Vienna Geddonless Ante-geddon

As the only two contract-carrying madmen attending the Viennageddon tournament last weekend, The Reindeer and I crossed birds in a duel for ANTE superiority. We had a great series of 7 Ante40k games over the course of two days. Good birds saved great cards, named birds changed hands (and then returned home as well). We had some games where we chickened out early and saved our antes quickly. We also had some long games where no one seemed to be able to draw a bird and the game ended with dramatic revelations that the ante was… a bird the whole time.

Good bird, good bird, save my precioussss ‘byssssss

I played a Black/Blue robots brew that suffered from a chronic lack of black mana in the opening hands. I lost one game with Dark Ritual, The Abyss, Contract from Below, and Demonic tutor all sitting useless in my hand while getting beat down (there might have even been a mind twist too). I think that was the game that I lost where my ante turned out to be a swamp (just the one I needed, see it in the above picture on the other side of the table the next day). Christian played another beautiful Black/Blue deck full of Sengirs, Hypnotics, Serendib Efreets and a lovely beta Royal Assassin which I drooled over. One day… one day… I dream it might be mine.

Another good good bird, saving a vulnerable Efreet from the tough streets of Vienna (2 at-risk Efreets were saved like this over the course of the weekend).

Of particular note was a bird which Reindeer won on Saturday, a bird going by the name Opotamus Rex. Before this bird had a name, I had won it from Christian in London at the World Cup mini-ante tournament. When he won the bird back from me in Vienna, I added a nice middle finger to its feathers and added an alter to the casting cost. Opotamus Rex now costs only 0 mana to play when cast ‘gainst Jason (and this will be in effect no matter who owns the bird in the future). Luckily I won this bird back before the weekend ended, so someone else will have to win it off me if they ever want to benefit from the alternative casting cost.

Another one of my named birds, Incognito, also changed hands, but again. I managed to bring the flighty little thing home and apologized for dubbing it a “witch”. I also added a new unnamed bird to my collection and a glorious Mishra’s Monster Factory. Overall, I won the series of 7 games barely by a margin of 4 to 3. It was a small victory after being DECIMATED 3 different times by Christian and his 93/94 decks in the regular tournaments.

Feeling spoiled by nice war spoils

As always, it was a pleasure playing ANTE40k with a good friend. These games add an extra rush of adrenaline for me that I assume only usually happens in other high pressure games, like a finals (not that I’d know). It fulfills that tendency I have to want to gamble while still feeling like I can lose and have a good time. In that way, it’s just like 93/94, but just a little hotter, a little more spicy! Having an enthusiastic audience for our games also added to the fun and I’m fairly sure we might just have a new contender entering our ranks sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Stay safe out there, madmen. Love you all. Flying Bear and Prancing Reindeer, out.

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