Wednesday, March 30, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

Played this song on Waveback Wednesday today. I love it! It just encapsulates how I feel right now, to a lesser degree...

Never Let Her Slip Away
by Andrew Gold

I talked to my baby on the telephone
Long distance
I never would've guessed
I could miss someone so bad
I really only met her 'bout a week ago
But it doesn't seem to matter to my heart
I know that I love her
I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

I feel like a kid with a teenage crush
On a school date
I feel like the lead in "Romeo & Juliet"
I'm a little bit dizzy
I'm a little bit scared
I guess I never felt this much aware
That I'd love her
I'm hoping that I'll never recover
Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

I really only met her 'bout a week ago
But it doesn't seem to matter to my heart
I know that I love her
I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

Mmmmmm I love her
I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away
Oh I know it's gonna make me happy
To never let her slip away

.:A DETAILED Tournament Report:.

So I decided to take my chances and join a Vintage Magic tourney last Sunday, instead of going back to my grandparents' place where I was staying over the Holy Week. Needless to say, it was definitely a good run...

I took the only deck I knew how to run decently, Meandeck Doomsday. I highly doubt nobody here knows how the deck works by now, as a lot of websites have been talking about the deck left and right. The best thing about the deck is that it's a deck few people ever really prepare for, and my foray into the tournament last Sunday proved my point.

If my details are off here and there, feel free to correct me.

First Round (0-0-0), versus a guy whose name escapes me (Black Cleric deck with a splash of Blue.):

The guy (Whom I meet often in Neutral Grounds Galleria.) was mainly playing an Extended deck that he just made room for Dark Rituals. Otherwise, he would've been doing fairly well in an Extended tournament, nonetheless. We shuffled, chatted a bit, and then started the first game.

Game one was pretty interesting. I kept my opening hand, he had a higher roll of the die, and so he went first. He plays a swamp, Dark Supplicant, go. My turn, I play a land, go. His turn, he plays a Withered Wretch off of his second swamp, attack, go. End of his turn, I cast Ancestral Recall. I drew a Dark Ritual and a couple of irrelevant spells. On my second turn, I cast Chromatic Sphere, play a land, go. His turn, he plays a second Dark Supplicant, attacks with the Wretch, go. My turn, I hardcast my Doomsday, go. End of my turn, he sacrifices the untapped Dark Supplicant and the Wretch and the new Supplicant to get Scion of Darkness.

After Doomsday, I was down to eight life. He attacks on his turn, and I'm down to two life. He casts a second Withered Wretch, which I hit with a Force of Will. I'm down to one life. My turn, I cast Gush, Lion's Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, sac Lotus Petal and LED for mana, cast Dark Ritual, pitch for Unmask, draw from my Chromatic Sphere, and cast Mind's Desire for six or so. 30 Damage to the head, and I pick up game one. Match Standing: 1-0.

Game two, he just went land, go. My turn, I Duress him, but he responds with a Vampiric Tutor, and I wondered what he was going to get. Turns out he wanted to get a creature that helped him gain life by sacrificing Clerics. I then Mystical or Vampiric for Ancestral Recall. I then play a fetchland, broke it for a Swamp, and played Cursed Totem, which I sided in for this match. Next turn, he played his Cleric, and I didn't have to counter anymore as its activated ability was neutered by the Totem. I had in my hand a Yawgmoth's Will, the AR I tutored for, and a couple of Rituals, so I was just waiting for a little more gas. I think I won on the fourth or fifth turn via Yawgmoth's Will into Vampiric Tutor into Tendrils which I drew off of an Ancestral Recall. Match Standing: 2-0.

After the match, I looked at his deck and realized how lucky I was: he had FOUR Cabal Therapy and FOUR Duress. Not one turned up during our match. Regardless, it was a pretty lucky break for me as the moment we played a casual match, his disruption turned up, and he could've decimated me by then.

Second Round (1-0-0), versus Sugar Rey (White Weenie.):

Seriously, I was worried about this deck for a moment. I saw Zuran Orb for one, and I thought he might've had that white creature which doesn't allow him to be the target of spells or effects. Turns out the former never showed up, and the latter wasn't in the deck at all.

