OK, so Valentine's Day happened. I got out of the tournament in Hadley early
enough to sneak in some quality time with a female, something very few people at
a Magic tournament would have understood. Indian food happened, and then
drinking. Much drinking. And some other stuff, but I don't need to post that
here; the videos are already posted on another site. Something truly special
happened that night, as I was loading up my cart with bottles at the store,
slowly making my way back from the bars to some girl's apartment. . .

I found out that Mad Dog just came out with a new blue flavor. It has a gold
"bling, bling" right on the bottle. I had to try it. It tastes something like
what would happen if you mixed rubbing alcohol with cotton candy, making it just
slightly more suitable for human consumption than their previous attempt, the
"lemon ice" (aka lemon ass). Still, "Blue Raspberry" pales in comparison to my
personal favorite, "Citrus Jubilee"; which I still hold to be the only truly
drinkable Mad Dog. Overall, I give this latest attempt 3 out of 5 sick smilies
trying to hold back their vomit.

After a nice, refreshing 2-hour power coma, I was awakened by a ringing in my
ears, which I eventually came to realize was an alarm clock which I had set the
previous evening to wake me up at the ungodly hour of 6 in the morning. After
throwing some cold water on my face and ingesting 2 gallons of water, some
coffee, and some mountain dew, I was ready to face the 4-hour drive down to
Jersey. For the stabbing pain in my head and the feeling of impending nausea
that stayed with me for most of the day, I would give Mad Dog's latest offering
4 out of 5 smilies wearing shades to keep out the horrible light of day on
'iLL_Dawg's magic hangover scale.'

For anyone keeping track, the coveted rating of 5/5 sunglass wearin' happyfaces
is reserved for Absinthe, that is a hangover which defies both explanation and
reason in its soul-crushing intensity.

So, I made it down to Jersey with Dan (matrix) and Ben (Kowal) in tow. We got
there early enough to get in some trading and do the usual pre-tourney stuff,
meet people, etc. A few minutes before the tournament started I finally decided
to play Dragon. It had been a while, and I was in no mood to think for the first
few rounds of the tournament.

Here's the list I played:

iLL_Dawg remix

The Dragon and Friends
4 Worldgorger Dragon
2 Ambassador Laquatus

Draw cards, Discard cards
4 Squee
4 Bazaar of Baghdad

Find the win
2 Intuition
2 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall

Animate the dragon
3 Necromancy
2 Dance of the Dead
2 Animate Dead

No, REALLY, animate the dragon
4 Force of Will
4 Xantid Swarm
3 Stifle
2 Pernicious Deed

7 Solo Moxen

4 Polluted Delta
4 Underground Sea
2 Bayou
1 Tropical Island
1 Swamp

3 Verdant Force
2 Null Rod
2 Pernicious Deed
2 Carpet of Flowers
2 Compulsion
2 Coffin Purge
1 Sliver Queen
1 Caller of the Claw

And, cheering me on from the sidelines, a stack of specially altered thallids,
with the chucky doll picture, doing double duty as saprolings and slivers.

And, here's what I played it against:

Round 1: Philip Magda (I think) playing Sligh
1: My first round opponent sat down across from me, then asked me if I was new
to type 1. Apparently he had never seen me before, and he was convinced that
this meant I never play magic. It's nice to know that I can still go to a
tournament and not have my round 1 opponent try to guess what deck I'm playing
just because they recognize me. He plays a fetch, and fetches a basic mountain.
I am already mentally siding out the Xantid Swarms. I think lightning bolt
happened. Then I animated the dragon.

2: I was still pretty asleep here, I threw away double force to keep a land and
double animate in hand, then animate the dragon into a fist full of burn,
playing the necromancy and keeping the animate dead in hand. I lose all of my
permanents, but my deck loves me and gives me the second land and a bazaar off
of the top after letting me sweat a little.

Round 2: Lucas Baron (tallngrumpy) playing 2 land Belcher (Bayou and trop, not
bayou and taiga)
1: Stupidest. Combo mirror. Evar. I keep a hand with a turn 1 vault for bazaar,
which he unmasks. I get to find out that he doesn't have any juice either when
he shows me his hand for a land grant. He beats me down with ESGs while I sit
there and drop land for 5 turns. He tries to play a belcher, I force it, then I
topdeck a bazaar and just win the game.

2: I animate the dragon on turn 2. I have seen from Land Grant that he is
holding: Dark Rit, Vamp tutor, Tainted pact, ESG. He thinks for a minute and
then scoops. He had 2 lands on the table, and later told me he had naturalizes
in the deck. Apparently he didn't realize that he could have gotten it into his
hand off of dark rit, vamp, pact; then played it off of his other land and ESG.

Round 3: Andystok playing Hulk
1: I animate the dragon
2: He has BEB, I forgot about that.
3: he has more counters that I have threats, his tog gets big.

Round 4: Daniel Radburn playing B/g Sui
1: He is stuck on 2 land with 2 wretch in play, I have no bazaar. At 3 life I
discard dragon EOT. He removes, I animate, he removes again, I stifle. Game ends
in a draw. (he would have scooped if it weren't for his friend sitting next to
the table).
2: bazaar double squee wins the game
3: see game 2.

Round 5: Tom (Molot) playing Slaver
1: He gets an early angel, I get out a deed, then animate the dragon, mill him,
and pop deed for a billion.
2: He gets an early chalice and blood moon. I manage to animate 2 verdants off
of lotus, he slavers me and uses chain of vapor to clear my board.
3: I play an animate on turn 3, he plays ancestral, thirst, and brainstorm
before scooping. Drawing cards doesn't always win the game.

Round 6: Phil Marfuta (dmessiah) playing U/G/r Madness
We ID, I trade for his foil Asian rootwallas.

T8: Andystok playing Hulk
I see turn 1 bazaar double squee both games. That wins.
1: He purges laquatus early, and I resolve an early swarm. I eventually get
around to animating the dragon after swinging with the swarm, and he asks if I
am trying to draw. I show him the second ambassador, and he scoops. There is a
reason to run 2 of your win condition. This is it. Never run just one laquatus
in Dragon.
2: On the turn I'm going to win, he is holding 4 cards to my 9. My hand consists
of: 3 FoW, 2 Stifle, animate, necromancy, jet, lotus. He has 5 untalled land, 2
fetches. I animate, he goes to fetch. I stifle the fetch. He drains, I force. He
fetches again and purges (what I was afraid of, damn flashback for messing with
the math) I force back. I catch some criticism for stifling the fetch. Purge
resolves, I necromancy. He flashes the FoW in his hand that he would have been
able to hardcast if it weren't for my stifle. I win the game.

T4: Ashok (The METHOD) playing TnT
1: I animate the dragon on turn 2.
2: He gets a turn 1 blood moon. My squee and his crypt beat him down to 4 before
he sees a threat. Juggernaut double pillar beat me down.
3: He strips my basic turn 1, then drops blood moon turn 2. I get beat down by
su-chi and Jug the turn before I would be able to hardcast the dragon.

I split the Italian mana drain with Leather, we play it out for fun. I win game
1, he wins game 2, then trading happens. Neither one of us really has the desire
to play any more of the magical cards.

After the tourney, a bunch of us went to a nearby Chili's for some food, and
then the inevitable 3-hour drive back to MA happened. Ben passed out in the back
seat like a little bitch. And thus ends another great tournament-going weekend.

Tom (molot) for hosting a great tournament
Full Service gas stations
Mountain dew

Blood moon, for being blood moon
The police, for giving me a $150 speeding ticket
Mad Dog 20/20, for the hangover.