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Chasing Victory – Post-GP Extended

 

Finally, the rest of the world catches up!

I was pleasantly surprised that DDT didn’t utterly dominate Grand Prix Oakland, despite all the ringers playing it. A lot of that had to do with our inability to come up with a decent sideboard plan against Zoo. Thanks to his

excellent report, I know that David Ochoa took multiple losses to Zoo, and I narrowly escaped the Nacatl’s clutches myself.

Still, some removal, a Thirst for Knowledge, an Exile into Darkness, and a Sphinx of Jwar Isle is nearly the perfect curve to stop Zoo dead in it’s tracks. That just doesn’t happen every game, as there isn’t enough room in your 75 for all the cards you need against bad decks (the Depths combo), the mirror (Leyline/Extirpate, removal, disruption), and Zoo (roughly ten removal spells).

It’s possible to get there if you cut the Dark Depths stuff, and that may very well be the next step. However, for now, we have a sick piece of technology courtesy of Pro Tour champion Osyp Lebodowicz. He ran this certain Zoo stopper in his recent PTQ decklist, but from what I hear, he dropped at 3-1 or so.

Let me be the first to tell you that Culling Scales is for real.

How fitting is it that Damping Matrix, the DDT hate of choice, is answered by another 3cc artifact from the same set? I’m not really sure how I overlooked it, considering I scoured Gatherer multiple times leading up to the GP, but that’s irrelevant right now. I’m just thankful we have a decent answer available to us.

I’m not entirely sure that the Scales would have improved my GP performance, but my Zoo matches would have been much easier. So what happened to me at the GP?

First things first, the list I played:

The maindeck is pretty standard at this point, although if you want to beat all the haters running Beseech and Extirpate, you could run a Meloku or Oona maindeck.

The sideboard revolved around the idea that Leyline is better than Extirpate, despite what my last article said. I was somehow convinced that I should run Leylines instead, even though I objected somewhat. Both cards seemed reasonable but Leyline had a much larger impact against any deck running Punishing Fire, Mystical Teachings, or Thopter Foundry, while also being much better against Dredge.

Still, we needed room and ended up cutting one. Having three Leylines isn’t really that much worse than four.

The different removal spells all served a purpose. I wanted enough removal for Dark Confidant, but I needed those spells to also be solid against Zoo, hence the absence of Darkblast. Eyeblight’s Ending should have been a Rend Flesh, but I couldn’t find any. Ending isn’t good against Elves (obviously) and it pumps their Tarmogoyfs, but both kill Oona, Meloku, Sower, and Bob.

The random Gifts may look awkward as there are no game ending Gifts piles, but in theory it was better than the second Exile. The only situation where it becomes worse is when you naturally draw it and only have five mana.

Sphinx seems like the next best step in fighting the mirror post board, but everyone seems to have caught on, but I decided to one up them with a Gatekeeper of Malakir. Sphinx was also the perfect finisher against Zoo. Rather than try to fight Matrix by bouncing it and comboing, we decided to try and ignore it by just killing all of their guys and playing something they couldn’t Path to Exile.

Other things I considered for this role included Malakir Bloodwitch (small and dies to Tribal Flames), Worm Harvest (good with the Gifts package, but probably worse than the alternatives in the mirror), Wydwen, a Shriekmaw/Mulldrifter/Grim Harvest or just Grim Discovery engine, Rite of Replication, Beacon of Unrest, Mind Control, planeswalkers like Sorin Markov or Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and even Neverending Torment or Haunting Echoes.

Trust me, I was DEEP in the tank.

Screams from Within was a little anti Thopter Foundry tech, as was Cumber Stone. However, most things were just worse than Leyline of the Void, although you could run Leyline of the Meek or [card]Leyline of Singularity[/card] if they were in your colors.

The overall strategy for Zoo was to find Exile and put them in a bad spot. Eventually, you will draw a Sphinx to kill them with. A lot of people said that Exile was too slow, but that just isn’t the case, assuming that you have cast anything before then.

I won a GPT the night before, further solidifying my choice. I couldn’t play anything else at that point.

I played, in order:

Zoo: 2-1
Zoo: 2-1
UW Teachings with Punishing Fire: 2-0
Burn: 2-1
Bant: 2-1
Mirror: 0-2

Faeries: 0-2
Merfolk: 1-2
Vampires: 2-0
Zoo: 0-2
UW Thopter: 2-0
LSV: 0-2

As you can see, I didn’t win many games on day two, let alone matches. I was a little frustrated by the overall quality of some of my opponent’s play, or lack thereof, and the fact that I couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes.

For example, against Faeries I lost the die roll and Thoughtseized him turn one after he suspended an Ancestral, seeing:

Spell Snare
Mana Leak
Smother
Mistbind Clique
Land

My hand contained Dark Confidant and Vampire Hexmage, but no Dark Depths. I took the Spell Snare, and it ended up being even better than I could have imagined. He drew another Ancestral and got as greedy as he possibly could and suspended it.

I played my Confidant, forcing him to Smother it on his turn, tapping out. Now, if I drew any sort of threat, like Thopter Foundry, Dark Confidant, or Dark Depths, I would be in a great situation. Sadly, I didn’t get there, and despite my opponent’s best attempts to throw the game away, I couldn’t get there.

