28 September 2015

The Magic Major League

Eudemonia's last Battle for Zendikar pre-release event of the weekend was the two headed giant (is that a magic-ish sounding name or what?).  In this format, two players build decks and play together as a team trying to crush the other team. Your team shares life totals, can help each other and it's generally a fun game.  And it's perfect for father/son teams.  You know, because we play as a team.

When Noah and I sat down at the table, I had my game face on -- staring at the unfortunate saps that were about to take a beating while also doing my best to assert Noah's and my alpha status.  Noah, on the other hand, noticed the dude's playmat, sits down and asks him if he really top-8'd the WMCQ a few weeks ago.  And, of course he had.  And in the course of Noah's inquisition we find out his partner had gotten 9th place at some GP recently.

My game plan was out the window, these guys were no longer intimidated by Noah's and my matching sleeves since my partner was excitedly finding out about what it was like for Jennifer to play LSV and what modern deck Ryan played.  We were now on a first name basis and had basically conceded the game!

We actually might as well have, they not only had the psychological advantage, they built better decks and are better Magic players than we are.  It was still fun, we played a good game, got some of our planned combos off and were one turn away from making the game a SLIGHT bit more painful for them.  But they won.

And that leads to the point of the post.  The dude, Ryan, plays red green Tron in Modern...and had top-8'd with it.  R/G Tron is what Noah played at that tournament and we had a chance to get a tutorial on how to play it.  We told him that Noah had finally beat Splinter Twin and asked him how he played that deck.

Since they had beaten us so fast, we still had 30 minutes left in the round, so we pulled out a twin deck, he pulled out Tron and Noah played him.  Every turn, we'd all talk through the decision points he was using, what he'd recommend for Noah to do, and how to time and sequence all of it.  He beat the Twin deck partially by design and partially by luck (design: he plays 3 spellskites mainboard; luck: he drew 2 of them!).

It turns out he has a VERY similar build to ours (he runs 1 more Ugin and no Ulamog and runs 1 more ghost quarter with I think 1 less wurmcoil).  It's the 3 maindeck spellskites that we have in common and is the key vs. Twin.  He doesn't like torpor orb in the side and recommends rending volley which actually does sound more flexible.  And he has spent the cash on Crucible of Worlds which now seems pretty inevitable to make a dent in my wallet and end up in our deckbox.

And now that I'm 84 paragraphs in to this post, I'll get to the point.  We were at a very casual event, a fun event and really in it to pull an Expedition or a Gideon.  But what we got was two exceptional Magic players that took the time to help both of us become better players, walked through how they built decks and play them, and then Noah got to play a game of Magic against a dude who has top-8'd a tournament that had Sam Freakin' Black in it.

The funny part that I only casually mentioned above is that we've completed the first iteration of a Twin deck (thanks PucaTrade!) and Noah was fishing more for ways to beat Tron with Twin than the other way around but I think I'm the only one who noticed that! 

Either way, Noah's goal in life is to make the Magic Hall of Fame, the Swimming Hall of Fame, and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I think he thinks there is a Lawyer Hall of Fame that he's going to be in also but that's another post in itself.  Getting to play a Top-8'ing Modern player is one more step on that journey!

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