Get the MTG
April 14, 2001
Overland Park, KS
This deck has something of a history behind it. To get the whole story, I need to flash back to last week sometime-- Tuesday or Wednesday sounds about right. It was around then that I had a dream about Magic. Yes, I do dream about playing Magic, and no, this is not the only thing I dream about (I'll spare your mental state and refrain from going into detail on the subject of my "other" dreams.) Anyway, this dream in particular was about Regionals. Yes, I was playing at Regionals, and what was more, I was smashing face (this is what tipped me off that it was a dream.) What was noteworthy was that, unlike most of the times that I dream about Magic, I managed to remember a few cards out of my deck. This is what I could clearly recall:
I didn't think much of it at the time. I was planning to play my Sligh-ish red deck (Rachel.dec) for the next couple of weeks, including Regionals. Never mind that it lost to Fires and usually to Counter-Rebel as well… I would be damned if I let anything keep me away from my beloved red sources. I made a post about it on the Team Regime bulletin board (www.teamregime.com), which several people were kind enough to reply to and even go so far as to analyze my dreams for me (thanks Nick). Then I pretty much forgot about it.
Then I played at Friday Night Magic at Collector's Cache. Rachel.dec got its clock cleaned. I barely beat out an evil G/W deck in the first round (Armadillo Cloak is my deck's worst enemy) only to run-head on into Counter-Rebel. I reiterate my position that Counter-Rebel is just not fun to play against, even when you are winning. It is like Replenish used to be… except you can't Quash your opponent's Lin Sivvi. The tournament was single elimination (ugh), so I packed up my cards and stuck around to watch Brennan Hays finish playing in the tournament. At some point, on a whim, I walked over to the counter and asked after Scoria Cats. I walked away with four of them.
By the time I woke up on Saturday, I had a deck in mind. The day was occupied mostly with trying to get said deck together. I ended up going to the store with my pool of potential cards in a disorganized, unsleeved state, buying sleeves (red of course), and assembling the deck then and there. Here's what I ended up with.
4x Scoria Cat
4x Blood Hound
4x Chimeric Idol
4x Orcish Artillery
2x Flowstone Overseer
4x Stone Rain
2x Tectonic Break
2x Hammer of Bogardan
4x Dwarven Ruins
62 cards. Worked for me.
My sideboard looked like this:
4x Boil (OVERKILL)
3x Distorting Lens
2x Citadel of Pain
4x Scorching Lava
The numbers of Boil and Flashfires were due solely to the cards I had available to me. I think it would be better as 3 of each. Oh well.
The deck complete, I set about shuffling it throughly, trying to work some of the slickness and "poofiness" out of the new sleeves. Ray Schneider asks to see the deck. He looks through it and seems to like what he sees. I take this as a good sign.
Round 1: Harold Brannan (B/R Ponza)
Harold wins the die roll, I think. We trade a few land destruction spells, but it quickly becomes apparent that I have the upper hand with two Idols (one of which gets Raged away) and a growing mana base. His deck produces a Trench Wurm which momentarily threatens to trade, but a timely Earthquake removes that threat. He does not recover and gets beaten down in short order.
Sideboard: Nothing. I inform Harold that I neglected to bring any sideboard cards for his deck. I can see him siding in a few cards. I still have no idea what they were.
The second game it looks like I have a momentary advantage, but I eventually stall at two land, and he quickly takes even those away from me. I scoop when it quickly becomes apparent that I'm not finding my way out of my predicament. He had something beating me down, but I'm not sure what.
The last game sees a reversal of those fortunes. He gets land screwed. I help the process along, and Idols put him out of his misery in short order. Harold seems pretty upset, and I end up apologizing profusely for playing land destruction against him. That might not make any sense, but it's the kind of person I tend to be.
Matches: 1-0 Games: 2-1
Round 2: David Bayless (U/B Fish)
As one with a reasonable degree of intelligence might conclude, David is my brother. I knew his deck, and I thought I knew his sideboard, so I was telling him beforehand that I fully expected to lose the match. He's a good (IMO) player with a good deck, and I anticipated massive sideboard hate. He seemed to disagree. We played.
The first game is anticlimactic. I get an Idol on the board, swing a few times with it. He taps some lands for something or other on his turn, and I decide to show him what this card called "Flowstone Overseer" can do to a Fish deck with mad amounts of red mana at its disposal. He does not draw Recoil (his only maindeck answer to permanents) and, with his side of the board relatively clear, my guys truck in for the win.
Sideboard: Boil and Citadel of Pain.
The second game is pretty much a confused jumble in my mind, so I'll just provide a few of the highlights:
-Burn your early guys!
-Citadel resolves! (he takes 5 on his next turn)
-Here kitty kitty!
Despite being able to use his Rootwater Thief as a sink for blue mana and getting a Crypt Angel on the board, the pressure is all mine and my 6/6 pussycat eats him alive in short order.
We shake and de-sideboard. I comment that it was lucky that he didn't see any of the four Chills that I *know* are in his sideboard. He then informs me that he loaned his Chills to his friend Robert before the tournament. Oops.
Matches: 2-0 Games: 5-1
Round 3: Marty Reyes (Nether-Go)
I commented at the end of my previous match that my luck was due to end soon. I really hate it when I'm right.
