Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Play Magic with Brandon at Dragon*Con

I’ll be hitting Dragon*Con this year near the beginning of my tour, and I’m looking forward to finding some time to hang with readers and relax and play some Magic: The Gathering. As always, I play casual—meaning that I do it more for the fun and interaction than the victories. So if you’re new to the game, or haven’t played in years, don’t worry. We try to keep it low-stress.

I’ve got three different types of Magic-related events I’m planning, listed below.

ELDRAZI DRAFT
At Jordancon, I had an absolute blast doing a draft from Rise of the Eldrazi. I love this set, and would like to get another draft in before the new set launches this fall. So, I’ll be buying a few boxes of ROE boosters for us to play with. I’d ideally like to do what we did at Jordancon—have sixteen players, and split them into two groups of eight: a "pro" group and an "amateur" group. We’ll draft in two rings and have a tournament. I figure we’ll do what we did last time: $15 buy-in, which gets you three boosters to draft with, at least one booster as a prize, and further boosters as prizes for the higher winners. Maybe some foil cards if I can swing it.

We need to keep this to sixteen people to prevent chaos. Since this isn’t a formal event, I’ll be playing judge and player at the same time, and any more than sixteen would be a little rough for me to handle. One warning: We’re going to have to play on the floor. Jen said that getting us tables through Dragon*Con is all kinds of crazy, but said we could use the WoT track rooms one evening, so long as we play nicely with the “Are you a Darkfriend” games going on at the same time. This will likely be SaturdayFRIDAY night, and if you want one of the fifteen other draft slots, drop me an email through the website here or grab me early on at Dragon*Con. I’ll keep a list of players and a standby list.

ARCHENEMY AGAINST BRANDON
I’m really excited about this. Some readers sent me some packs of Archenemy off my Amazon wishlist, and I figure that the best thing to do with these is to bring them to Dragon*Con and destroy all who oppose me. If you’re not familiar with Archenemy, it’s a new Magic format where one player takes on a group of other players. One player (me) plays the role of an evil overlord with a super-deck, while the other players take the roles of planeswalkers trying to stop him from destroying the world.

This really plays into my sense of narrative. (If you didn’t know, my nickname over on my forums—which was inherited from my days working as an editor at the BYU science fiction magazine—is EUOL. Which stands for Evil Undead OverLord.) For many years, I’ve longed for a Magic format where I could show off my true majesty and crush fleets of peons who come to try to defeat me and stop my evil machinations. :)

All you have to do is bring one of your favorite Magic decks. I’ll be toting my awesome Archenemy deck around with me—I’ve affectionately named it “Cthulhu to the Face!” Whenever there’s a spare moment after a panel or signing, I’d be happy to take on two or three fans at once in epic battle.

Archenemy is a casual format, so this will work best if—rather than designing some new deck for it—you just bring one of your favorite casual decks, and then join with other random players to team up against me. I’m really not sure how Archenemy will play yet, but I’ll bet it will be more fun for all involved if we randomly assign groups of three or so, rather than allowing a team to perfectly design three tournament-caliber decks that play off one another. If you have two friends that you really want to join and team-up against me, I’ll probably be willing to play, but I strongly suggest that you each pick a flavorful, fun deck, rather than conspiring on the perfect work-together decks built to disassemble an Archenemy.

I’m hoping to have prizes for beating me, which may be something as simple as a sticker or the like, and perhaps something more impressive. There are no restrictions on cards, set, or format—though as I said, I’m probably more likely to give the better rewards to cool/interesting/new decks as opposed to the person who brings in a replica of last year’s pro-tour victory deck. But do what you want—it doesn’t matter. I WILL DEFEAT YOU ALL! (Insert Evil Laughter here.)

OTHER FORMATS IF THERE IS TIME
I’ll also be bringing a pauper deck (meaning a deck with only commons in it), a few random block decks (built with cards only from one expansion or one block) and one Elder Dragon Highlander deck. I don’t know if I’ll have time for any of these, with the draft and the uber-fun Archenemy multi-duels, but I’ll have these just in case. I thought I’d give warning for anyone who wants to be ready.

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