Arvikarapport, by Olof Robertsson

Arvika. I could say a lot about Arvika. Though I guess I have. And the Giant Sharks. That alluding prize given out twice each year during the last decade; at n00bcon and somewhere else. Seven years at BSK, then three years at Scandinavian Championship, and starting next year at the World Championship at Winc0n in Genoa. A Shark has no monetary value. For most Magic players, it is a sad state of cardboard. Yet, in this community, we recognize it as the highest honor, as the top prize at the oldest annual gathering and the World Championship. Anyone who won a Shark is never to cut it from their deck. And anyone who has one can be expected to have a seat at any gathering in the format.

Life made this the first Shark tournament in ten years I wasn't present at. So I have nothing of substance to write this time. But the winner - a hero from my original home town no less - took it upon his shoulders to step out of his comfort zone to deliver a proper report. Hats off to Olof Robertsson, Master of Magic Cards and Son of Mölndal. This is his story. Enjoy! /Mg out

Okay, this is the very first time I'm writing something for others on this hip internet thing.

It all started little more than one and a half year ago. I, like many others in the OS format, played magic as a kid. And like many others I grew tired of it somewhere around the turn of the millennium. I thought beers and mopeds (and EPA-tractors) were the cool things to do. I never thought Magic was boring though, but hey, group pressure. So I gave all my cards away to my sisters ex-boyfriend who was a nerd. Nothing big but a Tabernacle, a time vault and some dual lands. (For the record, she didn’t want to call him asking if I could get them back when I started playing again.)

A little more then a year and a half ago my cousin and I started playing again. Just creating some decks we used to play with and laughing hard about the idea of spending tons of money for old cards this days. But the nostalgia really struck me hard and I started searching youtube for old mtg matches. Somewhere in the flow I saw some matches for something called Noobcon. Sounded kind of lame but I started watching and ohhh boy that looked super sweet. All the old cards I couldn’t get as a kid but really wanted. And drinking beer as they played! So I started on my first deck project and immediately I was hooked.

It’s a weird feeling and its very close to drugs (without saying its the best drug). I started playing oldschool on Skype and met London-Marcus who oddly said that there are actually people playing this format live in Gothenburg, can you believe it! So I started playing with those guys and met more and more players (shout out to old school people; they are truly the best).

Eventually I started going to tournaments, bought more cards, upgraded my collection and so on. Having a blast and paying no attention to my bank account. When I won an invite for Noobcon 11 at Viennageddon (finishing second, but the winner couldn’t attend), I thought I was peaking. I was actually going to play in the tournament I had spend so mush time watching others play! I always liked to play different decks and I'm not the guy who can sit and play for hours with the same deck, mastering it like a pro. When we have our local gathering in Gothenburg every other Thursday I always try to play something different, even though my card pool is kind of small. But I have to admit that I do like playing The Deck at tournaments. So let’s jump to my most recent tournament; the Scandinavian championship in Arvika 2019.

Editor's note: the armors and shields have different interpretations of the Kalmar Union flag, the banners in the background are of the United Kingdoms. This is very Scandinavian.

I wasn’t sure what to play at first but landed on The Deck, again. I have played The Deck in three tournaments before this, but those times are also the only occasions I've played it. It's a fun deck to play - no questions about that - but like I said I’m not the person who can sit and play a deck casually for hours to master it.

The Deck.

I traveled to Arvika by train with a group of local Gothenburgers (XD) but my seat wasn’t at the cool kids table, so I decided to get some studies going while they were deck-teching. I tuned into some black metal and started studying. When we arrived and I got together with my cousin Gustav to eat and chat. This was btw Gustav's first Magic tournament, and he is the same cousin that got me started with magic again. It felt super sweet that we would play this one together.

The tournament started and I don’t remember so much from the first matches. I faced a millstone deck, an artifact aggro deck, I played against GaJol's deck (always super spicy), and a cool black/white deck with Chains of Mephistopheles. I got crushed against Mitja's Lands deck but overall went 5-1 and ended up on a third place after the swiss. Sorry for not remembering more details, but I wasn’t expecting to write about it.

The first match in the top8 was against Elof the Mighty, who was playing a Deck-ish deck but without the books. So it wasn't The Deck I guess. We had a super long first game that ended in him Braingeyser me for every card except one, I think he calculated wrong. And then (of course) I Braingeyser'd him to death. I think it was that game we had an epic counter-war about a Mind Twist; me playing two Counterspell and a Mana Drain, him trumping with three Counterspells and a Mana Drain. It could even have been more counters flying around.

The second game was also long but I won with two fireballs. I miscalculated the mana for one big fireball but had the red blast to cover the second fireball against a sneaky Counterspell. At that point it struck me that playing The Deck, at this late hour with a lots of beers in my belly, maybe isn't the most fun. But I was very excited to be in the semifinals.

In the semis I played against Alban Lauter, who was on an artifact aggro deck. The games weren't the most exciting as a drew into Library the first game and Mind twisted his hand the in the second, I think.

I can’t remember the name of the guy I played in the final, very sorry about that. But he is one of the Karlstad crew, don’t know if they have a name (Editor's note: As far as I know, Karlstad don't have a team name yet, but when they do I expect them to reference Aisling Leprechaun somehow. And as a sober man warming the bench this time, I can also note that Alex Moynagh was the finalist.). He played a black, red and blue deck with Trolls, Disks, Hypnotic Specters and some other sweet stuff. I heard someone could it a Grixis deck, but I had no idea what that was.

The games were both the kind of games where The Deck had answers for everything, as it is designed to have. And I did managed to win 2-0. Man! A Shark!

A rare moment of glory before I shit myself. Therefore letting my fame last about five seconds before turning back into a noob.

I didn't have any thoughts about actually wining when I started so I couldn’t stop smiling after. I know I’m not the most deserving of a Shark, there's a ton of players that are better and that has really put in the time for it. All I can say is that I’m super passionate about this format and I love it soooo much. Not a day goes by without me brewing, scrolling facebooks groups, looking for the sweetest deals on cards and so on. And to be able to play at Noobcon again, that is awesome. And now I’m switching chapter, from a bit more spike to a bit more spice.

Enchantress winning. A rare sight.

We had our local pub-gathering Thursday after the tournament and my cards for my Enchantress deck had just arrived. So I sleeved up those cards and brought my deck, went 1-5 but had a blast playing the deck. When the Enchantress deck actually goes off it is worth all the crushing loses. For the next tournament I think I will bring my KarmaTomb deck. And for the tournament after there is going to be something else. Hope to see you there!

/ Olof

Kommentarer