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The Orgg's Treatise on: The Planeshift Pre-Release
By Jensen Bohren
It's a day once again to go out and pay tribute to the genius of WotC and its game of excellence, Magic: the Gathering, by venturing to the Pre-Release of Planeshift in the town of Atlanta, Georgia.

This story begins the night before at eight-thirty at night, got that, right? I'm scouring my collection for a few cards for the people who are supposed to be there to sign. Revised Edition Pestilence? Check. Stronghold Ransack? Check. Horned Turtle? Check. Any of a multitude of sac-for-an-effect goblins? Huh? WHAT? NONE!?!? Oh well... looks like Dead-O won't have anything to sign. In case you're not "in the know" with the connections among all of these cards, they are each cards that members of the CPA, who are supposed to be at the Pre-Release, have identifications with. The members that should be in attendance are: Todd "Mr. Pestilence" Parker, Ransac (the INFAMOUS Mark Wanich), Rob “Chaos Turtle“ Myers, Sammy Dead-O, and a couple of people who don't have cards attributed to them, Prince RXI (or raMsac, Ransac's brother) and RabidKimba. A special appearance by Sole specter is possible, but not positive. I've also set aside my Cheapass Games binder full of things to do in my spare time between rounds or other places, mostly "Devil Bunny" or one of the other free CAGs you can print out from their site.

Now the day begins. I wake up -- with thanks going to my alarm -- at 6:00. I grab my robe and head to the shower. Since I've been told that detail in this area is unwelcome, I won't give you the unnecessary details of this very important event. Why is it important? It proves some of us DO wash, but the natural smell of our bodies makes it appear otherwise. I put on my Purple Tales from the Crypt T-shirt with ripped sleeves for maximum mobility of my arms, something miscellaneous like swimming trunks, sweatpants, warm-ups, or nothing for my unseen wares, a pair of blue jeans, socks and shoes after I get out of the shower. I don't take baths -- I'll admit that. I get stuck in the tub, so I have to take showers. It's a pain in the...

Anyway, I put 3 Doors Down's Better Life CD in my player and program "Loser" onto endless repeat. I might as well get the fact drilled into my brain that "I'm a loser, and sooner or later I know I'll be deeeaaaaaaeyid!" (how do you punctuate that last sentence? Period after it? Leave it? #^@# it? I'll take the lattermost.). I'll tell you this much: it's a cool thing to finally hear someone with such a pronounced southern accent on the radio/other-music-device. People don't stare as much nowadays.

I wake up my mother when I'm all packed up and she tells me to wake her at seven. I tell her it IS seven. We crowd into the car and she makes me go back and get a coat, and then we drive to the hotel, getting there at 8:01. It's obvious which door is the door to go in, as it has a flow of geeks, nerds and grown men with backpacks flowing in and out of it. She drops me off and I get my stuff out of the trunk. I walk through the building and see a line snaking its way through the hallway. It turns out the line goes all the way through the hall and then doubles back on itself. When I see this, I hear some people calling out my name in the line. I turn to look and it's the Sack-man and his brother. I scoot in line (about the last 10 percent of it, 90% of my waiting time cut off) and inquire how long they've been waiting. They had been there since 6:30. WOW! To think, when I was sitting down to register my deck, I could've been deeper into that line than I started still... Amazing. Thankfully, they allow me to get in the line with 'em, PrinceRXI being an amazingly good table for me to put my box on so I could fill out the necessary forms. EXCREMENT! I forgot my six-digit DCI number! Oh well, they've got stuff to find it out, anyway.

After getting signed up, we are told to take seats at the number they give us. As luck would have it, all three of us friends are seated right next to one another. After a minute, Mr. Pestilence comes over with a Fallen Empires Orgg for me to sign, as well as a Ransack for Ransac to sign. After a few rounds of "Dice Monsters" with the CPA member formally known as RaMsac and a nice chaos game that gets stopped, we get our envelopes with deck, pen, packs, sheet, toilet paper, emergency rations and cond...iments, we are told that there was an odd error with the product they received. "Please count the cards you received in your starter to verify that you got the correct number. If you do not have the correct number, call a judge and we will attempt to get you the correct number. If you then still do not have the correct number..." I feel like I'm taking the PSAT. They explain it well enough for a halfway-intelligent monkey (Ransac) to register, and still some people messed it up. After we were finished with that, and I got two lands taken away (Forest & Island), we were instructed to open the Planeshift packs one at a time, careful to count the number of cards in the pack. Amazingly, no one reported three fourteen-card packs w/o rares. THAT is a good sign for the honesty of most Magic players.

I register a deck somewhat light on critters, but heavy in Terminates. Yum. Three Terminates...

We get re-paired for deck construction (I'm beside Ransac but not his brother this time, yay!) and I get the following deck:

Land
1 Elfhame Palace
1 Forsaken City
1 Sulfur Vent
6 of each basic land

Artifact
1 Mana Cylix
1 Crosis's Attendant

(above my white pile)
Green/ White/ Blue
Treva's Charm

White
(this stuff is really good, huh? It's amazing I didn't use it)
1 Shackles
1 Orim's Touch
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Aura Blast
1 Capashen Unicorn
1 Samite Pilgrim
1 Sunscape Familiar(WHAT? how can a CASTLE be a bloody Familiar??? Who's idea was THAT? look up Familiar, PLEASE! sheesh!)(read the flavor text, for heaven' sake--CT)
1 Disciple of Kangee
1 Sunscape Battlemage
1 Benalish Heralds
1 Aurora Griffin
1 Guard Dog
1 Benalish Lancer

White/Blue
1 Riptide Crab
1 Silver Drake
1 Sawtooth Loon (sucks if you use it as a critter, great if you use it as a "Buyback: W" form of Dream Cache that always draws another Dream Cache. Try it!)