He then snap kept a very sketchy, land heavy hand in game two, but drew a consistent stream of good spells to steal a victory from my nearly commanding position.

The Merfolk deck probably should have been a bad matchup, but he didn’t seem to have many answers to the Thopter combo. I had nothing but Hexmage and Depths going on in game one, but he had a Repeal. I could tell he had it, as his hands were shaking and when it was clearly the critical turn, where I had to make my decision, he tried to act nonchalant and read some of my cards by cocking his head sideways. I’m not sure if he knew he was doing it, but I had to go for it, and predictably, my token didn’t survive.

In the third game, I had all the tools to beat him, but I screwed up somewhere and I don’t know when or how. I just know that with the spells I drew compared to the spells he drew, I could have won. As I transmuted for what would have been the Smother that allowed me to stabilize, he again acted coy.

“Oh, Muddle? That gets two casting stuff right?”

“Yes, and I know you have the Disrupting Shoal or Spell Snare, but can’t do anything.”

“SHOAL IT THAT’S GAAAAAME!”

Sigh.

To top all of that off, I was sick all weekend and while I couldn’t really notice if it affected the quality of my play, it certainly didn’t help. If I was in top shape, maybe I could have found a better line of play vs. Merfolk for example, but oh well.

Granted, in round six, I was able to punish my opponent. I Thoughtseized his Snare on turn one and played turn two Confidant against his Teachings deck, and then cast Thirst at the end of his turn. Knowing that he held Jace2 and Cryptic Command, I was definitely hoping that he would Cryptic it, and he obliged me.

I Duressed his Jace, made a 20/20, and passed the turn. He didn’t peel an answer.

As the DDT player, I definitely felt like I had a ton of cards already, and that my Thirst was largely irrelevant. He, as the control player, seemed to just see that Thirst as a threat and a spell he is used to countering, and aimed his Cryptic at it out of instinct, but that was probably incorrect given the situation. I already had a ton of cards in hand, so me sifting through a few more probably did little to benefit my situation, while him having the threat of Cryptic was actually huge. In fact, I think he probably should have just played Jace that turn and bounced my Confidant. That would have put me in a deep hole.

During round four, I had game three locked up against Zoo thanks to my turn four Sphinx, and he tapped out for an irrelevant Ranger of Eos. Gabe Walls and I simultaneously said something about Ornithopters, as that would probably allow him to race me, but thankfully he only had Nacatls.

I untapped, my opponent was dead on board, tapped out, and me knowing his entire hand, but obviously I peeked at my top card, just out of curiosity. As soon as my opponent was picking up my cards, Gabe yelled at me for doing something that could potentially get me a game loss if I messed it up when I had the game locked up. I agreed that he was probably right, but with my opponent dead on board, refusing to just concede as if I were some child who would forget to attack, I figured I could make my opponent stew for a bit.

And after all, I’m not an idiot, right?

Aaanyway, fast forward a bit to when Gabe was 7-1, playing in the last round against the mirror. Game three was stalled out, and they were going to draw without it being clear who was ahead on board. In extra turns, his opponent decided to take advantage of the Sphinx’s ability, but put the card into his hand.

A judge was watching the match, and promptly issued a game loss for drawing extra cards. Apparently Gabe was right.

As Luis put it, “Gabe’s opponent insphinxtively put the card into his hand.”

Another amusing thing that happened on the weekend was my game three of round seven against burn. I Duressed him and saw his loose keep of Pithing Needle, Shrapnel Blast, and lands, obviously taking the Needle. I proceeded to transmute on turn two and make a Marit Lage on turn three, prompting the concession and the complaining.

Him: That’s your god hand! So unfair.
Me: No. Technically, my hand could have been better.
Him: Pff, Duress my Needle and kill me. That’s god hand!
Me: Well, that’s why I played the deck, so I can get free wins vs. bad decks with no capability to “god hand” me back.
Him: …

When your best draw consists of a Spark Elemental, you probably shouldn’t complain about me getting what isn’t even the best possible hand I can get. If you don’t like getting nut drawn, play a deck that can interact, or one that can do the same type of unfair stuff.

So now what? What’s to become of Extended in the wake of the GP?

Here is what I would play, if I were still planning on playing DDT:

With this list, I am attempting to combat Zoo a little better and the new decks like Hypergenesis, Living End, Elves, and Boros, all of which seem like they could explode onto the scene. I intentionally left Conley’s Bant deck off that list because it’s a stinker. Don’t try to be Conley kids. There can be only one.

There are a couple concerns I have with this list. Namely, the mirror weaknesses vs. things like Sower, Threads, and Oona. I also don’t like the Aqueduct maindeck, but don’t really have a slot to put it. I would like more Duresses somewhere to help against the cascade decks, Teachings, and Faeries, but again, there is a lack of space.

You could try to get filthy with stuff like Darkblast or Chalice of the Void maindeck, but that depends on what you expect to play against.

Lately, I’ve been trying other things, like this brew that I 3-1ed a Daily Event with:

Punishing Fire is absurd right now and the Thopter combo is still pretty good, as long as you have outs to stuff like Extirpate. Baneslayer Angel is the backup plan that I was missing before and it’s probably the perfect card since it straight up embarrasses Sphinx of Jwar Isle.