First game, he won the die roll (This pattern will happen for most of my matches, which I actually appreciated. I usually did one-land plays throughout the tourney.), and played Savannah Lions. My turn, I just went land, go. His turn, he played a two-drop 2/2 weenie. End of his turn, I cast Ancestral Recall. My turn, I Duress him, and then see that I was capable of ending the game by next turn. He attacks next turn and summons another creature. I then combo out with Rituals and Yawgmoth's in my hand the following turn. Match Standing: 1-0.

Second game, he didn't play a creature on his first turn. I played Duress against him, and didn't find any legal targets. Second turn, he cast Auriok Champion, which had me worried about my spellcount. My turn, I played a Fetchland. His third turn, he played Empyrial Armor on the Champion and swung for five. My turn. I cast LED, Lotus Petal, cast Dark Ritual, play a land, cast Timetwister, and think about what color of mana I'd want to get from the LED. After considering I'd still have one Black mana, a Petal, and an untapped land floating around after the whole deal, I decided to sac for Blue. Turns out I drew a Mind's Desire in that pile, and I won then and there with a Desire for six or so, which involved getting a Tutor and some Ritual mana, and a Brainstorm to draw off the Tutor. Match Standing: 2-0.

Turned out that Sugar Rey was using an old school WW deck, so I really shouldn't have been worried about anything except the Rule of Law which he sided in for me.

By now, the People's Champ was ribbing me about being lucky or something. It was pretty funny, really. Porter, on the other hand, was hoping to be a proctor in one of the exams for my Philosophy classes. Jay couldn't believe I was teaching... heh.

So far, I got lucky that I was fighting two aggro decks in my first two rounds.

Third Round (2-0-0), versus a guy named Alvin (Aggro Animator.):

When he insisted on drawing instead of playing when he won the die roll, I immediately considered the possibility I was up against a combo deck. To my surprise, the first creature he discarded from his hand proved otherwise, as it turned out to be a Blinding Angel or something like that. By then, I realized that I was fighting an animator deck, but one that was more concerned about beating me down than winning the game there and then. I have to admit I felt relieved at that point. I took my time, then did the regular Doomsday 2nd turn stack, aiming a total of 35 damage to him via Beacon of Destruction. Match Standing: 1-0.

Second game, he let me go first again. I pretty much did the same thing, although I was more focused on disruption so that he couldn't really find mana. Both times in both games, he was mana screwed, and he refused to mulligan as he had no outlet to send his creatures to the 'yard except manual discard. That being said, it was interesting how he refused to Waste or Strip my lands, considering as they were the only lands he got to play in the second game. Due to this knowledge, I just prevented him from animating Nicol Bolas via Shallow Grave, then proceeded to kill him via the storm count on turn five or six. I decided to not be hasty and take my time, as he had a much slower clock than I did. Match Standing.2-0.

Mondu was talking to me about the disturbing gigantic chibi girl in the Japanese railway. I think that didn't help me much, strategy-wise. I chatted with Neo Templar for a while about how to sideboard against Sligh, although I must admit that using Chill against Sligh might be overkill. If only I knew when to board in those B2B's...

Fourth Round (3-0-0), versus Jeff (Food Chain Goblins):

I usually run into Jeff in Glorietta whenever I hang around NG, so neither of us were surprised with each other's deck choices. Nonetheless, recalling my horrible experience against Chingpaq the last time around, I had a slight phobia against FCG decks, only to find out that if I play things right, I actually had a slight advantage against the opponent. Still, it was mostly a race to combo, except FCG had the backup plan of going aggro if all else failed.

Game one was pretty rote. He plays a Mogg Fanatic on the first turn, then goes done (Notice that I didn't win the die roll again.). My turn, I duress and pluck out his Food Chain. We then draw-go a few turns with him beating me down with a Mogg Fanatic until he got to cast a Goblin Ringleader. He revealed the top four cards of his library: Wooded Foothills, Mountain, Food Chain, Wooded Foothills. Not a single goblin, and on my turn, I played my fourth land, dropped a Lotus Petal, and cast Memory Jar. His next turn, he cast a Goblin Piledriver. On my turn, I broke the Jar, cast six or seven spells, then aimed a fourteen-point Tendrils at him. While he was still alive, I was almost certain he couldn't kill me by next turn, as the seven cards he drew off the jar had some essential combo pieces. Moreover, I was already holding Yawgmoth's Will in my original hand, so after the Jar turn, it was obvious I just had to recast Tendrils off of Yawgmoth's the following turn. That's precisely what happened. Match Standing: 1-0.

