n00bfest 2023 – A tribute to the greatest and best tournament and travel report in the world (by Alex and Wander)

We shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads converged in a pub, and we— we took the ones less travelled by, And that has made all the difference. (after the poet Robert Frost)  Preface We will soon give you, dear reader of this old school blog, a meaningful choice. Legends say, there once was a great report of n00bfest 2023, the mysterious event that marked the end of n00bcon, but also a new beginning. It was a travel report, full of adventures, hope and tragedy. In fact, it might have been the greatest tournament report ever written. But it never came to be. Memories of all participants almost instantly flowed away in an ocean of expensive beers and shots. People passed out. And now, months passed. We were there as well, but simply can’t remember all the parts. So the best we can do at this point is a tribute to that report. Nevertheless, it’s going to be one hell of a tribute.    Where to start our story? When we talk about life as a whole, it is

Lord of the Rings in MtG: 1993 vs 2023

I think even the fogeys occupying this corner of the Internet noticed that WotC released a Magic set based on Lord of the Rings earlier this year. But what fewer might know is that WotC wasn't just broadly inspired by the high fantasy style of Lord of the Rings when they made Alpha, they designed proper Middle Earth cards for that first Magic set. Due to copyright concerns these cards changed names between playtesting and print (or had very generic names), but if we know where to look we can still get an interesting view of designs 30 years apart. We could - as usual - go very deep if we wanted. A lot of things could be said for how WotC represents the likes of orcs, elves, dwarves, trolls, wraiths, or dragons today versus 1993. Or how they present powerful rare warriors in classic Tolkien tribes. Elvish Archers (1993) compared to Orcish Bowmasters (2023). Both have the same rarity (rare), both represent Tolkien-inspired archers, and both were good cards in their original formats.