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The Road to Tourneyland: GASP's MML Feb Report
By Mark Ortego
March 2, 2005
The Road to Tourneyland: February Multiplayer Magic League’s Report
By Mark Ortego

Hey Gang! This report will be a part of my continuous article “The Road to Tourneyland” and will appear on our website and on the front page of the Casual Players Alliance at http://www.casualplayers.org I invite you all to join us there in our community forums where the emphasis is on CASUAL game play. My username is “Killer Joe” (it’s the name of a west coast jazz tune by Benny Golson). I hope to see you there!

Now, onto the report!

First of all, I’d like to say that I finally had the pleasure of meeting the infamous “Sliver Queen” a.k.a. Megan. Actually, I wasn’t aware that I had already met her before. Last week I was looking up my DCI rating (It’s a tourney thing for us anal retentive players) and I looked at my entire DCI sanctioned match history and wah-lah! I spotted a match record dated May of ’01 at the Nemesis pre-release with my first match against Megan. I’m sorry to say I don’t remember the match but when I asked her about it today she seems to remember that she “Got her *oink* kicked.” I consider this a family site so no cussin’ here!

Okay, a Public Service Announcement, we’re supposed to start at high NOON! The last two games we waited a couple of extra minutes to allow for any “Johnny-Come-Lately”, which there WERE! But it’s all casual I just think the majority of us make an honest effort to make it to the game on time and I think it would be prudent for all of us to do the same. Actually, I know what ‘running late’ means as I may be a few minutes late next month due to our family’s annual “Let’s all go to Pittsburgh for the St. Patty’s Day Parade”. It’s quite the drunken experience (not for me, my wife’s nieces, they’re all Irish). But don’t wait for me, if the group is ready, then start.

The group grew by two members today as we had 9 participants; this had the makings of a long game, OY! Here are the players and my assessment of what I think they were playing:

Player 1 – Me playing “The Rock” a B/G deck that’s supposed to own the game (right)
Player 2 – Megan playing her signature deck “Slivers” a five color variant
Player 3 – Kevin playing his B/G pile deck (I still don’t know what its focus is)
Player 4 – New comer Eric playing B/G
Player 5 – Steve playing his “Mile-High” Urza land deck.
Player 6 – Pastor Mark playing his B/R Gobbo Deck.
Player 7 – Sam playing R/G Urza-Tron with big “X” spells.
Player 8 – Jim playing Green something?
Player 9 – Adrian playing a Blue-based deck with Ninjas

As in my previous reports I indicate the time of the player’s death (**) and an ever so brief description of HOW they died.

The game started around 12:15 and the first seven turns are somewhat eventless. But here’s what I can remember: Adrian played a Copy Artifact (a card which I haven’t seen in years) targeting Sam’s Thran Dynamo an artifact that produces three colorless, I laid down a turn four Nevinyrral’s Disk attempting to keep everyone in check and once again Pastor Mark is kind of Land Hosed.

(**)The first 2 players to go (simultaneously) at 1:45 pm is Pastor Mark and last month’s point leader Jim F. via an 11 point Hurricane by Sam who had all three Urza’s Lands in play, therefore giving him a lot of mana to play with.
~Sam is awarded 2 Kill Points
~Both Pastor Mark & Jim each receive 1 Placement Point for being the first to be eliminated.

Several Syphon Souls paired with a couple of Hurricanes and Sam playing random Sizzles, a red sorcery that has each opponent take 3 damage, caused most of us to get low on life early on in the game.

(**)The next player to go was yours truly (Me) at 2:04 p.m. with a ‘Now or Never’ move by Sam hitting me with a Chain Lightning for three and I’m at 2 life.
~Sam is awarded 1 Kill Point
~I receive 2 Placement Points for being eliminated second

(**)Sam’s devastating 11 point Hurricane really wreaked havoc on all players to include new comer Eric (Sam’s son, no less) the Hurricane had put him at a vulnerable 2 life and Steve moves in for the fresh kill with a Lightning Blast to the dome.
~Steve is awarded 1 Kill Point
~Eric receives 3 Placement Points

(**)Not too long after Steve’s assault on Eric the ever so sleepy (today it’s a headache) Kevin uses “Terror” to remove Steve’s only blocker (Seeker of Skybreak) and goes in for the kill with an Elvish Aberration.
~Kevin is awarded 1 Kill Point
~Steve receives 4 Placement Points

