GP CHAMP REPORT – 1997 By Robert Swarowski

Well lets just get started without the crap introductions.

I knew that my team would be making the drive to San Jose for Grand Prix San Fransisco, yes that’s right Grand Prix San Fransisco is located in San Jose, and I wanted to practice a bit. I started by playing at the local game shop against this crappy white red green deck that played as many of the 2/1 for 1 mana as it could, Jackal Pup, Savanna Lion, Mtenda Lion. After crushing bad players I wanted to get some real games in, games that I might lose. I invited my bestest playtest partner and BFF Tim Rivera over. We played a few games and cut the Orchish artillery for 2 Dwarven Miner, 1 fireslinger, and 1 goblin bombardment. Wait let me show you the strangest sligh deck you’ve ever seen and then I’ll talk about card choices (I’m so excited to show you this list).

4 Jackel Pups

4 Mogg Fanatic

4 Ironclaw Orcs

2 Dwarven Miner

1 Fireslinger

4 Ball Lighting

4 Lightning Bolts

2 Cursed Scroll

2 Death Spark

4 Incinerate

1 Goblin Bombardment

4 Fireblast

4 Wasteland

3 Mishra’s Factory

4 Badlands

4 Plateau

9 Mountain


4 Disenchant

3 Pyroblast

2 Dwarvern Miner

2 Forsaken Wastes

2 Perish

2 Anarchy

This was right after Tempest came out so a bunch of these cards were brand new and not proven players.

4 Jackal Pup

4 Mogg Fanatics

I knew these were hits even while other players were not sold on talking damage from the jackal pup yet. Yeah Vegas was full of donks that thought Jackal Pup’s drawback was too much that is until it started showing up in every red deck ever.

4 Ironclaw Orcs

…the beats continue. Seriously I love these guys, it fits the curve and nobody ever wants to bolt them cause its such a crappy card.

2 Dwarven Miner

There were bound to be nonbasics all over the room as you could use the original dual lands baby!

1 Fireslinger

Better then Orcish Artillery but I wasn’t completely sold on it, so in goes one to give it a try.

4 Ball Lightning

4 Lighting Bolt

Nothing to say here.

2 Cursed Scroll

2 Death Spark

Ok here is the best part. I always loved Death Spark, card advantage at its best, but I knew that Cursed Scroll was good. I only had 2 Cursed Scrolls and I didn’t mind playing with 2 death sparks, cause I love them so much, instead of trying to get 2 more. So that’s why I played 2 cursed scroll.

4 Incinerate

1 Goblin Bombardment

Ok I lied about the best part, this sir is the best part. This card was so bad all day long. Tim told me to put it in cause I would get extra damage with my creatures and I could “combo” it up with death spark. The only good thing about this is it made taking cards out to sideboard easier. So random.

4 Fireblast

Next to Jackal Pup this is my favorite card. Free wins, top decks, comebacks, and careful planning with cheese.

4 Wasteland

Not since strip mine has there been a better follow up to turn one red drop, and yes I have played with strip mine in standard even if it was restricted. I’m DI infinity plus plus unreal redic old.

3 Mishra’s Factory

Seems like a good number right? Yeah I know that they work better with 4 so they can all pump each other but come on, I need mountains to Fireblast people.

4 Badlands

4 Plateau

SIDEBOARD TECH! This made the deck sort of strange, you didn’t see many sligh decks that splashed for other colors. Look at the cards that I splashed for its so funny, I don’t even know if 4 sources is enough to support 4 splash cards but I’m super lucky and never had problems.

9 Mountain


4 Disenchant

I expected I lot of the new combo deck Fruity Pebbles. To the best of my knowledge this is the first deck to start the retarded cereal naming convention that was used for combo decks. The combo was goblin bombardment, enduring renewal, shield sphere, look up the cards if you don’t know what they do, if you still cant figure it out, kill yourself.

3 Pyroblast

Had to cut one to make way for the other “hits” in the sideboard

2 Dwarvern Miner

I guess 2 main and 4 wastelands weren’t enough.

2 Forsaken Wastes

Shuts down the necro decks and Gerard’s wisdom.

2 Perish

I was afraid of Jolrael’s Centaur so I wanted the untargeted kill and it kills Ernam Dijinn so yeah sleeve it up. I don’t know why i had this fear and it seems dumb when I look back and think that I was going to be serving and smashing to the face and a 3 cost 2/2 can only block an ironclaw and not attack.

