Pictures from Arvika Festival 7

First thing first. Eleven thousand Euros.

There's still a few days left on the campaign if you want to chip in. And god damn, this is the kind of thing that make me happy to be a part of the oldschool community. €11,000 is a lot of money, and it's money that could actually help people in need. These things are important, far more important than having "the best deck" or things like that, and the fact that we as a community are able to focus on tragedies in the world at large instead of on our card board rectangles every now and then fills me with a weird mix of humility and pride. So thank you so much. The terrible conflict is still raging, of course, and we clearly didn't solve it by raising some awareness among nerds and a small pile of cash, but at least we did something. And doing something is so much better than doing nothing.
It's been a while since we had a picture report up here on the blag. And a couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to join Arvika Festival 7. Arvika Festival 6, almost exactly two years before, was the last large tournament in Sweden before the pandemic hit. And now, in this mostly post-pandemic Scandinavia, it was up to KungMarkus and the Arvika crew to get the festivities started again. Two tournaments this time, a smaller Legacy tournament capped at 16 players followed by the main 93/94 course with 40 warriors. So I guess some restrictions still applied, keeping the showdown to around half of what Arvika has been known for in earlier years. But still a major gathering of oldschool fools not seen in Scandinavia since the pre-pandemic times.
Let the Samite healing begin.

Let's look at some pics from a splendid weekend on the other side of the border.

For the first time before a Festival, I am a lone warrior on the train. My traditional brother-in-arms for this gathering, Hardy, was not to join this year, and a majority of the other Norwegians was to travel a day later. My companions on the train were instead reasonably priced beer and A History of Western Philosophy.
Also another book on Domain Driven Design to keep me company. Fascinating stuff. On the train back I got to sit next to Bjørn Einar Bjartnes by lucky happenstance, and got to pick his expert brain on the subject for a few hours.
But one of the most important tasks on any train is of course to tech. While my general approach in 93/94 is to optimize for good games, when I play Legacy or Vintage I like to optimize for wins. Tweaking the Lands deck was on the menu.

Arriving at my seasonal home in Arvika, I open the door to find a barking dog and the lady of the house getting a tattoo at her dining table. No Markus to be found at the moment, but the ambience was still spot on.

Hanging out at casa Arvika with Kalle, Madde, and Berntsson is as Magic as any game of cards. Long time, no see.

KungMarkus eventually arrives after a long day in the trenches, and we go to the site to set up for tomorrow's tournaments. My help mainly consists of drifting around aimlessly and chatting while the proper organizers do all the work.

Mio (age 2) taking care of the bar. Cool dude.

KungMarkus and Kalle. Lifer friends I've met playing Magic. Good game.

Markus is testing out his monoblue Kobold deck for tomorrow. A surprisingly non-terrible pile, especially considering all the cards in it are horrible. The sum is greater than the parts somehow. Dude knows how to tech.

Gameday! It's like 8 in the morning, and Kalle is looking fresh like a pile of daisies.

Challengers appear. The Legacy tournament starts at 9 am, so this will be a day of endurance as much as wizardry.

Hanging out, sipping morning brews.

The handsome Germans of Sky Guild (Mitja and Alban) have arrived with scores of fancy cards. They have become a pleasant fixture on the lager European OS tournaments these days.

The game is afoot! I get to face none other than the host (on Glimpse Storm) round one. He wins the die roll and kills me turn one in the first game, and I mulligan to turn one Sphere of Resistance in the next two. Markus doesn't get a second first turn kill to beat the Sphere in game three, and the Lands are victorious.

Round two I get to beat Delver, and round three I somehow manage to defeat a scary MonoBlack deck. Round four I face UB Tempo Ninja, but by now my luck has ran out. Really missed having Glacial Chasm in the deck for this matchup, and despite my best efforts the Ninja deliver a fatal blow to the lands.

Semi-finals. Paired against none other than the handsome luck-sack Kalle Nord on Tin-Fins (with a sideboard Doomsday plan). Somehow wins due to bad luck on Kalle side in one game, and good luck on mine in another.

Finals against JohanGuld on Burn. This was his first ever Legacy tournament btw, so reaching the finals (with a budget deck none the less) is a proper achievement. And Burn with 4-of maindeck Price of Progress is a pretty intricate matchup for lands. His deck has zero maindeck answers to Marit Lage though (not even chump blockers), so my combo could race him. We had playtested the matchup the night before, and I managed to end those games with a winning record, but I'd still argue that the matchup is a coin flip.

God damn Magic is awesome and complicated. I think I got a tiny upper hand when Johan at one point it the very late game of round 3 possibly made a slightly sub-optimal land drop. Laughably close game.

