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Champions of Kamigawa Prerelease – Ben loves the Champions of Kamigawa


Well, the Champions of Kamigawa Prerelease has come and gone, and I hope everyone had a great time. From what I hear, there was record turnout all of over the place, so more and more people are going to prereleases, and that’s a good thing!


Unfortunately, my prerelease was not amongst that number. We tried a two-day event for the first time, and over the course of two days, we got less people than we did in one day last time. Overall, the event turned out to be pretty bad for me, but such is life.


The set is so much slower than Mirrodin block as a constructed set, but the number of “Falters” in the format makes the rounds still go at a reasonable time in limited. There’s cards that make creatures have Fear, cards that make creatures unable to block, cards that make all creatures have flying, and cards that tap creatures. In short, there are plenty of cards in the set to end stalemates that often occur in sealed deck.


If I take this set on its own, it seems like it only has two draft decks, r/w samurai and g/b fatties with some creature kill. I may be wrong, but that’s my first impression. For block it looks pretty fun, but with Mirrodin block still in Standard, its severely hinders the set for having any huge bearing in constructed. Kind of sad, since the set looks like it could be fun if the format as a whole was slower.


Now, what kind of article of mine would this be if I didn’t have some fun stories to tell you about the prerelease!


My first, and perhaps best, story comes about two weeks before the prerelease. Before each big event like this, I send what I call “The Big E-Mail.”  The big e-mail explains when the event is, where the event is, who is working where, what they will get compensated, what vendors will be at each place, what the sanctioning numbers are, what the prize pool is, and in general anything I can think of that is important for this event.


For Champions of Kamigawa, I have a specific thing I needed to cover: the acronym. I think everyone who speaks English in any way has at this point heard the snickering and chuckles at the reference of using the acronym for Champions Of Kamigawa: COK.  Yeah, even I have used the acronym in jest, and while it’s immature, it’s pretty funny in the right context sometimes. But obviously its unprofessional, and I don’t want my judges walking around all day saying it and snickering and offending families. So, in my Big E-mail, I included the following passage:


A quick note I need to make clear for this particular event. This is the Champions of Kamigawa prerelease, or, if you wish to shorten it, the Champions prerelease. This is NOT the CoK Prerelease and I hate to be a jerk, but I will not tolerate the staff walking around making the running joke about the acronym of this set. Call it Champions to make it easier, but we are staff, and we need to be professional. We also want to make sure to politely correct people using the CoK joke a bit much. There will be a lot of kids and a lot of parents at this event, and we need to keep our events open to all age groups. I suggest getting used to calling it Champions now and over the next week so you don't slip up during the main event.


I thought that was a nice casual way to say it. I was pretty direct, but I tried to give a tone of “I know, I know. We all know the acronym, and yes its funny, but don’t use it during the event.”


So I was surprised when one of judges e-mailed me back, quitting.


Not complaining, quitting.


Apparently, prereleases were no fun any more because of this, and it was “work now” and he didn’t want to do it any more.


I accepted the resignation and released him, but seriously, if you need to quit because I told you not to say CoK on the job, I don’t think you were having that much fun to begin with. If THAT is the straw that broke the camel’s back…


The comment about it being work is what really threw me for a loop. Of course its work, if it wasn’t work I wouldn’t compensate the person. But as for it not being fun, you make your own fun at these events. As a whole my staff has a good time because we all know each other, and we wise crack with each other, and it’s like having a job where all of your best friends work with you. It’s not as good as being out having a beer, but it’s as good as it can be for a day of work.


This time around, they came up with a good enough naughty comment anyway for the day.


We had preregistration for the first time in Phoenix this time around, and therefore a new process for starting up each flight. We seated all the people who preregistered, but we had a wait list, in case we had players who didn’t show for the event. In explaining this to the judges, I told them to count out all the players who did not show up, and then come to me with that number and I would “fill in the holes.”




The whole weekend became a running joke about how many holes I filled. On Sunday one of the judges, Ben (who I mentioned in my San Diego Comic Con and PT San Diego reports I think), even brought in Dunkin Donuts Donut Holes. But that’s fine, it was a little private joke amongst the judges, and none of the players heard it, and even if they did it was unlikely if they got it, so, sure, whatever makes it fun for everyone.


And my final story for the weekend? After a horrible Sunday of only two flights and three booster drafts, we get ready to head home. My beautiful wife Kelly meets me outside the site with her dad’s truck, figuring it can hold the product easier than the Ford Escape. We load up all of the product, and begin to head home, and then the monsoon hits. Within a minute all of the boxes are drenched, and even with a quick stop off at a convenience store to buy garbage bags and use them to cover the truck, we still had some substantial product destruction by the time we got home. All the shrink wrapped product survived, but the one’s was had “broken down,” creating baggies of one tournament pack and two boosters and a prerelease card, did not fare so well.


So, I had double the expenses, less attendance, and damaged product. All in all, it’s enough to make go into denial that this event ever happened. Perhaps next week will be better, I only have a Mage Knight prerelease for that weekend…..


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