1st Place at Dear Mr. Fantazy 02-05-2005 tournament for a Mox Ruby, with The
Perfect GGizzle, aka BHWC TPS.

Pre-tourney BS
BHWC teammate Nick (nickvos on TMD) and I tested for the past couple of weeks
for this tournament, and a couple of weeks ago I decided that I was playing
combo or Workshop, because I'm just sick of playing control (Control Slaver, UBR
Tog, or DOA; a few of my favorites). Nick wants to play DeathLong, because it
consistently goes off between turns 1-3, and has Duress and Force of Will for
protection, and is really fun to play. The only problem is, it sucks against a
field full of Workshop + Trinisphere, which is exactly what we expect when we go
to Dear Mr. Fantazy. Like 80% of the people who own Workshops seem to come out
of the woodwork and play in these tournaments, so if you aren't packing basic
lands and artifact hate, you're probably not going to do that well (unless you
have some monster tech like Annul or the ability to win every pre-match die
roll). For this very reason Meandeck SX is inherently bad in our environment, so
that immediately gets shelved. Dragon seems to fare mediocre, and TPS is the
most resilient combo deck by far, and packs a great mana base to deal with hate.
Pietro Cavaletti's most current build is usually in my testing gauntlet anyway,
so I decide that will be the basis for the combo deck we will play, if we decide
to go the combo route.

After testing a bunch of variants of Control Slaver (Intuition + AK, no
Intution/AK + Scrying + Duress, Intuition + AK + DA, etc.) throughout the past
week, we finally find a tight ass build that I construct, using Triskelion and
Pentavus as the main deck beaters, and relegate Platinum Angel and Memnarch to
the sideboard. After testing 5/3 and 5 color Stax against TPS and this BHWC
build of Control Slaver, we pretty much determine that the aforementioned
Workshop decks are borderline fucking unplayable if you want to win this
tournament, unless your opponent draws ass. Juggernaut and Tangle Wire just
aren't that good. The fact that Nguyen always plays a sweet ass version of TnT
in the tourney with main deck Artifact Mutations also ends any thought of
piloting these decks, but we still keep them in the gauntlet to bounce
everything off of, as is BHWC policy.

As our final round of testing commences this past week, we finalize our builds
TPS and Control Slaver, which seem to have the best chance in the metagame we
expect. We expect to see an assload of Control Slaver, Workshop + Trinisphere
variants, multiple builds of Oath, a couple builds of URW Fish (which is
actually very problematic for Control Slaver), some Dragon, Sugrim's Sligh, and
a whatever else is popular at the time. I've always thought TPS was a great
deck, but the addition of Gifts Ungiven to this deck really pushes it over the
top, in my opinion. The build we finalize runs 2 copies, as testing shows that
Windfall, Fact or Fiction, and Frantic Search are all terrible, and Time Spiral
is a nice card, if you can cast it. Time Spiral, however, is NOT worth a spot
over Gifts, which is amazing pretty much any time in the game.

This final batch of testing occurs Friday night, when John Salem aka Nemo comes
over to my house to stay the night before, so we can all drive up together
Saturday morning. This testing bears that I am nearly unstoppable with TPS, Nick
needs to play Control Slaver, and that Nemo is going to be playing some type of
Workshop deck. He feels that Team Short Bus' 'The Ridder.dec' actually gives him
the best chance to win. After testing his Riddler vs. TPS, I can honestly say
that it gave TPS the best run for its money of any Workshop deck, which is
surprising. I say it's surprising, because the Riddler deck looks like a pile,
but is actually pretty decent because of the clock Dreadnought presents. Also,
Fabricate looks like garbage, but was awesome every time Nemo drew it, and I'm
sure he'd run more than 2 copies next time. So after Nemo and I are up till
about 4 or 5am testing, we get a few hours of rest, wake Nick up, take showers,
and then preside to go 90mph to Dear Mr. Fantazy to barely make it in time for
the tournament.

Shawn does a great job hosting these events, and this tournament was no
exception. We had 34 players tournout (at a mere $15 a pop), vying for the first
place prize Unlimited Mox Ruby.

Round 1; vs. Aaron playing ?
This match was over so quickly, I don't really remember what my opponent was
playing. In game 1 the only damage I take is from my own fetchlands, and Aaron's
life goes from 20 to 0 in one fell swoop, as I Tendrils for exactly 20 damage
very early.

