Every year my family goes to Orlando, Florida. They do the Disney thing, sit around the pool at the timeshare, and then do more of the Disney thing. For the past ten years, I’ve elected to sit out on this trip. It’s nothing against my family, or really even against Disney World, I just always felt like I had other stuff to do. The first couple years, I watched the family dog and hosted parties at my parents house. Then I was in college and working and couldn’t get the time off, or rather, couldn’t afford to take the time off. And now, I’m 26, and for the first time in my adult life I had enough vacation time to take a week off to spend with my family in Florida.

Well, it wasn’t just a family vacation. I’m still not sure I could handle that. I took along my girlfriend, Erica, and my brother brought along his Hawaiian-shirt enthusiast of a roommate, Garrett.

We arrived in Florida on Saturday night. After settling in at the timeshare, we went out to buy beer and check out the pool. There was a drunk southerner at the hot tub who kept yelling stuff about hunting. He would just list off animals—sharks, gators, elk, moonfish—and talk about how they were in a population boom and how it was the “right thing” to hunt them down. After he made what he felt was a good point, he would say, “I mean helllooooooooo.” I thought about speaking up when he asked if there were any “treehuggers” in the area, but decided to quietly mock him from the vantage point of the other hot tub instead.

Anyway, on Sunday, we did what Magic players do when you put them in a room together. We played a big game of EDH. Despite the fact that we had a dinning room table that would comfortably accommodate the five of us, my brother Eric talked us into playing on the deck. “It’s just more picture-esque. It will be better for your article.” We left the cool comfort of the AC tempered room for the humid Florida air and started to shuffle up.




Erica was playing her Bird-tribal Derevi, Empyrial Tactician deck. Before we left for vacation I made a few revisions to the list, cutting some of the especially bad birds for some “good stuff”. While Prophet of Kruphix and Azami, Lady of Scrolls aren’t birds, they really do wonders for a Bird Wizard army.


I was playing my Hanna, Ship’s Navigator deck. It’s a prison/enchantments matter deck with lots of unfun stuff like Time Stretch, Mindslaver, and Opalescence/Parallax Wave. I’m a jerk like that.


Garrett was playing Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer. The deck is an artifact themed aggro deck that tries to end the game quickly with Jor’s anthem effect or win the long game with Insurrection or Master Warcraft.


Kyle was playing Oros, the Avenger. The deck is pretty close to the Kaalia of the Vast Commander pre-con, but Kyle switched out commanders, because, well, Dragons are cool.


Eric was playing Zedruu the Greathearted, which he identifies as his worst EDH deck. The plan is the same as most Zedruu decks in any case; gift your opponents stuff they don’t want or auras they can’t use and then profit.

I also took a group picture of everyone at the table, sans me of course. I think they are talking politics:





I kept this glorious do-nothing hand while half the group took their free mulligans.

The first couple turns were pretty slow. Garrett started attacking people with a Mirran Crusader, Erica played a Battle Screech, I played an Academy Rector which was promptly put in Faith’s Fetters to prevent it dying in combat, Eric fiddled with his lands, and Kyle didn’t do much of anything.

The game changed when Erica played a Prophet of Kruphix and none of us had any way of dealing with it.



Things got out of hand really fast. Erica played Azami, Lady of Scrolls and Crookclaw Elder and started drawing cards at the end of everyone’s turn while also still flashing out creatures. Needless to say, Eric’s face encapsulated how we all felt:


Kyle was able to halt the madness when he played an Evincar’s Justice on the following turn, which wiped out Erica’s bird tokens and allowed me to cash in my Academy Rector for an Oblivion Ring to get rid of the Prophet. I thought about getting Parallax Wave to exile everyone’s creatures with the Opalescence trick, but figured that I would try to take it easy to avoid everyone hating me even more.

Moving forward, Garrett had a giant shrouded lifelinking Jor Kadeen thanks to Lightning Greaves and Loxodon Warhammer, Kyle had an Oros and an entire Army of the Damned, Erica had a bunch of birds, I had a Sphere of Safety and Ghostly Prison to hide behind, and Eric had Zedruu…that’s about it.

Erica was able to kill Garrett in the air. I managed to live another turn cycle thanks to a temporary alliance with Erica where I destroyed my own Oblivion Ring to give her back Prophet of Kruphix. Thanks to Future Sight, I was able to play the Serra’s Sanctum on top of my library, which revealed a Mindslaver that I could immediately play and activate. I took Kyle’s turn and killed Eric and Erica with the 20+ zombies Kyle had amassed. On my turn I played Omniscence, cast a Plea for Guidance which grabbed Parallax Wave and a Greater Auramancy to prevent any shenanigans and Kyle scooped up his cards.

Erica told me I ruined her whole vacation and the rest of the group promised vengeance in the next game.

Hopefully, I won’t have to ride Space Mountain alone.

At age 15, while standing in a record store with his high school bandmates, Shawn Massak made the uncool decision to spend the last of his money on a 7th edition starter deck (the one with foil Thorn Elemental). Since that fateful day 11 years ago, Shawn has decorated rooms of his apartment with MTG posters, cosplayed as Jace, the Mindsculptor, and competes with LSV for the record of most islands played (lifetime). When he’s not playing Magic, Shawn works as a job coach for people with disabilities, plays guitar in an indie-pop band, and keeps a blog about pro-wrestling.

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