I sit in front of my laptop, typing this article, sad and humbled by my experience at SCG Baltimore. The Peach Garden Oath came, saw, and went home later that day.
We got smashed. There's no gentle way of putting it.
The personal highlight for me was a round where we all lost the roll, Huey's opponent had Turn 1 Goblin Guide, my opponent had Turn 1 Goblin Guide, and Reid's opponent had Turn 1 Bomat Courier. You couldn't even make that up if you tried.
I laughed and gave the guys props. Running three Mono-Red decks is pretty sweet.
I got some flack in the comments a few weeks ago from a line in one of my articles which declared my Magic Online winrate to be 67%, and I would like to reiterate this point, since I find it more to be a reminder of reality and not bragging. I'm willing to entertain the argument that I'm not Magic's best player right now, and if I had to bet I'd say it's likely that I am not, but I'd like to think there was a period of time when I was, and during that time people would be shocked when I lost.
My 33% of matches that are losses are made up of all my manascrew, flood, mulligans, and unfortunate pairings, but it's also made up of all the times that I make mistakes. I've lost some games which by all means I should have won, and I continue to foul up daily. Literally yesterday, in a Magic Online draft, I attacked a 3/4 into a 5/4 when we both had zero cards in hand.
I'm just a man made of flesh and blood and pride. I'm 60% water just like every one of you reading this. I've been outplayed before and I'll get outplayed again. My deck choice for Constructed is always a product of my preparation plus instinct and intuition; I don't have some kind of superhuman ability to always know what the best metagame decision is.
This is what makes a tournament match between two people interesting. It's a test of your ability to learn and prepare. Sometimes I play people and they'll start the match by saying "Good luck, not that you'll need it!" Rest assured, no matter how talented I am, I can't change the math enough to not need some luck.
I greatly enjoyed my first-round feature match on camera and I find this picture to be beautiful in a way. My Turn 1 Burning Inquiry discarded both my Bloodghasts, I kept both Hollow Ones, and my opponent lost his Goryo's Vengeance. Additionally, you may notice a beta Lightning Bolt signed by the artist in my graveyard.
I own four Beta Lightning Bolts, which are some of the most valuable items in my Magic collection, not in terms of raw cash value but because I received them as a gift. It was Grand Prix Washington DC 2013 and I honestly still don't know the circumstances which led to Luis Scott-Vargas walking around the convention center with four Beta Lightning Bolts in his hand, but he happened to walk by a match I was playing, saw me with ugly white-bordered Bolts, and solely to be generous gave them to me to play with and would not accept them back when I tried to return them.
I love LSV, we've been good friends for years, and Magic is amazing today in part because of him. I'm constantly reminded of this because I still use them in tournaments today, they look cool and they're fun to play with, and they're the best gift I've ever received in my adult life.
On to Standard!