menu

The Best Four Days in Gaming Giveaway

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

Alright, so we've given away some pretty grand prizes before here at Quiet Speculation. From the most recent one (an Event Deck) to the epic 'Second Chance at a Prerelease' giveaway, we've prided ourselves on having fun and giving something back to the community and our readers. But now we're about to raise the bar yet again. Before we go any further, ask yourself this: do I deserve a vacation?

If so, pop open your calendar and mark the following dates down: August 4, 5, 6, and 7. Because the winner of the Best Four Days in Gaming Giveaway will be arriving in style at this year's Gen Con in sunny Indianapolis, Indiana.

How you get there, by plane, train, car, or sticking out your thumb on the side of the interstate, is entirely up to you. What we will guarantee is that once you're there you're in for 96 hours of nonstop fun and adventure, and we'll do everything we can to help with the package we've assembled for just that very purpose. The winner will receive the following:

2 GenCon 4-Day Badges


This is the first thing you'll need: a way to get in the front door without having to pay for the privilege. With record attendance just last year, you'll have no shortage of things to see, people to meet, and games to discover. With a second badge, you can bring your spouse, partner, significant other, or a friend! And while you're there, why not do something else:

1 Heavenly Inferno Commander Deck

One of the great things about the Commander format is its social aspect. So why not get to know some folks, break out a new Commander deck, and sling some cards? We'll be throwing in a copy of Heavenly Inferno, the white-black-red deck packed with Angels, Demons, and Dragons. Don't forget your dice, or something altogether better:

A Custom QS mtgPad

A custom, durable spiral-bound Commander life pad!

Thanks to the fine folk over at MTGpad.com, as featured on Monday Night Magic, you'll have your own life pad to keep track of the all the games you'll be playing. Let the other guy worry about chasing down the bouncing die after a bump from a passer-by sends it caroming across the floor. But four days is a long time! Perhaps there's something to keep you fresh and merry along the way?

Wear this at GenCon!

A Quiet Speculation T-shirt!

Whether you're into card trades, free trade, rough trade, or no trade, you'll be glad to have a spare shirt after walking past that 3 AM LARP'ing group and their glitter bombs, catching an errant magic missile in the chest.


This sounds awesome! Now how do I win?

Everyone loves a story, and we're no different. We want to hear your worst best bad-beats story playing EDH/Commander.

  • That time you were only the verge of victory, only to fall prey to...
  • That time things were going your way until your erstwhile ally cast...
  • Or when you had the game right where you wanted it, if only you drew a creature, but instead you revealed...

Share any time things came crashing down around you, in the comments below. Commiserate! Leave us your most agony-inducing tale of a good game gone wrong. But if like many of us and you're new to Commander, don't worry! We'll happily accept stories of brutal beatings sustained at the big tournament, FNM, or kitchen table featuring your 60-card creation!

In short, we want to hear a soul-crushing tale of woe, then give that unfortunate soul a shot at redemption and healing with the "Best Four Days in Gaming!"

When I say we, what I actually mean is our glittering panel of celebrity judges; a few fellows who know a thing or two about heartbreak at the Commander table. Allow me to indroduce, in alphabetical order, the judges:

Carlos Gutierrez

Carlos Gutierrez

You may not recognize his face, but if you've ever listened to CommanderCast you'll surely know his voice! As part of the premier Commander-themed podcast, Carlos brings his own particular insight into the format he loves. He also writes about Commander here on Quiet Speculation!

Jack LaCroix

Another familiar voice, Jack lends his own brand of humour and down-South wisdom on Monday Night Magic and ManaScrewed. His Commander-based love affair with [card Sharuum the Hegemon]Sharuum[/card] might border on the unhealthy, but Jack always has something interesting to say.

Sheldon Menery

Sheldon Menery

As " The Godfather of Commander," Sheldon needs little introduction. From shepherding the format during its early days in Anchorage, Alaska to its present-day incarnation as an officially supported Wizards of the Coast format (and a longstanding member of the Rules Committee to boot), Sheldon has been instrumental in the success of the format. Oh, he's also a Level 5 DCI judge, and writes for a little website called StarCityGames.

Robby Rothe

Robby Rothe

Robby is one of Commander's most visible personalities, running both the MTG Color Pie as well as 99 EDH Problems blogs. Combining the oft-elusive qualitires of strong writing with keen insight, Robby's long experience with Magic ensures he'll know a good bad-beats story when he hears one!

