n00bcon 9 (2017) – A Belated Tournament Report

2017. Yesteryear and a lifetime ago. A spring the world remembers to the tune of Despacito rather than health warnings. A time when nobody knew what Tiktok was, and we looked forward to The Last Jedi with curious wonder. That Easter, n00bcon 9 was visited by its first road warrior from the Netherlands; Alex. And some weeks ago he stumbled upon a tournament report of his, lost in the folders of his computer for over three years. It's time to look back, so that we may look forward. This is Alex's story from n00bcon 9. Enjoy! /Mg out.

I have a recurring nightmare; my friends are standing around me with faces like grinning demons, mocking me for trading away my precious Juzam Djinn for a Planeshift booster box. This is not just a terrible dream, it really happened when I was a teenager. The Djinn only intimidated people who looked in my binder and had no other function, therefore I decided to let him go. Once I had made the trade, I immediately opened all the boosters and tried to …

Singleton Combo, by Emil Thirup-Sorknæs

It's a blazing hot summer in the north. Endless days slowly turn into bright nights. It's the rare season of light, and a strange Wanderlust grabs hold. Though we are not yet to leave. Except to Denmark, according to the sway of society at this time. And if we brace the borders, we might find ourselves in the company of Emil Thirup-Sorknæs, a hero from the south of the north. This is his story of singleton combo. Enjoy! /Mg out

So I decided to challenge my own comfort zone and participate in an online Old School tournament this June. None less than the very successful DOOM – I believe it is an acronym for Danish Online Oldschool Magic. Nice acronym!

Actually everything about this series of online tournaments seem great with upwards or maybe even above 60 players in the May event. Streams to follow. Great games. Beer and friendly atmosphere with no prices. A great time all in all it seems.

So, as I said, I wanted to try it out.

For June there were some very specific banned rul…

On the official bannings of offensive cards

A couple of days ago WotC banned seven cards from all sanctioned play. This was an unprecedented update in that the cards were banned for being distasteful and offensive rather than for their power level within the game.

I personally agree with Wizards' intentions. There are cards in this game that does more harm than good, and banning them from sanctioned play is a reasonable thing to do. It is a good first step on an arduous journey if nothing else. And it is not a novel thing to remove offensive art from the game; that's the reason Earthbind was removed after Revised and why a lot of Chinese cards have alternate art.

I get that there are people who like to make it known that they don't understand or agree with removing particular cards, but a lack of knowledge of why something is bad thing doesn't make it a good thing. And good riddance to Invoke Prejudice. I wrote a post about that card a couple of years ago, and I can't see how anyone in good conscious could a…

Crimps and maildays

Some months seems longer than others. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the first half of March took place about half a year ago. A time when I went to the office to work and before my daughter started talking proper words. And in that before-time, I pulled the trigger on getting a card for the Chaos Orb collection that I'd been eyeing for some time.
Usually, it takes about a week for a letter to get across the Atlantic. Maybe two. So the month between March 19 and April 20 with zero updates from the tracker in the middle of the journey was a little tense:

Then, after some more days in SF the letter apparently arrived in Oslo (where I live), and stayed at the airport for a week before it was sent back across the ocean to New York.

Then, silence from New York for a week or two. Going on two months since the letter was posted, at this point I was fairly certain that it had got lost in the shuffle somehow. New York in late April 2020 probably had more important concerns than non-ins…

ABC 40: A dazzlingly unfair format

Old School Mtg capture a lot of the nuances from Magic's golden age. The art, the play patterns, the powerful spells, the mediocre creatures and the excitement of getting a new card for the deck are mostly all there. A few "sub-formats" under the Oldschool umbrella - like August-93 and Ante 40K - also implies deck building restrictions in the form of scarcity (or which cards you dare to sleeve up). Scarcity used to be a big deal. One could even argue that formats like Brother's Highlander and other "point-based" systems does a good job in creating a sense of "you don't have every card". But here's the thing: even back in 1994, a few people did. And it was horribly unfair. A small handful Mr. Suitcases in my area back in the mid 90s had access to card pools me and my friends couldn't possibly beat. But it was part of the game. 

Unfairness in card access is one of the things we haven't really been able to capture in Oldschool Magic …

The n00bcoM top8

So this whole thing was unexpected and awesome.

Some personal context. The oldest recurring gaming convention in Sweden is GothCon. Taking place each year during the Easter weekend since 1977, it gathers around 2,000 gamers of board, sheet, figurine and card. Gothcon is something akin to a GenCon of tiny Sweden; if you enjoy your analogue games, GothCon is probably either on your calendar, your to-do list, or in your memory. I went to my first GothCon in 1997. In 2008 I was co-hosting my first Magic event at GothCon; the first "official" 93/94 tournament. It was fun to see our casual format on a stage, but those of us who played thought that, while sweet, it would be even sweeter if we could combine this with drinking and using sailor language. (My sometimes colorful language have, rightly, given me judge warnings in sanctioned tournaments in the past. I hope that I've bettered myself in those contexts - and one clearly shouldn't be trashing to harsh around stranger…