Hey saltines, it’s time for another Standard Showdown Recap! This was another week attending Jack’s on Queen’s Tuesday showdown. I took the standard Ramunap Thicc, this week adding a single copy of Chandra, Torch of Defiance, in place of a Tilonalli’s Skinshifter. I also put in one Soul-Scar Mage, I would have put in more but the store was out, and took out a Nest Robber. I’m going to take out the Robber’s and put in Mages because not only can SSM’s get larger due to prowess, but the allow me to put -1/-1 counters on bigger creatures so that my creature burn spells kind of stick around.
Round 1; Win in 2 vs G/U Merfolk
Have you ever sat down for a game of Magic and just relish in the look on your opponent’s face because they didn’t want to get paired up with you? Well this is the fine gentleman whom I played two weeks in a row, and in case you didn’t know it was a repeat of the past two weeks. Game one started rough my opponent as they had to mulligan to five. Ramunap Thicc did Ramunap Red things and get out super early for some insane turn five kill. Game two was quite similar, my opponent didn’t mulligan but it appeared that he had no creatures in hand other than Kopala, in which he played three of, and I managed to kill every single time. Here’s the thing though, even when he heard the pairings and went “Oh come onnnnnn”, he played his heart out and never gave an inch.
Round 2; Win in 2 vs Sultai Energy
Eyo Sultai Energy up in the hisouse! Now this isn’t the type of Sultai Energy list that I used to run, this one is more aggro with the likes of Longtusk Cub, Bristling Hydra, and Hostage Taker. Game one I got out early with Bomat Courier, and Earthshaker Khenra before my opponent managed to stick some burly blockers. Little did my opponent know I ended up drawing into a copy of Glorybringer to go with the one that I had in my hand. After my first GB got taken hostage by a Hostage Taker, my second one came in and exerted himself to free his brother dragon. The duo of scaled monstrosities took to the skies and scored me game one. Game two I did not possess the power of flight, but more so the power to just rush my opponent down. Getting in with Ahn-Crop Crasher and Hazoret the Fervent I was able to close out the game.
Round 3; Win in 2 vs Naya Dinosaurs
Yes! Finally someone with the guts to throw this masterpiece together! The young gentleman I was seated across from was so young, that he needed help shuffling his deck. Now, do not let the sweet innocent look fool you, this dude was 2-0, just like me, and I could tell under that wee smile when he drew his opening hand, there was fury that was about to be unleashed. His age played very little factor when it came to playing the game. He executed his turns well, communicated well, and made some plays that took me by surprise on more than one occasion. Game one I managed to get him down to eight life before he was able to stabilize with some burly dinos. He had cast a copy of Ranging Raptors, and then on his following turn cast Savage Stomp not once, but twice, throwing some sweet +1/+1 counters on his dude, and fetching two basics from his library. The game took a drastic turn in my favour when I hit six mana and was able to eternalize Earthshaker Khenra. I was able to make sure his Regisaur Alpha was unable to block, and swung with both the Khenra and a Skinshifter, presenting lethal. My opponent was forced to make some unfavourable blocks, and I was able to win the following turn. Game two my deck did Ramunap Red things and went off the rails. Even with my opponent gaining some life due to Deathgorge Scavenger’s etb effect, he was unable to hold off the barrage of burn spells I kept to deal with low toughness dinosaurs, ensuring my opponent had no blockers. This little guy put up the best fight of the night, and it was fantastic to see younger players coming out to these events. This younger generation is crucial to the game’s survival and its’ ability to evolve. Bringing fresh blood into the game ensures that the old fogeys stay on their toes. Well played kid, well played!