Neale Talbot

Neale Talbot

Many a poor orphan has met their untimely end in helping Neale give away free Magic goodies on Twitter, but few wouldn't argue that they died for a worthy cause! The man behind wrongwaygoback, and featured writer here on Quiet Speculation, Neale is one of the format's wittiest voices today.

So there you have it, five judges standing by to award one lucky reader an incredible gaming experience at GenCon Indy. All you have to do to enter is tell us your own Commander or general Magic gaming tragedy!

The contest closes at 12 AM midnight (EST) on Thursday, July 7, 2011. Each judge will then select their nomination, those entries will go into a hat, and a Grand Prize winner will then be selected at random. We'll announce the winner here on Quiet Speculation, then they'll be on their way to the Best Four Days in Gaming!

Good luck to everyone!

(We enabled an enhanced commenting page to track emails so we can notify winners. If you previously posted, do not fear! Your post does not appear, but it is not lost, and the judges will consider it even if you do not repost it).

Jay Kirkman

Jay Kirkman started playing Magic: the Gathering during Alpha, and despite some significant pauses his love for the game is as strong as ever. His area of focus is in the preconstructed products, and he runs the review weblog Ertai's Lament. He favours Grixis, is addicted to discard, and lives in Frankfort, Kentucky with his wife, stepkids and brand new son (and future Pro Tour stalwart) Liam.

View More By Jay Kirkman

Posted in Free, TimmyTagged , ,

Have you joined the Quiet Speculation Discord?

If you haven't, you're leaving value on the table! Join our community of experts, enthusiasts, entertainers, and educators and enjoy exclusive podcasts, questions asked and answered, trades, sales, and everything else Discord has to offer.

Want to create content with Quiet Speculation?

All you need to succeed is a passion for Magic: The Gathering, and the ability to write coherently. Share your knowledge of MTG and how you leverage it to win games, get value from your cards – or even turn a profit.

16 thoughts on “The Best Four Days in Gaming Giveaway

  1. This actually happened just this week, I was playing Commander with my local playgroup every week like normal, I was playing Scion of the Ur-Dragon. Late game it was looking grim for everybody my last two turns had looked like this.

    Fist of Suns, done go.
    Next turn I proceed to cast Ulamog, Scion of the Ur-Dragon, cast a tooth and nail entwined grabbing a Karthas Tyrant of Jund along with Bladewing the Risen. Used the already in play lightning greaves to equipped Ulamog then swung at a player bringing them to 1 life.

    My opponent to the left of me ends up taking one player’s lift total to ten then killing the player at 1 life. Next the player to his left playing monogreen doesn’t do anything to amazing to me, he just casts some creatures. The player to my right now at ten life just passes turn back to me.

    My turn I play an artisan of kozilek equipt the greaves to it and take out the two players to my left and right, I’m at 16 life and I’m not to worried since I figured the green player had nothing important on board. I left myself wide open.

    He takes his turn. He can deal exactly 16 damage to me. I was pretty crushed. I didn’t have to swing with everything but I did and learned my lesson. Remember what’s on the board and that green is big mean and dumb.

  2. This is not Commander I was playing a casual game with my friend. Hewas playing a mono G deck ramp that was like 20-0, and I was playing a W-X deck. I had two Kemba’s Skyguard and some little greatures for blocking. He had some ramp creatures, a Whispersilk cloak, and an Elvish Piper (his only one in the deck). He was at 12 life and I was still at 20.

    I went, attacked him for four with the Skyguards, and passed the turn. He uses The Piper to bring out a Phyrexian Hydra, and passes.
    I attack for four again, and pass. I am feeling pretty good, because I could kill him next turn, and the only way he could win was by drawing one of two Giant Growths in his deck. I even told him that. So, he goes, and draws a Giant Growth, targets the hydra, equips the cloak, and swings for lethal to continue his undefeated record. Then he laughed in my face.

    It sucked.

  3. I was playing my Norin the Wary deck against a table that included Wydwen, the Biting Gale and Horde of Notions. The Wydwen player was in pretty good shape, having killed the fourth player and whittled me down until I finally stabilized on 1 life. When he went for Rite of Replication kicked on a Bogardan Hellkite, I used my freshly-cast Planar Portal to fetch Wild Ricochet to change his target to something irrelevant and make 5 dragons of my own to deal 25 to him, then set enough of his lands on fire with Obsidian Fireheart to kill him on his upkeep.

