Well, another week of TDL is on the books and this time it was against my old teammate Dan O’Mahoney-Schwarz’s team: Monkey Honeymoon. I am not sure where their name came from, but it warms my heart to think that when two monkeys who love each other get married, they go on a honeymoon afterwards.

Who am I to blame them, really? After all of the stress of planning the wedding, picking out the bananas, choosing the venue, and figuring out seating (you can’t put the orangutan at the rhesus table), I imagine they went someplace wonderful like Paris. They visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and have a romantic dinner while the sun sets. Perhaps they shared a glass of the fortifying drink Club-Mate to sharpen their senses. Ah, to be a monkey newlywed in Paris.

Unfortunately, I am neither a monkey (though that’s up for debate) nor on my honeymoon in Paris. However, my TDL captain Nick Forker did treat teammate Dom and I to the delicious caffeine elixir that is Club-Mate. Prior to this, I never had this beverage, but Matt Jones had been championing its many uses for sometime now. The taste is interesting and per Jones has a “good mouth feel.” (Whatever that means.) We split the bottle between the three of us and when the empty glass hit the table, not only was I focused, but it was game time.


Club-Mate—with great power comes great responsibility

With Club-Mate coursing through my veins, I ripped open the first pack and slammed a Mastery of the Unseen. In pack two, I opened a High Sentinels of Arashin and continued to take aggressive red and white cards. I ended the draft with a ton of two drops, some pump spells, and removal. Did the Club-Mate make me draft such an aggressive deck, or would it have happened without it? No one can possibly know.

RW Beater

Looking at my teammates decks, it also appeared they were in the Club-Mate zone. Nick was my brother in aggro with a BW warriors deck, while Dom ascended through the planes of chaos to the controlling realm where Sidisi rules. We were ready for battle and I almost felt bad for my opponents. But then, the unthinkable happened: Nick (the kind soul that he is) had brought an extra bottle of our performance enhancer—and shared it with the enemy.

Honeymooning Monkeys

Honeymooning Monkeys

With Club-Mate on their side, Monkey Honeymoon were now on our level. Matt Jones cackled manically (which really isn’t much different then normal), Dan OMS sneered, and Kadar’s eyes were black as night. If I were a lesser mage, I would have cowered in fear at their sight, but I had the strength of my Mates to fortify me.

My match against cackling Jones was over in a flurry of three games. We both came out swinging but I was able to take the third game solely on the back of Mastery of the Unseen. This did not put an end to his laughter, though—it only seemed to encourage it.

The match against Kadar was a different story. Where Jones was boisterous, Kadar didn’t speak. While playing, it seemed like Kadar was looking through me. No matter what I did, he always had a way to counter it. I get him to five and plan on following up the next turn with a raided Arrow Storm, he plays a gain land and stabilizes. I try to use my Goblin Heelcutter and he plays one of his many shroud creatures, changing the math and canceling out any profitable attacks. “Could Club-Mate bestow extra sensory powers?” I wondered as he sent his Silumgar, the Drifting Death flying over me for lethal.

My final match was against Dan OMS, my previous brother in arms. He had drafted an aggressive BW warrior deck so we were continuously attacking past each other. When he was at five life, I sent all my creatures to attack and had an Arrow Storm as Plan B. But I was foiled when Dan aimed a Harsh Sustenance at my face, putting him at six life when all was done, and giving him a lethal swing back. In game two, I was able to cast my Mastery of the Unseen, but it was too slow to overcome his horde of warriors.

I ended the night with a 1-2 record, which wasn’t good enough for our team to pull out a victory. Kadar and his dark magics were able to 3-0 and Dan’s win over me clinched the win giving them a record of 5-4. The Club-Mate that we thought was our Black Lotus in the hole turned out to be our Sorrow’s Path. Like all newlyweds, these Monkeys were on cloud nine after the win. But if we face them again, we will be serving them divorce papers.

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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