(**)Another Hurricane, for 7 points this time, played by “Sam, The Blaster” followed by a Sizzle is enough to eliminate yet another of Sam’s victims, the ever so humble “Yo! – Adrian” at 2:23 p.m. Is there no stopping this mad-mayhem of destruction by Samwise-Blster? Have no fear as “SHE” is back to claim her domain…
~Sam is awarded 1 Kill Point
~Adrian receives 5 Placement Points

(**)Having had enough of Sam’s shenanigans Megan aka “Sliver Queen” makes Sam go “Bye-Bye”, “Thank-You for flying Air-Sliver”. T.O.D.? 2:25 p.m.
~Megan is awarded 1 Kill Point
~Sam receives 6 Placement Points

(**)Ah yes, it was all my pleasure to sit next to this veteran gamer with a sharp eye and a commanding presence (she basically ended “The Argument” see below for details), she is the one and only “Sliver Queen” (at her daytime job she’s just Megan). A Sliver here, a Sliver there, she just kept workin’ that theme like nobody’s business. I had seen a Brood Sliver that produces 1/1 “Sliver Tokens”, a Toxin Sliver that kills creatures when you block it, and by the way, since Slivers are a close-knit community of destruction, they ALL get the same abilities as each other has to offer, OY! As expected the actual “Sliver Queen” card pounded the table and she was set. At 2:26 p.m. or so Megan made an Alpha Strike (Alpha Strike is defined as attacking with all of your creatures leaving none untapped to block – okay, so you still don’t get it? It’s Poker’s version of “ALL-IN”) Kevin survives and retaliates with his own “Alpha Strike” with a Spiritmonger, Wellwisher, Elvish Aberration, and several 1/1 Insects for an 18 point kill.
~Kevin is awarded a well deserved 1 Kill Point
~Megan receives 7 Placement Points

Total Game Points for February’s MML

Kevin------------8 + 2 = 10 (Winner)
Megan-----------7 + 1 = 8
Sam--------------6 + 4 = 10
Adrian------------5 + 0 = 5
Steve-------------4 + 1 = 5
Eric---------------3 + 0 = 3
Mark (Me)------2 + 0 = 2
Pastor Mark*--1 + 0 = 1
Jim*--------------1 + 0 = 1
(* = Simultaneously eliminated)

Formula: X + Y = Z
X = Placement Points
Y = Kill Points
Z = Total Game Points


Commentary:

The MML doesn’t have an MVP (per game) but if it did it would certainly be Sam. His R/G Urzatron deck, a deck that produces lots of colorless mana that uses it to play big “X” spells such as Hurricane and Stream of Life proved to be e”X”tremely strong. Given Sam’s skills as a Magic player, and a brief tournament career, he had the game pretty much under control from the beginning.

What was up with the whole gang ganging up on Pastor Mark? Once he casted Syphon Soul early on in the game he had a target painted on him. It got so bad that even I felt sorry for him (we have this competitive thing going on). Pastor Mark is certainly one of the best players in our group but his getting mana-hosed in January and then somewhat mana-hosed this game ought to make him think more about playing his “Gobbo-Deck” (a cool way of saying, “His deck of Goblins”). This time last year there was no stopping him as he ended up by being the Grand Mage of The Rogue League and now he is vying for last place with two other players. I wonder if the Patriots could have such a thing happen to them.

Last month Jim had his “Zombie” thing going on and it got him first place.
Letter to Jim from his Zombie deck, spoken in an “Oliver Twist” poor English accent:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dearest James,
We did you so well last month, for WHY did you forsake us this month? Please bring us back.
Signed, the Dead
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your call Jim!

Yeah, speaking of what happened, what happened to me? Ever since my “Rocketing” to third place last July, winning the game on turn SIX with my UGR Death to All: 2K4 Elf Ball deck (it had 30 cards in it) and my June win; a 10 ½ hr. game, using my infamous RGW “Seinfeld Deck” that does and/or did nothing, I don’t know WHAT I am doing now! My “Tournament Decks” certainly aren’t working ever since I started using them (the two decks I mentioned above were of my own creation, sort of).
~June: Seinfeld Deck (1st. place)
~July: Death to All Elf Ball 2K4 (1st. Place)
~August: R/G Fires (3rd. place)
~September: No GASP that month
~October: I missed the Rogue League game at GASPcon 5
~November: Angry-Tradewind-Survival aka ATS (last place)
~December: B/G Biorhythm (4th pace)
~January: G/W Control (2nd. Place)
~February: B/G “The Rock” (7th. place)
~March: ???????????
Bold indicates a tournament deck.

