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CardShark Content - Chris Morling (7/7/2001)

Friday Night Magic - Draft (06-29-01) @ StrikeZone Houston, Tx.

In which a young bear makes lots of mistakes, drafts the third booster pack very poorly, makes a shady play, and still wins (sort of).

Booster draft is, perhaps, my favorite format. In sealed deck, a good player with a bad deck can beat a bad player with a good deck, but a good player with a bad deck cannot beat a good player with a good deck. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you cannot do very well in a sealed deck tournament. I won't go as far as to make ´´sealed luck´´ references, as some players do, but I will agree that luck plays too much of a role in sealed deck.

I have different problems with constructed formats. Firstly, to go from good to great in a constructed format requires a lot of work. As well as some research, much experimentation needs to be done, tweaking individual cards, sideboarding, and so on.

Secondly, recent improvements in R&D at Wizards have lead to an environment where almost every deck has some bad matchups. All the playtesting in the world won't help when you're matched up against the one deck the just ´´owns you´´. NetherHaups was a fantastic deck, with a strong matchup against much of the field, but in the matches against Ponza, there was no chance. If you showed up to regionals with NetherHaups, and faced Ponza in rounds one and two, that was it. Lots of work, wasted.

In addition to this, constructed formats have a large upfront cost. Drafting and sealed decks are just as expensive, but they leach money $10 or $20 at a time, while to build a constructed deck from scratch costs around $150 right at the start.

Booster draft can avoid both of these problems. While there are problems like lack of information, and while the cards you open have an effect on your performance, skill plays a role much larger than it does in sealed. While practice is important in draft, it does so much less than in constructed. Finally, while matchups are sometimes favorable or unfavorable, I certainly feel they play a lesser role than in constructed formats.

I arrived at StrikeZone just in time to participate in the draft. There were 17 people, divided into two tables. I was at the larger. There were to be three rounds then a cut to top eight.

The Draft:
I opened my pack and see the card I want to see the most: Dromar, the Banisher
Dromar, the Banisher
Dromar, the BanisherSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
244
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying Whenever Dromar, the Banisher deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 2U. If you do, choose a color. Return all creatures of that color to their owners' hands.
. Here is perhaps the best dragon, in the colors I most like to play. I look through the pack, and I notice that there is also a Washout and another strong blue card, either a Repulse
Repulse
RepulseSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Artist:
Aaron Boyd
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand.Draw a card.
or Exclude
Exclude
ExcludeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Counter target creature spell.Draw a card.
. Taking Dromar, then, puts me next to at least one person playing blue, and perhaps two. I look through the pack, and there's nothing that makes not playing blue worthwhile, so I take Dromar, with the intention of cutting off blue.

The second pack has a Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
and little else, so I gleefully take it. The third pack I'm handed has no strong blue cards, but it does have a Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
. Of course, Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
is much better in R/B than in w/U/B or W/u/B, but its still strong, and there's no compelling alternative, so I take it. The same thing happens with the next pack.

I'm a little worried about taking too many good spells and not enough good creatures, so I do my best to make sure I get a few decent creatures.

I open the Planeshift pack, and see Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
. I look through the pack, but can't find anything that would make me consider passing the Specter so I take it. I'm forced to choose between Sea Snidd
Sea Snidd
Sea SniddSet: Planeshift
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
31
Artist:
Chippy
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Target land's type becomes the basic land type of your choice until end of turn.
and Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
twice during Planeshift, which is tricky, especially with me worried about creatures, but I take the Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
twice. I'm able to pick up some good cards relatively late, getting Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
around pick four, Silver Drake
Silver Drake
Silver DrakeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Silver Drake comes into play, return a white or blue creature you control to its owner's hand.
around pick six, and four familiars, one in each of white and black, and two in blue.

