Two Formats, One Cup: The Quarantine Cup Report


by mtg_beer_punts

On March 16th, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated across the U.S., it became clear that a shared neighborhood or city would no longer provide a safe venue to sling overpriced cardboard.  Thus, the Lords of the Pit decided to migrate to the interwebs and launched the Quarantine Cup.  The purpose of the Q-Cup, like all Lords events, was to step away from the seriousness of the real world, have fun, and ball novices to oblivion.  Chicago’s Meals on Wheels was our designated Q-Cup charity; this organization is in dire need of financial support right now as the demand on their resources has skyrocketed.  If you have the means, we encourage you to donate here.

Adopting the batch pairing method used by DFB for organizing many online events, the Q-Cup consisted of eight rounds of MTG split into two batches with 10 days to complete each batch.  The wrinkle here was that each batch would be a different format: the first batch featured old warhorse, EC 93/94, while the second batch was Middle School, the new Chicago favorite.  Because trading and borrowing cards was not feasible under our scattered circumstance, proxies were encouraged (with guidelines that they needed to be legible by webcam).  The Lords’ Discord chatroom was the rallying point to coordinate matches and talk trash before using Whereby or other video services to play matches. 

Shell Games

The Q-Cup was open to members of the club and select friends. In the end, 24 mages signed up, sleeved up their heaters (and some stinkers), and logged on for some steamy camjam action. A healthy 180 matches were played over 20 days with an untold number of side matches jammed, cocktails slurped, and beers guzzled.

While the Q-Cup was intended as an individual, non-team, event we had one exception: Lords Friedman and Mullen - both in regular competition for the most obstinate members of the club - refused to play an event with two formats so they were paired up to make one hell of a kvetching duo. Danny slung OS with Nathan on MS.

At the end of the two batches we had one clear winner standing over the virtual heap of decimated opponents - Lord Mith crushed the field with an 8-0 finish.  I can attest to the power of his run.  He rolled over me so hard in MS that I didn’t know what was happening as he resolved Recurring Nightmares and Living Deaths after stripping my hands away.  It was a balling I will not soon forget.  Mith took possession of Mario Kart Island as his prize and below are his weapons of choice from our inaugural online event.

On-call to ball

Prescription Painkillers

Q&A with Lord Petray

We have a special feature here for our readers.  Below is an interview with a real meatball, Carter “The Champ” Petray.  Carter is coming off his absolute tear at Lords Haus where he went undefeated after besting TSI’s own Rajah James in the finals to bring the Golden Lord home to Chicago.  He almost repeated the feat by finishing 7-1 for an overall 2nd place finish at the Q-Cup.  

Q: How does it feel to have literally dozens of nerds refer to you as “Champ”?

A: Would probably feel great, if it actually happened for a change. So disrespectful. It’s like walking into a doctor’s office and calling the guy MISTER Mith. Actually, now that I think about it….

Q: You know I love this OS decklist of yours – what brought you to play the best deck on this plague-wrecked planet?  Any card choices you want to hit on in the list (other than the obviously great 15th sideboard slot).

No joke

A: I chose to play The Deck because, don’t get it twisted, I’m here to grind out the W’s. The guy who was once called the Brewmaster of Old School (I think it was Moss who said it) is now an incorrigible spike. It’s nearly Danny’s exact list from Lord’s Haus, with the addition of a fourth Tome in the board. I wouldn’t leave home without a play set in the 75.

Q: In Middle School you returned to what I perceive as your true MS joy: The Rock.  In a format as diverse as MS, what keeps bringing you back to the deck?

Layeth the Smacketh Down

A: A wise man once said The Rock has a 45% matchup against every deck … including the mirror. I’m thinking I could bump that up to 46%.

Q: Any memorable Q-Cup matches or opponents you want to Recall?

A: Losing to Mith with all of the best cards in Old School in my deck was quite memorable, but my favorite match was facing Alan Finney’s Black Prison deck, narrowly slipping away from the clutches of The Rack in the last two games.

Q: Possibly the most important question, how did you feel when Moss won the door prize?

A: Moss’ theft of the door prize is a downright travesty of justice. Here’s a guy who wails to the heavens whenever he draws two more land than he should, but totally lucks out and earns a sick prize that will do nothing more than decorate a binder full of CE cards.

Thank you Carter for being such a class act and taking the time to connect with your global fan base!

Sign o’ the Times

Takeaways

It is a rare moment for a small Lords gathering (virtual or not!) to pull in three copies of the Deck, even with recently turned try-hard Carter picking it up.  I decided to run something a little different this time after I stumbled upon my childhood Goblin King in its original penny sleeve and scrapped some cards to put a goblins list together based on Bergeson builds.  The best moment with the little red dudes was balling Moss 2-0 while he played a Deck variant very close to what I normally run.  After the match, he bitched that over the course of 10 games he would win 8.  Five additional games later and Moss squeaked out a single W against the red horde. Sweet victory.  In MS I returned to the Tog.  I love the combo-control archetype and all the powerful blue spells.  In general, I have no idea what is going on in MS, but getting to play Gush is always great. 

King & Co.

Blue will do

Technology

There are some really beautiful decks below.  True to form are Rajah’s decks.  Peep his OS list to check out the amazing alters, then look at the MS list (spoiler: it is fucking DOOMSDAY!).  Another list worth gazing at for its looks is Cam Wall’s Pink OS list.  He blew out my poor goblins and looked good doing it.  Shane and Mith’s OS lists are both high on pimp while Danny’s pic is high on garbage factor (but legible, I guess).  

Wrap

We finished the event with a virtual happy hour and closing ceremony where we could crack open some quarantine swill and yell at each other without having to smell each other.  In the process we discovered that a mute button for Nathan is next-level technology.  During the happy hour, we announced the winner of the randomly drawn door prize that was awarded to the one and only Mossman to a chorus of boos and catcalls flowing through the headphones.

Special thanks to jts_mtg_alters for the prize support and again to DFB for sharing the program he uses to manage pairings.  Trapped in our hovels with little better to do, the Lords will certainly run back this nonsense in the near future with Quarantine Cup II: Cabin Fever.  

Bergeson - RUGobbos

Baran - Sceptercism

Rajah - UR Cairo Control

Semmens - mirroruniverse.dec

Fiero - UG Aggro

Agra - BUG Shops

Why couldn’t Cam include his SB with his deck list?

Rohr - 4C Disko

Moss - Punt Yardage

Finney - Juzam Disko

Wall - Stinky Pink

Velasco - Green Hardass

Castleton - Naya Speedbump (1-3 Drop)

Blank - Fogboria

Happel - Grixis Tryhard

Schrank - BG Land Destruction

Freidman - Words on a Page

MacDougall - RUG Aggro

Braun - Upkeep Tanks

Elleman - Esper Tryhard

Piquardo - My Own Prison

Finney - Pox

MacDougall - BoaRock

Agra - Wow Bob Wow

Wall - Natty Light Rock

Bergeson - RecSur

Piquard - Terrorgeddon

Velasco - Grixis Goodstuff

Blank - Pox

Schrank - Red Aggro

Elleman - Jund Rock

Braun - upkeeptriggers.dec

Moss - Mosstill

Mullen - More Like RootBALLA

Rohr - Knights of the Rohr Table

Fiero - Next Level Land Destruction

Rajah - Doomsday

Semmens - 4C Oath

Baran - 5C Survival