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The Road to Tourneyland: Into the Storm!
By Mark Ortego
June 10, 2006
The Road to Tourneyland: Into the Storm!
By Mark Ortego

Okay, its been nearly six months since I’ve written an article concerning the MML (Multi-player Magic League) held at G.A.S.P. (Gaming Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania). For those of you who’ve never read any of my articles before here’s the skinny; I have long been, in what I call, a gray twilight where casual and competitive gaming neither exists or is void. I like to compete but I like casual play, too. The article name (proper) "Road to Tourneyland", was my way of saying that I’m always in pursuit of this place where tournaments are constantly being played by only the best of the best in any game (Magic for me), but I can never get there because along the way I experience gaming events that are not wholly competitive and therefore are casual, like the MML.

Crazy, huh? Yeah, I’m weird like that!

Anyway, here’s the "official" tournament report for June’s MML game.

Date: June 10, 2006
Place: The Church Rec Hall
Time: Noon-ish

The players:
~Jim – you remember Jim, right? You know, the guy with all the ZOMBIES!? Yeah, THAT Jim playing his, well, Zombie deck.
~Adrian – this is the famous "Yo! Adrian" from my past articles the guy who nearly always quits the game in the middle of it to go play Hunter (an RPG). He was playing a blue/white Griffin deck of sorts.
~Dave – This Dave is new to my reports and we’ll call him "Dave-con" to differentiate him from Dave the Artifact dude. Dave-con was playing a red/green/white mis-mash of goodies like,…well; you’ll just have to read on to get a glimpse at his goodies.
~Johnny T. – An old timer from the "Rogue League" days which was what the MML was before it became the MML. He was playing Red/Green Elf-Ball with some salsa in the way of Apocalypse.
~Dave the Artifact Guy – I call him that because he has this artifact deck that looks like a PILE but kills everybody in the end. He was playing Green/White Spirit Link/Fattie.
~Kevin "The Goblin King" – Kevin was in eighth grade when I first meet him two years ago and he had this annoying Goblin deck that was so unfocused that he’d win games with it!!!! Nothing doing today though, he was playing yet another PILE-O-Cards that had Howling Mines, CoP: Black, Green, White and Red in it and some other random stuff.
~Me (Our stories Un-Hero) playing a finely tuned Green/White/Black Triad Control Deck.

The order that I named the players is the order of the players in the game.

Turn 1 – 12:34
Land x 7 and Dave-con drops a Kird Ape

Turn 2 – 12:37
More land drops which include Dave-con dropping a Forest and smacking me for 2 from the Ape. Kevin plops down a Howling Mine. Greaaaaat.

Turn 3 – 12:40
This time Kevin is the recipient of some Kird Ape goodness. When it’s Kevin’s turn he drops yet another Howling Mine.

Turn 4 – 12:44
Draw, draw and draw again! I draw into a much-needed land and am able to Wrath away a bunch of little critters that Dave-con has been hitting me with (I’m at 15 by now).

>>>>>Insert commentary: This is my third MML game of the year and currently I’m in first place with 25 points. Dave-con, whose new to the league this year, is a good solid Magic player and definitely represents the meaning of ‘Casual’ via his card choices like Psychic Venom (from last month), Storm Seeker (this month), and a plethora of older cards I don’t know. He’s not worried about points because, as he said, isn’t interested in winning for the points or prizes at the end of the year, well at least not THIS year. Anyway, Dave-con is in second place with 20 points and well on his way to the top of the heap. Again, Dave displays great sportsmanship and is a solid player.

Turn 5 – 12:51
My Wrath of God set up a great opportunity for Dave-con as he casts Invigorating Falls a green card that gives you 1 life for each creature in all graveyards. Well done Dave. Also this turn Johnny T. decides to Lava Burst the other Dave for 2 points, Jim played a Cursed Land on my Temple Garden and I plop down a nice fat and juicy Loxodon Hierarch (LIFE!).

Turn 6 – 1:00
Because of the two Howling Mines I’ve had to discard some goodies such as a Loxodon which allowed Jim to play Dance of the Dead and snatch it from my graveyard. Last turn Yo! Adrian was able to cast a Ekundu Griffin a 2/2 flyer with first strike, normally not a problem because its his only creature and he needs it to defend but NOOOOOOOOOOO he draws into an Empyrical Armor and armors up the Griffin and with no rhyme or reason OR STRATEGY attacks me for 11 points leaving me at 5 life. He’s kind of surprised he couldn’t kill me because he had just mentioned he wanted "kill points" added to his overall record, not gonna happen when you play like that!!!!

With this opportunity just hap-hazzardly falling into his lap, Dave-con simply casts a Storm Seeker targeting me. I’m dead. Good thing there’s no target on my back being in first place and all. I’m mad, not at Dave-con because I would’ve done the same but I’m mad at Yo! Adrian because he did what I call "Irresponsible Gaming", an act solely based off a shoulder shrug and an audible "eh, what the heck" strategy in other words NO STRATEGY FOR GAIN kind of thing.

To add salt to the wound he now starts to complain that he needs to be taken out so that he can get into the Serenity RPG campaign that’s about to start! GOD DAMN IT TO HELL!!!!!!! I hate this part of casual game play.

