After days and weeks of long preparation and study, I can say that I am one day away from attending the Magic: the Gathering Grand Prix Providence event. Of course, my preparation has been minimal and my study nonexistent. But I’d like to think that, after all is said and done, I had an enjoyable experience playing a game that has occupied a good portion of my time in the past year and a half.
Magic: the Gathering (or Magic, as we call it for ease of use) is a Trading Card Game, playable in many different formats, and played with an unlimited amount of people. Generally, Magic players form small groups of fellow players, and trade, play, and draft together. Trading and playing seem like givens. Drafting, however, is an activity that probably requires explanation, as it is what I will be participating in this weekend at the Grand Prix. When I attend the convention center tomorrow, I’ll be drafting with two of my friends, on a team. Typically, I find strategizing as a team much more fulfilling than strategizing alone, as the chemistry that emerges from interacting with teammates who depend on your success makes for more anxiety, and ultimately more potential for unpredictable excitement.
“Drafting” involves opening booster packs, filled with Magic cards, which you use to make a deck. “Drafting” also tends to promote the “limited” format, in that players are limited to the cards they pull. It’s the most appealing structure to people who don’t want to spend tons of money on a structured, play-tested deck in one of the more eternal formats. Essentially, drafting is the most fun for me.
The Grand Prix takes place over two days, from Saturday to Sunday, with those who make it to Sunday having guaranteed to make money. We haven’t booked a hotel yet, but I imagine we’ll find a way to live…somewhere. I’ll be driving with two Eagle Scouts, so I don’t doubt we’ll end up somewhere in the woods camping between the days. How fun!
Tomorrow, I will be drafting with a team of two people, among hundreds of other teams of people. While I don’t expect to win money, I do think it will be a fun time with friends in a large, geeky setting. This will be my first GP, and hopefully the first of many more to come. I’ll hopefully be able to keep you guys updated amid the chaos and ruckus of thousands of people running around trying to trade each other cards and battling with them, too. In the mean time, that’s all for now!
I apologize for not writing often, even though I assume not many of you mind.