I’m sure many a scribe will have written about their exploits in Boston Worcester by the time this post goes live on Thursday—heck, we’ve had couple on this here internet site, already—so I’ll try to be brief about my tale, before we switch gears and go back to talking Legacy. My weapon of choice for the weekend was similar to the UR Tempo Twin list I played in Richmond, with a few updates in technology (Keranos, Twisted Image, etc). I did not pick up a pro point, or cash, or even make day two. It’s fine, I’m mostly happy with my deck choice and the way I played; you don’t always get to win, and that’s ok. (But I am a tiiiiny bit disappointed about having my previously perfect record in round nine win-and-ins getting blemished, but it happens; life goes on)

I say mostly, because, sure, there are things I could have done better. In my case, maybe it could be attributed to having only a single bye (thankfully, this will be the last GP for at least a year where I don’t have two) and drawing the dreaded burn matchup in round two. Perhaps it was due to lack of experience in the mirror match, that ended up getting very grindy and going to time. Maybe it was a couple of “lazy keeps” in the last round of the day, after winning game one, that cut my tournament short.
Either way, with just one more PTQ on my calendar for this season, I’m returning Modern to the backburner until 2015*, to put my all back into Legacy. We have an exciting schedule to take carry us through the final third of 2014, with the SCG Invitational coming to my backyard in New Jersey on Labor Day weekend, Eternal Weekend in October, and then back to Jersey for the crown jewel in my 2014 Magic schedule, the Legacy Grand Prix. To say that I’m pumped is an understatement!

Anyways, I said I wasn’t going to spend much time on actual results, so here it is.

Round 1 – Bye: W (1-0)

There was a Starbucks near the venue, so I go there for breakfast. A wild McCoy appears!

Round 2 – Burn: L 1-2 (1-2)

I combo out at two life in game one. Ensnaring Bridge shuts me out in game two. I lose game three to an incorrect decision to scry an extra Flame Slash to the bottom, since I already had a Bolt in hand to answer his on-board Goblin Guide. He ended up having another. This may not have actually made a huge difference; looking back at my notes, the extra Guide only actually contributed two damage, but every percentage you give yourself helps.

Round 3 – Bye.. I mean Affinity: W 2-0 (2-1)

This matchup is easy, because we have infinite removal, and even more after board.

Round 4 – Mirror: Draw 1-1-1 (2-1-1)

Once I realized it was the mirror, I mentioned to my opponent that I had never really played it much (or at all). He described it as (with a pause) “…interesting.” I combo off game one and win, after I took extra pains to make sure the coast was clear. Game two was super grindy, and was likely won by the amount of cards that he saw off his Desolate Lighthouse. We had very little time left in game three, but the plan was to side the combo pieces back in and just try to jam the combo and say, “YOLO!” Neither of us could jam it, and that was that.

Round 5 -UWR Control: W 2-0 (3-1-1)


Long, grindy affair in game one, where I eventually won via combo, though it was sort of a moot point, because he was at two. He got Battered hard in the second game.

Round 6 – : Ad Nauseum W 2-0 (4-1-1)

Maybe we should stop calling me, “Evil” Tim, because I pretty much shouted at my opponent to not draw a card while frantically waving my arms at the Pact of Negation in his yard. I still won, because good karma or whatever.

Round 7 – UW Tron: W 2-0 (5-1-1)

I combo him out in game one, after Cliquing him and seeing that he could not disrupt me. I have one of my favorite wins in game two, where he’s at seven life and casts Path on my attacking Pestermite, while allowing Exarch through. I cast Twisted Image on Exarch to get three more damage in, and draw Snapcaster off the cantrip, with a Bolt in my yard. That must be what casting Ancestral Recall feels like!

Round 8 – Tarmo Twin: W 2-1 (6-1-1)

This was a pretty tight matchup against a skilled player. He was able to get me in game one on the beatdown plan, but I Keranos him out in game two. He had hopes that his early ‘goyf could race Kerry, but the first card I flipped was a Bolt, so I guess lightning does strike twice, in this situation. In game three, I just perfectly had every (one-of) answer, and the Snapcasters to rebuy them, and eventually kill him with the combo.

Round 9 – Junk Midrange: L 1-2 (6-2-1)

I realized that I would be playing the guy that knocked Luis, the owner of my LGS, out of the tournament in the previous round. I greeted my opponent with, “My name is Tim Akpinar. You killed my store owner. Prepare to die!” I won game one on a really interesting sequence, where he cast a Scavenging Ooze with three mana up and two cards in hand, to my five mana and two cards (Izzet Charm, Electrolyze). My board is two Exarchs to his two 4/5 ‘goyfs while I am at 10 life. I allow Scooze to resolve and then Electrolyze it. He responds by Disfiguring his own Scooze, just to fizzle my Electrolyze and stop me from drawing a card. Izzet Charm does its best impression of Spell Pierce, despite the fact that he could pay for it. My thinking was that his last card was Abrupt Decay, and I needed to force him to either tap out or give me an extra card, and I needed to somehow combo off in the next turn while his shields were down. He pays for the Charm so he can kill his own creature with his own removal spell, and I proceed to topdeck Twin while he’s tapped out. Sometimes you’re a lucksack, but you gotta set yourself up to be a lucksack! I would lose the next two games, despite my belief that it’s a hard game one matchup that’s decent after board. I will fess up to making a somewhat soft keep in the third game, though he did draw well enough that I’d need an incredibly good six card hand to beat him.

The last thing I will say is that if you find yourself duped into going to Worcester because people try to tell you it’s the same thing as Boston, at least get yourself over to Armsby Abbey. Great selection of beers, and amazing food. We went for drinks Friday, dinner Saturday, and we enjoyed the food so much that we did brunch Sunday. Then, we decided that since we’d like to eat before hitting the road on Sunday night, we did dinner there AGAIN! A seriously fine establishment!

Anyways, we’ll be back next week, as I try to figure out what deck(s) I’m playing in the Invitational.. *gulp* this might mean I have to start looking at Standard *cue ominous music*

*Ok, maybe not, given the changes to how PTQs are going to work; if a nearby store has a Modern PTQ PTQQ, I’m down like a clown as long as it doesn’t have a scheduling conflict with me casting Brainstorm.

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