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The Road to Tourneyland: November Rogue League
By Mark Ortego
November 15, 2004
The Road to Tourneyland: "Paint the target." - "Roger that!"
By Mark Ortego

Yipee! The "Rogue League" is back, up and running after a brief hiatus since August. [Edit: I was wondering what happened to the past couple of months - Spidey]Actually, there was an RL session during GASPcon5 (a two day event sponsored by the Gamming Assoc. of Southwestern PA back on Oct. 2 & 3) but only four players participated and not one of the top three point winners were there. But anyway, I was glad to be back in the heat of the fight to the final point count at year's end.

Here's how things started for November's game.

First of all, let me tell you about this cocky, upstart, SOB that showed up to the game. He was dressed like he was going out on a date, or something, wearing pressed jeans, Doc Martin big black shoes, a solid black t-shirt, a solid black sport coat, an all black brand new baseball cap and an attitude that was really annoying. Mr. Johnny Cash wanna-be. Not to mention that he smelled like a French #%$@#! with his fancy cologne and all. This guy was some piece of work, JEEZSH!

In the opening turns he lays down several dual lands (Mr. Timmy Gamer, this guy), a Birds of Paradise and a couple of Wall of Roots. Things got really hot and heavy when he Enlightened Tutored for a freakin' Survival of the Fittest!!!! Turns out this guy is playing Angry-Tradewind-Survival. Why would anyone in their right mind play THAT in a multi-player game? I'll tell you why, this guy thinks he's Mr. DCI Pro-Tour, that's why.

Well, thankfully, everyone saw right through this schmuck and started a concerted effort to eliminate him. He had taken some early point damage due to his fancy-schmancy search lands via Windswept Heath and Wooded Foothills so nipping him with a shock or two and some well timed Syphon Souls started to spell trouble for him. In fact, folks even got more worried when he started what amounted to "Solitaire-Magic" when he would activate the Survival at the end of his opponent's turn (the guy on his right) flipping through his library to find SQUEE, Goblin Nabob!!!!!! You've got to be kidding me! It seamed like he'd taken an entire turn just at the end of his opponent's turn. Whatever.

The final nail in the coffin was when he plopped down Seedborn Muse which allowed his Tradewind Riders to untap each turn and he started to send P-Mark's (our First place player) lands back to his hand. NOT a good thing. Oh yeah, THIS guy, had-to-go!

And so he went, he was the first one out of the game via an allied effort. When he went, here's how the life totals looked:

(Oh, and by the way, luckily, this guy never took a point off of anyone)
24 - Stan - Playing BR Braids
24 - Jim - Goblins
24 - Steve - Playing some kind of red with Apocalypse.
32 - Pastor Mark - playing GB Jank
21 - Tim playing ????
24 - Adrian playing something with CHK cards.
24 - Chris playing a UGB deck
28 - Kevin, the Goblin King playing BG non-Goblin deck.
0 - Mark Ortego playing ATS (Angry-Tradewind-Survival)

HUH!!!???!!!

ME?

I'm THAT annoying guy?

The "jerk" of the table?

No, say it isn't true. PLEEZE!

Yup. It's true.

Letter to self:

Dear Self,
STOP IT!!!!! ItíŽs just a silly game and you're not Mr. MONEYMAKER from WSoP.

Sincerely,
Myself.

Honestly, I have no idea why I acted that way. Am I mad that I lost? Heck yea! I'm down right ticked-off! At who?!

Me.

I did, in fact, dress that way. I also came out of the gate like gang-busters by plopping down Duals, BoP's and Wall of Roots. I played in a manner that was MEANT to be construed as intimidating. Therefore, I painted the target right on my own forehead! If I were a real "sore" loser I might try to put the blame somewhere else. But alas, it all boils down to this: I like to win. I like to not only win, but I like to win BIG!!!

[author's note: Git yer fishin' boots on cause it's a gonna start getting D-E-E-P round here]

I have some proud moments to claim in the Rogue League:
1.) I won the longest game, in recent memory, back in June's Rougue League game. Ten hours thirty-five minutes of pure hell with my RGW "Seinfeld" Deck, the deck doesn't do anything.

2.) I won the shortest game, EVER, in Rogue League history (July) with my 20 card Death to All: ELF Ball 2K4 deck. A turn 7 kill in a 7 player game.

