A Colorized Memory

Game time, the final set of games. Both of us finalists were playing really good decks that beat out our competition. It was time for one of us undefeated to be defeated.

Let me back up. It was my birthday in the year 2014, September 25th. For my party, a couple of my friends and I went to our local gaming store to participate in this prerelease event in hopes of winning and experience the new set about to release. All signed up, we grab a table and begin the wait for our kits to be handed out. I remember clearly that I signed up to receive a Mardu pack, but no one else was. I thought though that it would help me win while the others were messing with me because of it.

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Our packs came in, and we all opened ours in the same area. I opened my pack to reveal my promo Bloodsoaked Champion. This card fits my fast paced playstyle well, and I was ecstatic to open multiples of him. With many other Red and Black cards, I was ready to build a deck. It took a great deal of time for me to decide which individual cards I wanted to include, but I feel like I chose some of the best, when I realized one thing I completely forgot before, one more booster pack. Confused, I began to count my Rares only to realize that yes, I screwed up. Quickly, I opened it up to see none other than a Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker lying there for me. Making a few modifications to deck to play him, I was ready for game one. Below are some cards that I played in my prerelease deck.

bloodsoakedchampion  sarkhanthedragonspeakermonastery2bswiftspear2b255bktk255d

 

 

 

 

 

Game One: I sat down across the table from my opponent to see none other than my friend Soren Conley as my opponent. After greeting each other, we agreed to play fair and square and that neither one of us was to have an advantage. Well, I drew my opening hand only to find that I had no Mana. I desperately needed to take a mulligan, so I went down to six cards in hand. All lands this time. Frustrated with my deck, I gave it one extra shuffle, and when I went down to five cards in hand, it seemed just perfect. I even won that game against an opponent who had a seven card hand, and I even won the second game too. After a nice handshake, we reported our score, and played some more games of Magic with our own Magic decks.

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After winning by a variety of either using burn spells, human warriors, or a Planeswalker who turns into a dragon, I made it to the final game. My opponent was the only other person in a store of 30 competitors who voluntarily chose the Mardu box like I did. Shuffling each other’s decks, we stared into each other’s eyes. This was my first time even coming this close to winning an event before, so naturally I was nervous. The store worker called out that the winner would receive a whopping sixteen booster packs and second place gets eight. Determined to win, I brought my A game to the table. We each won a game of our final match. He beat me with an army the first time, and I killed him with fire the second. We were about ready to play. People who’s games were over watched as we were said to be ready for a great game of Magic. Shuffle, cut, draw an opening hand. “I keep” I told my opponent as he kept as well. I went first, expecting one more Mana to pop up in due time. However, I was stuck at three for a while. Despite this, we managed to get each other down to two life points left. With a significantly larger sized army than my opponent, I passed him the turn. I had a card that could deal two extra damage to him if I could survive until the next turn. My heart pounded, time slowed, eyes excited, the crowd watched as my opponent drew a card. “What could this be?” I questioned myself. “He has had no direct damage this entire game, and an army half my size. Without playing that last card in his hand, he attacked me with the three 1/1 goblin tokens. I blocked accordingly to take no damage. He passed me the turn. I drew another land, completely useless to me at the moment. I attacked with only my Bloodsoaked Champion promo card in case he had a way to block me and win the next turn. I should have attacked with more though, as he used a Deflecting Palm to redirect the damage to me. Game over, I lost.

Screenshot from Bad Day [Live In Vienna]

We ended the game with a nice firm handshake. Neither of us were necessarily better than the other, just the cards were not in my favor. I enjoyed every second of it though, as I still won a majority of my games. In my booster packs, I opened nothing of value at the time, but Siege Rhino was one card that I opened which gained some value as the next few months went on. This experience is meaningful to me, as now I know what I am capable of and how I can do better at future prereleases. My goal now is to win the sixteen packs. However, what are some of your stories about games that you lost out of nowhere like that? What about some games that you didn’t deserve to win but won anyway? Please leave stories like that in the comment section down below.

Why I Hate Net-Deckers

For this post, I will be giving my 100% unbiased opinion on the stereotypical Net-Decker. I also will be writing what comes to mind right away, so if you are a Net-Decker try not to say how you don’t do what I’m talking about.

In case you were wondering, the Net-Decker is my least favorite thing about Magic the Gathering, and other trading card games for that matter. If you are wondering what a Net-Decker is, they are people who look at the best decks from any given tournament, and use them to win all of their events, be it a casual FNM event or a GP Qualifier. If you wonder why they are such bad people, let me tell you why. These people believe that they are superior to everybody else, and deserve to win because they have the “best deck” in the format. They are the people who are most likely to cheat to win, also because they believe in a pay to win system.

wpn_msfnm_headerThis hatred truly began when I went to my first Game Day event (Dragons of Tarkir Standard) and won a couple of matches early. I wasn’t there to win. I wasn’t there to show off how good I was. No. I was there to have fun. I wanted to play fun games of Magic the Gathering with people who had real decks, certainly better than mine at least. I was placed against someone who had the Net-Deck that everyone hated to play against at the time (Bant Company). I prepared myself to lose, but instead of losing the first game, I won instead. I was happy that I had beaten a Net-Deck, yet didn’t brag or boast about it. Instead, I asked if he was ready for game 2. His reaction though was what killed the fun. In his own words, he called my deck “the shittiest pile of crap that he had ever seen”, and told me that I should burn in hell with my deck. Although I had beat him game 1, he won the other two games, and after each one, called me a loser for not being able to beat him a second time. I didn’t care. I was upset at what he had done. However, despite him being kicked out of the store and me being called the winner, I was no longer excited to play in the finals. I legitimately lost those games, but in my mind I felt like I had lost every game that evening.

What I really don’t understand though is why can’t people enjoy Magic the Gathering as a game? Why can’t people see that this game was made to entertain, and not as a way to show superiority? I mean, at most casual tournaments you only win booster packs and maybe a cool promo card, but the wanna be pros use these tournaments as a hunting ground. They don’t enjoy the fun of the game, no. They only enjoy winning. A Net-Decker is the perfect example of these kinds of people, as they don’t give a damn about the other players, and want from this GAME. All they care about is winning, and attendance at many local game stores show that. Many of my friends do not go to tournaments like they used to because the game is loaded with Net-Deckers who don’t have fun.

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Another thing that I hate about them is that they raise the price of the cards in most Net-Decks to a point where most casual players can’t financially afford. If you look at the main decks from Khans of Tarkir in particular, is that they all cost around $500. I don’t know about any of you guys, but I am not paying that much for any game. I would much rather pay around $60 for a deck that can work almost as well as another deck in the format. However, those budget alternative decks can never work as well as those ultra-good decks.

What do we do if we can’t pay for a top tier deck? What do we do to play fun games for a potential reward? I sometimes imagine a future without these fun-killers who spent so much on a deck that they feel entitled to win. However, I don’t hate them with a passion. I just wish that they would understand that what they’re doing is wrong. I wish that they could allow others to have fun playing a game, which that is what Magic was always made to be. It was never about who won. Magic is a game, and once people understand that, it will be a whole lot more fun for everyone.