My alarm, a Tibetan singing bowl app on my iPhone, went off not as peacefully as you’d imagine, at 8am. I shit, shower, shave, and head out on my bike towards Kings Games for the TCG Spring States tournament. It’s got a 3x multiplier and, though people are really, really down on Kings, where I hear the phrases “That’s gay,” and, “I got raped by a Thragtusk,” probably every time I go there, I’ve never had a horrible time at the place. I’m not one to shy away from saying “Dude, that’s not okay to say,” when someone says something not cool. I feel strongly that it’s one’s responsibility to do so .

My single speed (two knee surgeries don’t permit me to ride a fixie and deny me full hipster status) flew through Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, East New York, Brownsville, and eventually places me in front of a Citibank a block away from Kings. I locked up, walked in, signed up, grabbed a deck registration sheet, and headed to Bagels & Bialys where I ordered and consumed a whole wheat bagel with onion, tomato, cream cheese, and salmon.

Some friends filter into Kings—Monique, Jon, Lowry, Evil Tim, Isaac, Glanzer, and some folks I only see at non-Twenty Sided events for whatever reason. The overall turnout is low, maybe 60, and we gas bagged until the tournament started. It’s 10:45 or later when pairings went up. A bunch of players and a judge got stuck in traffic and would be joining us shortly. I don’t know what the rules are about starting a round and then a bunch of guys show up and start well into the first round. It felt incorrect.

Round One vs. David’s GW Aggro

“Hey, I write for this dope blog, Hipsters of the Coast, and I always ask if I can shoot a photo of my opponent for my article, can I take yours?” That’s the question I usually aim at my opponent before our match starts.

“If you win you get the photo,” was David’s reply. I’ve never heard that one before.

“Okay,” I said. “I better win because I don’t know that I’d be able to successfully describe your awesome shirt.”

David’s on GW Aggro but there’s no way for me to tell as I turn one killed his Avacyn’s Pilgrim with Tragic Slip, turn two dropped a Diregraf Ghoul, turn three play Geralf’s Messenger, turn four play Falkenrath Aristocrat, and turn five induce a scoop with Thundermaw Hellkite. He didn’t play another card, just some white and green mana-generating lands. I figured he was playing Reanimator and sided in Appetite for Brains, taking out Blood Artist and something else.

Game two David crushed me. He wasn’t playing Reanimator at all. He suited up some dorks with unflinching courage and I drew my third of three Rakdos Guildgates, curse quietly at Li Xu, and scooped up my cards. I saw a Faith’s Shield and Wolfir Silverheart when I tried to eat David’s brains so I kept them in. I fake sideboarded more cards into my deck (but really kept my deck the same) and told him I had him on Reanimator after game one. We laughed.

I mulled to six and David mulled to four or five. I went Ghoul, Ghoul, Messenger, Aristocrat, and he scooped.


I’m going to be making all of my t-shirts look like David’s shirt. Maybe not all of them but a bunch. This shirt is seriously awesome.

1-0, 2-1

Round Two vs. Sean’s Bant Control


Sean and I’ve only battled one other time and he beat me. He’s a very clear and deliberate player and I love the hell out of that. Playing a match with Sean is kind of like watching ProTour coverage, ‘cept you’re in it. Very little bullshit. He writes for SCG here.

I smashed perfectly and he durdledBant style game one. “I thought you weren’t on this deck anymore,” I said. “I wasn’t, I flirted with The Aristocrats for a bit but came back to this,” he replied. My notes says that I saw two Farseek, one Forbidden Alchemy, and one Selesnya Charm.

“My Zombie opponent last round won game one, too,” he said with a smile.

Game two couldn’t have been worse for me. He had all the Terminus, Detention Spheres, and other awful cards I hate. “I can quit now,” I said as he cast his second Sphinx’s Revelations. “You could’ve quit after the first one,” he replied. I laughed.

Game three I got Sean down to three life when it’s down to top decking for me. I hoped to draw a Searing Spear or haste creature and hoped further that he didn’t have a counter spell or an Azorius Charm. I drew a Falkenrath Aristocrat and he didn’t have any of the spells I feared in his hand.

2-0, 4-2

“How’d you do?” David asked me. “I won.” “Good, my breakers are awesome!” That was the last time I’d contribute to his breakers in a positive way for the rest of the afternoon.

Round Three vs. Rob’s Esper Control


Rob had previously beaten me at the first Twenty Sided Store Modern PTQ 100 years ago. He was on Fairies at the time. I reminded him of this. “I loved that deck,” he said.

Lands kept insisting on being drawn and I lost game one, though it takes Rob about two hours to actually beat me so I scoop to game two. FLOOD FLOOD FLOOD, but it’s okay, I’m playing the best I can, staying focused and keeping cool.

Game two I SMASHED!

Game three I mulled six lands and an Thundermaw, then mulled double Cremate, two Appetite, and three swamps. I kept a five that wasn’t hot but was better than either of the previous two hands. Rob runs me over (slowly, methodically). We laughed when Devon comes over, looks at me playing against Esper and says, loudly, “Oh you must be having the best time!” I wasn’t. It was okay ‘cuz Rob wasn’t a dick, but man, I still hate Esper Control.

2-1, 5-4

At this point Monique was 1-2 and I think Evil Tim was 2-1, and Lowry was definitely 2-1. Jon lost three straight. Team “People I Know” wasn’t doing so hot.

Round Four vs. Max’s Junk Reanimator


Max and I got deck checked. He got a warning for reasons I never found out as I took off pretty quickly after our match.

Game one I keep five cards and he keeps four. Turn two Max top decked a Woodland Cemetery which allowed him to cast Mulch which then drew him three lands. He went on to totally crush me. He slimed my single red source (of two total lands) and I never drew anther.

Game two I had ten lands and played four spells. I wished Max good luck and wrote an X in the drop column on our match slip.

2-2, 5-6

I wished all my buds good luck, said good-bye, and headed to Twenty Sided, on my bike, in the rain, to draft and laugh with Kadar and the crew.

On the walk to my bike I ran into a guy that works at Kings. Earlier I’d asked him three times if I could get a deal on a playset of Voice of Resurgence and he said it was doable  and he’d find out what kinda deal. He never did. I ended up buying them off of Luis, as I’d always hoped to, after the draft later in the day.

Anyway, so I bumped into this guy and we have a good rapport so I said, “Hey man I’m on my way out but if I go buy some Clorox Wipes and a Swiffer you think you guys can clean that shithole upstairs? Just wash off the tables or something. I have to resleeve my deck and drop my playmat at the dry cleaners ‘cuz they got so filthy up there.”

“I’ll keep it in mind but probably not,” he replied. I thought as much.

The deck was humming at times and floody awful* at other times. It happens! Now that I’ve got a playset of Voice I can play some decks I’ve been pining to play! Monique, Rob, me, and a mystery guest, are going to a PTQ in Jersey on Saturday. I’m going to play my best, have a positive mental and physical attitude. Success, of course, will be a byproduct of this. If it’s not? There’s always next time!

Thanks for reading!

MTGO: The_Obliterator

*word joke with Zach Barash and Hugh Kramer “Control” in mind.

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