    The Horde player (at 40 life) Wrathed on his turn, leaving little on the board except mana doublers, Planar Portal, and his Maelstrom Nexus, then followed it up with a couple of creatures. On my turn I searched up Confusion in the Ranks and played a couple creatures, leaving him with the worst stuff and stealing another one with Norin at the end of the turn. With Norin stealing a creature every turn and Planar Portal active, I had a very real chance of killing him from 40 while still on 1 life.

    I got him down to 10 or so with much more than lethal on board for the next turn. Even if he Wrathed again I could just portal up more fat to win. With 1 creature in play, he cast an irrelevant 2-mana spell, pointed to his Maelstrom Nexus and said “I don’t even remember if I have any 1-drops in here,” then quickly started flipping through the deck.

    He cascaded into Last-Ditch Effort, with 1 creature in play and me at 1.

  4. The names in this game of Commander have been concealed to protect the innocent.

    Player A, to my left, dominates the board with a wild five-color Golem tribal deck led by the unlikely Karona, False God. He’s already crushed two players with his army of Splicers, pumping the Golems they make with 1/+1 counters and proliferating them to obscene proportions. His library, however, is down to 13 cards thanks to Player B’s Wrexial, the Risen Deep mill deck. I pilot my Kira, Great Glass-Spinner deck, whose strategy approximates to “draw 1982735 cards and win.”

    On the battlefield, Player A has a bunch of utility artifacts (including an Everflowing Chalice proliferated to 14), Brass Herald, one 9/9 Golem token from Titan Forge, and one 8/8 Golem token, the last of his Spliced monstrosities. He also has a Myr Welder, which was once fearsome (with an imprinted Solarion, it had been a 23/26) but got Evacuated and now sits meekly on the board, a mere 1/4.

    Player B, on the other hand, has a Nemesis of Reason and a Phantom Warrior, ready to mill another big chunk of someone’s library. I have no creatures — Player A just wiped my board with Contagion Engine in retribution for the Golems he’d lost.

    We all sit at perilous life totals — A at 11, B at 5, and me at 2. I eye Player B’s Phantom Warrior nervously, but know I’m in no real danger. I’m sitting on fourteen mana, a Leyline of Anticipation, and three bombtastic cards: Wurmcoil Engine, Vesuvan Shapeshifter, and Stormtide Leviathan. If Player B even looks at me funny with that Phantom Warrior, I’ll flash in the Leviathan and lock down everyone’s creatures. Fortunately, since I appear to be no threat, Player B seems intent on milling Player A out with Nemesis of Reason and the last card in his hand… leaving me free to flash in a Wurmcoil Engine and a Shapeshifter copying it at his end step, kill Player B with them, and watch Player A draw himself out. It’s Player B’s turn — if no shenanigans happen, I’m set to win.

    Then, shenanigans happen. Player B says to Player A, “Actually, I can mill you out before your turn,” and casts Urza’s Guilt: each player draws 2, discards 3, and loses 4 life. At 2 life, I’ll die to the crossfire from the spell! With no counters in my hand and no way to gain life outside of combat, I do the only thing with even a remote chance of saving me — cast Vesuvan Shapeshifter copying Brass Herald and naming Wizard. I reveal Island, Island, Island… Glen Elendra Archmage! I flash in the Faerie Wizard and sacrifice her to counter Urza’s Guilt, but in doing so inadvertently save Player A’s life and leave myself open to the lethal strike from Phantom Warrior.

    Player B looks at his board, looks at Player A’s board, and realizes that if he attacks me with either of his creatures, he won’t be able to block both of Player A’s big Golems, and will end up losing anyway. Forced to save his blockers, he lets me live to my turn.

    I untap, draw Quicksilver Elemental and pass, knowing that I can stop either player if they turn on me. Thanks to last turn’s clutch save, I’ve got the game wrapped up — either my opponents tear each other apart, or I kill them both with Stormtide Leviathan. No more shenanigans.

    Player A draws his card for the turn, plays it (it’s a land). With no cards in hand, he sifts through his massive graveyard and sets some cards aside: Voltaic Construct and Bosh, Iron Golem. Then he taps… Myr Welder.

