Long story short, I came 46th at Grand Prix Manchester this last weekend, going 4-2 on Day 1 and 4-2 on Day 2 with the help of 3 byes from a Generic GPT I won at Nats last year. Not a stellar performance but enough for a cheeky bit of money so can’t complain. I also managed to bring my lifetime record against the Hall of Fame to 3-0 and maintained a habit of not losing win-and-in matches on Day 1 for making Day 2, and on Day 2 for making money.
My sealed deck was decent, with a tonne of removal but no real power at closing down games so every game was a bit of a grind. A strange thought occurred to me after Round 7 though, which was that I had lost every game my opponent had cast exactly 1 more Lingering Souls than I had, and I had won every other game. They hadn’t all directly come down to the card but it was always a significant obstacle to try to overcome.
I did feel a little lucky one round after mulling to 2 Swamps, 2 Mountains, Plains and Sightless Ghoul. My deck was Red-Black splashing for Lingering Souls and the flashback on 2 Burning Oil. I made a turn 3 Traveler’s Amulet to fetch a land to try to hide all the lands I’d drawn and my turn 4 Ghoul was facing off the first half of a Lingering Souls and soonafter a Bloodline Keeper.
Luckily I’d drawn my Curse of Death’s Hold (basically the only way I won games) so was able to partially negate the Keeper and fully negate the Thraben Doomsayer he subsequently made. I basically beat down with my Ghoul and a Stensia Bloodhall before finding a Wrack with Madness in time for the Bloodline Keeper and was able to deal him all 20 the long way. God bless you Curse of Death’s Hold.
I also had a cute game against Bram Snepvangers on Day 2 where I used Increasing Confusion on flashback to mill him down to 2 cards after previously attacking him down to 2 life. He used one of his last turns to empty his hand so I used the safe window to use Geistflame twice to burn him out – double win :)
Apart from that my tournament was full of pretty standard stories about games that no-one will be interested in, but the things that really keep people going to Grand Prixes are not the long line of reasonable games of Magic, but the really cool moments that you can go and tell your friends about. Therefore, I present some of the more amusing stories I’ve gathered with the help of a lot of friends:
Judge, My Opponent Missed A Trigger!:
The new rules about lapsing triggers seemed to have a generally positive effect. I missed a couple of triggers on my Selhof Occultist but remembered them a few seconds later. My opponent had already untapped so I called a judge. Sure enough, I got a warning for the triggers and put them on the stack, but thankfully my opponent did not received a warning for failing to maintain the game state. That warning always felt like a kick in the teeth so I’m glad to see people not get punished for it.
Some people were out to actively abuse it though. I witnessed one player attack with a flipped Afflicted Deserter when his opponent blocked with a Morkrut Banshee. They agreed to apply combat damage when the Banshee owner called a judge. It turned out the other guy had forgotten to flip back his Werewolf and had been attacking with a creature that should have been a 3/2. Sure enough, the guy had to bin his creature and justice was restored.
Another player was a bit more unscrupulous in a similar situation. Rob Catton witnessed a Silverpelt Werewolf attacking with a Cobbled Wings. Unable to block, the opponent takes the damage but waits until immediately after he draws a card to call the judge. No game losses are issued, only warnings, but that felt a little too much like fishing to us and he looked ashamed of himself when Rob called him on it.
Don’t Lie To Judges:
Quentin Martin witnessed a couple of players next to him having a rules dispute during round 1 (ha ha, playing round 1). Listening quietly, towards the end of the argument he took the initiative and had a little word with the Head Judge. One player pointed out that his opponent had submitted a 38 card deck after he drew his opening hand since 2 spells had been exiled during the previous game. While the judge was asking if this was true the opponent shuffled his hand and exiled zone into his library then tried to claim he was still sideboarding. After a bunch of lying, in Quentin’s own words “you’re out of here, Mr.Cheaterson“.
Amar Dattani didn’t have much luck in the main event but is always one for an Eternal format. At 4-0 in the Swiss+1 Vintage event, he found the Legacy event was just starting. His offer of an ID being declined as he had been paired down, he played out game 1 quickly before conceding the match. He came back later to find that he was still top of the swiss anyway.
Should’ve Played Around It:
Michael Maxwell got levelled by an opponent who led with Plains and Forest, Mulching into an Island and a Woodland Cemetary. Taking advantage of the time Mike plays out more creatures, only for the opponent to lay a Shimmering Grotto and clear the board with a Blasphemous Act.
Kim Warren was playing around that wrath against every opponent who made a Mountain, right up until round 8 while at a 6-2 record when in a desperate bid to lock up game 3 came across her first opponent all day who actually had it.
Turn 1 Kills:
In the Vintage event I came over to see a player make turn 1 Ancient Tomb, tap it for 2, cast Phyrexian Revoker and name Time Vault, cast Mox Emerald, Black Lotus, and finally Magus of the Moon. His opponent nodded his head before drawing his card for the turn and conceding.
To contrast with this, a friend witnessed a turn 1 kill in Day 2 of the main event. He played a land and cast a Wolfhunter’s Quiver to find his opponent shuffling his hand into his deck. The reason? “I’d sideboarded into the Lost in the Woods deck“…
Richard Smith scared his opponents in a side event by having bits of paper saying “DIE!” in his Dark Confidants to remind him to use one on the top of his library, having previously forgotten multiple triggers and gotten a game loss.
How Do I Kill My Immerwolf?:
Simon Johnston witnessed a player who found a way around that problem in Day 1. With an Afflicted Deserter and a Hinterland Scourge in play versus a random 4/2 creature he makes an Immerwolf to increase the toughness of his guys and then a Rolling Temblor to try to clear a path. Simon stepped in and helped the player get over his loss.
Borrowing Like a Pro:
Prior to unfortunately IDing into 9th place, Matt Light (who is known for borrowing cards every single event) had taken borrowing to a new extreme by turning up for Day 2 wearing Rob Catton’s shirt, Jeans and Socks, Brad Barclay’s Belt, and Richard Bland’s Hoodie. The only clothes he was wearing that he himself owned were his shoes.
Fun with Combo:
How Many Cards Did I Draw?:
Alastair Kennedy cast a Brainstorm and drew his cards before realising that something may have been amiss. He seemed to have drawn 4 cards, so he and his opponent called a judge over. After 5 minutes of thinking and discussion he realised that one of them was the one you’re allowed to draw just for taking a turn and everything was fine anyway. Awkward faces all round.
Having Fun at Home:
Vaughn Swift claims he stayed home and did naughty stuff that I’m not allowed to print, but Andy Devine went one better. Good friend Kenny Hall had come down from Glasgow for the weekend and told him to play in the Main Event. Andy only wanted to play in one event that weekend so he joined Kenny in the main event but sadly his pool didn’t do him any favours and he was out by round 8. Not one to sit around doing anything, Andy ate 60 jaffa cakes in 13 minutes 32 seconds and has the evidence on film :D
Matt Light “ I’m s**t? That’s pretty funny“
Hopefully some of those tickled you a little bit. I could have gone on for longer but this was the more amusing selection. If you’re considering going to a Grand Prix then I definitely recommend that you do, if only so you can walk away with a pocketful of stories to keep retelling. Remember to get a mtgUK tShirt before you go too!
Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing.