Wow people, it has been a while since I have last written an article and that is mainly because I have not been playing all that much Magic. If you haven’t realized all ready, Standard is not really for me and there are no weekly Legacy events that I can attend. I have mainly been focusing on my Legacy game, but the deck I am currently playing is very solid and I wouldn’t be able to write an article on the few changes I want to make to the deck. So instead of actually playing Magic, I have been on the road with the guys from Jupiter Games working at different Grand Prix. So for this article I am going to just recap some of the fun I have been having on the road and some of the things that have been pretty lame. I don’t remember every single detail but hopefully I can cover enough to make this article one that you all enjoy. There is some actual Magic talk too, not just random adventures, even though it was a super fun time. So let’s get right into this.
Grand Prix Baltimore was the first stop on my month or so full of Magic things, (not much of it being playing Magic). GP Baltimore was a Standard event so I knew for sure I did not want to play in it, which was perfectly fine because I was traveling to work the booth for the weekend. I drove with Adam as my passenger while Ryan and Seneca where in front of us sort of leading the way. I most likely would have made it there quicker because I drive too fast, but I figured I needed to follow. We made good time though and Thursday night was pretty laid back. We just got into the room and watched some TV. Friday was quickly upon us and the booth was set up ready to go. A lot of people were picking up Darkslick Shores for their Blue/Black decks and Seachrome Coasts were selling well, but the card that ended up selling the most on the weekend was Corrosive Gale. It was the tech of the weekend and everyone wanted them. UB Zombies also seemed to be a popular choice as a lot of players were looking for cards to finish that deck. Friday was a long day and it had ended around 10ish. Adam and I decided to go to the bar to meet up with some people for a drink or two. The people we met up with were way ahead of us on drinking so we grabbed a beer and a shot and just enjoyed the show. Jon Corpora decided he wanted to fight Mary Jacobson and some other random girl at the bar was sitting on a stool, wearing a skirt, and the view was not a fun one. But once you knew it was there, whenever you looked in that direction it sucked you in. The bartender also seemed to be flirting with us, but she probably just wanted a better tip. We got back to the room and were in need of food so we traveled off to the 7-11 where we got some bad pizza. It did not agree with me the next day.
Saturday was just as long of a day and the main question everyone asked was, “What do you buy Sword of War and Peace at?” Everyone wanted to unload their swords and shopping around was the way to go. People were also looking to unload their Huntmaster of the Fells. Saturday was another long day and I quickly realized my shoes were not made for the floors at the event and I needed foot cushions immediately. I don’t recall what all went on during the day other than just selling and buying cards. Luckily though Saturday night became awesome when a couple of us went out to Mamas on the Half Shell, which is an amazing seafood restaurant. If you are in Baltimore, get away from Inner Harbor and go to Mamas for a great meal. We made it back to the room and something/one amazing was waiting for us. There was a cardboard cutout of Snoop Dogg promoting Colt 45 just staring at us. It was the greatest thing ever. Nothing says “awesome” like Snoop Dogg. I do not really recall what went on Sunday besides testing against Adam. I decided to draw an 11 card opening hand just to mess with him and he never looked up to see how many cards I had. He just commented on how many threats I kept hitting. We finally packed up and were ready to head home. The ride home was long but the weekend was a blast and I started getting Japanese foils for my Commander/EDH deck, which has now become an expensive endeavor, but so sweet.
The weekend following GP Baltimore was the Northeast Legacy Championship monthly event, which I was ready to play in. I had sleeved up Bant Maverick, similar to the list I have been playing. The day started off poorly, but ended up just fine. I lost my first round with my opponent hitting everything he needed in the right time. I also kept a sketchy hand in game 3, to try to beat him before time ran out, but a Wrath of God took out two of my Noble Hierarchs which was my main source of mana at that point. So I lost that round and the worst part was my opponent cast two Stoneforge Mystics into my Aven Mindcensor and found equipment both times. I then was set to face Jon Barber who crushed me with mono white dudes. I always had Mindcensor the turn after he cast Squadron Hawk and just couldn’t beat all his dudes. Round 3, I sat down against an opponent who said to me, “I have to leave, so I will give you the win regardless.” That was a huge relief when I found out he was on Burn. I had the sideboard Warmth for him but just crushed me in two games. I then went on to win the rest of my rounds to make Top 16 and leave with some cash in my pocket. I honestly do not remember much more of the event besides playing against a poor Affinity deck who had no idea what Stony Silence did to him (hint: it hurt him a lot).
After that weekend we left for GP Indy which is where the fun really started. Indy was a legacy GP which is just awesome because I love the format. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play in the main event, but still got to play in a TCG side event on Sunday. First off, the event was held in Lucas Oil Stadium which meant I got to meet all the Colts. Okay, so I didn’t meet any of them, but I did check out the field and make an attempt to get into Visitors locker room but the security guard started walking towards me so I couldn’t. Friday and Saturday went pretty much like every GP does, people come and buy cards, try to haggle, tell us our prices are too high or buy prices too low, and sell us nice things. We had this one kid come up to us holding his money in a plastic baggie and asking us to drop our prices for him on all of our NM duals. Seriously, who does that? Dual lands always sell so why would we get rid of them at a discount? Saturday night Adam went off to hang with people and Ryan and I went to this crappy bar for food and drinks. The cook was pissed because we ordered food late and then made fun of me for just ordering a grilled cheese. So while Ryan and I sat there and drank and ran the jukebox the phrase came out that I was a “Jäger-loving-whore”, which is totally true but that’s beside the point. The bartender then tells me about Bärenjäger which is the honey version. So I tell her I will take some and my god it was the sweetest thing I have ever tasted. It tasted just like pure honey and was super sickening. Maybe it can be mixed with something to taste nice, but I doubt it. The best part of the night was that we did completely run the jukebox. We got to hear Stranglehold, Highway to the Danger Zone, Neva Scared, Country Grammar, and so much more. Sunday was then upon us and I signed up for the TCG side event playing Bant Maverick, where I first lost to Solidarity. I think in Game 1 I made a mistake by getting Qasali Pridemage with Green Sun’s Zenith instead of the Ooze. I feel that having Ooze would have let me remove his High Tide he flashed back. I then faced off against Storm combo but his deck was really weird because he was playing a Scrubland, but still the red spells in the deck. I guess he really wanted to resolve Orim’s Chant. Then I faced off against a total dbag who first accused me of cheating while I was shuffling his deck and then proceeded to talk crap the whole round. We ended up drawing which wasn’t too bad, but seriously people at big events can be total jerks. Speaking of jerks we come to my next opponent. It’s the Maverick mirror and he is playing SUPER SLOW! He ends up winning Game 1 but because he isn’t just attacking and winning I keep hoping he will mess up. He twice tried to play an additional land against me in the round as well. So we come to game 2 and my board is Scryb Ranger with a Batterskull on it and a Knight of the Reliquary. He has a Maze of Ith and is dead from the Scryb. He asks me how much time is left and I tell him we are in turns. He then proceeds to yell at me for playing slow the whole time, which I respond with the fact that it was he who took five minutes to make simple attacks. He then says something to me about a draw and starts picking up his cards. I ask him what’s going on and he says, “We are getting a draw now because of your slow play. 1-1 draw it is!” I simply respond with sure and ask him why exactly he was picking up his cards; alls he had to do was not die. He yells about me activating my Knight, getting Wasteland and destroying his Maze. I simply giggle, sign the slip, mark I drop, and then tell him that I only play 3 Wastelands which are currently in my graveyard, thanks for scooping. He of course rages, but the thing is, if he wasn’t such a jerk about everything I would have just given him the win and told him to not make assumptions about people’s decks. So Pro Tip: Don’t be an ass to your opponent and play at a decent speed.
Grand Prix Indy had ended and props to Dan Jordan for making Top 8 and representing Jupiter Games. We made it back to Ryan’s cousin Matt’s and I was just dead tired and hungry. We decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings after Animation Domination and I had never been there so I was actually semi excited. Ryan was nice enough to check to see if they had veggie burgers before we went so I was all prepared to get one of those. Our waiter sort of just ignored us most of the night but the veggie burger was awesome and we decided to play some bar trivia. I got destroyed by Adam and Ryan. I knew some random things that they didn’t but for the most part just guessed at everything. Monday was just a day of doing nothing. I think I slept for like 23 hours or so. Okay so not really but I did catch up on my sleep and we just waited until Ryan’s cousin came home. The weather was beautiful so we decided to go to this local brewery/restaurant (Broad Ripple Brewpub) and the meal was just awesome. I got some fancy grilled cheese/spinach sandwich. The rest of the week was just beautiful weather, great food, great drinks, and some EDH. I also got to watch all of Season 1 of Game of Thrones, but the problem was Ryan and Adam had seen it already so they had no problem talking through it when I was trying to watch the show. Damn kids.
We had left Indianapolis and were heading to Nashville where we hit rain again on the road. By the time we got to Indy the SCG guys were already at the hotel so we decided to drink for Ryan’s birthday. They had some random whiskey and we were playing the “card art” game [on “Impossible”]. Basically all of the professional buyers were yelling out card names from the picture and then Matt “Googs” Gargiulo challenged me to one v. one for a shot. I figured I had no problem doing a shot but surprisingly got a lot of the art right. I, in the end, lost to Googs but all was good. We then walked to some steakhouse where everyone was ordering drinks and Googs, who is 28, was not allowed a beer because he forgot his wallet. After dinner we went back to the room and cube drafted a common/uncommon cube. It was me, Adam, and one of the SCG guys (I can’t remember his name) and we all decided to draft Naya, which meant the other team had all of the blue and black cards, which tend to be good in Magic. We got crushed in the draft but my deck seemed to be fine I just drew too many land against Googs and misplayed against Nash.
Friday morning was upon us and it started poorly. Our vehicle had a flat tire and we had to unload the display cases and cards to get to the spare and then of course it started raining. We got to the tournament site a little bit late and Ryan went to get the tire fixed but he had the case keys, so we couldn’t display anything, but no one really wanted to buy cards anyway. Friday was super dead and while people were grinding, no one really was buying anything from the booths. The worst part was the day never picked up so we left semi early on Friday and then we got into the actual hotel. The hotel was just ‘wow’. If you have never been to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel it is basically its own city. There were like [nine] full sized restaurants in it, a river with a boat ride, a mall attached, and the thing that made me laugh the most, a vending machine just full of Best Buy items. We made it up to the room, but got lost on the way there because the place is that damn big. Adam went off to hang with people and Ryan and I decided to get sushi. You would think sushi in Nashville would be poor, but it was pretty epic. We got back to the room and just passed out.
Saturday started out fine and there were a little over 1000 people but because it was a sealed format people just had their sealed decks and nothing else really with them. Some people bought some nice foils, others sold us some pretty cards, but overall the day was just blah. It was St. Patrick’s Day though meant a lot of people were wearing green and for nerds + green, the winning combination is the Green Lantern. Saturday had come to a close and we got back to the room around 9PM. I wanted to go out but Ryan and Adam were tired and almost bailed on me. We watched Role Models and then eventually wandered the hotel trying to find the Jack Daniels restaurant. We found this place and the prices were garbage and the food looked crappy so we headed to the fake Irish Pub instead. The food also looked garbage there, but the SCG guys were there hanging so we sat down. Adam and I ordered a beer while Ryan needed some Jack Daniels. By the end of the night a lot of Jack Daniels was drank and a good amount of beers. Our bar maiden was very nice and we raised a shot to her after a conversation about her life. We got back to the room and slept so deeply.
We actually slept deeply enough to miss our alarms. It was 9 a.m. and we needed to be at the event site by like 7. I’m pretty sure I was still drunk in the morning but we made it to the tournament site and got set up. I was then pretty hung over but luckily had headache medicine and just tried to sleep while sitting at the booth. Eventually things got better and people came by to the booth to buy and sell. People just wanted fancy foils for their EDH decks but near the end of the night a judge [Zak Whyte] came over with some sweet Japanese foils to go into my deck. I think on this trip I picked up, Primeval Titan, Jin-Gitaxias, Sword of Feast and Famine, Judge Demonic Tutor, Judge Vampiric Tutor, Into the Roil, Solemn Simulacrum, Swiftfoot Boots, and more cards I can’t even remember. My EDH deck is still missing a lot of Japanese foils/foils in general but I am getting there. The trip home from Nashville was long but luckily we got some Chipotle and that made the trip much better.
I hope you all don’t hate this article but I wanted to let people know some of the trips from the road. Sorry if you wanted more details or more conversations but I honestly don’t recall any crazy conversations. Hopefully I will see you guys at up and coming events slinging some Legacy cards.
Thanks for reading and find me on Twitter @rocketrae21