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Brandon Mendelson Headshot

Where's My Time Traveling Delorean?

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The only stench more powerful than my failure at the Rise Of the Eldrazi pre-release was one player's marijuana antiperspirant.

I'm not sure where you can purchase that, but it's probably less expensive than Axe.

In a Sealed Deck tournament, players gets six booster packs of Magic: The Gathering cards. The benefit of going to a pre-release is getting packs from the new set before it comes out.

A lot of Magic games in this format are won by surprise. You're Harry Truman, your opponent is Japan. You follow?

Some players complain about pulling awful cards, which I call Yugos. Opening a pack of Yugos is terrible, but it's not an excuse for sucking.

In Magic, you can open the worst cards and still win because of how well you play the game.

Are you going to win the tournament with Yugos? It's not likely, but it's also not impossible.

That's my life philosophy. Is it likely that I'll sleep with Halle Berry? No. But is it impossible? No.

You can also open cards that are great, but terrible within the context of the other cards you have. That happened to me. I pulled a bunch of Eldrazi-related rares, but few ways to play them. So I set those cards aside and put together what looked like a decent white "levelers" deck with some blue mixed in for Venerated Teacher.

It was awful. In a Sealed Deck tournament using Rise Of The Eldrazi, white on its own is fucking terrible. You've been warned.

...Not that I'm making excuses. I take full responsibility for sucking.

The cause wasn't my new collection of Yugos, the contact high I was getting, or the bathroom at Numbskullz, my least favorite bathroom on earth. I sucked because I had an assumption that mono-white would be good in this set. When I saw I couldn't play with the Eldrazis, I went with that assumption, not considering other strategies, color choices, or how I was going to win with the cards I had.

I didn't have a plan! And that's the most important thing. You can win with Yugos if you have a plan or a big surprise. I just went, "Der. I'm going to play mono-white. I'm also going to poop in a bag and give it to my wife. She likes surprises."

I should have trusted my gut. I felt uneasy shuffling my forty cards of failure, but didn't listen. Your gut knows what's going on better than you do.

That tells me I should have stopped trolling DeviantArt for She-Hulk porn and visited CoolStuffInc.com to see what they were putting Rise Of the Eldrazi cards at. If you're not good at evaluating cards, see what they're selling for. The more expensive, the better they are. Time spent doing that could have broken up my assumption about playing only white.

If I had a Delorean, I could go back in time and pimp slap Past Brandon, instructing him to play Black and Red, but I don't.

Instead, what I have is a kick to the balls reminding me that if I want to qualify for the Pro Tour, I can't have any assumptions and need to trust my gut.

(FTC Disclosure: Every time I link to Cool Stuff Inc., they give me store credit. Some day I hope to purchase a house with store credit, so consider clicking on the link.)