Game 2 starts with me Duressing away anything problematic, and then resolving a
very early Necropotence. After seeing not too much in my hand besides mana
sources and a Force of Will, I caster Tinker (sacrificing an off-color Mox) with
Force of Will backup, and grab Darksteel Colossus. Aaron somehow got himself
down to 17 life earlier in the game, and now his life drops from 17 to 6 to 0
over the course of the next two turns.
Games 2-0; Matches 1-0

Round 2; vs. Tim Frank (xrizzo on TMD) playing BUG Oath
From the previous round I know that Tim is playing his home brewed version of
BUG Oath, which is pretty bad for TPS. Duress, plus an assload of counters, plus
a lightning quick win condition is bad news for any combo deck. This is probably
the worst possible match in the tournament for my deck, so how lucky that I get
to play it!

In game 1 I don't have much of a chance, as Tim wins the die roll, and proceeds
to lay a Forbidden Orchard and Duress away a Force of Will in my opening hand,
and then cast Oath using a Black Lotus (I believe). He ends up Oathing out
Akroma, but has 3 or 4 cards left in his library. I draw Ancestral Recall, but
sadly I am unable to cast it targeting him (in order to deck him by his next
turn). He then casts Yawgmoth's Will, and casts an assload of stuff from the
graveyard, then goes on to kill me with Akroma. Over the course of this game I
see some very interesting choices in his main deck, including 0 Gaea's
Blessings, and main deck Annuls (which are a very good choice for the Slaver and
Workshop infested metagame at the tournament today).

In game 2 I keep a mana heavy hand, thinking that I would draw into business,
and I paid dearly for this choice. I see no action pretty much the whole game
(aside from a Brainstorm + fetchland), and Tim gives me a few turns of fun
beating him down with Spirit tokens from his early Forbidden Orchard. Then the
fun stops, as he casts Tinker for Darksteel Colossus, and proceeds to quickly
end the game. I don't think I saw any bounce or sideboard cards this game to
save me.

This match was over pretty quickly, so it gave both Tim and I chance to discuss
a few things (as we are prone to doing when we meet up) before heading off to
scout the rest of the matches.
Games 2-2; Matches 1-1

Round 3; vs. Joe Linwood (trout3r on TMD) playing DonkeyStaxxx
Over the past year, I have basically been Joe's personal good luck charm at
tournaments. Every time I show up he seems to make top 4, including winning 2 of
the past Mox tournaments at Dear Mr. Fantazy. Before game 1 Joe rolls a 18 and
smiles, and then I proceed to roll a 20, and elect to win... I mean, play first.
Joe and I usually talk copious amounts of trash to each other during our
matches, and this one is no exception. Game 1 literally goes on for about 45
minutes. I Duress, Force, or ignore most of Joe's threats early in the game, and
get a Necropotence on the table. After drawing a few cards at a time, I manage
to get myself to 9 life by the time Joe starts to regain board position. He
either Tinkers for, or hard casts Sundering Titan, and obliterates my mana base
under a Tangle Wire. I'm left with 1 basic land, some artifact mana, and a
fetchland left in play. After he beats me down the next turn, I'm at 2, and I
cast Rebuild on his end of turn, destroying my other basic land, and getting him
down to 1 permanent in play (a Volcanic Island). I manage to get off a Tendrils
for 12 damage on my turn, and then aggressively draw like 8 cards off Necro
(dropping me to 5 life). Joe lays the Welder and maybe a Mox or two, and then
passes the turn back to me. I drop a land and something else, and then pass the
turn back to Joe. He elects not to attack, and Welds something in (Tangle Wire
perhaps; I can't remember). On my turn I play another land and another permanent
of some type, and then pass the turn. On his turn he beat with Welder (dropping
me to 4 life), and is unable to cast anything else. On my turn I continue to
play land and set up the board, drawing 2 more cards from Necro, putting me at 2
life. On his turn he beats with the Welder for 1, casts something, and I cast
Rebuild EOT, I believe. On my turn I drop a bunch of stuff, Brainstorm twice,
and then set up a Yawgmoth's Will fueled Tendrils to finish him off.

