Midnight Draft FNM This Friday! – 12:01 a.m., 9/24/10 – Plus, a Bounty…

Since I know a lot of people attend local midnight prereleases – which I don’t do because I’m not man enough to work a Saturday prerelease on three hours of sleep anymore – we’re going to change up FNM for this week. We’re going to hold it in draft format at midnight on Thursday night/Friday wayyyy early a.m. 12:01 a.m. Friday. That make sense? It’ll be $14 as usual, but to spice it up a bit we’re going to add an extra pack per person to the prize pool for a 10/6/2/2 payout format! (As such, you’ll need to provide six packs if you want to buy in with packs)

Finally, it’s no secret that I usually attend a local midnight prerelease at every new Magic release. This time won’t be any different… and I’m putting a one-pack bounty on my head for every game I lose if you play me and my undoubtedly amazing Sealed pool! I’ll be happy to take on any challengers for the bounty if I have time between rounds, and as usual… the offer to have a feature match with the organizer/owner of the midnight prerelease venue always stands!

New Casual Magic Format: Pack Poker! (version .1)

After seeing 02drop.com’s new “Type Zero” casual format, I thought I’d try out a variant on it that’s modeled after poker. The best part is, it’s very low-risk for everyone involved, and it’s a great use of the completely free packs that people pick up as draft or tournament winnings!

What you need:
* Two packs (I recommend Rise of the Eldrazi for the high variance – that makes it more fun!),
* Twenty low-cost ($1) rares.

You can play either heads-up or with multiple people. The object of the game is to have the highest converted mana cost of all the cards on the table, including a Texas Hold ’em-style flop, river and turn, and two “hole” cards. When you run out of dollar rares, you’re eliminated, and turn over all the cards in your pack to the player who knocked you out. If you’re eliminated from ante, your pack cards are dealt out to the remaining players, beginning with the player with the highest number of dollar rares. If a player wishes to leave the game with their winnings, that’s fine – except that their deck is shuffled together and half of the cards are dealt out to the other players, starting with the player with the most $1 rares. The $1 rares are theirs to keep.

To begin, open the packs in such a fashion that you can’t see the contents of each pack, removing the tip card in each. Then, shuffle the two packs together. This will act much like your personal 52-card poker deck. When you take another player’s pack cards, these are added into your deck (effectively making four packs worth of cards, if you have eliminated one player.) Draw two cards off the top. These are your “hole cards”, and are only visible to you.

Roll a die. This player will initiate bidding. Ante is made with one $1 rare, with ante doubling every fourth hand. Bidding proceeds just like poker – you can check over to other players, raise, or call. After all calls are made, you flop three cards off the top of your deck. Another round of bidding commences, with the last active player from the previous bidding round initiating bidding. Then, each player turns a fourth card off the top of their deck. Another bidding round takes place. A final turn then occurs, with a final bidding round. After the final bidding round, each player reveals his or her hole cards, and the total converted mana cost of the hole cards and the flopped cards are added. The highest total wins the pot. Play continues until all other players are eliminated, or unless a “split” is made.

New Casual Formats for Magic: the Gathering: Deckbuilder’s Toolkit!

Since I got the Deck Builder’s Toolkits in today, I’ve been puzzling over some ways to use the Toolkit in a Sealed-esque format… and I stumbled upon two great new ways to use them! The Toolkit contains four booster packs and 125 other non-land cards, which total, is 185 cards. Now, six booster packs – the normal pool for sealed – is 90 cards. See where I’m going with this?

To do a Sealed Heads-Up Toolkit battle, here’s what you do:

* Randomly assign two booster packs to each person. Just shuffle them up in your hands without looking and give the other person two of them.

* Take the three packages of non-land cards and deal them into two separate piles. Since there’s color streaks in the non-random packages, this ensures that each player gets a roughly even distribution of colors to build with.

I’ve seen this tried a couple of times, and it’s a lot of fun! My recommendation is that if you and a buddy both go in on a toolkit, you keep the cards you get dealt and battle for the swag card box that comes with the toolkit.

The next idea didn’t come from me, but rather a group of players who came in: Winchester draft! The card pool is perfect for a four-person Winchester draft – you can read more about that format here. No fancy rules necessary – just shuffle all the non-land cards up and get to it!

Malifaux Gaming, All Day Sunday! – 4/16/10 – Now With Pictures!

EDIT: Here’s pictures of all the terrain and figures that Chris is bringing down Sunday – it’s going to be a great time! 🙂

We’re going to have a full day of Malifaux gaming starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday! It’s being done by a local Wyrd Miniatures Henchman team that’s going to be bringing a full suite of terrain, miniatures and all the trimmings to make for a fully fledged experience! If you’re not familiar with Malifaux, check out the Malifaux tag on this post to see all the posts we’ve done on the Weird West-style miniatures game – it’s amazing!

In the Lab – Orzhov Beatdown

Just for fun, I thought I’d try something different than the usual ‘Hey, here’s this cool thing going on!’. So, here’s a Magic: the Gathering deck I’ve been brewing on for a bit that I might bring out for one of our Friday Night Magic or Wednesday Standard tournaments: Orzhov Beatdown, listed below the cut.

(oh, and just so you know, ‘Orzhov’ is the name of the White/Black color combination, given that name from the eponymous Ravnica guild. Lots of folks in the M:tG Web community have been decrying the usage of decknames such as ‘Magical Christmasland’ that don’t necessarily describe the deck, so there ya go!)
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Rise of the Eldrazi Pre-Release Plans! April 16-18

Here it is… the schedule for our Rise of the Eldrazi prerelease and launch parties! If you haven’t seen it before, the prerelease foil will be… the massive 15/15 Eldrazi called Emrakul, the Aeons Torn! Everyone participating in one of our TWO prerelease main events will receive one – and yes, if you attend both, you’ll get two! The Launch Party promotional card hasn’t been fully spoiled yet, but it should be soon…

To kick off our prerelease weekend, we’re going to start with a midnight booster draft of Rise of the Eldrazi – it’s slightly more than our usual draft ($15, inc. tax), but it’ll be your first opportunity to try the draft format for RoE, which is drafted alone!

Anyhow, just like last time, we’re going to hold our first Prerelease Main Event at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. It’ll be $25, with exactly the same format – four rounds of Sealed, meaning you’ll receive SIX booster packs of Rise of the Eldrazi, as it’s a standalone set! If you go 2-2 – just winning as much as you lose – you’ll get one FREE booster pack as a prize! If you go 3-1, you’ll get three! If you’re 3-0, and you opt to draw with your last round opponent in round 4, you’ll get seven booster packs, and if you battle it out, the winner – with a 4-0 record, will receive 10 packs!

But this time, we’re hosting a SECOND prerelease! It’ll be the same format at 7 p.m. on Sunday, to give folks who’ve been working over the weekend one last shot at picking up the foil and prizes. At both events, we’ll have L1 judge Jason Flatford judging, and we’ll also be doing deck registration sheets (so no, that playset of Emrakul you happened to open? yeah…)

Quick Poll – Move the Fetchland Tourney Date?

We’ve been hearing from several of our Magic players that they’d like the opportunity to play in Magic Game Day (which we’re not qualified for… yet!), which is on March 6, the same date as our Fetchland Tournament. So, I’m putting up a poll – which I’d like to close tomorrow – to see if the majority of people would prefer that I move the date of the tournament to the next day, March 7. Get those results in quick, as I need time to get the word out if we move it!