“Sick of the same old war stories? This week, Sam takes a different look at tournament reports.”
I don’t know about you but I don’t enjoy tournament reports. There are exceptions, of course. But as a general rule, I just don’t see the point most of the time. If you have a sweet deck, tell me what you liked and didn’t like. Feel free to offer some matches as examples. What I don’t want to see is something dull that has literally no point. The first game of my first match of the Legacy event is a perfect example of what I am talking about. This will be boring. Stick with it. It will pay off. If it doesn’t, you can write mean comments.
I sit down across from my opponent. He seems cool. We say the words we are supposed to. Where are you from? Oh that isn’t the worst drive. Did you play standard? Oh that is an interesting choice. How did you do? Oh that isn’t too bad. Blah Blah Blah. Dice are rolled. He is on the play. He shuffled weird. I see an Underground Sea and then an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. Okay, this is the worst match up for me.
We draw up our hands. He keeps. I have no lands. Down to 6. No lands. 5. No lands. 4. No lands. Keep it anyway. Underground Sea Go.
Draw. Not a land. Go.
Draw. No land. Go.
Draw. Hit you for 7. Go.
Draw. No land. Scoup.
That was boring. Just a bad beats story. Now I know that not all reports go like that but sometimes it is round after round of effort to meet the final wordcount. I would honestly rather you put out no content at all than content that isn’t worth reading. So I would like to try something a bit different for my games 2 and 3.
Feeling the shame of a crushing defeat at the hands of the Leviathan, I blinked off the plane and into the Void. The space between one plane and another is the perfect place to gather my thoughts and devise a plan to fight off this powerful, necrotic foe. Fortunately, stored in a bubble and hidden in the Void at a location only I knew, there exists a cache of spells that might assist me. Finding it, I smiled to myself, selected a choice few, and blinked back to the plane.
The dark mage stood, mockingly, across a blank field. He called out to me, asking if I was prepared to try my luck again. My mind was full of fire and thoughts of home. I simply nodded to him and I saw his eyes glow blue with the untold power hidden inside his head. Focusing on the mountain ranges where I first discovered my spark, I saw the ground dry and turn a dusty red. The lands had responded to my call. Not a moment later, a goblin snapped through the aether and charged headlong, unfazed by its trip from the plane of Zendikar, toward my opponent. I could see for a moment, in the necromancer’s eyes, thoughts of a delta, tainted by evil. Then the teeth of the goblin met the flesh of his leg. The pain was certain but the mage stood stoic. After a moment the goblin exhausted his energies and paused his assult.
The same delta that formed in the mage’s eyes moments ago appeared beneath his feet. Then the land shifted and he stood at the mouth of a cave, water trickling past his boots. He closed his eyes for a moment and I saw his aura grow blue as he chanted in a language I didn’t understand. Suddenly, behind him appeared the corpse of a radiant angel clad in armor. I had heard tales of such an angel from a knightly female who claimed that once summoned the angel would accept upon itself the dangers and damages that would normally befall a mage.
The fire flowed into my mind with even greater zeal than at the beginning of the battle. The red earth beneath my feet shook and a mountain appeared behind me. The goblin, regaining his strength, again gnawed at the mage, who was now certainly worse for wear. Then again calling upon the power of my home, I let fire flow through me. It burned. The pain was great but I knew that the necromancer felt the same pain. His discomfort made mine easy to dismiss.
He gestured arcanely at the angel and I saw that this attempt to rouse the guardian, were it to prove successful, would hinder my spells from finding their true mark. His face paled as he strived to reanimate her lifeless corpse. At that moment I knew that this spell would hurt the mage a great deal and I thought of a plan. Desperate but potentially rewarding, I pushed forth the flames from mountains at my back. I knew that doing so would certainly sever my connection with these lands but the damage it would deal the tainted mage would be enough to ensure that victory was mine this time. The lands disappeared and so too did the mage. I knew he would be back shortly.
I blinked again into the void and cleared my head. Then back to the contested plane. Moments later my opponent was back as well. I looked at him and he shook his head, dismissing what knowledge might be therein, seeking to find more potent sorceries to fight my magics. After a moment, he nodded and I found almost all my thoughts again consumed with fire, save the piece of trickery I had pulled from the bubble in the Void. Our fight was about to begin for a third time and to the victor would go the plane along with whatever treasures and spells that might have been hidden here.
The delta again appeared and this time it transformed into an island. Once more the mage closed his eyes and he glowed with power. In the waters behind the island, the body of the dreaded leviathan that had bested me upon our first encounter floated to the surface. I knew that in moments I could be met with the attacks of this monster.
A mountain emerged underfoot and with its power I threw a bolt of lightning. It connected with the mage and his face was wracked with pain for the briefest of moments.
Next to the island a swamp emerged and I knew that my time may not be long for this plane. Instead of simply reanimating the beast still floating behind him, the mage closed his eyes for a third time. Careful consideration went into the next few moments then the corpses of not one but two of the Phyrexian Praetors. I know that my fear must have shown. This mage was clearly well traveled and powerful.
I call upon a second mountain and summon an elemental. The mage winces as the elemental’s claws pierce his skin. After a moment the elemental disappears and a pile of ash, still smoldering, appears behind me. The warmth at my back reassures me that I may yet have hope to defeat this necromancer.
He smiles and I am filled with concern. Again he whispers arcane words and I feel the taint of his spell engulf the area. Black tendrils curl about the pile of ash behind me, attempting to beckon it back to life. Similar whisps dance between the three dead monsters behind the mage. I then realize my rage has blinded me to my own options. I shake my head, seemingly dismissing a thought. A faerie appears behind me for a moment and the corpses of both Phyrexians disappear into the aether with a malicious giggle and a snap. The dark tendrils afix themselves to the mighty leviathan and to the faerie, animating both of them with its dark touch.
I send the faerie over the oddly helpless leviathan to scratch at the eyes of the dark mage. As soon as the faerie stops, a spike of lava erupts from a mountain behind me, splashing against my opponent.
He retaliates, sending the leviathan straight for me. There is nothing I can do to prevent its attack. The pain is massive and I know I won’t be able to survive more than one more attack like that.
I preform a bit of necromancy, asking the smoldering pile of ash behind me to reform once again for just a moment. The ashes form and the revived elemental joins my malicious aerial ally against the necromancer. After its purpose is served, the elemental disappears into the Void.
Unwilling to give up hope, the black mage sends the leviathan crashing in a second time. I know that this will hurt, but bracing against the might of the sea monster does little to lessen the pain. I coax lightning from my fingers toward the mage but through sheer force of will he swats the spell away.
My faerie goes toward the mage again, making contact with his throat. After just a second, The Void opens up and the necromancer and his vile taint are gone from the plane.
I stand alone, victorious. Now to seek the spoils…
That was certainly more enjoyable to write than a play-by-play of what otherwise would have been fairly uninteresting games. I hope that you had just as much fun reading it. If you’re interested in reading more like this, please let me know. In fact, any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. As always, I can be found on Twitter if you can’t get in touch with me here. Thanks for reading!
Until next time, keep your sleeves clean and your reading interesting.