I've had a pretty up and down year so far, Magic-wise. Things started off great,
with me taking 3rd last Waterbury with TPS, earning myself an UL Mox Jet and
free entry into Vintage Evolutions at GP Boston. However when I went to Boston,
my deck, with my Mox, 2 borrowed Moxen and full sets of Duals, Fetches, and
FoW's, was stolen. Suddenly I was plunged into $800 debt and was without
everything I had worked so hard to acquire for my favorite deck. After that
weekend I vowed never to play Magic again and kept my word, not touching a Magic
card for three months.

But I've always been bad at keeping promises...

Fast foward to Friday night, midnight. I'm on the phone with my former
playgroup, frantically trying to get them to scrounge up the cards so I can play
TPS the next day. I figure, I owe my friends their Moxen back, and the best way
to get them their cards is to win them.... may as well try. Miraculously, we
manage to scrape together the entire deck, about 4 cards of which belongs to me.
I arrange for a ride, which picks me up 7 hours later and I'm off to one of the
biggest events in T1 without any playtesting for the last season.

When we arrive at the tournament site, I meet up with all my old Magic buddies
and spend the hour before registration trading what little I have left for
random cards that happen to be in TPS. I actually manage to pick a lot of stuff
up, in fact, by the end of the day, I've gone from absolutely nothing for the
deck to having everything but Forces, Deltas, Underground Seas, and Power. Not
bad for one day, if I do say so myself.

I grab a decklist form and begin copying down my list, card-for-card from
January. I then realize that Trinisphere has been restricted and switch out a
few things (namely, swapping out a Rebuild for a Chain and cutting a Gifts for a
Cunning Wish). I look over the decklist, make sure it adds up to 60 + 15 cards,
and hand it in, fully expecting to have completely wasted the $20 entry fee.
Then I anxiously await round one.

Here's what I played:

The Absolutely Perfect Fucking Storm

4 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
1 Tolarian Academy
3 Island
2 Swamp
1 Flooded Strand

1 Timetwister
4 Force of Will
4 Duress
2 Tendrils of Agony
1 Mind's Desire
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
4 Dark Ritual
1 Black Lotus
1  Lotus Petal
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Necropotence
1 Rebuild
1 Time Walk
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Tinker
1 Time Spiral
1 Memory Jar
1 Cunning Wish
1 Frantic Search
1 Chain of Vapor


1 Rebuild
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Chain of Vapor
2 Skeletal Scrying
1 Echoing Truth
1 Coffin Purge
1 Darksteel Colossus
1 Rushing River
1 Brain Freeze
1 Stifle
1 Misdirection
1 Hydroblast
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Daze (I played BEB in this slot, but in hindsight it should have been the

Round 1 vs. (Forgot name) with Control Slaver

He wins the die roll and chooses to play. Playing absolutely nothing, he tells
me to go. I ask him if he's sure, and he says yes. I shrug and take my turn,
playing an Island and passing. He draws, plays LoA (explaining the eventful turn
1) and passes. EoT I Ancestral Myself, he taps LoA for a card and FoW's, I FoW
back. Recall resolves. On my turn I play a crapload of artifact mana, Academy,
Jar, go. He untaps and draws, passes. Turn 3, I pop Jar on upkeep for a new hand
and end up Desiring for 10 into Tendrils. My first game in 3 months, and I win
turn 3. Go figure.

SB: -1 Time Spiral, -1 Tinker, -1 Memory Jar, -1 Rebuild, +2 Skeletal Scrying +1
Echoing Truth, +1 Rushing River

He plays land go. I draw for turn, and realize I can win. This turn. I play
Underground Sea, Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, Lotus, sac Lotus for Timetwister.
He forces the Twister. Excellent. Chain of Vapor my Mox Jet, Sack Sea to Chain
the Ruby, play Jet and Ruby again, Tendrils for exactly 20. Thanks FoW, thank
you very much.

1-0 (2-0)

Round 2 vs. Jason LeDuc with Landstill

My opponent is judging for this event, so I make sure to play very slowly and
carefully.  According to my "notes", which are a mess of tally marks and U B
mana symbols, I win on my turn 2 through his FoW by resolving Gifts, which
allows me to play Memory Jar into Bargain into a very large Desire. All I saw
out of him was Mishra's Factory, Force, and the Drain he removed, which made me
think he was playing Landstill.

