Cook’s Kitchen – NELC (09/08/12): A Scrub’s Report

Cook’s Kitchen -NELC (09/08/12): A Scrub’s Report

My weekend began early Friday morning when the boss said I could get out of work early! I waited throughout the barbeque lunch that the Marketing department was having. A co-worker made me something called a “Juicy Lucy” – a cheeseburger with pepper jack cheese on the inside along with diced jalapenos. By the time it was done cooking it was about the size of a softball, it by no means was a small burger. I channeled my former fat kid from my mid-teens and devoured that monstrosity. I knew after eating it that I wouldn’t be eating the rest of the day. Shortly after lunch ended, I left work, went home, packed for a bit, and then headed off to Jupiter!

The ride down to Binghamton felt longer than it actually was considering I was driving by myself, but I had some good tunes to help me enjoy the ride. I arrived at Jupiter right around five and quickly found Nick Patnode and Doug McKay to play some Commander. We had some four person games going, the first one ended quickly with my turn two Godo, Bandit Warlord for Grafted Exoskeleton and Nick playing a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to slow down the two blue decks at the table. I won the game quite quickly after that. The next game was the exact opposite, Nick’s Kaalia of the Vast EDH did what mine had done game one. He had a turn two Kaalia, turn three dropped a fat creature into play and cast Armageddon – our decks don’t mess around. Before we could finish our third game the pairings were up for the $500 FNM.

FNM had started, the announcements were made, there were fifty-four people, and an additional bounty. There was one on my head. My plan was to not give anything away. Round one begins, my opponent is very awkward with the way he shuffles and says, “Oh, great you must be good you have a bounty on your head.” I say something witty and we began. My opponent is playing a U/B control deck with no counterspells but a ton of removal. I flood out hard game one drawing eleven lands, two more and I could’ve Bonfired away the Frost Titan that was destroying me. I end up losing pretty badly, but games two and three I play a turn four Talrand and protect it with Mental Missteps. They were easy wins once I untapped.

Round two was against an Italian guy with R/G aggro, game one he had played mana dorks with the first few turns into a turn three Hellrider followed by a second Hellrider. I didn’t stand a chance. Game two he tried to follow a similar gameplan until I showed him why there was red in the deck – BONFIRE OF THE DAMNED! Boom! After this an Augur wielding a Runechanter’s Pike got the job done. In the third game, I mulliganed to five, and then opened with two Delver of Secrets, Ponder, Island, and a Mountain. The first draw was a Bonfire of the Damned, ugh…Alright. I play a Delver and pass, he lands a second land and passes. I draw an Island, Ponder putting Leak on top, Probe, then Bonfire on the bottom. Draw Leak and play the second Delver. He lands another land and passes, he hasn’t done anything all game! Both Delvers flip and attack. He reveals a Bonfire, I Mana Leak, I don’t cast the Bonfire I draw that turn, but instead Probe into Ponder. I Ponder seeing two lands and a Pike. I keep and the game is shortly over.

My round three opponent was very fidgety, before the match he told me he was nervous because he was playing against a “pro”. I kindly explained that I’m a just an average guy who likes to play Magic and definitely not a professional Magic player. He’s a bit jokingly rude while shuffling, so I dish some back as we begin the match. He’s on Naya pod. He played two Huntmasters through Cavern of Souls, which quickly find Pillar of Flames. I land a Talrand to stall the game out until a Bonfire of the Damned appears. During the second game he drops a quick Silklash Spider but I didn’t draw any Delvers or Talrand, but I did draw both Augur of Bolas and a Runechanter’s Pike. He died slowly.

The fourth round was against Seneca Hobler who I’ve known and joked with since I started coming to Jupiter’s events. Unfortunately for Seneca his deck hated him, seeing as he was forced to mulligan to five both games. To me this was surprising considering how consistent of a deck Naya Pod seems to be. There isn’t anything worth discussing in this round, Seneca just kind of sat there while I attacked.

4-0! I was all set and ready to draw round five when I found out I was the pair down. I was paired against a guy running UW Delver, as the match began I felt pretty confident because how good of a match-up it was. Then I knew what it felt like to be Seneca Hobler, my deck flooded again… I sat there while my opponent trounced my face while I peeled land after land, it wasn’t a good feeling. In the second game my deck did was it was supposed to do, create a huge advantage with Talrand and reveal Bonfire to kill Giest of Saint Traft and their team. Having actual removal for a flipped Delver of Secrets wasn’t terrible either. Then game three I mulliganed and kept… Snapcaster Mage, Snapcaster Mage, Delver of Secrets, Bonfire of the Damned, Island, Evolving Wilds. I had enough mana by the time he killed me to hard cast Bonfire of the Damned to kill Resoration Angel. I never drew an instant or sorcery to flip Delver of Secrets or Flashback anything with Snapcaster Mage.

Eh, I didn’t accomplish my goal of not giving anything away. But luckily, I would get my revenge. I got to play against him in top 8!

I had a strong start with two Delvers, a pair of Gut shot, and Snapcasters all before my opponent could really do anything in the first game. The second game took longer than five or six turns. It was a back and forth with me answering multiple Geists of Saint Traft through Phantasmal Images and Bonfire of the Damned. I stuck a Runechanter’s Pike and began the onslaught with an Augur of Bolas. As it would turn out he was holding triple Vapor Snag. I got to visit “Value Town” as I attempted to kill him over the next few turns with me eventually burying him in card advantage. Gotcha! It felt nice that the deck did what it was built to do when it mattered.

In the top 4 match-up I was paired against mono-black control, it was a nightmare game one. My opponent just had more removal than my deck did creatures and eventually drew a win condition and killed me. Game two I had a much stronger start with double Delver and a Mental Misstep to protect one of them, he tapped out for a turn four Phyrexian Obliterator, I played Zealous Conscripts stole it and attacked for exactly lethal. Hell yes. Then… I mulliganed game three and the game happened to look like game one. How disappointing.

On the bright side, I managed to take home one of these:


The next day I arrived to Jupiter promptly when it opened, filled out the deck my deck registration sheet, then filled out another. I was lending out UR Delver to a friend and decided, “Why Not?” I mean, I did have some time to kill. People came flooding in as the clock turned to 10AM. Good times we had, I did some trading, lent out even more cards, and even found an EDH foil I was looking for. Mike Keller was nice enough to give me a foil Ingot Chewer for my Godo, Bandit Warlord deck. Before we knew it the player meeting was happening and pairings were up! 90 players!

Round One: vs. James Wohlmacher with Maverick

Game One: James plays a turn one Hierarch, I follow suit. James then plays a Knight of the Reliquary, I quickly swords it and drop Gaddock Teeg from my hand. Hoping to shut off his Green Sun’s Zeniths since I didn’t have any. He then drops Linvala. I don’t have an answer but it’s not shutting anything off right away with the hand I had for the moment. I then hit a pocket of lands while James beat me down over the course of five turns with the 3/4 and exalted triggers.

Sideboarding: -3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben, -1 Gaddock Teeg, -1 Qasali Pridemage, +2 Path to Exile, +1 Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, +1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant, +1 Gideon Jura

Game Two: James mulligans and stumbles on lands in the beginning, I opt not to path his Hierarch. I play a Knight, Linvala, and Gideon in consecutive turns. Meanwhile, James has been holding all of the trump cards in his hands but just light on mana. He gets another Knight into play, after I had Path to Exiled the first the previous turn, then is forced to attack into Gideon. Like a moron, I Maze of Ith his Knight but without thinking due to the fact that I had a tapped Linvala shutting it down. I should’ve just left it tapped then destroyed it on my turn. I attack again, and then James peels another land to play his own Linvala. I’m in trouble. I activate Gideon and attack with a different creature, I’m stuck with no gas in my hand but just three lone lands that I’m shuffling. James plays his own Gideon then the next turn casts Green Sun’s Zenith. I rip a Swords and remove a Knight, he draws another Green Sun and I’m out of the game shortly after.

How frustrating. I was incredibly mad at myself for misplaying and was punished by the fact that my opponent drew incredibly well while I didn’t. I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. I can’t be throwing away games like that.


Round Two: Erick Whelpley with T.E.S.

Game One: I open with Noble Heirarch, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Green Sun’s Zenith, and three lands. Turn one Hierarch, Erick Probes and sighs. I play a Thalia and attack, next turn, I play another land and Green Sun for Gaddock Teeg.

Sideboarding: -4 Swords to Plowshares, -1 Path to Exile, -1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant, -1 Maze of Ith, +1 Stony Silence, +1 Karakas, +1 Bojuka Bog, +2 Choke, +2 Tormod’s Crypt

Game Two: I mulligan and keep a loose hand with nothing but a turn three Zenith for Gaddock Teeg. Erick plays a turn two Empty the Warrens for ten after my turn one Mother of Runes (It was my draw). Turn two Pridemage, I Zenith up Teeg on turn three for a blocker. Erick plays Karakas and bounces. I’m out.

Game Three: We both mulligan and Erick keeps a slow hand. I play turn one Hierarch, turn two Qalasi Pridemage, Erick attempts to go off turn three but plays his Lion’s Eye Diamond first. I destroy it with Pridemage. He’s forced to put ten Goblins into play again. I Green Sun’s Zenith for Gaddock Teeg and play a Mother of Runes. I take nine, then play a Scavening Ooze and another Hierarch. I slowly stablize until I draw a Thalia too. Erick wraps it up.


Round Three: Jim Orr with NO Bant

Game One: Jim shuffling Jim introduced himself, he’s a very familiar face and is a pretty nice guy. But we had to begin the match, he then was the enemy. Jim is stuck on two basic Forests, a Dryad Arbor, and a pair of Noble Hierachs while I build up two Knight of the Reliquary. Jim drops back to back Tarmogoyfs but they are no match for my Knights as I slaughter them on my way to victory.

Sideboarding: -3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben, -1 Gaddock Teeg, -1 Qasali Pridemage, +2 Path to Exile, +1 Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, +1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant, +1 Gideon Jura

Game Two: Jim plays a turn three Natural Order. Apparently people still play Natural Order? Maverick can’t answer that.

Sideboarding: +3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben, +1 Gaddock Teeg, -2 Path to Exile, -1 Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, -1 Gideon Jura

Game Three: I stall Jim’s Natural Order with a Thalia and Swords-ing every creature that I could, I land an Elsepth and begin attacking. Jim successfully casts a Natural Order for Progenitus. I play a Scavening Ooze, jump my Hierarch with Elspeth and attack. Jim swings back putting me to Eight. I do the math and can kill Jim by removing every creature in the graveyards from the game. He has one card in hand. I ask him if he’s holding a removal spell. He’s hesitant to answer, I can’t blame him, I just wanted to know if I should’ve picked up sooner rather than later. I go through the process and swing for exactly lethal. Jim reveals a Swords to Plowshares. I lose the game in two turns.


Round Four: Charles “Morgan” Wiper with OmniShow

Game One: I play a quick Thalia and three Mother of Runes, but Morgan plays an Ancient Tomb into Show and Tell. I drop a Knight, Morgan plays Ominiscence then Emerakul and Griselbrand.

Sideboarding: +2 Oblivion Ring, +2 Choke, +1 Karakas, +2 Path to Exile, +1 Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, -1 Terravore, -4 Mother of Runes, -2 Swords to Plowshares, -1 Scavenging Ooze

Game Two: Morgan mulligans and is light on land, unfortunately for him, I opened with a couple of Wastelands, I played a Thalia shortly after. On my next turn I played a Knight, Charles just sat there as I attacked him down.

Game Three: I play a turn one Hierarch, Morgan plays Burning Wish then gets Show and Tell. I play turn two Sylvan Library. On turn three Morgan plays Show and Tell, fearing Oblivion Ring, he plays Emerakul. I drop Knight. I untap, Libary (Thalia, Choke, land). I pay eight life, draw all of them. I play Choke, then bounce his Emrakul. Morgan is very upset because he has another Show and Tell with Omniscence in hand. I win the game as Morgan’s lands never untap.


Round Five: Steve Rice with Junk

Game One: He opened up with double Wasteland and a Knight before I could do anything to stablize. Wrecked me, I quickly scoop.

Sideboarding: -3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben, -1 Gaddock Teeg, -1 Qasali Pridemage, +2 Path to Exile, +1 Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, +1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant, +1 Gideon Jura

Game Two: About the exact opposite of game one. I go turn one Hierarch, turn two Wasteland, Hierarch, Mother of Runes, turn three Knight, turn four Elspeth. Steve quickly scoops.

Game Three: Steve plays a turn one basic, I fetch and play Hierarch. He plays a dual and Stoneforge finding Batterskull. I Wasteland him and he casts Surgical Extraction on my Wastelands. I then Swords his Stoneforge Mystic, Steve spends the rest of the game on two lands while I beat him down with dorks.


