WIZARDS OF THE COAST TEASES A PHYREXIAN ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ DROP

https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/48355/wizards-coast-teases-phyrexian-magic-the-gathering-drop

Wizards of the Coast teased a new Secret Lair Drop Series set, for Magic: The Gathering, themed around the Phyrexian Praetors.
Magic: The Gathering’s praetors, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite; Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur; Sheoldred, Whispering One; Urabrask the Hidden; and Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, are getting a new makeover. The new drop set will feature these legendary creatures in a Phyrexian-language Showcase frame. These drops will be available both through the Secret Lair website and the MTG-Arena in-client store soon.

There has been no word as to the MSRP of this product as of the publication of this article.

SQUARE ENIX UNVEILS A NEW ‘FINAL FANTASY TCG’ BOOSTER EXPANSION

https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/48364/square-enix-unveils-new-final-fantasy-tcg-booster-expansion

Square Enix unveiled Final Fantasy TCG: Crystal Dominion, a new expansion for Final Fantasy TCG, for release on November 26.
Crystal Dominion adds a new feature to games of Final Fantasy TCG. Some Character abilities and Summons will be able to be paid in Crystals, instead of Crystal Points, and Crystals accumulate as players use more abilities. The set comes with 130 normal cards and 166 premium cards, 24 of which are full-art. Packs come with 12 cards and include a Premium card; booster boxes will come with 36 packs.

This expansion also showcases the work of a number of artists. The artists that contributed to this set were by Gen Kobayashi, Ryoma Ito, Akira Oguro, Toshitaka Matsuda, Kumiko Koike, and Yukihiro Kajimoto.

ULTRA PRO UNVEILS ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ JAPANESE EDITION PLAYMATS

Source https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/48377/ultra-pro-unveils-magic-the-gathering-japanese-edition-playmats

ltra PRO unveiled Magic: The Gathering: Strixhaven – Japanese Mystical Archive Play Mats for release in June.
Similar to the upcoming release of the English edition playmats (see “Ultra PRO Offers Up ‘Magic: The Gathering’s’ Mystical Archive”), retailers can now order the Japanese edition playmats in limited quantities. These mats will be standard-sized and feature the artwork from the Japanese versions of cards in the Mystical Archive. Popular pieces of art from the set include the Demonic Tutor by Sumie Okazu, Time Warp by Shie Nanahara, and Lightning Bolt by Ezoi.

The list of art available is as follows:

Swords to Plowshares by Nagano
Gods Willing by Tada
Mana Tithe by Magane Okuda
Ephemerate by Yumeko
Dark Ritual by Rien
Defiant Strike by Amayagido
Revitalize by Yaomojun
Divine Gambit by Kiritada
Approach of the Second Sun by Nagano
Gift of Estates by Yaya
Teferi’s Protection by So-Taro
Brainstorm by Ayako Ishiguro
Compulsive Research by Tomohito
Counterspell by Rindo Karasuba
Memory Lapse by Yumeko
Negate by Koji Nishino
Opt by Rien
Strategic Planning by Hatori Kyoka
Whirlwind Denial by Aogachou
Day of Judgment by Maiko Yoshizawa
Blue Sun’s Zenith by Ezoi
Time Warp by Shie Nanahara
Mind’s Desire by Yaya
Tezzeret’s Gambit by Tomohito
Agonizing Remorse by Maiko Aoji
Duress by romiy
Village Rites by Kaoru Hagiya
Eliminate by Karuta Shiki
Doom Blade by Rindo Karasuba
Inquisition of Kozilek by Yuka Oka
Faithless Looting by Shiro Yayoi
Crux of Fate by Kota Nakatsubo
Demonic Tutor by Sumie Okazu
Tainted Pact by Yusuke Katekari
Sign in Blood by Kaoru Yukishiro
Tendrils of Agony by Daken
Claim the Firstborn by Norikatsu Miyoshi
Infuriate by Yangyang / Xiaji
Shock by Ryanroro
Thrill of Possibility by Ayako Ishiguro
Grapeshot by Hatori Kyoka
Lightning Bolt by Ezoi
Stone Rain by Tobihachi
Urza’s Rage by Maiko Aoji
Mizzix’s Mastery by Hiro Suda
Chaos Warp by Hisashi Momose
Adventurous Impulse by Sakura Tomo
Snakeskin Veil by Yuhki Takeuchi
Cultivate by Uichi Ukumo
Increasing Vengeance by D-suzuki
Harmonize by Yuka Sakuma
Regrowth by romiy
Weather the Storm by Kukka
Despark by Kiritada
Electrolyze by Hatori Kyoka
Growth Spiral by Karuta Shiki
Lightning Helix by Daken
Putrefy by Magane Okuda
Primal Command by Kukka
Natural Order by Ayami Nakashima
Channel by Shie Nanahara
Krosan Grip by Norikatsu Miyoshi
Abundant Harvest by Yuka Sakuma
Each playmat will retail for $25.99.

