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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Anatomy of Luck | Pretty Deece

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One time someone asked me why I like basketball so much.

My response was that its like watching math unfold in real time.

They rightfully looked at me like I was an idiot.

But I cant explain it.

I enjoy sports like some people enjoy scratch-offs, I suppose.

I mean, just look at this shot:

Curry, way downtownBANG!


Oh, what a shot from Curry!

With six tenths of a second remaining!

As if there wasnt enough pressure on next turn, there is looming doom.

A Rift Bolt and a Lotus Bloom, set up for next turn for Gabriel Nassif; trying to win

this game off a mulligan to four.

Can Patrick Chapin do eighteen damage?

This is Gabriel Nassif, eleven years ago, at the World Championship in 2007.

Before the streaming, before the hall of fame, before winning a Pro Tour with a sixty-one

card deck, before Amaz didnt know who he was-

Yellow what is now raiding with a party of 180, wait, whos that

he was just a guy.

A guy on his eighth Pro Tour Top 8 with his back against the wall on a mulligan to four.

Oh, and hes playing against this guy.

This is Patrick Chapin.

Worlds 2007 marks his third Pro Tour Top 8, so, yknow, hes doing pretty well for


Hes also on his way to the Hall of Fame, and hes in pretty good shape here.

His opponent mulliganed to four, and hes about to combo off for the win.

A semifinal exit gives one of these players about fourteen thousand dollars, while making

the finals guarantees them twenty-two thousand dollars with a shot at forty thousand dollars

for winning that match, so yeah, despite the look on his face, hes probably feeling

pretty good.

I mean, yes, these guys built this deck together, and yes, theyre close friendshm.

I'm telling this story completely out of order. I should back up.

Okay, back in the day, Pro Tours werent broken up into ten rounds of Constructed and

six rounds of Draft.

They were just 16 rounds of one format.

The once-a-year exception was Worlds.

and in 2007, it was

split into three formats: Standard, Legacy, and Lorwyn Draft.

Five rounds for each constructed format with two drafts and six rounds of Limited.

For Worlds 2007, Patrick Chapin, Gabriel Nassif, and a third very powerful wizard by the name

of Mark Herberholz teamed up to try and break the format.

The Standard metagame was made up of only a handful of decks: Faeries decks without

Bitterblossom because Morningtide hadnt come out yet, black-green midrange decks with

stuff like Garruk Wildspeaker and Hypnotic Specter, and pickles decks namedpickles

for thebrinein Brine Elemental.

So yeah.

Those were the decks.

a week before the tournament,

Chapin threw the team a hail mary in the form of something he pieced

together based on a deck he saw in a Standard side event at Grand Prix Daytona built around

Spinerock Knoll and Dragonstorm.

The way it typically won was by casting three spells and then a Dragonstorm as the fourth


Thanks to storm, four copies of Dragonstorm would go on the stack, each searching up a

copy of Bogardan Hellkite that would each deal five damage to their opponent upon entering

the battlefield.

And if that didnt work, well, those dragons get to attack the very next turn.

Dragonstorm decks existed in Standard before this version, but they relied on Seething

Song to simultaneously add to the storm count and make a bunch of mana to cast the Dragonstorm.

Once Ninth Edition left Standard, Seething Song went with it, and players mostly assumed

the Dragonstorm deck wouldnt work without it, because making enough mana to cast a Dragonstorm

without Seething Song is tough.

At this point, Lowryn was a brand-new set, and Spinerock Knoll turned out to be the missing

piece for the Dragonstorm deck.

With all the burn in the deck, casting whatever gets hidden under the Spinerock Knoll isnt

very hard, and lots of times, youre just casting Dragonstorm or a Bogardan Hellkite

for one mana.

So yeah.

Spinerock Knoll was the real deal.

The Storm mechanic was introduced in Scourge, and, uh

I really have no idea why.

Its complicated.

