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FNM 02/26/2011 [Feb. 26th, 2011|12:35 am]
As a foreword, I haven't seen anyone else post anything in the past few months. This is a direct challenge! Anyway...

Went to TOBS (The Old Book Store) for FNM. There were 20 something people tonight, so there would be 5 rounds. Brought my U/W CawBlade deck.

Round 1: Lucas with Mono White Quest (for the Holy Relic)

Game 1: He came out fast, with a Memnite, Glint Hawk, two Kor Skyfishers and Signal Pest. I couldn't find a wrath effect, and succumbed quickly.
Game 2: I started off with Squadron Hawks and a Sylvok Lifestaff, while he got his own Hawks, Ornithopter and Memnite. My next turn Ratchet Bomb took care of the free artifact creatures, and my birds traded with his. I then got Jace TMS down and eventually ultimated.
Game 3: His first two turns were Signal pest and Accorder Paladin. I made a Divine Offering of the Pest, but he was replaced with a Glint Hawk and a Memnite. I put down Jace TMS to try to dig to Day of Judgment, and couldn't find it on the first brainstorm. He added Squadron Hawks to his team and took me to 3, opting not to kill Jace. I drew, then brainstormed, and the very last card was a Day of Judgment (the second card being Baneslayer Angel). I quickly wrathed, and on the next turn played Baneslayer. Baneslayer went the distance while Jace paved the way.


Round 2: Fred with G/R Poison

Game 1: He gets stuck on one mana and on his fourth turn scoops. He discarded a poison creature, so I sideboarded accordingly.
Game 2: He starts off with Necropede, and I respond with a Ratchet Bomb. I follow that up with Squadron Hawk, and he follows his up with Carrion Call. I tick the Bomb to two since it was at one when he played Carrion Call. Then on his turn, he puts Canopy Cover on his Necropede and plays Smoldering Spires so my bird couldn't block. I just blow up the Bomb, killing his 'pede and Cover and my birds. I go to 4 poison. On my turn I play Gideon, making everyone attack. He plays a couple more guys and I Wrath, then swing with Gideon. After I play Elspeth Tirel on the next turn he concedes angrily.


Round 3: Chris with U/W CawBlade

Game 1: We play Land Go for the first ten turns or so, casting Preordains now and then. I break the silence with Squadron Hawks, which resolves. I am later able to resolve a Sword of Feast and Famine, and I start attacking. The birds and my Celestial Colonnade end up going the distance.
Game 2: His first two creatures are Squadron Hawk and Sphinx of Jwar Isle. After going to 10 from attacks (and Jace dying) I find a Wrath and miraculously cast it without it getting countered. I'm able to find Tectonic Edges for all of his Colonnades too. I get some Hawks of my own, and supplant them with a Sword and a Sun Titan, and get there.


Round 4: Brian with Mono White Quest

Game 1: This is a very drawn out game, with him playing some cheap guys and later getting the Quest, but still having more creatures to activate it. I Day of Judgment before the Quest becomes active, but he's able to put Argentum Armor on a Kor Skyfisher. Jace dies, and many Squadron Hawks chump block, but the turn before I can cast a lethal White Sun's Zenith he's able to kill me.
Game 2: He gets turn 3 Argentum Armor, but thankfully I have Divine Offering for it. After that is a Gideon, then a Day of Judgment, then Squadron Hawk and Sword of Feast and Famine, and the game is over shortly thereafter.
Game 3: He gets another Turn 3 Argentum Armor, but I once again have the Divine Offering. His Squadron Hawks trade with my Squadron Hawks, he Journey to Nowheres one of my Hawks and a Stoneforge Mystic, and I eventually blow up a Bomb for 1 to kill his fully leveled Student of Warfare, as well as a Bomb for 2 getting rid of the Journeys. A Colonnade equipped with Sword takes the game quickly.


Round 5: ID

Top 8

Round 6: Justin with Kuldotha Red
Game 1: He plays Memnite, Kuldotha Rebirth, followed by Goblin Guide and Contested War Zone, then Goblin Chieftain. I don't put up a fight.
Game 2: This time he has Ornithopter, Kuldotha Rebirth, kicked Goblin Bushwhacker, then Contested War Zone. After all of my Squadron Hawks dying to save me, as well as gaining some life with Sylvok Lifestaff, I'm at 2 life and the board is empty other than Jace TMS. I am able to ultimate in several turns after only having to Fateseal a Goblin Guide and a Lightning Bolt off of his library, giving him lands each draw step.
Game 2: Miraculously he doesn't have turn 1 Rebirth, but he has turn 1 double Ornithopter and Signal Pest, followed by Contested War Zone. I have Hawks and Stoneforge getting Lifestaff, and I'm able to stabilize at 3 life before turning the tides with a Hawk and a Sword, and keeping another Hawk and Staff on blocking duty.

Round 7: Manny with U/B Control
Game 1: He Spreads all of my white sources and wins on the back of a Vampire Nighthawk.
Game 2: His first Duress nabs Gideon, when it should have grabbed Deprive. I'm able to get a Stoneforge equipped with Sword of Feast and Famine with counter backup, and I peck away at him. I add some Squadron Hawks to my army, then finish with Celestial Colonnade.
Game 3: I start the game with 5 lands, Cancel and Spell Pierce. He Inquisitions, taking Spell Pierce. For my first draw I get Spell Pierce. While Manny gets flooded on lands, I find the right amount, and start pecking away at him with Squadron Hawks. He eventually has to blow a Ratchet Bomb on two of them, and I follow up with Stoneforge. I swing a couple of times with Colonnade, while adding a Jace TMS to the board. I get a few Brainstorms in before he's Bombed away and replaced with an enemy Jace, but by then I have a Sword on my hawk, and he only has two cards in hand, one of which I know is a Mana Leak. I dig through my deck with Preordains and find another Jace, killing his, and sealing the deal with a couple more attacks.

I split with the other guy in Top 2, and I get a Gideon and 5 packs of Mirrodin Besieged. I open a foil Phyrexian Revoker, but that's the biggest thing of note. Really tired, so this is where it ends.
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FNM 02/17/11 [Feb. 18th, 2011|11:42 pm]
As I will be starting my 3:45PM to 12:15AM shifts at work in a couple of weeks, I thought I should get one more FNM in at GameOver in St. Marys, where a bunch of my friends go now. There were 16 people there, 1 short for 5 rounds. I decided to play a variant of a very popular deck from PT Paris, CawBlade, which has the shell of a U/W control deck, with 4 Squadron Hawks and a Stoneforge Mystic/sword package.