$50,000 IS UP FOR GRABS PLAYING MTG ARENA AGAINST MRBEAST

Source: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/mrbeast

This Friday, April 23, you can jump in to MTG Arena‘s FNM at Home: Featuring MrBeast event and play for your opportunity to win one of two $25,000 prizes!

  • Download MTG Arena and log in before the event on Friday, April 23. (Don’t already have a Wizards account? Create yours today!)
  • Join this week’s FNM at Home event and choose from a preconstructed deck provided by the event.
  • Play for free in this week’s FNM at Home event between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (noon) PT. (Or all day—Magic is fun!)
  • Make sure you to play your games all the way through—win or lose—to be eligible to win. (You won’t know which of your opponents could be MrBeast!)
  • If you played against MrBeast, we’ll contact you through the email address your account was registered with.

And that’s everything you need to do for your opportunity to win $25,000—play for free, join in the fun, and enjoy MTG Arena alongside MrBeast!

We’ll see you at the FNM at Home: Featuring MrBeast this Friday, April 23, on MTG Arena.

OFFICIAL RULES

As with any contest, there are some important things you need to know about your opportunity to win $25,000 playing MrBeast.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Promotion begins at 11:00 a.m. PT 4/23/21 and ends at 12:00 p.m. PT 4/23/21. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, Canada (excl. QC), Japan, The UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Austria, and Portugal who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or the age of majority in their place of residence, whichever is older, at the time of entry. Click Here for Official Rules, including how to enter, odds, prize details, and restrictions. Skill-testing question required for Canadian winners. Two (2) prizes available ($25,000 USD each). Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Msg&data rates may apply. Sponsor: Wizards of the Coast, 1600 Lind Avenue Southwest, #400, Renton, WA 98057, USA.

WIZARDS OF THE COAST RELEASES PHOTO TEASING THE NEXT ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ ‘SECRET LAIR’ RELEASE

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/48140/wizards-coast-releases-photo-teasing-next-magic-the-gathering-secret-lair-release

Wizards of the Coast released a new clue as to the what cards will be featured in the next Secret Lair: Drop Series release, which will likely be Strixhaven: School of Mages-themed.
It has been a few months since WotC previewed a Secret Lair drop (see “Wizards of the Coast Unveils ‘Magic: The Gathering’ ‘Secret Lair: Smitten Superdrop'”). With the pending release of the new Strixhaven: School of Mages set on the horizon (see “Wizards of the Coast Updates Release Information for ‘Magic: The Gathering’ ‘Strixhaven: School of Mages’ “), WotC released a tweet through their Secret Lair twitter feed with a photo that provides some clues to the nature of the next drop. The photo depicts the upper half of a bookcase from the Secretorium with four unrevealed cards on the top shelf that will be included in this Strixhaven-themed release.

Underneath the top shelf, there are items that likely provide clues to which four cards will be included. Twitter user speculation as to the identity of these cards, based on the clues, include Scroll Rack, AEther Vial, Baleful Strix, Springleaf Drum, and others.

WIZARDS OF THE COAST’S ‘UNIVERSES BEYOND’ ANNOUNCEMENT REVEALS THEIR LICENSING PLANS FOR ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’

They Will Make ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Sets Featuring ‘Warhammer 40,000’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’

Source: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47694/wizards-coasts-universes-beyond-announcement-reveals-their-licensing-plans-magic-the-gathering

Wizards of the Coast announced Universes Beyond, a sub-brand series for Magic: The Gathering, that will include Magic expansions featuring Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40,000. Products for this sub-brand series are slated to begin releasing in 2022.
Last fall’s Secret Lair X The Walking Dead (see “Preview: ‘Magic: The Gathering’ ‘Secret Lair X The Walking Dead’ Contents and Images”) was apparently only a test run for what WotC has in store for fans of Magic: The Gathering in 2022. Universes Beyond allows fans of Magic to play a game of Magic featuring characters, worlds, and stories outside the traditional Multiverse of Magic: The Gathering. These Universes Beyond sets will still have traditional Magic cards, but the cards will be branded slightly differently with a unique holofoil stamp and are not legal for Standard play.

