Mike Turian hails from Pittsburgh, PA. Working with Team CMU and more recently Team CMU-Togit he won Team Pro Tour New York 2000, finished in the Top 4 of Team Pro Tour Boston 2003, and in the Top 8 at Worlds 2002 and PT Amsterdam 2004. Mike has made five Grand Prix Top 8's including winning GP Montreal after mulliganning to five cards in the finals. Mike's two favorite cards are Spitting Slug and Wasteland. His favorite food is lasagna and his favorite movie is Finding Nemo.
When I get ready for a Limited format, I try and make it a point to know every trick that my opponent could possibly have. When your opponent attacks, you have to be able to figure out what cards they can have in their hand to beat your strategy. If you can play around their trick successfully then do so. If you can’t beat their trick, assume they don’t actually have the trick that beats you. You don’t gain anything by playing around a trick you can’t beat.
Ken is sneaky like the Brass Man. I had agreed to debate the merits of Steel Wall, while Ken wanted to argue his points about Clockwork Condor. I agreed to this dilemma since I felt it is very close and that either card could win. I like that kind of argument, because I feel that our arguments often sway the readers’ opinions more than anything else.
So, I go off to Grand Prix: Oakland thinking about how cool it is to be debating Steel Wall… but sneaky Ken ran off with the Brass Man and started cackling.
I remembered the Tempest pre-release where Aaron Forsythe’s opponent was bitterly complaining about being mana screwed. When I asked him how many lands he was playing, he replied that he had thirteen lands and two Lotus Petals. I remember chuckling about that afterwards since everyone knew that you had to play at least seventeen land in Limited.
Now, I was that noob from the Tempest pre-release playing fourteen lands in decks that seemed as if they needed at least sixteen lands
Mirrodin Black is good at attacking. Consume Spirit is good at finishing your opponent once all your guys go through unblocked. Without any decent counters in Mirrodin, Consume Spirit always hits for the full boat. Guaranteed damage. I like the sound of that.
You know why I hate Pewter Golem? Guess you’ll have to check inside to see…
Ken wrote,”Spellbomb does one thing very well… it kills Spikeshot Goblin.” Well Ken, I hate to burst your little fantasy bubble but Pyrite Spellbomb burns every two-toughness creature. It kills both of Blue’s best commons, Neurok Spy and Somber Hoverguard. It also kills Black’s best creatures, Nim Shrieker and Pewter Golem. Pyrite Spellbomb kills Skyhunter Cub, Auriok Transfixer and all of the Myrs.
Have you noticed the pattern? Pyrite Spellbomb kills good creatures. The only downside of Pyrite Spellbomb is that it is weak versus the Green creatures in Mirrodin. It doesn’t kill Tel-Jilad Chosen, Tel-Jilad Exile or Tel-Jilad Archers, but then again Hematite Golem doesn’t do very much versus these guys either.
Each week Ken and I discuss our pick orders with one another before we write these articles. For Blue, our lists diverged by a good deal. Once again, we only included on-color artifacts and Blue cards in the list, and the two biggest disagreements we had were Aether Spellbomb versus Regress and Annul versus Wizard Replica.
Ken has bestowed upon me the honor of being the newest debater in the Dilemma series. I now have the ability to rip apart his draft pick orders in the public eye. Normally, I save this sort of thing for my friends and close companions, but I suppose the world should be granted this wonderful opportunity as well…. And I was shocked when I heard Ken’s original pick order of Leonin Den-Guard, Skyhunter Cub, and Arrest. I immediately proposed Arrest, Cub, Den-Guard if forced to choose only among those three – but I think that the Skyhunter Patrol is also better than the Den-Guard.
You know what is nice about Rorix besides all his other, obvious, attributes? It is the fact that he is a rare. I know it sounds dumb, but it’s true. People don’t play as well against rares. They don’t expect to be facing rares. They aren’t accustomed to playing against rares, so they are more likely to play poorly when facing rares. Entire Limited articles are written sometimes as if rares barely existed. How can you account for this in your Limited playtesting?
At Pro Tour: Chicago this year, the room was buzzing about the triple-Exalted Angel deck. Now, double Exalted Angel is certainly ridiculous… But the person who had the deck still only went 2-1. If a deck with three Exalted Angels can go 2-1, then it is clear that every deck is at risk. What sorts of things does a good draft deck need, and how can you draft to support it?
There is a simple principle that applies to Magic – and so many people ignore or forget this principle that I find it astounding. Remembering and following this principle will improve your Limited game a good deal – so what is it?
Justice, Finkel, Buehler, Long, Maher – the list of Magic Players who owned the Pro Tour in the past is a nice short one. Right now, only one man rules the Pro Tour and everyone knows his name: Kai Budde.
Mike discusses his strategies behind creating Turian Squirrel Opposition and taking it to Grand Prix: Milwaukee AND US Nationals! Along the way, he discusses death flights with Zev Gurwitz, sleeve tornados, the Togit sideboard, and how Mike Like Read.