Tuesday, May 14, 2013

4-3 or Advocate For Yourself

I went 4-3 at the GP and all in all, I have to say it was a pretty good time.

My wins were in:

Match 2: Tron-his game 1 he had to mulligan down to 3 cards. He still got the Tron but I cast Unmake on the Wurmcoil Engine and that was that.

Match 3: RWG aggro-where I learned how awful Gobin Guide is against me, drawing no less than six but possibly eight lands as a result. The critical moment in game 2 was when he swung at me with two Guides and a Tarmogoyf and after I resolved the Guide triggers (drawing two Godless Shrines), I cast Sudden Spoiling, blocking and killing 2/3rds of his attackers, taking zero. The response was "Oh you and your combat tricks."

Those combat tricks won me the game, baby. Why don't you have any?

Match 6: Elf Combo-I kept killing combo pieces until he used Summoning Pact and, unfortunately, forgot to pay for the upkeep. Game 2 my opponent was on tilt and did not give a fuck about the game.

Match 7: Merfolk. This was the only match that went to three games, but if there's one thing I can do with this deck it's kill tiny creatures. The games I won I managed to resolve a Deathbringer Liege and untap with it. Which lead to sushi. The game I lost I had Spreading Seas cast on two of my five lands, keeping me off black mana for a chunk of the game and allowing for unblockable attackers.

My losses went like this:

Match 1: RUW control, playing a list a lot like Brian Kibler's recommendation from his SCG article, gave me more than I could handle. My biggest mistake was not sideboarding out the Liege for cheaper discard. I was never going to land a 5 mana spell and I was foolish for thinking I could, even with 11 discard spells.

Match 4: Back in the day we called this deck Enchantress, though it goes by Boggles now. Whatever: they play something you cannot target, then Kor Spiritdancer and then enchant the heck out of a creature to swing for victory. The mistake I made in game 2 is understandable but clear in retrospect (retrospect being about two minutes after I made it); I cast Mortify on the Leyline of Sanctity instead of the Kor Spiritdancer, so I could use my Tidehollow Scullers.

Note to self: Kill the draw engine, always, unless the option is to lose instead. The draw engine is the machine that tears the bones from your muscle.

Match 5: Against R/b burn...this one was a heartbreaker. I had a solid game one despite losing. I figured I had a good game against this deck because anything I had with lifelink made his life miserable. So I sideboarded, shuffled, presented and then realized I hadn't done my pregame ritual of counting my sideboard!

So I asked my opponent to hold up a moment and he graciously did. Neither of us had drawn cards, we had merely randomized the other person's deck. I counted my sideboard...14 cards.


So I called a judge over. And got a game loss. So that was that.

Two matches later, a man named Michael Simon would call a judge over in Game 1, admitting to his horror that he had been playing with an illegal deck for the past six rounds. He had a deck of  61 cards, writing only 60 on his decklist.

His penalty was downgraded upon appeal and he went on to post a 10-0-0 record, and losing in round 11.

I didn't realize that this was the kind of penalty I could or should appeal. After checking in the Monday judge thread at Reddit, it was confirmed: I should have appealed, especially if I "didn't understand" or "thought something was off".

The next question is: How the hell am I supposed to know if something is off? I certainly understood what was happening so that wasn't an issue. Moreover, I really feel like I got screwed for being honest. I caught my mistake before we'd started the game! If we had begun play, then there's no way to remove the doubt of cheating and I would accept that as my fate. Since I caught the issue before, shouldn't that have mattered?

Apparently yes, but only if I had appealed. 

Still, my ego will recover from that bruise and my integrity matters more. I can say that I learned from the experience and next time will appeal decisions I feel are too rigorous, knowing that it's an option and that judges won't have an issue with it.

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