May 15, 2005
The Road to Tourneyland: GASP - May's MML Report
By Mark Ortego
The Iron Man has awoken! This month's game was purely dominated by an all "old school" artifact army. Dave, Steve's brother, hasn't been seen at GASP since my Elf-Ball 2K4 deck won on turn 6 way back in July 2004 Rogue League Game.
His return is welcomed to the MML as he is legendary to GASP. He has a vast knowledge of all things Magic prior to Ice Age hence the "old school" artifact army. He's a big guy standing about 6 ft. plus and wore sunglasses thru-out the game. He probably worked the hardest because he was playing against some very experienced multiplayer gamers and him being the "new guy", sorta, he had a serious disadvantage. Here's who participated:
Player 1 - Steve: Playing an even "trimmer-low fat" 2 inch high deck (non-sleeved)
Player 2 - Young Beard: A relative new comer playing an "Auction" deck (pain-in-the-butt!)
Player 3 - Kevin: Playing his signature BG "Pile" deck (I swear it has no FOCUS!)
Player 4 - Mark (Me): Playing BGr "The Rock" multiplayer version. Deck listed later.
Player 5 - Jim: Playing UBR "Tool Box"?
Player 6 - Dave: Playing an all artifact army.
Before I start the report I ought to take the time to mention that we held our game in Recreation Room #5 in the Dorchester Towers because the Church, our usual venue, was unavailable this month, that's why you don't see Pastor Mark's name listed as a player, he went on vacation. So a big "Thanks" goes out to Steve as he was able to secure us a place to play.
Since I'm the "chairperson" for the MML I take it upon myself to keep score for all players in the game but they are still responsible for keeping track of their own score as well, just in case there's a discrepancy. Anyway, I tried a new method by not just keeping the life totals but keeping track of the time each round started and wrote down the current life totals at beginning of each of those rounds. It is interesting to note some things that I'm sure we all knew but never really marked them down before. For example it was cool to see that there were no life total changes in the first three turns and that each of those turns lasted only one minute. Of COURSE! But did you ever write it down? No? Well, I did and I'm going to use this new system for the report. Here's how it worked out:
We usually start at noon but today we made an exception due to the change in venue. Also, Steve had mentioned that Dave was available to play but would be a little late. So we waited....then, at:
1:35 pm - Turn 1: Only lands were played
1:36 pm - Turn 2: No one missed a turn two land drop, I put a Birds of Paradise into play.
1:37 pm - Turn 3: Hunky-Dory, mostly every one drops a third land except Kevin. I play a Nevinryyal's Disk.
1:40 pm - Turn 4: Young Beard plays that red card where you have to hide any number of objects and then all players reveal them and the person with the least amount of objects hidden lose half their life and all others lose life equal to the number of objects they hid. Kevin hid 1, I hid three pieces of gum, Dave hid four bead counters and everyone else hid a lot! Kevin goes to 15 (we start at 30 life), I go down three life and everyone else takes a hefty hit, just not nearly as much as Kevin. The life totals are as follows:
Steve - 20
Young Beard - 23
Kevin - 15
Me - 27
Jim - 21 (who announced that every large object in his back pack was "hidden")
Dave - 26
1:50 pm - Turn 5: Kevin had played a Llanowar Dead (a 2/2 BG bear that produces black mana) back on turn three and so in retaliation to the hidden object card he hits Young Beard for two. Then Kevin plays a land and casts Syphon Soul and has replenished his life total to 25.
Meanwhile, I had laid down a turn three Nevinryyal's Disk and hadn't popped it yet because I was waiting to play my Kokusho, the Evening Star.
2:09 pm - Turn 8: I plop down Kokusho and then I pop the disk. I had lost two life from Kevin's Syphon Soul so I was at 25 but now I am at 50 and everyone else was at five less life and a little amazed. The Star is somewhat new to our environment. Now, after I popped the disk there was still creatures on the board because Kevin had mentioned out loud that creatures with regeneration can survive a "destroy" effect even though he didn't HAVE any regeneration creatures. This is not cheating in the MML and I didn't show I was unhappy with that shared information but I think that Dave's 3 Clay Statues were on their way to "Bye-Bye" land had he not been given a "heads-up" (maybe). This turns out to be an unforeseen change in the course of events of my demise. Another cause of my eminent demise was that Jim used Traumatize on me and BOOM! Half of my deck went down in size (20 some odd cards went into the graveyard). This beast of a mana consumption card was made possible for Jim to cast because of Young Beards' Mana Cache (WHO PLAYS THIS!?). So, into the graveyard went the rest of my Nevy's Disks, two of my Terminates (the only red spell in the deck) and other goodies. Fortunately for me I was holding my one remaining Eternal Witness.
2:22 pm - Turn 9: Dave's focus was not on me, yet, but had Jim in his sight due to an earlier Jester's Cap attack on his Urza's Mine's. Dave was packing four and Jim went for three copies. It just so happens that Dave had drawn the one remaining Mine and completed his Urza-Tron land combo. So Jim is taking a beating. As a defense he tries to bury Dave's fully loaded Triskelion but Dave releases the painful counters and Jim was at three and so Jim dies at 2:22ish.
~Jim is awarded 1 Placement Point
~Dave is awarded 1 Kill Point
2:37 pm - Turn 10: Next on Dave's "Hit List" was Young Beard. Actually, I think Dave's forward attack approach, at first, was solely based on the idea that the weak must go so that he can concentrate on bigger fish. Young Beard had won another auction (for life points) from a red spell that would counter my Spiritmonger, so he lost 5 points and was down to 9. Dave had a clear shot at him so he took it and Young Beard dies.
~Young Beard is awarded 2 Placement Points
~Dave is awarded 1 Kill Point
As a side note: Young Beards' "Auction Deck" though F-U-N for HIM to play was truly a pain-in-the-butt for me and me alone. Thanks Young Beard!
Life totals at the END of turn 10 went like this:
~Steve - 11
~Young Beard - 0
~Kevin - 18
~Me - 37
~Jim - 0
~Dave - 12
Now you might wonder how DAVE was still alive after spreading the "love" around to everyone except to his brother. He was down to 12 and that can be dangerous in our group. However, by this time he has the following creatures on the board:
>2 or 3 Diabolic Machine: a 4/4 artifact creature with regeneration
>2 Ebony Rhino: a 4/5 art critter w/Trample?
>3 Clay Statue: a 3/1 with Regeneration
>Soldevi Sentry: a 1/1 w/regeneration
>Aladdin's Ring: a grossly over-sized Rod of Ruin for 4 damage
>3 Urza's Tower
>3 Urza's Power Plant
>1 Urza's Mine
>Maze of Ith
>2 Strip Mines
[Somewhat Sarcastic Rant Here] Remember, in multiplayer games, "Rogue" or unfocused decks really own the game regardless of what kind of "high-tech" deck you bring to the table. I think the reason is because you can't really anticipate what's in those decks. Also, having a reputation for mayhem doesn't help any either.
So on turn 11 Dave finally decides to attack his brother Steve along with me. By this time I have 2 Wall of Blossoms that were spared from Jim's Traumatize. Any way some 15 points of damage come flying my way and only 3 towards Steve, OY!
At some point shortly after that I Eternal Witness for the Kokusho and can play it in the same turn. When Dave attacks again he also is attacking his exposed brother and had reduced Steve's score to five and now I'm at 16 (all the way from some 40+ points a few turns ago). So during the next turn I Terminate my Kokusho and Steve is eliminated but I'm at 31 now.
Steve is Awarded 3 Placement Points
I am awarded 1 Kill point
Then there were three; Kevin, Dave and Me. Over the next several turns I manage to get a Spiritmonger out and I still have 2x Wall of Blossoms in play handling Dave's Clay Statues, but he's been applying a severe beat-down. What he didn't expect was that Kevin would steal his thunder.
In the MML the only cards not allowed are proxies, Ante and Vanguard cards. So Kevin has an Unhinged card that's like a Rod of Ruin only it says that you can untap it unless the targeted opponent says, "Thank-You, Sir, may I have another!" Well, Kevin had been pinging me for one point each turn but since he never had enough mana to do it twice I didn't have to say it (Okay, I did say it ONCE!). After Dave's attack I'm back down to 16...**PING!**..15. I manage to muster up another blocker in the form of a Birds of Paradise but Dave is relentless, he thinks he's going for the Kill when I Terminate one of his Diabolic Machines and I'm at 1 and, yup, I get Pinged! Thinking about it now I should've let Dave Kill me since I'm desperately trying to catch up and then pass Kevin.
