By February 18, 2008

I wore my wizard hat

Less than three months ago I got back into Magic the Gathering, thanks to my friend Stilts. We’ve spent just about every weekend since playing in some way, shape, or form, whether it be casually playing with other friends or drafting against other players at a local comic book store. I’ve had a great time, but never managed to break into the top four in the weekly draft competitions.

Wizards of the Coast, the folks who publish Magic, run several tournaments throughout the year. The least competitive, and least important, is the Cities tournament. Cities starts off with a four-event qualifying session at preselected retailers. The top eight from the qualifiers play for in the store finals. Wizards sends a box of product (36 boosters at $5 retail apiece) to serve as prizes. First and second place move on to the Virginia City championships in April, held in Virginia Beach. The Cities champion gets an invitation to the national championship, with 2nd – 7th place finishers getting byes in the regional championship.

I went along with Stilts and bombed the first three qualifying rounds. I earned a pity point from each event for just showing up. Stilts had taken second place in the first event and was assured a place in the store finals. By the time the last event rolled around, I was pretty demoralized. Stilts talked me into going and suggested a deck online that concentrated on punching your opponent in the face. No fancy techniques, no crazy combos, just melting face. Those of you who know me in real life realize this fits me perfectly. It was so Hulk-Smash that I couldn’t not go. Even if I didn’t earn enough points to advance to the store finals, I’d hopefully ruin a better player’s day with my vastly less expensive deck.

Not only did I piss in some pro tour player’s Cheerios by beating him, I took second place. :) Thanks for the pep talk, Stilts!

I doubt I’ll make it to even the top four in the store finals, but who cares? I earned prizes for the first time in a sanctioned event, and had a good time doing it. I faced a few serious players who had been playing for over a decade. I was nervous at first, and they were very grim at first. But making chicken noises or “meep meep” honking sounds when I attacked them soothed my nerves and made them smile. There was a bit of controversy in my match for first and second place — someone had walked out with one of the other finalist’s cards. Technically he had to drop the first game of the match to me, but that seemed like a lame thing to do since we were both going to the store finals anyway. After finding out I could waive the technicality I shook his hand and said, “let’s play Magic.”

It’s just a goofy fucking card game, after all. Let’s have fun. And I did, even though he stomped me 2 – 0. :)

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3 Comments on "I wore my wizard hat"

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  1. Ed says:

    Doc is not a nerd! I defend his honor!

  2. Father says:

    Congrats! While I’ve never gotten into Magic, that sounds pretty cool. Will I be able to name-drop you as another brush with nerd-fame like I can with “lighting-bolt! lightning-bolt!” guy?

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