The first two licenses WotC will explore with this new Magic sub-brand are Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40,000, which had both been CCGs in the past (see ” Warhammer 40k CCG at Printer”, and also “LOTR Starter Decks Sell Out”). They will make Commander Decks for Warhammer 40K, Lord of the Rings product in an unspecified format. [note: corrected from an earlier version that said both would be Commander Decks – 2/28/21, 5:30 CT – ed.]

The adoption of Universes Beyond opens Magic sets up to several possibilities for license collaborations, as their parent company Hasbro has toy licenses for Disney brands as well as a healthy catalogue of in-house licenses such as My Little Pony, Transformers, and G.I. Joe, some of which have already appeared on Magic cards (see “‘My Little Pony’ ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Card Set Will Be Sold To Raise Money For Extra Life Charity”).

Wizards of the Coast also left the door open for producing re-skinned treatments of Magic: The Gathering cards featuring licenses, like the Godzilla cards found in Ikoria (see “Godzilla Pantheon to Appear in ‘Magic: The Gathering – Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths'”). They will default to letting the cards “stand on their own”, but if a “charming re-skin opportunity” comes up, they may take advantage of it. On another related note, the upcoming Adventures in Forgotten Realms set will not be part of Universes Beyond; it will still be a Standard set (see “Wizards of the Coast Drops ‘Magic: The Gathering’s’ Release Schedule For 2021”), although as of the publication of this article, Forgotten Realms has not been canonized as part of the Magic Multiverse (although WotC did say they may do so in the future). [Note: This was corrected from a statement that Forgotten Realms was slated to be canonized 2/28/2021 2 CT, ed.]

WIZARDS OF THE COAST UNVEILS SPELLTABLE BETA

An Online Platform to Help Stores to Stream Paper ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Events Via Webcam

Source https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47728/wizards-coast-unveils-spelltable-beta

Wizards of the Coast unveiled SpellTable beta, a new online platform for stores to stream paper Magic: The Gathering events on.
With the in-person Magic: The Gathering scene in stasis, WotC has come up with a new online platform for players and retailers to host paper Magic games on. This platform utilizes webcams for the sole purpose of playing paper Magic events remotely. To use this platform, players position their webcams or phones above their play space and they can play remotely. The major features that make this site a better platform to host events on than others are that it has built-in card identification software and can support multiple video layouts to accommodate multiplayer Commander games. It also keeps track of life totals, has turn indicator, and a clock.

The site requires players have a webcam with 1280×720 streaming capability or an updated version of a Chrome web browser to stream games; Apple and Android phones also work for streaming instead of a webcam. SpellTable beta can currently support up to four players, and it has built-in audio which is in an early stage of development. The developers’ FAQ suggested streaming audio through Discord while they work out the bugs in the site.

Wizards of the Coast recently announced that they will remove stores from the WPN if they do not switch to their Wizards EventLink system from Wizards Event Reporter

Magic: The Gathering Returns to Comics in April 2021

A new Magic saga begins with (attempted) murder most foul.

If you enjoy the lore and characters of Magic: The Gathering as much as the game itself, then you’ll be pleased to hear the long-running franchise is returning to the comic book arena in 2021. Publisher BOOM! Studios has struck a new deal with Wizards of the Coast and parent company Hasbro to produce a new line of Magic: The Gathering comics, beginning with an ongoing monthly series simply titled Magic.
Magic’s creative team includes writer Jed MacKay (Black Cat), artist Ig Guara (Ghost-Spider), colorist Arianna Consonni and letterer Ed Dukeshire. You can get an exclusive first look at the covers to Magic #1 and Guara’s character designs in the slideshow gallery below:

Magic: The Gathering Returns to Comics in April 2021

The series opens in the realm of Ravnica, whose planet-sized city is rocked by assassination attempts against three Guildmasters, Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya. The trio will be forced to put aside their differences and travel to the plane of Zendikar to hunt the assassins. Boom is teasing a climactic showdown with a major Magic: The Gathering character.