2 Anarchy

Catch all, kills pro red creatures like sotari priest, kills COPs, I love wrecking white weenies day while saving all the bolts to go to the face.

There were 4 of us that made the drive, Tim, Jason, Shannon, and Rob “Scrubby, Scrubowski” Swarowski. The drive was uneventful and we stayed at the tournament site. I forgot a lot about these rounds so don’t be surprised to see blanks in the round descriptions, I mean the only reason I have the names is because of DCI reporter.

Round 1 Bye

Yeah buddy I had a rocking rating that was enough to get me a round one bye.


Round 2 Preston K. Poulter

He was an old school pro, part of team PCL (Pacific Coast Legends), and a big baby. He cries when he loses and he talks shit when hes winning. He was playing this mono blue winter orb propaganda deck that also had Waterspout Dijinn (combo with winterorb for the idiots) and Suq’Ata Firewalker. I lost bad, it wasn’t even close, having 3 pyroblast helped out.


Round 3 Andy M. Chen

I have no idea how this one went other then I won.


Round 4 Micah L. Wilson

Drawing a blank again, I mean I can’t even remember where I live some days. I won again!


Round 5 Daniel M. DuBois

This is getting a bit embarrassing.


Round 6 Brett T. Shears

Ok I remember this one. I knew Brett and his brother Steve from all the so cal qualifiers that I go to and they are both cool dudes. We could play and only one of us would make day 2 or we could draw and we would both make day 2 but leave us with a smaller chance to make top 8. I was all about just making day 2 so we drew.


This marked the end of day one. The 4 of us got in the elevator to go back to our room and there was this older chick in there. I was wearing my huge 49er jacket and we were in 49er country so the lady asked me if I had tickets to the game on Sunday. I said no and she said that she had some extra tickets if I wanted them. Now I was young and dumb as opposed to being old and senile as I am now. I thought and I think Shannon thought too (that or he was messing with me, yeah he was messing with me) that she was offering me free tickets and coming on to me. She told me her room number if i wanted the tickets, but i knew that I was going to pass and play day 2 instead.

Rob-0 Life-1

Round 7 Damon Johnston

I lost this round but I remember game 2. I was on the play, we both played a land on turn one. Turn 2 I played ironclaw, turn 3 and turn 4 I attacked. His big play was casting ernam dijinn on turn four tapping out. I asked him what he was at, to which he replied 16. So I aimed 2 Incinerates at his head, then untapped cast lighting bolt and 2 fireblasts sacing my 4 mountains. I’m so good.


At this point I cant lose again if I want to make top 8; that draw was a smart idea.

Round 8 Jason D. Murray

This is the first time I met Jason, and I can tell you he was quite the character. He grabbed one of my dice to keep his life without asking, he made the dice roll in to a game, and he cracked jokes the whole time. I still see him from time to time and he still remembers me from this tournament. He was playing white weenie and got housed by anarchy.


Round 9 Bryan Petersen

No idea, but for some reason I think he was playing sengir vampires. I got this one in either case.


Round 10 Michael W. Dove

If you don’t know who this guy is then you are like everyone else. I’ve seen him at a few tournaments and he was somewhat known to 10 people as the guy who preformed, “favors,” to get the first turbo stasis deck list. This guy is the biggest douche bag ever, the only games this guy ever loses is when he is mana screwed or if his opponent is the luckiest ever. Screw this guy I smashed him, he was playing Fruity Pebbles and the sideboarded disenchants won me the game, never saw it coming.


Round 11 Peter Radonjic

Peter has had some fame up in the wonderful nation of Canada so I knew who he was when I saw his name. He was playing a Necro deck, pretty standard, pump knights, drain lifes, hymm, and I think he had red for some bolts. His friend Ryan Fuller was playing the same deck and he was at the top of the standings. This is the one match were death spark came to play, I kept bringing it back to kill pump knights. This was one and only match where I kept in the bombardment, he could drain my creatures.


Round 12 Alex E. Stabiner

So here it is, win and I get in top 8, lose and go eat deep dish pizza with my friends. Tough one I almost conceded to eat, all the girls at school call me fatty fatty fat fat. All my friends were watching this match so the pressure is on. Alex was playing a similar sligh deck but without the cool sideboard splashes. We split the first 2 games and in the third game there came a point where he was attacking with a jackal pup and a ball lighting. I had an incinerate and a death spark in hand, I said in my head bolt the pup and death spark the ball lighting so I have a chance at getting back the spark. What I did was spark the pup then bolt the ball lighting, even after saying it over and over in my head I made the worst play burying the spark and not doing the max damage to him. After this screw up I still ended up winning the game.


