ome more Top 5's
Top 5 favourite cards
1-Survival of the Fittest
Maybe the card that turned me into a good player. I was trying to enter the gravy train back in 2001 when I first played Survival in extended. It was so nice, but so difficult to play. When every single game you play is skill intensive, you improve a lot. I spent whole weeks playtesting with my brother Antoine and Frédéric Courtois, both playing Stasis. On our first PTQ, I conceded my semi to Antoine who had never played a PT before, while Fred took the other spot. I then won my next qualifier, and Top 8d in GP Madrid, still playing the same deck. It also allowed me to qualify for the very first Masters, that I would not even have played if I didn't concede to Antoine, as it allowed me to play another PTQ and grab another 100 Extended points to qualify on ratings.
2- Dragon Whelp
Sooo cute !!!!
Sooo cute !!!!
4-Life from the Loam
I didn't want to play any of the Psychatog decks in the last extended format, for they were not much fun to me. But I ended playing Life from the Loam when I discovered Mihara's CAL deck. I changed a few cards and took it to GP Bilbao, GP Beijing and Worlds in Yokohama. One of the best, regular, and skill intensive decks I've played lately. Out of these tournaments, I lost only 5 matches, including one that I conceded to Mori in Beijing and one that I threw away against Oiso in the same GP. I’ve then tried very hard to play it in constructed, building some Wildfire/Life from the Loam/Trade Routes decks, but I didn't find anything good enough in standard yet.
The most humiliating card I can think of.
Top 5 Worst memories at Magic
After having taken 10 points at the last two GPs of the season, I was leading the Pro Player Race when Worlds started, 3 points above Tsumura. My 1-5 in draft (starting 0-5) literally depressed me, as I could see my first place fading away. After I went 4-2-0 in extended, I thought I would be tied with Tsumura if he lost and if two other results turned into my favour. All the results went right, which made me incredibly happy, but I had totally forgotten in my maths all the players behind Tsumura who would ID into top 32 to qualify for Honolulu. I needed Tsumura to be 25th, but four draws made him 21st. All the efforts I made, all the time I spent testing, travelling, being jetlagged most of the year, to finish one point from first place, has really been hard to stand.
2-PT New York 2001
If I can draw my last round, I will be Top 32, which I need to qualify for next PT and get closer from the gravy train. I'm playing against Zvi:
Zvi: No, all I care about is money
me: Would you concede if I give you the difference between my winnings and yours?
me: Ok let's play
I didn't know exactly how bad bribery was. Alan Comer, which we would play on a Team Challenge in the same evening, heard the conversation and denounced me to Judges. I got disqualified without prizes just after I had defeated Zvi. It took me much time to realize that even if I had not insisted, I did try to bribe him and that I’ve been actually lucky no suspension followed the disqualification. But trust me, being disqualified is not funny at all.
3-PT Honolulu 2006
You've probably heard about this match VS Craig Jones. He wins the decisive game of our semi-final if and only if:
1) he draws Char and Helix in two draws
2) I don't draw Ghost Council, Mortify, Slay, Jitte nor Orzhov Pontiff in two turns, nor any non Dark Confidant creature in the first turn.
I would also have had a pretty good match up in the finals and probably have won $40k instead of 14, but guess what? I lost.
This memory would definitely have been number one, hadn’t I been too shocked at the time to actually realize his winning odds were below 1%.
4-PT Nagoya 2006
After starting 1-2, I manage to win my draft table winning the final VS Oiso. With only 80 players day two, it was hard to make money. I went 1-6 day two and finished 80th and last. I then understood I had been lucky to make day two for I had to be wrong about something, as both my plays and my drafting had to be bad for I did so badly.
5-GP Munich 2003
After missing money once more, I'm almost out of the train, despite playing every single GP. I can even play a PTQ before PT Amsterdam. On the PTQ, I go 1-2 drop. The day before the PT, as I'm unable to win a game, I actually decide to quit Magic after the tournament, as I don't take any pleasure and lose a lot of money travelling and doing badly all the time.
I then made Top 8 in Amsterdam (my only limited Top 8 so far), being very lucky and my skills coming back gradually. But the months before have been very difficult.
The Top 5 players I would concede to if they need a win more than I do:
What if I'm playing for money, but my opponent is playing for Top8. 99,9% of the time, I'll play, even against someone I know well, but there are still very few players I would make an exception for.
A flatmate, a friend, and someone who would definitely deserve getting a little more success.
I know Masashiro since he won PT Kobe. First time I met him, his wife was pregnant. The second time, he invited me to his place before GP Osaka '06 and he was a father already. I spent a week with him, his wife Chicaco and their daughter Yuka, before coming back few months later when I stayed at their place again before travelling with Masashiro to GP Matsuyama. We became good friends, both with him and all his family.
Eventually, Masashiro and I played for the first time in Worlds, on day three. He beat me and conceded to me to help me becoming PPY. I feel really gratefull, and guilty also, for I didn't think about the fact Kuroda can only play PTs in Japan because of his work and family he can't let behind.
I should not have accepted his concession, and next time we play, I'll concede whatever the situation is. Not only is he a great man, but also a fantastic player, and I'm convinced he would be a Level 5 or 6 mage if he had more time to play.
A second kid is now coming by the way. Maybe I'll see him at PT Kobe!
These three are the only I could nearly concede to in any situations, the other two are a little more difficult to define.
4th and 5th are two out of Raphaël Lévy, Florent Jeudon, Maxime Hermes, Carlos Romao and José Barbero. If there was a Top 8 of the players I feel the closest from, you would have the eight names now. They are the players I like the most to see on a PT. I just wish Flo, Max and Carlos would attend the PT a little more often.
Top 5 favorite records, no, wait, 5 is not enough, let's say Top 10
2-Belle and Sebastian/Dear Catastrophe Waitress
3-Godspeed you Black Emperor/Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven
4-The Strokes/Is this it
5-Elliott Smith/From a basement on the Hill
7-Mercury Rev/All is dream
9-The Arcade Fire/Funeral
10-Grandaddy/The software slump
Not enough slots to put Ok Computer by Radiohead or Who will cut our hair when we're gone by The Unicorns, plus all the ones I don't even think off, such a shame! I'm not good at describing with words why I love music. They are just the records which have struck me the most. If you like rock, or ambient-post rock, just go for it!
Written listening to Death from above 1979/Romance Bloody Romance and Alex Peset and Angelina/Sara perché ti amo.
Next article: Thursday, June 1st
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