Jan 16, 2013
The other day I was talking to my friend Joe about his Mono Green Stompy list for Pauper. His Deadly Recluse/Viridian Longbow technology had just crushed someone which triggered memories of killing many a Myr back in the days of Mirrodin Limited. That started me talking about other such things and he said, “Dear God, this feels like old war stories.” Later, I posted on our Facebook group that I was stuck for a topic to write about and he suggested more of those tales…
I’ve been playing Magic for a long, long time and you can’t help but accumulate memories. I can recall opening a Revised Starter deck. I won the Alliances pre-release at my store. I made top8 in three consecutive PTQs during the Invasion Block Constructed season. More than half of my life has included piles of colorful cardboard. My closest friends are all people I met though playing the game, even if they don’t play anymore. Magic might be marketed as a card game, but it’s really about the relationships you create by playing the game. It also leads to some pretty epic tales.
Way back in 2001 I won a Grand Prix Trial for Boston, which would be Invasion/Planeshift Sealed Deck. I’m not sure what prompted me to want to drive thirteen (!) hours for the tournament, but it also got into my play group as well. I believe we ended up with eight people interested in going, but we didn’t want to take multiple cars, so Steve borrowed his brother’s mini-van for all of us to cram into. Cram is the operative word, because a normal mini-van only has seven seats, but one guy brought a cooler and sat on it for the whole ride. Quite impressive.
Leaving from Michigan, the fastest way to New England cuts through Canada. This was back before enhanced security levels we’re used to today, so all it took to get over the border was a winning smile. Not much memorable happened until we were back in the US. As we passed Buffalo, I took over driving and flipped through radio stations to find something new. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” was on so I turned it up. Right when it got to the guitar solo part at the end before it transitioned into “We Are the Champions” a voice came on and said, “Twelve Noon.” Then the song restarted from the beginning.
We laughed about how weird that was, especially because it was about 1:30 PM. When it got to the same part of the song again, the voice came back, and the song started over. Now, we were all very curious just what was going on at this radio station. I’ve heard of DJs putting on an extra long song for bathroom breaks, but I found that unlikely as the song repeated for the 5th time. We kept coming up with wilder and wilder theories as the song continued to repeat. We were on the 20th iteration as we drove out of the station’s broadcast range. We wrote down the radio station so that we could check it on the ride back. Unfortunately, it was just regular top 40 on the ride home.
The tournament itself was largely forgettable, primarily due to being Limited and the variance involved with Sealed pools. My deck was not very good, and I lost the last round of Day 1 to miss out at 5-3. The best success in the van was Steve making top4 of the PTQ on Day 2. Going as deep as he did, we weren’t ready to leave until about 11pm. We were a thirteen hour drive away, with thirteen hours to go until a few of us had classes the next day, which seemed perfectly achievable.
I started off riding shotgun as Aaron took off on the Boston Turnpike. We encountered fog that got heavier and heavier, so he kept slowing down as more and more as cars passed us on the left. As one of the people with class the next day, 20MPH on the highway just wasn’t going to get us home in time. I had him pull over and I got behind the wheel, swerving to avoid the red lights in the fog, but making up plenty of time. I passed off the keys when we hit the border and managed to get some sleep. We actually arrived home about an hour early, which I found was due to some ‘especially expedient’ travel through Canada. Despite how long it’s been, I can still remember that trip clearly.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the Modern PTQ I wrote about last time. After the steroids ran out, the swelling in my jaw was really painful and I was not getting very much sleep. Driving solo was asking a bit much and my fiancé Laura would like to keep me in one piece for our wedding. I can’t really argue with her on that one.
I did put the deck together on Magic Online and had some success in 2-mans. A friend of mine asked to borrow the deck to play the online PTQs around New Year’s because I was going to miss them for parties. He didn’t do too well, but could tell the deck was powerful. Goblin Electromancer really kicks the deck into overdrive. I have a chance at another PTQ this coming weekend. I *shouldn’t* have to work, but you just never know. Whether or not I go with Storm, I’m sure that when I see my friends I’ll have a good time. Who knows what stories it might bring.
Thanks for reading this week. If you ever have a topic you’d like me to cover, leave a comment or find me on Twitter @JPinterMTG.