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The Heretic's Sermon

A Brief Biography and Assorted Tournament Wisdom By John “The Happy Heretic”  Hornberg

I finally got a few minutes to write here, so I guess I’ll give all of you an article.
I’ve been swamped with things to read, write, and figure out over the last few days by my teacher, and I’ve been, well, running around doing them.  So, if you don’t hear from me in the next week or so, it’s because of the issues at school.
Okay, now...... what should I talk about.  I could talk about my deck, but I’m sure no one cares.  I could break another dumb rare, but I think I’ll take a reprieve and do something else.
I guess I could talk temporarily about myself.
For those of you who don’t go on the message board regularly, my name is John Hornberg, or more commonly known as the Happy Heretic.  I am a fairly inexperienced player as opposed to many of the people I play and talk with, since I’ve only been playing since Prophecy.  Still, I’ve learned a lot in that year or so of playing, plus whatever I knew of strategy from Pokémon before that.
So, if I make a stupid mistake, there’s my excuse.
I come to you from Sacramento, California, which is, and I proudly mean this, the hub of Northern California when it comes to CCG’s.  We have some extremely great players, that are unfortunately not pro.  Technically,  I’ve just broken on the scene when it comes to actually playing, and doing good.
I’m not one for tournament, seeing as to the fact that I’ve played only five major ones in the Sacramento area, and done dismal in all but the last two (second and fourth places).
When I get bored, I’ll do deck fixes for my friends, write about pointless experiences that I’ve had, and of course, more breaking of stupid rares, and if I decide to later on this year, I may do it in German, and provide everyone with a translation also, since I speak German pretty well (I hope that's okay with Pojo!).  Right now, I’m just killing time.  I’ve concluded that I’m not breaking and extended rares, or Masques block for that matte, and I’m just waiting for Odyssey.  Hopefully we’ll have a Thieves Auction like card in that set for me to break.
Which brings me to now.  That fourth place finish just happened over the weekend, at the local Sac-Con, where they usually get about thirty to forty people playing.  I played a mono blue deck, splashing black for Tsabo’s Decree.
Despite that, I noticed something about mono-blue and I.  We don’t mix.  We REALLY don’t mix.  It took me five months, and three different mono blue decks to realize that I’ve got to play gobs of land, and card drawing everywhere in order to even make the deck work!
It was ridiculous!  I played 26 land, 19 of which were islands, in a pretty much straight blue deck, and my deck still managed to tell me, “No land for you!”
Still, I was able to do good enough to make the play offs, and it was there that my pivotal play off magic kicked in.  I trounced my opponent in the second game, tying it at one a piece, then my opponent, who was playing Waters, decided he had had enough, and quietly proceeded to kick my ass around the room in game three.
So much for coming through in the clutch.
Still, the important thing was that I had fun, and to those of you who are just starting out who are reading this, that is the key thing.  Have fun, i can’t stress that enough.  I had to learn that when it came to tennis, so it came to me easily in Magic.
Then comes the play things, like anticipating what everyone is playing.  I knew there would be a lot of rebels running around, so I played Tsabo’s Decree (One main, two Side).
This is also characterized in one funny exchange of words that happened there.  One of my friends Shaun, brought his friend Jon, who’s coincidentally an arrogant ..... I can’t elaborate, I just don’t like him. I’d seen him playing Rebels right next to me during the first round, and I said to him after the match, “You’re playing Rebel’s aren’t you.”
“No, I’m playing Mercenaries,”  He sarcastically said.
“Fine, I’ll decree those too!”  was my retort.
This brings me to my next point:  be pleasant to be around.  Don’t be an arrogant jerk, like Jon, don’t diss your opponent, definitely don’t be rude like my second round opponent (I taught him what for!), and don’t be melancholy because you’re loosing.  I’m guilty of that when it comes to sealed deck, because I suck at it.
The last thing I’m going to hammer on tournament etiquette into is to be polite.  Don’t be obnoxious and keep asking if your opponent is done, don’t tell your opponent right out that you’re going to kick their ass, because that gives them incentive to actually try and kick your ass.
Now, I’m being incredibly obvious, and I know that!  I really do, but I needed to write about something, and this is what I concluded on.  It’s one of those issues where when you wish you could be a writer, you have a flurry of ideas.  Then, when you finally accomplish what you want to be, you can’t think of any ideas, or anything that you can’t get more than half a page on.
Sol, sorry to all of you if this is stupid and horribly obvious, but I felt it needed to be done, especially with the way everyone was at the tournament.
I’m going to leave everyone with one final comment, and this applies to anyone who played at the Sac-Con tournament on September Ninth:  I was none to impressed by everyone’s attitude, and it shames me and disgusts me that these people can get away with acting like that!  Please, there’s no need to be a snot in this game, and there never will be.  So, what gives people have the cause to be one?
Over and Out,
John “The Happy Heretic” Hornberg
I can be e-mailed at promiseland85@hotmail.com , so feel free to do so.  Just keep in mind don’t be rude, and if I don’t reply right away, then I’m sorry, I’m doing my best.  I’ve got a newspaper to work on, and honors classes to pass.




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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