Boom! A winner is me. Better lucky than good, in particular against Kalle. Gordon took the picture, and first question why my phone is a potato without a proper camera, and then why the camera I brought is terrible.

Then he drinks some more and gets nostalgic. "Hey! I had a camera like this in like 2006! Good times! And I sometimes wish I didn't use a smartphone either. Oh, the days of not being constantly online! Simpler times." It is so good to see you again man :)

Thanks to my master wizardry at the Legacy tournament, I get some store credit in the German Magic shop (I will not tell you what the gift card actually said, but it was a bit more obtuse than "German Magic shop".) And as I won the spoils playing modern Magic, I figured that I should spend them on non-oldschool cards for a change. Vintage, Highlander Gold, Legacy, and Premodern it is.

I then bough this card, using cash money. The journey to finally obtaining this one could probably be its own blog post. Long story short, it took around six months, and included trying to buy it but getting the wrong version twice.

Real Magic about to start.

I face off against Bjørn-Einar Bjartnes on RGB Gauntlet round one. Fantastic game against a fantastic player.

This match I started with Land, Lotus, Icy; which is the second most satisfying way to use a turn one Black Lotus after Land, Lotus, Juzam. Proper Magic going on in the midgame here.

Oh Gathering, how I've missed you!

Battling Beyonce's Reanimator in round 3 or so. Cool stuff.

I am randomly bequeathed a booster of Judgment by Mällroth. Thanks man! I shall use this for Booster Tutor shenanigans.

Daniel Yann Franzén. Such a cool guy.

Happy people, and a very unflattering angle of Gordon's jacket. We're about to auction out a mystery box of random Magic bulk to donate the proceeds to the Red Cross Ukraine. A solid object to auction among drunken players if we want to raise some capital.

I've played for around 12 hours straight at this point, and I'm still in the middle of some swiss. So high time for some slightly intoxicated purchases for me as well. Picked up some sweetness from Beyonce...

...and some more sweetness from Mällroth. More duals for the Highlander Gold deck.

I played an earlier game on the stream getting crushed by Kalle, and now get a second chance to show off my skills online against Gordon. He's on a spicy yet powerful Living Plane deck, and if I recall correctly we had some really good games. We ended the match on a draw.

Markus has checked out. I'm 3-1-1 going into the last round, and kinda dread winning (or drawing) the last round as I've now played Magic for 15 hours without a proper food break. I could also use some food and/or sleep at this point. Still, top8'ing the 93/94 would be kinda brag-worthy when I come home to the wife, so I'll certainly do my best.

Last round is against a jovial Mitja on The Deck. This one was a bit rough, as I didn't get to use a single non-land card in game one. When pretty much the same thing occurs for the first ten rounds or so of game two, it was time to scoop up the cards. Even though I could technically still have fought back (using all the luck in the world), I was kinda out of the good game at that point and it seemed better to just call it a night. And that's not to trash talk The Deck (and of course not Mitja's deck choice for that matter; I think The Deck can lead to very exiting and intricate games!). But this was not really one of them, and hence I shall end the night with a scoop in disgust ;)

Kalle is in the top8 and Markus is down for the count, so I grab some keys from his large yet still frame and hike a ride with Berntsson towards suburbia. Alone I break in to the empty Casa KungMarkus in the middle of the night, and is of course promptly attacked by their yelling dog. So there's another potential health issue with this whole pandemic thing, I haven't been able to travel to Arvika much and the current dog still finds me to be a stranger.

Luckily she's a lover and not a fighter. I hang out with her a bit before going to sleep to make sure that we're the best of friends, which we clearly are. Haha, I kinda wonder if the old dog Bandit would have treated me as friendly in the same situation ;)

In the middle of the night, handsome wildcard Morgan "Farsan" Karlsson picks up the Glorious Festival win. Dude has been in soo many fancy top8 in the last years, but I think this is the first larger 93/94 tournament that he actually won. As I was asleep / hanging out with a dog at the time, I didn't grab a picture, so here's a stock picture of him from the n00bcon 8 top8.

Farsan's Troll Disco that won Arvika Festival 7. A playset Volcanic Islands are missing from the picture.

Once again I bid adieu to Arvika and ponder great memories of Festivals past. Thank you guys so much for yet another wonderful event, and I'm greatly looking forward to see a bunch of you at n00bcon 13 in a few weeks!

Speaking of n00bcon 13, that thing is a thing, and will be hosted according to tradition on Good Friday April 15th. The website is up and running, so feel free to check it out if you've missed it. I'll update with some more info for the players (and those of you interested in coverage or side events) in the coming weeks.


  1. Lovely post and lovely people! I <3 Arvika! :)

    Enjoy n00bcon!

  2. This post was almost as sweet as hanging out :D
    And I also learnt how to use the word "obtuse" lol <3


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