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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
Sep 07 2014 11:00pm
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First off I want to say thank you for all of those that have been reading my articles. In each you have been learning a little bit about me how I like to play the game. Whether it is turning creatures sideways or my natural leaning to White Weenie. You also know I like to brew and play the rogue deck as well. I like to prove it can win even if no one else agrees with me. (Mono Black Infect) In the future I will be presenting more brews because I have a feeling Khans of Tarkir will ignite some of that passion once again. In this article I am going to explain a bit more about me and why I play this crazy and addictive game.

I started playing Magic in 2000. Before then I used to laugh at the nerdy kids that sat at the lunchroom tables playing a card game in which they were casting spells and talking about goblins and elves. Though once I was introduced to the game I quickly became one of those kids. Earlier on I just wanted to make decks so I could beat my friends. You know, adding Circle of Protection: Black to the mainboard and having things like Sacred Ground to beat your friend who always played land destruction. It didn't take long though until they got me to play some tournaments though. After some severe beatings and failed experiments I started playing decks that I knew were good and just adding my own little spin to them. That began to work out very well and I started to find myself making top 8's and top 4's and then actually winning events at my local game store. I enjoyed winning and knew I wanted something more but I wasn't really sure how to step up my game. Back then they used to do prereleases in much larger venues like hotels or convention centers. So my prerelease was for the Onslaught block. Imagine how pleased I was when I opened my sealed pool and found this beauty staring back at me. Exalted Angel Not only was it an amazing creature but the fact that it had morph made it so much better. I looked at the rest of my pool and was fortunate to have a bunch of soldiers and some decent red including this guy, Rorix Bladewing. Needless to say it was a very good sealed pool and I won a box of Onslaught when I went undefeated. Sadly for me I never did anything more competitive than of those prereleases. I never even heard of SCG or anything like that. I didn't even watch Grand Prix coverage or any of the Pro Tours. That world of magic was completely foreign to me. As each set came out I played less and less and finally when Kamigawa block came out I took a break from Magic. I bought cards here and there and would play casually with friends and coworkers but I did not play in another tournament for a very long time. I got married and involved in other things and lost the competitive itch.

Sacred Ground

Fast forward to last year, thanks to my friend I got back into magic and started watching coverage on SCG and other Grand Prixs. I bought a Selesnya pre con deck and added black for lingering souls so I could play a Junk token strategy at a grand re-opening of a store nearby. It didn't take long for the rust to shake off and I 4-0'ed the tournament. That tournament was enough to spark the competitive drive that I had. I learned of an SCG IQ going on and figured I would give it a try. It was a format that I have never played but it was exciting to play in larger scale tournament. I was able to make the top 8 and then ended up getting the invitation. It was an invigorating feeling to take the blue envelope home but if you have read my other articles you know that I ended up bombing at the Invitational. I then played at the Open the next day and performed much better but I was too tired from the previous day and did not feel like playing an 11 round tournament with only a shot at top 64. It was great to play in an event with pros sitting next to me but I really felt like I was out of place and did not deserve to be there.

This year I played in a few more IQ's and was able to top 8 them but not able to get the invite. Just this past weekend I played in my 3rd open and was still not able to make it to top 64. Coming close to success made me want it more.  I can win FNM's but I want to do more. I spend time on MTGO testing and trying to improve my game. I want to be a player that learns from my mistakes. Thanks to this site I am able to make decks that are not just budget and weak but can be semi competitive and I hope to keep improving on my skill and deckbuilding. Thanks to Gatherling I am able to participate in tournaments without throwing away precious tickets that I worked so hard to earn. They are a great site and I would encourage any of you to try their various PRE's. On MTGO I spend a majority of my time in the tournament practice room working on my Modern decks and sometimes Standard and Pauper as well. I have decided that I want to get into Legacy online as well. I play Legacy in paper but would love to be able to grind matches on MTGO because in November I will be playing in my first ever GP in Jersey. The format is of course Legacy and I will be bringing the deck I am most familiar with, Death and Taxes. I truly wish I could build it online but seeing as though Rishadan Ports and Wastelands are still quite pricey I am going to build Sligh instead. Even though I won't be testing my deck of choice it will still allow me to gain a thorough knowledge of the meta game and allow me to know each other deck almost as well as I know my own. Who knows I may find out that I enjoy playing it more than white... though I highly doubt that!  I have lofty goals for this GP and will be spending the next 2 months doing all I can to make sure I am very prepared. My goal is to not only make day 2 but try and go X-2. I know that is a high expectation but for me I have a lot on the line. I am married with 2 kids, I do not get to go out and play large events very often. So when there is something close by not only do I want to do it but I want to do well to show myself that the time invested was worth it.

There is also the part of me that wants to show others that I am worth their support as well. My one good friend sponsors me, he buys most of the cards I need and pays my entry fee to most events. I have won his money back on multiple occasions and he knows I am working hard at getting better but I would much rather place high and pay him back then only have him break even. Then there is my family. Warning! I may get a little sentimental and emotional. My wife supports me and deals with me playing MTGO for multiple hours a week, so when I come home from a tournament with only some packs or just a headache it is very frustrating. I want to play better to show her that though this may be just a hobby there is some worth or merit in me playing. As of yet I have only made a little of 100$ cash from Magic Tourneys and that is not enough. I also have a step-son who I taught how to play and he is excited that I get to rub elbows with pros at opens or on Facebook but it would be much more satisfying if I could be the one he watches on a stream someday or it is my face on one of the tokens he uses for his deck. Though my daughter is only 2 I would love to show her that when her daddy is gone for 12 hours on a Saturday it is for a valid reason. I really enjoy the game of Magic and in the upcoming year I am making it a goal to accomplish something major. Will I quit magic if I don't? Of course not! I will be perfectly content to play local tournaments, the occasional open, and at my own dining room table.

For those of you who stuck with this more personal article I am still going to include a decklist to reward you for enduring until the end. This is a BW Token list that I put together for Modern on MTGO and will be continuing to work on and test. It is still pretty budget but I want to get the fetches the rest of the dual colored lands.


I am always in search of others to test against on MTGO so feel free to add me and PM me if you want to test anything. It is always good to get others opinions. As usual leave a comment and I would be happy to reply.


I can relate. by CZML at Mon, 09/08/2014 - 14:20
CZML's picture

Nice article :). I can relate to your story, and the frustration that comes with doing well in a local setting but feeling unable to catch a break in a more competitive tournament.

I'm always looking for testing partners online. My username is "tikipanda" if you want to add me (same for my twitch name btw).

Thanks for the feedback, I by Plainswalker83 at Mon, 09/08/2014 - 14:56
Plainswalker83's picture

Thanks for the feedback, I will be adding you. I am always trying to build better decks on MTGO to rival what I have in paper.