I took last Sunday off from SPDC hosting duties to go party at the Bay to Breakers run/costume extravaganza in San Francisco, CA after winning with Mono-Blue Control 2 weeks ago. I made some suggestions on what I would change should I run the deck back, and I stuck to those suggestions, and then made a few more!
+1 Voyage’s End
+1 Rise of Eagles
+1 Palace Familiar
+1 Whisk Away
-1 Disdainful Stroke
-1 Nimbus Naiad
-1 Enhanced Awareness
-4 Weave Fate
+1 Sidisi’s Faithful
-1 Aqueous Form
Follow along as I explain the card choice changes and the breakdown of each play throughout the tournament by clicking on the pretty picture below:
Aside on MTGO vs IRL Game Integrity and Rewarding Sportsmanlike Behavior
In game 2 of the top 4 I made a misclick where I failed to block a 3/2 with my 0/4. I meant to block it, but some lag and a momentary lapse in my concentration resulted in the classic ‘MODO mislclick’. So I took 3 damage that I should not have taken. I clearly was frustrated by this play, evidence by my blank expletive of “dammit ha,” which you can see got censored by the chat filter.
So I made a mental note at that point – I should be at 16 instead of 13 life – let’s play on and see what happens – most of the time it won’t be relevant and if I win then it doesn’t matter, but if I lose maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t matter. Well wouldn’t you know it, my life total becomes relevant. I have my opponent dead on board but with 2 Impact Tremors in play and me at 4 life – he had one out – Dragon Fodder. And of course he hit it! If I was at 7 life he would have died to my flyers the following turn.
With the goblin minions on the stack I engage in an admittingly passive aggressive conversation with him, basically stating my case. I let him know that I have conceded in other spots like this before (to Forli when he misclicked with the Retraction Helix/Scribe combo when I was dead on board) back in the first event of this season, also a top 4 match-up. I did so because I believed it was the right thing to do. There’s such a small chance that I would have made the mistake of not blocking IRL that it seems ridiculous to have the outcome of the game decided by that play.
My argument was that my mistake would never have happened IRL magic, so the integrity of our game was compromised by my misclick. I didn’t expect my argument to work, and I told him he had complete control of the situation, because lethal damage was on the stack for me. If I proceeded the game then I would die. Either I will time out or he would make it perfectly clear that he will not be conceding. After some time passed he had a change of heart and decides to concede the game. My logic made sense or he just didn’t want to make me mad?!
Game 3 is a game I thought I was losing every single turn, until the second to last turn where I devised a plan to win in 2 attacks that would only work if he had nothing relevant. A single removal spell on my 2/2 bird would end it in his favor. It was the closest game of the tournament, and game 2 was the likely the second closest. I thought it would have been justice for me to get streamrolled game 3, but the MODO gods had other plans.
In an effort to reward Thunderus/JohnnyinaBucket for showing good sportmanship, I decided to gift him my prize difference between what I won and what I would have won if he did not concede. I went on to get 1st place, 7 tickets, where I would have only won 2 tickets, so I am hooking him up with 5 tickets. I did not coerce him into conceding with this prize split – I chose to do this after the fact because I want players to understand that this is how you should be treated for doing the right thing. Obviously there are tons of scenarios where we will forget to make a land drop or F6 through our whole turn, which will inevtitabley change the course of the match, but won’t necessarily merit the pity plea of “please scoop to me.” Exercise good judgement, make a reasonable argument, and give your opponent control of the situation. If they choose not to scoop then you need to be fine with that, too. Maybe don’t make those mistakes next time! Either way someone is going to feel the sting of defeat after the match concludes. Realize that the pain will fade and you will get to play again another day!
Our character gets tested through the game of magic time and time again. We all have opportunities to show our true colors. I want to inject good-natured, casual/competitive spirit into this community just I used to do with the juniors I used to teach tennis to at college prep camps.
I hope that the standard pauper events I host and participate in create a welcoming environment so that more players will continue to join them. While I know I was the beneficiary of an act of a good sport this time, realize that I hope to live up to the same standard in the future, and I believe I have in the past. If I don’t – please call me on it. As iron sharpens iron, so to does man sharpen man!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the videos 😀 Mono Blue Rules!
Follow me on Twitter @DrChrisBakerDC
Join us for SPDC (Standard Pauper Deck Challenge) on Sundays at 11:30am PST
(Free to enter – 15 ticket prize pool – 7-4-2-2 to top 4)