The weekly Thursday trek to C&J's had an auspicious foreshadowing: 1) No traffic
from Livermore to Newark through the two canyons. 2) Only hit one red light. 3)
Arriving 15 minutes earlier than usual and actually getting in some practice
games. This week I dusted off my MaskNought deck since no one had played it at
C&J's in the past couple weeks.

MaskNought (99% Zhalfirin)
 4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
 4 Illusionary Mask
 1 Black Lotus
 1 Mox Emerald
 1 Mox Jet
 1 Mox Pearl
 1 Mox Ruby
 1 Mox Sapphire
 1 Sol Ring

 2 Hypnotic Specter
 3 Phyrexian Negator

 4 Dark Ritual
 1 Demonic Consultation
 1 Demonic Tutor
 4 Duress
 2 Hymn to Tourach
 1 Necropotence
 4 Tainted Pact
 3 Unmask
 1 Vampiric Tutor
 1 Yawgmoth's Will

 1 Ancestral Recall
 1 Time Walk

 1 Seal of Cleansing

 1 Badlands
 1 Bloodstained Mire
 2 City of Brass
 2 Gemstone Mine
 2 Polluted Delta
 2 Snow Covered Swamp
 2 Swamp
 2 Underground Sea
 1 Volrath's Stronghold

SB: 2 Withered Wretch
SB: 2 Chains of Mephistopheles
SB: 2 Contagion
SB: 2 Dystopia
SB: 2 Phyrexian Reclamation
SB: 2 Recoil
SB: 2 Blood Moon
SB: 1 Strip Mine

Brief match summary:

Round 1: Jon, TMD lurking_evil (Zoo)

Game 1: Zoo goes APES!
lurking_evil drops Taiga and plays Mox Monkey. Hmm... Taiga. I stare at my
opening hand that included Dark Ritual and two Phyrexian Negator. Hmm. I open
with ritual followed by Duress and stare at his Chain Lightning and Incinerate.
Oh well, play mask. My next turn, I Tainted Pact: Mask, mask, end Tainted Pact
with nothing. WTF? UnstableCornBread who was observing, "Shuffling is tech."
Ensuing is a harsh beating from a (double?) Rancored Mox Monkey and a Rancored
River Boa island walking over my Underground Sea.

In: 2 Withered Wretch, 2 Contagion
Out: 3 Phyrexian Negator, 1 Necropotence

Game 2: Opening turn ritual followed by hymn and Demonic Consultation for mask.
I hold back the mox for fear of the monkey. lurking_evil's turn consist of draw
go, no land. Turned out I hymned his only land. Mask hits the table putting in
an 0/1 creature for 1 mana...

Game 3: lurking_evil opens with Quirion Ranger. I open with mask but not enough
mana to put my two dreadnoughts in play. lurking_evil looks worried, making me
feel comfortable. He draws and grins, making me feel worried. He plays mountain
and plays the top decked Artifact Mutation on the Mask. Oh well, starring at the
two dreadnoughts in my hand. Beats coming from two tokens and a Quirion Ranger
while dropping a River Boa. Turn or two later, Contagion takes care of the
ranger and boa. Top deck mask and able to play both dreadnoughts ends the game a
turn later...

1-0, 2-1

Round 2: Gym (Academy)

Game 1: Academy goes ACADEMY!
Turning point of the game, Gym has four cards in hand. I attack with a hippie,
forcing a random a discard. I follow up with a hymn, leaving him one card which
turned out to be Timetwister! WTF? I had three chances to hit that card. I sit
for the next 15 minutes while he gets giddy and strokes off for a billion

In: 2 Withered Wretch, 2 Chains of Mephistopheles, 2 Blood Moon
Out: 2 Hypnotic Specter, 1 Hymn to Tourach, 1 Yawgmoth's Will, 1 Unmask, 1 Seal
of Cleansing

Game 2: I bait with an opening turn mask which resolves and continue to play
chains. Gym reads chains and proceeds to make some (funny) threats to do me
bodily harm. Several times this game, Gym is like, "Fuck, this card says 'draw'
on it too." Gym in pure spite plays Timetwister in hopes that all my
dreadnoughts are discarded... doesn't work.

Game 3: My opening turn features a resolved Blood Moon and chains.