Blue
1 Escape Routes
1 Sleeping Potion (one of my favorite arts from this set)
1 Phantasmal Terrain
1 Barren's Spite
1 Worldly Counsel
1 Exclude
1 Wash Out
1 Allied Strategies
1 Stormscape Apprentice
1 Stormscape Familiar (cheap and nice!! it flies, too!)
1 Artic Merfolk
1 Blind Seer
1 Hunting Drake
1 Sea Snidd
1 Vodalian Serpent

Blue/Black
1 Seer's Vision
1 Recoil
2 Cavern Harpies
1 Doomsday Specter (as Friggin'Rizzo said, perfectly balanced.)

Black
1 Warped Devotion
1 Mourning
1 Sinister Strength
1 Shriek of Dead (When did the Dead shriek? During some of their songs! Seriously, this set seems to be making clear how few and far between truly good name ideas are nowadays. C'mon, Shriek of Dead? why not of The Dead? Is that copyrighted by Rami and his "The Evil Dead"?)(editor's note: Shriek of Dread)
1 Death Bomb (see what I mean?)
1 Bog Down
1 Firescreamer
1 Phyrexian Infiltrator
1 Phyrexian Slayer (I never cast this for 3B, it was always 2B thanks to a little birdie)
2 Volcano Imp
1 Phyrexian Reaper

Black/Red
1 Soul Burn
1 Shivan Zombie

(positioned right above my red stack)
Black/Red/Green
1 Darigaaz's Charm

Red
1 Shivan Harvest
1 Planeswalker's Cat Poo(Scorn) {Truly, if this could hit critters too, it would be truly a decent card. Since it can't, well...}
1 Keldon Mantle
2 Singe
1 Magma Burst (see?)
1 Savage Offensive (see? SEE??){actually, this card name has been used to describe me before...}
1 Breath of Darigaaz
1 Scarred Puma
1 Thunderscape Apprentice
1 Kavu Scout
1 Caldera Kavu
1 Hooded Kavu
1 Pouncing Kavu (NEVER cast for 1R, ALWAYS get a 3/3 first strike, haste for 3RR.)

Red/Green
1 Æther Rift
1 Hull Breach
1 Horned Kavu

Green
1 Fertile Ground
1 Aggressive Urge
1 Falling Timber
1 Canopy Surge
1 Primal Growth (SEEE? But I DO like this card. I'm a fan of Untamed Wilds, and this is a great reprint of it, and it's common instead of Rare/Uncommon!)
1 Wandering Stream
1 Thunderscape Apprentice
1 Llanowar Elite
1 Thornscape Familiar
1 Quirion Elves
1 Quirion Explorer (This really should've cost G instead of 1G. The diamonds cost 2, the elf G. Fellwar Stone is 2...)
1 Pygmy Kavu

Green/White
1 Gerrad's Command
1 Llanowar Knight
1 Horned Cheeta

Special Thanks to Anthony Alongi, whose organization tips for Invasion sealed were very useful. It took several minutes off of my deck construction time.
Now let me space down quite a bit so you can attempt to construct a deck out of this.





















That should be enough. Here's what I played and why.

1cc
Storm and Thunderscape Apprentices
[Both of these guys can break a stalemate wide open, so many professionals have said.]

2cc
2 Cavern Harpies
[2/1 flying for UB. Gating. Possible card advantage. Is there anything really BAD about 'em??]
1 Stormscape Familiar
[Small. Flies. Accelerates. Cheap. Good.]

3cc
1 Hooded Kavu
1 Caldera Kavu
[Both of these have very good black abilities and can decimate an opponent that can't handle them. The scout was stiffed because I thought a 2/2 with potentially 3/2 was weaker than these two's black-active abilities.]

4cc
2 Volcano Imps
[They fly. They have first strike. They rip apart most common flyers in the environment. 'Nuff said, but I could do a few more sentences.]
1 Phyrexian Slayer
[2/2 flies. Can kill white stuff. To a Blind Seer, everything could be white. Also, everything could be black. Or red. Or green.]
1 Blind Seer
[I've been told that this guy's ability is the best in Invasion sealed. I played him due to being a 3/3 guy with a chain-and-cane weapon.]
1 Doomsday Specter
[...]

5cc
1 Phyrexian Reaper
[3/3. Sounds good to me.]
1 Pouncing Kavu
[3/3, first strike, haste. Sounds REALLY good to me!]
1 Hunting Drake
[2/2 flying. -1/-1 for flying ain't a bad deal, especially in a sealed environment. The ability will probably never be used, I thought, but I did like the looks of the word "flying."]
1 Sea Snidd
[3/3 with excellent name. I won a "Grild Ckn Snid" at McDonald's once... they wouldn't let me get it the next week... Grrrr...]
1 Crosis's Attendant
[3/3 that can be cast when I'm mana-gypped. Kills Duskwalker]

Non creature spells
2 Singe
[Make 'em a HOME-Boy! I love the flavor of this card. singe'n 'em makes 'em black. LOL!!!]
1 Breath of Darigaaz
[uuuyhhhhh...]
1 Magma Burst
[and then my mind went blank...]
1 Death Bomb
[MUCH nicer when I saw that it was an instant. That makes it great for killin' things. Hobble? In Response, kill that thing. Yea, BABY YEA!]
1 Soul Burn
[Insert the Mortal Kombat "Toasty!" guy]

Land
6 Swamp
6 Island
5 Mountain
[Initially, I was going to use 6-6-... but I had bad feelin's about using that combo for land. I decided to throw out the last land to make this an even forty cards.]

