Odds and Ends

Posted in Event Coverage on September 12, 2003

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on DailyMTG.com, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

It is always exciting to make a cool play. If it wins you the game--or the match--all the better. If you have an audience to recount it in front of . . . Well that's the best. And it keeps getting better with each retelling. If you tell the story enough times, it might even make the Sideboard.

Lethal Vapors
One of my favorites so far involves Courtney's Boys and Team Scrub from South Africa. It's never a bright idea to talk trash to Neil Reeves. For one thing, he's better at it than you are. For another, you'll only make him angry. . .

Neil found himself with a poor board position against a gloating opponent. He had only a Gravel Slinger staring across the red zone at a pair of morphs and a face-up Skirk Commando. The South African sent one of his morphs into battle and Neil chose not to block. His opponent gleefully flipped up a Grinning Demon and slapped Lethal Vapors into play declaring it, "The only black Time Walk!" He continued to repeat that phrase over and over in a sing-song voice while Neil glowered.

When he finally took his turn, Neil plopped a Sandskin on the Grinning Demon and a Pemmin's Aura on his Gravel Slinger. With his mini-Morphling totally dominating the board, he triumphantly announced "I believe I'll be taking that extra turn now." His opponent had no option but to give it to him on the slim hope that he would draw something to save him. He didn't.

Neil savored the memory with a contented grin, "That guy was talking so much smack . . ."

There is no one that enjoys talking about Magic more than Canadian Mark Zadjner. He has earned himself quite a reputation as one of the up and coming mouths on the Pro Tour. He is also one of the game's rising stars for his "in the court" ability, although it is often overshadowed by his antics. He played in the Last Chance Qualifier yesterday evening to get some twenty-third hour practice with the Team Sealed format and potentially run interference for any teams with friends looking to grind in.

Pemmin's Aura
A day later he was still reeling from the poor quality of play he ran up against in one particular round. Apparently his opponent played a face up Skirk Commando into his turn 2 Sparksmith to kick of the opening turns of the first game. After Mark killed it, she played a Hollow Specter and passed the turn back to him while he was gasping for Goblins, "That Specter was going to rip my hand apart."

That would have been the case if his opponent didn't provide him with a second Goblin before her next attack phase. She played the much-maligned Rock Jockey and allowed the Canadian to shoot the spectre out of the sky.

A few turns later--with the Rock Jockey out of the picture and Mark low on life--Mark's Sparksmith was still holding down the fort with a Lavamancer's Skill and a Pemmin's Aura enchanting it. Mark could scarcely believe it when she attempted to play Clutch of Undeath and then Shock to kill his Goblin while he was sitting on open blue mana.

They moved onto the second game, and Mark found himself with a tapped Thoughtbound Primoc with Pemmin's Aura (he also had an Imagecrafter with Pemmin's Aura) when his opponent attacked with a Goblin Lookout and a Skirk Drill Sergeant. At this point he was felling pretty bad and gave her a chance to see the error of her ways, "Are you SURE you want to attack?"

She picked up the Pemmin's Aura on the Thoughtbound Primoc and read it carefully. She nodded and reiterated, "I'm attacking!" When Mark untapped his Primoc and took down the Drill Sergeant, she slapped her forehead in surprise. "It's not my fault, I gave her a chance to read the card!" screamed Mark to no one in particular. He was still stunned by the sequence of play more than 24 hours later.

Vitality Charm
Speaking of stunned; that is the only word to describe Osyp Lebedowicz after his first round match against Oyvind Harding from Norway. He was playing the third game of his match and felt he had things well in hand. He was at a nigh-invulnerable 19 life while his opponent had only a Skirk Alarmist and a morph in play. Osyp blocked the face down man wary of any Skirk Alarmist nonsense, but he was not expecting to lose the game during that attack step.

Oyvind used his Skirk Alarmist to flip up a 13/13 Krosan Colossus. It gained +1/+1 and Trample courtesy of a Vitality Charm, which left Osyp with too little life to get out from under a 9-point Torrent of Fire that finished him off. To sum up the experience, Osyp added, "Then he took a pie out of a bag and pushed it in my face."

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