Ah, Gen Con. Where to start? Should I talk about all the coverage I did while I was there, interviewing Aaron Forsythe, LSV and the Puerto Rican national team? Or should I talk about all the trading I did, or maybe the collection I took to flip?
Ah, hell, let’s just cover it all.
We had three people making the 12-hour drive from Oklahoma. Myself, Dan (@capntopdeck) and Mike, who has no Twitter 🙁
We begin our journey, and way too quickly I’m outvoted on my country music selection. I could tell you about all the interesting adventures we had on the ride up there, or I could just tell you that we drove for 12 hours, talked some Magic and sang some classic rock, and ended up at Dan’s parents’ house about a half hour out of Indy, where we would stay the night.
We got up way too early again and make the trek back to downtown, fighting rush hour and GenCon traffic. (I might harp on this “early” thing quite a bit, so be prepared. I work in the afternoons, so I usually sleep until noon. Being up at 7 a.m. so often was tough, but definitely worth it for Gen Con.)
We found parking down the street and walked into the Convention Center, where we were greeted with this sight.
What a perfect way to start the weekend off.
The Magic area was awesome from front to back. Taking up half of the TCG Hall, we had a statue of Jace and Akroma ringing the borders. After a few minutes of taking in the sights, it was time to put that press pass to work.
After doing some coverage it was time to take in the FNM Champs (which won’t return next year), and then get in my best trading day of the weekend. While we’re talking about trading, I want to note I didn’t record them via photos because I didn’t want to tax my battery when I was also doing coverage. I also didn’t do a ton of trading on the weekend due to my other commitments.
I found out Talrand, Sky Summoner was the card to be in on this weekend. People were trading them around $4, and I was able to get $3 in cash, and it was the same with Master of the Pearl Trident. I also grabbed every City of Traitors I saw, since people traded them out at $20 to $25, and dealers were paying $20 on site.
Enough serious talk. Time for some costumes.
After meandering around the hall it was time for lunch. My Brainstorm Brewery co-host Marcel White (@marcelmtg) wanted to head to B-Dubs. Let me tell you about B-Dubs, also known as Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s a chain wing place they have across the country, and it’s one of my favorite places to eat. I love the wings, I love the sports on TV, and I love playing the stupid trivia games. It’s a good time.
Unfortunately, my co-hosts don’t feel the same. Ryan Bushard (@crypplecommand) and Jason (@jasonealt) pretty much do nothing but troll me about B-Dubs on the cast, but they were in as well. B-Dubs was as delicious as ever, though I wasn’t super hungry at lunch. However, I can attest that the wings were still delicious six hours later, even if they were a bit cold by then.
After lunch, Marcel had a box of M13 and we decided we obviously needed to draft. I tweeted we were looking for people, and before I knew it a wild Mulldrifter (Lauren Lee, @mulldrifting) appeared and brought along Nate Holt (of @WalkthePlanes fame) and none other than Sam Black (@SamuelHBlack). Considering I had drafted M13 exactly once before the weekend, I obviously felt a little outclassed.
Luckily, we did a 3v3 team draft, and I got Nate and Sam on my team. I drafted what I thought was a pretty sweet GW Roaring Primadox deck, complete with two Prized Forcemages, a Bond Beetle, an Elvish Visionary and some other goodies that worked with the two Primadoxes. I then managed to see exactly one Primadox in six games of Magic. Along with two consecutive games of drawing five lands in a row off the top, it led to my 1-2 finish. Of course Sam and Nate crushed, so I still got to claim ultimate victory.
After everything on Thursday I was exhausted, so I stumbled back to the hotel where we were staying with Kelly Reid and Tyler Tyssedal and crashed immediately.
At least, that’s what I should have done. Instead, this happened.
That is a collection of cards from the years 1993 to 1995. Also known as Kelly’s Retro Cube. I crushed everyone with UB Control/Fliers despite knowing about three of the cards going in. I did feel a little better after my embarrassing M13 performance, at least.
Once I finally got on site Friday, the first thing I caught was this.
The guys doing music were particularly cool. They had a booth in the Dealer Hall and were taking all challengers at EDH, where they gave away booster packs to the challengers.
Friday night brought the Gen Con barbeque, where Marcel made us some incredible food on the grill at Jason’s brother’s house. It was a great time, and we’re definitely making this an annual event open to anyone who wants to come and isn’t in the mood for political correctness. If you’re planning a trip to GenCon next year, you definitely want to clear some time to come out to it!
After the barbeque we got back on site, where Mark (a loyal podcast listener, thanks!) didn’t believe RUG Delver was a good matchup for my Merfolk deck in Modern. Next thing I know there’s an opponent across from me with Delver and Mark is betting a Restoration Angel on the outcome. Not wanting to be struck by variance, we negotiated the bet (#wescoecheck) down to a Silverblade Paladin, and then I obviously crushed the matchup 2-0 to win myelf another Paladin.
Or so I thought. I look up and Mark is ripping it into shreds before proceeding to eat the pieces. This was, without a doubt, the most enjoyable part of the weekend, and he gave me a second Silverblade afterward to make good on the bet.
By the way, don’t bet against my Merfolk and me.
Marcel tells me I need to be ready to interview Aaron Forsythe on camera at 2 p.m., which I figure will be the start of my day after sleeping in. So I wake up just before noon in the hotel room and get to the other task for the day — picking bulk.
A recent collection I picked up came with tons of unsorted bulk commons and uncommons, and I get oddly excited about picking stuff like this. In this case, it didn’t disappoint. The Imperious Perfects were flowing, and I even found a Spell Snare and a foil Zendikar Mountain. I kept some of the goodies for myself, and sold the rest for a nice amount, which is insane for bulk that comes along basically free.
Then began the coverage. Marcel and I knocked out A TON of interviews, with everyone from Aaron to Marshall Sutcliffe to Sheldon Menery to Rashad Miller. I was also very happy we were able to get interviews with a couple of national teams who came to the event with interesting stories.
The one group I didn’t get to talk to was the Japanese team, which had by far the best story. Because of the weather, the team missed its connecting flight in DC. Unable to rent a car and not able to make it in time by bus, the group was left with no choice but to take a $1,000-plus taxi ride to Indy. Talk about commitment. That’s how much Magic means to these guys. That’s awesome.
Oh yeah, I also saw this on Saturday.
Best thing I saw all weekend.
Sunday was actually a fairly chill day. We did some more coverage for the Magic World Cup, and I was able to sell a bunch of cards. It was enough to more than cover the trip, something I’ll cover in more detail once everything is settled.
We all went out to a great dinner downtown, and were lucky enough to have Richard Castle (@richardfcastle) of Inside the Deck come out with us after he was done interviewing a few of us. It was a great time, and a perfect way to cap the weekend.
Except the weekend wasn’t over. I live in Oklahoma, remember? We got up at 4 a.m. to drive back, which sucked. For some reason the drive back from a big event isn’t as exciting as the drive to it, especially when everyone is sleep-deprived after a weekend of Awesome.
And that was my GenCon. I made it a little farther out of the TCG Hall this year and saw some other really cool stuff (and got to try out the BattleMech simulators). After not leaving the hall last year, I figure I’m making progress. Maybe next year I’ll explore a little farther!
Thanks for reading,
@Chosler88 on Twitter
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