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Aburame Shino

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Aburame Shino's Corner

Throwing down the Gauntlet: Team Standard at Grand Prix - Madison
March 27, 2006

    As you may or may not be aware, Grand Prix - Madison was last weekend. Of course, because I'm a magic freak, I decided that I was going to go. Because the format was Team Standard, I needed to throw a team together. Unfortunately my first team ended up bailing because of work and family issues, so I had to find a new team.

The first new member was actually a preplanned reserve player, so I didn't have any trouble with that. The last person for our team was actually chosen an hour before the tournament began, at the tournament. So I was busy running around trying to make a deck for this person (he didn't bring one along) so he could play. Eventually I got his deck done, but it didn't come out as well as I had hoped it would. So without further ado, let me give you a brief Tourney report (brief because of reasons to be explained later).

Team Name - LMA (Last Minute Alliance)
Spot A - Me (W/B Orzhov Control)
Spot B - Trever Allcock (LMA-Style Greater Gifts)
Spot C - Nick McDonald (Last minute IzzeTron)

Two of these decks were built by me, whereas Trever was the one who worked on the Gifts deck. I really like the way the decks were built, although we made the fool move to select poor spots for each of our players to be in. I should've been in B because most of the Aggro players were in that spot, and Nick should've been in Spot A because that spot was mainly Control. Now on to the match reports.


Match 1 - Vs. Pizza Boys
Spot A - B/W Owling Mine - Tie 1-1
Spot B - Boros Deck Wins - Win 2-0
Spot C - White Weenie - Win 2-0

Not much to say about this match. They were all playing below average builds of decent decks. I ended up drawing because we ran out of time and he pulled a move I wasn't expecting (Compulsive Research targetting me with 3 Underworld Dreams in play, then losing during my draw step to 3 Howling Mines and a Kamunist), whereas my teammates simply went smack-and-bash on their opponents. I'm not going to say anything seriously negative though as they were really cool guys and they apparently didn't play in many tournaments.


Match 2 - Vs. Faddy Josh
Spot A - Heartbeat Combo - Lose 0-2
Spot B - Ghost Dad - Lose 0-2
Spot C - Gruuling Beatdown - Lose 0-2

I blame myself 100% for us losing this match. I was working on Nick's decklist, throwing stuff from my Guildpact uncommon playsets into the sideboard so we'd have 15 cards. Apparently when we were registering our decklists, I accidentally gave Nick three Shattering Spree instead of four, so he had a 14-card sideboard. One of the judges caught that before our match began.

Now I didn't know this, but apparently if one decklist gets screwed up, your team gets a game loss. Not just the player with the faulty decklist, but every single player on your team. Now I normally wouldn't care about this and would try to make it up during the games. Unfortunately, every single one of our opponents were playing decks that we could only beat after sideboarding, which made things especially difficult for me as I was playing Heartbeat Combo without any way of getting to my Ivory Masks. We all lost, not even going to Game 3. Although this did give us 25 minutes to drive over to McDonalds to get a bite to eat before the next match.


Match 3 - Vs. O RLY?
Spot A - U/R Magnivore - Loss 0-2
Spot B - Orzhov Control-Aggro - Loss 1-2(?)
Spot C - Zoo - Loss 0-2

Somehow we ended up playing against the same team that Nick ended up going to the tournament with. Apparently Nick was dropped from his team after one of his friends ended up replacing him, which explains why he wasn't on a team. They were cool guys however, so I didn't have a problem losing to them. The guy I lost to simply outplayed me, although he got a few lucky topdecks to screw with my mana the second game. Trever ended up losing because Spot B Cranial Extracted away all of the Ryusei's (LMA Tech v. Aggro), the Tatsumasa he fetched via Godo got Terashi's Grasped, and two Paladin En-Vecs stopped him from laying down the smack. Yet again I wasn't able to see what Nick was doing because Trever's head was in the way, but I did see him losing to an overaggro to kill him the last game.

And then, for no reason at all, Nick decides that he wants to drop, even though we had a decent chance to make it to the second day if we won the rest of our matches. Trever and I try to talk him out of it and so do his friends, but he decides to be stubborn and refuses to not drop. There was no reasoning behind his decision besides the fact that we had a slim chance of making it to Day 2, even though he had no way of leaving without team O RLY. So eventually we cave in because it was useless arguing with him, so we drop against better judgment.


Even though we ended up out of the tournament earlier than I wanted us to be, I'm not going to say I had a bad time at the Grand Prix. Sure I was upset with Nick, but I still had a great time talking and trading with the other magic players. Plus I got a really cool playmat, which is the only mat I've ever used where I haven't gotten bad luck using it. The dealers overpriced everything as I expected, my opponents were all cool, we actually managed to find somebody to be on team Last Minute Alliance (thank you Nick), and I had a really fun drive back to Appleton with Trever.

Before I end this article, let me give props where props are due:
-Nick McDonald for joining our team at the last minute, which was the inspiration for our team name.
-Trever Allcock for being an awesome friend, coming down to the Grand Prix with me to compete.
-Team Faddy Josh for winning the Grand Prix.
-The judges and tournament organizers for making the event a blast, even though there were a few errors with the seating arrangements at first.

Email - OrconStores@yahoo.com
AIM - OrconStores

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