    “Imprint the Construct, untap the Welder with the Construct’s ability, imprint Bosh, untap the Welder, throw Contagion Engine at Player B for lethal, untap the Welder, and sacrifice the Welder to itself for 3 damage to you.”

    Myr Welder: SHENANIGANS.

  5. We had 3 players left when we started with 5.

    Me (19 life): playing 5-color allies w/ a couple allies (played Agadeem Occultist last turn) and Proteus Staff
    Player A (10 life): playing Arcum Daggson but my staff has kept him in check for most of the game. He has a ton of mana, Myr Turbine, Dross Scorpion, and 3 or 4 Myr Tokens
    Player B (45 life): Newish player with a G/R tribal warriors w/Asceticism out. She has over 40 (trampling) power already on the board (toughest at 5), and killed both of the departed players

    I know on my turn that we are pretty much toast. I pray to the top-deck gods and draw Contagion Engine! I play it targeting her, and proliferate everything I can leaving her with 8 power or so. With Agadeem and my Staff it is just a matter of time now. I pass turn.

    Player A says (seriously) “I should just scoop.” Instead, he sighs and draws and his face lights up. He bursts out laughing and plays Blasting Station. He combos out with the Turbine and Dross Scorpion. “GG”

    🙁

  6. Reposted before the comment software glitch:

    "I was playing my Norin the Wary deck against a table that included Wydwen, the Biting Gale and Horde of Notions. The Wydwen player was in pretty good shape, having killed the fourth player and whittled me down until I finally stabilized on 1 life. When he went for Rite of Replication kicked on a Bogardan Hellkite, I used my freshly-cast Planar Portal to fetch Wild Ricochet to change his target to something irrelevant and make 5 dragons of my own to deal 25 to him, then set enough of his lands on fire with Obsidian Fireheart to kill him on his upkeep.

    The Horde player (at 40 life) Wrathed on his turn, leaving little on the board except mana doublers, Planar Portal, and his Maelstrom Nexus, then followed it up with a couple of creatures. On my turn I searched up Confusion in the Ranks and played a couple creatures, leaving him with the worst stuff and stealing another one with Norin at the end of the turn. With Norin stealing a creature every turn and Planar Portal active, I had a very real chance of killing him from 40 while still on 1 life.

    I got him down to 10 or so with much more than lethal on board for the next turn. Even if he Wrathed again I could just portal up more fat to win. With 1 creature in play, he cast an irrelevant 2-mana spell, pointed to his Maelstrom Nexus and said "I don't even remember if I have any 1-drops in here," then quickly started flipping through the deck.

    He cascaded into Last-Ditch Effort, with 1 creature in play and me at 1."

    -Drew Sitte

    "This is not Commander I was playing a casual game with my friend. Hewas playing a mono G deck ramp that was like 20-0, and I was playing a W-X deck. I had two Kemba's Skyguard and some little greatures for blocking. He had some ramp creatures, a Whispersilk cloak, and an Elvish Piper (his only one in the deck). He was at 12 life and I was still at 20.

    I went, attacked him for four with the Skyguards, and passed the turn. He uses The Piper to bring out a Phyrexian Hydra, and passes.
    I attack for four again, and pass. I am feeling pretty good, because I could kill him next turn, and the only way he could win was by drawing one of two Giant Growths in his deck. I even told him that. So, he goes, and draws a Giant Growth, targets the hydra, equips the cloak, and swings for lethal to continue his undefeated record. Then he laughed in my face.

    It sucked."

    -Shane Impola

  7. "The names in this game of Commander have been concealed to protect the innocent.

    Player A, to my left, dominates the board with a wild five-color Golem tribal deck led by the unlikely Karona, False God. He's already crushed two players with his army of Splicers, pumping the Golems they make with 1/+1 counters and proliferating them to obscene proportions. His library, however, is down to 13 cards thanks to Player B's Wrexial, the Risen Deep mill deck. I pilot my Kira, Great Glass-Spinner deck, whose strategy approximates to "draw 1982735 cards and win."

    On the battlefield, Player A has a bunch of utility artifacts (including an Everflowing Chalice proliferated to 14), Brass Herald, one 9/9 Golem token from Titan Forge, and one 8/8 Golem token, the last of his Spliced monstrosities. He also has a Myr Welder, which was once fearsome (with an imprinted Solarion, it had been a 23/26) but got Evacuated and now sits meekly on the board, a mere 1/4.