Round 1: Mirror
Game 1: I get cut on mana, and then get some lands blown up, and I'm never really in the game.
Game 2: The same thing happens to my opponent.
Game 3: Well, there is no game three, because we go to time as we're shuffling up for the third game.


Round 2: Mono white Tempered Steel
Game 1: I get Stoneforge and Sword of Body and Mind, along with some birds, and start swinging away. However, my opponent has a couple Glint Hawk Idols, a Tempered Steel and a couple other dudes in play. I'll lose quickly unless I can get my opponent to block my guys with his Idols, which thankfully he does, and I Day of Judgment to clear our boards. I'm able to rebuild quicker than he does.

Game 2: He gets a very slow start, but it has two Leonin Arbiters, which make searching up Squadron Hawks and equipment a bit slower. He gets swings in of 2 and 4 every turn, and I can't find any sweepers.

Game 3: He keeps a one lander and I punish him.


Round 3: U/G Mass Polymorph
Game 1: He starts ramping up while I get a Mystic and Body and Mind. I mill his Stormtide Leviathan and Iona, which means the only creature he can Polymorph into is Emrakul. He does it, but I play Jace and bounce Emrakul and my Mystic and wolves kill him.

Game 2: He's stuck on blue for awhile, so I start the Hawk beatdowns. He's eventually able to find some green, and gets enough mana to Polymorph, with an Awakening Zone token, a Garruk token, and a Growth Spasm token. He hits his only three creatures. Iona names blue. I have the Mind Sculptor on the board, and I have to bounce Iona so I can Preordain and hopefully find a Day. I don't, so I have to sack three permanents, throw a birds in front of Emrakul, and take 8 from the Leviathan. Next turn I bounce Emrakul and Oust the Leviathan, and have to start bashing with my Colonnade, while trying to keep him from getting enough mana to hardcast Emrakul. I kill him while at 10 life and Leviathan in play, and he's still a couple mana short of casting Emrakul.


Round 4: Mono green infect
Game 1: Hawks + Body and Mind get aggressive, and start producing wolf chumpers on the ground. He tries to cast Viridian Corrupter at one point to kill my sword, but I have the mana leak for it.

Game 2: He's able to stick a Blight Mamba and put a Canopy Cover on it. I can't find any birds to start blocking, and I have no other way to deal with him.

Game 3: He plays two early Viridian Corrupters with no targets, and I double block both of them with Squadron Hawks. Then I play Baneslayer and start beating in. He tries to block and pump at one point, but I have the counter for it.


Since there are so few people it's a cut to Top 4. We all decide to split, and we get 8 packs each. I manage to get a couple of good cards from it: Black Sun's Zenith and a foil Sword of Feast and Famine, which coincidentally enough, I needed anyway for my deck.

As it's 2:42 in the morning, I feel this is adequate.
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GP Atlanta 01/22/2011 [Jan. 24th, 2011|09:57 am]
So, what a weekend. I really had a blast, saw a LOT of pros, and generally just had a good time. The weekend really started on Thursday when I went over to a friend's house to do some playtesting (I had done a lot more playtesting prior to this, but it had been interrupted by trivial things like going home to sleep). I knew I would be playing Jund this weekend, since I never have any luck with control decks in Extended, and with 9 rounds I a) Didn't want to do too much thinking and b) Wanted to finish matches with enough time to breathe before the next one started. I had a list all ready to go, but my friend gave me a list that someone had posted on TCGplayer.com that looked like it had a lot of potential. The main thing that brought me over was the fact that it played no Savage Lands. Here's what I ended up running. It wasn't exactly the list that my friend gave me, but I did take a lot of ideas from it.

4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Demigod of Revenge
4 Putrid Leech
4 Blightning
2 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Kitchen Finks
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Cunning Sparkmage
2 Inquisition of Kozilek (they should have been Thoughtseize, but my friend who was going to let me borrow his flaked out at the last minute)
1 Thoughtseize
1 Shriekmaw
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Chameleon Colossus

4 Raging Ravine
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
3 Twilight Mire
3 Verdant Catacombs
2 Fire-Lit Thicket
2 Copperline Gorge
2 Gilt-Leaf Palace
1 Lavaclaw Reaches
1 Graven Cairns
2 Swamp
2 Forest

3 Obstinate Baloth
2 Thought Hemorrhage
2 Terminate
2 Volcanic Fallout
2 Anathemancer
2 Deglamer
1 Chameleon Colossus
1 Maelstrom Pulse

I pretty much made this deck to beat Faeries, Tokens, and any strategy that relies on one toughness mana accel, which I thought would make up a large portion of the field. Unfortunately, I didn't face nearly as many of those decks as I wanted, which partially explained my record. But first, I must preface with what I did before this.

I playtested with my friends until about 2 in the morning, and left for St. Marys, GA where I was to meet up with three other friends to make the drive to Atlanta. I slept a good bit on the way there, and we got to our hotel at around 9:30am. We immediately went down to the site and signed up for a Grinder. There were many Grinders going on, and whoever won them would get three byes for the GP on Saturday. They were single elimination, and unfortunately my first matchup was my loss, which meant I was out of contention. I didn't want to spend another twenty on that, so I just signed up for FNM. Of course I ended up playing and losing against mono black and BR Vampires, and I only won against a U/B Control deck with a *heavy* counterspell suite. Unfortunately, he wasn't a very good player, as he bounced my Wall of Omens and Spreading Seas with Into the Roils, which just let me replay them and draw more cards. As a funny side note, neither of our life totals changed at all. The first game I got ultimate with Jace TMS and he scooped, and the second game I got ultimate with Venser and he scooped. With some free time now I decided to get a bunch of my cards signed by one of the artists at the site.

