super late gencon recap

All right, I’ve been putting it off for a while, but I’m too lazy to do an all-out play-by-play, so you’ll have to suffer for whatever I do write.

As I complained about in previous blog posts, GenCon is in Indianapolis, which is many miles away from Madison and includes driving through stellar places like Chicago (where there’s never traffic) and Gary, IN (no comment). Anyway, we get there on Thursday at like 7:30. The walk from the hotel was 3 blocks, which was quite awesome. Someone mentioned a half mile, and so this was a pleasant surprise.

Alan and Becker went off to play in the last-chance qualifiers (Alan just played to get experience with Wafo-Tapa’s UW, since he already qualified at Chicago), so Scherping and I met up with Adam’s group and went to get dinner. After dinner, we went searching for Donovan, but his friends were antisocial and drove us off passive-aggressively. Earlier, we chanced upon a group of people playing Werewolf (if you’ve ever played Mafia in college or something, it’s like that), so we returned to them and joined a giant game. It was kind of awkward since there were 19 people, and 10 of them all knew each other really well. But, that’s not even the best part, they also kept getting distracted by random people walking around. So the first day took forever, and there was no narrator since they were super concerned about the numbers being “off” (seriously, there were already 18 people and 1 narrator, I don’t think 1 more villager will significantly increase balance out the game). It was still a success for me, though, since I was a villager and was the only surviving player from our group of people (Adam got lynched early since he had the balls to actively participate *eyeroll*, Nate got unmasked as a werewolf, Scherping got eaten the night before we won (he was the seer), and Sarah for some reason got eaten on the 3rd night).

Friday I actually got to enter the exhibit hall, since it closes at 6 and we arrived too late the night before. After unsuccessfully trying to find a ticket guy for From the Vault: Relics with Alan, I pretty much spent the rest of the morning and a lot of the afternoon hanging out at the art show. Artists who were there: Steve Prescott, Kekai Kotaki, Tom Baxa, Mark Poole, Mark Tedin, Eric Deschamps, Steve Belledin, Chris Rahn, Dan Scott, Franz Vohwinkle, Charles Urbach, Omar Rayyan, Steve Argyle (one of my favorites), Lars Grant-West, Jason Engle, Matt Stewart, more I didn’t get cards signed for and who do stuff for not-Magic. I bought 4 art prints, 3 that day and 1 the next day: Seedcradle Witch, Eldrazi Monument, Mayael’s Aria, and a big one of Slave of Bolas. Other stuff I bought over the weekend: wooden souvenirs, big 1.5″ dice, some WoW TCG decks.

At 6, we signed up for Mega FNM, which was M11 sealed. I had what I thought was a pretty mediocre pool, no real bomb rares (I’ve beaten Stormtide Leviathan enough times without being terribly lucky that I don’t really consider it a bomb)… but somehow I still went 4-0. First two matches were against somewhat scrub players who made questionable decks and play decisions, so whatever.

The third match was really, really fun. I lost the 2nd easily, but the first and third games were just really fun. First game, I was behind to his aggro deck and went down to 2 life without a great board position and nothing in my hand to save me if he topdecked a burn spell. Thankfully, he was in topdeck mode and I stabilized with a Roc Egg and Air Servant while all he had was a Vulshok Berserker and an Arc Runner in his hand from a Gravedigger. I drew a little more buffer though with an Elite Vanguard and some other random bear, so, even though I lost my 3/3 Bird token eventually, my Air Servant and later Serra Angel were able to get there in the end. Game 3… I don’t remember too clearly now, but it was a lot of back and forth with trading, flyers, removal… lot of stuff being played and played around. I was stuck on land while he was flooded, and soon after I was drawing more land while he was getting all gas. Thankfully, the hand I was stuck on had great control elements, Safe Passage, Flashfreeze, and Condemn, and I was able to get him with attrition. I resolved my Serra and countered his Chandra’s Outraged, which sealed the deal.