    Player B, on the other hand, has a Nemesis of Reason and a Phantom Warrior, ready to mill another big chunk of someone's library. I have no creatures — Player A just wiped my board with Contagion Engine in retribution for the Golems he'd lost.

    We all sit at perilous life totals — A at 11, B at 5, and me at 2. I eye Player B's Phantom Warrior nervously, but know I'm in no real danger. I'm sitting on fourteen mana, a Leyline of Anticipation, and three bombtastic cards: Wurmcoil Engine, Vesuvan Shapeshifter, and Stormtide Leviathan. If Player B even looks at me funny with that Phantom Warrior, I'll flash in the Leviathan and lock down everyone's creatures. Fortunately, since I appear to be no threat, Player B seems intent on milling Player A out with Nemesis of Reason and the last card in his hand… leaving me free to flash in a Wurmcoil Engine and a Shapeshifter copying it at his end step, kill Player B with them, and watch Player A draw himself out. It's Player B's turn — if no shenanigans happen, I'm set to win.

    Then, shenanigans happen. Player B says to Player A, "Actually, I can mill you out before your turn," and casts Urza's Guilt: each player draws 2, discards 3, and loses 4 life. At 2 life, I'll die to the crossfire from the spell! With no counters in my hand and no way to gain life outside of combat, I do the only thing with even a remote chance of saving me — cast Vesuvan Shapeshifter copying Brass Herald and naming Wizard. I reveal Island, Island, Island… Glen Elendra Archmage! I flash in the Faerie Wizard and sacrifice her to counter Urza's Guilt, but in doing so inadvertently save Player A's life and leave myself open to the lethal strike from Phantom Warrior.

    Player B looks at his board, looks at Player A's board, and realizes that if he attacks me with either of his creatures, he won't be able to block both of Player A's big Golems, and will end up losing anyway. Forced to save his blockers, he lets me live to my turn.

    I untap, draw Quicksilver Elemental and pass, knowing that I can stop either player if they turn on me. Thanks to last turn's clutch save, I've got the game wrapped up — either my opponents tear each other apart, or I kill them both with Stormtide Leviathan. No more shenanigans.

    Player A draws his card for the turn, plays it (it's a land). With no cards in hand, he sifts through his massive graveyard and sets some cards aside: Voltaic Construct and Bosh, Iron Golem. Then he taps… Myr Welder.

    "Imprint the Construct, untap the Welder with the Construct's ability, imprint Bosh, untap the Welder, throw Contagion Engine at Player B for lethal, untap the Welder, and sacrifice the Welder to itself for 3 damage to you."

    Myr Welder: SHENANIGANS."

    -Steven Schrag

    "We had 3 players left when we started with 5.

    Me (19 life): playing 5-color allies w/ a couple allies (played Agadeem Occultist last turn) and Proteus Staff
    Player A (10 life): playing Arcum Daggson but my staff has kept him in check for most of the game. He has a ton of mana, Myr Turbine, Dross Scorpion, and 3 or 4 Myr Tokens
    Player B (45 life): Newish player with a G/R tribal warriors w/Asceticism out. She has over 40 (trampling) power already on the board (toughest at 5), and killed both of the departed players

    I know on my turn that we are pretty much toast. I pray to the top-deck gods and draw Contagion Engine! I play it targeting her, and proliferate everything I can leaving her with 8 power or so. With Agadeem and my Staff it is just a matter of time now. I pass turn.

    Player A says (seriously) "I should just scoop." Instead, he sighs and draws and his face lights up. He bursts out laughing and plays Blasting Station. He combos out with the Turbine and Dross Scorpion. "GG"

    :("

    -Jason Iorio

  8. This is a story of when a really good deck turns against it's owner.

    Our local game store has an EDH league every Thursday night and we have around 8-12 different people that come every week. So we break up into our pods to make life interesting.
    The pod I was in had the following people/decks
    Me – Mayael the anima
    Shawn – pheldygriff
    Jimmy – isset
    Billy – Vendellion Clique – one important note – he barely runs any counterspells in this deck.

    During the first couple of turns nothing really exciting happened. Shawn during this time was messing around with pheldygriff and passing lands out to all of us. and a civic wayfinder gets out an extra land for myself.

    After this things got crazy pretty quickly – on turn 4 I drop mirari's wake. Turn 5 I drop a wild pair and start casting creatures from my hand to go tutor some from my library.

