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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jedi Mind Tricks #1 - GenCon 2009

(Contributed by Jed Humphries)

Day 0

We checked into the hotel and walked over to the convention center and we were greeted by a huge Serra Angel statue. It was very nice looking and detailed. The Serra Angel statue also doubled as the start of the line for the From the Vault: Exiled.

Day 1

I went with Ashley to the Steve Jackson Games booth so she could get the new Munchkin products (Fairy Dust and Waiting for Santa) and the special Pink Handbag of Holding (only available at GenCon). I wandered around the exhibit hall and kept checking the lines for generic tickets, waiting for them to get shorter, but it never really did. I learned to play Dominion from one of the developers. Dominion is an awesome game and I definitely want to get that game and play it again! Finally I broke down and waited for a hour for generic tickets. Two people taking money for tickets and 1 printer is not a good idea for efficiency. The draft events at GenCon were single elimination with the prize payout was 6 packs for 3 wins, 4 packs for 2 wins and 1 pack for 1 win. I drafted twice, once by myself and once in a pod with Ashley. Ashley beat me (Wispersilk cloak + Bramble Creeper = bad for me) and split at the final table for 5 packs. We drafted with some guys and had a lot of fun in this draft because they were more about having fun while playing rather than not saying a word and being serious while playing. I wish everyone we drafted with last weekend was like them. One of them got a Baneslayer and didn’t really know or care how much it was worth, and proceeded to riffle shuffle. It sent a shiver up my spine.

Day 2

I decided to get up early to make stand in line for the From the Vault: Exiled. I got there about 7:20 AM and I was 145, so I left. Aside about the way From the Vault: Exiled was handled. Wizards posted a little sheet that talked about how they were handling this, basically it said, “We are giving 100 of these away a day. Please form a line at 9AM. At 9 AM we are giving the first 100 people cards to buy the From the Vault: Exiled.” Wizards took no responsibility for any line that happened before 9AM, which caused lots of line cutting problems, because people didn’t care as long as they were getting one. I think some of the Gencon people got involved in days 3 and 4 and I think less of this was happening. Later I met up with my college roommate and played EDH with him and 2 other guys. Generals were Uril the Mistalker, Arcum Dagsson, Wort Raidmother and Oona. First game the guy playing Arcum Dagsson lost because he forgot to pay for Pact of Negation. The Oona and Arcum Dagsson player really controlled me between getting Meekstone out and Akroma’s Memorial and milling (and exile milling) me. Wort Raidmother got out of control really fast and killed the rest of us both in 1 turn (lots of tokens + Sarkan’s +1/+1 + Garruk’s Overrun = 200+ damage divided by 2 players). We played again later with Uril the Mistalker, Arcum Dagsson, and Wort Raidmother. I lost this time to a put a card on the bottom of your deck + Tunnel Vision. Ashley and I played in a Super FNM Limited. Everyone got a FNM Lightning Greaves. I opened a Baneslayer and when 2-2, and got a pack plus Wren’s Run Vanquisher FNM foil, so I can’t complain. I played a GWR deck and just lost to better cards. Most of the time when Baneslayer hit the table, she was gone within 2 turns. One loss was to a guy that got 3 Air Elementals. I don’t remember what the second loss was to.