Opening Dromar put me in some combination of W/U/B, which has the disadvantage in the current Invasion/Planeshift/Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
format of few of the fantastic Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
gold cards. The Rare B/W cards tend to be very, very good, but the commons and uncommons range from bad (Soul Link
Soul Link
Soul LinkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature deals or is dealt damage, you gain that much life.
) to average (Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
). In addition, playing three allied colors means I only have access to one pair of opposite colors. I see a lot of good cards in G/U and G/B in Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to try to pick a few of them up, as I'd picked up a Treva's Ruins
Treva's Ruins
Treva's RuinsSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Treva's Ruins is a Lair in addition to its land type. When Treva's Ruins comes into play, sacrifice it unless you return a non-Lair land you control to its owner's hand. T: Add G, W, or U to your mana pool.
in Planeshift, but I'm an old fuddy duddy, and I want to play two colors with a splash of a third, so I don't take any. I also felt heavily committed to black with two Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
s, and so I want to focus on that color. Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
doesn't provide me with a lot of bombs, pretty much just a Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian GargantuaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Phyrexian Gargantua comes into play, you draw two cards and you lose 2 life.
, but it provides me with some solid cards, like two Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
, Order/Chaos, a Night/Day, and a Helionaut
Helionaut
HelionautSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
13
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. 1, TAP: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
(over a Yavimaya's Embrace
Yavimaya's Embrace
Yavimaya's EmbraceSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
8
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
You control enchanted creature. Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample.
!).

Apparently, the player to my right counterdrafted a Desolation Angel
Desolation Angel
Desolation AngelSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
Brom
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Kicker WW (You may pay an additional WW as you play this spell.) Flying. When Desolation Angel comes into play, destroy all lands you control. If you paid the kicker cost, destroy all lands instead.
and another W/B bomb, but nothing of the sort made it to me.

Here are the cards I ended up playing:
1 cc:
Tidal Visionary
Tidal Visionary
Tidal VisionarySet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
, Necra Disciple
Necra Disciple
Necra DiscipleSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
44
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, TAP: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. W, TAP: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
, Cursed Flesh
Cursed Flesh
Cursed FleshSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1 and cannot be blocked except by artifact creatures and black creatures.
, Night/(Day)

2 cc:
2 x Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape ApprenticeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
75
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.B, T: Target player loses 1 life.
, Nightscape Apprentice
Nightscape Apprentice
Nightscape ApprenticeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
112
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
U, T: Put target creature you control on top of its owner's library.R, T: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn.
, Sunscape Apprentice
Sunscape Apprentice
Sunscape ApprenticeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Stephanie Law
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, T: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.U, T: Put target creature you control on top of its owner's library.
, 2 x Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.


3 cc:
Silver Drake
Silver Drake
Silver DrakeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Silver Drake comes into play, return a white or blue creature you control to its owner's hand.
, Helionaut
Helionaut
HelionautSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
13
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. 1, TAP: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
, Shackles
Shackles
ShacklesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.W: Return Shackles to owner's hand.


4 cc:
Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
, Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
, Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
, Seer's Vision
Seer's Vision
Seer's VisionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
270
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
All opponents play with their hands revealed.Sacrifice Seer's Vision: Look at target player's hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.
, 2 x Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.


5 cc:
None

6 cc:
Dromar the Banisher, Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian GargantuaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Phyrexian Gargantua comes into play, you draw two cards and you lose 2 life.


X cc:
2 x Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.


Land:
Ancient Spring
Ancient Spring
Ancient SpringSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
319
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Ancient Spring comes into play tapped.T: Add U to your mana pool.T, Sacrifice Ancient Spring: Add WB to your mana pool.
, 8 x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
, 5 x Plain, 4 x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.


Notable sideboard cards include Slay
Slay
SlaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
55
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Destroy target green creature. It can't be regenerated. Draw a card.
, Jaded Response
Jaded Response
Jaded ResponseSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Counter target spell if it shares a color with a creature you control.
, and Order/Chaos. Order/Chaos, was, of course, very difficult to relegate to sideboard status, but I didn't want to replace a creature since I had the strong gating creatures, and I couldn't find a spell to cut. In retrospect, I should probably have replaced the Seer's Vision
Seer's Vision
Seer's VisionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
270
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
All opponents play with their hands revealed.Sacrifice Seer's Vision: Look at target player's hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.
. I also might have replaced the Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
, which was strong but too often found itself sitting in my hand waiting for the right mana.

