By Nat Wilder

Editor’s Note: Meet Nat Wilder, our fifth contributor to the new, rotating Scrub Report! Nat’s articles will appear over the next four Fridays, so stay tuned as they detail getting into competitive MTG and finding their place in the community. If you’d like to write for The Scrub Report, send an email to [email protected]

Hey everyone! Each week I’m going to tell you about my experience playing magic while trans in public. This week though it’s a little different. I did a draft at my LGS for this article but something happened when I went to my store. Before the tourny started I talked to some other players and then walked out for a moment to go get food. When I returned, another player informed that one of the folks I talked to had been joking with people that I “must have lost a bet.” This person left soon after, but it was just another incident in a long line of me unable to go out in public looking like this:

Screenshot 2015-09-04 21.39.11


…And being made a joke for it. So I went on tilt. I drafted a fine deck that I remember nothing of the pick order for because of tilt. I had a first match that was unexciting to game three that came down to the wrong order of spells to lands drawn off an [casthaven]Avaricious Dragon[/casthaven] for me. My next opponent then accelerated my tilt because I opened with my traditional spiel to a player I haven’t talked with: “Hi I’m Nat! Just a quick note please don’t call me he. I prefer they or she. If you have to gender me think of Ashiok!” And here my opponent tells me this: “Why should I care about this?” And I want to yell at this person. I want to yell that it hurts every day that someone thinks of me as a man. That it hurts every time I correct someone on my gender and push back. That because of who I am and how I look people have hit me, harassed me, threatened me. But I don’t. I try to play. And I just seriously punt because of my emotions. And I lose to a deck running three [casthaven]Nissa’s Pilgrimage[/casthaven]. That’s not good. And so I go 0-2 drop, call a cab, hope the cabbie isn’t going to drive me somewhere other than my destination, clutching my phone with 911 pre-dialed and thankfully make it home safe.

But I still wanted an article with a draft for you all. But due to this and other events outside of going to Magic tournaments I’ve been reluctant to leave my house as much. (Commander happened with a friend still so that article is coming!) So I downloaded Magic Online. Get the awful Magic Online jokes out now because Magic Online is a savior for people who really like magic but don’t want to go out to an LGS for various reasons. So I cranked my computer into functioning and started Magic Online with a nice Swiss draft cause I am a damn casual.

Screenshot 2015-09-04 21.57.33

“Get the awful Magic Online jokes out now because Magic Online is a savior for people who really like magic but don’t want to go out to an LGS”

My P1P1 [casthaven]Hangarback Walker[/casthaven] and this was a snap keep, with me noticing that I was shipping a lot of red to my left. P1P2 [casthaven]Timberpack Wolf[/casthaven] was an unexciting pick but nothing else in the pack was powerful and this had the chance to be either decent or amazing. P1P3 [casthaven]Blightcaster[/casthaven] was a sign to me that black might be open and I was not opposed to being B/W value or just having a nice lightning rod. P1P4 [casthaven]Timberpack Wolf[/casthaven] out of another weak pack but that card’s priority goes up higher in the pick order for each previous one you pick. This is where my mind goes a little slackjawed: P1P5 [casthaven]Gideon’s Phalanx[/casthaven]???? I hadn’t seen any good white cards yet but here’s a strong bomb rare. A very strong bomb, blow you out rare. So I pick it.

I fill out the rest of this pack with mediocre picks in white, black and green. P2P1 [casthaven]Tragic Arrogance[/casthaven] seems like cosmic justice for taking that Phalanx. However someone had to be doing that hook and cut nonsense in this draft because I never saw a white card aside [casthaven]Healing Hands[/casthaven] from this point on. I did not pick [casthaven]Healing Hands[/casthaven] this time. P2P2 [casthaven]Yeva’s Forcemage[/casthaven] was fairly easy because creatures that are spells? C’est magnifique. (I am aping cartoons I’ve seen here, don’t murder me if this is wrong French, I don’t speak it.) P2P3 [casthaven]Unholy Hunger[/casthaven] gave me some needed removal at this point since I had only one way to trigger blightcaster in [casthaven]Infernal Scarring[/casthaven] at this point. P2P7 [casthaven]Lllanowar Wastes[/casthaven] told me I had picked the right color combo even if I hadn’t gone the Elves route. P2P8 [casthaven]Consecrated by Blood[/casthaven] was a fine pick up for my deck giving me a way to either air drop wolves on my opponent or pick off a creature with Blightcaster.P3P1 [casthaven]Chief of the Foundry[/casthaven] I was short on early interaction so I grabbed this should  have been in Khan’s block all-star. (I say this because chief gives no cares about your morphs on turn three and attacks through them). P3P2 Timberpack and P3P3 Timberpack made my deck go from decent to very powerful in the early game with this list:


Fetid Imp
Infernal Scarring
Macabre Waltz
Deadbridge Shaman
Nantuko Husk
Undead Servant
Rabid Bloodsucker
Unholy Hunger
Yeva's Forcemage
Hitchclaw Recluse
Titanic Growth
Hangarback Walker
Alchemist's Vial
Sigil of Valor
Bonded Construct
Chief of the Foundry
Timberpack Wolf
Llanowar Wastes

Round 1: My opponent is on G/W renown. I started with a curve of Wolf into Wolf into Sigil, equip swing on turn 4. That pressure is real. I learn my opponent has Joraga Invocation though leaving them with a renowned citadel castellan and me a timberpack wolf. I keep managing pressure on them with a sigiled fetid Imp with the other with my next two wolves playing defense on the renown. Unfortunately my opponent eventually gets me down to 1 and I have them at two. I’m going to lose next turn. But I do something great, magnificent about it. I cast [casthaven]rabid bloodsucker[/casthaven] and cause a draw. Game 2 they invocation to try and wipe my board as a last ditch effort after a lot of beatdown but it’s not enough as I pick them off with bloodsucker again. Game 3 I get stuck early but have at least I have hangarback. However having to play 2 drops to block keeps me from leveling it up, the beatdown was real and after a misclick with Fetid Imp making me miss deathtouch I scoop them up.Game 4, I curve beautifully with Bonded Construct into Wolf, into wolf. Opponent trades their cleric of the Forward Order for my construct, and their Titanic growth for a wolf. I trade deadbridge shaman for castellan, nabbing invocation and I feel great about my position. They then trade a non value auramancer for my second wolf, leaving me with recluse, chief, fetid imp and both of us in top deck mode. I begin death of a thousand cuts with Fetid Imp after they stick a Sommberwald Alpha. I use clever blocking on somberwald alpha with nantuko host to make them out so I can preserve my life total in the race. Neither of us draw any haymakers for a while. I eventually macabre waltz trading a forest for my wolves. This then lets me trade a nantuko husk for two of his creatures, and resume poking him down, they slow play vastwood gorger at 1 to try and eat clock but it doesn’t work with me winning at 3:30. Four games take a while.


Round 2: I open hangarback against R/G beatdown, and trade it to a t3 firefiend which nets me two thopters. One catches the ire of a conclave naturalists so I switch to defense playing fetid imp to protect from it. Then my opponent proceeds to throw down back to back zendikar incarnate, vastwood gorger into rogue’s passage. A weakness of this deck is it couldn’t keep up with that kind of beef and had to scoop. Game 2 I open wolf into wolf into bigger hangarback walker, with my opp playing Undercity troll, making me play a bit more cautiously, not attacking with a wolf until I have walker down. My opp goes on the eternal blocker plan here. Next turn I eat zendikar incarnate next turn with my lilli powers. The following turn next turn trade wolves for troll and cobble brute all while I begin building up walker. I play bloodsucker to resume the beats. My opp plays gorger and telegraphs growth on their sub scout which causes me to not block. THIS WAS A PUNT BECAUSE NEXT TURN THEY PLAY ROGUE’S PASSAGE. I have to use use vial to stop gorger hit with rogue’s passage and further build walker, waltz for wolves again and miss my swing due to my cat that turn. Pro mtgo tip, ban your cat. I lose round 2 to my own punts and my cat, but round 3 still exists.

Round 3: I was against W/B enchantments. The first game I get to three wolves on turn 4 while they only have a [casthaven]Shambling Ghoul[/casthaven] and [casthaven]War Oracle[/casthaven]. They kill one wolf and we go into board stall till I drop a 4/4 [casthaven]Hangarback Walker[/casthaven] on turn 8. My opponent drops an Akroan jailer to lock down the walker so I use Sigil of Valor as an alternate staelmatre breaker. I eventually kill them with a sigiled blightcaster after they fail to use a lifelink block. Game two I go wolf into wolf into walker again where they languish me. They lost an eyeblight assassin and I was left with two thopters. I then play Rabid Bloodsucker with them at ten lif and on a turn two clock.  Next turn they play and equip Ampryn Tactician with a Sword of the Animist. I hit them to five and save all the cards in my hand specifically Titanic Growth. They suppression bonds my vampire but I kill them with a truly massive thopter and win! So in the end I went 2-1, got some packs and had a better time this time because I could never get gendered! Magic Online, savior of the trans magic community. (Presumably the lady community, the person of color communities as well!)

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