Wanderlust and domesticism; a short rant on missing DW4

Last week, I was in Sweden. It was the first time in almost a year and a half. Even though my parents in Gothenburg technically only live a handful hours drive from my new home in Oslo, that border has been something fierce since the pandemic started. When I crossed it last weekend to get home to Norway, I first had to talk to the border patrol, then the police, and then the military, before I was eventually shipped to medical professionals in something resembling hazmat suits for covid testing. This was after I'd shown documentation that more than three weeks had passed since my first shot, and that I had officially reported and signed re-entry to my current home country. The drive that normally takes a bit over three hours clocked in at seven hours blank this time. And that's when traveling between countries that are considered "green" by the government, and I was born in one of them and have residence in the other.

Every now and then it feels like someone activated the second ability on Hammerheim.

I guess what I'm saying is that while things certainly are looking brighter as lock-downs and pandemics go, traveling is still kinda rough. I've crossed the Swedish/Norwegian border literally hundreds of times before without even slowing down the vehicle, and now I'm hanging out with border doctors and asking the military if I can use the bathroom. I suppose this will be far easier in a month or so, when I get my second shot, but for now, traveling is hard.

"Pleasures of Hope", to quote that flavor text on Hammerheim.

And traveling is scores harder if I'm trying to get to a place on this map that isn't green.

Netherlands right now is dark red. Yeah, I have a non-refundable plane ticket that I might still technically be allowed to use, but I believe the hassle will be overwhelming. In particular, I will have to go into quarantine upon re-entry to Norway, and that doesn't blend well with my current lifestyle of going to work and picking up at kindergarten. Also, my government - which I mostly like and respect - asks me in strong words to stay home. So fuck it, I guess I'm missing out this year. Suppose I'll have to surf on the memories from last time a bit longer.

I had some good plans for the late summer. But at this point I think I might have to reassess most of them. Before I'm fully vaccinated in mid September, I probably should try and repress my wanderlust and stay in Norway. And even after that second shot it appears I might not get a visa to the USA in early October, as they have seriously restricted overseas leisure travel to that country. So it might be that Urborg Forest Feast and Urza's Chalice joins the fate of Dwarven Warriors 4. Huff. At least "not able to travel to gatherings" is a huge step up from "there are no gatherings". We're getting somewhere. And there seems to be a bright light from the Lanterna in Genoa during the last weekend of September. Fingers crossed.


But I can't fully shake the feeling of how much it sucks to miss Dwarven Warriors. Maybe that's why I felt the urge to write this post, just to get it off my chest a bit. Dwarven Warriors feels like home. I mean, I just saw the planned starting time for round one of the tournament on their website:

If that's not my ultimate starting time for any tournament I don't know what is.


I did have some new tech planned for this year. The format played at Dwarven Warriors is AB4000, aka Limited Constructed, aka Alpha/Beta only. Same B&R as in standard 93/94, with the difference being that the only legal sets are Alpha and Beta. And one more change, taking effect for the first time this year:

You can only have one of these.

I think restricting Control Magic is brilliant. The card is wildly powerful in a format where you win during creature combat and you barely have access to enchantment removal. And blue is a pretty strong color in The Gathering already, so nerfing it a tiny bit seems nothing but fair.

With Control Magic out of the way (or at least a few of them), I think the scariest strategies for my BW deck are Control and MonoBlack. So I've picked up this playset since last year:

1 main, 3 sideboard. If Dyan planned to win tournament for the third year in a row, I wanted to give him a real fight for it.

Then we have the control decks. To mess with them, I wanted one or two extra Armageddons in the sideboard.

...and I might also race their card advantage, as I finally landed my third A/B Jayemdae Tome at the end of last year. Jayemdae Tome is sweet.

Thanks Mitja.

My final planned update for this year was sideboard Juggernauts. Partly because they are must-answers that survive Terror and CoP: Black, but mostly because they are really sweet cards that I too rarely play these days (they are often benched by Su-Chi and have a tendency to die to Mishra's Factory in slightly newer formats).

Every new card for a deck in this format is a project. And it feels a bit strange to build with the intention of creating the best deck I can, rather than just throwing together a pile like I often do. But bringing the biggest guns I can muster given the limited cards I have also has a charm of sorts. This is a tournament for warriors, and I aim to wage war.


That said, at Dwarven Warriors, winning - and perhaps even playing - is such a distant second to the pure enjoyment of the gathering itself. So I want to extend my sincerest best wishes to all you lucky bastards that get to join the party this weekend. If not before, I aim to see you guys at Dwarven Warriors 5, with my circles and geddons ready to wreck havoc.


  1. It’s a real shame you can’t be there! Hopefully next year, and we’ll toast to you this weekend

  2. It was awesome as always and you know you missed out. Which makes it just that much sweeter next year when you are able to join again. Hoop to see you then.

  3. Dyan won, which means we really need you next year Mg!

  4. You were missed Magnus. Already looking forward to DW5! ps. nice playmat ;)

  5. I think Edo, Koos, Richard and Evert said it all, but I will echo it again, you were certainly missed and this year I managed to be part of the ending of the tournament. As Richard mentioned work on your tech as Dyan took it down again....

    I still have some hope to see you in Germany!



  6. Thanks a lot guys! And damn, Dyan winning yet again! :O We'll need to start packing maindeck Karma soon, or become better players...

    1. Koos played Maindeck Karma in a Karma/Hack COP/Sleight of Mind deck. Wasn't enough to stop Dyan.

      I won 3 games with Karma. It's definitely a winner.


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