“Twenty-five years ago when I was digging through the commons and uncommons bin to build my first deck, I would never have thought that one day I would be handed the reins to the Magic: The Gathering comic, but here we are!” said MacKay in the publisher’s press release. “I’m extremely psyched to be digging into the world of MAGIC and all that entails, and can’t wait for all of you to see what we’ve been cooking up for you!”

“It is amazing to be able to tell a story in the universe of a game I have been playing for over 20 years! I battled the Affinity deck and watched the Phyrexian take over Mirrodin,” said Guara. “I was actually finishing a new Commander deck when the proposal came so you can imagine just how excited I am to be working on this series, and bringing this world alive for fans everywhere!”

The Magic franchise has made its home at several different comic book publishers over the years. Most recently, IDW Publishing released several Magic: The Gathering limited series between 2011 and 2018.

Magic #1 will release in April 2021. The issue features cover art by Matteo Scalera (Black Science), with variant covers by Guara, InHyuk Lee (Miles Morales: Spider-Man), and Junggeun Yoon (Seven Secrets). The first issue also features a series of Hidden Planeswalker variant covers by artists Miguel Mercado (Mighty Morphin), Taj Tenfold (Abbott), and Magdalena Pagowska (The Library of Esoterica), each spotlighting a different iconic Magic character. Additionally, Boom will offer a “Magic pack” collector bundle that includes the main cover, an exclusive variant by Mirka Andolfo (Mercy). one of the Hidden Planeswalker covers and a blank sketch cover.

This is just the latest big release in the Magic: The Gathering line. Recently we learned Wizards of the Coast is releasing a series of cards painted by none other than PBS mainstay Bob Ross, and those cards may be added to Magic: The Gathering Arena in the near future. We also learned Dungeons & Dragons will be getting its own Magic the Gathering set in Q3 2021.

Beyond the card game itself, Magic is also headed to Netflix, as Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are overseeing a new animated series. Several Magic players among the IGN staff weighed in on why this adaptation is such a big deal.

Source https://www.ign.com/articles/magic-the-gathering-comic-boom-studios-ravnica-zendikar

Grand Prix Lisbon a Limited Report (Zac Clark)

GP Lisbon Round One:

Dear Everyone that’s lost a match to me in the last 5months,

I couldn’t have made it this far without you. Thank you for the top decks, the rage quits, the draft signals. Remember that time I took off work on a Friday Night to play FNM and you lost? Well, here’s to hoping its worth it. I’ll try to make it count.

Signed

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

Looking at my deck I realize the pool was far too varied to make a great deck. I decided to settle for a very good deck. My rares screamed Rakdos splash Blue and my commons said that’s impossible. I decided to not play a solid 3 color deck. And ended up with a pretty strong Selesnya with a splash of Blue for Blustersquall and Voidwelder. I have a good 4 removal cards in white. 5 token creator cards AND the Phantom General. Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage is my “Bomb”. A few combat tricks to make my opponent crazy… And a Slime Molding, which could win the game alone. I’m sad there are no super bombs but you work with what you got here.

GP Lisbon
97 cards, 57 sideboard
Forest
Plains
Island
Transguild Promenade
Azorius Guildgate


17 lands

Keening Apparition
Phantom General
Rubbleback Rhino
Armory Guard
Voidwielder
Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
Vassal Soul
Seller of Songbirds
Centaur Healer
Centaur’s Herald


14 creatures

Blustersquall
Savage Surge
Arrest
Trostani’s Judgment
Slime Molding
Common Bond
Avenging Arrow
Eyes in the Skies


9 other spells

Sideboard
Nivmagus Elemental
Aerial Predation
Archweaver
Rogue’s Passage
Rootborn Defenses
Thoughtflare
Bellows Lizard
Vandalblast
Trestle Troll
Grisly Salvage
Golgari Longlegs
Gatecreeper Vine
Runewing
Tower Drake
Inspiration
Sewer Shambler
Tenement Crasher
Lobber Crew
Bloodfray Giant
Mind Rot
Terrus Wurm
Dead Reveler
Carnival Hellsteed
Trained Caracal
Mercurial Chemister
Viashino Racketeer
Azorius Charm
Giant Growth
Sphere of Safety
Azorius Arrester
Essence Backlash
Traitorous Instinct
Sluiceway Scorpion
Korozda Guildmage
Isperia’s Skywatch
Chorus of Might
Chronic Flooding
Ogre Jailbreaker
Cancel
Growing Ranks
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Izzet Keyrune
Minotaur Aggressor
Grim Roustabout
Ogre Jailbreaker
Rakdos Cackler
Batterhorn
Dreadbore
Havoc Festival
Launch Party


57 sideboard cards

In the mean, time I’ll take a trip to my pal Harry’s game and see how he’s doing.

