At the Rhode Island Convention Center a horde of people gathered together to compete in a Magic standard tournament. A littler over a thousand to be exact. Meanwhile, a couple doors down at the Union Station Brewery, a party of ten had reservations to compete in their own little tournament using only cards that have been rotated out of legality for many years. The meet up was set up by Dave Firth Bard who I’ve previously met virtually here on the blog, and over on Instagram and Twitter.
I had about a two hour drive to get to Providence from Manchester which I wasn’t dreading. Long drives can be enjoyable because I usually throw on a podcast or two. I ran into traffic at a few points and a short little monsoon slowed the highway down for a short time too. The meet up started at 1 but by the time I got into the brewery it was about 1:30. No big deal though. They hadn’t started yet. I found parking in a parking garage right next door and the first spot near the entrance and exit was open. I took it and was willing to pay any enormous price they may charge me on the way out for that convenience.
After sitting down the waiter came by and I tried ordering a Harpoon IPA. I didn’t think about the fact that it was a brewery! They only have their own beer. Dave recommended the pumpkin ale so a pumpkin ale it was. A couple posts ago I mentioned I wanted to try some different pumpkin beers since I didn’t like Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead. I don’t know the popularity of Pumpkinhead outside of New England but you can buy it literally at every place that sells beer around here and everyone goes nuts for it when fall comes. And the verdict was that Union Station’s pumpkin ale was great.
In the morning before heading out I was giving my deck some serious thought. I really love the Dead Guy Ale deck that I’ve talked so much about but it has some serious mana limitations most times I play it since I don’t have any dual lands yet. I recently ordered three Chronicles Cities of Brass to add to the one I had in the deck but two of the Cities still hadn’t come in yet. I figured I’d take the white out of the deck and just do a mono-black for a little more consistency.
It’s actually hard to remember the details about the rounds but I’m going to try my best. I remember much more about the first round than the rest.Fortunately a lot of the guys posted pictures on Facebook already so I was able to pull a few from there to post here. Anyways, here it goes:
The first round got me paired against Julien who had a pretty awesome blue artifact deck. He won the round 2-1. He had a Triskelion in the deck which is a way more awesome creature than I thought it would be. He also had a Rocket Launcher which was cool too. He used it to secure the win in the first game.
In the second game I was lucky and drew a Library of Alexandria on the opening hand. Eventually Julien got a Mirror Universe out. That changed things up big time. I didn’t really know what to do with it. He had a Book of Rass out too and was bringing his life down with it while drawing cards. I got lucky and drew the one Nevinyrral’s Disk in my deck to get rid of the Mirror Universe – and everything else too. I was able to win that one.
The third game was the best one. I’m pretty sure we were both close to 20 life when he did a combo I had never seen before. He played Power Artifact on his Basalt Monolith for infinite mana and threw down a few Su-Chis and and then a Fireball. Insane! I lost that game but it was worth it to see that combo.
In the next round I was paired against Michael who also played a mono-black deck. I won this round 2-0. I really liked his deck because it was very to similar to one I put together a few months ago and played with a lot. I don’t really remember much about this round besides that we both talked about our experiences playing magic. Both him and I bonded over our lack of experience compared to everyone else. It’s nice to know others are sort of new to it as well. It was also cool to see Order of the Ebon Hand. I had never seen it before.
After that I was paired with Ash who had a pretty cool WG Howling Mine/Storm Seeker deck. Both games with Ash I drew really lucky hands and won 2-0. In the first game he got two Howling Mines out pretty early and I got out an Underworld Dreams pretty early too. A little later a got a second Underworld Dreams out which won me the first game. The second game I got super lucky with the opening hand. I drew the one Juzam in the deck with two Dark Rituals. At this point I realized that I had won 5 out of 7 total games played. That was incredible. That was way better than I thought.
In the last round I was paired with Jared. The Jared that came to the meet up that I formed a couple weeks ago. He brought his EhrnamGeddon deck and I got a picture this time. His deck awesome. It pretty much crushed me both games. I lost this round 0-2.
In the second game against Jared he switched in those Whirling Dervishes which is another card I hadn’t seen before. It got a ton of damage in on me. It was pretty cool because each time it damaged me, it got stronger. Awesome card to play against black.
A guy named Ben secured the victory for the meet up with a pretty awesome EhrnamGeddon deck. I wasn’t paired against him so I never got to see it in action. Ben actually flew in from Wisconsin I think. I’m not sure if he flew in for the meet up or that he just happened to be in town. I’m glad he won though being so far from home.
After it was over some people stuck around and played a few more games. Julien, Michael, and I headed over to the convention center to check out the Grand Prix. I had never seen any kind of tournament so I didn’t exactly know what I was going to see. It turned out that Mark Tedin was there. I’m not much of an autograph guy but in the heat of the moment I pulled out my Juzam for him to sign. I told him I thought that Juzam had awesome art. One of the best in the entire Magic catalog. He probably gets that all the time but he seemed really thankful anyways. I should have stuck around and asked him some questions about the early days of Magic.
We walked around and checked out the vendors. I was considering buying some Revised Scrublands but I decided to wait. I had a lot of fun with the mono-black deck and I was considering keep it mono for a while. One thing I did need was a fourth Sinkhole to complete the playset. Many of the times I won, it was partially due to the Sinkholes. A lot of cards were a bit overpriced or priced at value. I tend to wait until I come across a card I need at a little less than value. It takes longer to get what you need but it saves money in the long run. I was lucky and I found a lightly played Alpha Sinkhole for $33. I thought that was good so I bought it. The same guy also had a lightly played Alpha Hypnotic Specter for $55. I stood there staring at it for a while debating whether to buy it or not. I probably should have but I didn’t.
This tournament/meet up was so much fun! I’m so glad was able to make it out to Providence. I met some awesome guys and we’ve got an awesome New England Old School community starting to really take off. I can’t wait to see what the future brings with these guys. I’m looking forward to playing with them a lot more.
Dave Firth Bard also wrote up a tournament report of this same event and it was recently posted over at the Old School MTG blog! You can get to it here. Definitely go check it out! It’s a very good read.