Magic Online Community Cup: Wednesday

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The Magic Online Community Cup has rested in the hands of the Community for the first two years of its existence. Who will hoist the the Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg Memorial Trophy this year?

With three rounds of Scars of Mirrodin draft completed on Wednesday, the Community Team took a 20-point lead but saw that advantage disappear in after-hours play. The Wizards Team completed a 6-0 sweep in Archenemy on Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 as the Community Team crumpled before the awesome might and fiendish schemes of Zac Hill, Dave Guskin, and Mike Mikaelian

If the Community Team manages to defeat the Wizards Team, all players who log on to Magic Online anytime on Wednesday, June 15; Thursday, June 16; or Friday, June 17, will be invited to a no-entry-requirement Planeswalker-format Constructed tournament on July 3! All players who play in this four-round, Swiss-pairings event will receive one Magic 2011 booster pack. All players who earn 12 match points by going undefeated will also receive any three Magic Online booster packs of their choice—yes, any three!

If the Wizards Team wins, however, players will not go empty handed; all players who logged in between June 13 and June 17 will receive a Darksteel Relic promotional card with a June 17, 2011 date stamp!

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Deck Lists:
    Scars of Mirrodin Booster Draft

  • by Nate Price
    Scars of Mirrodin Draft:
    First Blood Struck by Community Team

  • by Nate Price
    Photo Essay:
    Riding the Duck Around Seattle

  • by Nate Price

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Draft Viewer:
    Blue Pod

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Draft Viewer:
    Red Pod

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Wizards Participants

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Community Participants

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    2011 Community Cup Event Details

Team Points
Community Team 89
Wizards Team 91

Scars of Mirrodin Draft

Modern Unified

Standard Unified


  • Deck Lists: Scars of Mirrodin Booster Draft

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • First Blood Struck in Scars of Mirrodin Draft

    by Nate Price
  • One thing that I have really enjoyed seeing at the Community Cup is how much people enjoy watching it, even here within the halls of Wizards of the Coast. Members of the Wizards staff from all departments always seem to make an appearance during the various rounds, dropping in to watch the draft, bird a game of Standard or two, and often simply to meet (and heckle) the players who showed up to represent the Community team. Due to the team nature of the event, both teams do an insane amount of communication during the draft, often leaving their computers to comment on picks by their teammates. When you factor in that some of the players on each team ended up directly passing to teammates, there was a definite bustle going throughout the room.

    Feeding the railbirds.

    As the draft ended, both teams felt pretty solid about their decks. Both Aaron Forsythe and Chris Kuehl looked to have absolute monsters. Forsythe had a blue/red control deck featuring Treasure Mage, Slagstorm, and a slew of other good cards. ChrisKool's deck was on the other side of the spectrum. His red/white aggro deck featured a number of fast, aggressive creatures with a reasonable amount of removal to back them up.

    With the first round under way, things went bad for the Wizards team off the bat. Virtually around the board, the Wizards team dropped their first game. Aaron Forsythe proved to be their bastion, winning his first game and the entire match soon thereafter. Elsewhere, the Community team clamped down and started winning left and right.

    LSV and Enigma take down the first two matches.

    One match of particular note was between Marshall Sutcliffe and Ryan Spain. The duo behind the LimitedResources podcast, this matchup became possible thanks to Spain's recent hiring by a little entity known as Wizards of the Coast. Now playing for the "enemy," it seemed only fitting that these two Limited minds would face off not only the same draft pod, but the first round of the tournament. Their match was a marathon, completely living up to the hype surrounding it. Their match was easily the first to hit the viewer cap, and those lucky enough to make it in were treated to a show. The second game of their match came down to a great series of plays for Spain. Sutcliffe had a pair of 2/2 fliers and a Barbed Battlegear, ready to smash Spain to smithereens. When he equipped on the first one, Spain had a Leeching Bite to save a ton of damage. When he tried to equip again, Spain was able to block a 3/3 attacker with his Treasure Mage and use a second Leeching Bite to absolutely swing the game. After that, his deck took over and he took the game to a third game. In that final game, the endgame came down to haymaker after haymaker, with Sutcliffe finally landing the knockout punch with a Mortis Dogs carrying a Barbed Battlegear.