And the played decklist is finished.
The only change that I would make to this version would be to replace the Thunderscape Apprentice with the Phyrexian Infiltrator. I'd keep the Stormscape Apprentice for use with the Cavern Harpies and/or Doomsday Specter. Even though it would probably have lost me a game, overall, I believe the deck would've been more solid with that change being made.

I figure out what my maindeck will be (see above, DUH!) and think about other options. I figure out that my first observation, W/G/r would be possible, and maybe even good. I figure out the deck that I could make(and note it, just in case I switch it out)

Land
7 Plains
6 Forest
4 Mountains
1 Island
[duh... I could've used Elfhame palace. I just realized it...]

1cc
1 Thunderscape Apprentice
1 Thornscape Apprentice
1 Llanowar Elite

2cc
1 Samite Pilgrim
1 Sunscape Familiar
1 Llanowar Knight
1 Horned Kavu
1 Thornscape Familiar
1 Quirion Elves
1 Quirion Explorer

3cc
1 Kavu Scout
1 Thunderscape Battlemage
1 Sunscape Battlemage
1 Disciple of Kangee

4cc
1 Benalish Heralds
1 Aurora Griffin
1 Guard Dogs (a permanent fallen timbers, possibly!)

5cc
[none]

6cc
1 Benalish Lancer

non-critters
2 Singe
1 Magma Burst
1 Breath of Darigaaz
1 Gerrrad's Command
1 Treva's Charm
1 Shackles
1 Orim's Touch
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Fertile Ground
1 Aggressive Urge
1 Primal Growth
1 Falling Timber

I'm not doing many notes on this deck since I never played it, but I'd like to comment on this one card. It's stronger than many have realized. It only prevents ONE creature's combat damage, and it doesn't prevent the combat damage it receives. You can gang tackle something with several of your creatures to where it looks like a 2-,3-, or 4-for-one for your opponent, cast this baby on the blocked creature, and get a one-for-one and eliminate a great critter in the process, similar to a couple of cards white has gotten -- one in Destiny and another in Invasion. Sack a land and you can use its effect on another thing, possibly eliminating it, too. Is this a bad card? NO! It's decent green removal. GREEN REMOVAL. Those words SHOULD register something.

(A comment on the non-critters in general: thirteen card "tricks." I usually go for six. Some of these don't even guarantee a replacement of themselves or a use. AAAh! The horrors! Not to mention this deck is 51 cards, and tough to slim down. I definitely could've gone with this, and if I hadn't read seven different articles on the net about B/U/r being the easiest to build and use in the environment for Invasion, I probably would've used this. Thanks, EVERYBODY who gave the tip. I appreciate it. I'll hide seven objects for my first gobbo game in all of ya'll's honor.)

Well, before I realized how many cards that thing would've been, I called a judge and asked if we were considered to have unlimited basic land in our sideboards. Head judge rules NO. That plan is completely scrapped when I hear that, as I believe I must trade out some land to get the necessary parts, completely forgetting the Elfhame Palace. I rush out to a dealer's table in the hotel lobby (one of five) and ask how much sleeves would be. $5 for black, $7 for red. I opt to grab the cheaper ones for obvious reasons.

Before Round 1 starts, I head toward the closest place for food, the place I believe I'll have to eat at since the "Club Europe" isn't open yet. I look and find the price stickers on everything jacked up higher than Steve Urkle's pants. A six-pack of Peanut Butter crackers, says Only (part of two, part of five c) under a price tag that says $1.50. How much is that? A quarter a cracker? WHAT? I go for a can of Coke; 12 oz.? $3. 20 oz? $5. I get out of there when I see the $3 sticker on a REGULAR pack of Kit-Kat bars. Come on! I go to the service desk and ask if there is a vending machine on the upper levels, as the gift shop lines are quite long. I get steered to the back entrance of the conference room. Six pack of crackers: $0.50, 12-oz coke $0.75. How smart is it to price your wares higher than the people who operate the vending machines? Not very, unless the machines are well hidden. I have to admit, they were, so maybe $6 for a crackers-and-Coke dinner ain't such a bad deal when it's the only thing you can get until 3:00. The vending machine is friendly, and I get the same meal for $1.75, and start eatin' before round 1.

We are told to get out of the room and into a little side passageway to wait for pairings. They post them in a tiny hallway so that you have to squeeze through the thing in a semi-orderly line. Unfortunately, that doesn't work with Magic players, and there is a crush at the paper, slowed only briefly when a larger player does not permit any others to squeeze by themselves due to the girth of the person. I saw this happen three times before I got up there, and it happened with me. Next rounds, they posted them up in less cramped places around the room (at the four sides of it, so all of us could wait on four sides instead of one).

On to the soy protein of this cafeteria burger!

Round 1, Kyle Hathaway

I sit down and mourn the fact that I haven't the head of Squee anymore to taunt this guy with. Maybe I'll find it somewhere -- assuming no one took it from me outside of my house...