Game 2 we have like 5 minutes left, so we both play quickly, but I have a
defensive hand that lets him do very little that matters, and I take the match
Games 3-2; Matches 2-1

Round 4; vs. Christian Royer (Zalirifin on TMD) playing 5 color Stax
Christian is one of the San Francisco contingent that came down, and we are
always glad to see him. I have played a number of matches against him in the
past, and he's always been one of my gracious opponents, in victory, defeat, or
draw. Game 1 we both proceed to mulligan to 6 cards, and I start by Duressing
away something juicy from his hand, which also reveals a Platinum Angel. I
basically use the first few turns of this to set up my board position with
lands, Brainstorms, and a Gifts Ungiven. I believe he casts a Platinum Angel,
and then I Rebuild everything back, and go off with a very large Yawgmoth's Will
fueled Tendrils that we don't even need to play out, and Christian wisely scoops
to save time for the rest of the match. I wish more people would do this.

Game 2 is much like the first game. Christian cast Tangle Wires, Trinispheres,
and Platinum Angel. I continue to bide my time, setting up my board position
with instants and lands. After Christian beats me down for a couple turns with
Platinum Angel, he pretty much runs out of gas, and manages to lose 2 of 4 die
rolls to his Mana Crypt, which ends up putting him at 12. I cast Rebuild, and
then a fairly easy Tendrils of Agony for the win, sealing up the match.
Games 5-2; Matches 3-1

Round 5; vs. Jon Salem aka Nemo playing the Joker (aka Riddler.dec)
Nemo decided against the name Riddler for his deck, because that character was a
fag in the Batman movies, and the Joker was easily the best villain. Game 1 I
manage fight off his early threats via Rebuild, and get out a Yawgmoth's Bargain
pretty early. Two turns after Bargain is out, I cast a largely instant fueled
Tendrils for the win, and we move to game 2.

After getting out some early stuff I didn't really care about, I manage to get
beat down in quick fashion after Nemo casts Sundering Titan and Juggernaut,
which make quick work of me in two turns. Having played against his deck the
night before, I feel good about my chances for the deciding game of the match,
and we shuffle up for game 3.

In game 3 I keep a mana light hand filled with outrageous bombs. Unfortunately,
I don't get to cast most of them, as Nemo either top decks or tutors for a
fucking BALANCE, and rocks me. He has a Workshop, City, Wasteland, and some
Moxes on the table, and 1 card in hand when he casts it. In response to casting
it, he Wastelands his own City, leaving me with one land (Island), and the
choice of which one single bomb to keep in my hand. I decide to keep Tinker,
which turned out to be a mistake, but I wouldn't know it for a while. I draw a
random off color Mox, then a land, and cast Tinker, at which time I get
Darksteel Colossus. Nemo laughs at me and casts Hurkyl's Recall, targeting me,
sending the DSC back to my hand. He does little else though, and I end up
getting a Necropotence on the table, and draw a full grip of cards. Sometime
shortly thereafter I Tendrils him for just enough, improving me to 3-0 on the
day against Workshop + Trinisphere + Crucible decks. Better hurry up and
restrict those before they ruin Type 1!
Games 7-3; Matches 4-1

Round 6; vs. Tony Soto of Team Gro playing Gro Control Slaver (the deck that got
2nd at Waterbury)
The way the standings end up working out, I am 4-1 with 12 points, and end up
getting paired down against Tony, who is 3-1-1 with 10 points, and who
absolutely must play and win to get in to the top 8. So if I lose this match, I
might not even make the top 8, although my opponents present me with pretty good
breakers, I think. In game 1 I Duress away 2 Thirst for Knowledges from Tony's
hand, and then manage to get a Bargain out on the table somewhere around turn 4.
He manages to lose 2 of 5 rolls to his Mana Crypt, and a after a couple of turns
of drawing cards from Bargain I go off easily.

In game 2 I side in my super secret tech, and reveal it very early. I keep a
hand somewhere along the lines of Underground Sea, Mox Jet, Dark Ritual, Island,
Mind's Desire, Force of Will, and Plagiarize. He lays a land, passes the turn
and then on my turn I play Island, Mox Jet, and pass priority to end the turn.
He responds by casting Mystical Tutor, fetching Ancestral Recall. On his turn he
draws and plays Ancestral, obviously targeting himself. In response I cast Dark
Ritual, and then Plagiarize his Ancestral. He's not aware of what Plagiarize
does, but I'm sure he does now. I draw three cards (Sol Ring, Plagiarize, and
Tolarian Academy), and after he plays a Polluted Delta I then take my turn,
dropping a Sol Ring and the Tolarian. Somewhere over the course of the next few
turns we both accumulate cards in our hand, and he attempts to cast Brainstorm.
I Plagiarize this Brainstorm (with Force of Will backup in hand), and end up
drawing three more cards while he Hymn to Tourachs himself. GGizzle. From here
the rest of the game is elementary, and after resolving some other bombs I
Tendrils him for the win and top 8 birth.
Games 9-3; Matches 5-1.

