Power and Toughness—A Visual Diary of GP Providence 2013
Rolex drove two-thirds of the Christian Hunters, featuring the Obliterator, and Connor “Purple” Hayes to the Providence Convention Center. Before we waged war with the elements we drove to Forbidden Planet, a comic book store in Union Square where I’ve spent many hours and dollars over the years. Rolex had a tip that there were getting boxes of Modern Masters and selling them for MSRP (like $164). The tip was correct. Hunter and Connor went in and each bought a box. I walked in and my hook-up there said, “This guy’s awesome, he can buy two, and he’s the last one to buy any boxes.” I wasn’t planning on buying two but how could I turn that down? I didn’t.
I can palm a box of Modern Masters on a wet NYC morning from inside a car fairly easily.
The FDR holds some pretty sweet views during a rainstorm (also when it’s not raining). The end of the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie took place on on this bridge.
This is what a pack of Modern Masters looks like in my hand while in Rolex’s SUV.
Which one’s the first pick?
Foil Vivid Grove looks pretty gorgeous.
Obviously I couldn’t wait to open some cards. We opened half a box on the way to Providence. I kept the in groups of six packs so we could still build sealed pools for GP Las Vegas practice.
This poor Camaro got wet.
When Rolex tried on my hat it was clear that my head is much bigger than his.
It was still raining.
The Christian Hunters & the Obliterator (minus Christian, located off-site until the main event).
GP Fridays are slow as all get out.
I went with Empire Strikes Back sleeves and my new custom Hipsters playmat.
We decided to get into a draft with Dana, Jess, and Zach. I lost round one to Dana. She didn’t want her photo taken for the blog this time so I have no record of our match. Her deck was good. Hunter lost, too. We signed up for a second draft.
This kid humiliated and eliminated me from draft number two. His deck was a TOTAL FUCKING MONSTER of a 12 color hate factory. Hunter beat him in the finals.
These guys stopped me and asked if they could take my photo. I said sure. “Our friend Melvin’s gonna love this,” they said. “Do you not listen to the Melvins?” I asked, astounded. “No, we listen to hip-hop.” Sigh. The next day they wouldn’t cut me a deal on a playset of Stomping Grounds.
Draft number three, this guy totally crushed me. Maybe I beat him game two but seriously, who cares? Totally nice dude. Totally destroyed my hopes and dreams. All my cards sucked and I was ready to go eat a really really late dinner.
This is the deck that had it’s ass handed to it by the nice Red Sox fan (probably the only nice Sox fan on Earth). While I was building it a kid stopped, said “How does this deck ever lose?” to which I replied, “Just watch.” Then I showed him.
Hugh, Jim, and Joe won a grinder. It wasn’t one of the miraculous four team grinders the event organizer had for whatever reasons. This was one of the 16 or so team grinders. They won it. They’re good at Magic. They tied their win and in and didn’t make day two. Sad face.
I took my Yankees hat off and Rolex put it in my bag while we ate insanely bad for you delicious fried foods (best burger of my life, that day) and witnessed the Bruins making the Stanley Cup Finals with a bunch of excited New Englanders. I haven’t pooped well since I arrived in Providence and I mostly blame the food.
I ate there again the next morning and had corn beef hash that will probably lead to my (incredibly worth it) death. Sausages like this are called bangers.
I’m not sure if this photo is of anything in particular. I really like my sneakers.
We had a bye. One. From my 750 Planeswalker Points. We got there early enough. It was nice. There were lots of people.
There aren’t so many people in this part though.
Rolex ate something sour. Birdlaw, Hugh, and my Nemesis were caught spying on us.
This is my deck. It’s sideways, sorry. I liked it well enough. It’d be better if it was more midrange or more aggro. As it is it’s just so in the middle of the two that it wasn’t quite as hot as I wanted it to be.
This is my deck:
GP Providence Sealed Deck
Round one I suggested Hunter mull the hand which had swamps, two black cards, and two blue cards. He kept it and then drew only blue cards.
After our round one defeat we witnessed this guy jumping around after being duck taped by a guy in a brown cloak. Some other nerds shot video of the whole thing.
Tony wore his Matt Jones t-shirt (as did Monique on Friday). Tony’s team played well enough to make day two. Evil Tim and Carl were on that team, too.
We hung out with these three a bunch. They are Christian’s friends. The guy in the middle kind of made me want to quit eating meat without saying anything. They were all nice. The guy on the right is pretty hilarious.
Let’s all understand that I’m horrible with names. HORRIBLE.