    (Quick note: I am a vary cautious player and as such I don't attack all out whenever I don't have to)

    A couple of turns later I have roughly 8 different creatures on the field and manage to make sure that nobody else has much of a board position. I had already killed the pheldygriff player and was just waiting for my next turn to deal with the other two.

    Well – it turns out that the proteus staff that the isset player had ended up working in his favor very well.

    He sent my Admonition angel to the bottom of my library because the first card I flipped was a birds of paradise.

    Following this unfortunate accident – he cast tunnel vision down to it.

    I was okay with this because I had a way to return cards back to my library in my hand – aka elixir of immortality,

    Well… I never got to use that elixir.
    The clique player decided it would be fun to mindslaver me. They took one look at my hand and started laughing. The card I had drawn the previous turn was avatar of slaughter. They cast the avatar and with the remaining creatures I had killed the isset player.

    During his next turn he thought it would be really funny to blue sun me for 1.

    Because of all the ruckus that the turn took – we had a crowd of about 10 people around our table all laughing at what had just happened.

  9. I was playing a four player match at my local shop here in Houston. My general was Karthus, Tyrant of Jund and I was dominating the board. I had already taken out the player across from me and I was looking at winning the game within the next couple of turns. The player that was diagonal from me was playing mono-blue and I had stolen his previous turn thanks to Mindslaver. I was also gaining a good amount of 2/2 Lizard creatures thanks to Predatory Advantage. On my turn, I tapped out for Hellkite Overlord and swung at the guy to my left with my fatties. On the blue mage's next turn, he draws, looks at the board, and asks me "Do those 2/2s have flying?" I replied nope. He then asked, "Are you tapped out?" I replied yep. He taps all nine of his mana and plays his recently drawn Rite of Replication targeting my Hellkite Overlord then attacked me for 40 damage. Soon after, having 5 8/8 flyers on the board, he won the game. I now have a love/hate relationship with Rite of Replication.

  10. So two of my friends and I gather every Tuesday and Thursday to play some EDH. We always use my decks, as I’m the Spike-iest player in the group. We start out one night with me piloting Ghave, Guru of Spores against my friends playing my Savra deck and my Riku deck. This is my first night playing Ghave, so I’m excited to test the token swarm out. Savra and I don’t start out so well, each of us with tapped lands. Riku then takes his first turn: Command Tower, Sol Ring, Izzet Signet. This is already off to an awkward start. Savra and I agree that Riku is the biggest threat and agree to take him out first. I draw into yet another EtBT land, and Savra can’t do anything particularly nasty yet. Riku takes his second turn: Land, Elvish Piper. At least this turn wasn’t so explosive. I just need to pull a basic land so I can start playing spells. I proceed to draw no land for the rest of the game, leaving Savra to fight Riku while I essentially watch. On his third turn, Riku Pipers in Vorinclex, and proceeds to win through ridiculousness. Piper shenanigans lead to terrifically bad beats.

  11. i was playing niv mizzet deck which is obviously about drawing my entire deck every turn my opponant was playing Tolsimir Wolfblood and he was getting early beats nive ket being exile "path, plow and o-ring" hes beat me down and with no sweepers left im under 10 looking at a full board.

    im sitting with tons of mana and Enclave Cryptologist fully leveled and Mindmoil
    with 7 cards in hand 1 being phycosis crawler but mindmoil makes my deck grea so i go for it with gusto
    tap cryptoligist draw 1 cast crawler toss 7 on the bottom draw rite of replication cast it kicked on crawler
    hey i got some blockers 6 on the bottom huge chunk of life (35) off my opponants 50 sothing life total… with 2 mana left draw tolarian winds… thats game. i love random

  12. I don't really have any bad beats stories, but there was one that almost prevented me from adopting the format at all.

    It was just after a friend of mine discovered the format through another mutual friend. All we knew at the time was that you had to pick a legendary creature for the general, the deck could only be your general's colors, and it had to be a 99 card singleton deck. I mean, that's all you really need to know to get into the format . . . right?

    So, my friend and I are playing our first game. I believe I was running a Crosis deck (bare with me, as this was some time again, and the specifics are a little foggy) and was playing against my friend's Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck . . . in a 1v1 duel.

