Well Story Timers, this season’s Team Draft League has come to an end. The Lucky Chumps didn’t make the playoffs, but you can’t say we didn’t try. I guess we will have to slaughter goats next time to appease the Dark Lord of Drafts, instead of this season’s meager offering of burnt squirrels. Live and learn.

This time I decided to play it straight, no Club Mate or Club Soda coursing through my veins that could cloud my drafting judgment. Without the carbonated haze, I cracked my first pack and was treated to a Torrent Elemental. The Dark Lord must have liked his crispy treat, but he is a vengeful master and the rest of pack one was pretty weak. Always the faithful servant though, I didn’t renounce his Darkness, like so many sheep before me, and was rewarded when the Khans packs started to flow.

Como si Sultai?

¿Como si Sultai?

I lit my black ceremonial candle, like I always do before the start of the first round, and sat down to face David “Bones” McCoy. Playing against Bones is like playing against a sentient computer; he is cold, calculating, and would slaughter all of humanity if given the opportunity. Luckily the Dojo is sacred ground (think Highlander), so we were likely safe from his decapitating shenanigans. I rode my Torrent Elemental to victory and pulled the metaphorical plug out of Bones’ metaphorical outlet. He said something like, “Does not compute,” and appeared to power down.

I whispered an oath while de-sideboarding to prepare for my next match against Jon Sieber. Jon wore a black v-neck to try and curry the Dark Lord’s favor, but I mean, come on—was that the best he could do? I stayed up for days trapping squirrels in Central Park to appease His blood lust. I was red with anger at this blasphemer’s paltry attempts and thus our match is a bit hazy—but I’m pretty sure I won.

Sieber, Bert, and Bones

Sieber, Bert, and Bones

The Dark Lord loves things that comes in threes—three packs to draft, three people on a team, three sixes, etc—so I figured Bert Phillips would be a push over, if only because he had two P’s in his last name rather than the Lord’s three. Everybody knows you need the third P if you are to harness the Lord’s power. As was prophesied in the Book of Drafts, I defeated Bert in game one. I was one step closer to my third victory and could feel Him watching me from a distant plane, filled with sadistic glee. But the faithful must be tested, and I feel to Bert’s creatures in game two. I shrugged this off, lit another black candle, and presented my deck for game three. Bert gave me a wicked grin after cutting my deck. I couldn’t tell what he was up to, but I knew he wasn’t going to best me because I had ensured my victory through sacrifices to his Darkness.

I had two lands in my opening hand, along with a couple of morphs and my Torrent Elemental. I could see that this was another test of my faith and sensed that I was on the verge of fulfilling the prophesy—and finally summoning the Dark Lord to this dismal plane with my victory over Bert. But boy was I wrong. I never drew my third land and he proceeded to bash me with a perfect curve out of creatures.

Why did this happen? Was I not faithful? Did I not do everything His Greatness asked? Utterly confused, I started to un-sleeve my deck. As looked up from my unworthy deck, Bert flashed that same smile he’d had before our last game. He shook his head and said ,”Try a lamb next time. It will do wonders for your record.”

Luckily for me, his teammates didn’t heed his advice, allowing my man Forker to 3-0 the draft to put us over the top. While it was upsetting to not make the playoffs, I had a great time this season with my team in our many attempts to summon the Dark Lord to Earth, and would choose these guys again if I had the chance. If this season taught me anything, it was to either go big or go home—and that the stench of burnt squirrel will stay on your clothes no matter how many times you try to wash them.

Andrew Longo has been playing Magic: The Gathering at a mediocre level since 1994. He managed to get lucky on the backs of his teammates to win Grand Prix Providence. When not playing Magic he runs a D&D campaign, plays video games, and reads comics (a real triple threat for the ladies).

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