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Post Nationals

Well, another US Nationals has come and gone. The First thing that I would like to say is Congratulations to the 2001 US National Champion Trevor Blackwell.  I would also like to Congratulate everyone that made the T8 and also all of the JSS players that had a very successful weekend as well. Even though I was not able to attend this year, I did have fun keeping up with it on the Sideboard.

                So after seeing the success of everyone this year at Nationals, there is only one thing that I really have to say. People, stop with all of the Fires. I mean, the deck is very consistent and plays very well against the rest of the field. But really people, get of this decks nuts for a little while. I really am not that selfish. I don’t walk around saying, “Help ME! I’M on fire! Put ME out!” I would just like to see some other decks get played a lot more instead of just seeing everyone playing fires.

                Even at Games Galore (The local game store that I play at on Sundays) everyone is playing fires. I am happy though that there was a strong showing of people playing the Orb-osition decks. Some people were even creative enough to splash green in the deck for Spontaneous Generation, a card that can be used very well with such alternative casting cost cards such as Thwart and Gush. This Orb-osition deck that broke out onto the scene in German Nationals this year is a very well put together deck and will of course be seeing a lot of play in the near future, and with the help of green, will be just as strong when Apocalypse rotates into type 2 this July.

                But something that I am happy about predicting is the outcome of Nationals. No I did not predict the winner, and no I did not exactly predict what decks were going to make T8. I predicted what deck was not going to make T8 at US Nationals this year. And that deck my friends is Rebels. This is a deck that I am happy to finally see die. I am sure a lot of people also feel this way. This is a deck that people apparently just couldn’t get enough of when this new creature type was first introduced to us. And it got played and changed from straight rebels to Cradle-Rebel and Counter-Rebel. But finally this deck is dying. This deck even punished the people that played it at Nationals. Not to mention Michael Turian who was 6-0 after day 1. Then he decided to play Mono-White Rebel and he went 2-4 on day 2, missing out what should have been an easy T8.

                I would like to point out a couple of things about the T8 at US Nationals this year. The first thing I would like to talk about is the T8 consisting of Chris Benafel, Trevor Blackwell, and Casey McCarrel. Out of these 3 very talented players, I am sure that Benafel was everyone’s favorite to win it since he came so close last year coming in second at his first Nationals ever. Then to back it up with another T8 the next year, that is very impressive. Next was Blackwell, When I first saw T8, I actually predicted him to win. But I predicted it to be Blackwell and McCarrel in the finals. Which leads me up to what I have to say about McCarrel. Even though he was DQ’d for supposedly stacking his opponents deck in the T8, I would have to say that the whole situation was BS. Not for 1 minute do I think that he would do something like that intentionally. It is very possible to start with your first 11 cards not being any land. If he really stacked his deck, why would he choose 11? Why not 12 or 15? Oh Well. There is nothing that any of us can do now and I think that the whole situation was taken out of hand and handled incorrectly. I am not disrespecting the Head Judge Collin Jackson, but I, as well as many other players agree, think that the call was inappropriate and should have resulted in a game loss at most, if that much.

                Other than the few incidents that took place this past weekend at Nationals, the event seemed to have run rather smoothly.  Once again I would like to Congratulate Trevor Blackwell and everyone else that made the US National Team and the players that made T8. I would also like to say that it would have been cool is Jon Finkel would have won this year again. Coming in 10th place (9th after McCarrel was DQ’d), you were so close and we were all rooting for you the whole way. Also another Congrats again to Ben Ashkar for winning the JSS tourney.

                I do plan on attending Nationals next year. I know it is a little early to predict this, But I will be playing in Nationals next year as well. I hope to see everyone there and hope they cheer me on as I make my way into T8. I also understand that my opinions are not the same as everyone else’s. So if you would like to make any comments, email me at


 - Motumbo -

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