PROTRADER: PT Khans of Tarkir Block Constructed

By: Travis Allen

I’ve never been one for professional sports. I don’t know if it’s the toxic masculinity that I’ve never felt beholden to that is woven into the fabric of the pastimes, or if it’s instead my distaste for the veiled sycophantic jingoism that manifests as obsessive support, emotional and financial, for a team that owes allegiance to nothing more than your tax dollars. Whatever it is, I have a natural aversion to that particular brand of entertainment. I don’t watch ESPN. I don’t check scores. I don’t keep track of who is injured or what trades may happen. I didn’t even understand people’s exhaustion with Draft Kings and FanDuel until I saw ten minutes of a football game at my girlfriend’s parent’s house and was exposed to just how significant their advertising presence was.

LAS VEGAS - MARCH 19: In this handout provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, the Mirage Resort Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas is shown crowded with basketball fans during NCAA March Madness Tournament March 19, 2010. in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau via Getty Images)

Along with all the other things that I don’t experience related to professional sports is gambling. Of course, none of you reading this have ever gambled on sports games, because unless you live in Nevada or overseas, it would be illegal, so bear with me and just imagine it’s something you’ve done. Not having bet on games before, I’m unfamiliar with the emotional rollercoaster involved in the activity. Of course, I experience it in some capacity. After all, I bought $60 worth of Wingmate Rocs and Dragon Whisperers. While you could argue that speculation is gambling in its own right, it’s not quite the same. My hopes and dreams for Roc don’t live and die on one play of the game; there is no singular pointed moment in time that holds within it financial victory or ruin.

So when we did a fantasy Pro Tour draft this time around and I found myself sweating the outcome of Finkel versus PVDDR, a match that would determine whether I got second place or fifth, it was a novel experience. I found myself unwilling to watch them play, a behavior I know for a fact I’ve wondered aloud at when I’ve seen others not watch an event they’re financially invested in. I just kept working on the newsletter in silence, peeking at Twitter every thirty seconds for updates. When Finkel was finally victorious and I was locked for second place, a thrilling sensation washed over me unlike anything I get when a spec target quintuples overnight. All in all, it was an exciting experience, and it will be made all the more sweeter when I only need to pay four percent of a $400 dinner bill, rather than 14 percent.

Oh, also, Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar happened this weekend. Right. That’s probably what you would prefer to read about.

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3 thoughts on “PROTRADER: PT Khans of Tarkir Block Constructed”

  1. Hi Travis. Friend of Autumn’s here 🙂

    First, thanks for being one of the first writers to acknowledge her achievement and spend some time on it. She was sadly never in top8 contention (started out 1-2 and 4-3) so probably got overlooked due to not being part of the top8 picture. That being said, she put together the second best ever PT performance by a girl and got next to no mention on stream (a couple of name-checks by Hagon in R15/16). Also notable that she is trans – another best performance by a ~ that she achieved.

    WRT Archangel – her opponent was exactly correct as to why Archangel was in there. It was completely deliberate – it and KotWO were there to sure up the matchups against Jeskai and Red decks, and did said job perfectly. The only round she lost was a Megamorph mirror, for reference.

    Anyway, good article, the PT certainly was generally disappointing for actionable financial moves but I agree with you, Archangel is probably a high-upside, low-downside pick at the current price.



    1. Tell her we are proud, no matter what the coverage said (or didn’t). I’m also grateful for you pointing out how the record accumulated, it makes me less upset at the coverage team and I can see how they wouldn’t know how well a constructed deck was playing until near the end of the tournament. Still, it’d be nice to see more women and trans players on camera, I don’t get how they miss the appeal of differing personalities as part of coverage. The World Series of Poker does this every year and it always boosts coverage and makes people interested. If wizards was trying to get more women interested in the game (I’m sure they are), they could start with putting the best female players in the room on camera, starting on round one (when everyone’s record is still 0-0, so the men don’t whine about who’s record is best and how it isn’t fair). Someday.

  2. I’m the fellow who got crushed by Archangel playing Dark Jeskai, and I’ve gotta say, Fatespinner is a remarkably apt comparison!

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