Grand Prix Philly Report

So this was the weekend of Grand Prix Philadelphia.  This was fantastic for both Trevor and I on multiple levels.  My cousin’s wedding was the day before in Pennsylvania so we were going to be there anyway.  I love Philadelphia a lot, in fact I would eventually like to move back to the area.  Some of our friends from the LGS were also going to be in attendance so we were not completely alone.  And it was a great way to offload some cards we had and pick up some things we had been wanting for a while.

So overall it was a successful trip that started on Friday as we went to register, got our pins, and ensured that we were within the 600 to get playmats.   We grabbed a few pictures since it wasn’t to crazy, but as we were on our way to the wedding, we did not have much time to really hang out an play, which I wish we did.  But, it was cool to see the basic set up of things before it got crowded and get our barrings together a bit.

Got a picture with this awesome background and Elspeth!

Saturday morning when we came back, though, the real fun began.  We got there early, right around 8 am.  Since we were already registered that was one less thing we had to do.  My binder was already organized to have all of my stuff signed by Steve Prescott and RK Post, so we were good one that.  So we went and hunted down things.  Trevor got his Chandra playmat and I go a copy of Isamaru, Nissa, and a few others that are just way awesome!  Trev picked up way too much stuff…but ehh…I guess…

As the tournament started and we were told to sit down, I made my way over to my table and got talking with some of the people around me.  Most of them were a little confused by my presence  but I suppose that happens when you have less then 1% of the people playing female.  Apparently the percentage was even smaller for African Americans, I was told.  Fascinating stuff to me…Anyway, did deck registration, watched some people who had only ever played online fail at that.  Went on to deck building and lookie here…I get both Vrakasa and Necropolis Regent.  I thought with those two I would be good.  So I build a RBG deck since I had the mana fixing and no one color really had all the spread or creatures I needed.  I grabbed every burn spell I could and all the flying I had.  I was all in all pretty happy with my deck.  I had a Stab Wound which is always good insurance.   However, I knew the obvious weakness to my plan was the fact that most of my creatures were four drops.  And this isn’t because I didn’t play anything less then that, it is just because I didn’t have anything in any of the colors that covered the early hole.

Round one I held my own relatively well.  Got rid of a Golgari Decoy and worked on trying to take things out, but getting those early fliers out was just to much for me to handle.  I got Vrakasa out and she was D’Sphered.  Got another heavy hitter out and they were arrested.  Bant seemed to be what a lot of people were building as that is what I faced later on in Round three, but I’ll get to that in due time.  Next up I faced a pure Rakdos deck built buy a guy who hadn’t touched the set before, or at least so he said.  Want to talk about a hit to your confidence…Losing with no win condition in sight against this just hurts.  After this game I decided to just get up and explore.  I felt a little defeated but was also determined to just win one match for the day.  I only became more determined as I heard that Trevor won his second round as well.  We got our stuff signed by RK Post since the lien was short before we set off for our third round.

There were just under 2000 people at this Gran Prix making it the largest in North America.

So round three I went into figuring hey, how much worse could it get?  It got a bit worse.  They guy kind hit on me throughout the whole match, commenting on some weird thing like how nice my hair was, how he liked my shirt)which was an ancient faded out Evangelion shirt), how it was great to see someone who remembered to announce all phases of play and such, then how awesome my last name was.  That culminated in me finally being done and going, “Why thank you, that is why I decided to keep it when I got married”.

Things got awkward after that, but it was nearly the end, he had a Selesnya/Azorius deck that was kicking my ass since he just kept populating to everything I did.  It made me think of why I never ever seem to get a solid Selesnya pool.  I theorize it is because of the lack of wolves.  I got Vrakasa out, but by the time I had the ability to just throw out assassins, he had a whole army of Rhinos, birds, and other things that I couldn’t kill.  I’d throw out something and then have to block with it, or if I didn’t he would just charge with birds. I wish I had enough blue in my pool to validate playing the Pursuit of Flights I had.

So after that I dropped.  Trev also did since his game went awful and we went and did stuff for a bit.   We got things signed by Steve Prescott(*squee*) and I bought his artbook with a sketch in it.

This was the line at Steve Prescott’s table all day long!

But Rhys is totally signed! WOOT!

Since this Vrakasa made number three in our collection, I allowed Trevor to trade it in.  Between all the stuff we ditched(mostly from his older collections) we wound up with over $90 and he got his much wanted Zendikar box.  I picked up some Lowryn block things since that was perhaps my favorite set next to Innistrad.  I was trying to sell the Playmat from Philly GP and Hexproof Open since we have too, but it was a no go.  If you follow the links I have them up on Ebay for all the world to see!

Overall, right now I am evaluating on how to get better.  I don’t get enough sealed practice in at all…and it would be nice if I could work on things some more.  I’m contemplating doing MTGO for sealed events and so I can have a great chance at qualifiers and the like, but I’m also very afraid of it losing that human feel to it that I love.  There are so many people who were at the Grand Prix who were so used to the computer animating everything for them it just got lost in a jumbled mess some times.  Or they did not necessarily know how to act against a real opponent sitting across from them.  Ten again, I guess if I have these concerns I’m probably not the person who will be doing this then, eh?

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7 responses to “Grand Prix Philly Report

  1. Nice post. Wish I could go to a grand prix someday. If you do get mtgo let me know. I’m trying to get better myself as well in the game and would like to eventually one day start my own team for magic.

    ~Naoki

    • That would be interesting. I’m trying to read up on it first..Like how to do sealed and draft events and how much it costs…I probably won’t use it for standard and the like, but I definitely need more practice in limited.

      • It’s actually a good place to practice. For all things magic for the most part. One of my ideas for it is to use it mainly to play and then when a grand prix or if i ever manage to get into pro tour comes up, then i would buy the necessary cards individually. plus cards on mtgo are half the price compared to the real cards; except of course for the products sold by the client itself. The price of those things are like they are in real life.

      • They have a button called draft. You click on that and then buy whatever it is that is necessary to enter the draft or sealed event. If you want regular sealed like the pre-releases, then you need to navigate to menu, go to play, and then look up tournaments.

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