Four Days of Gaming??
Well, by the time you
guys read next week's column, I'll be preparing to head
out to Indianapolis. I'm sure that many of you reading
this have no idea why I would be going to Indianapolis.
Well, for those of you not in the know, GenCon Indy is
happening next week. It's August 19th to 22nd.
If you can believe it or not, GenCon is one of the
oldest gaming conventions in the country. It has been
going strong for 36 years. Originally held in Lake
Geneva, Wisconsin, GenCon was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
for many moons, before being moved to Indianapolis,
Indiana past year. You can find nearly everything there
from so many different game companies. As a matter of
fact, so many things release early at GenCon. Some
things have a release date to coincide with the big
event, but so many companies use this as a stepping
stone for products. On top of that, there are a ton of
tournaments, World Championships, trading, and gamers
playing LITERALLY, all night long.
The best part is, it's open to the public. People come
from all over to attend this convention. It's crazy. The
event has only gotten larger since moving to Indy. It is
a closer driving distance to even more gamers. It even
has five major interstate highways that cross right in
So, if you've read this far, you're probably wondering
what this has to do with Magic. Well, there is a Grand
Prix qualifier. There are 45 scheduled Magic: the
Gathering events. That doesn't even include all the
impromptu booster draft and Standard (type 2) 8-man
events that they will be running all weekend. So there's
Magic as long as you can stay awake to play. Oh yeah, I
didn't even include the list of artists and authors that
will be signing there.
But honestly, I wanted to bring this up for more than
that. I want to keep using my column to educate gamers.
Part of that education is to explain things that aren't
obvious. Knowing the history of some events and making
yuo guys all aware of what's out there makes for a
greater gaming experience. Everyone feels better and
smarter in the end. Regardless, I know a lot of people
that keep wishing they could go to a convention. I can't
say I blame them. Conventions are mad fun. Personally,
I'll be run ragged. I'll be demo'ing products for Comic
Images and running tournaments for them, playing in the
Vs. System Pro Circuit, running tournaments for various
things, in addition to trying to talk to company heads
and catch meetings to bring new products in my store.
That's a lot do to. I'm not sure if players understand
what all goes into preparation for an event of this
magnitude. I think you need to go in with a game plan.
By this, I mean that you should figure out what you want
to do before you go. There is so much stuff to do at a
convention the magnitude of GenCon, that you can
seriously end up doing nothing. I know that sounds
strange, but it is very possible to get sidetracked
easily. You need to have a plan. You need to know what
you want to do. Otherwise you will end your weekend
feeling like it was wasted.
Also, plan early. This may sound obvious, but I don't
mean like two months early. I mean like five months
early. The event is that big. Yes, really that big.
There is no hotel space within several blocks of the
venue. Honestly, even the ones that are available are
expensive. And you could have gotten good plane tickets
for under $200 months ago. Last Wednesday, most of them
were nearing $300. If you know what events you are going
to play in, you can go better prepared. That always
helps. Preparation seems even more critical, because
many prizes will include early release items or limited
release promo items. Oh yeah. If you don't pre-register
for some events, you may not get to play in them. So,
you want to make sure you get signed up before they are
That brings up another point. It's VERY expensive in the
long run. It's not worth going unless you can enjoy it
and do it right. Truthfully, some of your costs can be
offset by selling singles to the myriad of dealers that
will be made available to you, but don't plan on it. If
you don't have the cash, don't go. My honest
recommendation would be to attend a smaller convention
first. I would attend one half the size if at all
possible. GenCon will see numbers equivalent to the
populous of a small town. That means some parts of it
can get slightly crowded.
But there's more to it than that. At smaller, more
local, events you can meet people and get a bit more
personal with them. There are community relationships
that can be build. You can find out about more stores
you can attend. You can also make friends with people
you will be running into year after year. You can
probably drive. It will be cheaper. You can take your
time to enjoy yourself more and do less running around.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy GenCon Indy. However, it's
mainly due to the people I get to meet and hang out with
that I can't normally see. I just think that people
shouldn't disregard their local conventions. Many of
them these days are a lot like larger convention, but
with less inconveniences.
Anyway, let me give you some direct Magic news for the
week. Let me give an apology to you all. The red
decklist I posted last week had some cards missing and
mislisted. It's OK though. They were obvious, I know it
confused a few of you.
Also, I haven't done one in a while, but I got an
interesting Bad Play of the Week. This one comes from
"Also, I am Including another "Bad play" that I found
very amusing in a casual game of mine. Both my opponent
and I were playing Tooth and Nail variants, him with the
Urzatron, myself with cloudposts. He was somehow getting
Mana screwed with his deck, only having 4 forests and an
Urza's Tower out. I had 3 cloudposts, and 3 forests. The
turn before, he laid an Oblivion stone, and instead of
playing anything his last turn, he ended and left the
mana open for an O-stone activation. On my turn, I cast
Tooth and Nail with entwine, bringing out 2 Sundering
Titans, targeting 2 of his forests to be destroyed....
So what happens? He taps them for mana, lets Titans
resolve, then taps out for O-stone... destroying his
other 2 forests. The look on his face was priceless,
especially when our local judge was looking on and
Sorry for no decklist this week. I have to be honest and
say that the current block constructed format is
changing way too fast. But that's a good thing. I would
recommend just taking a deck you know well and changing
up the sideboard to meet your local metagame at this
Good luck to you all.
See you at GenCon!
Until next time,
PowrDragn at pojo dot com