Pogrom of the Glorious Bastards

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The Pogrom of the Glorious Bastards was an incident at the 2007 R9E US Nationals. It lives in game lore infamy due to two factors: the degeneracy of the game environment being exploited by a large playgroup, and the mid-tournament decision by the R9E Rules Team to issue bans and errata for several cards between the Qualifiers and the Main Event.

Thursday's Qualifier tournament suffered a mass incursion by the so-called "Windy City Wrecking Crew" (WCWC) playgroup, each of whom were piloting a degenerate Holden deck (nicknamed "Gossip Girl") that drew, played, and re-shuffled its deck several times before the end of the second turn, rocketing to a popular victory via the completion of multiple high-renown quests. Every single member of the WCWC who played the deck on Thursday -- 17 in all -- were among the top 32 players who advanced to the Saturday Main Event.

Gossip Girl relied on a number of rare and promotional cards that were difficult for players to obtain, as well as a very narrow reading on a timing ruling that had been submitted for approval to the Rules Team, privately, in advance. It was rumored that the Wrecking Crew's "quartermaster" -- who had made a small fortune in the secondary card market for R9E -- had cornered the market on the key pieces of the deck. When the entire playgroup used the deck to advance, several hopefuls scrambled to recreate the deck from various cobbled-together scouting reports and play anecdotes. Unfortunately, due to the card ownership ruling, which would not be overturned for two years, only a handful of players were able to approximate the carefully-guarded decklist from cards they had on hand at the convention.

Still, the power of the deck was such that even the imitators fared well in the Friday qualifier. Amidst a near-mob of angry players, and fearing another convention ban, the Rules Team issued a grand total of 13 errata and bans to cards involved in the degeneracy of Gossip Girl on Friday night. Faced with needing to scrape together new decks in a hurry, the Wrecking Crew would not fare as well on Saturday, sending only two of its number to the top 32.

Although none of the WCWC won the Nationals, their efforts to break the game would be commemorated by the cohort card "Glorious Bastards," a card that mimicked one of the degenerate card draw mechanics, but at a greater cost. The card name came from the combination of the rapid popular victory with the most common epithet used to describe the playgroup.