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CardShark Content - Dave Andrews (9/5/2001)

Winning, Losing, and Whining. A Grumpy Old Man’s Adventure in Niles, IL
Dave Andrews

As the August 25th Invasion Block Constructed qualifier in Niles, IL approached, I stepped up my IBC playtesting. That is to say, I went from not playing at all, to showing up at Troy Skinner’s house one evening for a few random games. For several weeks before the event, I had been spending a lot of extra hours at work, and Magic temporarily had fallen pretty low on the priority list. So, even though I didn’t have nearly as much preparation as I normally like for a tournament, I was pretty happy just for the opportunity to be playing Magic, even if I was just using a deck I had received from a friend (I normally like to work on my decks myself, at the very least giving it a few unique touches if not building it from the ground up).

Here’s the decklist I played, which is 1 maindeck card and 5 sideboard cards off from a list I got from Troy:

4:Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.

4:Galina’s Knight
4:UXVlc3RpbmcgPhelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f
4:Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.

4: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.

4: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.

2:Rushing River
Rushing River
Rushing RiverSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Kicker-Sacrifice a land. (You may sacrifice a land in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.) Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. If you paid the kicker cost, return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.

4:Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

1:Eladamri
Eladamri
EladamriSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
1
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+15
Text:
You may redirect to yourself any amount of damage dealt to creatures you control.
’s Call
4: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.

4:Coastal Tower
Coastal Tower
Coastal TowerSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
321
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Text:
Coastal Tower comes into play tapped.T: Add W or U to your mana pool.

4:Elfhame Palace
Elfhame Palace
Elfhame PalaceSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
322
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Elfhame Palace comes into play tapped.T: Add G or W to your mana pool.

4:Yavimaya Coast
Yavimaya Coast
Yavimaya CoastSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add G or U to your mana pool. Yavimaya Coast deals 1 damage to you.

6:Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

3:Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

4:Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.


Sideboard:
4:Gainsay
Gainsay
GainsaySet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Roger Raupp
Text:
Counter target blue spell.

2:Samite Elder
Samite Elder
Samite ElderSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
14
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Creatures you control gain protection from the color(s) of target permanent you control until end of turn.

4:Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.

2:Sunscape Master
Sunscape Master
Sunscape MasterSet: Invasion
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Alan Rabinowitz
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
GG, T: Creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn.UU, T: Return target creature to its owner's hand.

3:Aura Mutation
Aura Mutation
Aura MutationSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
232
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Destroy target enchantment. Put X 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens into play, where X is its converted mana cost.


Round 1 vs. Matt Spreadbury w/ BRU Control

I started the tournament with a second turn Galina’s Knight that didn’t swing too many times before it was Maliced into the graveyard. I got a UXVlc3RpbmcgPhelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f swinging early but Matt had a Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
to take care of that, as well as a Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
from my hand. I kept drawing hippos like a champ, and soon had a second Phelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f on the table, with a third on-deck in my hand. However, Matt cast Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.
, and removed the remaining hippos from my deck. Matt followed the Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.
with a Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
the next turn, and I thought I would be placing my last Phelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f into the graveyard, but Matt chose to call “three”, which wiped out my entire hand of 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.
s and 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.
s, which he had seen with his Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.
. He was able to strip five cards from my hand with that Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
, but passing up his opportunity to eliminate the Phelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f turned out to be fatal, and the hippo finished him a few turns later.

During game two I played a second turn Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
and began swinging. Matt wasn’t able to draw black mana in this game before I had my counter-magic ready, and soon he fell to the Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
and a Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
.

Games: 2-0
Matches: 1-0

Round 2 vs. Mark Herberholz w/ GUr

Both of us started with some mana problems this game, with Mark lacking red and myself lacking blue. Blue is a more central color to my deck than red is to Mark’s, so he came out to an early lead with Gaea’s Skyfolk swinging in the air, but I drew into my blue much sooner than he drew into red, and was able to recover. We were racing down to the finish, playing very carefully to a very close finish. If Mark had drawn into red mana any sooner, he certainly would have won, but it didn’t arrive until the last minute, and even when it came it was a Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.
that came into play tapped. In the final turns of the game I had a Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
and UXVlc3RpbmcgPhelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f in play, with a Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
and two lands in my hand. I was at four, and Mark was at nine. Mark finally untapped with red mana in play, drew and played a second Shivan Oasis
Shivan Oasis
Shivan OasisSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
327
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Shivan Oasis comes into play tapped.T: Add R or G to your mana pool.
, and threw a lethal Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
at my head, which I countered with Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
. Mark dropped a Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
and passed the turn, and I was able to attack with my Mongoose, Snake, and Phelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f (with flying), and tap all but two of my green mana to finish Mark off. If Mark had waited until my upkeep to cast the Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic Bolt
Prophetic BoltSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Prophetic Bolt deals 4 damage to target creature or player. Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
, I would have had to spend a green mana to counter with the Mystic Snake
Mystic Snake
Mystic SnakeSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
You may play Mystic Snake any time you could play an instant. When Mystic Snake comes into play, counter target spell.
, and the Snake would have had summoning sickness so wouldn’t have been able to contribute to that attack phase, meaning I wouldn’t have been able to finish Mark that turn. He had a Rage in his hand that could have brought me down to one next turn, so if he had played it different, he could have won by either drawing another burn spell or if I tapped a pain land. It was a subtle difference that probably would not have changed anything, but it’s something I’ll keep in mind when I’m in a similar situation in the future.