    My first few turns comprised of playing some bounce lands and signets, as our other friend told us they were pretty good in the format, and some random creatures. My friend proceeded to have this approximate sequence of events:
    Turn 1: Dual land, Birds of Paradise
    Turn 2: Signet, Ravnica bounce land
    Turn 3: Replay dual land, Sol Ring, Gifts Ungiven for Eternal Witness, Regrowth, Yawgmoth's Will, and Balance -> I have him take the Regrowth and the Eternal Witness, Regrowth for Balance
    Turn 4: Another bounce land, Balance, Scion of the Ur-Dragon
    Turn 5: Replay dual land, Seething Song, Search for Dragon Tyrant, pump and attack with 11/6 double strike general for the win

    So, my first time playing a game of EDH, the format where epic and expensive and grand things happen, ended with, from my perspective, my opponent going land, Bird, land, Signet, land, Sol Ring, Gifts Ungiven, Balance, dead on turn 5.

    I regaled the tale to our friend, to which the following conversation ensued:
    "Wait, he Gifts Ungivened for Balance?"
    "Yeah. Kind of unfair."
    "Those are both banned."
    ". . . There's a banned list?"

    Luckily, we kept with the format and now have much more . . . legal decks.

  13. I do not have a lot of free time to play Magic. I try to make as many of the prerelease and launch parties as I can and every now and then I will play in a limited even at my LGS. As I do not play often I tend not to finish too well at the events, generally somewhere around the half way mark. My story comes from the Mirrodin Besieged prerelease.

    I had picked the Phyrexian faction as I liked the Glissa card better than the other one and thought my chances for opening a Tezzeret were slightly better .I opened up a pretty good infect deck that featured Black Sun's Zenieth and Phyrexian Rebirth. I won my first 3 rounds pretty easily and was excited as this was my best start at a tournament in a decade. Round 4 I got paired with one of the best limited players in the store ( and in the state I believe) and he crushed me as usual. As I sit down for round 5 (the final round) the store owner announced that first and second places have agreed to split and the winner of my match will win third. I win the first game when he can not draw lands and then return the favor for game 2.

    The third game is a titanic struggle back and forth with creatures being cast, getting killed and coming back turn after turn. I end up casting both of my sweepers to stabilize, including the BSZ 3 times. Finally time is called and we go into turns with me at 1 life and him at 8 infect and he has no cards in hand. I get the first turn and draw and play an infect creature. He draws for his turn and dejectedly plays a mountain (his splash color). On the third turn I draw and play Morbid Plunder, returning two cheap infect guys to my hand and replaying them, giving me the enough creatures for the win on the last turn. He draws for his last turn and instantly tosses it onto the table…Burn the Impure the one red card in his deck and the one card that could defeat me. In that instant I went from my best finish ever and 12 packs to finishing in the middle again and earning 1 pack. I opened a Myr Turbine as my rare while my opponent cracked a Tezzeret in his prize packs.

  14. ———- A Tale of Fire and Vengeance ———-

    It started with five heroes and villains gathered on that dark night:

    * Mayael the Anima, the tragic heroine of this tale, whose coalition of angels, dragons, and beasts struggled against the dark forces that sought to crumble her Nayan civilization.

    * Numot the Devastator, lord of chaos and war, who seeks only to spread destruction across the land regardless of any innocents caught in the blaze.

    * Nath, prince of the Gilt-Leaf elves, who drive themselves to cleanse the world of ugliness and imperfection leaving only each other among the living.

    * Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar, who, in a frenzy of self-assertion, chose to rebel against his mistress in an effort to obtain his independence from the controlling wizardess.

    * And Azami herself, the Lady of Scrolls, who rules her wizards from within her palace at Oboro while reweaving the foundations of matter with her mind.

    These five souls gathered together to fight for dominance, and in the battle that raged, the very world was shaken to its core.

    The battle began as the buildup of a storm, slowly but steadily with a few flare-ups of conflict along the way. Mayael called forth nature magic to shape the battlefield to her advantage, even as Numot and Tomorrow drew upon relics and powerful artifacts to bestow themselves with power. Nath summoned some forest allies for some early guerrilla strikes against the great dragon's domain, but a quick Earthquake sent those elves scurrying back to the undergrowth.