Top 8 suckas! There was some time before the first match so I played some games against some kid who was friends with Casey McCarrel. I knew Casey from my first pro tour where we played each other and he won but we talked to each other throughout the tournament. This kid was playing the same deck that his friend Dan Clegg was playing, and we were playing a dollar a game. We were all tied up and the third game I thought I was going to win when I had to leave to play in the top 8. He said that he was about to win, I told him he was crazy that I had the game in a couple of turns, he was like I have Empyrial Armor in my hand. So, you only have 3 cards in your hand, he pointed to the lad tax on the table. Whatever I think he was wrong, I then saw him at the next pro tour making top 8 with millikens in his deck and he turned out to be a cool guy and a million times better than me so maybe I was wrong about winning that third game.

Quarters, Daniel G. Clegg

Dan was the top seed and I was the eight seed, I want to say that he only lost once in the swiss. All his friends were watching while all mine were off eating pizzas like the fatties they are. He was playing a land tax white weenie with Empyrial Amor and one lands edge. The first game Dwarven miner came out and killed a plateau. He killed it then I wasted another nonbasic and brought the balls out. He commented, “does your deck always get those draws?” The next game I lost so lets not talk about that. The third I pulled out what the Duelist called a, “nail-biter”. He was a local guy, everyone was rooting for him, he killed in the swiss, but today was my day.

Semis, Brett Quorn

Brett was playing some strange blue, white and red deck with Frenetic Effrets, bolts, ophidian, sword to plowshares, and disrupt. The first 2 games we split so it all came down to game three. I started out strong doing some quick damage, but soon it was slipping out of my hands. He started killing my dudes and taking control of the game. It got to the point where he was going to kill me next turn, but for my turn I drew fireblast. This went with the other fireblast in my hand and he was at 7. Now the rules worked differently back then, you didn’t die when you hit 0 you stayed around till the end of the phase. This is important because I was low on life and fearing disrupt. If I saced all my mountains without adding mana I could lose if he had disrupt, if I add all my mana I could mana burn to death. I went in the tank and came up with just blasting him twice which won me the game and got me in the finals. Now those last few sentences, I’m not sure that’s exactly how it went. I do know I went in the tank for some reason, fearing some crazy combination of cards and I double fireblasted him for the win.

Finals, Ryan C. Fuller

Ryan was playing the same deck that Peter was playing in round 11, so I was feeling confident. Game one I was smashing him and then he hymned my and got death spark so I put that one on the top of the graveyard. He asked the head judge who got to chose the order of the cards it was funny because this was the first time in the tournament that question came up, nobody else played death spark. I won the first game pretty easily. Game 2 he went turn one ritual, Necro, I felt like extending the hand, I mean hes just making my game easier. This game I only drew 3 mountains, while he kept necroing over and over again, of course 3 mountains means that i just had a hand full of burn and got him. After he wanted to look at my sideboard to see what I was splashing for, when he saw the forsaken wastes he was like “yeah these are really good against me if I ever drew my drain lifes”.

Rob-1 Life-1

We didn’t have the room for Sunday night because we all figured that we would drive back that night. However as we were driving in the middle of the night it started to pour so we needed to pull over and get a room anyway. Since I won I offered to pay for the room, but then I struck the bargain that Tim and I would play tempest sealed for half of the rooms cost. If I won I would pay for half of the room and the other 3 would split the other half, if I lost I would pay for the whole room. I opened up tradewind, mawcore, capsize, and rolling thunder. Tim got the crap beat out of him and I only had to pay for half of the room. Some people are just the luckiest.

Rob-2 Life-1

Rob Swarowski


4 Responses

  1. Rob don’t ever stop writing, although much like in real life you need to be even meaner.

  2. you are not still talking about this tourny, and you forgot to mention that some retard wrote a magazine article on you being a luck sac. and according tothe article it said bombardmeant was the best card in the deck. Get you history right

  3. Old Man Beacham, where you been at? Best email me or call. And yeah I did forget that, but my memory isnt what it used to be. Im the old man now.

  4. aaahh this explains how Rob won DMF Austin: Pew Pew Pew!!!

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