Having grown up in Ohio, both Origins and GenCon were easily within reach for gaming. I’d never gone to participate in MtG related activities, more so to see new games and to shop. Since moving to Toronto I’ve not made it to either of them, a subject that’s become more sore the deeper I get into Old School. Ontario doesn’t have gaming cons of that scale, and I miss them.
This year, I knew there was a slight glimmer of hope that I’d be in Ohio for GenCon, and might be able to make a day trip over to Indianapolis for it. Well, I was in Ohio, and my friend Daniel made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so on Friday morning, I hopped in the dad van and hit the road. Plus, I had been following the gencon channel on Discord and was aware of Old School at GenCon, both of which increased my hype. On the way, I caught up on All Tings Considered, Flippin’ Orbs, and The Evolution of Horror. Parking was a nightmare, so I got frustrated and rage paid for the first spot I could find and walked a few blocks to the venue.
Upon entering, I had no real idea of where to go, but Daniel and Ariana helped me out. The queue to pick up your pass was deep, but moved fairly quickly. They both had a Necromunda campaign to get to, so we departed and I headed to the registration booth for the 3pm Old School event. Once I was registered, I hit the vendor floor quickly. I had about 75 minutes before the tourney, so I found the big card vendors and began browsing.
My first good find was a King Suleiman for $70! At first I thought that it must have dropped in price or that I was still thinking in Canadian Dollars, so I had the shop hold it for me while I “went to get cash”. What I really did was price check w/ a few other nearby vendors who all confirmed that that price was very wrong. Returned and snapped that djinn killing monarch right up!
At another booth, I found a City of Brass for $180, so I messaged my buddy who was looking for one. In the time it took for us to negotiate, a dude walked up, bought all four copies for 150-160 each, all of their Thoughtsieze and Snapcaster Mage, slams down like $2k, and walks away. That all took about a minute. I stood there slack-jawed, both sad that they were cheaper than marked and I didn’t get one, and simultaneously in awe of the speed and ease of the transaction. Oh well.
I made my way back to the tourney area where I met some other OS players and chatted with them. We got our pairings and got down to business. I don’t recall too much from my games, but here are some highlights.
Match one against Andrea from Chicago who was on a RG ramp/stompy list that I 100% misread. She told me her plan is to get mana to slam down a fatty, which I assumed to mean Force of Nature, so I proceeded with my three Mana Flares and was getting setup for a massive X spell. Well, she surprises me with a Shivan! I should have know as she was playing on a Melissa Benson Shivan playmat and proceed to swing in with a 25/5 flyer that I had no response to. It was amazing and we were both very stoked on it! She also had awesome sleeves of Emperor Palpatine from Return of the Jedi. Needless to say, I went 0-2 in that round.
I don’t recall if it was round two or three, but I was against a black rack style deck. My opponent had went something like 8 games with only a single one of them having either a Hypnotic Specter or a Hymn in the opening seven! Despite that, I still lost to it, iirc.
My final for the day was 1-2, and I was surprised that it was only three rounds as I’d have gladly played another three with the folks at the table. The one disappointing thing is that the communication around prize support was very unclear. It sounded like the prize wall would have some special old school type things, which didn’t end up being the case, so I won a few packs of M20, and received the promo wolf card which went straight into my wolf and elf tribal edh deck.