If you're very, very astute, you'll notice that there are forty-one cards here, twenty-three spells, and eighteen land.

Note:
Don't do this. Don't ever do this. Never, ever, ever play forty-one cards. There's no excuse. It's just laziness. I couldn't find a card to cut, so I said just put them all in. Don't! No!

Actually, there are a few reasons to play more than forty cards. One of them is if you intend to deck your opponents. Your opponents are good players and know that you should play forty cards. That means if you have a deck designed for it, it can be possible to deck an opponent in an environment without Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
. A couple of years ago, I built a deck based around Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
PeacekeeperSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Peacekeeper
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
During your upkeep, pay 1W or bury Peacekeeper.Creatures cannot attack.
to do just this. I'd lock up the attack phase with the Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
PeacekeeperSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Peacekeeper
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
During your upkeep, pay 1W or bury Peacekeeper.Creatures cannot attack.
, and protect the Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
PeacekeeperSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Peacekeeper
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
During your upkeep, pay 1W or bury Peacekeeper.Creatures cannot attack.
with counters and damage prevention.

More recently, I drafted a deck with eight Circles of Protection and plenty of creatures that tap to deal damage to target attacking creature, as well as some green fat like Giant Spider
Giant Spider
Giant SpiderSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Does not fly, but can block flying creatures.
. I went 2-0-1 with it, winning three games because I had forty-two cards to my opponents' forty.

I've also heard from a pretty reputable player that forty-one cards can be appropriate to get a more ideal mana ratio. If you've got medium level casting costs, eighteen land and twenty-three spells can be a better mana ratio than you'd get with forty cards and either twenty-two spells or seventeen lands. If you have a Ph.D. in statistics, give this suggestion a look. Otherwise, play forty cards. As I said above, it's generally just lazy to not cut that last card.

If you look at the deck, you'll see it looks pretty solid. It has plenty of strong two-drops, as well as some late-game bombs.

Match one:
George: G/W/B.

George seems like a new player. He gets an early bear, and hits it with an Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo CloakSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample.Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.
. He gets in two attacks with it before I kill it, but I get down to two before I manage to stabilize. I gain a little life with the Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
, and get a Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
into play, but George hits it with a Soul Link
Soul Link
Soul LinkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature deals or is dealt damage, you gain that much life.
. George seemed to be playing lifegain.dec, with three Mournful Zombie
Mournful Zombie
Mournful ZombieSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, TAP: Target player gains 1 life.
s as well as the creature enchantments. I stabilize, and start bringing George's life down. I Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
, and I get a hand full of good cards, but George plays a RmlnaHQgb3IgFlight
Flight
FlightSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Text:
Target creature is now a flying creature.
to prevent me from swarming, and I'm at low enough life that an Explosive Growth
Explosive Growth
Explosive GrowthSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
187
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Kicker o5 (You may pay an additional o5 as you play this spell.)Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. If you paid the kicker cost, that creature gets +5/+5 until end of turn instead.
on any unblocked critter will kill me, so I have to choose my attackers very carefully. I end up decking myself, due to the cards I drew from Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
and Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian GargantuaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Phyrexian Gargantua comes into play, you draw two cards and you lose 2 life.
. I get a Dromar into play, and I could win with a couple more turns, but such is life, I guess.

In game two I make a shady play, which has since been causing me some reflection. I'll let you know what happened, and you'll have to judge me. George plays turn two Llanowar Knight
Llanowar Knight
Llanowar KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
254
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black
s, then turn three Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo CloakSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample.Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.
. Now, there's some ways for me to deal with this, but all I have in my hand are Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
s. I play my first, he attacks and takes me to sixteen. I play another, and forget to attack with the first Warrior, because I'm thinking I can double block the Knight. Of course, I can't since the Knight has protection from black. He attacks and I curse my mistake, but go down to twelve. He plays another fat green creature, and I'm in trouble. He holds back his other green creature, but I can't do anything about the Knight. I keep drawing land and black creatures. I'm at four, and need one of a few cards to save me. I untap and draw Dromar.

Now, He's going to attack me next turn, and take me to zero, winning the game, but I decide to be a little tricky. I tap mana and play Dromar.

