L.A. Dreams: I Sealed that GP weekend. (Part 1 of 2)
I have to be honest as that’s the only way I’ll have the drive to write up this report. With the recent bannings, the switch to planeswalker points, and the fact that none of the GPs announced so far are in canada I was beginning to consider the end of my even remotely serious magic playing career. I planned to just go full judge if anything. This GP was my last chance to prove to myself I had a chance at being a Pro player. This seems extreme but I don’t get to go to events other than FNM even remotely often. This is my second GP ever and my first was GP Tampa some 2 or 3 years ago.
Maybe it was the lack of big events that had really driven me to this point. I mean to say that I had lost that fire. The reason that drives me to play magic because I was secluded from all but my small world at the LGS. I needed this weekend and everyone that gave me even the smallest reason to chuckle has rejuvenated that drive in me. Thank you to everyone I got to meet. Let’s get into the real meat of the matter with some awesome news for those not in the know. Fade to flashback~~~
Friday was going to be a rough day considering I had flown into town overnight on Thursday and got off the plane a little after midnight only to have no luggage until 1:30 am. I managed to find a bench to sleep on after getting food but was awake at 5:30am since the airport became busy again. I wasted time until 8am, because for some reason I thought the site opened at 10 am, and then took a cab to the GP. Turns out they didn’t open until 12…..and the employees weren’t joking. We were let up at 12 and not a second sooner. I got to meet a few people in the lobby while waiting for 12pm to come around. Amanda (@sagegnosis) arrived around 11 and we had the usually big event exchange about how little sleep we got, and who had the rougher trip to get there. We figured we would enter one grinder and see about the hotel later in the evening.
This is where I knew Friday was doomed. My pool was Grave titan, Rune scarred Demon, gravedigger, doomblade and some stuff to fill it out. I showed the deck to Alexander Hayne @insanehayne and said “This means I’m out in round 1”. After which Amanda comes up and shows almost the exact same pool -1 demon and +1 Jace, Memory Adept. That and her titan was foil. We both had less than 3 hours of sleep and it might have helped us end up losing round 1. Luckily Amanda’s pool paid for her entry so we weren’t both screwed.
We got to meet with Frank (@livewithfrank) and make jokes about KYT. Charlotte (@jqlgrl) and Chris (@lansdellicious) soon made an appearance and we all had stupidly fun chats about the day and Chris made the sick brags about his DCI promos.
The night was coming to a close and we learned a valuable lesson. There are half a dozen Marriott hotels in Montreal. We had asked for directions and ended up going to the one in the airport, which we thought was right since the name involved airport. Turns out this is such a common mistake the the Marriott linked to the airport had google maps printed out for people to find the real “Marriott airport” hotel. Finally after almost 2 hours and 7 billion near car crashes we made it to our room.
We got dinner, set up a wake up call and found out about getting back to the GP the next day. After about 5 hours of sleep the day was starting. I knew it’d be a long day and was glad to have 2 byes to try to nap through. My pool was obviously UR since green had 2 rampant growths, 1 stampeding rhino and 3 reclaims. Black had vampire outcast and wring flesh then 12th pick cards. White was close but in total it was under 9 cards and that’s counting double angel’s mercy. So I went with 2 phantasmal bear, lord of the unreal, phantasmal dragon, 3 aether adept, 3 piker, 1 minotuar, 1 berserker, 2 bonebreaker giant, and a finisher in levitation.
Aside: Levitation was good in THIS deck. I do not think it’s a good card but when you are a tempo deck with a bunch of 2/X creatures having flying can just win you the game. I came out of byes and won my first two matches. They were pretty quick since I usually just curved out aether adepted his blockers, then used a frost breath to swing for lethal.
It was after almost losing to a gideon’s lawkeeper in round 4 that something was starting to click in my head. I looked over my pool and realized I had only two removal spells. Goblin Grenade and Wring flesh. Neither of them I could really play. I was left with unsummon, frost breath, and my adepts as “removal” and knew I’d have to get super lucky to make day 2. I lost the next two rounds and ended up at 6-3 during the day. I did misplay for my second loss but I’m still not sure I could make day 2 with this deck. I have to adress this misplay and use it as a lesson to show why sleep really is so important.
Being on 8 hours of sleep over 72 hrs was making me shortcut a lot more so that I could conserve my strength. In round 4 I was pretty screwed having missed my third land drop and then having only 3 islands in play for several turns while drawing a bunch of red cards. Despite this fact I had managed to get my opponent down to 4 life and had levitation in hand. Unfortunately he had Drifting shade and Devouring Swarm so I couldn’t even swing with fliers if I had the mana. Sure enough I drew a mountain. I could have played the mountain and cast an extra creature or “miss” another land drop and force him to swing in with his fliers.
I had unsummon in hand and figured making him swing would be the best play and if he tapped his mana for drifting shade I’d unsummon and he’d be left without enough blockers for the next turn. My head turned the shortcut to “bounce drifting shade” by the time his attacker step came up. He played a 7th land and cast rune-scarred demon after combat and I realized I was dead because I didn’t play a creature for this “fancy” play and then made it even worse by using my spell wrong. DURP! I lost game 3 when he played two grim lavamancers and then followed them with an onyx game to combo with them. In the end Mark Brezinski was a decent person to lose to and I’m glad he made day two. Got to hang with him a little over the weekend and I’ve lost to much much worse people.
I could have been super tilted since I punted but I figure that if he lost his next round with that deck, I might have lost as well. Who’s to say my match ups wouldn’t have gotten worse from there. I went X-3 and I can’t assume I’d have done anything different unless I punted a game in round 9 to get the third loss. That’s the only instance where punting actually means the whole thing would have been different for sure.
KYT(@manadeprived) and Alex (@insanehayne) both had made day two along with Mark. The day was a little sad for me but I was more tired than anything but I sucked it up because I had people to cheer on! Saturday involved meeting pretty much everyone at last. @derfington @cardboardwitch @numotthenummy and a bunch of people from the Mana Deprived crew. Nina didn’t join us for dinner but about 18 of us walked through the town and @livewithfrank found us a spot in a restaurant where we all had laughs.
The highlight was where KYT had mentioned to Amanda that I was 30 or something like that. This was brought up to me and the conversation went pretty much like this.
KYT: “Aren’t you 30?”
ME: “No. What the fuck.” lol
KYT: “But aren’t you married?!”
ME: “That doesn’t make me 30!”
AMANDA: “You should ask about his kid.”
KYT: “You have a kid!? ”
The dinner was greet and it was a decent reason nobody got home before midnight by a fair margin. There was a huge journey for Amanda and I that night that involved taking a bus that apparently stopped over 3 miles from our hotel and getting to walk the rest of the way. Side note….I hate hills. Why can’t every city be flat like Miami and have the mountains around it. Makes it much easier to walk around with a 10 pound backpack.
That night I pretty much passed out a little after midnight and we were able to sleep in a little later so I managed a whole 7 hours.
*Flash white. End scene*