board for four turns doing nothing, and then draw a Firebeast. Yep, I think I’ll pay five – now die!

Essentially, I was giving each of my opponents an additional three removal spells. Try doing that and winning.

But, man, you should’ve seen The Bag’s deck. Four months without playing seriously impacted his ability to build a tight sealed deck. A few blue cards that were in his sideboard…

Hydromorph Gull

Hydromorph Guardian

Possessed Aven

Aven Windreader

Liquify Aquamoeba

Circular Logic

Stupefying Touch

Phantom Whelp


…and he was splashing Syncopate, Aura Graft and Concentrate in the main deck and going B/G, with, now wait a minute – Faceless Butcher, Gravedigger, Crippling Fatigue, Waste Away (so far so good), and green for some decent green stuff, but with the kicker:

Centaur Veteran.

Oh, my. I know Bag’s been away for a while, but is there any format, ever, in which a 3/3 for what is ostensibly seven mana has been even remotely playable? As for his regeneration ability – anything that costs six mana better a) untap me six lands and draw me seven cards, or b) be cast for me by Britney Spears, who will tenderly feed me, wipe my chinny chin chin and then disrobe (slowly, Brit, slowly), moonwalk, or perform other parlor tricks for my general amusement, and finally affix herself to any number of bedposts for my general carnal enjoyment.

Imagine that – me helping Da’ Bags with his sealed deck. Good thing I won’t have to play him, for I’m certain I’d win game one and get crushed in the next two.

105 peeps/7 rounds

Round 1: Mike Sigrist

The f33ture match for this round is Scott”The Sole Surviving Master T” Teamann vs. someone I never heard of. And I don’t know why. But I blame Matt V-and-a-lot-of- vowels, for he saw The Bag bustin’ out Da’ Foily Five, so it follows that he figured that anyone that would play Da’ Double F has got to be tight, which, of course, it true to the mic and on my behalf.

In the first game, Mike decides that his deck is mono green – thus, he ends up discarding all the spells he drew that were not green.

In the second, apparently Mike sided in the appropriate colored lands to play his non-green spells. At one point, Mike had Carrion Wurm, Gorilla Titan and Arrogant Wurm in play. Know what a Flashbacked Firebolt does to any of those guys? I bet you do, so let’s move on to game three.

Mike was land screwed, land raped, and generally bent over and pounded mercilessly by his mana base. Or lack thereof.

Ah, first I savagely cheat Mike during a PTQ: SD, then I mana screwed him into oblivion. No wonder he hates me.

1-0 but nothing to get excited about

Round 2: Todd Nery

Todd is very unhappy with his deck, and tells me that his deck sucks when he sits down. I told him my deck kinda suX0rs as well.

Game one sees his Mesmeric Fiend take something cool and beat me to fourteen. Warning: Rhetorical question alert. Do you suck at Magic when a Fiend does six unanswered damage?

Later, Todd drops Zombie Infestation and lovingly holds onto his cards. I eventually find blue mana for my blue dudes and drop a Skywing. Eduardo puts me back a turn, but I draw another blue and go to town with flyers from hell. I’m fairly certain that Todd didn’t play a single dude except for the Fiend, and he only made a few Zombie tokens along the way.

Maybe his deck wasn’t too good after all. If only he had a really cool combo for game two…

Todd sided in at least twelve cards for game two. I assumed that some creatures were among the cards coming in from the Pokebench.

Todd drops an early Teroh’s Faithful, and a few turns later I try to kill it. He Aether Bursts it. Eight life later, he’s taking hellacious beats from Skywing, Ember Beast and Jonathan Livingston HydroGull when he casts Kirtar’s Wrath. Oops. I save the Skywing and plan on the rebuilding process, much like the Pittsburgh Pirates have been doing for, oh, the last ten years.

I drop Skywing and Todd drops Anarchist, getting back…Heh. However, I have a handful of love and a Deep Analysis in the yard for safekeeping. I tease him a little by throwing a Thought Eater into the mix and he Wraths Again. Oops, he did it again.

Skywing doesn’t really care about removal, thus he rejoins the fray and begins the beats anew. Firecat and Cephalid Looter add their own beats (for the Looter is only good if you’re sending him into the red zone) and Violent Eruption to the dome finishes him off.

Kirtar’s Wrath + Anarchist = A combo that never, ever happened, but if it did, man, that would be cool.

2-0 but don’t log onto Priceline.com for airline tickets just yet

Round 3: Cr33ture F33ture match: Jill”Jillian””LL Cool Jill” Costigan

Ya’ know, when your name is Jillian, you really have no choice but to be tight, no matter what you try to do. Proof: Find me a chyk named Jillian who is not tight, then find me a chyk named Lauren who is not tight, and then find me a chyk named Bertha that you would do without a knife being held to your bells.

“I’m gonna rip off your dwork, I’m gonna shove it up your icehole!”

-That foreign mob guy, Johnny Dangerously

If you have ever seen a chyk named Bertha or Agnes that is hot, then you are probably not the discriminating type. But I don’t digress.

I open Firebeast and Ember Beast in the first game, and quickly realize that I’m in a heap of trouble when Jill not only plays dudes on turns 2 and 3, but also pays five life to ignore my Firebeast. I cast Ember Beast and just stare at him, wishing he could be anything other than what he was. However, I peel Gnomes and drop my love up in here. Deal with that, girl.

