It is the first Australian Grand Prix of the year 2014 and word has spread to the wild northlands of Brisbane that the decadent homesteads of Melbourne are ripe with plunder. A small band of fearsome Brisbanite warrior-wizards cannot resist the allure of frothy mead, wenches, mirth and cash prizes. And so let it be known that these hardy, rambunctious fellows did set forth in pursuit of fame and fortune. Join me in an epic tale of battle and bad beats as I regale you with the travels of The Norsemen of Brisbane!
A battle-plan is the most pressing issue at hand and our heroes devise a cunning stratagem that will relieve those loathsome Melbournians of their precious valuables.
With such heady chores out of the way, it is time to introduce our merry band of plunderers as they gleefully brandish their preferred weapons of war!
Name: Jonathan “JMD” Winter
Weapon: Green Devotion splash Blue. Decklist
“The only good deck is a rogue deck.”
Name: Matt “Tizzle” Tyrrell
Weapon: Red Green Monsters! Decklist
“A good duelist always bluffs Ghor-Clan Rampager.”
Name: Nick “Carter” Carter
Weapon: Red Green Monsters! Decklist
“OMG I CAN’T WAAaait!”
Name: Troy “The Terror” McErlain
Weapon: Blue Devotion. Decklist
“Guys. Guys. What exactly is devotion? Is that like a new blue draw spell or something?”
Name: Dale “The Wrecking Ball” Wright
Weapon: Black Devotion. Decklist
“Say hello to my little friend.”
Name: Cristian “Daddy C” Pippia
Weapon: Black Devotion splash White. Decklist
“Guys can we keep it down please? I don’t see why we have to be so loud.”
Name: Sam “Sedgehammer” Sedgman
Weapon: Black Devotion splash White. Decklist
“No Lightning Bolt? This format sucks!”
With the tour party readied and eager, they engage in a series of mock duels and other preparatory rituals to toughen resolve in the likely event of savage top-decks.
“What are these blasted Lifebane Zombies and why do they wreck my day so?!” growls JMD.
“Ah comrade. These beauties will tear thee a new one lest ye be wary. And that is why they’re going straight into my maindeck,” snickers DaddyC.
“Hah. I am not afraid. Those puny mongrels will snivel and wilt once I swing my mighty Polukranos into somebody’s skull this weekend!” brags Tizzle.
“And I shall run them through with my Boon Satyred Fanatic of Xenagos!” quips Carter.
“…… What is a Polukranos? And should I be worried?” asks The Terror, somewhat perturbed.
“No one’s going to call you ‘Terror’ McErlain if you have to keep reading everyone’s cards, Troy,” barks The Wrecking Ball.
“Can someone explain to me why I have to play this ridiculous Blood Baron of Vizkopa when clearly Lightning Strike is superior in every way imaginable?” complains Sedghammer.
“Oh, shut up, Sedghammer. No one takes Red Deck Wins seriously anymore,” replies no one in particular.
DaddyC and Sedghammer are assigned scouting duty and make the arduous journey to Melbourne a day in advance. Upon arrival of the main contingent on Friday morning, the battalion is greeted by an optimistic Sedghammer:
“I have seen what is to come and these soft southerners will be no match for our collective might.”
However their lust for blood and sick opening hands must wait until a base of operations is established. Tizzle, being wise in the arts of navigation and logistics, leads the party on a short exploratory expedition.
“This humble shelter will suit our needs perfectly,” declares Tizzle presently.
Crowne Plaza proves suitable accomodation for the barbarians
It is soon agreed that the party should set up camp at the proposed location as it is well protected from the elements and the adjoining valley is bountiful in fruit and game.
Crowne Plaza offers a spiffing continental breakfast!
As the evening approaches, the merry band scouts unfamiliar territory and is gladdened to make contact with another group of marauding kinsman from the north.
“Ah lads, join us in an evening of fine dining and debauchery as we drink a toast to the glorious violence and devious combat tricks to come,” booms Abe ‘Macho Man’ McKinnon.
“Hear hear!” replies Cory ‘The Hulk’ Hill.
And lo, there was much merrymaking, and the company surveyed that merriment, and it was good.
And so the morn of battle dawns and our heroes awaken with gladness in their hearts and, soon, a mighty breakfast in their bellies.