I’ve also been messing around with the Restore Balance deck, but that’s an entirely different animal. I haven’t quite decided if the deck is awesome or completely awful yet.

I’ll be in San Diego for the Pro Tour, and by that I mean the side events. See you there!

GerryT

95 thoughts on “Chasing Victory – Post-GP Extended”

  1. i know the kid who playedd merfolk.. hes a loser, and a jerk to everyone pretty much. glad you pointed it out on here great articfke

  2. Restore Balance was pretty good this weekend. The guy playing the list featured on the Wizards site beat me round 1 and went on to finish in 64th place. Considering he had no byes, I think that’s pretty good. With maindeck Blood Moons and other disruption he seemed to be able to potentially handle anything. On the other hand, some of his draws were just so vulnerable to Ancient Grudge on his borderposts.

    I think it was a good deck for the GP because everyone had written off hypergenesis and it didn’t suffer from any splash hate, but I don’t think it will be as good for PTQers as people remember to bring their Chalices.

  3. I like your new maindeck. But I don’t like the lack or extra duress in sb and I honestly havnt been all that impressed with the slaughter pact. I have been flirting with the idea of putting a second EE in the main. What are your thoughts on that. Also I’m curious on your thoughts on a Withered Wretch in the SB instead of extirpate? And as it’s almost asuredlly going to increase in popularity, what say you to combating elves? Before you say it’s not going to blowup, in my area it top T4 in the last PTQ it’s generally a more heavily played deck and it just is downright cheap to build.

  4. isn´t culling scales awful with mox and isn´t also a bit redundant with the exile in the sb?

  5. Round 8 then, sorry.

    Eryk: A second or third EE seems fine. Most decks have spread casting costs which sucks, as typically you’d rather have a Deathmark or Smother. Beating a triple (or even double) one drop draw is difficult though.

    Wretch might be alright, but I probably wouldn’t play it over Extirpate. Extirpate is just way more efficient at what it does, and once Wretch gets Smothered or whatever, you’re kinda kold.

  6. I like reading gerry’s articles for the strategy. I hate reading 2.5 pages of self gratification, however. Is every article you write made to be a bash at random people?

  7. nice article gerry

    you mention toying around with the restore balance list.
    What cards have you been trying//cutting in it?

  8. I was hesitant on the wretch for the same reason but without beseech it’s at least tutorable. Do you think that might be worth the shot?

  9. It’s not like you turbo out Scales with Mox. If you have a Mox + Thirst, you go that route, if you have Smother + Scales + Mox, you can afford to slow play it. If it gets to the midgame and they have a Matrix and a dude, both problems are solved.

    Try it. If you find that opening hands with Mox + Scales are too difficult to play, maybe this isn’t the deck for you.

    Yes, Scales is an artifact. So is Mox, so is Foundry. You play those cards because if A) if they live, they are awesome and B) not many people are playing Grudge. If they want to spend their turn Pridemaging it (which won’t work if they have Matrix already) or Bant Charming it, then I am probably fine with that.

    Bert: I’m far harsher on myself than my opponents, so I guess I’m bashing myself by pointing out the mistakes I make? But I’m also self gratifying?

    Personally, I would like it if more people would point out where certain lines of play didn’t work out or didn’t make sense considering what was going on. That seems like the type of strategy thing you were talking about.

    Kevin Holmes: I haven’t tried switching much stuff right now, other than adding a couple lands. 13 lands seems dangerously low, especially since only 12 of them are basics. I really like the way the deck was built.

  10. Good thing you write for a website like ChannelFireball so that, even when you lose, you can redeem yourself by getting on the internet and reminding everyone how much better you are than them by pointing out their mistakes and repeatedly talking about how you always know what’s in their hand. Either QQ more, or quit belittling the rest of the magic community, and just show up next time with a new 75 and win with your cards, not your mouth.

  11. Is the dimir aqueduct really that good? What is it really for? Bouncing played tolaria west? Am I missing something?

  12. Congratulation for the overal great weekend!

    Deck is great and sideboard tech seems very nice.

    Even being the “deck to beat” the deck had an overall solid finish!

  13. The aqueduct is for long slow matchups. 2 guaranteed land drops in 1 card. Trim some useless stuff and put in a good land for a long match.

  14. There are various ways of pointing out mistakes in lines of play. Your articles seem to reveal an author barely tolerating the world he is forced to live in and the people he must share it with, so pained is he by having to bear witnesses to so many sub-optimal thought processes.

    It makes for funny and useful articles but I feel your soul may be at risk.

  15. I’m sure you know this already, Gerry, but I think the reason so many people get upset at is they don’t understand how you can write about how much knowledge you had of opponents hands and still set sail for fail. Not sure if that’s bean covered by you or someone else.

    The aqueduct seems suspect. I’m no master, but playing it seems fun and “look what I can do!” Definitely not sold on it.

    Culling Scales seems like it could be solid, but a bad top-deck is a bad top-deck. Maybe if Tezz was floating somewhere in the 75, then I’d be 100% behind it. Maybe over Jwar Isle..?

    I was happy that Conely ran Mindsculptor and then nobody ran it in your deck. I was looking for it during the deck tech segment and was left beleaguered.