I tell George, ´´I'll tap six lands and play this blue and white creature.´´

He saw Dromar in the last game, so it's not like this is his first time with it.

I pass the turn and casually tell George, ´´I hope you don't draw any removal, because if you do, that's game.

He draws, plays a green creature, and passes the turn to me. On my turn, I attack with Dromar and return the green creature to his hand. We end up unable to finish the match since time runs out. He's gained so much life from the Cloak that I simply can't bring him down to zero, but if I had won, it would have been solely because he didn't attack with his protection from black creature for fear of losing it to Dromar.

Now, the things I said to him were technically true. Dromar is a blue and white creature. He just also happens to be a black creature. It's also true that if George had drawn removal to get rid of Dromar, I would have lost. It just also happens to be true that I should have lost even without the removal. I certainly wouldn't have lied if my opponent had asked, ´´what colors is Dromar.´´ I wouldn't have lied if my opponent had said, ´´but Dromar can't block Llanowar Knight
Llanowar Knight
Llanowar KnightSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
254
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black
. It has protection from black.´´ I wouldn't try to cast a black spell targeting the Knight, and if my opponent had blocked a black creature with the Knight I wouldn't have let him put it into the graveyard. I certainly wouldn't have actually tried to block the Knight with Dromar. I can't, however, help feeling I acted unethically by saying things that drew his attention away from the fact he could win the game.

As I mentioned, it didn't end up affecting the outcome of the match.

I really feel like I should have won this match. I was very close to winning the first game when I ran out of cards, and I was very close to winning the second game when I ran out of time.

Match record: 0-1
Game record: 0-1

Match two:
Paul: B/G/W/r

Despite losing the first match, I'm pretty confident in my deck, so I'm not too worried. I get a first turn Necra Disciple
Necra Disciple
Necra DiscipleSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
44
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
G, TAP: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. W, TAP: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
and get in a hit with it, and then I play a Nightscape Familiar
Nightscape Familiar
Nightscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
48
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blue spells and red spells you play cost 1 less to play. 1B: Regenerate Nightscape Familiar
. He plays a Manacles of Decay
Manacles of Decay
Manacles of DecaySet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack. B: Enchanted creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. R: Enchanted creature can't block this turn.
on the Familiar, and he waits to the end of my turn to kill it with one black mana.

Then he doesn't kill it.

I think, ´´Well, it's probably a stronger play to kill the familiar before I use it for the mana boost, or before I draw a Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
, or whatever, but it isn't a terrible play to wait until the end of my turn. In fact, it's excusable to wait until the card becomes useful to me to kill it at all, but whatever.´´

On his turn, he plays a Spiritmonger
Spiritmonger
SpiritmongerSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Spiritmonger deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Spiritmonger. B: Regenerate Spiritmonger. G: Spiritmonger becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
, and I start thinking about game two. Maindeck, I can chump block the Monger, block and regenerate with the Familiar (except it's about to die to the Manacles), or cast Shackles
Shackles
ShacklesSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature does not untap during its controller's untap phase.W: Return Shackles to owner's hand.
on it. In the side, I've also got Order and Jaded Response
Jaded Response
Jaded ResponseSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Counter target spell if it shares a color with a creature you control.
, but that's about it.

I untap, draw, and pass the turn to him. At the end of my turn, he doesn't use the Manacles. He draws, and then passes the turn back to me. We go back and forth like this for a few turns, with me trying to conceal my amazement that I'm not losing to the Monger.

Eventually, I draw a Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
. I tap the mana to play it.

´´I'll attempt to cast a Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
. Any response?´´ Even now, I'm expecting him to kill the Familiar.

´´Nah,´´ he says.

I bring the Specter into play. ´´I'll put the gating ability on the stack. I'll choose the Nightscape Familiar
Nightscape Familiar
Nightscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
48
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blue spells and red spells you play cost 1 less to play. 1B: Regenerate Nightscape Familiar
. Any response?´´

´´Nah,´´ he says.