1st game- I start early with the Familiar flying over, soon to be replaced with a Cavern Harpy. Tip: attack before using the Harpy's gating effect. You'll probably get some more damage in, which is a good thing, truly. Sea Snidd looks at his Mire Kavu and frowns as the mutual heads are caved in. He's got some nice things coming after me, but casting the Harpy and re-casting the Familiar every turn, then block-and-pull with the Harpy ain't a bad trick. Eventually, the Familiar is permanently replaced for that turn by a Doomsday Specter, which rapes my opponent's hand of any hopes he might have had, creatures that might block a flyer or attack me never saw the light of play that game, and I kill 'em with the specter accompanied by Harpies and the Familiar. Flying is good.

2nd game- I keep a had with three lands, and that's all the land I will see the entire game. Here's how the life total went. 1st turn: 20, 2nd: 20, 3rd:19, 4th:17, 5th:14, 6th:9, 7th:4, 8th: -1. The thing is, this is NOT my life total. Rather, it's my opponent's. First turn saw me play one of my lands. woo-hoo. He plays a land. 2nd turn, Familiar for me, land for him. Third turn, attack for one, play land and Cavern Harpy, returning Familiar. Fourth turn, attack for two, recast Familiar. he has only two lands in play and NOTHING he can cast. Fifth turn, strike for three and cast Phyrexian Slayer. Sixth, smack for five. Seventh, ditto, except he cast a three casting cost ground critter. Eighth, same. I played first, so his critter doesn't even touch me. Game, Match. Wow, this deck is getting off to a good start, is it not?

1-0-0

Between rounds, I look around for Chaos Turtle, the only CPA member that only I know what he looks like. I do not see him anywhere. I take this opportunity to browse the card shops outside. If I had some extra money, I could've gotten Tempest, Stronghold, Exodus or Destiny packs for $2 each! Or, if I had the desire enough for one, a nearly ripped-in-half giant Black Lotus! Cool, huh? I hear that I'm supposed to be outside, awaiting pairings, so I go back in and grab my stuff. I head out one of the side doors and spot a weight room with a TV in it. I make note to check it later after I find out that it has cable and access to Cartoon Network. Maybe I'll be able to catch Thundarr or something sometime later after I scrub out...

Another humorous thing happened between these rounds when I started talking to Ransac and Fu...er, Tucker outside one of the doors. The tournament organizer got up on the main table and yelled "WE HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT! BE QUIET FOR A MINUTE! GENTLEMEN, will you PLEASE refrain from USE-ing the LADIES' restroom! There ARE females in this hotel that need to use that FACILITY, so STAY OUT and DON'T BLOCK THE ENTRANCE! We THANK YOU FOR YOUR cooperation." After this, I move my junk from in front of the bathroom I’d assumed wasn't going to be used much today. I guess I was wrong.

Second Round, Jerry Bartlett

My opponent is one of the older people here, looking to be around thirty-something..

1st game- I start out with a second turn Familiar and get him down to about twelve life, then he puts out a Voice of All and names “black.” We are both staring each other down with several things, mostly fliers for me, but they are held off with the help of that accursed pro-black Voice of All. Not willing to risk my Harpies or Familiar, I stare down his mighty Walls looking across the board from me. He casts a biggie-biggie, don't remember what, and stares at me, eyeing my forces. I play a Breath of Darigaaz to kill all but the Angel, not realizing that he's gotten me down to six by attacking with ?/3 critters that I "chump bounced" with my Harpies. The next turn, he slices my toasted body open with a swift stroke from his Angel. Where's the red damage when you need it?

2nd game- I start with an Imp, a Kavu and the Blind Seer. I hit him a few times, but he uses Afterlife of God to give me three 1/1 flyers instead of taking three from a blind man. How's THAT happen? A Blind Seer that can kick a giant's teeth out when the giant is kicking him, too? Hmmmm... sounds fishy. Three flyers see an Imp jump up to become the Shadow of Doom that takes every card that could've been somewhat useful from the poor, poor man. Y'know, countering a spell and drawing a card is really, really good when they have direct damage. Until it gets violated out of your hand by the flying hand-rapist. The Imp comes back for Gits and Shiggles and strikes a pose while the Specter and three 1/1s whop my opponent into death land.

3rd game- I take a risk when mulliganing hands with no land until I get a hand with two islands, a Stormscape Apprentice and a Pouncing Kavu. I draw the lands that I need, 2 Swamps and 2 Mountains, in my next seven draws, only interrupted on my second turn for a Thunderscape Apprentice. At the end of each turn, I halfway-drain my opponent for one or two until I can cast a kicked Pouncing Kavu and not attack, as he's got a barrier of lashknives and several Walls. I keep draining him until he's dead. Pretty lackluster, huh? This is also the only time I get a Stormscape Apprentice and didn't wish that I’d had the Phyrexian Infiltrator in his place. Ironically, if I hadn't had it, I probably wouldn't have played the same opponent I did in the third round and desperately wish it was an infiltrator. It didn't matter anyway, as you'll see why.

2-0-0

Between rounds, I talk to Ransac and Sole Specter, who showed up a bit late. Along with him is Boghavati, or LurkingEvi1 on the CPA boards, which I've written about before. Recently he moved to Alabama, but I guess he got permission to drive (shudder in fear, Atlanta...this sixteen year-old has a full Alabaman license in this state, and cannot be held like we are! O dread is us!) back to here for the Pre-Release. We chat a bit until I get an odd comment from behind me.