    The second round gave us the marquee match we were looking for after checking decks. Aaron Forsythe and his red/blue monstrosity squared off with Chris Kuehl's red/white aggro deck. Ultimately, despite all of the power between both decks, the match came down squarely to one card. I think Forsythe put it best on Twitter. "True Conviction +39 other cards defeated me :(" Thanks to the power of True Conviction, ChrisKool was able to win despite Forsythe's ability to kill virtually every creature he added to the table. All it took was a couple survivors to put Forsythe down. Another highlight of the second round was Mike Turian's utter trouncing of Marshall Sutcliffe. As Turian Tweeted, "When infect works, it works quickly!"

    Which one's the real Soliton?

    The final round had some truly memorable moments. Luis Scott-Vargas and Aaron Forsythe were paired up in an epic battle which went all the way to a third game. Ultimately, LSV proved to be a bit overmatched, and Forsythe took home his match for the WotC team. At one point in the second game, Forsythe had a trio of Solitons, one a Cryptoplasm pretending to be a Soliton and the other a Phyrexian Metamorph pretending to be a Cryptoplasm pretending to be a Soliton. Bing Luke had an awesome turn of events in which he had gotten his opponent, Gordon Culp, to eight poison counters until he appeared to take the advantage with a Precursor Golem...until Luke used a Spread the Sickness on one of them to just flat out win the game on the spot. Proliferate three times? Thank you! In Turian's match against Graham Stark, both players traded Whispering Specter stories. Stark used his and a Strata Scythe to finish Turian off in two swings. Turian didn't use his to actually kill Stark, but when he sacrificed it to strip him of his whole hand, it effectively ended the game.

    Things don't look good for the home team.

    After the dust settled and all of the intricate "math" was done, it was the Community team that had struck the first blow. Winning 14 out of 24 matches, the Community team ended the day with a 20-point lead. The lead would be important going into the Unified Constructed events, where it has felt like the Wizards team has held an advantage. Two players—one from each squad—managed to go undefeated. Gordon Culp and Chris Kuehl both managed perfect 3-0 records with their red/white decks. Check out the draft viewers out to see how they did it!

    Congratulations to Chris Kuehl and Gordon Culp on their undefeated performances!


  • Photo Essay: Riding the Duck Around Seattle

    by Nate Price
  • Before the Magic drafting began on Wednesday, the Community Team took a tour of Seattle on a unique amphibious vehicle, well-known around town as "The Duck."

    Austrian Josef Kronbichler gives Mountain Dew a try for the first time. He admitted it wasn't Red Bull, which he said 'tastes like gummy bears!'

    The Community Crew in front of the Space Needle in downtown Seattle. Not pictured: Whatever Luis Scott-Vargas was looking at.

    Everyone with cameras out in front of the Experience Music Project, making like tourists. Or podcasters. Or webcasters. Or all of the above.

    What have we gotten ourselves into...

    The Magic Online store's new mascot...or not.

    Oh that's just Alex Steacy from LoadingReadyRun...planking the bus stop.

    Perhaps I should have been more specific when I asked for no duck lips in photos...

    And thus began our journey on the duck...

    Still blissfully unaware of what lies ahead.

    Jeremy Petter from LoadingReadyRun has the best seat on the Duck: right behind the captain, with a chair in his crotch. Comfortable.

    Mike Robles snapping a quick photo before we take off. I get points for this, right?

    There is no chance that Bing Luke is going to drown on this trip. He's an adult.

    Meet Captain Bob La Bla, Seattle Duck-guide master by day, construction worker...also by day.

    Graham Stark: 'Can we stop at a Starbucks?' Cpt. Bob: 'Didn't get your coffee fix?' GS: 'No, but they might have a bathroom!'

    Within thirty seconds, Stark has sprinted off the Duck!

    Sweet relief!

    Welcome to the Elephant Super Car Wash, the first automated car wash in the country!

    Our final destination: Lake Union.

    Look, man, you can by shoes anywhere. Here, you can buy feet too!

    Captain Bob is a man of many hats.

    The last time I drove a truck off a boat ramp, it didn't go so well...

    Apparently, Captain Bob has a fairly large eyewear collection as well.

    Not pictured: T-Pain, though I'm pretty sure someone in the back is wearing a nautical-themed pashmina afghan.

    Chris Kiritz,left, Vincent Price (no relation), center, and Mike Robles: the men behind our expedition. If we drown, send complaints to them.

    It was pretty sweet to see the Space Needle in the background as seaplanes took off before us. Cool moment.

    Do you live on the right or the left?

    You think Patrick Chapin is inside?

    They moved too fast to get shots of the M-C-A, but you get the idea.