“Lads, let us make sport of the day with a friendly wager that will pit our individual propensities for savagery against one another,” suggests JMD.
“By Serra Angel’s cleavage, you’re on!” replies The Wrecking Ball. “I shall keep score the number of times I Whip my Merchants out of the graveyard and into my opponents’ faces.”
“And I shall count the number of turn 1 Elvish Mystics I unleash upon the battlefield.” says Carter.
“And I shall count the number of Cyclonic Rifts I overload!” says JMD.
“And I shall count the number of times my maindeck Lifebane Zombies snare a green or white creature in game 1” says Sedghammer.
“And I shall count the number of times my Lifebane Zombies snare an opposing Blood Baron of Vizkopa.” Says DaddyC.
“And I shall count the number of times I get warnings or game losses for not knowing WTF is going on! …’ says The Terror.
“And what about you, Tizzle?” enquires JMD.
“…And I shall try to not get disqualified from the event this time,” declares Tizzle.
“…” says JMD.
Soon our heroes are at the precipice of destiny and, upon arrival at the battlefield, perceive, in awe, the hordes of enemies that have beset all sides of the grand arena. Word reaches their ears that it shall be the greatest wizarding battle Australia has yet seen. The grand overseer lays out the rules of engagement thus: each warrior-wizard shall be required to compete in 9 successive duels. All who achieve at least 7 victories during the day shall progress to Day 2, following which, plunder shall be administered to successful combatants in a fair and orderly manner.
“Right, 3 defeats and you’re out. Let’s get to it, lads!” cries JMD.
Sedghammer, JMD and Carter are awarded byes during the first engagement. Of the rest only The Wrecking Ball suffers defeat.
“Blast it! How am I supposed to wreck face when I am overwhelmed by real estate?” grumbles The Wrecking Ball.
Meanwhile, The Terror McErlain sees off a court jester wielding what appears to be a ball of cotton wool wedged into a sock.
“That was a traumatizing experience!” declares The Terror.
Troy ‘The Terror’ McErlain bins half of his deck in Round 1.
“They… they came from all directions…” stammers JMD, clearly mortified by the speed and cunning of his Rakdos Aggro opponent.
“I had the moves. I had the passion. But my sodding opponent would not go down!” complains Sedghammer. “A draw is like kissing your sister. As good as a loss I say!”
The rest of the company enjoy sweet victories with Carter reveling in the comfort of one last bye before joining the fray. Terror McErlain looks sheepish.
“I got a warning,” he explains. “Apparently you can’t Domesticate a Sylvan Caryatid.”
“Another draw!” exclaims Sedghammer. “Red Deck Wins would not suffer such ignominy!”
“Play faster you pansy,” retorts DaddyC. “At least your Blood Baron wasn’t snared by your opponent’s Lifebane Zombie.”
“Wait a minute. Isn’t that supposed to be your personal achievement?” quips JMD.
“Your mom,” opines DaddyC.
Cristian ‘DaddyC’ Pippia gets a taste of his own medicine.
Unfortunately The Terror suffers his first defeat but the rest enjoy victories going into the fourth round of combat.
The casualty ward grows following Round 4. DaddyC and Wrecking Ball join Sedghammer in the shadow realm. One more defeat for any of them will spell elimination from the grand arena.
Meanwhile Tizzle basks in the glory of a fourth straight win to lead the charge.
“Honestly I don’t understand why you B-duelists are struggling so. All you have to do is play Polukranos, use Xenagod’s triggered ability when you attack and then apply Blood to your opponent’s face post-combat for a total of 20 damage,” brags Tizzle.
“Do that one again if you can,” scoffs Carter.
Matt ‘Tizzle’ Tyrrell is all up in your red zone!
Alas, DaddyC falls for the third and final time.
“I… I can’t continue,” he sputters. “You must go on without me, comrades. Avenge my defeat and partake of the sweet plunder that is now beyond my grasp!”
“Can do!” trumpets Tizzle, fresh from a fifth straight victory.
There are wins for all except The Terror and Carter who join The Wrecking Ball and Sedghammer in the shadow realm.
“Why did no one tell me Bident was legendary?” asks Terror McErlain?