My friend wanted to hit a couple of bars, so I offered to go with him. We went to one bar where we played some shuffleboard, then walked over to another one, where we talked to a cute redhead bartender for the entire night. She apparently loved going to DragonCon so there was no shortage of things to talk about. My friend told me later that most of the drinks we bought she actually gave to us on the house, which was really awesome of her. I made a mental note to friend her and Like Meehan's facebook page. We got back to the hotel and went straight to sleep, having to wake up in less than 5 hours for the GP (which was definitely a bad idea, but amazingly didn't affect my playing on Saturday as much as I thought). But without further ado, here's what happened on Saturday.

Round 1: Jason with RDW
Game 1: Figure of Destiny and Hellspark Elemental get the early beats and Banefires finish me off.
Game 2: He boards in Leylines of Punishment (which he has in his opener). I should have seen this coming and boarded in Deglamer, but I didn't. I ended up playing Finks and 2 Obstinate Baloths this game, which would have won it for me had it not been for that enchantment. I'm able to Pulse it and pitch a Bloodbraid Elf to Fauna Shaman to get an Obstinate Baloth for the next turn. His hand is empty, but unfortunately he topdecks burn to finish me out. He had four maindeck Banefires and I think he saw all of them both games.


Round 2: Tatyana with RDW. I happen to see a Teetering Peaks as she's shuffling up, and I'm already thinking "Really, I face my worst matchup for the very first two games? Nice 0-2 record starting off"
Game 1: Early hasty guys get in quick damage and burn finishes me off. I'm able to get Putrid Leech equipped with a Basilisk Collar, but she has enough burn anyway to negate the two life gain each turn.
Game 2: I draw guys that gain me life, and she can't draw enough burn to counteract the life gain.
Game 3: I'm pretty sure she lost hope after that last match, as her first play is Mountain, Bolt you, which is almost never the correct play. As it is, she doesn't even look at my creatures, instead pointing every burn spell at my face. I'm in complete control this game and I do what Jund does.


Round 3: Lissa with Faeries. We chat for a little bit and she tells me she drove down with some friends all the way from Wisconsin. It's a very friendly game, and I can tell she's used to slinging spells by her demeanor and how she flips her cards. Not your average female Magic player.
Game 1: Her first two spells are both Thoughtseize, taking my Inquisition and Blightning. My first play is a Blightning, which obviously gets Mana Leaked. Then comes Cunning Sparkmage which starts pinging away her life. I follow that with Demigod, which takes her to 9. She's able to kill it, but now I have a Raging Ravine to start the beats. She's forced to start chumping with her lands, and she can't find an out.
Game 2: She mulligans to 6, and I throw out a Blightning to test her hand. She takes it, which clears the way for me to freely start playing other spells without worry of a counterspell. I play a Leech next, and on the next turn I animate Raging Ravine. She Doom Blades the Ravine, and I take her to 9 with the Leech. I find my Lavaclaw Reaches, and that plus the Leech take her to 0 in the next couple of turns.


Round 4: Jesse with Naya. We recognize each other as we sit down, because we played each other in Leagcy at a SCG 5k in Atlanta before.
Game 1: I curve out nicely with Putrid Leech into Blightning into Blightning. He plays Fauna Shaman, which I immediately Maelstrom Pulse. I play another Leech and then a Demigod, while he can only play Vengevine and Wooly Thoctar. I fly over for the win.
Game 2: He only plays Birds of Paradise, Elspeth and Knight of the Reliquary this game. I play Leech, Leech, and Pulse Elspeth while short on lands. I find my fourth land a couple turns later while all he is drawing is lands. I play the three Bloodbraids in my hand for the next few turns, which cascade into Fauna Shaman, Basilisk Collar and something else. He tilts toward the end of the game due to his bad draws and my excellent draws, and at the end of the game he mutters to himself "Can't believe I lost to a guy who forgot to Fauna Shaman" (I did forget to use the ability one turn, and he asked me if I had a creature in my hand to pitch, and I had two). While he was clearly very mad, he tried to save some face by saying something to the effect of "I hope you can understand why I'm so mad right now." Apparently he had two byes coming into this and lost the next two rounds, meaning one more loss would put him out of contention for Day two.


Round 5: Jordan with Jund
Game 1: I play Fauna Shaman, which gets bolted. Then I play back to back Blightnings, while he plays Leech. He gets Bloodbraid into Kitchen Finks, while I can't find any more creatures.
Game 2: An early Thoughtseize sees Raging Ravine, Putrid Leech, Lightning Bolt, Wurmcoil Engine(!), Bloodbraid Elf, Demigod of Revenge and Forest. I take the Engine, and notice that he only has two lands, which can't play Putrid Leech. Unfortunately He finds the necessary land to play his leech after I play mine. We trade, then he gets Finks and Bloodbraid Elf into Finks, which is terrible for me. I'm able to find an Obstinate Baloth, but he's able to play way more creatures than me.


Round 6: Jake with Pyromancer's Ascension
Game 1: He's able to get three active Ascensions in play, and the game progresses to where I have a Putrid Leech in play and a Demigod of Revenge in my hand and in the graveyard. I only have four lands in play because on one turn he's able to copy his Cryptic Command to bounce three of my lands and draw three cards. I know he has a Mana Leak from a previous Inquisition that took something else. He's at 6, and all I have to do is either play Demigod (which will get leaked but will bring the one in the graveyard back) and swing this turn and next to win, or play Raging Ravine tapped to swing for exactly lethal next turn. I don't make either of those plays, as I clearly didn't think things through enough, and I play Lavaclaw Reaches, which will be exactly one damage short the next turn. I'm at one, so I have to take him to only 4 with the Putrid Leech and play a creature. He topdecks a Preordain which gets copied three times, and he finds burn to finish me out.
Game 2: I Pulse his first two Ascensions and beat with creatures.
Game 3: He boards into his Pestermite/Splinter Twin combo. I mulligan to 6 and keep a two land hand. I don't see a third land, and at the end of my turn he plays Pestermite, tapping down my only red source. On his turn he plays land and Splinter Twin and wins with the combo. I mentally berate myself for making the only play that could have lost me Game 1 and subsequently the match, and I move on.