    Meanwhile, through the twistings of fortune, Azami found herself unable to match the others' amassment of mana, nor indeed even find enough power to support all but the most basic of spells. Her Journeyer's Kite met with a swift and acidic end at Mayael's hands, for the Nayan shaman knew that Azami's insidious powers make her the most dangerous enemy on this plane should she be allowed to prosper unhindered. After some harsh words, the Lady of Scrolls seethed in her hidden domain, biding her time quietly in the shadows in hopes that others would pass her by.

    Yet the rest of the warlords aren't fooled by her ploy. Embittered by past misfortunes at the hands of Azami, the others took advantage of her weakness to take to the attack. Tomorrow called upon his countermagic to negate Azami's attempts at refreshing her mind, an insult twice as humiliating coming from her own familiar. Already anguished at a lack of lands from which to draw mana, the wizard could only grit her teeth as the great Devastator raided her domain to bombard her few Islands to mere craters on the ocean floor. Finally, in what seems to be the coup de grace, Nath invoked the tainted marshlands of his home for the power to twist Azami's mind to shreds, laying waste to her precious spells and sending her reeling from the mental blow.

    Now, weakened in territory and mind, the great villainess seemed all but slain, and the rest of the gathering lost their cohesion in the apparent demise of the Azami threat. Mayael urged greater caution at underestimating the blue mage, but her words went unheeded. Numot was the first to break from the alliance, turning back to his belligerent ways to call forth threat after threat from the Blind Eternities. His array of dragons and Comet Storms tore through the life essence of his foes, and it wasn't long before Nath and his elves were but ashes in the wind.

    (To be continued in the next post…)

    1. ———- A Tale of Fire and Vengeance (Continued) ———-

      When Numot turned his attention to Mayael, he raged at her flesh with fire even as he wrought destruction upon Naya itself, going so far as to topple the sacred Jungle Shrine at which she holds her throne. Brimming with hatred and fury at this sacrilege, the elven shaman called down a great cleansing like the Wrath of a vengeful deity, turning the armies of the Devastator to dust and forcing Numot himself to retreat. With the tides of war turned, Mayael began reassembling her forces for a counterattack, and it wasn't long before a great Nayan host gathered at her call. From the mighty Godsire to the lowly Drumhunter, all were ready to avenge the assault on their homeland.

      But Numot wasn't going down without a fight. An Inferno cleared the ground of all but the largest behemoths, and Mayael herself was brought perilously close to death. The dragon followed his scourge of flame with the mighty Akroma, who instantly flew over the earthbound Godsire to strike at the heart of the elven shaman. No time left for games, Mayael prayed to her Nayan gods for salvation, and was answered with exactly what she needed: an Ultimatum of titanic proportions. With a surge of renewed vigor, the assembled spawns of Godsire charged at the dragon leader, rampaging over his puny defenses and devastating the Devastator himself.

      Only two opposing warlords remained: Azami and her erstwhile familiar.

      While Numot rained fire upon other warlords, Azami was slowly recovering from her former plight, rebuilding her territories and recalling new spells from her library of scrolls. Still, she was far from gaining her full power, as any wizards she called to the battlefield were quickly wiped away by the tides of fire and deific vengeance that swept the plane. All knew that she had one great spell remaining that could power her to victory: the spell that would allow her to control Matter with her infinite Mind.

      However, Mayael was ready for that. Always, even through her battles with Numot, she held in reserve a small amount of her power. Should Azami look to summon the power of Mind Over Matter, Mayael was ready with the destructive Grip of the forest of Krosa, destroying Azami's dreams of victory faster than she could blink. Unbeknownst to her, Tomorrow held similar beliefs, having constantly kept within his mind the power to Annul Azami's enchantment. With each assured by their own safeguards, Mayael and Tomorrow headed eagerly to battle against each other, thinking the wizardess not much of a threat with her best spell taken care of before it was even cast.

      In the end, it was their own hubris that defeated them. Blinded into believing that a puny spell like Annul or even the powerful Krosan Grip would be enough, Mayael and Tomorrow headed for each other's throat rather than joining together against the real threat. It was just what the villainess wanted. In the blink of an unguarded moment, Azami called upon her ally Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to her side. With Teferi's powers over time guarding her, Mayael and Tomorrow could but watch helplessly as she asserted her dominance over Mind and Matter in order to Warp Time itself. Time finally ran out for the two heroes, and Azami smirked in glee as the infinite seconds stretched on and on at her behest.

      The war was over. She had won.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.


Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.