“Honestly Troy, we may be banjo-playing barbarians from the North, but we should all be competent in basic literacy,” retorts JMD.
“Bite me!” counters The Terror.
A devastating round for the company as Sedghammer, Carter and The Terror are all eliminated.
“Alas and alack! Dommaz has forsaken me and I must retire from our noble quest,” laments Carter.
“Why did no one tell me Blood Baron was not legendary?” asks Terror McErlain?
“The historic precedent suggests there are no legendary conundrums when wizards sling Lightning Bolts straight to the dome,” grumbles Sedghammer.
Meanwhile Tizzle reels from his first defeat. In a daze he rambles about mythical weapons he has never before encountered:
“So apparently there is this card called Advent of the Wurm. Comes outta nowhere. Eats my guy. Swings back carrying an Unflinching Courage. W.T.F.”
“Indeed. I should probably have mentioned that a wizard should think twice before blindly attacking into the empty board of a Green-White mage,” answers JMD. “…sorry about that.”
Only 3 Norsemen remain with 3 rounds of combat separating them and a possible berth in Day 2.
Another match on the bubble for Dale ‘The Wrecking Ball’ Wright.
More woe for the company as The Wrecking Ball joins the ranks of the vanquished. What’s more, Tizzle’s winning streak appears to be well and truly at an end after falling on his own sword.
Only JMD tastes victory this round. He needs one win from the final 2 rounds and Tizzle requires 2 wins from 2. The stakes are high and perspiration adorns the brows of our 2 remaining duelists.
“Can someone please round up all the Lifebane Zombies in existence, place them in internment camps, force them into hard labour, then exterminate them like dogs!” fumes JMD.
Tizzle flirts with (another) disqualification after miscounting his mana at a crucial moment. Luckily the judge rules in his favour and he joins JMD in the shadow realm for the final round.
Finally the dust settles on the weary combatants. Only 1 of our intrepid company is left standing. JMD comes through a harrowing duel snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
“Luckily my opponent was unaware that Polukranos’s activated ability can, in fact, be activated in response to a first activation that has been trumped by removal spell that is still on the stack,” explains a relieved JMD.
“Huh?” replies The Terror.
Tizzle is less fortunate and falls at the final hurdle.
“Woe is me! Bring me a flagon of mead!” he exclaims.
And so day 1 of the epic adventure ends but not before a prodigious feast is had in celebration of JMD’s triumph.
A celebratory banquet for the weary marauders!
For some, only a generous helping of exotic foreign grog can turn disappointment to mirth.
Tizzle gets stuck into a ‘Litre Margarita’
Day 1 Stats
The Wrecking Ball
4 – 3
Gray Merchants whipped: 2
2 – 3
Blood Barons snared with Lifebane Zombie: 0 (One of his opponents got one though)
3 – 1 – 2
Green/White creatures snared with Lifebane Zombie during game 1: 0 🙁
3 – 3
Turn 1 Elvish Mystics: 5
6 – 3
Times disqualified: 0
3 – 3
Warnings received: 1
7 – 2
Overloaded Cyclonic Rifts: 3
On the second day JMD marches toward his destiny in the main event. But the remaining Norsemen do not despair for there are outlying villages that remain deplorably unransacked. Once more they raise up their weapons to engage new foes and compete for spicy treasures.
After a long day of epic duels only Carter is left standing at the business end of proceedings. But, alas, he is knocked out in the semi-finals; although he is able to collect a swag of rubles for his trouble. As the company reconvene they are reunited with JMD who bears a tale of woe. Despite participating at Day 2 of the prestigious main event, he leaves empty handed on account of (allegedly) savage bad beats and a prize-deprived 80th position.
“Do not despair JMD. For the reward of battle is the battle itself!” declares DaddyC.
“Aye. Lads, we have acquitted ourselves with distinction and can return to the Northlands with pride,” says Tizzle.
“There is only one thing left to do!” declares Terror McErlain.
When in doubt, feast!
And so the epic journey comes to an end. Unfortunately the mighty Norsemen are unable to conquer the realm of Melbourne. But it is decided that the outcome is acceptable given that the eventual winner is even more… ‘norse’.
And on the third day, the warrior-wizards from Brisbane rested.
Even the mighty Norsemen need a kip every now and then…