I return the Familiar to my hand. I tap two mana, and replay it, still with enough mana to regenerate. He starts to attack with the Monger, and I block and regenerate the Familiar. He's just trying to build up counters. I attack with the Specter, and I begin to realize why he made his mistake with the Manacles. He's holding a bunch of red spells, but he hasn't seen a Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
. I think he intended to spend one red mana to make the Familiar unable to block, and then win that way. He got so intensely interested in this plan he forgot he could just kill the Familiar. Eventually, I win with flying creatures.

In game two, He gets a hit in with a bear with Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo Cloak
Armadillo CloakSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
229
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample.Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, you gain that much life.
, and he does some damage to me, but I stabilize and win without too much difficulty.

Match Record: 1-1
Game Record: 2-1

Match 3:
Matt: G/U/B.
These two games progress quite quickly, and I give him little chance. Fliers make things very difficult for him.

I figure 2-1 should make top eight. In the end, one person makes it a 1-1-1, another at 3-0, two at 2-0-1, and four at 2-1. I'm fourth seed, as George is also at 2-1 and I was paired up against someone with a tie in round two. Not too shabby.

Match Record: 2-1
Game Record: 4-1

Match 4, Quarterfinals:
George again

It's nice to have a chance to avenge myself. I play a pretty tight game one. He hits me for a few damage, but I gain some life off a pair of Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
s. I stabilize, and there's not much he can do against my deck's late game. Game two is a bit closer, with him getting me as low as 11 before I lock up the game. In, I think, both of these games he casts Soul Link
Soul Link
Soul LinkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature deals or is dealt damage, you gain that much life.
on the Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
, and I hit him a couple of times anyway for the card advantage. Soul Link
Soul Link
Soul LinkSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
Whenever enchanted creature deals or is dealt damage, you gain that much life.
is pretty clearly pseudo-removal as opposed to real removal.

I would have liked to speak to George after the match and point out some areas where he could improve his play, but it's not possible as he has to leave right after the game.

Match Record: 3-1
Game Record: 6-1

Match 5:
Trent: Domain (mostly U/B/G).

Trent was top seed coming into the top eight, at 3-0.

Trent has no luck in the first game, drawing a lot of mana and mana fixers but no real business spells and I roll over him.

Game two is more interesting. We battle back and forth and I get down to six life. Trent gets the combo of Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker W and/or 2B. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, you gain 3 life. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the 2B kicker cost, destroy target nonblack creature. That creature can't be regenerated.
and Cavern Harpy
Cavern Harpy
Cavern HarpySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. When Cavern Harpy comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Pay 1 life: Return Cavern Harpy to its owner's hand.
, as well as some fat green creatures. He returns the Battlemage to his hand to gate the Harpy, and I play a Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
. I look at the board and see a bunch of fat green creatures, so, without really thinking, I say, ´´Green.´´ Doh! He kills the Voice the next turn with the black kicker on the Battlemage. I manage to draw plenty of black creatures, including a Doomsday Specter
Doomsday Specter
Doomsday SpecterSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Doomsday Specter comes into play, return a blue or black creature you control to its owner's hand. Whenever Doomsday Specter deals combat damage to a player, look at that player's hand and choose a card from it. The player discards that card.
, so he isn't able to wipe out my army, but I'm stuck holding a Silver Drake
Silver Drake
Silver DrakeSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying. When Silver Drake comes into play, return a white or blue creature you control to its owner's hand.
and a Stormscape Familiar
Stormscape Familiar
Stormscape FamiliarSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying. White spells and black spells you play cost 1 less to play.
. His only flier is the Harpy, but it's pretty effective. He keeps blocking the Specter, returning the Harpy to his hand, playing the Battlemage with white kicker, then gating the Mage with the Harpy. He's gaining life. I'm struggling to stay alive. I get very lucky and draw a Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
. I burn the Harpy for one, and he has to return it. I attack with the Specter and make him discard the Harpy. Booyah. Without the Harpy, he can't block my fliers and I take him out.

Trent is displeased to have lost, because he's trying to maintain a 1970 rating. That's pretty tricky. He probably came out of the draft okay, though, because he probably picked up about two points with each win and only lost about ten to me.

Match Record: 4-1
Game Record: 8-1

Match 6:
Lee: R/W/U.

