There was a thick fog over Chicago when we rolled in Friday night before the Players Ball. I’ve always really liked Chicago, having been there with my wife once and with bands a few times. Great food, sweet architecture, and just a cool, dark gothic vibe about it. My travel plans changed a couple of months prior when my wife expressed interest in taking the kids and meeting her mother up there who was on a work trip. It was cool taking our kids to the museums and stuff, but I was a bit bummed on missing the Lords’ Contract get together and riding up with the group. But, it was well worth seeing my kids freak out over dinosaur bones at the Field Museum and spending some time with the family.
I ended up playing my mono green Stompy deck at the ball. I’d been keeping tabs on tweaks on the deck in a previous post and ended up continuing to make small changes up until about a week before the tournament despite being “finished” with it numerous times. I was getting a bit frustrated with the deck and almost played something different. I think I sort of just got too into it and lost sight of just jamming a fun deck I’d put a lot of effort into. So, after trying to brew up something last minute, I made the decision to stomp and I’m glad I did.
The morning of the tournament I flattened the complimentary breakfast bar at the hotel and Lyfted to my brethren’s B&B near Revolution Taproom where I found them in search of booze mop and hanging hard. Brendon and I stayed back and re-sleeved his beer soaked deck from the Contracts tourney while the others went to breakfast. Double sleeves- 1, beer- 0. We showed up at the taproom about 5 minutes before first round pairings were announced and the next 8 hours was a complete blur. Part of me wishes I had a better memory of my matches, but I just couldn’t burden myself with taking notes. I also took 0 pictures, but some things are better left experienced un-filtered. I had an absolute blast and met a lot of people that I had been wanting to meet for a long time, but unfortunately just didn’t have enough time amidst the action to talk much. I went 4-4 and was very happy with that. Stompy just flat out loses to some cards/decks and I was prepared to face defeat. I met a mono brown deck with Trikes and Tetravus. The Trikes absolutely laid my deck to waste. I also played a really cool Arboria/Fog deck. Not the most interactive game, but the deck was fun to see in action. I did a lot of draw-go and got my ass fogged hard. The other two loses were not so lopsided and were fairly close. I really hoped to get paired with Shaman Ben to see his giant bad ass deck in all its glory, but did not. I at least got to thank him for his contributions to Bootlegger’s Ball and bestow upon him a Music City patch for his kindness. I’d also like to congratulate our own Josh Burgoa for battling hard and taking 3rd place. He snuck in after some drops last minute and I’m glad he was able to make the trip. The ball was a fucking blast and I’d like to thank The Lords of the Pit for an awesome time. Everyone I hung out with, from people I had played on skype, to people I had never met before, was awesome and I hope we’ll meet again. The Players Ball got me thinking about our annual tournament, Bootleggers Ball. Although it’s a bit over half a year away, I’m excited to get our group together and get some ideas rolling. We’ve already got some sweet shit in the works and hopefully I’ll see you there. We’ll have one hell of a good goddamn time.
After the tournament, I started thinking about what to play next. I’ve done pretty well as far as keeping things pretty versatile with my decks. I’ve played mono Black, RG Berserk, Sligh, Stompy, and Crimson Disco, tweaking and messing around with each. Since coming back to magic, I haven’t cast one blue or white spell, so I thought it was time to branch out. I’ve always leaned toward aggro, so I had my eye on control. White has always been my least favorite color and blue is not far behind, but I do find it intriguing. Much more than white. I hadn’t seen a lot of mono Blue decks around other than Merfolk here and there, Suicide, and decks banking on Transmute Artifact (which seems fun as hell). I wasn’t really sure where to start and I’m definitely not adept at building control. I thought about going tempo, which I’ll probably try out at some point, but I wanted completely out of my comfort zone. I won’t delve into the deck, as I literally haven’t played it yet. As I write this post, I just finished it, save for a few Islands. That’s right, I need some fucking Islands to finish my deck. But, I started with Amnesia. Aside from a Ghost Ship, it was the only blue card I had in my possession until recently. Amnesia is bad ass. Not easy to cast, but it blows holes in heads and I don’t see it often, which is understandable. I thought pumping it out with some Mana Vaults would be fun, so I added another card I’d had my eye on, Sage of Lat Nam. He’ll get rid of my tapped vaults and draw me cards. He’ll also help me out with a dying Trike, or just one that’s used up his ammo. On top of that I threw in some more helpful artifacts, counters, and bouncers. I have no idea what to expect out of this deck. At the very least, it’ll be fun to play something completely different than what I’m used to and casting my first blue spell in roughly 20 years. If it does well at all, I’ll probably do a post on it.
Moving on after Players Ball, we had a meet up a couple of weeks after and had 8 jammers, with a couple missing. The group is thriving and I’m pumped to be right around the corner from our second annual winter tournament. Last December, we threw our first official “tournament”, which is what sparked our interest to throw Bootleggers. It was for just our local group and at the time, we were only 5 strong, and a whopping 4 of us showed up. It was awesome and despite it being only 4 dudes, I loved every minute of it. This year, we’ve decided to do it again, and keep it in the family. If all of Music City shows up, we should have a good 14 players or so. We’ve also decided to rock old school ’95 for this one. I love Ice Age and Homelands and I think it adds just enough to the card pool to mix it up and keep an old school feel and aesthetic. I had a UW control brew with Blinking Spirit lined up to play, but Instead I opted for a sweet ass mono black deck (not necro) that I’ll share sometime soon.
From now on, in each blog post I’d like to share some music I’ve been listening to as well as a card I’ve had my eye on, whether I intend to brew with it or just find it interesting for whatever reason. As far as music, I’ve just always loved turning people on to new stuff. Music has been a big part of my life ever since I was a kid. My parents used to listen classic rock constantly and I got pretty deep into it at an early age. I like everything. There’s not really one genre of music that I can’t appreciate at least a little bit. I’ve also noticed a large portion of the old school community shares my taste in punk rock and general underground music. So anyway, chew upon this:
MUSIC: Drug Church
A friend turned me on to this band a few years ago and I’ve had a hard time not listening to them at least once a week ever since. They fuse punk/hardcore with melodic hooks and a heavy 90’s vibe. They’re honest and sing about petty, cynical, odd ball shit. The below tuneage is from their upcoming record Cheer, out on 11-2-18. Check it.
CARD: Evil-Eye of Orms-by-Gore
This is just an awesome, spicy ass creature. No double black costing is sweet, but not as sweet as being an essentially un-blockable creature with a giant butt. That shit will cost you 2 bolts! I’ve seen two decks revolving around this card. I don’t remember where, but some genius put Clones and Dance of Many in with Evil Eye and called it evileye.dec. The eye will shut down all none-eye creatures from attacking on your side, but if you’ve got 6 eyes out-later. Another one was from a recent Lords event NoviceCon. It was a BW build with Greed, Evil eye, and Spirit Link. I’ve been looking to do something different with my black deck and I wanted bank on Greed, Ivory Tower, AND Evil Eye, so it’s going to be hard not to draw a ton of inspiration from this. To whoever built the decks mentioned above, hats off to you. They’re awesome.
If you’re unfamiliar with that band and that card, I highly suggest you do some homework. Hopefully you’ll dig them. That’s all I’ve got! Eat beer, shit decks.