last modern pptq is in the books

played lantern, dunno how smart of a choice that was

pete ingrams article said you have to play lantern correctly 100% in order to do well with it and i definitely did not do that

first round got paired against jeskai burnish deck

in a move of extreme awkwardness i introduced myself to my opponent and a second later was like "oh wait i know you"

another successful interaction with a magician

anyways i lost

don't even really remember how it happened

stupid lantern

the games are impossible to remember because they're indistinguishable from each other

either you get the lock and win or you don't draw the right mix of cards that are all terrible by themselves and you die

okay maybe that's a little unfair

lantern is fine

auto-wins against merfolk are pretty sweet, good matchups against islands are nice

i just like

i wish the deck was better

at the open i died to turn-two chalice of the void out of eldrazi tron in back-to-back games

like… yeah

not beating that one

anyways yeah i can't remember what happened against jeskai but i'm sure i messed it up

i do remember the round 2 matchup though

round 2 i'm against abzan company with the combo kill

game one i have an early bridge but have no thoughtseize or anything good and they get rhonas and kill me

game two i win kinda easily cause their draw is bad. think they mighta mulled or something, i dunno

game three i have a bunch of lock pieces in play including a gaddock teeg so i'm thinking things are going well

they've had one card in their hand the whole time and at this point i'm assuming it's a land or some irrelevent spell or they would've played it by now

i only have like two mill pieces going so i let them draw a chord of calling for fear of milling it and having like abrupt decay be the card they draw

we go back and forth like this for a while, them on two cards — a chord and a mystery — and me with just two mill pieces, scared to mill them for fear of them hitting a stretch of relevant stuff when i can't mill through the chunk of good cards

but they're hitting a stretch of bad cards and i feel like i'm gonna win, despite everything

about seven turns of this, opponent decides to cast the mystery card — abrupt decay — on my gaddock teeg

then chords for eternal witness

eternal witness gets back walking ballista

and blammo, i'm dead

truth is i should've realized that card was abrupt decay and not let them draw the chord


there was honestly never a good turn for them to abrupt decay an ensnaring bridge

it was clear they had it

i messed up and lost

sure, it felt bad that they didn't just go for it as soon as i let them draw the chord but like

he was nervous and that's okay

like for example

i go to play pithing needle

so i tap my land and put the card into play and look at him and say, "pithing needle?"

they reply, "okay," so i name viscera seer, which they had in play

you know where this is going, right

they try and respond after i name the card

i tell them they can't do that and try and recreate the dialogue for them

they claim saying "okay" was not the same as passing priority back to me (i'm paraphrasing)

we call a judge, who rules in my favor


it was awkward

stuff like that… yeah

i hate the "name a card" stuff for that reason, avg opponent simply doesn't know how they work

not that that's a bad thing but yeah, leads to some awkwardness

anyway i mention all of this because my opponent was kinda rattled by this and it may have affected their play

either way it's tempting to say i got slowrolled but guys... cmon

slowrolling is not a thing

there's this paul rietzl quote

it was a tweet, actually

"Having a healthy understanding of variance and sympathetic read of your opponents actions is the best way to ensure fun at a magic tourney"

sounds kinda obvious/simple but yeah it makes perfect sense

he's not saying you need to read everything your opponent does in good faith necessarily—you still get to watch out for cheating—but you can trust yourself to know the difference between nerves and an attempt to cheat

but yeah as i was sayingslow-rolling. it's not real. it's a figment of your imagination

seriously though

like imagine framing events only in terms of how they impact you and that is how you get nonsense terms like "slowrolling"

it's stupid and i hate it and the idea that my opponent held the abrupt decay in order to wrench a negative reaction from me necessitates a WHOLE lot of egomania on my part

sure, thinking i was going to win the game and then not winning sucks, but blaming my opponent because i got my hopes up seems uh


so yeah i got beat by jeskai burn and abzan company in matches that felt pretty close

normally at this point i would drop but i stayed in because i came w my friend andy and he was still alive

how lucky

at 0-2 i'm paired against abzan. match was never close

opponent was very clearly new to tournament play

not even trying to be rude but sometimes you can just tell

playing deliberately, subtle sequencing errors, unsteady pace of play — these are all distinguishing characteristics of someone who hasn't played a lot of tournament magic

in other words, a human being that deserves respect like anyone else

i am all about making fun of experienced magicians (we all screw up) when they commit acts of buffoonery but punching down—making fun of new players—is pretty lame

but yeah, again, all these games blur together. all i ever remember about them is the weird stuff

for example, opponent pluses a liliana of the veil

so normally when someone activates the plus ability on liliana of the veil both players bring a card from their hand to their yard face down and only turn them face-up when both players are done deciding

by the way, it doesn't say this anywhere on the card

it works like that so, like, what my opponent discards can't affect my decision

i am off the tournament tho so i'm like whatever i'm binning this surgical extraction who cares

so i take the surgical out of my hand and as i'm bringing it to the yard i realize that it is in fact an ensnaring bridge, a card i need to have a remote shot at winning the game

so as i bring it down i'm like, "ah whoops wrong card"

hadn't let go of the bridge yet FYI HATERZ

opponent is justifiably confused and unsure if i'm allowed to do that

and i am so embarrassed

my opponent put lingering souls in the yard without hesitating after activating, so i don't blame them for being sketched out by my move in the slightest

opponent calls a judge which i am grateful for

generally newer players don't know to call judges or they associate calling a judge with something negative

i let my opponent walk through the whole scenario to the judge and i sit there embarrassed

casually 0-2 in a PPTQ about to go 0-3 in the face of this liliana i have no answer for and i flubbed something i've done a billion times because i got lazy

judge rules in my favor, saying that i essentially revealed a card to my opponent, and goes over how to correctly resolve a liliana plus

judge is a nice guy, dude i've known since my JSS days who knows i know how to resolve liliana

so he is obviously relishing the opportunity to walk me through how to resolve a liliana plus

and i just want to crawl into a hole

andy and i both lose round three and we're out the door

so all the scenarios here were notable because my opponent didn't know how magic cards worked on the tournament level

this is not a failing on their part

wotc has always done a HORRENDOUS job of getting their LGS players properly prepared for premier-level play

hell, even competitive REL is a crapshoot, they do nothing besides making the tournaments available for stores to run

getting players adequately ready for tournaments is essentially the job of content creators which is pretty awkward considering most content creators are either super-casual HYPEBOTS or literal professional magicians with no in-between

as a result, you get someone with pro tour aspirations that also doesn't understand how pithing needle works, and the idea that that's their fault is a garbage take.

if you think you know how pithing needle works but you don't, that's gonna be a bad time for you

like, the pro tour broadcasts are great and i watch them every time, but they're not teaching anyone how to play

GP broadcasts aren't giving anyone an idea of the scope of a GP or how exhausting they can be to play in

the thing is that this wasn't even a weird gap in OP support to me until someone pointed it out to me and now i just symptoms of it everywhere

like i get it magic is hard but if someone doesn't know how friggin pithing needle works… maybe that's a failing of organize play, not the person

i dunno. maybe i'm crazy

anywho i came in dead last on tiebreaks at the tournament

so i got that goin for me

which is nice

Jon Corpora
pronounced Ca-pora