Tony beat me in the last round of swiss at the last Dear Mr. Fantazy tourney,
preventing me from making top 8, and sending him in (where he proceeded to get
2nd with TPS), so we decide that this retribution is only fair. After cleaning
up the whole table, I somehow manage to leave my deck on the table and Tony
returns it to me a minute later, which is sweet.

Round 7/Top 8 Quarterfinals; vs. Andrew Beldin (HuntedWumpus on TMD) playing his
own BUG Oath (very close to DOA)
By virtue of being forced to play the last round, I enter the top 8 as the
number 1 seed, with 15 points. This is great, except for the fact that I am
paired against fellow San Diegan Andrew, whom I regularly talk to about Oath.
He's piloting DOA with a couple of his own personal touches (Deep Analysis
instead of Daze in the main, and Ground Seal in the sideboard, which turned out
to be huge in this tournament). This is easily my worst matchup of the top 8
decks, so I'm not too thrilled. I win the die roll, and proceed to keep a hand
of lots of fast mana + Cunning Wish + Duress. I Duress him, and take Oath of
Druids, and his hand reveals that he also has Brainstorm, Polluted Delta, Force
of Will, and some other mana sources. On his turn he plays a Delta, and passes
the turn. Around this time a few players are gathering to watch our game. On my
turn, I draw Duress and the sirens start going off in my head, as I know the
odds are very low that Andrew has drawn another blue card to pitch to Force of
Will. I play a Tolarian Academy, and give a little wink to Tony Soto who walks
up to draw the match. As I cast Duress I tell California's #1 rated Vintage
player, Brent Petersen (UnstableCornbread) to watch this game. In response to my
Duress, Andrew attempts to cast Brainstorm. In response to Brainstorm I cast
Cunning Wish for Plagiarize, and cast Plagiarize. Andrew reads the card, and
lets out an audible 'fuck, that's bad.' No, my friend, that's GGizzle. I draw
something gross off of his Ancestral/Brainstorm, Andrew Stunted Growth's
himself, and after Duress resolves he pretty much has nothing left in his hand.
The audience gets a good chuckle out of that one, and I proceed to get out
Yawgmoth's Bargain, and this game ends shortly thereafter.

Game 2 I keep a hand with Duress, Force of Will, another blue card, and mana
sources. Andrew proceeds to play first turn Forbidden Orchard, Duress (taking my
Force of Will), and then drops Black Lotus, sacrificing it for green, then casts
Oath of Druids. So I get totally owned this game after he Oath's out Platinum
Angel and then Akroma.

The final game starts out with me resolving a first turn Claws of Gix, and then
us both Duressing and countering each other's threats. Andrew manages to drop an
Oath of Druids, but not much else. We then begin to stockpile mana sources on
the table and mediocre cards in hand. I have a Plagiarize in hand when Andrew
attempts to cast Brainstorm on somewhere around turn 6 or 7, and Plagiarize
resolves, netting me 3 more cards and another audible 'fuck, that's bad' from
Andrew. I resolve Yawgmoth's Bargain in the coming turns, and Tendrils him for
20+ to move on to the next round.
Games 11-4; Matches 6-1

Round 8/Top 8 Semifinals; vs. Hiro Fukushima playing URW Landstill
How did Landstill make the top 4 you ask?? Because Hiro's a very deft player who
knows the ins and outs of his deck, and because he played 3 main deck Annuls.
Looking at his decklist I see that his sideboard was absolutely amazing and
pretty much owned the field. Goblin Welders are no match for Slice and Dice.
Hiro always does well with this deck, and this is a testament to good players
sticking with a deck and modifying it to fit the metagame. In game 1 of this
match I strip away the Force of Will and Stifle from Hiro's hand, and go off for
a 20+ point Tendrils of Agony after resolving a mid game Yawgmoth's Bargain, I

Game 2 is much like game 1. I systematically Duress away his hand, and then
after resolving a Gift's Ungiven (which Hiro properly split, and gave me the two
worst cards as he should), I resolved a Yawgmoth's Bargain the next turn, and
proceed to do a 24+ point Tendrils a turn or two later, sending me to the
Games 13-4; Matches 7-1

