Blind notes from the Fishliver Oil Cup Ed 3

Let me start by saying that the weekend in Genoa was the sweetest large magic event I've played. I've been a frequent guest at conventions since 1997 and never felt more excited, welcome nor entertained at a convention or large tournament than I did two weeks ago. It may be hard to compare an 130-plus-player 3-day event like Fishliver Oil Cup something more casual like the 12-player Dwarven Warriors tournament, and they scratch different itches. But I can safely say that this was the sweetest gathering of thirty-plus Magic players I've encountered yet. Can't wait to see what the crew will come up with for Winc0n next year. That's the tl;dr.

Last time I was down on Italian turf was at Fishliver Oil Cup 0 in 2016. Though it wasn't called Edizione 0 at the time, and the tournament took place in Camaiore rather than Genoa. Back then we were three Scandinavians in attendance; Hardy and myself from Oslo, along with Martin Berlin from Stockholm. Then I missed out on F…

Power Lunch and the 4-mana Sphere

A couple of months ago, we looked at some pictures of the three known pre-Alpha playtest versions of the card that would eventually become Chaos Orb. As some of you expressed interest, we followed up with posts about the Gamma Sphere and Menagerie Sphere. But we never came back to the third one. My god, the third one. If the other two have murky history, welcome to darkness.

Similar to the Menagerie Spheres, the four-mana Sphere doesn't flip, but simply annihilates any card in play. Four colorless mana to exile anything would probably land somewhere between busted and broken in today's design zeitgeist, and "restriction worthy" in the 93/94 card pool. A solid Sphere by most measures.

Some eagle-eyed readers may however recognize an oddity right of the bat. The art. This is not the same art as the other pre-Alpha Spheres (the "black hole" thingie). And the most crazy of you may actually recognize the art as one of a very different Gamma card.

What's up w…

The One Ring of Ma'ruf

This was the first really rare card I owned.

Strangely, I can't fully remember how I got it. I want to say that I saved money, sold toys, and then bought it at Card Collector; an old game store in Gothenburg. Of the game stores I visited with some regularity back then, Card Collector is the only one that still exists. It's moved a dozen or so meters from its original location, but is still in the same building, with the same guy behind the desk. It was valued at 350 sek - about $40 - back then.

Even though its origin is shrouded in some mist, I very much remember what it was like to have it. Calling it "the crown of my collection" would have been an understatement. None of the people I frequently played with, at school or elsewhere, had any cards from Arabian Nights, much less a rare oddity like the ring. I think I could describe owning it as a pride of sorts for 12-year old Mg. Whenever I packed my deck, I would put Ring of Ma'ruf face-up at the top so it would…