"You know Rob, don't you?".

I turn around and see a really clean cut guy with the most neatly-trimmed beard I've ever seen on a Magic player. He again asks If I'm one of Rob "Chaos Turtle" Myers's friends and chuckles at the nickname. I say that I am and ask why I haven't seen him. I'm informed that he was not at the place where his ride was suppose to pick him up. Crud. Looks like I brought a Horned Turtle for nothing. (Rub it in, why don’t you.--CT) We start discussing our matches and how well we are doing, and we have the same record. I think to myself, "cool." He tells me how his deck is doing, and I sneak off as soon as he gets distracted, as I'm hungry and I don't want anyone to buy out the snack machine. I notice that Ransac and another friend of mine from NG-Atlanta has popped up, Fu...er, Tucker. I would tell you his nickname, but it's kinda obvious, really. They are looking at the snack machine and giggling as they usually do. However, usually they aren't giggling while looking at something. I ask 'em, "What is it that is up, and how doth it goes?" They reply that the vendor has positioned a pack of condoms right alongside the Skittles. They carry on for about two minutes about how they should be put next to the detergent, or in the least the gum. The last snippet of the conversation I remember exactly (all said with a preposterous English accent, as they are so amusing and fun to use):
F..er, Tucker: "You know, you might get the damn things by mistake!"
Ransac: "Yeah. You might get Skittles!"

I go to the machine and think to myself that it's amazing what my friends think up, such as everyone's name being Nigel, or in response calling a person an ***hole for doing a common Magic procedure, such as drawing a card or Shocking a Specter. I wonder how they came up with the idea of condoms being next to Skittles as I grab another $1.75 meal. I wait again for the round next round to begin as I talk traditional gibberish with the Sack-man. I finish up my crackers (not even opening my Coke) and decide to grab something else to eat. I grab some 55¢ Gobstoppers that would last me through the last of the tourney. (Nice use of "last," eh?)

Round three, David Beckman

Game 1- I get out a Familiar on the second turn and hit the next turn, when it turned into a Doomsday Specter. Nice combo, huh? He puts a Familiar of his own out in response, and casts a Cinder Shade to go with it. Next turn, I attack and he blocks Doomer with the pigeon. I pull back the Familiar to get a Harpy, and then get the Familiar back by recasting it. His turn he puts out a Phyrexian Slayer with a red mana left open. On my next turn, I swing with the Shade and he blocks with the Slayer. After combat damage is on the stack, he pays the R and sacks the Cinder Shade to gaack my Coercive Specter, letting through a Harpy and Familiar in the process. This leaves his board clear of fellows, and I put out my second Harpy and recast my Familiar again. He is killed by the amount of card advantage I gained with one freaking good card: 3-for-1 Doomsday Specter.

Game 2, the hardest and wildest game I played the whole day.- We both have a pattern for the first about eight or ten turns. One of us plays an effective critter, the other offs it somehow or mutuals with it. First thing was a Slayer smacking a Slayer, then a Familiar taking out a Familiar. Scorch takes out something of his. He busts apart Mr. C's Attendant with a Magma Burst that kills it and something else of mine. It keeps going like this until he has one card in hand and I have two. He then casts "Mr. T"*: Tahngarth, Talruum Hero...ouch. My Harpies and Stormscape Apprentice all stare at this monstrosity. I scheme and plan to attempt to get rid of Tahngarth, racing until I can get a foothold with some tricky moves. Harpies fly over and one gets a blade thrown at it, and gets saved in the nick of time, every time, by my paying one life. I eventually have to start trying to save myself some damage by leaving one Harpy back to chump-bounce so I have more time. Thankfully, my opponent never thought to slice my Sad Apprentice in two with Tahngarth to prevent my Harpies from coming back over and over again. That would've resulted in a loss for me, and since there was only five minutes left after this game ended, a draw for this round. The first trick I attempted involved casting a Pouncing Kavu w/ kicker and hoping he’d block with it and not think about smacking at one of my Harpies. I'm willing to trade a Kavu and a Harpy for a victory, as both of our life totals are getting low at this point. He sees through this and doesn't block, but swings at one of my held back Harpies. OOPS! So much for THAT ploy. I attempt to make him take five, but for some reason I neglect to attack with the Harpies! AAAAaaaarrhgg! Next turn I draw a Singe. I attack with a Harpy and the Kavu this time, and he blocks the pouncer with the T'nator. I singe before combat damage had been done, thinking that first strike would finish him off neatly. I have to hope for it, because I'm at five already, four next turn if it doesn't work out. He thinks about it for a second and then Magmas my Kavu to keep Tahngarth on the board. He then makes me retreat my Harpy and be at four. I put out the Harpy again and he asks to read it. Uh-oh. In response he smacks my Stormscape Apprentice and I end up bouncing the Harpy. AARRGH! I pray a bit and ask for God's help to win this match. I have to draw a non-gating creature to stay in this race at all. He's at six. If I can draw a non-gating creature, since "Mr. T" is tapped... I look down from the sky, or roof if you want to be retentive about it, and draw my card. Not only is it a non-gating creature, it's a gate-YOUR-creature. I draw Hunting Drake and send Tahngarth back to the top of his owner's deck. Cavern Harpy hits. He's at two. His turn, he recasts T. My turn, I don't fiddle around. I draw my land and smack him to his grave! I command my Drake to attempt to hit Tahngarth, Toilet-bowl Tinted Face with something I will not say as he flies over. I don't know if he did or not, but I don't care. I won that match! Even if I couldn't have beaten him that turn, I had the mana to play a Harpy and bounce the Drake, then recast the Drake to keep Tahngarth out of play and summoning sick for quite some time. The only way to get out of that would be to not cast "Telim’Tor" until an answer was drawn. Thankfully, the two lands in his hand weren't enough to save him from the final four fatal fractures my flyers forced upon his face! Fwwaaahaaahaaahaaaaaaaa!