I can't make Day two even winning out, so I just keep playing for points

Round 7: Austin with B/G
Game 1: This was such a long game that I don't remember what happened through most of it. I know he played Memoricide getting rid of my Demigods. At one point he has Mimic Vat with my Kitchen Finks under it. I get a Basilisk Collar on Putrid Leech, and keep swinging while he keeps putting copies of the Finks in play to block, so we're both gaining two life a turn. I finally get Pulse for the Mimic Vat, and he never draws anything but lands. Oh yes, he did play a Wurmcoil Engine this game too.
Game 2: I quickly Thought Hemorrhage away Wurmcoil Engine this game, which definitely saves me later on. The game comes down to me finding Chameleon Colossus and Basilisk Collar, and him not running any way to kill it. With no Wurmcoil Engines in his deck, the Colossus goes all the way.


Round 8: Kenneth with U/W Control
Game 1: I get two early Putrid Leeches to get him down to 4 very quickly. He gets Kitchen Finks to bring himself to 6, then 8, but I find Cunning Sparkmage to start pinging away his life. I play conservatively with a Lightning Bolt in hand to finish him off in tandem with a final ping from the Sparkmage. On his last turn he activates Colonnade to take me to 4, which is just what I was waiting for, as he didn't have enough mana for Cryptic Command. I bolt him for the last three damage with plenty up for Mana Leak.
Games 2 and 3 are a bit of a blur, but he saw Kitchen Finks and Sun Titan both games, which just shut me out.


There was one more round to go, but I decided to call it there, and get something to eat. My friend and I ended up walking about a mile in the freezing cold to a place called the Vortex, which he has been wanting to go to since he decided to go to Atlanta. It's about an hour wait, and we have to ignore a few homeless panhandlers on the way there, but it was definitely worth it. I downed my half pound Steakhouse Burger in less than five minutes, but it takes me a while longer to finish off the thirty or so tater tots that came with it.

That night I got to bed early, but unfortunately the guy I shared a bed with was an obnoxiously loud snorer, and coupled with the headache that I had from all the noise and smoke in the Vortex, I could not get any sleep. I ended up going to the bathroom to get a drink of water and realized that when I shut the door, I couldn't hear his snoring anymore! I knew if I was to get any sleep, I would have to sleep in the bathroom. I tried a couple positions, one of them sitting on the toilet backwards and trying to put my pillow on the back of the toilet, and the other sitting on the toilet sideways and trying to put my pillow on the counter, neither of them being comfortable at all. I finally just spread a towel on the floor and slept there. Thankfully I had some experience sleeping on hard surfaces and I got a surprisingly restful sleep.

On Sunday I knew there wouldn't be nearly as many people at the site as on Saturday, so I figured I'd be able to get the other artist to sign the cards I brought for him. Unfortunately, when I got in line there was a group at the front that had been at the artist for an hour before I got there, and after I waited an hour and they were still with him I decided to just come back later. While I'm on this subject, there should really be some enforced rule that restricts the amount of time one person can hold an artist up for. Because of their selfishness the line only got longer for the rest of the day and I was never able to get that artist's cards signed for myself and my friends.

Aside from that, a couple of my friends were doing some trading with Tomoharu Saito, who came down to the GP despite being banned from all constructed events for the next 18 months. Nonetheless, I was able to get him to sign my GP playmat, which was very very awesome. We all left around 3 to go eat at a place that my friend and I had passed on Saturday called Gladys and Rons Chicken and Waffles (owned by Gladys Knight). They had very good soul food, and we all agreed that it was money well spent. From there we headed back to St. Marys, where I got dropped off at my friend's house and drove back here.

I definitely am glad that I was able to go to GP Atlanta. I learned a lot of things that would make me a better player, and got to see at least 85% of the top names in Magic there too.
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Extended Quasi-Tournament 01/15/11 [Jan. 15th, 2011|11:51 pm]
Went to a small 10 person Extended tournament at The Old Book Shop today since it was only five bucks and I really need all the practice I can get before the GPT next weekend. Made some minor changes to my deck. Took out a Putrid Leech, an Anathemancer, my Boggart Ram-Gangs, and a Maelstrom Pulse for three Fauna Shamans and four Demigod of Revenge. I took out a Great Sable Stag and a Volcanic Fallout for two Deglamers, which are a concession to Bitterblossom, Wall of Tanglecord, Wurmcoil Engine, and Prismatic Omen, among other things. I'm also considering moving the three Obstinate Baloths in the SB to the maindeck just to shore up my matches against opposing Jund decks. I'm also going to try to borrow three Thoughtseizes to take the place of my two Duresses and one Inquisition in the SB.

Anyway, here's how tonight went.

Round 1: Standard Valakut
Game 1: My first play was an unimpressive Anathemancer, and he played Khalni Heart Expedition. Then I got Bloodbraid into Kitchen Finks, taking him to 15. My next play was Demigod of Revenge, taking him to 5 after he bolted the Bloodbraid. He didn't have anything on his next turn and conceded.

Game 2: I mulliganed to 6, but got turn 2 Fauna Shaman and turn 3 Putrid Leech, while he only played red mana sources. I got Bloodbraid into another Putrid Leech, taking him to 11. He played Khalni Heart Expedition, and I got Demigod to finish him off before he could drop Wurmcoil Engine next turn.


Round 2: W/B Tokens
Game 1: He got turn 2 Bitterblossom and turn 3 Spectral Procession, which I hear is a pretty good start for the deck. I could only manage a Blightning as my first spell. On his turn he took my Bloodbraid Elf with Tidehollow Sculler, and took me down to 16. On my turn all I could do was another Blightning, taking him down to 12 with the help of his Bitterblossom. His next attack took me to 10, and he passed. I managed to find a Maelstrom Pulse for his spirit tokens, and on his turn he just swung with his Sculler and faerie tokens. I was able to activate my Lavaclaw Reaches to block the Sculler and get my Elf back. On my turn I played the Elf, which cascaded into Lightning bolt to clear his summoning sick faerie and take me in for three, putting him to 5. On his turn he went to 4 and could only attack with his three faeries, taking me to 3. On my turn I found another Bloodbraid, which found Anathemancer and finished him off.

Game 2: I started off strong with a turn 1 Duress taking his Bitterblossom and seeing two lands, Eldrazi Monument, Anathemancer, Kitchen Finks and Ranger of Eos. He played his second land and a newly drawn Burrenton Forge-Tender. On my turn I played a land and passed. He missed his land drop and just swung for one. I found another land and played Kitchen Finks. He missed another land drop and passed. I played another Finks and got in for three. He missed another land drop and passed. I played Bloodbraid into Anathemancer, leaving him at 8 after all was said and done. He managed to find an Arcane Sanctum (coming into play tapped, unfortunately, which meant he couldn't play his Finks). I took him to two with my attack, and finished him off with Lightning Bolt.