I watch one of Lee's earlier matches, and I know that he has three Razorfin Hunter
Razorfin Hunter
Razorfin HunterSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
TAP: Razorfin Hunter deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
s. That's pretty tough.

In game 1, I make a big misjudgment. I assume I'm the beatdown. I come out pretty quickly with Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
, and I keep attacking with it and having us both lose a life. He plays a flier, and I continue my beatdown. I continue to have us each lose a life. He takes out the Warrior with the hotter half of a Fire/Ice

He plays another flier, but I am not deterred. I keep on having us lose life. I'm now losing the race, and I play a risky Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian GargantuaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
48
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Phyrexian Gargantua comes into play, you draw two cards and you lose 2 life.
, which I'm sure is the right play. He takes me down to six, and I have to choose between hoping for another Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
to Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
him out or using Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
on his creature. I take a risk, and decide to wait. I don't draw a swamp, and so I burn him to six and bring myself up to six. I attack with the Gargantua and bring him to two.

He attacks and brings me to two. He has a Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape Apprentice
Stormscape ApprenticeSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
75
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
W, T: Tap target creature.B, T: Target player loses 1 life.
and a Samite Pilgrim
Samite Pilgrim
Samite PilgrimSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Artist:
D.J. Cleland-Hura
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control.
. Now, the only creature I have in play is the Gargantua. I have a Night/Day in my hand, and I use it at the end of Lee's turn to kill the Apprentice. If I draw a Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
, or Cursed Flesh
Cursed Flesh
Cursed FleshSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1 and cannot be blocked except by artifact creatures and black creatures.
, or Soul Burn
Soul Burn
Soul BurnSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Soul Burn deals 1 damage to a single target creature or player for each B or R you pay in addition to the casting cost. Gain 1 life for each B you spend in this way. You cannot gain more life than the toughness of the creature or the total life of the targeted player.
, or maybe a Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction
Fact or FictionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.
, I can win. Otherwise, it's game. I draw, and it's a swamp. On to game two.

I make the same mistake in game two as in game one. I imagine that I'm the beatdown. This means I once again choose to have us lose life to the Warrior. Fortunately, this game I get sensible and start having us gain life before it's too late. I get a Seer's vision into play, and it shows me that Lee has nothing in his hand except for a Confound
Confound
ConfoundSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
. This doesn't stop me from trying to Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
his creature, though. Doh! It turns out to be okay, as I narrowly win this one.

At this point, it's getting late, and so I suggest a prize split. There're twenty-five booster packs and a foil Swords up for grabs. I offer him thirteen boosters and the Swords if he'll concede, which he will. I probably should have started off a little more even, like twelve boosters, but that's okay.

Note:
The first step to being a good Magic player is relatively simple: stop being a bad Magic player. Stop making stupid mistakes. Don't cast Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
when Seer's Vision
Seer's Vision
Seer's VisionSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
270
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
All opponents play with their hands revealed.Sacrifice Seer's Vision: Look at target player's hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.
reveals that your opponent has a Confound
Confound
ConfoundSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
in hand. Don't give a Voice of All
Voice of All
Voice of AllSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
rk post
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. As Voice of All comes into play, choose a color. Voice of All has protection from the chosen color.
protection from green when your opponent has just bounced a Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape Battlemage
Stormscape BattlemageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Kicker W and/or 2B. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the W kicker cost, you gain 3 life. When Stormscape Battlemage comes into play, if you paid the 2B kicker cost, destroy target nonblack creature. That creature can't be regenerated.
. Don't play forty-one cards just because it's easier than forty.

The second step is to start making good plays, like figuring out whether to make people lose life or gain life with the Putrid Warrior
Putrid Warrior
Putrid WarriorSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Ray Lago
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Putrid Warrior deals damage, choose one - each player loses 1 life; or each player gains 1 life.
, but the first step is much more important. Jamie Wakefield had a ´´bad player counter´´ which he used while playing practice games to make sure he'd stop screwing up. I just try to keep track of my clearly bad plays.

I made too many mistakes tonight to deserve the win, but I'm not going to complain.


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