WOW! Now THAT was a close game!

3-0-0

In this break, I take a look around and notice the people not on table one, two, or three (which were separated from the rest) are still playing. I wonder if that says something about the quality of the decks on those tables? Hmmm...
Ransac and Tucker pop up and ask me how I did, and I tell 'em how it went as they sit on the table. I hope the table can take Tucker's weight and I won't have to get a cast from the table falling down on my legs. As we talk, a tall guy with a red afro-like hair comes through the door and says, "Your The Orgg, aren't you?"
I reply that I am and he tells us that he's Sammy Dead-O. I introduce him to Ransac and we chat a little bit. We find that he's in the yellow flight, and I make a few jokes about that, all in good fun. He tells me he's going to try to get an Orgg for me to sign if he can find one for not much. "Is there another kind?" I think.

I break away from the chat and look at the dealer's tables again. I find the grab bags and get some cards of no consequence from it, except for a Mogg Raider. Looks like I've got a card for Dead-O to sign. I also wonder into the weight room to take a look at what's on. Johnny Bravo! Ha-huh-haa-hay-hiii!! I LOVE that show. It's a guy that's got looks instead of brains, the opposite of me, and has the SAME luck with women that I do! I watch the last fifteen minutes of the Scottish Highlands episode (Bravehart look alike: “They can take our BAGPIPES, but they canno’ take our MAKEUP!!!!). I wish I had a working “record” button on my VCR so I could record the ancient Rome episode the next time it comes on. . The only cartoon I enjoy more than this one (that comes on regularly, unlike Mr. T and Thundarr) is Freakazoid!.

It's declared that the next round is starting, so I grab another Coke from the machine and hope the machine doesn't run out of Cokes before I leave.

While waiting for my chance to see the sheet, I run into Chaos Turtle's friend again and we discuss how we're doing. We have the exact same record: undefeated. We begin wondering if we'll be paired up together, and whether we should draw. It's decided that we'll have to play it out, because the final round will be much tougher after drawing, and we won't be able to take an intentional draw when in the final. I then mention that it's not a certainty that we'll have to play, and he states that that IS true, but not likely, seeing as s**t like that happens all the time.

I get up to the sheet and take my seat. I see him heading to another table, so I assume that it's a good thing. I'm seated at number 11, and there are two other people seated there. I say that something is wrong, and I check my pairing again. I'm on #11, no doubt about it. The other two check, and one of 'em is actually at #111. or :mad:, I don't know which it would be... but it's an amicable thing. I request the wall so I don't have to share the aisle with anyone or anything.

Round 4, Wes Ballard

Game 1- He starts off with an early Flametongue Kavu and annoys me with it for awhile. I sit trying to figure out how to deal with the Kavu with what I have in my hand, a few critters and a Magma Burst. I decide I can wait a little while to see if he puts out another critter so I can take out another threat of his with the magma. He hits me for four and puts out another Kavu, this one a 2/2. At the end of his turn, I Magma Burst his Kavu and he kicks a Rushing River to save 'em both. OUCH! He loses two, I lose three -- that’s bad, ain't it? I put out some more things and the Kavu comes back. A Death Bomb using the targeted thing takes out the Kavu finally, and I hope he doesn't have any more creature kill, as we've both gotten pretty low. I play the Blind Seer and start to hit. He blocks it once with the Kavu, but I believe he kept drawing lands, or something that he couldn't use, like possibly Death Bomb. On one of his final turns, he puts out Reckless Assault and I joke that he could take me out if he had enough mana and Fifth Edition rules. As it is, he's at three and the big blind one takes him out of the use of mana.

Game 2- This game shows how balanced the Doomsday Specter is. I keep a hand with two swamps, a mountain, the blue Familiar, Doomsday Specter and two Cavern Harpies. I die with three lands on the table, and a had full of uncastable excrement. It was truly, as the "cool" kids say, the excrement. I mean every card in my hand was wonderful -- the excrement. The fact that it at that point was useless excrement wasn't its fault, it was mine for not mulliganing until I got an Island and a Swamp, as that's the lands most my critters want. Oh well, better luck should await. As the usual tourney reporters would say, to take a page out of the worst tourney reports there are, "Scoop, because he mized" whatever that actually means. Mize, mize -- ain't that a type of spice? I think it is. It's one of the spices in one of those MACE EXPERT INFIDEL REPELLANT, NOT FOR SALE IN SAUDI ARABIA OR CUBA, AS IT WOULD REPEL THE RULER sprays to keep people from tapping you on your shoulder? That stuff hurts, as I found out at Legacy Pre-Release. Thankfully, I got five dollars as an apology, and the fact that the time (which I was seeking) was 4:43. Anyway, back to the match.