Round 3: Mono-Green Infect (as an aside, two of the guys decided to just throw together this deck with only commons and a couple uncommons, and they actually did really well tonight.) As there were only enough people for a Top 4, we ID'd to hopefully get in without having to play the last two games.


Round 4: The other Mono-Green Infect deck
Game 1: He played turns 2 and 3 Ichorclaw Myrs, while all I could do was play lands and represent instant-speed removal. I had Anathemancer in my hand, but that wouldn't do anything, and with me tapped out he could just pump the guy who wasn't blocked to his heart's content. He swung, and I declared no blockers. He used Primal Bellow on one, making it a 4/4. I joked around, asking if he wanted to throw any more pump spells on it (as I laid down my hand on the table face-down) and he added a Groundswell to it. I terminated it, and just took one poison from the other Myr. For the rest of the game, I just played guys and blocked with those and my man-lands until the board was clear. Then I attacked with the man-lands and won easily, with 5 poison counters on me at the end.

Game 2: I got a ridiculous opening hand. My first play was a Duress, taking a Groundswell and seeing two Forests, Carrion Call, Cystbearer and Fog. My second play was Inquisition, taking Cystbearer. On his turn he played another Cystbearer, and I bolted it afterward (not giving him any chance to have open mana to pump it in response to burn). I played a land and passed. He did the same. I played land-go, and at the end of my turn he played Carrion Call. I immediately wiped the board with Volcanic Fallout. I pretty much burned creatures as fast as I could, and thankfully when I had no more cards left, the top of the deck rewarded me with a Putrid Leech. My opponent kept drawing lands and the leech went all the way.


We decided to split Top 4, and I just got store credit for 8.75. I also managed to grab a Frost Titan, a Lux Cannon and two Etched Champions (the latter three for my Standard Mono-Brown deck, and the Titan to get signed by the artist next weekend). As it's already 3am, I think I'll call it a night.
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Extended FNM 01/14/11 [Jan. 14th, 2011|11:21 pm]
So today instead of the normal Standard FNM, Borderlands hosted Extended for all those people who are testing for the numerous Extended GPTs and PTQs that are among us. I had Jund put together from a tournament a couple months ago, so I figured I might as well give it a go. But before we get to this, I finally got a job =D. As a result, I am treating myself to the Grand Prix Trial in Atlanta on January 22nd, which just so happens to be Extended. We had enough people tonight for 5 rounds with a cut to Top 8. I didn't really take notes except for life totals and when I Duressed/Inquisitioned my opponents, but I can give a brief overview from memory.

Round 1: R/G...something
Game 1: He played Arc Runner, and that's it. I bolted it as he swung, and I played guys and won.
Game 2: He played Kiln Fiend. He tried to bolt my Putrid Leech. I pumped in response. He passed. Next turn he attacked with his Kiln Fiend. I blocked with Leech. He let it die. I played guys and won.


Round 2: Faeries
Game 1: He got a little stuck on mana, with only three Secluded Glens in the first five or so turns. I played guys and he used a lot of removal on them. I had a Putrid Leech out for awhile just swinging for two, and he later told me that he had two Disfigures the whole time just waiting for me to pump the Leech. He started coming back with Mistbind Cliques, but the turn he didn't Clique me I just unearthed an Anathemancer to kill him.
Game 2: He got mana screwed again this game. He did manage to get a Bitterblossom out, but he was forced to chump with the tokens for awhile as I kept playing guys with haste. He was regaining a lead with Bitterblossom, Mistbind Clique and two faerie tokens, and I had the bolt in my hand to kill him. He was at three, and he had at least four mana untapped. I drew a Maelstrom Pulse at his faerie tokens and baited a counterspell, even though all he had to do was look at his board and realize he could activate a Mutavault next turn to win. He countered my Pulse, and I was able to sneak the Bolt past for the final three damage.


Round 3: Junk / Doran (G/W/B Midrange)
Game 1: A turn two Tidehollow Sculler took my Maelstrom Pulse. I made two misplays a little later. The first time I swung Boggart Ram-Gang into his untapped Knight of the Reliquary. I knew he would tape it and get Seijiri Steppe to give it pro-something, and I was planning to Terminate it in response, but I didn't realize I didn't have the correct colored mana for that. A few turns later, I swung a Bloodbraid into an Obstinate Baloth, planning to Volcanic Fallout to clear the board, but not realizing I didn't have enough mana. He just drew more creatures than I did, and didn't make dumb mistakes, and he won.

Game 2: I essentially cleared his hand and we were both in the teens of life. He topdecked in succession his second black source (and sixth land) and Grave Titan to steal the game away. I held it off for as long as I could, but he topdecked a Celestial Purge to kill my man-land before I could block to prevent lethal damage.


Round 4: Faeries
Game 1: The only damage I took this game was sacking a Verdant Catacombs. His life went down by threes the whole game.
Game 2: I drew three Bloodbraid Elves this game. I almost couldn't play them as my four lands in play were three Forests and a Savage Lands, and he used Tectonic Edge on the Savage Lands. I topdecked another and could start chaining Bloodbraids. The first cascaded into a Kitchen Finks, which got countered. The second cascaded into a Great Sable Stag, and the third cascaded into Anathemancer. There was no way he could come back.


Round 5: Mono white (my worst matchup, btw)
I was paired down against someone with 7 points so we had to play it out.
Game 1: He won and started with Steppe Lynx. He followed that up with Figure of Destiny. My life started going down in large chunks, as he kept playing fetch lands for the Lynx. His third creature was a maindeck Ethersworn Canonist, which is obviously only in the deck for Jund. He managed to do all the wrong things though, practically begging me to take the game away from him. I kept myself alive by blocking his guys with man lands. One turn he used Brave the Elements on his guys to get through for 6, and then tried casting Spectral Procession, but couldn't because of his own Canonist. On my turn I Blightning'd the Procession and something else. I was able to kill his Canonist by blocking with a man land, and had to rely on the Bloodbraid Elf in my hand to pick up a creature destruction spell, but it didn't, and I was only at two life so I couldn't live through his two attackers.
Game 2: I had the nut hand, with Duress, Inquisition, Blightning, Volcanic Fallout and three lands. I stripped his hand of all cards within the first three turns, and cleared his board twice with Fallouts. All I had to do was draw creatures to win. But my deck didn't want to cooperate, and my opponent got the perfect cards he needed every turn. First was a Knight of the White Orchid to bring him to three lands. Then he topdecked a land, a Ranger of Eos (getting two Figure of Destinies) and a Brave the Elements. I still couldn't find any spells, and I eventually succumbed to his perfect draws.


