Every Thursday night, Pat Chapin heads over to Eric Taylor's apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan to game. The two are as close to a duo as you can get in this pasttime; whenever there's a tournament in the area, people ask, "Are Chapin and Taylor coming?" Every time Pat shows up, the question is, "Is Taylor here?" and vice versa.
Chapin, 21, is the younger half, but the one with the most success: two PT Top 8's, one more in a Junior PT, and seveal other Top 16's. Taylor, a real old-timer clocking in at 40, has never had a bang-up finish, but is one of the founding fathers of Internet Magic writing, and is generally considered to be a genius of the game's theoretics.
And now the duo is in the spotlight here in the finals of Grand Prix - Milwaukee. No, it's not Taylor's kitchen table (don't let the slew of Mountain Dew cans fool you). The stakes are a lot higher here, but the simple amazing fact is that these two friends are both in the finals in the largest North American Grand Prix.
If you don't know by now, Chapin is playing a blue/green Squirrel Opposition deck, and "edt" is playing a typical Goblin Trenches deck. Taylor beat Chapin 2-1 earlier in the tournament.
Chapin busted out the turn-1 Birds of Paradise in game 1, followed by a turn-2 Squirrel Nest, daring Taylor to counter it. Taylor did.
Chapin: "Sure is good you went first."
Taylor: "Hell yeah!"
Pat resolved a Rootwalla and got some beats in, but Taylor had an Absorb for Pat's Wild Mongrel. Taylor also had a Memory Lapse - and an Absorb - for Chapin's Complusion, and a Syncopate for his second Birds. Taylor resolved a Trenches, and then used his THIRD Absorb on Chapin's hardcast Arrogant Wurm.
Chapin: "I just shouldn't cast any spells."
Taylor was out of tricks: 7 lands and a Trenches in play with no cards in hand. Chapin made a second Rootwalla and dared Taylor to "run it," i.e. start sacrificing lands for tokens at this stage in the game. Taylor bit, and made 6 guys. And then didn't attack.
Chapin: "Go?! What do you mean, Go?!"
Taylor waited until he had 10 tokens in play, and then attacked Chapin, getting 8 points through. The last card in his hand was a Memory Lapse for Chapin's Opposition.
Chapin: "Are you SERIOUS?"
Taylor: "Nah, I'm kidding. Ok, I'm serious."
Taylor made 4 more little men, and Chapin scooped.
Taylor 1 - Chapin 0
Between games, Chapin lamented edt's crazy sideboard.
Chapin: "He has 15 cards against me." Taylor: "That's 'cause I knew I'd be facing Pat in the finals." Chapin: "It was as if he picked a perfect 15 cards, 'Let's see, I'll need some Meddling Mages, some Flametongue Kavus, a few Gainsays, Aura Blast…'" Taylor simply spread his sideboard across the table face-up, and cackled.
Chapin, grim-faced, was forced to mulligan to start the second game.
"I like purple. Purples are nice." -edt, referencing the tablecloth
Chapin busted out the turn-two Mongrel and acted disgusted as he did so.
Taylor: "Oh, no, can't be happy with Wild Mongrel."
Taylor answered with a Meddling Mage naming Squirrel Nest, and then Chapin made a Merfolk Looter. They traded hits with bears for a turn, but when the Looter became active, Meddling Mage stayed home in fear of random green madness monsters. Chapin looted and discarder a Counterspell. Taylor gasped.
Chapin's first attempt at Fact or Fiction was Absorbed, but hos second resolved, netting him a Gainsay and 2 land over a Looter and one land. Taylor tried to kill the Looter with Fire, forcing it through with Absorb on Chapin's madnessed Circular Logic.
Taylor then forced through his own Fact or Fiction (with a Memory Lapse for Chapin's Gainsay), and Chapin offered "FTK or no?" balanced against Absorb and 3 land. Taylor busted out the FTK on Chapin's Mongrel, and Pat pitched his had to save it. Amazingly, Taylor had the Fire to kill the Mongrel and Pat's Bird, and then busted out a Lightning Angel and attacked for about a million.
Chapin's last draw wasn't some sort of blue/green Wrath of God, so he packed 'em up and extended the hand.
Taylor 2 - Chapin 0
GP Milwaukee Top 64: Trenches
Download Download Magic Online .dec file
GP Milwaukee Top 64: Squirrel/Opposition
Download Download Magic Online .dec file