Steve, we might as well call him “The Glue”, he’s consistently holding the middle of the pack in standings but don’t let that fool you. No sir, he’s a force to be reckoned with, especially knowing he’s got the APOCALYPSE card somewhere in his 3 & a half inch deck. Let Steve’s deck develop and BAM! He’ll come crashing down on those who oppose him. His deck, this month, looked fine tuned and worked rather well for him unlike last month when he got seriously mana screwed.

The “Oldie-But-Goodie” award certainly goes to Megan for playing, what is now Legendary, her Sliver Deck. She’s a born gamer and I could tell that by her demeanor but also a somewhat “outspoken” personality. “The Argument” as we’ll now refer to it, was about blocking creatures and whether or not, if the attacking creature the blocking creature was assigned to, still considered blocked after blockers are declared and the blocking creature is destroyed. The answer is yes, the attacking creature is considered blocked even if the blocking creature leaves play after being assigned as a blocker. (See below for Wizards definition). Anyway, the argument stalled the game and getting more heated up when Megan stepped in and asserted herself for the argument to stop. Funny now but, not so funny at the time. I was impressed with her sternness to have us get on with the game.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Eric for a job well done for his first time in this huge multiplayer game. As a “newbie” he did what most “newbies” can’t do, he stayed alive longer than some of the veteran players including ME! Maybe he’s the next “Point-Leader” Kevin – Formerly “Kevin, The Goblin King”?

Lastly, I could have sworn I saw Kevin nursing his headache all during the game (he accredited it to staying up late the night before with his friends – oops! Did your Mom not know that?), howinthehell did we let him slip by? He’s no “Rookie” to Magic: The Gathering anymore, having come in second place overall from last year’s Rogue League (and still hasn’t spent the $20 he won) he has proven himself to be a contender in the MML-`05. Congratulations to you, Kevin, for a Job Well Done!

Here are the Composite Standings as of February:

1st. Place
~Kevin (15 pts.)

2nd. Place
~Jim (11 pts.)

3rd. Place
~Mark (Me) (10 pts.)
~Sam (10 pts.)

4th. Place
~Steve (9 pts.)

5th. Place
~Megan (8 pts.)

6th. Place
~”Yo! – Adrian” (6 pts.)

7th. Place
~Pastor Mark (3 pts.)
~Kelly (3 pts.)
~Eric (3 pts.)

As always I usually provide a deck list from the game I’m reporting on but I was so mad at my deck that I immediately tore it apart when I got home. But here’s what I can remember about it:

B/G “The Rock”
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder (a 1/1 that when sacrificed works like a Rampant Growth)
4 Wall of Blossoms (0/4 wall that lets you draw a card when it comes into play)
4 Solemn Simulacrum (2/2 artifact creature that works like a Rampant Growth when it comes into play and when it leaves play you draw a card)
4 Eternal Witness (2/1 the works like a Regrowth when it comes into play)
3 Flametongue Kavu (4/2 that deals 4 damage to a creature when it comes into play)
4 Ravenous Baloth (4/4 that when sacrificed you gain 4 life)
4 Nevinyrral’s Disk (you know, when things get rough)
The rest is really foggy and I’m just too disappointed with it to even want to remember its contents.

Flames, corrections or other comments may be sent to me via this addy:
ortegoc@aol.com


Until next time, maybe I’ll see you along that long and dusty road……to Tourneyland.

Mark Ortego

Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules
These rules are current as of February 1, 2005.
From the Glossary:

Blocked Creature
~An attacking creature becomes a blocked creature when another creature blocks it or an effect causes it to become blocked during the combat phase. It remains a blocked creature until it’s removed from combat, it stops being a creature, its controller changes, or the combat phase ends. A blocked creature doesn’t become unblocked if the blocking creature is later removed from combat. Blocked creatures don’t exist outside of the combat phase.
(See rule 309, “Declare Blockers Step.)

www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/rules

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