    I loved! the Exile 🙂

    Keep up the hard work! It will pay off! And grats again to Adam and Nasty Nass and the rest of Channel Fireball!

  16. Gerry,

    I was running 1 Culling Scales in the SB of my UW Thopter deck to deal with Damping Matrix and Pithing Needle. I could search it out with Tezzeret and had more removal to deal with an early creature rush, so it made a little more sense in my deck than I think it would coming out of DDT.

    Also, I think some combination of Abyssal Persecutor and Rite of Consumption backed by removal would be a better anti Zoo plan than your Exile/Sphinx plan

    Oscar Leibowitz

  17. Honestly I think the reason people get irritated with the bashing/whining is because it’s kind of tiresomely adolescent (yes, yes, everybody sucks but you) and adds nothing to the topic at hand, which is: what makes this deck work (and is consistently awesome). Focus on the awesome I say.

    So @GT – why the 4 fires in your teaching list? They’re eminently tutorable (6 tutors here), sometimes pretty bad (zoo), and when they’re great usually only great going long anyway. I’d have thought cutting 2 and maybe a groves is some easy slots. Also why the one of moxen?

  18. In fairness, most of the call outs by Gerry were for people being puds which is a nice change. The guy who refused to concede seemed like a dodgy call out considering I have to read sixty-seven thousand articles every year from guys like Gerry about PLAYING 2 THE MAX, not ever giving up, allowing no takesie-backsies and trusting the heart of the cards.

  19. It’s called the High Road. Find it and use it sometime. Coming off as a jerk means being right doesn’t matter that much…

  20. Dimir Aqueduct is good because of how frequently you board out Depths, and otherwise you can find yourself mana-light, especially if Bob doesn’t live long. It also has the added benefit of being able to bounce a Tolaria West in order to Transmute it.

    Gerry: great article. For what it’s worth I think you probably need more spot removal in the SB to bring in vs. Zoo, to give you time to take control of the game with Culling Scales, Exile Into Darkness, and Sphinx. I know Darkblast is hot against the new Boros deck, but is it good enough against the rest of the field? Would some Deathmarks just be better?

    Luis

  21. I have not tried the scales, but they still seem a tad on the slow side considering that now u don´t have enough removal to deal with an early zoo rush. Also it seems that u are bringing in about 8 cards from the sb if the sphinxs come in in this matchup, (maybe they don´t bc of the scales are answers to matrixes) so my question is what does one take out. I was thinking -4 confdant, -1 duress but i´m stuck there. Thanx for your help.

  22. Your analysis of the Faeries player as a donk just seems off to me. In your example, perhaps he got greedy with the second Ancestral, but he’s going to be drawing 4 per turn for 2 turns straight with that start. He took a gamble, and it paid off, as you didn’t drop Hexmage or Thopter Foundry as your 2-drop.

    So at that point, why not press the advantage? He sees that you dropped a card advantage engine rather than a combo piece, and so he casts Smother on turn 3. He keeps you card-poor, and if you happen to drop a combo piece, he might be drawing the bounce spell in the next 8 (eight!) cards he draws. What could go wrong? On your turn 3, you might make Marit Lage, and he can either chump-block that forever (Faeries!) or bounce it.

    Really, just because someone doesn’t make the same line of plays that you might, does not make them a bad player.

  23. It’s not hard to know what’s in your opponent’s hand after you Thoughtseize them and/or you pick up on a tell.

  24. I’m all for a player that bashes other player mistakes and then reminds everyone that he can make them just as much. Sure, GT comes off arrogant and you tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to his articles, but I’m going to remind everyone what is consistently written in the comment section of AJ Sacher’s articles (whom also bashes idiots yet still mentions his own faillings):

    “No one is forcing you to read his articles, if you have a problem with it, bashing him for his bashing won’t bring you anywhere. Just stop reading.”

  25. It seems like the merfolk deck had you no matter what you did. Maybe you were just pissed that some guy beat you with disrupting shoal?

  26. I’m not trying to pile on, so I’ll just say that listening to you denigrate your opponents just isn’t interesting. By all means, feel free to point out where you felt opponents’ misplays occurred, but there’s no need for the personal edge. You say you’re hard on yourself but I don’t remember many instances of you describing where you have been outplayed. Surely it must happen.

    But, much like “bad beats” stories, your opinion of the intelligence, character, what-have-you of your opponents just doesn’t make for good reading

  27. I think reactions to someone being elitist and “bashing” is because so many MTG players ARE complete and utter jack-holes to players who make mistakes. Its what drives a lot of people away from playing MTG…

    So, should everyone ignore someone that actively makes people quit the game or “bash” em for it? You tell me.

  28. I think Gerry T’s writing style conveys simply how frustrated it can get wondering ‘why are you not killing me yet?’. I think we all have been on the receiving end of an unintentional slow-roll and mustering all your willpower not to pick up your opponent’s cards and /show him how to kill you/.

