What's your best Magic bad beat story?
Scott Johns: The best bad beat I've ever given out and the most painful one I remember taking both happen to involve the same person! The first time I played on the Pro Tour was at Pro Tour 2, which was in Los Angeles.
I managed to make the Top 8 and came out of the final draft loving the deck I had drafted. Top 8s are single elimination, and my Quarterfinal opponent was Tom Guevin. There was no "Paris Mulligan" back then. You could only send your hand back if you had all lands or no lands. Game 1 I had one land, played it out, and then got smashed while I continued to draw nothing but spells. The same thing happened Game 2. Frustrated, I put two more land in my deck for Game 3, a move that showed how frustrated I was. I proceeded to get mana flooded for that one and just kept laying out land after land, doing almost nothing. Once I was done playing lands Guevin played Armageddon, completely destroying any chance I had. I started drawing all kinds of good cards and lost that one as I deserved since if I'd just held some of those lands in hand I might have been fine. After the first two games though, the overall match still hurts more than any other loss I took in my entire time on the Pro Tour.
I got Guevin back in the Top 8 of the "Type 1 Pro Tour" from back when they had a secondary premier event at each Pro Tour. In this case, the format was Vintage, then called Type 1. It was Game 5, the deciding duel to see who would move on. Guevin, on the play, looked at his cards a while, then shook his head. He apologized in advance, saying, "I'm sorry, man. Sometimes Magic is a real beating." He then dropped a land, Black Lotus, Zuran Orb, and a Mox, shot me a smile, and played Balance. "Sorry, Scott. That's how it goes sometimes."
Taking my time a bit while he smiled at me, I pitched a Guerrilla Tactics into my graveyard. This was a card that had just came out, and I don't think Tom was familiar with it. He grabbed the card to read it, then handed it back with a surprised look. I then proceeded to drop two more into my graveyard, one at a time. Suddenly Tom was down 12 damage against my aggro/burn deck before I'd even played my first turn!
The two cards I kept were Volcanic Island and Ancestral Recall. I drew Mox Ruby, used the Ancestral, got another Mox and a Gorilla Shaman, and over the next couple turns used the Shaman plus two Strip Mines to completely devastate Tom's board. Between that and his tiny life total, the game was over very quickly. Throughout it all he kept looking at the three Guerilla Tactics in my graveyard and shaking his head. I can't say I blame him!
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