2015 retrospective

How about this for a start:
100 000 NOK. Well, actually 99,287, but I added a few hundred more to get a rounder number. The #MtgForLife campaign gathered well over $12,000 in a little over a month. That is awesome, and it will make a difference. And players from around the world keep the mindset going; just a few days ago Chris Cooper and players in the UK held a charity evening for MSF raising nearly £250. It makes me happy to be a part of the community. All the "thank you"-cards have been shipped btw, so hopefully you have them in the mail by now.
Rotary Pub in Gothenburg.
I think I've said this every year, but 2015 saw some big growth for mages interested in the origins of the game. Last year I stated that I thought that this blog and the format had grown about as much as was possible, and showed a graph of growth over the last few years. But it's been doubling season yet again, and we're looking at about about twice the number of visitors compared to last year.

A year ago, the tournaments in Ravenna had just started up and the Italian scene had a handful of players. The first Eternal Weekend tournament was a couple of months old and had attracted 12 players. The scene in Norway was practically non-existent, without any tournaments hosted in the country and no Norwegians having participated in the Swedish gatherings yet. We had scenes across most continents, but most of the communication was done within small groups and private forums.
Viksgården in Arvika.
The year kicked off pretty fast with Arvika Festival, the Mindstage Convention, Stabcon and multiple tournaments in Ravenna in the first couple of months. Then it just kept going. n00bcon 7 last Easter attracted 57 players, this autumn's gathering during Eternal Weekend in USA had 56 and the tournament during Nebraska's War in Italy a few weeks ago drew 58. As for n00bcon 8 next Easter, the 72 physically available seats were grabbed within a few days from when it was first announced at the end of my guest post at Shaman Ben's blog and a private Swedish forum. Players interested in the tournament from all over have signed up interest, and more countries are competing than any year before. It feels very awkward that it looks like everyone who wanted to play wont fit in the pub this Easter. I'm not really sure how to solve it, but it's possible we'll look at some other venue in the future. On the positive side though, there are now multiple alternatives for players who want to swing old cards in casual settings.
Postkontoret pub in Tøyen.
The Moss tournament in Moss. Arvika Festival in Arvika. Sehlskapsspelen in Åsa. Some pub in Gloucester. Somewhere in a pub in Frankfurt. This year we also saw Old School Magic as a part of the schedule on many of the major events in Europe, like Nebraska's War and the MKM Series tournaments. And you know what's pretty sweet? The format no longer really has something akin to a "single point of failure". Lots of other people are writing about the format, other players are organizing large gatherings to unite playgroups from different places, and other fogeys are passionate about creating settings where Juzam Djinn is a card to be feared. If everyone who played seven or eight years ago suddenly stopped for a few years, the format would still go on.
BarCode in Oslo.
During the last year I've gotten a lot of mails and messages about a variety of topics about the format. I first though about writing a FAQ/Rant section here with opinions on heavily discussed topics like legal sets, price trends, organizing the format, and such, but it felt out of place. So I'll just state this. The core of this format has always been to play very old and rare cards in a casual setting, build with what you own, and enjoy the company of fellow players, preferably with a beer in hand. Enjoy nostalgia and what you're doing and you're probably doing it right.
If in doubt, just add more The Wretched and Vesuvan Doppelgangers.
More on the personal side of things, this is the current state of Project M.
Triple Juzam! Also Prodigal Sorcerer.
So I was lacking a black-bordered UG sea for the deck. The blue/black dual stuck out quite a bit as the only white-bordered card in the pile. Upgrading an Unlimited copy to Beta, and not being too picky on condition, would still set me back around a daunting $2,000. But, I figured, the #MtgForLife campaign with the perk-cards, my own donations, postage and random expenses set me back very close to that number. Close enough that I might tell myself that donating for #MtgForLife could be the financial reason I don't have a black-bordered Underground Sea. So I just tagged one of my Unlimited Seas with #MtgForLife, and will play it with more joy than I would a Beta one. Easy pimpin'.

The thing to check off my "nerd bucket list" last year was completing the Power 9, and this year I hoped to complete my set of 40 duals. I had to take a small halt on that project, but I'm getting wicked close.
Who even plays Savannah anyway?
Tradition and good netiquette holds that I should mention a few of my favorite posts of the year. Of the ones I've written myself, I think that these are pretty sweet:
  • Summer Time. We dig deep into the infamous Summer Magic set.
  • Joypad Open: A study in Soot. A slightly intoxicated tournament report from the first non-proxy tournament in Norway.
  • Legendary rules. Writers block takes me into studying the old Legends rule card and marvel over Rampage and Banding. 
  • Brews, casualities, and scanners. Mostly a rant post about the state of the format after a lot of new groups started during the spring.
  • #MtgForLife. Probably the most important post I've written, and the all-time most read post at this blog. Glad to see it worked out so well, even better than I hoped for :)
I've also spread my wings a little this year and contributed to Eternal Central and MtgUnderground. If you have some time to spare during the holidays and need some 93/94 fix you can check out the Old School of Though and Borås is Disorderly and Depraved articles.

Looking at guest posts at this blog, we also have a few gems like Hans Herik Rasmussen's tech, FreeSpace's report from Pimpvitational, Oldschool's Report from the Mindstage Convention and Rausch's report from Card and Board. There has been quite a few other articles about the format in other places during 2015. If you're only going to read one article these holidays though, read Shaman Ben's How I sold my soul for a box of Antiquities and learned to play Magic. It's one of my favorite Magic pieces ever, regardless of format or setting.

I have no idea of what to expect of 2016. Not only regarding this format, but regarding most things. Here's to a happy new year!


  1. I received my #mtgforlife reward (a plains I immediately sleeved for my new stasis deck) just before Christmas.
    Thank you for the campaign and the blog.
    Let's see what the new year brings to us!

    1. Thanks man, and nice to hear it gets some use!

  2. Thanks for the shout out. I'll keep you updated on the plans for Gloucester.

    Chris Cooper

  3. Thanks for the shout out. I'll keep you updated on the plans for Gloucester.

    Chris Cooper


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