SB: -1 Time Sprial,  -1 Rebuild, -1 Memory Jar, +1 Darksteel Colossus, +1
Echoing Truth, +1 Skeletal Scrying (May have boarded differently, I don't

Game two is a long drawn out affair. He draws lots of mana and Nev's Disks,
while I Duress him quite a few times (he makes me waste one by holding only a
land in hand). Eventually I Tendrils him for 14, putting myself quite out of
range for his lone factory. Sooner or later, I draw a tutor for Tendrils, which
follows two other spells for the win.

2-0 (4-0)

Round 3 vs. Eli Cassis with Rector/Oath (Feature Match)

I won't go into too much detail since this was videotaped, but game one, he wins
the die roll and leads with Land, Mox, Crypt, Rector. I believe those were the
only spells he played this game. The Rector hits me a couple times while his
Crpyt hurts him as well. A couple turns later I play a Timetwister which draws
me into all sorts of fun stuff and I win that turn.

SB: -1 Rebuild, -1 Chain of Vapor, +1  Stifle, +1 Coffin Purge (I didn't know he
had Oaths, I thought it was Rector Tendrils)

Game two he leads with Orchard, Mox, Oath. Uh oh. Someone boarded wrong. I play
Academy, Mox, Brainstorm. He Oaths up Titan, which kills our combined total of 0
basic lands. When he passes the turn, I go broken. I seem to have lost my notes
for this game, but I'm pretty sure ended up playing at least 30 times as many
spells as him. He loses the match having taken a grand total of about 4 turns.

3-0 (6-0)

Round 4 vs. Ashok with UW Fish

He wins the die roll and leads with Factory, Vial. Play Ritual, Necropotence and
pay 5 life to draw up to 9 or so. He untaps, lays another Factory and swings
with the first. I untap, drop my hand Including a Memory Jar, which I use to
draw more gas and blow him out of the water with a gargantuan Tendrils.

SB: -1 Time Spiral, -1 Memory Jar, -1 Rebuild, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Rushing
River, +1 DSC

Game two goes much the same as the first. He either doesn't have or just doesn't
play any creatures, while I Tendrils him down to 7 with the help of his
Fetchland on about turn 3. A few turns later, I play a couple random spells
followed by the 2nd Tendrils for the win.

4-0 (8-0)

Round 5 vs. John Paplowski with Crushing Chamber

I'm a little surprised to see an artifact aggro deck making it this far into the
rounds undefeated. Not too surprised though, since I saw him in Round 3 swinging
with a triple Cranial Plated Ornithopter for 15 on turn two, to his opponent's
dismay. I pray the same doesn't happen to me.
He wins the roll and drops his hand, basically. I play lands and Brainstorms
over the next couple turns while he bashes me down to 4. The turn before I would
lose, I play Yawg Will. I have it set up so that after Willing I'll have two
mana available. One I use to recast Vamp from my yard for Lotus. The other I use
to Brainstorm. I realize the Brainstorm needs to get me either a Ritual or a Mox
in addition to the Lotus in order for me to cast the Tendrils in my hand. I play
Brainstorm, drawing.... Lotus, Ritual, Mox. Good Game. Turns out, if John had
sacrificed his two moxen to his Ravager the turn before, I wouldve been at 2,
unable to Vamp, and would have lost. He had no way of knowing this, though.

SB: -4 Duress, -1 Memory Jar, -1 Cunning Wish, +1 Chain of Vapor, +1 Echoing
Truth, +1 Hurkyl's Recall, +1 Rebuild, +1 Rushing River, +1 Darksteel Colossus
(Turns out my board is AMAZING vs. Artifact aggro...)

He leads with land, Disciple of the Vault, go.  I play land, Brainstorm. He
plays Clamp, and swings. I play DT for Tinker and pass. He swings again, pops
his DotV for two cards, and plays Sphere of Resistance. I untap and Tinker for
Colossus. Thanks to his own Sphere, he can't play enough chump blockers to
survive the 11/11, and I win in 3 turns.

5-0 (10-0)

So at this point, I am just kicking ass, completely undefeated and after months
of not playing too. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty on top of the world.
Then they announce I have another feature match.

Round 6 vs. Carl Winter with SSB

Again, this is on tape, so I'll be brief. Game one I go absolutely nuts and have
like 20 mana on turn 3 and win off a huge Desire.