This is my friend Steve’s dog, Marcel. He’s named after Marcel Duchamp. If you don’t know anything about Marcel Duchamp you should Google him and educate yourself. If you do know something about Duchamp then you probably laughed at this dog’s name. He’s one of the handsomest French Bulldogs I’ve ever known.
Things are starting to look rough for some folks.
Not nearly as rough as my hair though. Luckily I still had my Yankees hat.
I had just played the game of my life with some good assists from Christian. In the final game of the match, hoping to salvage a victory so we would take the match as a team, I face down a fucking Centaur Healer (blocks all my shit), a Murmuring Phantasm (also blocks all my shit), and a Lavinia (has protection from my deck). Then I drew 100 lands in a row. “Are you taking a photo for your blog?” my 16 year old opponent asked. “Absolutely,” I said. After our match he told me he was in trouble if he made it to day two because he told his girlfriend he’d be at her graduation. “Dude, do you know how many Courtneys there’ll be in your life?” I asked. He didn’t know. “An unlimited supply, man. How many times are you gonna day two a Grand Prix?” He laughed.
Hugh said we should take a photo for Jon so we took this one and I texted it to him.
Christian had to take off and we were out of day two range so this was our last round. Christian fucked Mikey Scovatz up really bad and Monique had a collassal misplay game one and bad luck game two. It was down to Rolex and Birdlaw finishing an utterly inconsequential few games. I got bored watching it so talked to Monique about her Jund list for Standard.
I sent this picture to Josh because he loves toothpaste.
All I want to do is open MM packs all the time. In the previous box I opened a Dark Confidant. In this box I would end up opening nothing of value beyond some dope uncommons. Pretty unexciting.
Mikey Scovatz is an awesome dude and I wish he still lived in NYC. For now I’ll be happy seeing him at Grand Prix I guess.
While waiting for the Super Series Standard event to start I colored the background of Phytoburst blue with a Papermate ballpoint pen.
I played Jund Midrange. It’s a deck I keep going back to. The list was mostly Hugh Kramer’s. Notably absent are Bonfire of the Damned. I never wanted the card in any of the three games I played. Here’s the list:
Luke was hilarious and a fun guy to play Magic with. He played Junk Reanimator.
Game three he needed to draw an Angel of Serenity to win or force the draw but they were all clumped in the bottom of his library. I won on turn five after time in the round ended. Olivia became huge and crushed with her stolen Thragtusk friend from Luke’s side of the board.
This guy super kicked my ass, plain and simple. BRW Aristorats. I couldn’t get anything going though there was a turn where I could’ve not died if he hadn’t played Sorin and made an emblem. I was going to Devour Flesh my own Ravager to gain four life and win on the swing back. It wasn’t meant to be.
I ate this. Note: Non-McDonalds sweet and sour sauce is almost always horrible.
This Buffalo, NY, native played Junk Tokens and tried to do horrible things to me. A well timed Golgari Charm here, an Olivia there, and an Abrupt Decay targeting his wurm token wearing Unflinching Courage all helped me achieve victory!
Rolex and I had decided to leave, hoping to make it back in time to be with our ladies. We succeeded. I showed up, shook this guy’s hand, signed my match slip, and we were out the door (with Hugh in tow).
News flash: this guy no longer plays Bloodgift Demon in his Jund list. WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!
Rolex lost and then found his $500 sunglasses, a gift from his sister (who is apparently incredibly wealthy).
Earlier in the day Monique wanted me to shoot a photo of her with Reid Duke. He was busy so I took this selfie with Duke over my right shoulder. He looks like he’s full of chewing in this photo.
All ride home the sky was totally beautiful.
This is the Rolexmobile. It made all sorts of unknown sounds whilst we drove back to the city. I was only kind of scared. We had all of our very good jokes to keep us safe. Laughter is the best medicine (for cards, too)!
The drive was coming to a close and our beautiful adopted home city loomed brilliantly on the horizon.
We went 5-3 and didn’t play round nine of the main event. Our decks were not insane, our card pool wasn’t awesome. We built solid decks and played really well together. I’m proud of how well we did!
I was 2-1 in Standard when we left Providence and was feeling pretty good about how the deck was performing. Hugh’s Jund list, hell, any Jund list, is so adaptable and excellent. I love it. It’s clear why Monique’s been playing it for so long!
During Sunday’s portion of the GP I interviewed Steve Prescott for Arting Around. He’s one of my top five favorite Magic illustrators and he was excellent to speak with. Look for the interview in the coming couple of weeks!
I’m gonna go drink some psyllium husk water and try to get my bowels moving again. Thanks for the constipation, Providence!
Very best wishes to all,