I am awarded 4 Placement Points
Kevin is Awarded 1 Kill Point
Life totals at the end of Turn 14:
~Steve - 0
~Young Beard - 0
~Kevin - 17
~Me - 0
~Jim - 0
~Dave - 5 - Remember; I Terminated my Kokusho and that's why he's at 5 Life
We all sat around watching the rest of the game which was just full of mistakes by Kevin who could've eliminated Dave via Pinging. Kevin managed to play Fog three times in a row for turns 16, 17 & 18. He drew two Fogs and Elven Cached one of them from the graveyard. Only one time did he activate his pinger. One of the times Dave had been fogged he had attacked with all of his creatures and Kevin had that 4/5 Elf that taps and produces 3 mana and a Skyshroud Poacher in play and could've attacked with it, this was the turn he had Elven Cache in his hand so he knew he was good for another thwarted attack from Dave. Dave's Maze of Ith could only have taken care of one of them.
4:00 p.m. - Turn 18 Kevin is at 9 and Dave swings with everything knowing that Kevin isn't going to activate the "Pinger" (by this time it didn't matter anyway) and Kevin is eliminated.
Kevin is awarded 5 Placement Points
Dave is awarded 6 Placement Points and 1 Kill Point.
Here are the final score results from May's MML game:
In order of last to be eliminated:
~Dave - Game Winner with 6 Placement Points and 3 Kill Points for a total of 9 Game Points.
~Kevin - Was awarded 5 Placement Points and 1 Kill Point for a total of 6 Game Points.
~Mark (Me) - Was awarded 4 Placement Points and 1 Kill Point for a total of 5 Game Points.
~Steve - Was awarded 3 Placement Points and 0 Kill Points for a total of 3 Game Points.
~Young Beard - Was awarded 2 Placement Points and 0 Kill Points for a total of 2 Game Points.
~Jim - Was awarded 1 Placement Point and 0 Kill Points for a total of 1 Game Point.
Here are the Game Point standings as of May 16, 2005:
1.) 23 - Kevin (Formerly known as "Kevin, the Goblin King")
2.) 20 - Mark (Me)
3.) 19 - Sam (Coach)
4.) 17 - Jim
5.) 14 - Steve
6.) 10 - Pastor Mark
7.) 9 - Dave
7.) 9 - Megan
7.) 9 - Adrian
8.) 5 - Kelly (Kevin's Mom)
9.) 4 - Eric (Sam's son)
10.) 2 - Chris (Young Beard)
The "BOY" is way out in front all by himself while pack #2 Mark, Sam & Jim are in a tight race for second. Steve is alone and once again, holding the middle of the standings like "glue"! While P-Mark, Dave, Megan & Adrian are nearly neck and neck for 6th to 7th place.
Here's my Deck List for this game:
BGr "The Rock"
4 Tainted Wood
3 Treetop Village
1 Volrath's Stronghold
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Eternal Witness
1 Kokusho, the Evening Star
3 Ravenous Baloth
3 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Wall of Blossoms
4 Demonic Tutor
3 Diabolic Edict
3 Nevinyrral's Disk
2 Syphon Mind
2 Syphon Soul
This is a good deck as long as it's not disrupted like Jim did with his Traumatize. Okay, I'm lamenting, but if he would've targeted another deck it really wouldn't have made an impact on the game but because mine is a finely tuned 60 card deck (and everyone else still plays with "Plus-Size" decks) it hurt my chances to win, a lot. I can't really build decks to include everything since "randomness" runs amok in our league and I've got a big target painted on my forehead.
Why am I struggling to get to the top of the standings? I don't know but my *ego* is too fragile to admit I'm making simple mistakes like "talking smack" at the table, or assuming my opponent's aren't a threat, or (for those of you who know me you can fill-in a reason here: _____________________________________________ or post one below).
Enough! I should be glad I HAVE a place to play Magic on a monthly basis. Some folks out there don't have ANY place to go or play. I have GASP once a month, I can either go to Mr. Nice Guy Games or Blue Star Games every Friday (both are within close proximity to my house), or my play group with Mooseman and friends. Magic life for me is good. I'd gladly be in last place of any Magic game as long as I just had a place to play. *sigh* okay, maybe not LAST place...
Next Issue: Blue Star Games Magic Events.
~Mark aka "Killer Joe"