Heres the rules text for Storm, as printed on a Grapeshot from Modern Masters: When you

cast this spell, copy it for each spell cast before it this turn.

You may choose new targets for the copies.

So what this means is I can play a bunch of spells on my turn and build my storm count

until blam

I drop a giant Tendrils of Agony on my opponent.

Or Grapeshot.

Or Empty the Warrens.

Or Dragonstorm.

Or Minds Desire.

You get the idea.

The thing about storm is that its hard to track.

The mechanic also wants you to play it with stuff like Dark Ritual, so most of the time,

when youre storming off, youve gotta keep track of a billion things, like how much

mana youve got floating, how many spells youve cast this turn... they dont make

storm cards anymore.

Probably because they never shouldve been made in the first place.

Chapin and Nassif both Top 8d Worlds that year, meeting in the semifinals.

A best of five with the winner moving on to the finals of the World Championships.

Game one: Chapin won despite Nassif resolving a Lotus Bloom first.

The next card down in Nassifs deck: a lethal Dragonstorm, meaning if hed had one more

turn, he wouldve won the game.

So were off to a good start.

Game two, Nassif snaps off a Dragonstorm for two, gets two Bogardan Hellkites, and wins

the very next turn.

Heres the call for game three:

Nassif looking at a draw of with a couple of shocks and a Rite of Flame?

That draws garbage.

Thats gotta be a mulligan.



He kept that.

He lost the game, but he kept it.

I mean, it wasnt a bad keep, at least in hindsightNassif was a turn away from winning

when Chapin comboed off with Grapeshot and Pyromancers Swathbut he lost.

So were on to game four, and, uh, uh oh.

We have mulliganned to five.

Alright, Nassif has two lands, a Shock, a Swath, and a Dragonstorm.

I think you gotta keep that one.

Meanwhile, Uri Peleg has two different Planeswalkers.

Hes displaying his Planeswalker collection.

His collection of Planeswalkers and beads.

Four cards

This draw is not actually better than the six-card draw, right?


Would it be easier if I just showed you three Rites of Flame and a Dragonstorm?

I mean, he could still go to four and get Lotus, Lotus, Dragonstorm.

Four can be better than that.

Can be.

I dont know if its better than that often enough, but, like, what is he trying

tohe cashes it in.

Hes going to four.

Oh my gosh.




So, real quick, if youve ever played Magic before, I want you to think about how many

times youve mulliganned to four ever.

It doesn't need to be exact.

A rough estimate will suffice.


Nowhow many of those games do you think you won?

Everyone in the audience, cheer loudly if his hand is

the nuts.

(audience cheers)

Chapins broken the format.

With no games left to give in the 2007 Worlds semifinals, Gabriel Nassif kept a four-card

hand of Molten Slagheap, Grapeshot, Rift Bolt, and Rite of Flame.

Its not the worst, all things considered.

In the Dragonstorm mirror match, the two decks dont really have a way to interact or attack

each others resources, its just a race to see who can combo off first.

Eventually the game comes to this: Nassif has a Snow-Covered Mountain, a Molten Slagheap

with two storage counters, a Fungal Reaches, and a Spinerock Knoll with a Bogardan Hellkite

hidden away underneath it, along with a suspended Lotus Bloom and a suspended Rift Bolt, each

with one time counter apiece.

His hand: A Rite of Flame, a Grapeshot, and an Ignite memories.

Hes at eighteen life.

Chapin untaps with two Fungal Reachesone with four storage countersa Snow-Covered

Mountain, a Spinerock Knoll with an Incinerate underneath it, and a Rift Bolt on suspend

with one counter on it.

After sending the suspended Rift Bolt at Nassifs head, putting him to 15 life, and drawing,

Chapins hand is two Bogardan Hellkites, a Dragonstorm, a Rite of Flame, an Ignite

Memories, a Grapeshot, and a Tarfire.

Tarfire puts him to thirteen, Rite of Flame adds some mana, and a Grapeshot for four puts

Nassif to nine, clearing the way for an Ignite Memories for five.

