INTRODUCTION TO IRONROOT CHEF

Posted in 2014 MAGIC ONLINE COMMUNITY CUP on September 13, 2014

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Community Team Intros

Bjorn Andreasson – Whims of the Fates

Andreasson's deck was one that stoked the ire of the judges. "More like Whiffs of the Fates," Graham Stark said upon recollection. The general consensus was that Andreasson's deck lacked flavor, and tended to take advantage of the power of creatures with death effects rather than ones that would thematically fit his key ingredient.

Total score: 3 points

Erin Campbell – Athreos, God of Passage

Campbell's deck was deemed about as perfect as they get by the judges. As judge Stark put it, "The acrid flavor of the underworld poured forth." Campbell also got a lot of props for knowing that Lampads are the nymphs of the underworld, tying what was initially viewed as a questionable inclusion into an aromatic treat in this picture-perfect deck.

Total score: 15 points

Frank Lepore – Perplexing Chimera

"His deck was also very bad," judge James Turner bluntly stated. Lepore was one of many green mages that fell into the trap of using Elvish Mystic, Sylvan Caryatid, and Polukranos, World Eater, to enhance their deck despite the cards not having any thematic link to their ingredient. As judge Turner put it, "Despite the very tenuous connection between Chimeras and Hydras, he didn't need to play the best standard-legal Hydra to get his point across."

Total score: 5 points

Mariah Pagliocco – Athreos, God of Passage/Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

The judges all agreed that while Pagliocco's deck wasn't a bad combination of thematic elements, it wasn't that great, either. It played a lot of one-ofs for her Wanderer Bard, but she had the same Mystics and Polukranos that the judges were railing others on. Despite their vocal tie to Yisan, the four copies of Voice of Resurgence tended to rub the judges the wrong way, as well.

Total score: 6 points

Paul Cheon – Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

Cheon crammed a lot of really excellent flavor in this deck around Yisan. He scored major points for the fact that his one-card sideboard was a lone copy of Thespian's Stage. His inclusion of Kiora, the Crashing Wave, and three of her groupies (Kiora's Followers) really appealed to the judges' aesthetic senses. As Judge Stark said, "Yay! Kiora! Spring Break!"

Total score: 12 points

Scott MacCallum – Athreos, God of Passage/Heroes' Podium

Mr. Scotty Mac said he would be happy with a perfectly average score, and that is exactly what he got. The biggest detractions from his flavor were both the Pack Rat that had the delicious flavor of being one of the most powerful cards in the format and his choice to include Godless Shrine in his Athreos deck, a flavor faux pas that many other competitors made.

Total score: 5 points

Sean Plott – Heroes' Podium

Plott's deck was pretty good, according to the judges. He nailed his heroes theme, filling his deck with a number of heroes and Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. He also got a little love for roleplaying well. He might have fallen behind in a few of his matches, but, as he put it, "A HERO MUST OVERCOME!"

Total score: 11 points

Tom Ross – Perplexing Chimera/Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

Ross was another player who fell into the trap of diluting his theme with cards that didn't quite mesh. As cool as the card is, Scuttling Doom Engine as a six-drop for Yisan doesn't exactly scream flavor. There were a few flavorful additions, but the rest of the deck was just not in alignment with his key ingredients.

Total score: 4 points

Wizards Team Intros

Dave Humpherys – Athreos, God of Passage/Heroes' Podium

Humpherys assumed one of the more difficult pairings of the ingredients: Heroes' Podium and Athreos, God of Passage. Both had some reasonably good flavor cards for each of them, but their individual flavors had a real tendency to clash. Some of the clashes, such as Ob Nixilis, Unshackled, and Avacyn, Guardian Angel, didn't really play nice together in the judges' minds.

Total score: 8

Helene Bergeot – Athreos, God of Passage

The Wizard summed it up best: "A two for boldness, because this is the best collection of crappy creatures I've ever seen." Possibly the biggest detraction from her creation was the incredibly diverse pantheon she attempted to assemble. Mogis's Marauder, Evangel of Heliod, and Disciple of Phenax, in addition to Athreos, posed one interesting question: how did you get them all into the room without killing each other?

Total score: 5 points

Mike Turian – Whims of the Fates

Turian had one of the best runs of any player who chose to run Whims of the Fates. In addition to running a Triad of Fates and Agent of the Fates, Turian chose to completely obliterate his mana base by playing every one of the cards of the Fated cycle. Add to that the fact that he also had one of the best Whims of the Fates of the weekend, and Turian's deck was a clear flavor hit.

Total score: 11 points

Matthew Gregory – Perplexing Chimera

Gregory went with one of the more difficult ingredients to use, Perplexing Chimera, but he absolutely nailed the flavor. In addition to using multiple Chimeras, he dug deep into mythology to pluck out the fact that Sphinxes are supposedly the offspring of Chimeras. He loaded his deck up with Sphinxes, and keyed in on the fact that Sphinxes and being perplexing gave him a great riddle theme, and he stuck to it. There were a few cards that strayed from the path, but it was an overall successful thematic dish.

Total score: 10 points

Aaron Forsythe – Perplexing Chimera/Whims of the Fates

Choosing to leave things completely up to the Fates, Forsythe opted for a random theme. One of the most appreciated inclusions in his deck was the return of last year's flavor all-star: Goblin Test Pilot. Perplexing Chimera's flavor took a bit of a back seat to the Whims, but Forsythe had just enough to get the judges on his good side.

Total score: 12 points

Ryan Spain – Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

Spain's all-star deck was definitely the standout deck from the Wizards Team. He nailed every part of the theme of the Wanderer Bard. He claimed that he had a great argument for every card, and the judges completely believe him. His sideboard was also phenomenal, including an effective encore of cards!

Total score: 15 points

Tom LaPille – Heroes' Podium

LaPille was the only player to delve into the artwork of his chosen ingredient to find some exquisite flavor. Pictured on the Podium's artwork are Anthousa, Setessan Hero, and Anax and Cymede. The judges also really enjoyed Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient, and its combination with the Heroes' Podium ability, which LaPille described as "Really cool."

Total score: 11

Worth Wollpert – Heroes' Podium/Yisan, the Wanderer Bard

Did Worth Wollpert ever get a drubbing from the judges. One of the players that fell into the trap of jamming the powerful green cards into the deck, Wollpert ended with one of the worst scores on the Wizards team. Judge Turner was incredibly confused as to how someone could build a Yisan deck without a single one-of. As he put it, "I want to go back and retroactively give him zero."

Total score: 6 points