The less said about my GP Kansas City experience, the better. Even with 3 byes, I was dead going into round 9, and that with beating PT Nagoya champ David Sharfman in what really wasn't a match of Magic. So I leave it up to you, readers. What would you have done with this sealed pool?
Sealed Pool - GP Kansas City - 6/18/2011
"A, B, C. A, always. B, be. C, closing. Always be closing! ALWAYS. BE. CLOSING." - Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross
Alec Baldwin's profanity-laced speech as Blake in the film adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross is one of the most famous 'motivational' speeches in movie history. In it, Blake threatens the workers at the real estate agency with termination if they fail to win one of the two prizes in the monthly sales contest. The winner of the sales contest gets a Cadillac El Dorado. Wanna see second prize?
A set of steak knives. Obviously a major step down from a Cadillac. Magic players have drawn a similar conclusion from 1-slot PTQs and Nationals Qualifiers. The tournaments are basically winner-take-all and the packs you get for losing in the finals? Might as well be some steak knives. And now, for the first time, I know the bitter taste of stainless steel.
On Saturday, I played in a Nationals Qualifier tournament at MuGu Games. 29 competitors braved the drive to deepest, darkest Everett to battle it out for one invitation to US Nationals 2011 at GenCon. I was battling with the venerable Caw-Blade and over 5 rounds, I beat U/W Venser Control, RUG, and Valakut, lost a match to Valakut, and drew into the top 8. A quarterfinals rematch against the Valakut player I lost to was on the horizon, but the good guys ended up triumphant. A mirror match with 2010 Worlds competitor Joe Bono was lined up in the semis, and although I played far too conservatively, I still managed to get the win and head to the finals. My opponent? Former contributor to this site and owner of more sets of steak knives than any other man I know, Greg Peloquin. What's one more set to add to the collection? Unfortunately, he wasn't willing to go so quietly (like he did in the Swiss playing RUG), and in the end, his Titans prevailed over my Hawks. (Let's see how many misguided football searches hit that phrase!) The king of steak knives had just given me a set. No coffee for me this week.
You won't see any Starkington Post style rebranding here or fake Duel (Duet?) products today. There are 364 other days to poke fun at the things we love. This one day just brings all the non-comedians out of the woodwork to throw lame jokes out there and see what sticks. Come in, real close, 'cause I have a secret to tell you.
In 2010, the Star City Games (SCG) Open Series brought Legacy back to prominence in the US through their series of semi-weekly events, covered by GGslive. This year for the Open Series, SCG announced a partnership with GGslive to have their events broadcast with SCG branding as SCG Live. For the most part, SCG has treated the broadcasts as GGslive with their own commentators, but I believe that's the wrong angle to take.
First off, I know it's been a long time since I've written anything here. There was no Paris report (missed day 2 of the PT, 12-4, T64 in the GP), no Denver report (11-4, T64), and no update on my progress on Nagoya (probably not getting there). I did write an article for ManaNation a couple of weeks ago on my gauntlet for the Standard environment at the time. I think it's a good start place for an environment that, while there's innovations here and there, is pretty static at the moment. This article, however, isn't about tournament results or playtesting or anything actually relevant to a game of Magic. It's about sleeves.
It's time to apply the lessons learned in searching for the best deck and use those lessons to build a testing gauntlet for the Extended PTQ season, at least as it stands right now. While only scattered information has come out on the paper PTQ season so far, we have a lot of information from the two Magic Online PTQs and several Daily Events. What the data bears out is one deck is at the top of the heap in terms of results, and a few others are on the outside looking up. I hope you like flying blue creatures.
You hear it all the time, people talking about what the best deck in a given format is. It's Faeries. It's Jund. It's Thopter Depths. It's U/G Goyf. It's Affinity. It's Vengevine Survival. It's this and that and every format tends to have one or two decks that rise to the top and get called the 'best deck'. It's the deck the best players in your area want to play at the PTQ to win and get the blue envelope. It's the deck the pros talk about on ChannelFireball and StarCityGames and TCGPlayer, either telling you how they would have built and played the best deck three weeks ago, or what decks they're brewing to beat the best deck consistently. It's the deck MTGSalvation forum posters hate because it's a netdeck and they think that netdecking is stripping all the creativity out of the game while they 2-2 their FNMs with their all Rebecca Guay deck. (more…)