2-0, 4-2

Round 3: David, TMD Webster (Fish)

Game 1: Fish goes GAY!
Web gets early Null Rod and curious fish beat the hell out of me...

In: 2 Chains of Mephistopheles
Out: 2 Phyrexian Negator

Game 2: An early Duress punches through chains, Web doesn't like his potential
fish all becoming Merfolk Looters. Mask with an 0/1 for 1 follows...

Game 3: Early Duress punches through mask followed by an 0/1 for 1. Web answers
by casting Manta Riders and places it directly in front of my 0/1 and saying,
"Bring it," which I do...

3-0, 6-3

Round 4: Brent, TMD UnstableCornBread (Hulk)

I got to C&J's early and had time to practice. I played Dan's Zoo in which 2/1's
don't like 12/12's. Dan switched to Suicide Black and proceeded to kick my ass.
Note to self, Duress = Bad for me. Next I get some games in with
UnstableCornBread. First game, he gets out early deed and just lets it sit
there. What the hell, it's for fun. I play my combo of mask and dreadnought on
same turn. He untaps, draws and says go. I untap, draw and announce attack. He
responds by blowing his deed for ZERO and laughs saying guess he loses. LOL So
we play again because it seemed to confuse some onlookers. Since he "lost," he
plays first and put out land, moxen, and lotus(?). I have acceleration in my
hand too. I play land and couple moxen. End of my turn, he sacs the lotus and
taps everything... to mana burn. "I'll outrace you," he comments. Hmm... I tap
swamp and cast Demonic Consultation. I believe he thought I was going to try to
go combo and kill him before he can mana burn himself out. Demonic Consultation
resolves, I name "Camel." LOL We both start just busting up. Hmm... I must have
sided Camel out because it wasn't in the deck and I lose!

Game 1: Hulk goes SMASH!
We both do not like our opening hands and mulligan. UnstableCornBread opens with
Duress taking my Black Lotus. I was hoping to punch through a first turn hippie
since his hand size was already down from the mulligan but now have to slow
play. Unfortunately, I'm never in this game as he draws many, many cards and tog
takes me out in one turn...

In: 2 Withered Wretch, 2 Chains of Mephistopheles, 2 Blood Moon
Out: 2 Hypnotic Specter, 2 Hymn to Tourach, 1 Unmask, 1 Seal of Cleansing

Game 2: I open with Duress to punch through lotus, sac lotus for Blood Moon.
UnstableCornBread opens with a mountain. My next turn, I Duress again to take
his Fire/Ice so I can play my negator without losing my lands or mox.
UnstableCornBread plays a mountain. Negator goes all the way...

Game 3: UnstableCornBread opens with Underground Sea followed by Duress. His
duressable targets are Dark Ritual, Sol Ring, and Time Walk with City of Brass,
Gemstone Mine, Swamp, and dreadnought as the rest of my hand. He takes the Sol
Ring, which I'm surprised he did not take the walk. My turn... top deck mask.
Hmm. Swamp, ritual, mask. Resolves! An 0/1 is slipped in with the floating mana.
UnstableCornBread's next turn results in dropping off land and some moxes. He
Merchant Scrolls for Force of Will because I still have walk in hand. My turn,
beats for twelve and I force him to use the FoW by casting walk. His third turn,
drops tog. My third turn, swing with dreadnought forcing him to remove his
graveyard and some of his hand to stay alive at one life. Next turn's draw does
not yield an answer...

4-0, 8-4

I dropped the first game in every round and managed to win every game post side
board. The final round, let's be honest, was complete luck of the top deck. I
should have mulligan the hand. Furthermore, I felt the hippie was just not what
it used to be. In my matchups, hippie was practically a dead draw. Withered
Wretch seemed to be more flexible with his ability. During the first round, I
was able to keep the Nimble Mongoose from reaching threshold. Also, I would
rather have a wretch in play over a hippie in matchups versus Hulk or
RectorAnything. What do you think, hippie or wretch? And why.

C&J's for holding the weekly T1.
Jon, Gym, David, and Brent. Good players as well as good people.
Christiaan for discussing sideboard options.

Me. Demonic Consulting for Camel and not naming BERSERK MURLODONT.