    All in all, I think GT is actually getting less harsh. I also recommend Channel Fireball put him on video commentating on a match, its absolutely hilarious watching him get riled up over plays XD

  29. This is the biggest reason people stop playing in tournaments. Our magic play group is pretty large, and many of us played in tournaments for awhile. We have had many FNM wins, and I even got top 8 in a PTQ, but the arrogance of so called “pro” players really turns people off from these tourneys. I understand you have issues of feeling not quite good enough, but overcompensating at the expense of other players really hurts the magic community more than helps it. It is fine if you want to point out awkward plays, whether on their part or your part, but this sense of entitlement or that you are on some other level is just pathetic. You don’t have to play “your” deck to be playing a “good” deck, and you don’t have to make “your” plays to make “good” plays. Stick to the report, and keep the lid on your ego, because it really hurts magic more than it feeds your need to be “cool”.

  30. The aqueduct seems like a really bad idea, like it’s to compensate for those 2 land hands of dark depths and sunken ruins, you could always go back to running that third tolaria west that you always want to cut.

    So why did you concede to LSV?

  31. There’s a lot of sarcasm on Gerry’s part that gets mistaken for jerkiness.

    He really is as hard on himself as he is on others which, when you’re Gerry T, means battling constant self-centered rage. Imagine having to keep that in all the time.

    All I can say is – Thanks Gerry, Thanks!

  32. Man, these comments are amazing reading while my MtGO client updates at a glacial pace. Can channelfireball give Gerry a slot every day so that I can read this amazing personal drama? You get so much more hate than pretty much everyone else who writes here, it’s amazing.

    The fae player was throwing his game away. Vision t1 on the play is certainly the right move, since he can’t do anything else with his mana. Vision t2 when you’re holding smother AND mana leak AND you’ve been duressed is moronic. You don’t need to resolve two back to back visions to win the depth match up, staggering them is just fine. Especially when you’re holding a counter and removal. Depths relies on creatures to power out the draw engine/combo, so being able to counter his first confidant and then smother the next one locks the win for you. Keeping mana open forces Gerry to play around the counter he knows you have, buys you turns until your ancestral resolves and gives you the time to develop your mana base and countermagic suite. Playing the second vision was asking to have the other guy topdeck well and steal the game. Gerry just pointed out that his opponent was willing to punt away a secure win and all he needed to do was draw anything good in order to pull ahead. It isn’t that he’s crying about being unlucky, it’s that he’s pointing out that the other guy made a bunch of very bad gameplay decisions and still won despite of being clearly outplayed. Apparently the intricacies of what actually happened in that match were too hard to understand, so he’s just being a dick or something.

    Thanks again for the great article (and the accompanying dramas). Good insights into the metagame as usual.

  33. I guess it’s just a personal choice that I make to impress upon people my level of skill over time by demonstrating it with my play, instead of by pointing out the errors of everybody else. Yes, the fae player made a mistake by suspending the second ancestral. Yes, the merfolk player gave away his hand. What Gerry fails to realize is that, NO, pointing these things out to his opponents and to us doesn’t change anything. He still lost. Pointing out his opponents’ mistakes and tells is not meant to edify them or us, it’s meant to edify himself, and at the expense of others. This is what is frustrating to see, and this is what alienates him from hundreds of magic players before he’s even met them. And what does he gain from this? Does it make him seem like a good player? No, we already knew he was a good player. Instead, it turns all of the people who would be his “fans” into his “enemies”. I don’t know him personally, but I think it’s safe to assume that the difference between Gerry and people like me is that this probably doesn’t bother him.

  34. it’s funny how people like mark are barning gerryt like crazy. they probably have a shrine at home worshipping him asking to bless them with gerry’s play skill. i cannot even imagine how much gerry will brag once he starts winning something. he’s definitely writing very good and entertaining articles, the comment section is just gravy.

  35. Hey every sport needs a badboy I love the controversy this guy stirs up.I think it is good for the game.There are totally players that part of their game is to get in your head.While I am not advocating pure unsportsmanship but if you play at this level be prepared for the mind games.Now if this was a pre release or fnm report that would be one thing but this is a grand prix!If you sit down to play Gerry or Gabe Walls prepare to be intimidated!!!

  36. Amc: Aqueduct is because you want an extra land when you are siding out lands and because you are bringing in expensive stuff. I'm not trying to get cute, I just want a land that taps for mana and Aqueduct is basically a two for one.

    Scales might be bad off the top, but it's not like Tezzeret makes it better. Tezzeret is slow and crappy.

    Luis l: I take out like two Depths and two Hexmages versus Zoo at minimum.

    Steve: He's not pressing any advantage, he's giving me a window to steal the advantage he already has back from him. All he has to do is wait until that Ancestral resolves or wait until he draws a single land to suspend the second one AND have Leak open. As it were, I was not looking good after the first turn, but then he gave me a chance to win as opposed to being in a very solid spot regardless of his second Ancestral.

    MtgVet: The Aqueduct is good for what you want, which I explained above.

    I conceded to Luis because the pro points are going to mean more to him than me.

    Evan: If I don't point out what these people are doing wrong, they will never realize it and get better. I assume that a lot of people do the same things and can probably benefit from seeing that they are making mistakes.

    I couldn't care less if you think I'm a good player or deck builder or whatever, but I think the majority of people out there could learn a lot from these peoples' mistakes.

    Andi Pischi: I've already won plenty, so where's the bragging?

  37. poster right b4 me: you realize he won a gp right? ;(

    Telling your opp his mistakes might make him think about it, which may make him a little better player, which might make him win more in the rest of the tournament, which improves your standings.
    Why wouldn’t you do that?
    Also in the long run it increases the community’s skill, which is good for the game.

