Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grand Prix Detroit

Grand Prix Detroit has come and gone. The largest team event in Magic The Gathering history with 680 total teams and more than 2000 players. If I told you Team Nerdageddon went 6-2-1 and finished in 65th place then you'd think we had an epic weekend. 

You'd be right and wrong at the same time. 

Team Nerdageddon consisted of Josh Kretz (right), Hunter Mayes (left), and myself (guess). Josh was our team captain because he does GPs a lot more often than the rest of us. It was my first BIG tournament in 10 years and Hunter's first ever. We did VIP because if you're only doing one GP a year then do it up. The extra $50 per person is worth it.

Our sealed pull was not the best. I'd say our two best cards would have been an Erebos's Titan & an Abbot of Keral Keep. In my deck the best card was my Evolutionary Leap. By no means was it the worst sealed pull in history but during deck construction we knew we only had enough for two good decks.

Josh played a Black/White tricks build using Kytheon's Tactics, mighty leap, etc & a ton of renown guys. Hunter built a green/red aggro deck with some good removal and speed. I went with blue/green tempo. It was more like a Ford Tempo. None of us felt extremely confident in our decks.

The highlight of round one came when we got seated adjacent from my favorite pro team, The Pantheon: Reid Duke (first), William "Huey" Jensen (second), & Owen Turtenwald (last). They went 9-0 for the day. It was awesome to watch their match.

Our match wasn't that great. We lost and not in memorable fashion.

Second round was the worst match up of the day because in the last five minutes the teams were tied at 1-1 with Josh going into his third game. The other team asked us to draw. We of course declined and wanted to play it out with 5 min left because a draw is as bad as a tie. That's when it got horrible.

The kid across from Josh began to slow play. He would watch the clock at the end of the hall and take 30-40 seconds to decide on land play during turns 1-3. He played no spells yet took nearly 3 minutes off the clock. By turn three Josh had put a 4 turn kill clock on the kid. That was the last regulation turn we played as the team advised the player to wait until overtime.

That's when we learned from the judges that they need to witness slow play and that nothing can be done unless they see it. So we went to Overtime. 

We ended the fifth turn by leaving the kid at 2 life. Had we played at actual speed then it woukd probably never have gotten to overtime. A draw and a bad taste in our mouth is what we went into round 3 with. 

We were so steamed about those kids we didn't focus on round 3 and dropped it 1-2 to decks we should have beat. Focus it a must in Magic. Tons of misplays by us.

Round 4 our opponents never showed up. So we got the free win and a big wide window to go grab lunch. 

Round 5 we grabbed the win in a really tight match up. Probably our most fun of the day because next the true shenanigans begin.

Round 6-9 we never played a real opponent. Each round we sat and nobody showed. We ended up 6-2-1 because five of our opponents never cared to played. So we drew opponents on scrap paper. They followed us to each match up. Unofficially we are the greatest imaginary Magic players of all time. 

We became kind of a mascot to some of the Judges. They would swing by and chat. Near the later rounds they'd sit and we'd share stories. Even in the last round they began to calculate if we had a shot at day 2. It turns out we were a tie short. Had we gone 7-2 then we would have made day 2. 

Then again had we never gotten that tie then would we have even been 6-2-1? Nobody knows but the facts & numbers say slow play cost us a shot at the title. That's our story & we're sticking to it. 

At the end of the day it will say on paper that we scored 19 points with a 6-2-1 record to become the 65th best team out of 680 teams at Team Sealed. While that might not be reality, it is a great story to bring home. We had our names up on the board ahead, next to, or just behind some of the greatest hall of fame names in Magic. 

Plus it was kind of cool to walk out of the Hard Rock Cafe and have guys at a table point us out and say, "Those were the guys I told you about".