Game 3- We fight over a Halam Djinn and the Blind Seer, each trading hits back and forth. He's down a little bit, but he casts Reckless Assault to kill my blind man. Red and black are now tied, with my Harpy and Kavu, and his Djinn and Assault. I block with my Harpy and deal his Djinn two. At this point, Red was the biggest color, and I only needed one damage to kill the Djinn. I Singe it, and he scoops his cards up and extends his hand. He tells me that was probably the closest match for him that day, and I say it was pretty close and then tell him about the Tahngarth battle last round. We chat awhile, and I realize something odd... Would his Djinn, since it was turned black, get the +2/+2 "bonus" and survive the Singe? (Yes, it would. -- CT) Neither of us are sure about the fact, but he says "#^@# it, I think we did it right," and we decide to ignore it. Definitely a close match.

I walk around a bit waiting for the next round, and amazingly not much happens so there is not more than a sentance or two between rounds. I know I'm guaranteed a box, according to the prize structure and logic kindly supplied by CT's friend with the beard.

The next round starts after a while, and I take a seat at place #2.

Final Round, Jason Sanders

He offers me a draw as soon as I sit down, and then says if not, he will concede. I figure I've done pretty well for this time, and I don't care about the so-called "points" that I've got, thus I accept the draw. I ask for a game to see about our decks, and we play until it's obvious who has the better deck. I'll be modest and only give a small hint about what we discovered. You’re reading his tournament report right here. This fact we both agreed upon after taking a look through each other's deck. He had a nice deck with some solid creatures, but not too many flyers. I had eight. One of his flyers, though, was one that won several games for him, so he told me, a Raping, Pillaging, Deceiving Rider Of A Black Pissed-off Drake that Maims and Tortures people to Throw Four or FIVE cards at it in a VAIN attempt at not losing. The same one I got. As Rizzo said in his StarCity report, "perfectly fair." As Jamie Wakefield (come back soon!) might have said, "It's a Beating!"

Ransac and Fu...er, Tucker had dropped the round before, we three went to an abandoned table to get out some Cheapass. We pull out Devil Bunny and start falling down the building as we try to race to the top when an announcement is made again, and we hope to hear something else entertaining: "All Booster Drafts Will Be Run with THREE PACKS OF PLANESHIFT, AS WE HAVE RUN OUT OF INVASION PRODUCT. We will NOW BE SIGNING UP FOR THE first ALL-PLANESHIFT draft. WE ARE SORRY for this INCONVENIENCE!"

Following this announcement, a cheer goes up through the place, as I believe that's what people actually WANT at a Pre-Release booster draft. Ransac tells all three of the people present to sign up for the booster draft NOW! He asks me if I'm going to pay for it myself, or if he has to pay for me and take my cards afterwards. I tell him I have $20 left that I can use. We sign up and when the final round ends, and right after I finish signing my name, The guy that was in charge of the Green Flight (that's me and me friends) comes up and gets a big stack of cases of Planeshift, along with four extra boxes. I pick out the box that I want to get, as it just kinda has this feeling to it. I point it out and say that it is the box that I want, and joke around a bit with it. It's taking quite a while for them to get the final results printed, and I'm pretty impatient, as I've a draft to do. I find out that the winners aren't allowed to keep the plastic covering on the boxes, as it isn't a good thing to allow a new set unopened box get on eBay for some reason, and make a quick $150 for the person who won it. Unfortunately, our booster draft number comes up before I can claim my box... :mad: . I ask if I can reserve the box with the "good vibrations" to it, and the guy tells me it's alright. I write in really obvious letters "The Orgg" right at the top of the box. I then head off to booster draft.

In the middle of the drafting of the first pack, right after the "open your fist pack" part, I hear my name being called to claim my box. I get an excused whatever to leave the draft for a minute and go up to claim my deserved præmium. Post Proilium, Præmium! I grab my signed box, grab the nearest pen, and slice through the shrink-wrap of the backside of the box. Hefting the skin of the bare box in my hand as if it was a scalp, I get up onto a chair and let loose a yell of victory. After the yell, I jump down off the chair and start toward my draft. I'm called back by the Green Judge Overlord. I walk up and asks what he needs. He looks at me and says "I need the outer wrapping." I hold it up in his face with it still clinched in my fist and say, "Only if you pry it from my cold, dead hand." He said "O.k.! O.k. I just needed to verify it was off the box."

After that fun, I draft a pretty cool deck with Death Bombs, Singes, Cavern Harpies, Rushing Rivers, Scathes, Magmas, and many, many other butt-kicking things. I play it well (and to keep this thing only long, and not UNBEARABLY long, I'll not give the details of the matches, and only tell you that my first opponent got a foil Scuta, (which is Latin for a long shield that nearly covers your body completely and which it's something-or-another place; scutum gives us the name for the "shield" that males have protecting their "valuables") that he wouldn't let me read myself. and end up getting four packs from that as well. YAYE!

After that, It's only eight or nine o'clock (forget which, I think 8) and decide to see if I could be of any help cleaning up, as New Wave always lets me clear off the tables for four or five packs, and get caught up in a conversation that stated they needed several judges for drafts. I tell 'em that I'm a level one, and that I can judge a draft. Big mistake. The draft went off without a hitch, and some interesting Shifting Sky use popped up. The bad part was that every match went on for at least one hour. By the time my judging time was over, It was nearly 1:30 in the morning. WOW. Now THAT is long. Not the cheating kind, mind you, just the boring kind.