    And ppl already told me I was like Gerry too lol

  38. So gerry posted while I was typing and made my post worthless :(((

    That’s why everybody hates you!!!

  39. So much less class compared to a conley, lsv or even Ocho …
    Didn’t you say you’d stop writing articles a few months ago ?

  40. Why on earth is everyone downing on Gerry for commenting on his opponent’s plays? Wake up everyone.

    You are reading a MTG Strategy website, to get better at the game. You are reading articles from a player most likely better than yourself. Not only is he telling you the theories behind his card choices, but also showing you mistakes to NOT make while you play the game vs other people, and yet, YOU BASH HIM FOR HELPING YOU? LOL @ this community for being like that.

    I loved the article Gerry. I always love your articles. I have lots of bromance in regards to you. Your written words make my heart flutter.

    But seriously, nice article, keep up the good work.

  41. I love Pro-level tournament reports, but the constant excuses, followed by the whining, followed by the bashing is not necessary. Even on the GGS Live commentary, after you dropped, you were complaining about the feature matches, and the players’ choices.

  42. I just wanted to add too the guy who felt you had god hand with the turn 3 20/20

    this is a deck that puts out a turn 3 20/20 50 percent of the time a turn 2 20/20 i would say 10-20 percent of the time and a turn one 20/20 about 5 percent of the time making a turn 1 20/20 the god hand you were no were close saying a turn 3 20/20 was god hand

  43. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  44. The comments of the people getting salty over the article are just as good as the article itself. Just because his article was a little harsher than “boogeewoogee booboo I wuv you”, people get all offended. Sometimes, people suck. Sometimes it needs to be said.

  45. Gerry.. I respect your play and your deckbuilding opinions, but skim thru your articles to your discussion of why you play or don’t play certain cards.. because I agree with all the people saying that the attitude your comments convey toward other players simply stinks.

    Shooter.. yes, he won GP Denver and..

    Andi.. he was even more rude about insulting his opponents in his tournament report of that GP, and then he wrote a couple feature articles on StarCity where he attacked and insulted Patrick Chapin’s opinions on deck building.. because obviously winning a GP makes you the only expert. I doubt he’ll be asked to write for them again.

    Gerry.. Still, I’m not a hater, I like half of your article content, but I hope you change the way you talk about your opponents and other deck builders.

  46. Roger Federer manages to be the greatest tennis player of all time without having to tell all of his opponents that they suck at tennis. You can choose to be classy and constructive, or not.

  47. “Me: Well, that's why I played the deck, so I can get free wins vs. bad decks with no capability to "god hand" me back.”

    This is why GerryT is awesome. He can shut up the crybabies.

  48. I love the random bashing Gerry, plz keep it up. I’d love to watch you do a commentary on a random match or tournament . . . or FNM.

  49. Gerry: You don’t think that pointing out others faults is self gratification?

    If I want an article where the author writes about how well he can belittle their opponents… I’d some one’s personal blog.

    At the end of the day, you’re a writer for a website that tries (apparently) to keep a professional reputation.

    I respect your ability and understanding for the game. Your writing style, however, is disgraceful.

  50. How is it self gratifying at all? Should I just pretend that no one ever makes mistakes ever? Should I not highlight how people could play better or just ignorantly assume that every play that everyone always makes is “correct” or “good enough?”

    Suspending the second Ancestral is a clear mistake, and one that even people in the forums don’t understand why, even after I explained it. To me, that is a prime example of me elevating someone’s understanding of the game and therefore, helpful.

    I don’t care if my opponents don’t like the fact that they made mistakes. Everyone does. I do all the time and I write about them. It would be stupid to pretend that they don’t, so what does it matter if I bring them up here? I don’t feel like I’m taking personal attacks at anyone or anything like that, but if you want to put some sort of tone into my articles that isn’t there, by all means.

    Dan: You have literally no idea what you’re talking about. If you would like to be enlightened, feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

    [email protected]

  51. I actually like reading about people play mistakes a lot. Knowing when people are doing stuff wrong and reading it from someone I know is one of the best rather then discussing it with people in my playgroups.

    However, rather then just pointing out the mistakes it would be helpfull if you then wrote what would have been the right play rather then forcing the reader to try and make sense of it.

    After reading the article and looking into the deck a bit I’m still wondering why Vendilion Clique isn’t being played. It not only gets in more hand disruption but also helps in the zoo mu by being a form of removal (although not exactly a good one). It just seems that a pair of these would help out the deck, mostly in improving the mu’s against decks where hand disruption is good especially hypergenesis.

  52. Spanner: Did I not do that in the Faeries example?

    Vendilion is basically worse than Duress against the cascade decks, and you’re not really interested in killing Zoo’s one drops on turn three. You really want to be able to kill Knight and Goyf with your removal, since those are the cards that kill you quickly.

    I did have Jittes and Vendilions maindeck for a short period, and had an amazing record in the mirror with that version, but Jitte is pretty embarrassing vs Damping Matrix.