Game two was ideal for me. He goes first, and I believe he mulled to six. I kept a one-land hand, and played an Underground Sea. I cast Brainstorm at the end of his second turn with him casting a Lackey, or some other creature, and I found a Fetchland in there, along with a Dark Ritual to go with my Doomsday and Cabal Ritual in hand, AND a Chromatic Sphere. Needless to say, the moment I had those, I was almost sure what was going to happen next. On my turn, I drew, played the fetchland, played the Chromatic Sphere, and said done. On his turn, he cast a Skirk Prospector, then tried to Naturalize my Chromatic Sphere, which I countered. My turn, with two lands on the table, I cast Dark Rit, Cabal Rit, Doomsday (3). I stacked my deck in this order, from top to bottom: Ancestral Recall, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Yawgmoth's Will, Tendrils Of Agony. This was a third-turn kill that was as traditional as Doomsday decks can be with the Tendrils stack. Match Standing: 2-0.

So far, I've faced only either Aggro or Aggro-Combo decks. I had yet to face pure Combo, or a Control or Prison deck of any shape or form. The metagame forecast proved to be reliable, and worked to my advantage. At this point, I found a Rebuild from Chute, which would've been a savior in some matchups, especially the next one...

Fifth Round (4-0-0), versus Mike, aka Oldschool (Gold Dragon):

Binati ko kasi. Ayun tuloy. Combo nga sunod kong nakalaban! =P

Last time I fought Mike in a tourney, he was using a Ruthless Assassin deck, which decimated my 7/10 split deck. We were both technically aggro-prison then. We were both combo last Sunday. Funny how that worked out.

Before and during the match, Mike gently reminded me about being too overeager to play the game, and reminded me to be a bit more... discreet about casting my Tendrils. Comments were taken in stride and helped a lot in the immediate future.

First game was quick. He played a land, go. I played a land, go. He played another land. I used Vampiric Tutor EOT to fetch a Duress, and he used a Force Of Will to counter that. I smelled trouble. EOT for me, he cast Lim Dul's Vault, which confirmed my fears. Next turn, he plops down a Bazaar of Baghdad, uses it, then proceeds to combo me out, handing me my first game loss for the tournament. Match Standing: 0-1.

Second game, I disrupted him as much as I could, as I saw he had two Stifles in his hand, but foolishly boarded in Defense Grids. If I really thought it over well enough, I should've used more bounce instead. Nonetheless, I killed him via storm on the third or fourth turn. Notice how many times I've used Doomsday to kill so far: only 3. Match Standing: 1-1.

Third game, he cast Chalice of the Void on the first turn. I just waited for him to cast something that ensured his victory, that is, another Vault, and I conceded right then and there. Hurklyl's Recall was sitting quietly in my sideboard, so there wasn't much to talk about... Match Standing: 1-2.

I was pretty tired at this point, and my only relief was seeing an old school Academy deck at work. The cards were gorgeous, but I had to admit that the Academy decks just don't have enough power today, even if they went unrestricted. Classic Burning Desire decks would just leave them gasping. Regardless, Academy decks were one of my favorite decks, and is precisely the deck that got me into combo. That, and Tempest block Null Brooch decks...

Sixth Round (4-1-0), versus Quiccs (Elven Nation.):

We ID'd into the Top 8. Truth be told, Both of us were too tired to play that match out.

I ended up with a respectable 4-1-1 record at the end of the eliminations.

Quarterfinals, versus Jeff (Food Chain Goblins):

It was a rematch from the eliminations, and Jeff decided to take me to school in the first game, as he beat me down with Mogg Fanatics and a Sharpshooter. By turn four or five, I desperately cast a mere Mind's Desire with only a count of 3. However, it was funny, as the first flip turned up a Timetwister, and then two Dark Rituals or something like that. I had hopes, and then cast Twister. Sadly, I drew the following horrible Twister hand: 3 Doomsday, 2 Land, 2 Dark Ritual. Seeing how I was down to 7 life and how the Sharpshooter and the Fanatics could pinch me for 4 the moment I cast Doomsday, I scooped. Match Standing: 0-1.