Last match was kind of completely in my favor, but it’s worth writing out. He’s playing green/white with beef and flyers and the bomby Sword of Vengeance. I was able to get early advantage with Stormfront Pegasus and some other random dorks and was looking to just win from low damage output when he gets his Sword down and resolves some flyers. I topdeck my Serra… he topdecks his Serra, and has enough to equip the Sword on it the same turn. So I sit back and draw… Safe Passage. That’s a pretty good draw! We’ve both also got Wild Griffins… I put on a grimace and pass the turn. He doesn’t hesitate at all and swings with both. I block Griffin to Griffin, Serra to Serra, and cast Safe Passage. He nods and pulls his creatures back… “Uh, your guys are both dead.” “Oh… right.” /facepalm. That really put him off, and I was able to win the first game in that manner.

Second game, we both get Crystal Balls down, but his pool has Solemn Offering so he’s able to get life back while killing mine. He’s been slowly beating at me with his Greater Basilisk, but I have him at 8 with a win on the board of Wild Griffin, Serra Angel, and Mighty Leap in hand. But, what does he do? …Windmill-slams the Angelic Arbiter, and I can tell he just did a mental fistpump (he knew it was coming from Crystal Ball). Arg, I wipe my brow and steel myself for a bad topdeck. …Island. Hrm. I’ve got 5 Plains and 2 Islands already in play… and a Stormtide Leviathan in my hand. Sweet deal! Drop the Island, drop the Leviathan, and all of a sudden 12 life doesn’t look like enough for him. But wait, it does get worse. What does he draw next turn? Armored Ascension. He doesn’t have a ton of Plains, only 2-3, so his Basilisk can’t do a ton… however I am only at 4 life. Shyte. He attacks, I chump with my Griffin. I can’t cast and attack, so I can only get him to 4 next turn… untap, and draw… Safe Passage. *mental cheer* I swing for 8 and pass the turn. I’m still at 4. He attacks with both the Arbiter and his flying Basilisk. I cast Safe Passage… he smiles and shakes his head and extends the hand. 4-0, baby! Everyone got a FNM Krosan Grip for entering, and, for 4-0, I also got 4 packs and 1 each of FNM Cloudpost, Elvish Visionary, Anathemancer, and Bloodbraid Elf (!). Who’s the artist on the Bloodbraid? Oh right, Steve Argyle! Hooray for more signatures!

Nothing quite as exciting happens for the rest of the weekend. The next day, I hung out at the art show for most of the day again after again failing to get FTV:Relics. After lunch, Adam and I play a few 2HG drafts, which was a new experience for me. First event, we win first round but lose the second, we still get 3 packs each though. Second event… we draft pretty much the sickest two 2HG decks possible. Who do we play against? 2 scrub kids who trash talk a lot and draft… get this… aggro decks. Who the hell plays 2 aggro decks in 2HG? If I had drawn any one of my removal spells, or if Adam had gotten a single Azure Drake, we wouldn’t won. As it stands, they won on turn 6 (they went first) on Blood Tithe. Blood Tithe. Yeah, whatever. Alan and I try a 2HG draft as well, but it doesn’t go any better… once again, we got awesome decks, but drew nothing and got reamed.

After a stop by Steak and Shake, we returned to the TCG hall to play some good ol’ EDH. I finally finished my Intet deck over the weekend, and it’s certainly a blast to play. Earlier in the day, I got off Primeval Titan, followed next turn by Kiki-Jiki and Splinter Twin. I definitely got a lot of hate from that :) Even before that, I played 1v1 with Alan and got Splinter Twin on Mystic Snake, which was a good time.

Nothing else too exciting happened, I hung around the art show again on Sunday, after lunch Scherping and I went to the Cryptozoic stand and played some WoW TCG while the helper guy gouged his eyes out as he watched us play… apparently he was in the R&D department, so it was probably pretty agonizing to watch us play and mess things up or be idiotic, haha.

Then we drove home. The end. Good stuff.

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