That’s all she wrote folks! For those of you counting at home that’s three weeks of undefeated runs. The challenge still stands! Anyone out there able to take me down at a Tuesday Standard Showdown may or may not get a wee prize, but don’t tell anyone…
The ‘Incident’ at GP Toronto 2017
So as most of you know I attended Grand Prix Toronto this past year and participated in the sealed main event. I managed to put together a decent grixis list sporting Kefnet the Mindful, and Kefnet’s Last Word. This mediocre deck pulled me to victory more games than not, allowing me to make day two. My struggle to make day two was not without it’s hurdles. In round four I was paired with another Jack’s regular, and it was a slug fest. The big issue happened in round eight.
At the beginning of round eight I was 5-2, all I needed was one more win and I made day two. I plop down at my table and across from me sits a quite pleasant looking young lady with a smile on her face. We do the typical pregame chatter and begin the game. At some point in the game I controlled a Khenra Scrapper with a Cartouche of Ambition, meaning it was a 3/4 with menace and lifelink. My opponent controlled a Bitterblade Warrior enchanted with a Cartouche of Knowledge. When my cartouche had entered I put a -1/-1 counter on her Bitterblade Warrior, meaning it was a 2/2 with flying. During my opponent’s first main phase she cast Ambuscade, targeting her 2/2 and my 3/4. I said ‘oooook’ expecting some sort of cheap burn spell to deal the additional one damage needed to kill off my Khenra Scrapper, but it never came. My opponent put the card into her graveyard and said ‘it’s dead’. I explained that it wasn’t dead, it was clearly a 3/4 with three damage counters marked on it. She proceeded to say ‘oh ok’ and in one speedy movement, took the Ambuscade out of her graveyard, moved to her attack step, exerted the Bitterblade Warrior to give it +1/+0 and deathtouch, then slammed the Ambuscade back into her graveyard, finishing with ‘now it’s dead’. I immediately threw my hand up in the air and yelled for a judge.
When a judge arrived to remedy the situation, I explained to them what had occurred. My opponent had apparently experienced a different series of events, firstly she told the judge that I did not announce that my creature gets +1/+1 from the enchantment. Which was confusing because she had the same type of enchantment on her creature. The judge who answered the call was visibly confused by what my opponent meant. My opponent then changed her story, simply telling the judge that ‘my opponent said I could take it back’. This is where things get super shady, because there is no way on God’s green earth that I would have said she could take it back, let alone the fact that it was competitive REL, let alone the fact that it was also my win and in. Then the crocodile tears started…. my opponent began asking me, ‘why are you lying?’ with tears streaming down her face. It was at this point that the players around me were feeling kind of awkward because I could feel them scooch away from me in their chairs. After the judge ruled that unfortunately for my opponent, once a card is played it can’t be taken back, my opponent demanded that the head judge come over.
Now I’m getting kind of frustrated, there is a crowd gathering to see why this bully is making a sweet innocent girl cry, she is still crying, and I just want to play Magic. The head judge makes his way over and takes both of us aside to see if he can piece together the story. After the head judge arrived back at our table, he informed us that he would be ruling in my favour, saying that he believed that I did not give her permission to replay the card. He proceeded to say that even if I did give her permission to take it back, ‘there are no take-backs in competitive magic, therefore the Ambuscade is in the graveyard and my creature survives.’ My opponent was still putting on the water works when the first judge gave us a time extension and the crowd dispersed.
The split second that it was just the two of us again the crying stopped. She looked me dead in the face and said some not so nice profanities followed by, ‘I hope you’re happy.” Yo I was shook. I was super shook. Looking back I should have called the judge back, but I was done with this woman and just wanted the game to end. I added insult to injury, she slammed her bomb, a Sifter Wurm. I was like ‘hey that’s a good target for Kefnet’s Last Word’ but the wurm’s etb trigger revealed another bomb, The Locust God. I stole the God the following turn with Kefnet’s Last Word, and promptly killed her with it. After the game I went and found the judge that responded to our call in the first place and told them about the foul language after they had left. I didn’t want to call the judges back after the ordeal, I just wanted the game to be over.
Moral of the story; save Kefnet’s Last Word for the real bombs.