  53. Honestly, Gerry, I wouldn’t even bother defending yourself to these kind of people. Your writing style conveys the same attitude that anyone that just lost to a donk would have when talking to a friend, and I personally think that’s a good draw to it, it gives your writing a sense of familiarity. Some people have an intense desire to be offended by things they shouldn’t be offended by, so even if you changed your style according to every suggestion these whiny losers throw at you, they’d still find something new to complain about.

    GT is definitely a stand-up guy, I went 0-5 at my first PT (Kyoto) and he had the good grace/generosity to talk to me about it at the airport and suggest little things I could do to improve my next PT: not many pros I know would be willing to chat with a “random”, especially with their friends around. Little things like that are what reminds people that there’s alot of fun to be had at the pro level, and a lot of friends to be made.

    Writing is about style, and GT’s might be a little harsh, both on himself and on his opponents. If you don’t like it, don’t read, or learn to be more thick-skinned. There’s a million people that would say far worse to your face if you got all offended by something stupid than Gerry says in writing in general.

  54. Gerry: There are obviously many others who have left their opinion or criticism on this page. They all carry the same theme. Instead of trying to defend yourself at every turn, why not do what good writers do?

  55. I really can’t understand why people are crying about Gerry’s style of write. I’m one of them that really like to understand and read about errors and misplay beacuse a LOT of players will do those bad moves, and usually after matches are in one angle to cry about bad luck and other things.
    I don’t like to be one of them and I wish to learn from mine and other errors.
    For guys like Dan or Even that talked about decklist and ability on play/write remember you have in front a player that with his DDT list has changed the metagame and built a quite perfect machine that won like more than 40% of the ptq after seeing him play that deck.
    I haven’t seen any of your wonderfull decktech or perfect result to be able to critic someone just beacuse he like to point on errors on cards.
    Anyway thanks again for you articles GerryT, don’t mind about some permalous boys… they simply will never get better.

  56. I know that most of you don’t want to hear this because it applies to most magic players, but I’ll say it anyway.

    @ all the haters; Gerry is still a young man, so is Chapin, so are most of you that I play against online. Youthful energy and the sometimes “arrogance” he brings to the table makes him who he is, and he will mellow as he enters his 30’s. Magic isn’t a fair game all the time, the best players don’t always win. This is an incredibly difficult pill for intelligent competitive men to swallow. He has the perfect read, knows how things should play out, then proceeds to watch player X derail from the optimal line of play…and still loses due to the way Magic is. I totally hear you Gerry, speaking of…

    @ Gerry; The above being said, your critics are on you because of how you say things (oversimplified… how we say things not what we say). Perhaps, if you become a father in the future you will understand this a little better. Being right all the time is of little consolation if no one wants to hear you speak. This happens sometimes when people come off a certain way. It's not about being right all the time, even though you are right most of the time money. And yea, tearing people down, always makes us look bad. So if that’s what you choose to do….

  57. I don’t think most people are upset about the mistakes or bad plays being pointed out, most people like that, it is the arrogance of how “superior” you think you are than these players. You lose to them, so you have to feel superior by telling them they made bad plays. They didn’t do that to you, and you even admit you made mistakes. Its just the false sense that you are the “greatest” at magic. You shoot down other peoples decks, and cards because you don’t like them, but that doesn’t mean they are bad. You just make people think you are insecure and immature when you are so condescending to others ideas on cards and decks. I like hearing about mistakes, it does make me a better player, I don’t like hearing “why are you running that card, it sucks…you should only run this deck, because I think its best”.

  58. Gerry: Please stop devoting space in your articles to analyzing the mistakes you and your opponents purportedly made. I read your articles to find out who won and lost, not to hear some boring analysis of gameplay. And when someone does make a mistake, it’s rude of you to point it out in your article. Instead, when someone makes a mistake, you should teach by doing, not by saying. I will divine your actions across the interwebs, and thereby improve my Magic play much more than if you were to be so profane as to examine Magic strategy in a Magic strategy article on a Magic strategy website.

    Regards, you jerk.

  59. not to hear some boring analysis of gameplay

    that’s pretty much everything PV does, and he’s by far the best writer.

    You can find out who won looking at standings. Articles serve to show WHY things happen.

  60. Gerry, by testing I figured out by testing and gameplay that against zoo, it’s pretty much simple if you swap the topter combo for rite of comsuption instead just trying to hate them.
    With rite you just have to focus on gathering a DD, an hexmage and a rite and just throw it all ftw. With that said, you don’t have to play deathmarks and that type of crap which only slows the game down, but really doesn’t get you any chance closer of the win. Also with those cards, their path’s and bant charms become litteraly useless. You just need a couple of bounce to clear some meddling mages that may be comming through.

  61. “I love the random bashing Gerry, plz keep it up. I'd love to watch you do a commentary on a random match or tournament . . . or FNM.”

    that’s what people supporting your style of writing think.

    “I love the random bashing” pathetic if you ask me..

    I don’t think having such articles is very good for the image of this website.

