12 hours of pure joy in 2021

If you haven’t noticed, let me just tell you, that 2022 has started. I mean really started. Hot damn, it is on!

I have small kids, and Corona is raging wildly in Denmark, so my New Year’s Eve wasn’t exactly a fountain of craziness with hot fireworks and cold drinks. Rather, my wife was a bit ill, so she slept from about 20 to 23 and then joined me in a glass of champagne when it was time. Yep, that kind of New Year’s Eve. But who cares? I had spent the day with some of my best friends visiting from Scotland, so I am by no means complaining. I just want to paint a picture.

Because after having a really slow day with lots of television on January 1, 2022 hit with a vengeance, and just wanted to show, that maybe 2021 ended a bit on the slow side, but 2022 was in it to start even slower! On January 2, a positive Corona test on my son (5½). Damnit! We have no idea how he was infected. Luckily he hasn’t had any symptoms, but – my deity! – house-isolation is boring and problematic with two small kids and two full-time jobs.

So let’s think a bit more on how awesome 2021 were…

Drafting new, strange cardboard

I know, I know, 2021 sucked big time a lot of the time.

But it ended rather gloriously – at least for my magical experiences. I couldn’t manage to get this experience into my new year’s greeting, because it came to pass on December 29.

Together with some of my very best friends, we had arranged to meet up in one of said friends’ new (rather awesome, I might add) house and simply play some Magic. No, not Old School, unfortunately. We were drafting real packs of factory-fresh cardboard. A strange experience indeed! But let me tell you a secret: As long as you are playing Magic with some of your best friends, that you haven’t seen for months and you have absolutely no other obligations for more than 24 hours, the format really isn’t that important!

And that was exactly my world from December 29 to December 30! What in immense joy it was! From 11 a-clock and 12 hours forth, we played many kinds of awesome Magic. 12 hours! I actually don’t think I have ever played for that long before, unless in a tournament setting. Again: It was truly great.

So what did we spend all that time on?

Some months back, I had bought a display of Throne of Eldraine and one of Kaldheim. Why these two sets, you ask? Because I am slowly building a Winter/Christmas-themed cube, and both those sets entail a lot of relevant cards for such an endeavor (food and snow…). I know, of course it would be much cheaper to simply buy the cards I want, but would it have been as fun? I can assure you no.

So there I was with three boosters of some very complex and complicated cards. Thankfully I drafted Throne of Eldraine a bit, when it was in standard, so I was actually not completely lost. But let me just say that no matter how well I know a set, my drafting skills are poor. Very poor.

Anyway, I managed to build an okay Green-Blue-Black deck containing Garruk, Cursed Huntsman. My plan was to draw him, and win off his back. This plan was wall-to-wall great and I succeeded in two out of three matches!

Then we drafted again, and this time I built something White-Green if I remember correctly. Now, my plan was to make a couple of tokens, and then win with Harmonious Archon. Again a killer plan that resulted in a 2-1 result!

Not too shabby.

Sealing the deal

When cracking the Kaldheim display, we opted to make some sealed pools instead of drafting. We were now down to five players, so sealed pools of 7 boosters pr. player was possible. That is great.

I ripped open a lot of very unknown cards. I must say, new cards have A LOT of text. And A LOT of rules and interactions and possibilities and so on. What happened to the good old, simple days of just drawing three cards all for the cost of tapping an Island?

Oh well, progress, I guess.

I managed to assemble a very playable, maybe even close to strong, black-green elves deck. I think I won all the games (3) I played with it (weariness was setting in despite the pizzas, beer and crisps, and people dropped due to real-life obligations and tiredness of limited).

Aside the extreme abundance of text (who am I to point fingers, I know!) Kaldheim is actually a rather cool set with some very awesome artwork here and there.

There can be only one

After cracking some limited cardboard, we opted to play some homemade decks, and aside Old School, what could possibly be better than Canadian Highlander? I don’t know. It must be up to personal preference, but my point is, that Canadian Highlander is a very cool, albeit very difficult format.

I had brought two decks. One of them, an almost optimized Paradox Academy (mine is not quite like the one in the link, but it can give you an idea), a deck that is more or less just an assembly of 68 of the most powerful and/or broken cards in the history of the game, and then 32 lands (with a lot of very broken cards among these too). It is a very stupid deck. I played one game with it. I won, but it was not very fun. The deck wins by going off through one of about 10.000.000 different routes. It takes forever. And neither me nor my opponent can be completely certain the game is over, until it actually is.

I dropped the deck, and am currently restructuring it to be a bit more interactive…

The other deck was of course – can you guess it? – an Enchantress deck. Of course it was. In my ever-expanding quest to Make Enchantress Great Again, I made a Green-White-Blue Canadian Highlander deck with all the different Enchantresses in the game

Yeah, we miss some of the enchantresses here, not least our beautiful original damsel!

The deck is by no means optimized, but I had a few good, interactive, losing games. Great fun. Must be worked on. Will do.

If you like playing Vintage, if you enjoy singleton, or just want to play cards from other eras than Old School, please consider Canadian Highlander. It is a competitive format, but you can sling your power. And you have a very wide range of deck possibilities at your hands!

Anyway, I just wanted to share, how I spent one of the last days of 2021. I did so making it also one of the best days of 2021. It was simply a joy. I must do it again.

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