(This is a great spot to point out a thing I told Harry that’s very important when playing in other countries.) The guy he was playing had some friends watching the match… Behind Harry. They were speaking to each other in Portugese, Harry asked if they could move from behind him if they were gonna speak in a different language and see his cards. It was all done in a respectful manner and I honestly don’t think anyone was cheating but still it’s important to assert a level of rules awareness when you’re playing on this level. His friends walked away and they continued the match in a very friendly way. Harry eventually took it.

photo-2

Round Two Pedro

My Round Two opponent took his sweet time getting to the seat. We share pleasantries and shuffle up. He wins the roll and is on the play. I’m off to a strong start but he puts out a few creatures and then a Volatile Rig. I block the rig we flip he “wins” the flip and the board wipes… Just my luck. He gets stable first with a Lotleth Troll and then a Daggerdome Imp… We go to game two.

Game Two was a blow out. Turn Two Imp turn Three Lotleth and turn four he drops a Sewer Shambler to the Troll and scavenges to the Imp I’m bleeding out for six and he’s gaining three. It was a rout and pretty hopeless. We shake and I see how Harry’s doing. Also not too well.

I start to think after such a beating that maybe I built a bad deck. I look at my cards and separate the Black/red and blue cards… Then make a 23 card pool just in case. Mentally pulling 3 cards from my main deck (Transguild Promenade, Blustersquall and Voidwielder). If things look bad I might side into this:

Audible GPLisbon
40 cards, 0 sideboard
Swamp
Izzet Guildgate
Island
Mountain
Transguild Promenade


17 lands

Viashino Racketeer
Batterhorn
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Mercurial Chemister
Rakdos Cackler
Grim Roustabout
Voidwielder
Minotaur Aggressor
Ogre Jailbreaker
Sewer Shambler
Carnival Hellsteed
Tenement Crasher
Dead Reveler
Terrus Wurm
Bloodfray Giant
Lobber Crew


17 creatures

Dreadbore
Izzet Keyrune
Traitorous Instinct
Launch Party
Mind Rot
Blustersquall


6 other spells

Sideboard

;

Looking back now I wished I’d used this as my main deck. It’s got some great cards and plenty of gas.

Round 3 Pedro – Bant

Feeling pretty uneasy about my deck I decided to slam a Redbull right in front on my round 3 opponent. Give him a big old “How are ya? Zac Clark, Brooklyn, New York City! Where you hail from?” Pedro hails from Spain. He’s a quiet dude and we don’t talk a whole bunch the first game as he gets mana screwed. And mulls to five. I kept a subpar hand and barely got there.

I decide to play the same deck again. It was a bad keep but it got me there. Maybe it’s not so bad. Game two Pedro takes.

I call a judge while we board for game three. I show him a sheet that reads 7 mountain 7swamp and 2 Island. He balks… So 7 and 7 and 2? Yup! I say with a grin to my opponent. Who remains patient as I shuffle up and recount my side deck. Judge arrived in haste with my requested lands I shuffle and am on the play.

Turn 1 Rakdos Cackler

Turn 2 Grim Roustabout

Turn 3 Dead Reveler

Turn 4 Bloodfray Giant

Turn 5 Voidwielder

It was a blow out. Pedro was confused. I was elated! This deck loved me. I curved out like a boss and it felt great! Pedro took it in stride, and complimented me on a stunning switch. I had shown Harry my tech and he made the same move into a Grixis build I gave him a couple pointers with. Now that I had tasted the beats, I knew I’d play this deck after each game one regardless of its outcome… But I wanted to surprise my opponent so I made sure to sleeve it up and put it in the deck box I kept my tokens in. Art of War: if my opponent knows himself but doesn’t know me then I have the advantage. I’m fast with my hands and can make it look like I’m only moving three cards out of the deck and bringing three cards in. The rest of the tourney no one notices until I play Mountains and Swamps instead of Plains and Forests on game two.

Round 4 Jose Rakdos

Jose confessed that he hadn’t gotten much practice in sealed as he just came back to the game after a hiatus during his 20’s. Sound familiar? I told him that my LGS was literally a mix of kids about to go to college and dudes my age that quit for social life’s sake during college, who wish we hadn’t and there’s very little 20-24 year olds. Just a nature of human society, in trying to be cool we realize (too late) that we can do whatever and still have friends/girlfriends and such. Also we can afford to play now.

