I want to apologize for the gap in my articles. I am currently a graduate student in a clinical psychology program and summer is our transition period. I help run a clinic and we have been working on getting the new therapists trained. Things are settling down and I should be back on track now!
Last time we met I gave you guys my Part 1 of my Comic-Con Experience. This week I’d like to pick up where we left off. I had spent my day getting art done by @inkwell_looter and @postrk. I’d finally traded for a foil Voidmage Husher for my Nicol Bolas EDH deck. Things were going good. But then I was put to the test with a tough decision: Play in the 2HG event (which my friend and I won last year) or go to the Magic Panel (which I had missed the year before).
In order to clear my mind and decide I headed over to the open gaming room to play some EDH. Right as I sit down in walks Aaron Forsythe (who I had the pleasure of playing against the year before at con). He sits down at a table up front and starts gunslinging (you play him one v one, if you win you get a pack. If you lose I think he taunts you and does a little dance). With my pride on the line, I queued up to play him and then proceeded to feel like a total jerk when I dropped Turn 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Turn 4 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage. Aaron had an awesome Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder deck which abused the hell out of Blasting Station. I was able to get Jace up to ultimate though and won a pack of M13 with Quirion Dryad on it (which Aaron was awesome enough to sign).
We decided to go to the Magic Panel (we had played Scott Larabee the night before at EDH and I was interested to see him in action up on the panel). Now for those of you who have not been to Comic-Con or have not been in the last couple of years, the lines have gotten insane. Last year over 200 people showed up for the Magic Panel who were not even able to get in. They moved to a bigger room this year, but we were apprehensive so headed over to the room 2 hours early… and saw a line already! We got in quickly and snagged seats up near the front but had to sit through two other panels in order to save this spot. I spent most of these early panels sitting along a wall with my phone plugged into a charger so that I could make sure I could take photos and upload any spoilers. While waiting for my phone to charge I saw that I had a Direct Message on Twitter from @wizards_magic. My heart skipped a beat because I had no clue why I would be getting a message from the and right before the panel was set to start.
“Hey! We are having a free invite-only M13 sealed event at the Marriott at 8pm tonight, and I’m inviting some of our Twitter followers. Members of R&D will be there as well as other Wizards employees and other players from the community. Let me know if you’d like to come! You are free to invite a few friends as well.”
WHAT??? I mean really? HOLY CRAP! (We’ll come back to this later)
Finally the Magic Panel started! Awesome people from Wizards walked around giving us all Nicol Bolas Head Pieces and a pack of M13 (which had just been released that day). The energy in the room was so high, everyone was smiling, I felt like a kid again. I was yelling out at the panel (at one point when they showed art for Return to Ravnica I remember yelling out “I saw SLIVERS!”). The people in front of me kept turning around and laughing with me… at least I hope it was with me and not at me since it turned out to be @natasha_lh. The panel was hard to focus on since I was trying to take a photo of any potential spoiler and upload it to Twitter immediately along with commentary by Mark Rosewater, Aaron Forsythe, Scott Larabee, Mat Cavotta (so awesome to have an artist on the panel), and Mark Purvis. It’s actually very funny to me that Mark Rosewater wrote his article on fame after Comic-Con because anytime I saw him I could see people becoming nervous and wanting to approach him but being scared (I had been this way the night before). In case you didn’t get to see the panel you can go watch it here (I think I can be seen around the 13:10 minute mark trying to get in line to ask a question. I’m the short dude in a dark blue shirt…)
After the Panel, we rushed over the open gaming area in order to find out more about this Free event with Magic celebs. It felt so awesome to be invited to this and when I showed up I saw tons of other people I had either already met or had been wanting to meet from Twitter and from their blogs. Artists were there (both ones who had done magic cards and the awesome @inkwell_looter who I’ve mentioned over and over), writers were there from Channel Fireball,twitter people like @metaknightmare (who is one awesome dude, had a chance to hang out with him a lot) and @sunie_fdc (who had done the community cup before), Rosewater, Forsythe, Purvis, Cavotta and then me and my friends.
Mike Gills was in charge of running this event and was a great host! He walked around, handing us all 6 packs of M13 (this was awesome since it was Release Day and I was missing my normal event at my LGS) to build a sealed deck with. Basically you built your deck, then you played anyone else who was invited to the event. If this all sounds like some kind of #humblebrag I’m just going to warn you that it gets even better…
This event was easily my highlight of the Con. It’s actually easily the highlight of any Con I have ever been to. Here I was playing Magic along with the creators, the promoters, the runners of the game. Here I was side by side with other fans, other Twitter/blogger personalities and getting to actually play magic instead of just talk about it all day every day. I built a pretty mediocre white/black deck with Ajani, Caller of the Pride and Odric, Master Tactician as my bombs. I think I went like .500 with the deck but the matches were all amazing and fun. We sat there playing for hours (halfway through Mike brought us 6 more packs and we were able to change our deck, which I did). Mat Cavotta had to leave and handed me his cards (later I would find a Sublime Archangel in there!). I also got to play Aaron Forsythe again (and win)!
So the final thing I want to talk about here is honestly the top moment of my whole Con Experience. Toward the end of the night, I finally got the chance to play @inkwell_looter which I had wanted to do since round 1. He’d made my tokens during the day, I interact with him fairly regularly on Twitter, and he had such a great personality. Right as we sit down Mike Gills comes over and says, “Ok this match is going to be for a Foil Uncut Sheet of M13 Uncommons”. I sat there mouth agape as I saw Rancor, and Rewind, and Tormod’s Crypt… and I had to win. Unfortunately things did not look good for me as I mull to 5 game 1 and get resoundly stomped. Game 2 was the opposite with Inkwell having to mull but he almost stabilized the board with some great early plays. I finally was able to get to Odric and swing for exactsies! Game three was fairly anticlimactic as I landed some early fliers and went on to win this!
This brought me to the end of my one day that I was guaranteed to be at the Con. Final stats: 19 hours at the Convention Center, close to 50 games of magic played, 22 packs of M13, a foil uncut uncommon sheet, artwork and tokens by some amazing people, and wow…
I want to thank all the readers who have been coming to check this out. I can be reached on the comments here and @HobbesQ on twitter! I appreciate any and all feedback.
P.S. I was able to come on Sunday and traded my Uncut sheet for a Judge Promo Command Tower and Judge Promo Dark Confidant. The sheet is amazing, but sadly I had nowhere to hang/display it at this point!