She kinda does when she drops Soul Scourge and Dusk Imp. I kinda die. A lot. Quickly.

The second game is all about Chainer – Obey Your Master, Gravegouger and Dusk Imp to my Ember Beast and Pardic Firecat. Let’s see: that’s eight comin’ up on me, with seven goin’ back up in her diz. Cool, I can maybe find me some burn to kill the Master and end her life. Jill is not interested in waiting the necessary five hundred turns it would take for me to find one of my burn spells, so she drops Scourge and severely beats me about the ass neck.

My poor ass neck.

2-1 I am now 0-4-1 vs. girlz lifetime. I guess that’s payback for all those years they weren’t allowed to vote. Or have jobs. Or orgasms.

Round 4: Joel Frank

Okay, my deck sucks, and now I get to face another good player?

Cards in Joel’s deck:

2x Pardic Collaborator

2x Dirty Wererat

Nantuko Shade



Apparently, Joel was permitted to bring a constructed deck to a limited PTQ. Must be nice to be in tight with the judges.

Joel keeps a two-Forest hand and I keep an Island and Swamp hand. One of us ends up getting to Threshold simply by observing the maximum hand size of seven. Hint: Joel won this game.

Game two is tight as dawg, hell, but comes down to one crucial play:

Joel has Pardic Collaborator, with six or seven untapped Swamps, and Balthor the Stubby to my Ember Beast and Hydromorph Gull. He’s at eight and I’m at twelve. He attacks. Now, I have to block or I’ll die this turn with a Muscle Burst, or next turn of my own volition. But what I didn’t count on was Joel mistakenly thinking that Balthor could pump himself up. I throw the Beast up in front of the Collaborator and the Gull up in The Teapot’s small and oddly-shaped cabeza. Joel smacks his melon, buries that midget bastard, and says go. Whew. After I serve him to five, I drop Skywing and Thought Eater. Plunk.

Joel’s turn two Nantuko Shade fixes to wreck me, but he is seemingly careless with his black mana and a Fatigue finishes him off. However, Joel is all about having more tricks up so many sleeves that I finally called a judge and asked for an arm check. Many-armed J drops a Wererat. Somehow, I kill it, but he drops another and a Collaborator. I play some loser dude and say go. He smashes into my guys, gets Threshold, and Zombifies the other Wererat. I play some loser dude and say go. He smashes into my guys and drops another Collaborator and Chainflinger. Heh.

He also had Gravedigger in hand in case I drew, well, something really friggin’ good that Randy B missed in playtesting.

2-2 Goodnight, Irene. And that stupid dog, too. Little dogs are meant to be drop-kicked. If they weren’t, they’d be, like, bigger.

Round 5: Billy Waters

This was kind of one-sided, with Billy having W/G with a splash of red for Firebolt and Thermal Blast, and me with well, a little more removal than him.

We kill each other’s dudes for a couple turns, and then his 5cc Firebolt goes away. But my removal doesn’t. Plus, he decided to not draw any dudes for a couple of turns, which allowed me to fill up my hand with Analysis, twice. Eventually, even sucky men can do twenty to the diz if there is nothing in their way.

In game two, Billy drops Delaying Shield, which does exactly as promised – it delays. For a long friggin’ time. It’s either play dudes that he isn’t drawing anyway or prevent some love for B. But he can’t prevent ten coming up on him and a Violent Eruption for long enough.

3-2 But I still suck

Round 6: Chris Chin

Turn three, game one: Chris pays five to negate my Firebeast.

Turn three, game two: Chris pays five to negate my Firebeast.

Good match.


That match was over so quickly that The Bag, who was playing nearby, was only starting game two after I shook the dew off my lily, had two smokes, and shook the dew off my lily again just for fun.

The Bag drops Aven Windreader. His opponent drops Sphere of Reason to go along with his Hallowed Healer. The Bag didn’t like that very much.

Round 7: The Bag, oddly enough

I win game one. Bag wins games two, three, four, five, six and was winning game seven when I decided that I was going to take my cards and go home. When I realized that I was going to the hotel instead, I decided to take my cards and go to the hotel instead. I showed him, huh?

3-4 But I still probably gained like 5 points because I cheat at Magic and will file a false tourney report when I get home.

Some people did good. I was not one of them. Jill made top eight, but I don’t know who else did, thus, I have no idea who won, but you don’t really care because you don’t live in the New England region and you don’t know these people and you hate my articles anyway and wish I would choke to death on my own entrails because this is like page 50 of an article that you can’t believe you’re still reading.

Name players I finished above:

Someone. Maybe. But I doubt it.

Baggie picks up a couple of draft sets for later and we break on down to the other side. After we get to the hotel and drop off our bags, we head down to the dining room. The Bag suggests that I turn my lid around frontwards – I guess this is classier than wearing it backwards.

Since I looked like the bum that I am, and Bagz wasn’t exactly dressed to the nines, we were told by Johnny Hostboy that the dining room was full, but we were more than welcome to sit at the bar with the rest of the disgusting scum sucking lowlife trailer trash inbred pigs. But he said it sort of nicely.