In game two, Mark’s deck came out fighting and my draw just couldn’t keep up. An army of Gaea’s Skyfolk pecked away at my life total, and some burn spells finished me off.

In game three, Mark was once again short on land, which really hurt him in counter-wars. An early Blurred Mongoose
Blurred Mongoose
Blurred MongooseSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mongoose
Rarity:
R
Number:
183
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Blurred Mongoose can't be countered.Blurred Mongoose can't be the target of spells or abilities.
on my side of the table pecked away at his life, and Mark stayed behind on mana until the game was over, leaving him unable to keep up.

Games 4-1
Matches: 2-0

Round 3 vs. John Pehlke w/ Go-Mar

I started game one with a two-land hand that included no blue mana, and drew no blue mana for far too long in this game. By the time I had the mana to try to get into this game my opponent had cast multiple 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.
s and had more than enough counter-magic to keep me locked down until his U3BlY3RyYWwgLynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
finished me off.

In game two, I took a mulligan and kept the six-card hand with a Meddling Mage
Meddling Mage
Meddling MageSet: Planeshift
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
116
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card. The named card can't be played.
and Samite Elder
Samite Elder
Samite ElderSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
14
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Creatures you control gain protection from the color(s) of target permanent you control until end of turn.
from my sideboard. I dropped the Mage on turn two, naming U3BlY3RyYWwgLynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
, and the Elder on turn three. With the Elder hanging around preventing Dromar’s Char
Char
CharSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Char deals 4 damage to target creature or player and 2 damage to you.
m from being used as removal, the Mage attacked again and again. I figured Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
was my opponent’s only chance to get around the Elder, but my opponent surprised me with a Spite/Malice. However, by this time I think my opponent was a bit flustered from how troublesome my first two plays of this game had turned out to be, and he elected to eliminate the Elder instead of the Mage, even though he did not have another removal spell ready for the Mage. Unable to cast the U3BlY3RyYWwgLynx
Lynx
LynxSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Forestwalk (If defending player has any forests in play, Lynx can't be blocked.)
in his hand or draw another removal spell, my opponent fell to my second turn Mage a few turns later.

I think the third game was just a matter of my opponent not getting a very good draw from his deck. He didn’t seem to have the counter-magic necessary to keep me contained, which I think is rare for his deck. UXVlc3RpbmcgPhelddagrif
Phelddagrif
PhelddagrifSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
W: Flying until end of turn. Target opponent gains 2 life.U: Return Phelddagrif to owner's hand. Target opponent may draw a card.G: Trample until end of turn. Put a Hippo token into play under target opponent's control. Treat this token as a 1/1 green creature.
f brought an end to a largly non-strategic battle.

Games: 6-2
Matches 3-0

Round 4 vs. Matt Montgomery w/ Kowal

I was curious to see how this matchup would go, since I hadn’t really done any significant playtesting, but unfortunately I would not get a chance to find out. Games one and two both found me taking a mulligan into a two-land hand, and not drawing any more land for far too long. In game one, I could only stare at the 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.
in my hand as my opponent dropped 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.
while I had only two lands. In game two, I managed to get to three lands before my opponent drew his 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.
, but unfortunately he had enough mana to cast Plague Spitter
Plague Spitter
Plague SpitterSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
U
Number:
119
Artist:
Chippy
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, Plague Spitter deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.When Plague Spitter is put into a graveyard from play, Plague Spitter deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.
as bait before dropping the monger. Overall, not a fun match.

Games: 6-4
Matches: 3-1

Round 5 vs. Josh Allenbaugh w/ BUR

Josh’s deck packed more low casting-cost critters than most of the black-blue-red decks. During game one, he came out with an early Vodalian Zombie
Vodalian Zombie
Vodalian ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
286
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from green
followed by a Shivan Zombie
Shivan Zombie
Shivan ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
271
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white
. After taking some hits, I drew into both 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.
and an 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.
. I 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.
d the Shivan Zombie
Shivan Zombie
Shivan ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
271
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white
at the end of his turn and drew a Galina’s Knight, which I would have been happy to trade with his Vodalian at that point. However, when I dropped the Knight, Josh used Ice to tap one of my three remaining lands, leaving me without enough mana to counter the Shivan Zombie
Shivan Zombie
Shivan ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
271
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white
if he replayed it on his turn. I was worried about not finding an answer to that Shivan Zombie
Shivan Zombie
Shivan ZombieSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
271
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from white
before I was in burn range, but for some reason, my opponent decided not to replay it even after he had used the Ice to prevent me from having mana for a counterspell. On his turn he just drew a card and said go. I was perplexed, and thought maybe he was hoping I’d drop more bears so he could gain some card advantage from Void
Void
VoidSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
287
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose a number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.
, but that never developed either. For some reason he just decided to let up on the pressure, and I was able to stabilize and eventually win the first game.