Moving on: Youngbeard, our MML leader this year, is absent and I had taken on the RESPONSIBILITY to be the MML scribe for the whole game that I now have to sit through twiddling my thumbs, jeezsh!

~ I am awarded 1 Placement Point
~ Dave-con is awarded 1 Kill Point

Turn 7 (The Serum Vision Effect turn) – 1:11
This turn Jim plays Subversion and all this while since my Wrath of God he’s been building up an army of,….you guessed it, Zombies. Johnny T. powers up a Disintegrate to smack Yo! Adrian for 8 points bringing the Harbinger of NO STRATEGY to 11. Johnny T. has been building up an army of his own called Elves and one of them is a Priest of Titania, zoiks! Okay, you just are smacked with a big red "X" spell and you have in your possession a flying critter with an armor on it, who ya gonna hit? If Johnny T., who has no mana open or blockers and is at 17 and you, can knock him down for whole bunch-o-points, you would have guessed WRONG! The recipient of the Griffins wrath is none other than Dave-con who is at 30 life and now at 15. Let’s say it together: "Irresponsible Gaming".

Have any of you been wondering about Kevin the Goblin King? Well, he’s sleeping and when its his turn he plays what amounts to be a SAVE-YOUR-ARSE deck in the way of COP:Red, Green, Black and White. CoP: White??? ARRRRRGH! I’m surrounded by them!

That’s it! I’m going to my box of commons and throwing them together and making a deck that’ll win. Without the benefit of looking at them first.

I used up my "turn 8" spot so lets go to turn 9.

Turn 9 – 1:39
Last turn (8) Dave-con took the other Dave out via Lhurgoyf, it was an 18/19 & Johnny T. did another fire dance on Yo! Adrian’s head taking him out and allowing him to go play Serenity. Humph!

~Dave is awarded 2 Placement Points
~Dave-con is awarded his second Kill Point

~Yo! Adrain is awarded 3 Placement Points
~Johnny T. is awarded his first Kill Point

Turn 10 – 1:50
Johnny T. has had an ACE up his sleeve for some time now and is about to unleash it upon the game: APOCALYPSE! Of course everything goes but in all his wisdom Dave-con foresaw this horrid event and had just played a Zuran’s Orb, a frickin’ ORB!?! That’s not luck ladies and gentlemen, that’s SKILL! Dave-con is at a whopping 45 life.

The rest of turn ten followed by the next several turns is like the game starting over again, I’ll fast forward it a bit>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ZIP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A turn or two later Kevin Bolts Johnny T. to the head to eliminate the Elf-Ball wonder.

~Johnny T. is awarded 4 placement points
~Kevin is awarded his first Kill Point for the game

All this time our Zombie Lord is doing not much of anything and is still in the game. This’ll prove to be a great strategy later.

Turn 12 – 1:58
Kevin is hit with a Storm Seeker from Dave-con. Kevin had ten cards in his hand at the time and is now at 7 life.

Blah-blah-blah: a lot more of not-much-happening.

Then, a bolt of inspiration hits Jim "The Zombie Lord" and he consume Spirits Kevin to his head for 7 points killing Kevin dead.

~Kevin is awarded 5 Placement Points
~Jim is awarded his first Kill Point of the game

Okay, since the Apocalypse Dave-con has been building an army worthy of Mordor……….no wait, worthy of our game (for Christmas I got the 12 DVD box set for LotR and I think I’ve watched each disk at least four times by now, so I got it on me brains). Anyway, Dave-con’s army is building and so are Jim’s Zombies but they are no match for a Maximus (you know, the red guy from Stronghold that gives your creatures the clap or something weird like that) and Dave-con goes in for the kill. Okay, what really happened was that Jim saw the writing on the wall and conceded to rob Dave-con of his Victorious Win.

Game Over – 1:15

All said and done, here it is:
3 Victory points
7 Placement points
3 Kill points
13 Total game Points

Jim "The Zombie Lord"
6 Placement points
1 Kill point
7 Total Game Points

Kevin "The Goblin King"
5 Placement points
1 Kill point
6 Total Game Points

Johnny T.
4 Placement points
1 Kill point
5 Total Game points

Yo! Adrain
3 Placement points

2 Placement points

1 stinkin’ lousy placement point

Standings for the MML as of June:

1st – Dave-con – 33
2nd - Mark (Me) - 26
3rd – Jim "The Zombie Lord"- 24
4th – C., Dave - 20
5th - Youngbeard - 16
6th – H., Kevin "The Goblin King" - 11
7th – C., Chris - 10
8th – T., Sam - 9
9th – H., Ethan - 8
10th – T., Eric - 7
10th - B., Matt – 7
10th – S., Adrian – 7
11th – T., John - 5
12th – C., Steve - 2
13th – W., Dan - 1
13th – RX Maverick – 1

Props: To Dave-con’s Storm Seeker tech, his good sportsmanship for not doing the "nah-na, nah-na" dance on my head; to Johnny T. for coming back after a two-year absence; and to such a beautiful day in the Ohio Valley without humidity!

Slops: just one; to me for whining about being the first eliminated in this months game.

Read More Articles by Mark Ortego!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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