Round 9/ Top 8 Finals; vs. Dan Messineo playing 4 Color Tog
I honestly wasn't sure how Dan piloted this deck through the massive sea of
Control Slaver (8+ decks) and Workshop + Trinisphere goodness (6+ decks), but
after looking at his his decklist in the TO's report thread, I see a great mana
base and very techy build, which probably had a lot to do with it; and I must
say I am impressed. Dan was one of the San Franciscans who came down to the
tournament, and his crew was of course rooting for him to spank me. I win the
die roll and I think I just cast mana sources like Sol Ring or something. On his
turn he plays a land and passes the turn. On my turn I think I drop a Tolarian
Academy and attempt to cast Gifts Ungiven, and he Force of Wills, pitching Mana
Drain. On his turn he may or may have missed a land drop, and then passes the
turn to me. I attempt to cast some other bomb, which he Force of Wills, again
pitching Mana Drain. I believe I then get out a Memory Jar or Yawgmoth's Bargain
a couple of turns later, and send a massive Tendrils of Agony his way to end the

In game 2 we both mulligan down to 6 cards, and he plays Polluted Delta, Mox,
Sol Ring, Lotus, go. I kept a 6 card hand of Underground Sea, Mox Jet,
Necropotence, Duress, Force of Will, and Gifts Ungiven. On my turn I draw and
play Underground Sea, cast Mox Jet, and then cast Duress. After thinking, Dan
sacrifices his Lotus for UUU in response, and uses one of the mana and Sol Ring
to cast Intuition, with UU floating. I Force of Will the Intuition, pitching
Gifts Ungiven, and Dan ends up taking 2 mana burn while my Duress hits nothing,
as he has a Volcanic Island in hand. On his turn he draws something, and then
plays the Volcanic and passes the turn back to me. I draw Dark Ritual and cast
Ritual for Necropotence, which resolves. I set aside 6 cards and drop to 13
life, then pass the turn. He draws, possibly casts Brainstorm, then passes the
turn back to me. I cast Duress, and he reveals 2 Psychatog in hand, so my Duress
misses again, but has provided me the information I needed. I immediately cast
Tinker and fetch Darksteel Colossus, then pass the turn. Dan cracks Polluted
Delta, dropping him to 17, and on his turn casts Psychatog and passes the turn.
I attack with DSC and he lets it through, dropping him to 6. I then set aside a
2 cards with Necropotence (putting me at 10, still out of Psychatog range).
Since I have a bunch of mana open, I hard cast Yawgmoth's Bargain to gets cards
at instant speed if need be, put the 2 Necroe'd cards in my hand, and pass the
turn back to him. He casts Brainstorm or something, then passes the turn back to
me. I debate for a moment, and after doing some Psychatog calculations, attack
with DSC. He blocks and removes just enough stuff from the graveyard and hand to
put him at 1 life. On his turn he draws, and casts Cunning Wish for Diabolic
Edict, then attempts to Edict me. Because I had cast Yawgmoth's Bargain 2 turns
ago, I can now get cards at instant speed. I prepare to Bargain down to 1 life
to find a Force of Will if need be, but the top card is a Force, and just like
that, I have won an Unlimited Mox Ruby. I guess this answers why people still
play TPS instead of Doomsday. It's the most resilient combo deck, has the best
mana base, and as Kowal said, 'Rebuild is just that good.'
Games 15-4; Matches 8-1

I'd like to again thank Shawn (Dear Mr. Fantazy) and his wife for putting on yet
another outstanding tournament. I'd also like to thank Tony Soto for being
awesome, Gifts Ungiven for being off the chain, Andrew for being so entertained
that he couldn't keep the soda in his mouth and off his nice clothes, and all of
the players (especially those from San Francisco) who actually showed up. Way to
support Vintage, baby! Let's do it again next month.

One other note; BHWC continues to own side events too, as both BHWC players who
entered the side tournament (Nick aka nickvos and Pat aka TracerBullet) both
would up making the finals and splitting. Nick also won the side event last
month after being knocked out of top 8 contention in the last round of swiss in
the main event, and also won the $500 side event in SCG Chicago after going
undefeated with BHWC Oath, aka DOA.

For those interested in my deck list for the event, check out the TO's report
here, with a nice breakdown of all of the top 8: