Arvika Aftermath

Hey, I should write something about Arvika Festival 8! That was a noble gathering, and I wanna spill some digital ink to preserve he memories and impressions.

Heh. Probably a good thing that I'm not organizing n00bfest this weekend. Let's leave that to some slighly more professional Time Elementals. It appears I keep bouncing myself.

So, yes, Arvika Festival. What a great time. Svetzarn and KungMarkus outdid themselves yet again, and this was quite possibly the most enjoyable large tournament I've ever played. Spot-on organization, great location, awesome people, good food, and sweet Magic. I was to travel by myself from Oslo at midday Friday, but as an international wizard you rarely walk alone. On the train from Oslo to Arvika I immediately encountered two Brothers of Fire - Reigning World Champion Stebbo and The Legendary Jonas Twitchen - who had just arrived from the UK.

Train People.

Reindeer Invitational Ante was played, cards were traded, and beer was spilled on neighboring seats as the steel beast took sharp turns. I stole a Flood with a Bronze Tablet, and was melted by a Lava Burst. And, to my great surprise and unspeakable pride, I was to be inducted into the Brothers of Fire brotherhood on that very train. I've been a hang-around/prospect of the Brothers for many years, and this was like the greatest fraternal honor I've been bestowed as a traveling magic player.

"For my confession they burned me with fire, and found that I was for endurance made."

Arriving in Arvika we immediately walked up to the new site. We've upgraded from the old community building to a kinda fancy hotel, a stone throw from the train station. Met up with a myriad of good people, including a good portion of the US delegation.

Simon, Danny, and Will. Mr Internationals.

But the real loregasm and fanboy moment was that I got to hang out with the legendary Drew Tucker. Drew Tucker has been one of the most important artists in my life, at least for the last 29 years. When I first saw his stuff, as an 11-year old, I mostly tought it was kinda bad and blurry. Then I spent a few years "not getting it", until eventually the card Vertigo so well captured my own fear of heights, and I learned to view his work on a more impressionistic level. When I eventually read his interview in the Duelist #3 more pieces fell into place, and today I can in good conscious say that he's been my biggest influence for how I look Magic cards as art.

So, an important dude when it comes to my appreciation of art in general, and fantasy art in particular. And now I got to hang out with him in Arvika!

A few months earlier when I first heard he would come to the Festival, I reached out to him to comission a re-paint of Dark Banishing. I really wanted an original Tucker piece in my nerd cave, and after long deliberations between Flare, Ashes to Ashes, Vertigo, and Dark Banishing, it ended up on the grisly melancholic removal.

After hanging out with various wildcards at the site, Kalle, Markus, and I returned to Markus's place for some quiet Friday Night Magic and fine-tuning of our decks. Ate some traditional Swedish kebab pizza, shared a few beers, shared a few laughs.

Painted wizards.

Weapon of Choice (and the next generation of sorcerers)

The morning arrived promptly. There's something special in the air during these kind of tournaments for sure. Anticipation and excitement combined with high school reuinon and party.

Gajol and Berntsson. Wild cards.

Ruaro, Olle, and Kalle, with Vigo in the background. Half of the these guys will top8 in a few hours.

Alban and Mitja with their glorious collection of cardboard is part of the scenery at the Festival.

Viktor "Oldschool" hanging out with Drew Tucker. Happy place :)

Enough friendly socializing, commence violence!

Though even at this point we're kinda friendly. The Reindeer is of course a perfect gentleman.

Even my old nemesis Jocke Almelund shows a happy face and goes full gentleman.

Not even Ancestral. Reindeer Invitational level right here.

Uh, so I didn't really take any more pictures during the Swiss. I played a bunch of good Magic, won more than I lost, and was caught up in the atmosphere. Dinner was also great, good food and lots of it. Somewhere around round five there are some software issues with the pairing app, so it takes quite some time to get round six going. Around this time I hear that Fluffy has brought his new Premodern cube, and there's a spot for me around the draft table if I want. So I decide to drop and draft. I love cubing and do it far to rarely. And great games were had, in particular a real nail-biter against Anton Glans on Reanimate. 

I am getting slightly intoxicated around the late hours, and join a wildly sober Gordon in the commentator booth to ruin his evening. The top8 bracket is insanely stacked.


People's spice award goes to Thomas Nilsen's Chains of Mephistofeles deck.

Svante is happy with yet another top4 Shark finish.

And another Shark goes to Olle Råde, dominating like it's 1996.

Olle's winning deck from Arvika Festival 8. 
"The 2/3/1/3 creature-split, the sign of someone who has jammed the same deck over and over and over and over." -Robin Lundh

At another part of the world, the night just started and Simon Christie is running Beta duals in 40k. In the background, Kalle and I hang out with Drew Tucker!

It is a bit unclear exactly how I survived and got home. I'd like to think I walked, but the wee hours of the festival are a bit blurry now a month later. Regardless, I have a cosy night's sleep at Markus's place next to Kalle. In the morning, I go for a road trip to Oslo with Mari, Danny, Shane, and DFB.

Mirth Mobile.

Shane is a bit out of shape, as he was on the recieving end of Mari's brilliant game Duelling Chaos the night before. If you haven't heard of it, I'm sure Mari will be happy to introduce you. Regardless, the weapon of choice for said duel had been Bäska Droppar, a traditional Swedish liquid that makes american Malört taste like tap water, so I'm kinda impressed that he only threw up outside the car.

I am blessed with house guests for the evening. It was very nice to get to show DFB and Danny my actual home turf.

See you next month! (or, as of this writing, in two days)

So that's a few slices of Arvika Festival 8, the best tournament. And yeah, perhaps of most significance as Aftermath goes, Simon Christie managed to run his campaign all the way, and Shahrazade is now unrestricted in Swedish 93/94. This is the first change on the B&R since covid started, so it was in a sense high time for some sort of update. The final decision to unrestrict was done via spontaneous voting on the chat in the drunken hours of the stream. But still, no going back now, so go ahead and build you Ring of Ma'ruf / Shahrazade decks.

Dinarzad said, "What a strange and wonderful story!" Shahrazad replied, "What is this compared to what I shall tell you tomorrow night?"

That's all! See you at n00bfest in a couple of days!

Let the era of the Hammerhead begin.


  1. Nice read! Arvika was great. Will see you soon for some hammer time. Greetings from the train. - Alex

  2. Fan, ser bra ut. Ny till magic men detta ser mysigt ut. Hur länge har du spelat?

    1. Närmar sig 29 år nu...

    2. Fick förhinder till Arvika men lika rolig läsning ändå! Kul att du tar dig tid! <3


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