Miraculously I still made it into Top 8, and while everyone else was playing it out for Top 4, my opponent and I decided to split what we'd get from Top 4. He got an extra pack, since our winnings were 9 packs, and we rolled for the promo Everflowing Chalice, and I won that. And now it's time for a long overdue sleep session.
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FNM 01/07/11 [Jan. 7th, 2011|09:04 pm]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

Brought my U/W blink control deck tonight to a paltry 13 person FNM. It was 4 rounds split to Top 4.

Round 1: Chris with Valakut Ramp
Game 1: I won the die roll and went first. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I didn't take any damage, and my opponent went from 20 to 16 to 8 to dead. I know a Colonnade was involved, and most likely a Sunblast Angel too.

Game 2: He started off with a turn 2 Khalni Heart Expedition. I was faced with a dilemma on my second turn. I could either throw Luminarch Ascension out there, or hold up mana to counter a potential Cultivate. I chose the latter, and was rewarded when he tried to cast Cultivate. I then threw out the Ascension, and luckily all he did on his turn was play another Expedition and a land. He cast Inferno Titan, dealing me three and keeping Ascension off of four counters for another turn. I cast Journey to Nowhere on it, and Mana Leaked a Terrastodon that threatened to blow up both enchantments and something irrelevant. He responded with a free Summoning Trap, which got a Primeval Titan and two Valakuts. I used my second Journey on the Primeval Titan, and Tectonic Edge two of his three Valakuts. My Ascension is active now, but all he needs to do is find a mountain to kill me, as I'm at 2. Thankfully, my bud Jace TMS comes aboard to fateseal the way clear for me, and my angels get there.


Round 2: Josh with R/B Aggro
Game 1: I won the die roll and went first. He mulliganed to a one-land 6 card hand. I cast Spreading Seas on that land, and he didn't see a second land until it was way too late.

Game 2: He had a fast start with Goblin Guide and Kiln Fiend. He adds Perilous Myr to the field, and I remove Kiln Fiend with Celestial Purge. Unfortunately by the time I find a Day of Judgment I'm at a low enough life total where two bolts kill me.

Game 3: He keeps another slow hand, with his first two lands as ETB tapped Dragonskull Summits. I make both of them islands. He tries to keep my land count down with some Tectonic Edges, but I find enough lands to eventually cast Frost Titan. Unfortunately he can't do anything with so few red sources and I win.


Round 3: Ryeland with Boros
Game 1: A turn 1 Goblin Guide and a turn 2 Squadron Hawk quickly sent my life total down. My Wall of Omens was sent on a Journey to Nowhere as the beats kept coming. Thankfully, every Goblin Guide attack netted me a land from the top of my deck, so I could get to my answers faster. He got me to 4 before I was able to kill his board with Sunblast Angel. He instantly regretted using his only Journey to Nowhere on my wall, as I quickly lowered his life total with the angel. I got down a Frost Titan also, and he couldn't come back.

Game 2: His first play was a Stoneforge Mystic grabbing a Basilisk Collar. I played Wall of Omens, but that was soon brought down with a Cunning Sparkmage/Basilisk Collar combo. On my turn I cast Journey to Nowhere on the Sparkmage. He spent the next 6 turns pinging me with his Mystic, while I made all of his Plains into Islands. As the board state progressed, I added a Tumble Magnet and a Glimmerpoint Stag (resetting the Magnet) to my side, and he added another Mystic and Sword of Body and Mind to his. I Condemned one, and kept his other tapped with the Magnet while providing beats with my newly cast Frost Titan (which unfortunately couldn't tap down his pro blue/pro green Mystic.) I quickly worked his life total down to a reasonable number, and used up the last of my magnet counters in the process. His last attempt at a comeback was countered, and I barely got the game. He later showed me his hand, which consisted of two Journey to Nowheres and a Revoke Existence, which would have undoubtedly exiled my Journey on his Sparkmage.


Round 4: Ryan with U/W Control. Draw.


We split Top 4. The prize support is 5 packs to 3 people, 6 packs to one person, and two FNM promo Everflowing Chalices. I end up trading a win for an extra pack and the promo, which is quite fine with me. My friend and I both open one pack. I get Serra Ascendant and a foil Dragonskull Summit, and he gets Chandra Nalaar. We agree we'll use the rest for some pack wars later in the week.

So all in all a very good night, and week for that matter. I just finished my tax preparation class, so I can finally make some money doing taxes part time. I also have a friend who is trying to get me some work as a bouncer at the club she works at. As well, I have a friend and his fiancee who may be moving in as well, so I could have a lot more money coming in soon. Just have to get a full time job and I'll be golden. Peace.
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FNM 12/31/10 [Jan. 1st, 2011|12:45 am]
So, I had been playing Esper control for a few weeks after U/B control had become too popular for my liking. Last night a bunch of friends from Jax and GA came over to do a draft and some standard/extended/Commander shenanigans. I managed a really good U/W deck with an Elspeth, Sunblast Angel, 4 Sky-Eel Schools and some guys with big butts to clog up the ground. I only managed to get third after I lost to a really fast B/R deck. But I did manage to get some trades in, and despite trying to make a fair trade with one guy, he ended up giving me a regular and a foil Venser for an Avenger of Zendikar, 3 Oracles of Mul Daya and an Eldrazi Conscription (he was willing to give me a foil Koth too). I also traded another guy two Mimic Vats for a Venser. So now I had three Vensers, and knew it was time to make a U/W blink deck. This is what I managed to throw together at KJ's house earlier today.

