Evil, according to Evil Tim Akpinar, known Bant sympathizer and Jace Beleren look-a-like, “… just means wrathing and countering a lot.”  I was very evil and have been for most of this Standard meta.  With a new set on the horizon I’m certainly looking forward to what new wrathing and countering strategies might be on the rise, until then I’m content with being evil via American Control.

(Today I’m gonna try something a little different. I played FNM and TNM last week. Standard is my thing. You’ll often hear me say, “This is the meta we’re given. It’s up to us to play the cards.” So, lemme start by saying I’m writing this post while relaxing in the ole bathtub. It’s been a harsh few tourneys. 1-3 and 2-2 respectively. Added to the bath, I’m drinking a Manhattan – Redemption Rye if you must know. I’m gonna combine these two tourneys into one write up. And to help you avoid the Wall of Text I submit on the regular, I’m cutting the fat and breaking each match down to 5-6 sentences. I learned a lot this week. I want to help you do the same. Damn, I make a fine Manhattan!)

FNM – 12/28/2012

Round One – Jay UR Delver

Jay is getting into the competitive game after being a casual player for at least as long as I stopped playing.

Game One – Kept a mull to 5 Desolate Lighthouse hand (argh). Jay played a turn one Delver that never flipped. I drew lands and won.

Game Two I kept all 7 and Entreat took me home.

Note to self scooping early, though incredibly enticing can cost you games if your opponent is also unlucky.

Round Two – Jess Striba’s Bant control

Jess plays the non-mill focused Bant.

Game One – I play patient professional Magic and prevale.

Game Two – I play sloppy rushed Magic and allow Jess to capitalize on my lack of patience. Jace ultimates. I loose.

Game Three – I play less sloppy but Jace ultimates again, I loose.  DAMN YOU, BERELEN!

Round Three – David “Bones” McCoy’s RDW

(First of all, this is a moral victory as “Bones” concedes that he’ll have to get used to being called ‘Bones’.”)

Game One – Bones delivers the beats, the crust is burnt. I hope to return the order in …

Game Two – Apparently, the kitchen had a two for one deal on beats and Bones is victorious.

Round Three – Richard Tan’s UWR Angel

My lady showed up and I thought about it then I asked Mr Tan if he wouldn’t mind split packs and taking the win, so I could see my girlfriend. I still wanted one game though. Richie got me. I decided to tell Luis he won and to give him the packs. Revenge was sweet for the Tanner that day!

FNM synopsis –  Games 3-5 Matches 1-3. Aggro decks care nothing for your maindeck Memory Adepts. I’m taking them out putting them back in the board.


I arrive at 6:55, just in time! I get the bye which is ok but I’d rather play. Evil Tim arrives late. We pair up.

(This match gets the full treatment, Tim has played me a few times and I keep not writing them up. What better way to make it up to him than to write a drunk report from my bathtub.)
Round One – “Evil” Tim Akpinar’s Evil Bant

Game one – It went long and Tim once put me down to 1 life.  He was the beatdown. I was able to wipe the board with Terminus and Supreme Verdict and the occasional Detention Sphere. I resolved Niv-Mizzet and untapped (thanks to Cavern of Souls).  Tim was low on cards in hand and scooped in hopes of better luck in game two.  I think that’s how it went.  Tim will remind us better in the comments I hope.  So many evil spells were cast that game, I lost count of what was happening.

Game two – I fall behind on land. Tim draws Farseeks like they’re going out of style. He taps out at some point when I tap out for Revelation to do one himself. I untap. Jace! Mill train. I ride him home with counter back up.  Most of this game I was trying to just get to six land so I’d have Dispel back-up for my Jace.

The world comments on how unfun our match up is. I disagree, it’s very fun. It’s just not a bunch of creatures. It’s spell combat. We time things funny to make each other react. There’s some very skill intensive MTG going down here. It goes against the commonly held MTG laws. Sometimes I main phase instants or cast things at the end of my own turn because he’s tapped out. Don’t let Matt Jones bully you into thinking Island means not fun. It was like Jamaica on the Islands for me and prolly Tim as well.

Round Two Seth Rasmussen’s Human Reanimator

(Back to 5-6 sentences)

Game one – Seth looted a bunch and then played Unburial Rites, two turns after an Entreat for 2. Dissipated. Rinse Unburial Rites, Repeat Dissipate. Game.

Game two – Seth mulls to five, plays Cavern, then scoops after a couple turns of not playing lands. That sucks. I offer another game. I really want to practice this match up. Seth is disgusted with the luck, declines and takes a fresh air break.

Free Wins are nice, but I’d rather earn my wins.

Round Three – Terrence’s U/W Control

Game one – I play out all threats and all my threats are dealt with. I scoop waaaaaay too late.

Game two – We go to time and that’s fine cuz it looks like T would have had it ala Jace. I learned a valuable lesson. Jaces might be going back in my deck, at least in the sideboard. Awesome game one though! Looking forward to playing Terrence again.

Round Four – Anthony Lebron’s Bant Control

Game one –  Starts with early turn Augur beats from Lebron.  I joke that this might be game breaking.  The game ends with a Resto Angel flashing one of two Thragtusks for EXACTSIES.  Damn you, Augur of Bolas!

Game two – Almost goes to time.  I almost mill out Lebron but he sneaks in an Elixir of Immortality, “NOOOOOOOO!” It was a very carefully plotted match.  There was a Pithing Needle for Drownyard and then another for Jace, Memory Adept.  I was wary of Detention Sphere, but when you’re getting milled for 13 a turn you have to take some risky moves.  We both get low on cards,  I Entreat for 3 and he’s got Tusk token and Angel doing me 11 damage.  Our life totals were so high we didn’t think this would be a creature war.  I was threatening lethal when I went to zero cards in deck (Detention Sphere got Drownyard back online and Jace was active for one turn).

Later Anthony informed me that he only had one Overgrown Tomb in play.  I was tapping one of his two Drownyards to stop the mill for six but HE COULDN”T MILL ME FOR SIX.  I could have stopped the milling totally.  LOOK AT THE LANDS, ZAC!  I’ll be more careful of board states in Atlantic City.

TNM Synopsis – Do I want to play control mirrors all day in Atlantic City?  If I can win them, YES!  I need tech if I’m gonna take it though.  Bant is on the rise, I definitely don’t wanna play that deck myself.  With a little tweaking, I think that I could have a better match-up vs Bant and still not loose too much potency vs Aggro decks.  Today Li, Chase and others will be Jamming Standard in prep for Atlantic City.  Bring a deck.  I’m looking to Play just about every match up so i can tune this thing.

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

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