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"Scrubs Corner": A look at life,mtg, etc....
By Shawn J. Houtsinger
Hello everyone,


I don't even want to talk about the extended tournament I went to in Gary, Indiana this weekend. *sigh*
Let's just say....I am testing deck ideas.
The winner was the great (and new-comer to mtg tournaments?) Dustin Stern. He brought down the scene with reoccuring deck and won 50-60 percent of his games with the long lost Spirit of the Night. Yes, you heard me.

SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT !!

It was funny, just sitting there as he was smirking about his card he got, " for $5 "
I think everyone forgot about the old powerhouses. The other deck, runner-up, was a interesting idea previously talked about by ZVI. Horn of Greed-Exploration-Timewarp.

At first I didn't think it was possible to play this deck in extended and win. I thought it might be brought down by all the counter-sliver or Oath decks. Well, I was wrong. The idea was to play a exploration and a horn of greed. You can bring up your card count or land by using Gush. Some counter spells in there along with Oath of Druids to win and survive. The timewarp is used once your near (and not hard) the end of your deck and abuse G. Blessing to the fullest. The funny thing is: you beat them down with a Spike Feeder for a couple of timewarped turns or lock them into never-ending turns. This guy at one point in a game against sligh was at 64.

I had many great discussions with people at that tournament. I enjoyed talking about topics of current events all the way to smelly mtg players. Who cares about the tournament. Hell, I was enjoying being in the middle of no-where (and Indiana is the closest to that) and talking it up with people of interesting backgrounds.
Doesn't anyone NOT like that?
I see too many frustrated (not to say I don't get mad...) or over-zealous players be a******s [can I say that?][no - Spidey] about this game.

But things have changed in my life.
One: I have a great girlfriend. This means all the world to me. She actually supports me in my playing time and weekend trips. I know if I lose, I can go home and see her lovely face. What isn't better than that?
During the final game at States, my opponent felt bad for my horrible hand and was very apologetic about how lucky he got. I told him, "Don't be, I am going home, sitting down with someone very HOT, and forgetting about MTG for a long time..."
And I was very serious. Everyone should think that way. Think about something more important that you have going at home. Remember that when you lost next time in a very high-tense game. Realize not everything is ridding on this game. After all IT IS a game, right?
Two: There is more to life than winning. I was delighted to talk to people about LIFE.
[what is he talking about?]
I mean, here you are all day playing a game of mtg. Your tired, hungry, maybe upset, and just want to go home. Who wants to talk about mtg? Not me. After 9 rounds of tournament play, that last thing on my mind is mtg. I got out my book "Contact" by Carl Sagan started to read. You know, relax.
So when someone starts up a conversation on Gore vs Bush or why we should lower the drinking age, I like it.
Maybe that is the reason I am not a good player at this game. I just can't really sit there and concentrate on the game 24-7. Maybe I don't get upset enough after losing. Maybe I can't playtest for 15 hours a week.
Maybe I don't call the judge over because my opponent has a ripped sleeve or is tapping/untapping his mana.
I quess after all, I don't care enough to be an a******. [Can I say that?] [again, no - Spidey]
Three: Sleep is very important! S**t, if your going to play a tournament for 9 hours, get some sleep! I will tell you this now since I have been testing this to see if you can do better with less sleep than more. I am hoping this will save you from your own testing experiments of insominia.
Food is vital. Forget even concentrating if you think you can survive on a bag of Gardetto's (Italian special of course)
I will save you even more money: bring your own food from the previous night/morning, if you can. Damn, those vendors are expensive.
You can end up spending 2.00 on a bottle of water. I think MC Donalds should be smart enough, or some fast-food place, to be the official sponcer of MTG players all over. That and Mountain Dew. If only, they were smart enough to get on top of that....

I hope my ramblings have interested you and will save your future frustrations. And I hope you all start reading the newpaper daily so that your next opponent can have some good conversation with you instead of what the hottest card is...

But of course, I am....

Practicing Scrubiness in Wisconsin,

Sincerely,

Shawn J. Houtsinger
The one and only,
HOUTS

[just watch the language. When in doubt, don't use it - Spidey]

Read More Articles by Shawn J. Houtsinger!

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