Just to reiterate, when you cast a spell with storm, it looks to see how many other spells

were cast before it.

So this turn, Chapin casts four cards, then the Ignite Memories, making four additional


With Ignite Memories, Nassif has to reveal a random card from his hand and take damage

equal to its mana cost.

Thanks to storm, he has to do this five times.

To recap, Nassifs at nine life, with a hand of Rite of Flame, Grapeshot, and an Ignite

Memories of his own.

In poker, you can calculate the odds that a hand will be the best hand.

Obviously, the best hand can still be beaten if it gets folded, but part of the rules of

poker is that certain cards beat certain cards.

That means a telecaster can still look at two hands going heads-up and deduce the odds-on

favorite in the event that both players go all-in.

This is impossible to do for Magic.

Sure, cards can beat each other straight-up, like in poker.

An ace beats a deuce like a Terror beats a Craw Wurm.

Pro Tour coverage tries to convey odds with that advantage bar, but ultimately cards can

be played in too many ways.

Precisely calculating a games odds is impossible under normal circumstances.

This turn were looking at is one of the rare games its not.

After Chapin casts Ignite Memories, his hand is three cards: Two Bogardan Hellkites and

a Dragonstorm.

If he doesnt win off this Ignite Memories, hes going to lose to Nassifs Ignite

Memories on the following turn, so this Ignite Memories dictates the outcome of the game.

Alright, one more time: Nassifs hand is a Rite of Flame, a Grapeshot, and an Ignite

Memories, but the text on the cards is irrelevant at this pointall that matters is their

mana cost.

So Nassif has a one, a two, and a five.

Hes at nine life.

Since Chapins got five copies of Ignite Memories on the stack; if one of those Ignite

Memories finds Nassifs five-mana card, Chapin wins no matter what; he can hit a five

and four ones and itll still add up to nine.

Likewise, if Chapin hits more than three twos, Nassif loses, because two plus two plus two

plus two plus one equals nine.

So thats where were at.

Nassifs looking at a 10.7% chance of survival.

The two use a die as a random way to figure out which card each Ignite Memories hits,

so away we go.

And the first reveal is:


Gabs still in it.


Gonna have to shuffle every time.

If Pat ever hits the Ignite Memories, I believe this game is over.

As we already covered here, Randy is indeed correctif one of Chapins Ignite Memories

copies hits Nassifs Ignite Memories, the game is over.

With only four copies of Ignite Memories left on the stack, as opposed to five, Nassifs

odds of winning have improved dramatically.

Just kidding.

Hes looking at a 13.58 percenter.

Oh, theres the Grapeshot; hes at 5 with three more coming.

Okay, still same rules, still cant hit Ignite Memories or were dead on the spot.

The odds of surviving the three remaining copies of Ignite Memories jump up to 14.81%.

In other words, the odds still havent moved significantly one way or another.

Just miss the Ignite Memories and Gabs still got a shot.

Peels it up

What is it?

What is it??

You have how many copies left?

Three more.

No, this is the third, this is the third.

Two more.

Grapeshot, hes still in it!

Its gotta be rite-rite.

Can Nassif go runner-runner?

Alright, so what Randy means there is that the remaining two copies of Ignite Memories

are only allowed to hit one out the three cards in Nassifs hand: Rite of Flame.

Theres an 11.1% chance of survival now; Nassif has to hit one out of three twice in

a row.

One-two, three-four, five-six.


Hes still alive!

What started out as a 10.7% chance of survival is now a clean 33.3 percent.

One out of three.

If he hits the Rite of Flame

And you gotta flip it though.

No peeking; I gotta see it too.

Slam it, slam it.

Oh my goodness!

Gabriel Nassif survives five copies of Ignite Memories!

Hes got one point of life left!

Pat Chapin was looking at that seat in the finals; he thought he had it!

Those odds were absurd!

The Description of The Anatomy of Luck | Pretty Deece