Second game was a lot less unlucky for me. I managed to find the Ancestral Recall in my opening hand (Happened at least five times throughout the tourney.), and it found me Necropotence, which found me all the pieces I needed to win via Doomsday. Before casting Doomsday, though, I bounced back his Sharpshooter at the end of his turn to prevent him from shooting me to death with the Sharpshooter and the Prospector both on the table. Match Standing: 1-1.

Game three gave me a huge advantage, as Jeff mulled to five. He went first, and didn't do much of consequence. He was practically going aggro on me, while I just kept check of my life, and then promptly cast Mind's Desire for 13 due to Yawgmoth's Will at around turn four. That guaranteed me a spot in the Top Four. Match Standing: 2-1.

Semi-Finals, versus Mike, aka Oldschool (Gold Dragon):

It was a rematch between me and Mike, and I was a little more prepared for the Chalice of the Void this time. Unfortunately, both games saw me do two critical mistakes that cost me each game. Regardless, I'm of the opinion that if you screwed up a game so bad that it cost you the game, you deserved to lose, so no big deal there. Besides, I got so far in the tourney already. I can't complain about that.

First game was decided by turn three. Again, he won the die roll, and when I cast Demonic Tutor on turn two, despite having somewhat depleted his hand by Unmasking him, I got greedy and got an Ancestral Recall instead of the smart choice: Force Of Will. Due to that, he managed to cast Intuition and fetch for an Animate spell without any hitches, as he had the rest of the combo with him by then. Match Standing: 0-1.

Game two, he mulled to six, and I disrupted him heavily, as I prevented him from getting any Chalice of the Void on the table. Due to his Bazaar not turning up any Squees, his handsize dropped significantly enough for me to feel comfortable. Too comfortable. I had Necropotence on my table, and managed to do Tendrils for ten damage, allowing me to gorge myself on Necro for a second time. With FOW backup, I was going to win the next turn. But then, I did something stupid.

For Doomsday to work under Necropotence, it was 75% certain I needed to have card draw, because passing the turn won't work as I don't have a draw step due to Necro. I got greedy (Again!), and used BOTH the Ancestral Recall and the Chromatic Sphere to draw cards, resulting in a horrible situation where I had all the mana and Doomsdays in the world, and no card to draw with. That being said, as if it wasn't careless enough, I realized all this while eight mana was floating in my mana pool, ensuring death by mana burn in case I messed up, and I did. I scooped right then and there and congratulated the man who was going to be the tourney champion, anyways. Match Standing: 0-2.

Interestingly enough, there was a high chance I wouldn't have made it to dinner if I didn't lose the match, which would've meant my parents might've caught on that I didn't exactly go to a meeting last Sunday... heh. So all in all, last Sunday was a great day, really. =)

More amusingly, I only comboed via Doomsday out a total of four or five times during the span of the entire tournament. The rest were Storm kills via Y. Will. Is this a sign that I should be playing TPS instead? tongue.gif

Congratulations to the guys who made it to the Top 8 again. And congratulations to everyone else for surviving the heated tournament... literally. =P

.:Saw Two New Films:.

Both films had Cholo of “Stairway To Heaven” fame in it: “Love, So Divine”, and “My Tutor Friend”. I feel a bit lazy to review right now. Maybe some time during the rest of the week. Heh. Grace and I had a good time watching the second film, though. It was pretty great to share the film with her...

.:Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps:.

If all goes well, I'm going to be working for Ranulf as his PR/Marketing person for his startup company. That being said, I hope that his company does better than other companies I know of, particularly in light of how horrible the competition is when you're dealing with unscrupulous intellectual property theft. Nonetheless, my meeting with him today was less about the actual details of my work and more about getting a better insight with regard to each other. I owe Sacha big time for bringing up my recent plight to Ranulf, which led to this. My gratitude to Elbert as well for all the writing gigs...

Amusingly enough, after the meeting, we walked out of Yellow Cab and I ran into two of my former students, Calu and Ben. We chatted a bit, and I went around with them for a short while as they ribbed me about the potential reason that I lost my teaching job, and I repeated my response to them: if it was that, then it was well worth it... It was fun talking to them, and it felt surreal, as I was just talking over SMS with one of their friends a few moments before I ran into them...


You got to love it. We finally have Wilson Phillips' "You're In Love"! Chatting with quite a few friends right now... heh.

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