Afterwards, I went over to the side of the room the NG regulars were at and chatted with a few. Matt Banks (I think that is what he said his name was. I'm not good with remembering names {I‘m willing to bet it was Ranks--CT}) asked me if I had the new Abeyance, Orim's Chant. I got one of those from the draft (rare drafting? me? Sometimes, I'll admit it. Rarely, though...). He gives me several rares that he'll probably have a hundred more of and not be able to trade, such as King Kavu (whatever he's called. all Kavus gain trample, et cetera) and some other equally ungood cards. Since it obviously wasn't a fair trade, even with the value being unknown on Orim's Chant, he said he'd give me some more crap rares like Goblin Game and Urza's Guilt, along with other fun stuff that he'd never have a use for next time he saw me. After completing that transaction, I ask Sol Malka his opinions on the set. He answers with one word: "Strong." I ask him his thoughts on how to abuse the immense power of Goblin Game. He says to start a fire with them. Since he doesn't like 'em, I asked if he would give me all the ones he ends up with. He agrees. CHING!

There's some more details to this story, such as what I was called by some of the NG-Atlanta regulars when I started naming Zombies for a guy who asked what Zombies there were... It keeps me informed of how truly loathed by many I am. It's a good thing to keep in mind, as sometimes it warps perception of you if you don't know how people regularly see you. Trust me, know how you are viewed as much as you can. Overhear conversation, notice little actions, listen with an objectionable ear to mumblings that precede giggles... It's not a fun thing, but it'll help you keep yourself within your own set bounds.

There's some details about the aforementioned Club Europe, such as the type of music and smell that emanated from its doorway, or the fact that I was offered a quarter and a nickel for my dollar I wanted change for. Or several other odd things about the place, such as having a cover charge after ten and serving $4.99 onion soup before that. They also had games I never knew existed, such as Bassmaster Battle and 19-hole golf that had one track-ball as a controller... Let's get done with this story. It's starting to bore you, I can tell.

But first, let me tell you what was in my box! I got one of each fun card, minus the "all lands are 2/2 first strikers" card, and NOT ONE of the "power cards" in the set besides Gobbo Game. Personally, I think Goblin Game is more of a fun card, too, but you've got to admit, it's powerful. Also a fun card is Ertai's Trickery, but for a very odd reason. Take a Sharpie marker (assuming you are over the age of 18) and mark out the parts of the flavor text following: 'm sure the crew will... to your rescue as... as they came to mine.

Sic Semper,
-The Orgg
a.k.a. Jensen Bohren
Dork.com/theorgg
Creator of Mr. T vsMagic: the gathering and Mr. T vs. Johnny Bravo, Audio Style
Proud CPA Member
Founder of Team team(currently only member), disgraced possibly former member of Team Looser and a Monkey

Y'know, I've seen many articles that have little blurbs after the ending, and I think I want to make one here, this'll be my first**, I do believe. I've seen everything from decklists, to lists of quotes, to a story longer than most of the replies to “Of Cog and Zog,” and nearly four times the size of the original article***. Of all the articles I've read, I think that I'll be the first to include one of these at the end, and I probably won't be the last, as the infinite monkey rule goes.

Tuna (or salmon, or canned chicken, or cat food, something of that consistency) Patties

Needs:
1 can Tuna or Salmon
4 Large Eggs
butter or Olive Oil to grease the pan
a skillet at least eight inches in diameter
an oven or hotplate, something to cook on
a spatula from Spatula City (or a normal one would do)
Napster

Directions:
1. Type in "Swedish Chef" for the artist on Napster. Download all the different ones you can find except for "Swedish Chef gets laid."
2. Put all of them into a playlist with infinite repeat.
3. Break the four eggs into a large bowl, making sure there is not much shell in with 'em
4. Open the can of meat. Drain out the packaging liquid (the liquid that is in the can with the meat stuff)
5. Add the meat to the eggs, and stir until the meat and egg mixture is nice and well mixed together, looking like it has no big chunks of meat in it.
6. Put the pan onto the stove. light the stove and wait about a minute.
7. Put the butter or Olive Oil in the skillet, making sure the bottom of the skillet is well covered with the greasing agent.
8. Drop the egg/meat mixture into the pan until the eggs solidify on the bottom. Divide the cooking material into different pieces for easy turning. If they don't divide easily, wait for a little longer and try again.
9. Turn the patties and let them cook on the other side.
10. Keep turning until the color McDonald's Chicken McNuggets’ outsides are on spots of the patties.
11. Turn off oven and place the patties on several paper towels to dry and cool off.
12. Serve the patties with Karo (or off brand) Clear Corn Syrup.

Serves one normal-sized Magic: The Gathering player or two normal people.

Warning: If you don't know how to properly use a kitchen, get someone to teach you how before attempting this. It tastes good for breakfast, and it can be made for lunch or dinner if you add other things like spinach, carrot, onions, crayons, et cetera to the batter before frying. Personally, I can't stand it when it's for lunch or dinner, so I recommend the above recipe just like it is, in the breakfast version.

*I say "Mr. T" in "" because there is NOBODY as tough as Mr. T, Fool! It's just kinda humorous to call such an odd character that has a T in his name Mr. T, and it is kinda an honorary thing to be compared to the toughest man in the world.

**but not my first footnoted report, as I had a footnote telling what a reference to a movie was. Now it's common to make a contest of that type stuff.

*** If you can tell me the article I'm referring to, the URL of it, and the e-mail address of the person who wrote it, you will get the second foil I pulled from my box (the first was already sent to someone else, sorry).
(To clarify, I believe The Orgg means the article with and end “blurb” that’s four times the length of the article itself. --CT

Read More Articles by Jensen Bohren!

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