First game sees me win the roll and elect to go first. I drop an Idol and apply the beatdown. He keeps laying land and accumulating cards in hand-- not a good sign. I start throwing my Hammer at him as well. Finally he Recoils my idol, counters it on the way back down, and produces this little card called "Bribery" from his hand. A search of my deck turns up an Overseer willing to sell his loyalty for a paltry two blue and three generic mana. That's not good. Anyway, he starts beating me down, and two successive attempts to 'Quake the beast away get countered. I still have Hammer-lock on him and am ahead in the race to kill, but an Undermine puts him over the finish line a turn before I would have won.
In: Boil and Citadel. Again. Scorching Lava too. Not that I ever saw a Nether Spirit in both games, but then burn is burn, right?
Second game he casts Chill. Twice.
The amazing thing is that that wasn't the end of it. I didn't lose to the stupid unfair color hosers, mostly because I drew a lot of land. I lost because he Dominated my kitties. Twice. Well, technically he never cast the second Dominate, but I knew from a Fact or Fiction that he was holding it, so I conceded while I still had some dignity. No hard feelings-- it was a well-played match.
Matches: 2-1 Games: 5-3
The state of my evening was in flux at this point. I would either go 2-2 and be mildly discouraged, or I would go 3-1 and almost certainly make top 8. When I saw who my next opponent was (or rather, what pile of cards he happened to be holding) I wasn't exactly optimistic.
Round 4: David Brannan (Counter-Rebel)
I sigh. Looks like another one of those matches.
He gets searchers. I kill them. We repeat this process a few times until he is left with no nonland permanents on the board, and I have an Idol, I think. I attack with it a few times, then add a Scoria Cat to the mix. Then he plays a Jhovall Queen from his hand. That thing is quite large. Our cats snarl at each other from a distance for a few turns, then he decides to cast a Story Circle: Red. He follows this up with a Teferi's Moat: Red and a Ramosian Sky Marshal.
"Game two it is."
Sideboard: Boil, Flashfires, and Distorting Lens.
I go first and get an Orcish Artillery on the board. That card is some good against Rebels. So anyway, I clear out his side again, and he gets another Story Circle of the appropriate color. No Distorting Lens for me! I still got him down to seven, so maybe I can do some stupid tricks and swindle out a win. Red is good at that sort of thing.
I am at 12. He is at 7. He taps five of his six mana to cast Blinding Angel (?!), leaving a Coastal Tower untapped to activate the Circle. I start my turn.
Me: I shoot you with Artillery.
Him: I prevent the damage.
Me: I quake for seven.
Third game he mulligans down to six cards, then appears light on land. He casts a total of two searchers, which is a good number for me since I have two removal spells in hand (Earthquake and Hammer.) I draw three Idols as well, and that is okay. One gets Disenchanted and one gets Countered, I think, but the survivor starts whittling away at his life. I get out another Orcish Artillery, too, and for lack of better targets I start shooting it at him. At 3 life, he finally draws and plays his sixth land, giving a sigh of relief.
I start my turn, draw something unremarkable, and enter my combat phase. I announce that I am tapping one red mana into my pool, then activate my Idol and attack with it. He taps out to Dominate it, and I respond with a Shock to his dome. He reaches for his die to adjust it down to 1-- then takes a second look at my untapped Orcish Artillery.
Against any other deck, I might feel slightly guilty for swindling out such a win. Not this one!
Matches: 3-1 Games: 7-4
I make it into the top 8 pretty easily.
Quarterfinals: Sean Tracy (U/B Rising Waters)
I'll ask the question for you: "Who the hell plays with Rising Waters maindeck?" Apparently this guy does. He kicked my ass with it, too. I was pretty tired by now and wasn't playing my best, so I'll reflect this apathy by being likewise apathetic in my description of the match. He drops Waters. He counters my stuff. He smashes my face in with a kicked Scuta. Second game he does the same thing, only with Chill added to the mix for even more happy fun. When the hell did Chill become a good sideboard card? (I know the answer, of course. I just like to whine about it. Nothing personal, you understand.)
So. 3-1 in the Swiss, lose in top 8. For me and my decks, that's a pretty decent showing. And, despite my occasional propensity for going through decks faster than cans of Mountain Dew, I think I have found my deck for Regionals. It's a joy to play, and it really is more consistent for this environment than Rachel.dec. It has cute puppy dogs and kitty cats. And best of all, it's RED. No wussy splash of green or black or whatever. Just burn, LD and fat critters. And mountains. Lots of them.
With that said, it seems a good time to wrap up this report with the usual Props and Slops section. Some people, it seems, don't like either reading these or writing them. I sort of like it, though. Anyway:
Props to the store and most (if not all) of the people there, simply for being cool.
Props to my Hounds and Cats-- I seem to have developed a habit of giving props to the cards that lend my decks their themes, so why stop now?
Props to the Police (and a few other musical groups) for making kickass music that helped me finish writing this report despite being tired and depressed. Toward the end I pretty much put King Of Pain on a continuous loop and let it run. Some good.
Slops to Turbohaups. Why? Well, while I think the deck is massively cool in its own right, it means that people are actually playing Chill again. And that, my friends, sucks for me. A lot.
Slops to me for a lot of things, but at the moment primarily for deciding to eat a ton of chocolate this morning, along with three huge cinnamon rolls, then go to a Chinese buffet for dinner. What the hell was I thinking?
Time to start the process of going to bed. Sleepytired.