Day 3

I got up and in line about 5:30 AM. I was around number 70-80ish. While I was in line, I was introduced to Type 4 Magic. Type 4 is in a nutshell unlimited mana, unlimited hand size, play from the same deck/discards, and one spell per turn. The guys I was playing with had changed some of the cards a little to fit with it, but it was pretty fun. I would like to try it sometime when I was more awake, because I made some terrible play mistakes. After that, we play a big game of EDH. The generals were Uril the Mistalker, Numot, the Devastator, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Sliver Overlord, and some other general I can’t remember. I didn’t have an awesome start and I got a few attacks in at 10+ damage on a few generals but because I wasn’t sure what the biggest threat was I was being equal and cautious about what I did. Then the guy playing Azami basically went infinite drawing cards and taking turns, and we all scooped. After I finally got my card that said I can buy the Exiled cards, The cards they gave away to be redeemed for the From the Vault: Exiled were very interesting. I got a Niv-Mizzet. After I got the card, I went to go draft, but they were only doing Alara block. I was mad but signed up anyway. First I heard the rumor that they were running out of product, but then I found out later that it was because they were running out of table space and waiting for some M10 drafts to finish before starting others. At one point they were starting 2 pods at a time. It was crazy and it’s not like they didn’t have a lot of tables. They had about 1/3 of the space in the TCG Hall and probably half of that was for these pickup events and the other half was for the big scheduled events. In the Alara block draft, I got a ton of mana fixing (Savage Lands, Jungle Shrine, Crumbling Necropolis, Armillo Sphere), the Reborn blades, the Obelisk of Alara and got second place. I should have split but I was greedy and thought I could have beaten the other guy, but he was playing an Exalted Esper complete with a foil Tezzeret. After the defeat, I went and bought my From the Vault: Exiled and immediately flipped it for $80. I would have gone to SCG for $100 but the vendor I sold it too (Mr. Nice Guy – a Steelers fan) had unbeatable prices and selection that was far worth more than the $20 extra dollars from SCG (revised Bayou for $25 when everyone else was selling them for $29-35). I traded him another $90 for stuff and got a bunch of stuff I needed for my sets and my five color deck. I read that they were going to run a 5-color event on this day so I was going to go check out the format to see what was going on with it. I really wish I could have gotten a copy of the rules, because it floored me. I am going to try and remember exactly what it said: “You can play either with the 250 deck list rules or the 300 deck list rules with these exceptions, no proxies, no ante’s, Contract is restricted, no promo cards (mox crystal), and Abe’s Banned list. I just laughed and though they should have called it “Pick and Choose Five Color”. We played in 3 more M10 drafts, one of which Ashley got a third pick foil Honor of the Pure. During the one of them the fire alarm went off and the entire convention center had to be evacuated. It was a good thing that I hadn’t started a game. We basically had to go outside the back of the convention center and walk around to the front, and by that time, we could enter and walk all the way back to the TCG hall. It was less chaotic than I expected. We got through about 3:30 AM with Ashley splitting for the finals yet again. It’s fun playing magic late at night. So as we are leaving we look to see if anyone is in line for the From the Vault: Exiled for Sunday and I counted 60 people in line! Magic players are crazy to wait 6 plus hours for some cards.

Day 4

I replenished my trade binder with some stuff from my type 2 decks and went to SCG. They found about $100 of crap in my binder (yay for them wanting lots of uncommons) and I got my set of fetch lands plus some more stuff. I then went to Cool Stuff Inc. and they found another $15 of crap that no one else wanted. I was quite amazed. That money turned into some really good crap rares that were 12 for $10. Ashley and I then went to play some Big Magic. Big Magic is a game of Magic with 4 foot tall cards with audience participation. There is nothing like seeing a four foot tall Lighting Bolt or Fireball kill something. We were on Team Ragtag (all players and the players made the decisions and played the cards) against Team R&D (Nagle and Gottlieb made the decisions, but they got people from the audience to hold and play the cards). It was fun and we both got a little pack (the packs that may or may not have rares), I got crap and Ashley got a Master of the Wild Hunt. I tried out a new game called PK cards. It looks really interesting because it plays a little differently than any other CCG I’ve played, and the art is pretty good too. I’d like to demo it sometime to see what some local people think of it. We wondered around the exhibit hall until it closed and then we went to play Munchkin with some other Steve Jackson Games people and had good steak and some great chocolate pie from Shula’s Stake house and that was it.

Five GenCons down, many more to go.

1 comment:

The_Magi said...

Okay, I want to go to Gencon next year!