    Planking Black Lightning.

    What's better than celebrating a trip on the Duck with a hot dog? Two hot dogs!



    by Nate Price
  • With echoes of Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg's voice ringing throughout the room, the final event of Wednesday came to a head. Three members of the Wizards team came strolling into the War Room. Dave Guskin, Zac Hill, and Mike Mikaelian entered the room to a chorus of boos and took their places behind their computers. The format for this Multiball challenge?

    Archenemy, on the PC version of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012.

    Behold, the archenemies! Tremble before their might and awesome fedoras!

    This year, Multiball was run a little different. Rather than a full-on multiplier, the two teams played two rounds of play, each match worth five points. At the end of Multiball, the points earned would be added directly to the winning team's score. That meant that thirty points were up for grabs, thirty points that could change the texture of the tournament.

    The Community team broke into three-man cells. Luis Scott-Vargas, Bing Luke, and Enigma squared off against Zac Hill. Marshall Sutcliffe, Sunie, and JoeKewwl faced Mike Mikaelian. ChrisKool, Whiffy, and Graham Stark rounded out the last match against my eternal archnemesis: Dave Guskin. With the teams and matchups set, the players selected their decks and set about their matches.

    The Community team has quite the Mountain to climb!

    The first player to draw blood was the archenemy Zac Hill. His Mono-Blue deck churned out advantage after advantage thanks to his scheme cards. The trio of Mono-red aggro decks played by Luke, LSV, and Enigma couldn't overcome the power of the scheme cards. As LSV put it, "When you're playing 2/2s and your opponent is playing free cards that are more powerful than three of your cards put together, it's hard to win, even if there are three of you." Enigma dropped first, with LSV right behind. Still sitting pretty at over 20 life, it was mere child's play for Hill to crush Luke's opposition and give the Wizards team their first five points.

    The resemblance is uncanny. Zac Hill is the dreamiest. This is the face of pure evil.

    Only a man as thoroughly evil as my personal archenemy Dave Guskin could make beings as powerful as the Eldrazi his thralls. Thanks to his scheming ways, he introduced the trio of ChrisKool, Whiffy, and Graham Stark to his good buddies Kozilek and Ulamog. When the Elven armies of the Community rose up to fight them, Guskin used a Rite of Replication to manufacture an Elven army to match them. When the dust settled, the Community had put up a good fight, but even one as powerful am I am unable to stop the beast that is Dave Guskin.

    While the third match was still underway, with the Community's Lorthos, the Tidemaker (not to be confused with Lorthos Thompson) trying to give Mike Mikaelian a sloppy hug, the first Community trio has swapped up their decks and decided to make a second run at the nefarious, yet dreamy, Mr. Hill. Unfortunately, Hill's Diabolical Vision involved forcing the Community to effectively mulligan to four, shuffling their hands back into the deck and drawing new hands of four cards. As Hill put it immediately thereafter, "Skill game." With his sick skills, Zac Hill put the "All-Ringer" Community team of LSV, Bing Luke, and Enigma to rest.

    Despite starting out waaay behind, the Community team still had smiles on their faces. Being a part of this experience will do that.

    With one match in the books, the WotC team had pulled to within five points of the Community team. Soon after Hill won his match, Mikaelian managed to squirm out of the Freshmaker's grasp, wriggling his way to his first match win. Guskin managed to raise a clone army of Wampires to take his second match as well. That put WotC ahead by five points with the last match still to play. It came down to the team of Marshall Sutcliffe, Sunie, and JoeKewwl and their final tangle with Mikaelian.

    When Wampires attack!

    Unfortunately, the Community was not destined to win. Sunie, Joe, and Marshall put up a good fight, but in the end, the overwhelming force of Mikaelian's Esper deck and his filthy, filthy schemes proved far more than they could handle. As the final points of damage were done, the Community team appeared crestfallen. After a few moments of shock, the smiles crept back onto their faces as they started to complain about the results of Multiball. They were actually enjoying trolling WotC about their loss! With Multiball over, but the fiery discussion about Archenemy still raging on, the WotC team had edged out a 10-point lead, crawling out of their 20-point hole. Two events remain for the Community to regain the lead. Their first opportunity is the new kid on the block: Unified Modern. The lists are in, but are they better than Max McCall's WotC creations? The scoreboard will tell the tale soon enough.

    Scoreboard, guys. Oh, and Hamtastic Cup, too.

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