Didn’t get there.
Lance and I left Watertown early yesterday morning after an awesome hot chocolate pick-me-up, courtesy of Lance’s still-sleeping girlfriend. After driving south for ten hours, I received assurance of my faith in the fact that the Midwest has been forsaken by Our Lord. We arrived at the Marriott Fairfield Inn early in the evening, checked in, ordered Domino’s, and watched National Treasure while I gave Lance a crash-course on the format.
After six hours of sleep, we headed over to the site. I had been tipped off about the $20 parking fee at the convention center, so I followed the pack of out-of-state cars to a hotel complex a block away. Awesome free parking is awesome!
Walking into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center… is like walking into the Taj Mahal, heaven, and Jurassic Park all at once. This place is the most exquisite piece of architecture I have ever visited, and I’ve been to Europe. Twice. The massive complex is littered throughout with jungles, waterfalls, and ritzy espresso bars. To quote Pat Chapin, “this site looks like a secret level out of Final Fantasy.” Good work, WotC!
We registered, and I bought some dice and a few foils for EDH. I made sure Lance knew not to play Turn Aside or Screeching Silcaw (although, unfortunately, he decided against my advice and started both of those amazing options), and we were seated for construction. I sat next to Gerry Thompson and we chatted for a bit before getting our product. The TO provided each player with a really sweet deckbox.
The pool I received was pretty strong, but as Sam Black so astutely pointed out, so is virtually every other pool in this format. I took about 28:45 of 30:00 to build my deck. I opened tons of removal in black and red and a Hoard-Smelter Dragon, but I also really wanted to play white for Arrest, Glimmerpoint Stag, and Tempered Steel. I eventually decided to stick with BR; my creature quality wasn’t great, but eight removal spells should win me a fair amount of games.
I got crushed Round One against True Conviction.dec. This was not the start for which I had hoped, but since I had a lot of confidence in my deck, I didn’t feel too badly about it. I didn’t really have time before pairings went up to review Lance’s deck, which was quite the pile. I think only about ten percent of Scars pools are really awful, but his definitely qualified. I gave him a list of eight cards to swap in between games, which would improve his deck considerably but still didn’t give him much of a fighting chance. When your biggest creature is Sky-Eel School and your removal consists of a solitary Turn to Slag… best of luck, Lancelot.
I won my next two rounds handily, and I was feeling good about my chances. I lost Round Four to 2x Molten Masticore.dec, won some super-close Rounds Five and Six, and then lost Round Seven to a vastly superior deck, despite taking the first game after a mulligan to five on the draw. On a related note, way too many of my opponents were choosing to play today. This format is not very fast at all, and unless you’re BG infect with multiple Plague Stingers and Blight Mambas or some insane RW metalcraft build, the extra card will always be more important. Card advantage is at a premium, and I was always happy when my opponents chose to play. Actually, my three losses were to the players who drew, so take that, playing first.
Finishing at 4-3 was not my deck’s best potential performance, but I felt I played really well today. I was immediately conscious of all my play mistakes after making them, and I didn’t make too many. You can’t win them all, I guess… Well, if you’re me, you usually can’t win any of them, since that’s for the professionals.
Tomorrow, I will be competing in the massive PTQ. The odds of finishing well in that are even lower than those of making Day 2 in the GP, but I didn’t drive ten hours to sit in a hotel room. Well, not for more than a few hours at night, anyway.
– WotC, for selecting an amazing venue
– Lance, for accompanying me on this trip, being willing to fetch me McDonald’s while I play, and staying cheerful even after going 0-5
– Dad, for traveling for a living and thus accruing infinite hotel rewards points
– Next Level Games, for the free deckboxes
– Hoard-Smelter Dragon, for keeping me in games I had no business winning
– The Midwest, for being incredibly boring
– Nicolas Cage, for being incredibly boring
– That’s really about it. Day One was great. Over and out.