I’m hopeful during shuffling and Jose is interested on why I came from so far to play in a GP. Also, a super considerate dude, he asks if I mind chatting while we play. I tell him I don’t. I’m wired out of my gourd on Redbull, multi tasking is not a problem. I tell him my story, how I wanted to take some time off from life and hang out with an old friend show him what traveling abroad is and how I conduct myself for my other job (Travel Writer, not pro Magic player… One day perhaps) I tell him we decided on a time frame and looked for the sealed tourney (because my friend, like him, hasn’t played in a bit) in Europe and we started to save up. Other players around are commenting… “That’s pretty cool, you can just up an take a 8 day vacation and play Magic with your friend under the guise of being a travel writer.”

You’re reading so it must be working, right?

So I take game 1 on the back of Vitu Ghazi Guildmage and Centaur Bros. I think I’m slick so I slide my newly sleeved Grixis deck out careful to not let Jose notice and slide in the Bant deck to its holster.

Game 2 I fumble on mana terribly. Jose thinks that I was splashing black for something, (and Has me on Junk) he hadn’t seen any blue in game 1. He comments on my mana troubles confirming he still didn’t realize I was playing a new deck.

Game 3 was a narrow loss but he saw the meat of my deck after a bit of confusion he gets his Populate engine online and I die to Centaur Bro beats… I’m a little upset but I still like the secret of switching. I’m gonna give it another go, the deck feels just waaaaay better. Jose wishes me luck and we part ways, Harry confirms that he took it and the switch was amazing! I pound a Redbull like a magic healing potion and I’m back to 20 once more.

photo-4

Round 5 Holger

Holger was either German or English and had his English down pat either way. We exchanged deck, rolled, he won and I got a rocking. I got my Centaurs rolling and then made a surprise block with Eyes in the Skies and then played a Phantom General to seal the game. It turns out this deck pretty solid. Maybe I should… Nevermind, I see Holger race to his sideboard and I switch deck as he sides in like 5 cards… I thinking, that’s 1/8th of his deck thats probably useless!

Game 2 Holger doesn’t know what’s going on? “Are you playing a five color deck?” I respond that I’m not, with a smile. I realizes that I switch decks and started to stabilize. I draw blustersquall and have held the island in my hand the whole game just in case. The next turn he over commits his attack and I punish him with the overload during my main phase. He leaves without remembering to sign the sheet, obviously a little upset. I find him and genuinely thank him for a great game and wish him luck in the next round.

Round 6 Lionel

Lionel is about as Irish as they come. We might just be the two loudest dudes at the tourney. He’s on Rakdos and is pretty happy to see me drop an island first in game one. I got off to a slow start and we all know how that goes vs Rakdos. Game one was his. Without question.

I was worried about siding into Rakdos vs Rakdos but I thought I had the better deck. I saw no reason to not race him especially since he wasn’t ready for my tricks. He wasn’t and my Unleashed dudes got him while my Scavenge dudes blocked. Lobber Crew finished him off.

Game 3 was tougher. We got into a stale mate with my Lobber Crew picking him off. I was trying to make my eighth land for a Traitorous Instincts/ Launch Party Combo. He’s at 7 with a Golgair Leglegs and a Tenement Crasher in play and some other blocker. I got a Bloodfray Giant and a Dead Reveler as well a Batterhorn (which killed his Rakdos Keyrune a turn before) and a Lobber crew too. I draw a land play it then do the math… he’s got to block something and I’ll kill both his guys with a blocker held back… LET’S GO! “Traitorous Instinct?” He looks like he just ate all the cat food. I swing in. He blocks the crasher and lets the Bloodfray in… I show him Launch Party. He scoops.

