Monday, September 23, 2013

My trip to Theros

My Saturday began far too early. You see, my significant other and I have been planning on moving in together for quite a while and Friday night I was frantically trying to gather all the materials for the application process. After that my brain decided it did not want to wind down. Late to bed and early to rise does nothing good for Magic players.
I sloughed out of bed and went through the motions of getting ready. I had put my bag together in the half-slumber daze of Friday so once I got dressed I was out the door to pick up coffee, bagel, and jalapeno cheddar biscuit.
Let me tell you, that last one is a delight.
I get in the car and pump some Millencolin as I drive to the Twenty Sided Store. I had signed up for the 9am prerelease and had selected the red box. I did this because I felt the format was going to be of average speed and I liked the promo- I felt it would be the one I would be able to cast most often. I also preferred red's removal to black. Going in I felt that tempo would matter and was very excited at the prospect of casting Lightning Strike in response to Monstrosity or Heroic.
I arrive  to the site and start chatting with other regulars Kadar, Hugh, Alex, Charles, and Micah. I offer everyone a bite of my biscuit and Charles accepts. Before I offer Micah, he gives me a look so I ask "Are you a vegan?"
The next five minutes were devoted to discussing Micah's soy induced rash.
We queue up and slowly file into the store. Our table for deck building has all of the same faces. Luis goes through the spiel and we eagerly tear into our packs.
I took apart my pool on Sunday so I cannot replicate it here. Looking back I had a fairly powerful pool with solid rares: Ember Swallower, Titan of Eternal Fire, Nighthowler, Mistcutter Hydra, Hundred-Handed One, Fleecemane Lion, and Temple of Victory. I had good removal in double Lightning Strike, Rage of Purphoros, Lash of the Whip, Pharika's Cure, Divine Verdict, Last Breath, and Griptide. I got distracted by trying to trigger Heroic on my father few creatures with the ability an initially went GW splash red for the aforementioned removal. This was a mistake. In hindsight I should have been either Izzet or Rakdos. Izzet provided tons of sweet fliers including Prescient Chimera, Horzion Scholar, and Spellheart Chimera, as well as Mnemonic Wall to get back my awesome spells. Rakdos was light no creatures but had double Gray Merchant of Asphodel and a March of the Returned to get them back. 
This is why we practice.
My matches were largely awesome. In round one I played against Jarad and his Boros deck. I win in three games, although in the third he did not draw enough land. This match was a ton of fun because Jarad and I discussed life in Western New York and reminisced  about Wegman's.
Aside: Wegman's is the greatest grocery store of all time. Not only do they sell everything, their house brands are better than most name brands. On top of that, they are a huge economic driver in Western New York and I have multiple friends who went to college on Wegman's Scholarships. 
After the match I look at Jarad's pool and see some strong green. I urge him to try Gruul out since it looks slightly better than his Boros.
I get smashed in the second round by Leo. Leo looks young- I'd put him at 14 or 15 and he can flat out play. In game one, agaisnt Leo's GW deck,  I brain fart and try to Lightning Strike a Centaur Battlemaster while Leo has an Opaline Unicorn untapped. What happened? Gods Willing happened. 
In game two Leo sides into an entirely different deck. I am facing down a huge Sealock Monster but have stabilized with a vigilant monsterized Fleecemane Lion and two other creatures. Leo turns my two other creatures into swine and I decide to attack with the team. Leo untaps, casts Purphoros's Emissary on the Monster then attacks through for the win thanks to Titan's Strength. I was outplayed and felt down as Leo offered the hand. I shook it and said good games. 
Nothing like getting trounced. I didn't deserve to win either of those games and Leo played well - they were good games. I was just being a sore loser in my mind at the moment. 
Something else I have to practice I suppose.
Between rounds I switch into a Simic deck and just get destroyed by Richard's sweet Orzhov deck. While I was able to deal with most of his threats Cavern Lampad just did me in from 16 life. Game two Agent of Fates made my life miserable.
In the fourth round I went Izzet for my match with Ivan. I won in three close games with game three hinging on when he cast Nylea's Emissary on Crackling Triton. I used my Portent of Betrayal to steal the Triton and then sacrificed it, finishing off the Emissary with a removal spell. The hit was too much and Ivan fell to my flyers.
I close out the day with two packs and a haul of cards for my collection. As I leave I see Jarad and ask him how he finished. He went 2-2 and thanked me for the help. 
That made the entire day worth it.
Theros limited does seem to be of average speed and tempo definitely matters. I am looking forward to playing more events and drafting the hell out of the set. I'm also excited for what it means for my cube.

Quotes from the day:
Outside the venue between rounds, I'm eating a snack
Me: Let me show you my deck...can you hold my bana..
Micah: Come on, you have to finish saying it.
Me: Can you hold my banana? 

Inside the venue, before good man Andrew leaves for the day
Andrew: Wanna be jealous? :shows Micah and me a set of limited edition dice from GenCon:
Micah: That was the greatest pun of all time.
Me: I made a pun? 
Andrew: Just go with it, it was amazing!

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