  62. I don’t see anything in Gerry’s writing here about which to be upset. People seem to be settling on the idea that Gerry is arrogant or “self-gratifying” (which has to be a synonym for “arrogant” here, otherwise everyone everywhere is obviously self-gratifying) because this is what it is emotionally convenient to believe in light of his practice of exposing mistakes. This is an understandable psychological reaction, as exposure of error often precipitates latent feelings associated with imposter syndrome. In general, though, if you look at the actual rhetoric in Gerry’s writing and the rhetoric of those who are opposed to him, he is far calmer and far more neutral. The tendency in his writing that partly approximates to arrogance is usually the inclusion of (what I assume are) good-natured jabs, which are directed inwardly as often as outwardly. I can’t claim that – in my highly limited and contrived experiences – Gerry is always the paragon of maturity, but the overreading of his prose is somewhat comical given its actual content.

  63. The issue is, is that he says by pointing out other’s mistake, he teaches. You can only teach people who want to learn. Exploiting their misplay turns it into senseless player bashing and instead of learning, it embarrasses.

    Lines such as:

    “Me: Well, that's why I played the deck, so I can get free wins vs. bad decks with no capability to "god hand" me back.”

    Are completely unnecessary, and actually damage the reputation of yourself and others.

    If you need more explanation as to why this is actually detrimental in the learning process and create conflict, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    I remember about a year or so ago, I audible’d into Rav-finity the night before an extended PTQ. To top it off, I got two hours of sleep. I punted game three by just setting my mind to auto-pilot against my opponent because I had such a board advantage. I ended up loosing to just completely not thinking and making horrible trades and being completely exhausted. At the end of the match, my opponent made it a point to deliberately tell me I was terrible.

    One liners like the one I was given… or the one that you gave your opponent about a “bad deck” don’t teach anything. They stick with players and disturb them. People will play what they want to play. Insulting them because of their deck choice is completely out of line.

    If you want to teach people of their mistakes, thats fine. However, you may want to update your methods.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this after reading the article too. If enough people have the same opinion about your articles, then, as a writer, its something to consider.

  64. Gerry, I only read your articles for the amusing stories about why people fail at magic and life so keep it up.

    Love,
    friend.

  65. You suck, Gerry, and i am morally superior to you because i never get mad about losing or realize when people are bad. i have also never won a grand prix or built the best deck in the format and won with it repeatedly. Coincidence?

  66. @ Gerry and everyone defending the random bashing and useless sentences such as
    “Well, that's why I played the deck, so I can get free wins vs. bad decks with no capability to "god hand" me back."

    go to http://www.channelfireball.com and click on the link that says :
    Feature Article – GP Oakland Report
    by PV.
    Read the article.
    Then you’ll understand what the vast majority of us are talking about… well hopefully.

  67. PV IN GerryT OUT

    @ Alfred
    Most pros don’t have this annoying teenager type of tone even though they won way more than a single GP.

    @Keith
    I concur

  68. I JUST DON’T GET IT.

    PV said this in his article: “I was really mad at having lost the match, because I think that deck is terrible and anyone who consciously chooses to play it should get punished by God and have the worst draws at all times.”

    But no one is giving him crap (and I’m not saying he deserves crap for it). PV is a great guy, but is that comment that different than the comments you guys give GT a hard time for?

    I think too many of you are looking for GT to be the bad guy and therefore you read into things.

  69. “@ Gerry and everyone defending the random bashing and useless sentences such as
    "Well, that's why I played the deck, so I can get free wins vs. bad decks with no capability to "god hand" me back."”

    it was in response to the burn player bitching about “god” hands, he’s playing a bad deck that only gets played because it costs 1/6th of what a single Goyf costs and its easy to play

    as for him complaining on GGslive about not getting a feature match, he’s absolutely right, Wizards fucked up bigtime, DDthopter completely defines the format, it may or may not be the best deck, but you have to have a strong plan vs this deck or you aren’t part of the metagame

    he designed it, was 8-0 playing a mirror match vs another 8-0, if that isn’t a feature match, nothing is

  70. “not many pros I know would be willing to chat with a "random", especially with their friends around.”

    Really? I’ve found Antonino Dama De Rosa, Gadiel S, Gabe W, and PV to be very approachable, and veterans like Gary W and A Sullivan as well. Those are the only ones I’ve approached. Do you have any anecdotal evidence? I’m sure one pro out of ten might be a prick, but more than one person in ten is a prick on average.

    I had a bad experience with that Kyle Sanchez guy, but that’s not related to his behavior.

    I like that Gerry T points out what’s going on in his head. That’s what we’re reading for, right? I would actually get pissed if he wasn’t telling us how to read tells.

  71. Gerry T I ran this deck this weekend and wanted to give you the deck me and my buddy came up with to use against zoo it works very well and replaces culling scales 1 for 1 nemesis trap works wounders it puts the match high in your favor with dd with out testing. It also helps against bant.

    we actialy had one match were he used the trap on there pridemage and used his pridemage to destroy there damping matrix.

    Try it you will not be disapionted…

  72. Alfredo Domínguez Roldán

    Whats the deal with the 3 Urborg people are running? is that ok?… i know that 4 is the way to go, cuz the vamp +dd t2 kill is awesome but cutting those besech (which i always hated) makes me wonder.. what if….

  73. we actialy had one match were he used the trap on there pridemage and used his pridemage to destroy there damping matrix.

    Try it you will not be disapionted"¦

    Comment by joshua vorron – February 22, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    cheating does not make nemesis trap good

  74. oh lol sorry just reread my post was tierd up all night driving i ment to say destroy his jitt not matrix

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