4 Spreading Seas
4 Mana Leak
4 Preordain
3 Venser, the Sojourner
3 Journey to Nowhere
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Jace Beleren
2 Day of Judgment
2 Sea Gate Oracle
2 Glimmerpoint Stag
1 Cancel
1 Deprive
1 Sun Titan
1 Frost Titan
1 Tumble Magnet
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Seachrome Coast
3 Island
3 Plains
3 Tectonic Edge
2 Halimar Depths
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Marsh Flats
1 Evolving Wilds

3 Luminarch Ascension
2 Celestial Purge
2 Negate
2 Flashfreeze
2 Condemn
1 Stoic Rebuttal
1 Spell Pierce
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Day of Judgment

I went to The Old Book Shop where the guys from JaxCardSingles.com sometimes hold tournaments. We had 14 people, which meant 4 rounds.

Round 1: Ken with RDW
Game 1: I win the roll, and the first spell is a Kiln Fiend for him. I quickly send it on a Journey to Nowhere, and the same happens for the Kiln Fiend he plays after that. He then plays Goblin Shortcutter, but I follow that with Frost Titan, and he gets there.

Game 2: he gets a Kiln Fiend and a couple Goblin Shortcutters to start off, and despite three Preordains I can't find any removal, and small guys go the distance.

Game 3: He gets mana flooded this game, but has a turn 1 Goblin Guide. It gets a swing in before being Condemned, and the next relevant spell is a Frost Titan from me, and he keeps drawing lands.


Round 2: Taelor with Mono Green Eldrazi
Game 1: The first game she gets mana cut, and I make it my goal to keep it that way. I make her only Forest an Island and Mana Leaked two Cultivates and a Growth Spasm once she gets her second Forest. She gets two Ratchet Bombs in play, and through a combination of Glimmerpoint Stags, a Mind Sculptor and a Venser, I'm able to keep them from hitting relevant numbers. Those plus a Colonnade bring her to zero.

Game 2: She is mana flooded this time, but actually plays threats. She starts with two Overgrown Battlements followed by a Wurmcoil Engine. Over the next few turns I let it hit me, block with an Oracle and bounce it with Jace at least two times. I finally get a Journey for the Engine, but the next threat is Ulamog, which destroys big Jace. Unfortunately I have to waste another Jace by bouncing Ulamog so she has to play it again, but that gives me the turn I need to play Frost Titan and keep it tapped. At this point she has a Ratchet Bomb that is ticking closer to 6. I find an Elspeth in the nick of time, and with that I'm able to keep Ulamog and her Bomb (which is tapped and at six counters, mind you) permanently tapped. She eventually finds Mystifying Maze, which is fine since if she targets Frost Titan I'll be able to keep another permanent tapped as well. I manage to find a Stag, which transfers an earlier played Spreading Seas from an Eldrazi Temple to her Mystifying Maze. Now I can begin taking chunks out of her life, which is now at 32. Unfortunately for her, she keeps drawing lands, and at any point all she has to do is draw Emrakul or Eye of Ugin to win, but she can't, and I get there.


Round 3: Pete with U/B Control
Game 1: We play land go for a few turns, and as I am drawing plenty of mana, I use two Tectonic Edges that I've drawn to take out the two Creeping Tar Pits that he has played. He gets stuck at 4 mana for awhile, and is digging with a few Preordains. He also plays an Elixir of Immortality and later sacrifices it. I'm able to stick a Mind Sculptor and continue to add counters to it, and when I have it at ultimate Pete concedes.

Game 2: I mulligan to 5 into a hand that I shouldn't have kept since there were no blue sources, but I had a Luminarch Ascension so I kept it. I got to play the Ascension, but unfortunately it took at least 5 turns before I could find a blue source. Once the Ascension was at three counters Pete Volition Reins'd it, and at this point, after having gone through two baby Jaces and played a big Jace, I scooped.

Game 3: I once again get a turn 2 Ascension, and once it has two counters, he wins a counter war with Trinket Mage, but forgets to look for anything with it. We play draw go for awhile, with my Ascension at three counters, and with him taking two point chunks out of my life total each turn, eventually taking me to 8 before I can get rid of it. At this point he has eight mana, and puts a Volition Reins on the enchantment. While he only has two mana I decide to throw Sun Titan out there, getting back one of my Jaces that got countered earlier. That plus a Colonnade eventually get there, as I always have at least one counterspell in my hand.


Round 4: Scott with Mono Green Monument
Game 1: He wins the die roll, and unfortunately I am always a turn behind. He plays a couple of mana dorks, a Garruk and a Monument and I'm done for.

Game 2: Vengevine is the MVP of this game, and unfortunately I don't draw any removal save a Day of Judgment, but all he has to do is play two small guys and get Vengevine back to finish me off.

3-1 It's irrelevant anyway, as both of us are in the Top 4 but aren't playing each other.

Top 4
Round 1: George with Valakut Ramp
Game 1: I make his Forest an Island and Tectonic Edge his Raging Ravine, and he doesn't draw any more green mana sources. A Frost Titan is all she wrote.

Game 2: Once again, I Spreading Seas his only green source, and I keep him off lands with Jace. He scoops once Jace nears ultimate.

We ended up playing three more games afterward, and it was the same deal every game. He wouldn't draw enough green sources, and when he did I would either destroy them or make them Islands.


Round 2: I forgot his name with B/R Vampires
Game 1: He is mana flooded, but manages a Bloodghast to start things off. Once he plays a couple more guys I Day of Judgment, and with his remaining two mana he pays two black to pay for Kalastria Highborn to deal me four and have him gain four. I play an unanswered Sun Titan, and proceed to pick off all of his non-basics with a recurring Tectonic Edge. I subsequently get Glimmerpoint Stag to join the beats, and they both go all the way. Fortunately for me, he missed several Bloodghast triggers as he played his lands, and I think that's what allowed me to win.

Game 2: He gets a bunch of guys out, I Day, he activates Kalastria taking me to 8. He plays another guy and swings. I try to activate Colonnade to block, but it gets Doom Bladed, and I have no more answers.

Game 3: I probably punted this game, as I used removal on creatures that weren't named Bloodghast or Kalastria Highborn, and I had one turn to find my second Day of Judgment, but couldn't.

So I ended up getting second place, and unfortunately the split was 14 packs for 1st and 5 for second. I opened one, getting Argentum Armor, and hope to use the other four for some pack wars at some point.

