Mobstercon Mixtape

These are some random thoughts about the whole Mobstercon experience. For a more comprehensive account, see Will’s report.

  • I am still quite disappointed that we didn’t do better, and all of that is due to my deck-building and playing. I failed spectacularly at building a good The Deck list for the format. It was too white-based, using both Moat and Serra Angel, thus being too weak to Gloom. I even had a Sleight of Mind as the 16th sideboard card I cut a few days before leaving for New York. Joke’s on me, I guess. There are many directions I could have taken (Abyss, Triskelion, more Fireballs) but this one was certainly incorrect. I also did not play perfectly, but the real punts didn’t come until we already were 1-2 and I always have problems keeping the edge then.
  • New York was fantastic though, not the least due to my wonderful host Paul DeSilva with friends.
  • As was hanging out with the best of magic crews.IMG_20190601_155928
  • I should probably not have played the Tempest block draft. I didn’t have any real nostalgia for the format (even though I opened a bunch of packs back in the day), and I don’t know about it to make it really interesting from a gameplay perspective. And after having finished the main event, I didn’t really play more magic I don’t think. Should just have hanged around, watching, saving $100. Big props to Mano and Jeff White for organizing it, though. It’s only that I ought to be better at knowing when I’ll be having fun and acting on that. Like the whole decision to go to the US for this tournament. One of my better ideas.
What’s the pick here (p1p1)?


  • On the subject of old boosters, what should I do with these that I happened to win at the raffle? I remember it being a horrible limited set in general, so drafting 3x that doesn’t sound the most attractive. But who knows. Probably just stashing it away with the rest of my old unopened boosters.


  • The Sunday poolside hangs and barbecue and swimming was maybe the best thing about the weekend. Sorry for those of you who weren’t invited.
  • I failed to document the biggest punt, though, which was heading to the site on Friday since I was anticipating drinks and games at some nearby bar. Which, following a series of mishaps, resulted in about $45 in Uber fares for rides all over Edison and adjacent beautiful New Jersey towns. At least I’ve gotten some feels for the US suburbia as well, now.
  • I must get better at counting the cards after drunken bar games. Before leaving, not back home or the morning after. Now I lost an Engineered Plague, maybe a hint to cut it before Premodern Nationals this weekend (a tournament i may or may not write about here), but it could have been worse. Unsurprisingly.
  • I must admit Katz’s pastrami sandwiches (left) might win over Harold’s (right) on pure aesthetics, though.
  • And finally, let’s return to some strategy. The unified metagame was dominated by black, to the extent that there’s a lot of talk of restricting Hymn to Tourach, or switching to Swedish rules, even by Mano before the tournament had even started. (But who can trust the Hymn judgment from a guy playing Wolf Hymns?) The thing is, however, that for some reason, a very large proportion of all the black decks ended up in the C seat. And the rest of us were playing fully-powered Atog or The Deck. I played against Jamie Parke’s Dibatog and five mono- or almost mono-black decks (two of them splashing white). This made black more of a talk of the tournament than it should have been, I think. It might still be the case that the unified Swedish format is more interesting than Atlantic (they already had to restrict Workshop in order to not make the lineup to easy), but it’s far from a given. My team incidentally brought all Swedish-legal decks, too. The black-in-C-seat thing was a giant statistical outlier and/or a rock-paper-scissors situation, and not one to put too much emphasis on, I think.
  • The format is still interesting. Take a look at the winning decks:

Finkel’s deck is a work of art; we never considered making unpowered UW even when we did contemplate Wx tax/tower as a possibility. I do think Mano’s monoblack is a bit weak with no factories, however, and it’s also missing some Glooms. Monogreen aggro might be better? Or possibly Distress which should work with no factories too. Or just cutting dibs and some psiblasts from atog and putting them into UG instead. The format is far from solved, even if this particular tournament wasn’t especially spicy. Looking forward to my next chance to try it out. Teams is straight gas. Just have to find a teammate who knows not to mention his own record when somebody asks how it’s going.

  • Not to mention the really inresting things. The event might not have been that spicy on average, but there were those who took their spicing very seriously. Just take a look at this, which is a booklet that was handed out at the event by that team. Including a complimentary Amrou Kithkin!
  • And finally, I have to give a big thanks to everybody making this trip so wonderful: Bryan Manolakos for organizing Mobstercon which is the reason behind it all, his wife Janine and his lovely children for running the event and for graciously inviting me into their home on Sunday, and not least my excellent hosts Paul and Liz for making this week far better than it could ever have been otherwise; it truly felt like coming home every night. I’m still sad to have left. You guys are the best.

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