Another Sunday at Neutral Ground. This one being quite important as
unknown to most people it would probably be the last grinder for the
Grudge Match. There were 29 people filling out 28 slots before the
grinders, so only 3 grinders would make 32 people. Now there might
always be the extra grinder for an absentee, but there might not be.
Anyway I had been playing T1 for a few months, playing sligh. The deck
is the best by far economically, and fairs quite well against $1,000
keeper decks and the like.

I arrived at Neutral Ground with my friend Christian Grim, sporting my
sligh (listed further down), and him playing keeper.  I saw some
familiar faces, but mostly people who had never been to NG before. Here
is the match by match:

Round 1 Mono Black
Game 1 I get a decent draw, but I can't race his dauthis and carnos with
my goblin cadets.
Game 2 I smash him, taking out 2 sarcos with a pyrokinesis
Game 3 He has to paris and its downhill from there
1-0 (2-1)

Round 2 Keeper
Game 1 Mox monkey devastates his 2 moxes and sol ring
Game 2 I hold back PoP until it can finish him off and it does
2-0 (4-1)

Round 3 Land Grant Gobbo
Game 1 He gets an aggro start but I burn away his creatures and get the
scroll going
Game 2 I get low fast and draw no creatures and burn him to 14. I'm on 1
and have fireblast in hand with a fork. I need to topdeck pop for 6 for
the win and do.
3-0 (6-1)

Round 4 : ID (Find out it's Mono U after the draw)
3-0-1 (6-1-3)

Round 5 Keeper (I wanna crush some dreams here and try to get friends in)
Game 1: Mox monkey x3 tie up his mana
Game 2: He stabilizes at 3 and mana drains a monkey, goes to main step
and says 1 floating. Than he taps 3 gives morp flying and makes it 5/1
and swings. I say your in your attack step right and he says yeah. I
tell him he burns for 1 and he agrees. Next turn I play a cadet why'll
I'm on 1 and he forces it leaving only 1 city open. I swing with 2
shamans and he realizes mistake and scoops.
4-0-1 (8-1-3)

Top 8: Matt (Keeper) I'm confident against keeper and hope to take the slot
Game 1 I get aggro start: 2 cadet pup and shaman. I mention how he
should have a keg maindeck
Game 2: I draw few creatures, mostly burn and lots of blasts. I finally
get him to 10 holding fireblast, 3 pyro/reb and a fork. He vamps down to
8 and I fireblast. He counters. I blast. He counters. I blast one more
time and than fork for the win.

Top 4: Ed (Mono Blue) aka Legend (I played him in the finals of t1 last
week losing a narrow 2-1 and he gave me credit anyway.)
Game 1: I get an aggro start and deny him artifact mana.
Game 2: I stumble with 1 land.
Game 3: I get a good start but he kegs and hydros. He's at 17 on turn 6.
He has 1 mana from mana drain floating. He drops a mox jet with hand on
it and takes it back. Than he says "go" motions with his hands and than
says "I eat the mana" and I adjust his life total to 16. I am about to
draw my card when he drops the mox jet and the morphling declaring he
was "thinking aloud and he wasn't done". I am outraged at this and we
argue and he curses and has a hissy fit and was practically in tears. He
tormented his last round opponent for Red elemental blasting a FoW
instead of the Back to Basics when his opponent clearly meant to destroy
the Back to basics. Steve the judge said it was my word against his and
he always goes with the person who has the decision to make, Steve isn't
unfair as he always rules this way, but this time I got the short end.
So Ed got to drop the morphling and I had to fireblast/ urza's rage it
when I could have saved them. I drew 2 ball lightnings which would have
won me the game. Had Ed been truthful to Steve. To top it off Ed
mentioned that he doesn't care about the slot, only winning. He's
obsessed with winning. You might want to read his fantasy land report at under T1.  I would have played and smashed a mono black
deck in the finals, but what can you do.

And the moment you've all been waiting for:
Fork You.dec
        16 Mountain
        1 Strip Mine
        4 Wasteland
        3 Ball Lightning
        4 Goblin Cadets
        4 Gorilla Shaman
        4 Jackal Pup
        4 Chain Lightning
        3 Cursed Scroll
        4 Fireblast
        1 Fork
        4 Incinerate
        4 Lightning Bolt
        3 Price of Progress
        1 Wheel of Fortune
SB:  4 Pyroblast
SB:  4 Pyrokinesis
SB:  4 Red Elemental Blast
SB:  3 Urza's Rage

Dave Kaplan
MagicPunt on AIM
Dave- on IRC