SB: Same as Round 1

Game 2, he counters the important things and wins with Severance --> Belcher.
Game three, I make a huge mistake, and he gets really lucky. I play Land,
Brainstorm, Mox, Duress, seeing land, land, FoW, Drain, Tinker, Gifts, and FoF
or something. I take the FoW. In my hand I have Lotus and Timetwister. Since he
had an amazing hand with no counter mana up, I should have played the Twister
then, basically forcing him to mulligan and getting 7 cards with 2 mana already
out. Instead, I pass the turn, thinking he won't draw a FoW. He plays Volcanic
Island and Passes. I play Ritual, Lotus, Twister... and he plays his topdecked
REB. Argh. Oh well, my mistake. I use the last card in hand, Tendrils for 8, and
he wins a few turns later with Tinkered in DSC.

5-1 (11-2)

Round 7 vs. Jason Zheng with Fish

He covers this match in this report, so I'll keep it short. Game One, I resolve
Jar and Tendrils him for 18. Then I rip a DT the following turn and Tendrils for
another 4.

SB: -1 Time Spiral, -1 Rebuild, -1 Memory Jar +1 DSC, +1 Echoing Truth, +1
Rushing River

Game two, he stops the couple relevant things I try to do and wins with a
Factory. Ew.

Game three, he plays double Arcane Lab early, but only has Flying Men to back
them up. I Duress him a few times, resolve Bargain, and echoing Truth the Labs.
Tendrils for 20, please.

6-1 (11-3)

Round 8 ID

So I end the swiss at 6-1-1 with a total of 3 lost games. Not bad.

I come in 4th and am paired against Team Goat member, Mike Roche.

Top 16 vs. Mike Roche with Sensei Combo

I hate to say it but, I really don't recall much from these games. I know I won
the first, lost the second, then won the third a turn before I would've lost.
Actually, I know that in game three, I got in a hit with DSC before he bounced
it to my hand at 7 life, and then I played Mox, Vamp, Desire, Tendrils for the
final 8 without even bothering to find anything with Vamp or flip cards with
Desire. I boarded in DSC obviously but I don't remember what else.

Top 8 vs. Rich Shay with SSB

Feature Match again... Game one I counter two Gifts in a row and then resolve my
own, which gives me enough brokenness to win. Game two I just demolish him with
an amazing draw, prompting the quote that can be found in my signature.

Top 4 vs. Carl Winter with SSB

REMATCH! This was my 4th Feature Match of the day, so again this will be brief.
Game one, I combo'd out early and he didn't put up much of a fight. Game two, he
won after topdecking a Drain, much like in our match during the swiss, for my
Tinker after I Duressed him the previous turn to find he had no counters. He
used the mana to play a game winning Gifts for the Standard Combo. Game three,
after trading Duresses and FoWs back and forth all game, it gets down to a point
where I had just resolved Gifts with Island, Swamp, Academy, and nothing else on
the board. He gave me Will and DT. On his turn, He Duressed me... and took the
DT. Then he cast Tinker for Colossus. This put me on a two turn clock, giving me
two chances to draw a land or Mox in order to cast Will, since he has no cards
in hand. I rip a swamp and use it to play YawgWin, replaying Lotus, Crypt,
Ancestral, DT, Ritual, and other things, followed by Tendrils.

Finals vs. Jason Zheng with UW Fish

This is on tape and in his report. I won game one on like turn 2 with a huge
Desire. I had game two in the bag, but forgot he had Null Rod and played the
wrong cards before realzing I couldn't tap my Moxen for mana. I made numerous,
terrible mistakes this game, all of which are obvious and worthy of a few laughs
once the video goes online. Game three, I keep a decent hand with Brainstorm and
DSC, but when I go to pop a fetchland, he Stifles. Eventually he resolves Null
Rod and Arcane Lab. I almost pull it out, and had it not been for the fact that
he had DOUBLE Orim's Chant in hand when I Duressed him, I would've won thanks to
Echoing Truth. Sadly, he did have that other Chant, and our hero came up just

So I walk away with a Beta Mox Jet, which will go a long way toward restoring
the stolen contents of my deck and repaying my friends. I'd like to thank all my
opponents, all of whom were stand up guys, I enjoyed playing against all of
them. Thanks to Ray for organizing another great tournament with amazing prize
structure. Props to my "barns"- Dan, Rich, Matt, and Ben, who cheered from the
peanut gallery and made crude sexual jokes to lighten the mood for me during the
top eight. Also props to my hull, Andy Probasco, who lent me Beta power at
Evolution to let me play after losing my deck- a great friend!

I'm happy to say that thanks to the amazingness that is Waterbury, I am
permanently returning to Magic. Why would I ever quit when I'm so damn lucky
with TPS?