Round Six: Sawm Higgins with Nic Fit

Game One: Sawm does what Nic Fit does game one, he played a turn one Veteran Explorer followed by a Therapy that destroyed my hand into a Garruk, Primal Hunter and out creatured me quickly. Including a Thragtusk.

Sideboarding: -3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben, -1 Gaddock Teeg, -1 Qasali Pridemage, -1 Mother of Runes, +1 Bojuka Bog, +2 Path to Exile, +1 Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, +1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant, +1 Gideon Jura

Game Two: This was a brawl, this game must’ve taken thirty-five minutes. It consisted of three Pernicious Deeds, several Knight of the Reliquary (One that found a Bog to stop recursion), a Terravore and plenty of other things. I actually ran out of lands, at the end of the game my board was two Cavern (One on Cat, the other on Human), Horizon Canopy, Dryad Arbor, Bojuka Bog, Thrun, and a Noble Hierarch. Sawm actually had an opportunity to kill me but just didn’t see it. He could’ve broken Pernicious Deed for 4, made me regenerate tapping Horizon Canopy (Going to three), activating Treetop Village and attacking. But instead he passed which lead to my eventual victory.

Game Three: Six minutes on the clock, I reminded Sawm several times to play faster considering he was tanking for at least a good 30 secs – minute on each turn before doing anything. I went turn one fetch Hierarch, turn two Terravore, turn three Wasteland his Bayou, play Pridemage blow up his Pernicious Deed. Turn four Elspeth. Kill him with two minutes on the clock. BOOM! Got it!


Round Seven: Henry Decker with Mono-Red Sneak Attack

Game One: Henry mulligans to five and I put Gaddock Teeg and Mother of Runes into play. He doesn’t have any outs.


Game Two: Henry begins the game with City of Traitors, remove Simian Spirit Guide, Seething Song, Sneak Attack, Blightsteel Colossus. Well that was fun.

Game Three: I mulligan, he mulligans to five and has a Trinisphere, I stumble on lands. Henry plays Through the Breach and puts Emrakul into play. Frown Town.


I missed out on top 16, I can’t remember the last time I did this poorly. I blame myself for that ridiculous round one error. I was mad at myself the second I did it and it turned out to be crucial on the day. But the important thing is to learn from your mistakes. Hopefully I won’t be so quick to Maze of Ith a creature next time. To make myself feel a bit better, I spent some store credit I had saved. I decided to pick up some cards for Godo.


Yes, that’s right! I now have a Mishra’s Workshop in my casual deck! Well, it’s not very casual but it sure is fun. I also bought a foil Mishra’s Factory and a Foil Static Orb. Upon receiving them I scoured the room for anyone I could find to play Commander/EDH against. Dan Rae was the only person man enough to step up to the challenge. I crushed him for a couple of games before Sam Lam sat down, these games were a bit more fair, but they still consisted of me crushing the two of them. Turn two Godo is just too powerful. To be fair, Dan Rae did manage to win one game with his Godo, Bandit Warlord doing a majority of the work.

Godo’s weakness is the increased number of players, the tougher it becomes for the deck to win. Which is understandable, it is an aggro deck after all. Ali sat down to join us with his RUG Ramp deck, Sam’s deck went nuts on everyone that game leaving me at one life for Dan Rae’s Tuk-Tuk Scrapper to kill me. Sadness.

I exited the table after that game. I was walking to watch Patnode in top 4 when Timur asked me to EDH, we played about ten games where I won six games to his four. His deck is also competitive but could be improved. Playing competitive EDH is just more interesting and compelling to me. I mean, I have a Kresh Ramp deck, but it’s nowhere near as fun. Durdling around isn’t exactly fun until people can just drop Time Stretch or Genesis Wave.

Anyway, back to Legacy. After Patnode split the finals, we took off. That kid had a great weekend, top 4 of the huge FNM and split finals of the NELC. Not too bad. The ride home the two of us chatted but eventually had to stop in Cortland for energy drinks and Taco Bell. Have you had Monster’s Rehab? It’s Arnold Palmer as an energy drink! It’s too good. Monster and Taco Bell? What else would a gamer’s diet look like?

Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!
Bryant Cook
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource

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