I advanced in points from 10 to 25 to 30 in three games. Unheard of in this group. So, in reality, I guess I shouldn't be too mad. Pastor Mark has been in the lead since the beginning of the year and why should an upstart, let alone a COCKY upstart, steal his thunder? I shouldn't. He won November's game quite handily and he should be rewarded for that with respect from all of us.

Here's to you Pastor Mark: You have my sincere congratulations on being the 2004 Grand Mage. A job well done.

There IS yet another Rogue League game yet to be played (December) but with Pastor Mark being at 51 points and me a distant second at 31 points, it would be a task too big to overcome that deficit (even for me ~snicker-snicker~).

Wanna peak at my Angry-Tradewind-Rider deck? Okay, but I implore you NOT to ever play it in a multi-player format.

Angry-Tradewind-Survival (aka Bondo Jones and his Tool Box)

4 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
4 Tropical Island
1 Taiga
2 Savannah
5 Forest
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Wall of Roots
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
4 Survival o/t Fittest
3 Enlightened Tutor
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Tradewind Rider
1 Quirion Ranger
2 Eternal Witness
1 Seedborn Muse
1 Silent Arbiter - normally in the sideboard
1 Spike Feeder
1 Battlefield Scrounger - not in original list
1 Gilded Drake
1 Mystic Snake
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Genesis
1 Anger
1 Masticore
1 Uktabi Orangutan
1 Kami of Ancient Law
1 Spore Frog

If you know this deck, you know that its potential is devastating! For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of being on the opposing end of this deck, well, you're lucky.

It's primarily a "Control" deck. It uses Survival of the Fittest to search for creature cards. However, the kind of creatures you want to look for have a specific ability such as:
~Mystic Snake is a Counterspell
~Squee, Goblin Nabob returns to your hand at the beginning of your upkeep so you can keep discarding it to the Survival to search for more critters.
~Uktabi Orangutan destroys Artifacts
~Anger. When this guy is in your graveyard and you have a mountain in play (Taiga) your creatures have Haste.
~Kami of Ancient Law destroys enchantments.
~Battlefield Scrounger allows you to put three cards from your graveyard on the bottom of your library.
~Spike Feeder gives life.
~Silent Arbiter only allows one creature, each turn, to attack or block.
~Quirion ranger allows you to return a Forest back to your hand to untap a creature (Like Tradewind Rider)
~Seedborn Muse allows you to untap all of your permanents during each players untap step (how fair is THAT?)
~Tradewind Rider can return target permanent to owner's hand (like lands )
~Spore Frog has a Fog effect when sacrificed.
~Genesis. When its in the graveyard it allows you to pay 2 colorless mana and one green to return a creature from your graveyard to your hand.
~Gilded drake lets you exchange control of one of your opponent's creatures (and then you use Tradewind Rider to return your Gilded drake back to YOUR hand, evil, evil, evil)
~Eternal Witness allows you to return a card from your graveyard back to your hand.
~Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary adds green mana to your pool for each forest you have in play.

The Brainstorms are really Force of Will fodder and the Enlightened Tutors help you get to a Survival quicker.

It was right for the group to take me out early. But really, I kind of eliminated myself even before the game started. I should leave the Moneymaker attitude and "TEIR 1" decks at home and bring fun, janky decks to play with like a low-grade Zubera concoction with Helm of Banding or something like that. I actually have no idea what to bring next time.

Here"s my record:
June - 1st place (10 points)
July - 1st Place (15 points)
August - 3rd. place (5 points)
September - No Rogue League game
October - I did not participate
November - Last place (1 point)
December - Game will be played December 11th

Overall: 31 points and 2nd place in the Rogue League.

Pastor Mark has 51 points and is in 1st place.

It would take a Miracle for me to beat Pastor Mark. I would have to take 1st place (9 points) and have killed 14 people (14 kill points) to get 53 points overall with Pastor Mark being taken out first (he'd get only 1 participation point to put him at 52 points).

That's a whole lotta Miracle workin' and He's got you-know-who on HIS side.

Wish me luck!

I'll be seein' you somewhere down that long and dusty road,to Tourneyland.
~Mark Ortego

PS- I really have NO idea what to play. Not ATS, that's for sure.

Read More Articles by Mark Ortego!

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