I spend the next few minutes playing therapist, listening to all the cards in his deck he could have drawn… We’ve all been there. I decide to nod and pretend I was worried, shake my head at the right times and such. I like winning… but this is the part of winning I really hate. Where the other guy tells you how he’s better and that it’s his deck and not the choices he made that lost him the game. That’s magic though, I congratulate him on a well played match, but he’s in the loser’s circle and he’s not happy. I pound my final Redbull.

photo-3

Round 7 Dominic

Holy! Only three wins and I’m in! I smell Day 2. Actually, what I smell is this place and all these dudes. I hadn’t noticed until now but damn. It’s no joke in here. I wonder if the loser’s circle smells better? Less is at stake… Maybe but whatever I’m sure I’m actively adding to the overall ripeness. My opponent looks like he’s been in this position before. I decide to be at ease. This is a game and I came to play and meet folks afterall. I introduce myself in a boisterous manner. A few eyes look up. I figure I might get a little something close to intimidation if they hear how far I’ve traveled. No such luck.

It’s Rakdos vs Selesnya again and I’m Fort Knox my man gets in for a couple hits then I stonewall him. And start making dudes. It’s over shortly after.

He desleeves 12 or so cards. Going for a transformation board it looks like. I switch again Rakdos for me. Game 2 he’s caught totally off guard playing Golgari which I think is a bad switch to fight Selesnya, but maybe he made the same mistake I did, and his board had a better deck. Either way it didn’t matter a bluster squall/Alpha strike took it and I give his board tech a nod. He confesses that he never even saw me switch, I’m getting good at that. He was busy sleeving and resleeving though that prolly didn’t help his concentration on me much.

Round 8 Miguel – Izzet

I run out to the mall buy a 1 liter of Coke an get more caffeine in me. I gotta be on my AAA game now. Everyone’s a scrapper in the x-2 bracket. I’m seeing a lot of the same faces and I’m worried that my new opponent may know about my sideboard switheroo. He pounds me first game with any remorse. Creatures plus Pursuit of Flight and my removal comes far too late. On Explosive Impact kills me.

Game Two is a race. I’m Unleashing dudes (as per my sideboard deck) and Dreadboring his blockers. Lobber Crew Finishes him off. I got him on his heels and once again my board was a surprise. I notice he doen’t go to reboar, and he seems a bit frustrated.

Shuffle/Cut He’s on the play.

Game Three I’m winning… Bloodfray Giant is doing early work and his Little guys are getting in here and there. I’m at 10 with a couple blockers so I’m not worried about his explosive impact he’s at 8, Just out of range of my Launch Party, but I’m content to let this play out. “End of you turn, Explosive Impact.” I take it, wow I didn’t expect him to waste it with me able to block his guys, I figure he’d kill my …”UNTAP EXPLOSIVE IMPACT!” Son of a B… and just like that I’m out of the tourney… out of day two at least.

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And the next match isn’t even important. I can tell you I lost it, but my heart wasn’t in the game at that point. Round 9 in the x-3 bracket is just about the saddest place in the world. Everyone is telling their bad beat stories, and no one wants to listen. Lionel from round 6 asks me how I did in 8. When he hears, he tells me I should have conceded to him. Fat chance. What a totally stupid thing to say. Any how. We wander around the tourney for a bit then head out for dinner and to get some rest. It’s been a long day. Harry comes away 4-5, pretty good considering he just started playing again. Grand Prixs are a long day and winning late in the day becomes more a battle with exhaustion than your opponents life total.

On the day I went 5-4 with one bye in the start. I wasn’t impressed with myself, but I think it was enough to get me close to my second bye next season. The next day I play in a couple standard events and it looks like everyone in Europe is about a week behind the Meta-Shift at 20ss. It’s all ZombieAggro and Bant. I play in two tourney’s and go 1-1 in both. Grand Prix Lisbon was a lot of fun and I can’t wait til Atlantic City. I spend the rest of the day building the deck I end up playing at TNM as I return to the states. Which was a good call, since I 4-0’d.

What did I learn? As Rich Stein would likely ask… I had to give pause and think about the overall here. I played Magic in another country, on another continent. What a privileged life I live! Sure it wasn’t free and I came back broke as a joke, but I had an awesome time. I was worried about the language barrier, as far as I played in the tourney, everyone spoke “Magic”. Keywords like Tap, Target, Kill, Exile, Upkeep were all pretty well understood. I made a bunch of short term friends. An old friend and I enjoyed a past time we hadn’t done together since my first PTQ during Mirage. For the most part it felt like Magic. Everyone was having a good time, especially me, and I tested my Redbull Theory a little farther.

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In Summation: I need to pay more attention during Deck Building… Magic is a universal language… Redbull gives you wings, and some people just double EXPLOSIVE IMPACT YOU WHEN YOU’RE AT TEN LIFE.

Back in the States and back at 20 life,

Zac Clark