At this point I was feeling pretty confident about the remainder of the match. I had been playing good Magic throughout the day, and my opponent was making some pretty shaky decisions. I was looking forward to winning one of the next two games and moving on to the next match, but it wasn’t to be. The next two games saw me taking mulligans and combating very aggressive bear-and-burn draws with noticeably very flat draws from my deck. I don’t remember the exact details, because frankly I was extremely frustrated at the end of this match. My opponent just kept pulling pressure from the top of his deck and tossing it on the table, and I couldn’t draw into answers. So, pissed off and grumpy, I put an X in my drop column, and headed for home.

Games: 7-6
Matches: 3-2

I hope my description of the last round doesn’t convey any disrespect for my opponent. He was an excellent sportsman and seemed like a nice enough guy, and I’m not trying to call him a bad player. There very well may have been a reasonable plan behind letting up on the pressure in game one that just never developed, and by saying he just kept tossing his pressure on the table in the next two games, I only meant that he just had some of those draws where you just smile and throw them out there, because your deck’s on cruise control. If my description made it sound like I’m a frustrated with the IBC format, well then it is right on the money.

Warning
Warning
WarningSet: Ice Age
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Target attacking creature deals no damage in combat this turn.
: Severe pissing and moaning ahead. If you’re just interested in the match descriptions and deck list, this report is over for you, thank you for reading. If you’re interested in some good old-fashioned whining, read on.

Recently while waiting for the start of a Grand Prix Trial, I was asked why my friend Travis hadn’t come to the tournament with me as he usually does. I responded that both he and I were not too thrilled about this format, and he just decided to find something else to do with his Saturday instead. The idea that IBC was not the best format to hit Magic in years brought quite a reaction from those I was talking to, some in agreement and some in complete disagreement. The supporters say that there is such a wide variety of decks you can play, so the format is healthy. The problem is, no matter what deck you build (or receive from a friend, the Internet, or whatever), you are going to win or lose based first on whether you get a good mana draw, second on the matchup you’re in, third on the relative strength of your draw, and least on play skill. Just review this tournament report for the deciding factor in each game:

First match:
Game 1: W - Opponent’s error
Game 2: W - Opponent color-screwed

Second match:
Game 1: W- Opponent color-screwed
Game 2: L – Opponent has the aggro draw
Game 3: W – Opponent doesn’t draw enough land to compete

Third match:
Game 1: L – I am color-screwed
Game 2: W – Opponent 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.
s halfway through his deck, never sees Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
to deal with the first two cards I played
Game 3: W – Opponent gets poor draw.

Fourth Match:
Game 1: L – I am mana-screwed
Game 2: L – I am mana-screwed

Fifth Match:
Game 1: W – Non-aggressive play by my opponent lets me stabilize and win
Game 2: L – Opponent gets the aggro draw.
Game 3: L – Opponent gets the aggro draw.

Now, I am definitely one of those players who tries to find a better play for every situation. When I lose to mana-screw, I ask myself “Should I have taken a mulligan? Could I have played differently and played my way out of the mana screw?” Unfortunately, all too often in this format, the answer is that nothing could have been done different. I also fully understand that Magic involves random luck of the draw, and that sometimes you will just lose no matter how good you or your deck may be, just on a bad matchup or bad draw. Unfortunately, that just seems to happen far too often in this format. Just compare your average IBC tournament report with a tournament report from other formats, and you’ll notice that the report is much less interesting to read, as there are fewer good plays, risky bluffs, and intensely close games for a report author to write about. I have a hard time getting excited about going to a Magic tournament when I am more likely than ever to randomly lose to a player half as skilled in this game as I am.

So, I’m not particularly fond of IBC. Does that mean I’m going to quit this game? Hell, no -- Magic is still way more fun than frustration. Does that mean I think Wizards R & D sucks? Not at all. They are doing a fantastic job of making each new Magic block to come along fresh and different – it is only natural for some formats to be favorites and others to be duds. I just think that it is always important for players to voice their opinions about the current state of Magic, so that we can continue to move towards the Magic Utopia, where no deck is broken, many decks are viable, and success is based on a well-tuned deck and razor-sharp skilled play.

Feel free to berate or support my opinion by contacting me at crazy_monkey1@msn.com. With any luck, I’ll have time to reply by the year 2010. :)


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