I'll probably end up taking the two Sea Gate Oracles out in favor of Wall of Omens, since they cost one less and can block bigger creatures profitably. The only thing I don't like is it can't kill one toughness creatures, and it can't attack, but let's be honest, how many times do Sea Gate Oracles actually win the game by attacking?

I definitely love this deck and want to find ways to make it infinitely better. That's all for tonight.
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Blargh [Dec. 20th, 2010|11:08 pm]
[mood |blahblah]

Ah, so much going on, and none of it important at all. Looking for jobs daily, and I'm frankly running out of ideas. I haven't heard back from Vystar in three weeks, and last time I called they said they were still working on it. I've applied to every place I can think of that would pay enough to take care of the bills, and I'm pretty much looking on Vystar's website every day to see if another branch is looking for tellers so I can try those. I've started looking more broadly (i.e. outside of Jacksonville). My parents said they'll support me until I can find a job, and they'll help take care of things concerning the house if I find a job that would require me to move. So it's pretty much back to applying for federal jobs.

My roommate bought me WoW so he could get some new mount, so now I'm just playing that (since he's paying for it and all) to pass the time while I look for jobs and am basically a homebody. I only go out for game days at Al's now and FNM. Magic is the only thing I spend money on now that isn't food or bills. I've managed to restrict myself to one meal a day, which I'm very surprised about. I suppose the thought of having to spend money I don't have on groceries is really a great motivator to eat less.

Magic's meh. I was toying around with a four color deck for a couple of weeks, but the field has gotten more hostile to home brews, so I took out green to make it a simple Esper deck. It's got quite a few one-of's (Inquisition of Kozilek, Liliana Vess, Deprive, Doom Blade, Into the Roil, Disfigure, Tectonic Edge, Sun Titan, Day of Judgment, and Grave Titan). The rest of it is a lot of two-of's, except for Preordains and Mana Leaks. I'm liking it a lot better than the four color deck, but unfortunately the next FNM won't be until the weekend after New Years.

That's pretty much it for me. Time for bed.
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FNM 12/03/10 [Dec. 3rd, 2010|09:42 pm]
Gonna keep this short and sweet as I kinda ran out of paper in my notebook and had to write on the back of some pages (and I didn't take notes at all, so it's all from memory). I was kinda tired of U/B Control, so I figured I'd do something wacky and go 4 color control this time (-red). So I stuck some mana fixing in there, some big bombs, jaces, counterspells, and creature destruction cards and called it a deck.

Round 1: Bye


Round 2: RDW

Game 1: At one point he had Molten-Tail Masticore out, and forgot to pay the upkeep on it. When he drew his card for the turn, I said "Sacrifice the masticore, please." He realized his mistake and went to put his card back to try to go back to his upkeep step, and when I hinted that I was enforcing this request, he said something to the effect of "You're really going to do this?" and scooped up his cards.

Game 2: He had a traditional RDW curves and won.

Game 3: He had a pretty slow start, and I saw a lot of my SB cards. I eventually got a Baneslayer into play and won off of her.


Round 3: Valakut Ramp
Game 1: I bluffed counterspells to the best of my ability, but he thought I had Mana Leaks instead of Negates, and just waited until he had enough mana to play a Primeval Titan with extra available to pay for a leak. I had Avenger of Zendikar in my hand and would have been able to play it the next turn.

Game 2: Once again, I saw no counterspells, and his lands beat me in the face again.


Round 4: RDW
Game 1: He mulled to 6, and I believe he didn't play a spell until turn 5, which was just pointing burn at Baneslayer Angel. I played another Baneslayer and he killed that too, then I played Avenger of Zendikar and won.

Game 2: He got off alright with Goblin Guide and Kiln Fiend. I Flashfroze an Ember Hauler, Doom Bladed the Goblin Guide and was forced to Day of Judgment the Kiln Fiend. Then I played Sea Gate Oracle, which died to Searing Blaze, and Sun Titan, getting back the Sea Gate Oracle. He scooped after he drew his next card.


Round 5: ID

Top 8
Game 1: He was able to ultimate a Koth, which quickly dispatched my Baneslayer Angel, and later, me.

Game 2: He got Goblin Guide early, then Koth as I was casting a Cultivate, two burn spells on my Baneslayer Angel, a Mark of Mutiny on my Grave Titan, and an Ember Hauler when I was at 3 life, which meant I couldn't use any fetch lands, and I didn't have enough mana to play anything relevant. Would like to mention that I didn't see any sideboard cards that game either.

Opened my "Thanks for playing" pack and got Contagion Engine and a foil Blackcleave Cliffs, and I also won the random drawing for the FNM Wild Nacatl, so I got something out of tonight. I'll probably brew something else for next week, not sure what it will be though.
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(no subject) [Nov. 15th, 2010|09:12 pm]
Well, over the past two weeks I have submitted over 15 paper/internet applications to several different stores and restaurants, and whatever credit unions were hiring. I got a call back from Barnes and Noble today asking to come in for an interview, but apparently they did not actually read my application, as I clearly stated that I needed to make at least $9.oo an hour, for a minimum of 30 hours a week. After we had finished the interview and I asked how much they would be paying, she told me they can guarantee a minimum of 10-15 hours at minimum wage (as a seasonal job, mind you). I somehow easily managed to not laugh out loud or start yelling at her, and told her I'd have to think about it and call her back. I hate to go against my word, but I'm not calling her back...

After going to my parents' house to update them and score a free dinner (gotta love parents), I got a call from Community First Credit Union asking to come in for an interview tomorrow. Now I know what they are offering, because it clearly states on their website that they are hiring someone for 30 hours a week at a minimum of 10.24 an hour. Since I have a few years of credit union experience under my belt, I'm hoping I can get them to jack that up a couple dollars. As long as they can work around one class a semester (and they actually want to hire me) I should be golden. Of course there mere action of announcing this already lowers my chances of getting hired by at least 25%.

But being the hopeful guy that I am, I'm optimistic. Adding my (hopeful) paycheck to the $500 I get every month for rent, I'll (hopefully) be making more than I ever have. Maybe I can finally start investing in some stuff to make my house a home, as well as be able to afford all the food I want to buy to practice cooking. Well I think I'm gonna end my daydream here before I do any irreparable damage to my chances of getting this job.
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