Hello kids, this week we are going to do something a little bit different. We are going to have story time, and I’ll tell you why. I know that when I read a tournament report, I don’t really need to know what happened on turn 3 when you cast Knight of the Reliquary and your opponent Dazed. I can read the title of your article or skim to the end to see that you took 2nd in a crushing defeat in the finals. Now I realize this is hypocritical because I have written tournament reports before doing exactly what I do not really care for, but oh well. I will probably continue to write tournament reports if I do well.
When I read a tournament report, I want to read about crazy stories and stuff that happens in between the rounds. I want to know what you ate for lunch and how your side game of EDH went. Obviously this is something that is just my opinion and some people may want to know what happened each turn and how you tapped your mana. I guess I am using my powers of being able to write an article to just do what I please. And while I sit here on Christmas Eve, drinking The Incredible Hulk and watching football, I want to tell stories. I haven’t played much Magic recently because of college and finals, so I haven’t been brewing and I haven’t been able to sling that expensive cardboard. So if you do not want to read stories about my tournament travels and stuff that has happened between rounds then I suggest you close your browser now and just move on. I promise to talk more strategy and deck choices in the following article. If you do want to read some stories then continue on and I hope you enjoy.
So like all players I started out being horrible. I was in love with my Screaming Seahawks (see Squadron Hawk, only an addition 3 mana for 2/2s) and when I got “competitive” I thought my Underworld Dreams/Megrim deck was the absolute nuts. Well some of my friends tried to get me into Vintage and told me to go online and find a deck. I came across a deck called simply Dragon and it intrigued me, because again, I was new to the game and liked big creatures for big mana costs. I looked over the deck and had no idea how it won and finally figured out that the deck won by casting Worldgorger Dragon and Stifling his come into play ability so that way you could attack and crush. Yeah, I did not realize that you don’t actually attack in Vintage. So when the deck was explained to me (you won by using Worldgorger’s crazy loop to get infinite mana) I knew Vintage was going to be a format for me. I was a noob thrown into the fire, and I loved it. This situation just lets me look back and realize how much I did not know and how much I still do not know about this game. Maybe one day I’ll be as good as Ken Adams.
Jump to 2005 and I have become better at Magic overall and even pretty good when it comes to Vintage. SCG used to run Vintage tournaments a couple times a year in Rochester, NY and I always tried to attend them. I was only 16 at the time and my parents did not trust me enough to drive to Rochester with my friend Steve. So they decided we would get up and all go together, Steve and I playing Magic and my parents spending a day in Rochester. The day went really well for me and I ended up going into the last round against one of the French Canadian Vintage players. I knew nothing about the points system or tie breakers so when he offered me a draw, I thought he was up to something. The player and his friends talked to me a bit more trying to explain it. The judges came over and started urging us to start playing or something bad was going to happen. While still unsure, my opponent said to me, “Well, my deck can crush yours everyday of the week.” At this insult to my precious Dragon, I wanted to play and he was about to show me his deck to prove its dominance when his friends dissuaded him. Then desperate for this draw he told me one more time how much more beneficial the draw would be for me. I accepted and they immediately started speaking French to each other and my only thought was, I’m going to have to fight a bunch of these guys now for screwing me over and out of Top 8. Well come to find out these guys were not lying as I made Top 8 and he did not. My first ever big Top 8 and boy did it feel good. Of course at this point my parents had come back and were ready to leave. I had to break the news that I would be at the event a bit longer.
Still going with the previous story, I had to face off against Oath in the Top 8 and it was a horrible match-up for me, even though I ran Forbidden Orchards of my own to combat it. I also was super nervous so that did not exactly help out my play. I managed to get crushed game 1 and game 2 looked to be exactly the same. My opponent has lethal on the board and my hand is dismal. I start out by casting Black Lotus and cracking it for 3 Red. I cast Squee, Goblin Nabob which resolved and then proceeded to cast a second Squee. The opponent looked over his hand and honestly pondered his options for a couple of minutes before allowing the second one to resolve. I just laughed, binned them both due to the legend rule and extended my hand. I guess high level Vintage players do not expect the double Squee play. Well after that I had to wait around to figure out which piece of Power I would get so in order to pass the time I got to play some Type 4 and Hacky Sack with some cool dudes and shoot the shit. I finally got to leave Rochester at 1 am holding a Mox Jet. It felt good because I knew I wasn’t total crap.
Okay, two more stories for you all and then story time will be over. You can go back to your normal lives in the new year and do whatever it is that you do. This is another Vintage travels but this time things did not go as planned. My teammate Justin read about a Vintage event in Syracuse at some mall and decided we should go. So Justin, Steve, and I hit the road which soon became a very snowy road. We had to slow down and Justin is the type of man who never gets real directions or will use a GPS unless he absolutely needs to. I am the type of person and if I do not know where I am going I will look at Map Quest or grab my GPS. I hate getting lost especially when I am in a time crunch of an event. Well we get lost and have to stop for directions in which I head into a gas station. The attendant does not really know where to go either but gives us a rough set of directions so we head off that way. We finally make it to a mall with like ten minutes until the event is supposed to start. We get inside and head to the food court where the event is to be held. A bunch of people but nothing that looks to be a Magic tournament, not a single person with a book bag, so we are actually at the wrong mall. Well damn, I guess we aren’t playing Magic today. Well damn, I guess we should do something else fun today. Well three guys in a mall isn’t something that is usually a lot of fun, but we made the best of it. We grabbed Taco Bell for lunch and I made my friend steal a tray by sliding it into his shirt. The rest of the day he walked around with a very flat chest from the tray. I ended up buying this awesome wallet that I still used to today and Steve bought a set of Chinese hook swords. Red Lobster rounded out the day and it actually was not that bad. Come to find out, they did not have the prizes promised and told the players they would mail the prize. I never heard if anyone got their prizes, but my day was fun.
This last story I will not be mentioning real names or locations because I do not need anyone to get in trouble or friendships altered because of it. I was picked up at school and we headed off for a weekend of Magic. I was meeting a few of these people for the first time and some of them are pretty cool and others are total d-bags. Venser had been acting like a total douche during the whole card ride and giving my shit because he was wearing our team shirt and wasn’t getting anything out of it. Except the person driving told us we did not have to pay any gas. Yeah a 10 hour car ride without paying gas is getting something. We got back to the hotel and Venser had left to find friends while Jace and I stayed in the room. The next day was upon us and it was going well as normal. Venser decided to screw me over by not paying for his share of the pizza, but whatever, I wasn’t too mad. So Jace tells me about half way through the day that he has a headache and is going back to the room. Figuring this is something normal, I just allow him to leave and continue to play and hang out. Well come to find out Jace had managed to pick up a girl at the tournament and took her back to the room and had a pillow fight in Venser’s bed, which had been already given fresh sheets and Venser still needed to sleep in it that night. Jace later told me that he wasn’t going to pillow fight in his own bed and he liked me way too much to do it in mine. I couldn’t help but laugh all of the following day because Venser chose to not shower in the morning. Ah, sweet victories.
I hope you all enjoyed my stories and I would love to read some of your stories, you can comment below or even send them to me via Facebook. I hope you start off the new year right and that I will see you at the next Jupiter Legacy Event. Come up and talk to me and let’s get some more stories I can write about. I also exist on Twitter @rocketrae21