Today was the first, real, proper Magic event with outside players at Digital Dragons in Lichfield as organised by me, Paul the shop owner and a mutual friend Tom who hooked us up. We'd done a little bit of promotion and ended up having two spontaneous practice days (where I was in store and so we did mini events) so knew what we were in for.
I got there a bit early to teach Tom how to play his new event deck, and got chatting to a few of the local players. When it came time to start we had 7 people present so the store owner Paul agreed to play single round games and to join in - I lent him a Standard legal zombie deck that was a bit basic but fun. After poking about at the odd Wizards tool for starting games we were ready a bit later than planned.
As I was the most experienced player I'd built a white + green splash humans & angels deck out of all the White promo cards I'd collected but never even played. I expected it to be solid and easy to play against, and this turned out to be true but it was better than I'd predicted.
Round one seemed to pit experience against rookies in every pairing so almost became a teaching round where people were figuring out their cards. Round two I got paired against Tom as we'd both won in Round 1 and we played a massive long drawn out single game that went on for about an hour due to my lack of lands which kept getting blown up (we decided timers would be a bad idea as we had plenty of time for the 3 rounds) and was only won by me as he didn't spot he could have used birthing pod to fetch a blocker. As he'd already fetched out most of his creatures there were only a few mana point values he could hit!
Best interaction saw me with Gideon PW (a singleton - forces his guys to attack), Gideon's Avenger (he taps, I get +1/+1) and Norn's Annex (he has to pay 2 life for each attacking creature). This would have been a game ender after only 15 or so mins, but in our practice game I taught him to pod a 2 drop into the corrupter to destroy the Annex. The Avenger got huge and was what won the game, but my unexpected combo would have seen him loose 12 life per turn so was neatly avoided.
Final round saw me play local player Vicky with her so far undefeated monsters deck. Having both Vampires and Zombies and a few black spirits I wasn't sure what to expect. Game 1 had me being beaten down in the air by the Aristocrat over two turns while I had 5 human tokens and 1 Avacyn's Pilgrim and the Doomsayer (tap to get a human). She took me to three life and would kill me in the next turn. My human deck was built around fateful hour mechanics and luckily the Doomsayer added +2/+2 to all creatures on my team giving me an attack of 20 against a fully tapped out opponent. It was a quick and sneaky win which I felt a bit bad for.
Game 2 was more even until I hit my 6 drop - an enchantment that gave all creatures double strike and lifelink. I'd not expected to manage to get to 6 so this was a cool bonus. Two turns later it was all over and as we were not doing playoffs I'd won the tournament!
I took a comfort break, and played another of the local players Chris with my back-up deck (was 1-1) while the 3rd 4th place match was finished and won by Vicky's brother Rob (also a friend of mine) and had the idea to buy a booster for the top three players out of my own funds to reward their turnout (the tournament was free entry to encourage more players which almost didn't work!). All packs had good card in and karma rewarded me with my 2nd Drogskol Reaver which will be fun to build around.
As every player bought at least one booster I think an entry fee + prize pack would be a safe option for the next event (last Sat of every month until we get tired of it is the plan!). Hopefully we can mimic The Road To WPN and get Core status just like internet hero and general nice guy Don did!
Afterwards some of us went back to Robs to gaze at his fish and talk toot and play a 3 player card game that was more about the tea and chat than the game. A pretty good Saturday all in all!