Wizards on a backfoot

Has it really been two months? 

Well, apparently. Time has somehow fastened again. I have started and stopped writing several posts. I just haven’t finished any. Haven’t had the spirit, I guess. But one thing, I have not yet written about, simply deserves – nay demands – a short writing.

See back in the beginning of April I turned 39. This in and of itself is not really anything special, even though, of course, it means I am even closer to the mythical age of 40. The big 4-0. The point in life where one should be the owner of a full set of Swedish legal duals. Okay. As I have mentioned before, this is not a club I will join, but less can do.

Turning 39 is in many ways rather un-epic. My kids loved making me presents which was a great treat and much fun. I got a couple from my parents and my wife, but that’s it. It was really more of a hassle than anything just to arrange a bit of celebrating. I am getting old that way.

It is natural, I guess. Next time it will of course be something else. At least I am dreading it somewhat, but the alternative is still a lot worse.

Anyway, the last couple of years I have had some friends come over on the Saturday closest to my birthday. This year I couldn’t even really manage that. But what I could manage was to invite some of the Wednesday wizards. And guess what? It turned out awesome.

A weekend of extravaganza

So, fellow Wednesday Wizard and founder of Team Metageyser Peter W. has an alter ego – DJ Trompeter – an awesome DJ playing techno swing of the highest caliber. He was hired to play a set at the local wine bar, Vinsted, the day after my birthday – a Friday. Several of the Wednesday Wizards had planned to join the Trompeter Party and so, of course, I invited them to join me in my expected hangover the following Saturday. 

My awesome wife heard of the plan, and soon realized that the best present she could give me was to take the kids back home to her father for the weekend. In other words I had around 48 hours with basically no real commitments. Only with plans of partying and playing Magic. 

What a treat!

With a rather clear premonition of what to come – knowing that DJ Trompeter would make us dance until our feet burst into flames, I made the gathering of wizards more exciting by making a small competition: the one who made the best hungover- or DJ Trompeter-themed deck would win a special prize.

Of course Trompeter did not let us down, what an evening it was! What a burning of feet, we saw!

Never was there more people in the small wine bar. At one point the place was so stuffed, that when the door had to be opened to let more people in or out, it rippled all the way through the room, and basically pushed the people standing furthest in the back down the stairs to the basement (no one was hurt, but some of us may have acquired quite an uneasy odor at the end of the evening). 

Robin was even crashing at my place, so after some four hours of pretending we are not pushing 40 we found our bikes and went home in the middle of the night. Robin even with a kebab slowing him down. So young. SO Young! 

I can only recommend going to a DJ Trompeter event if you are ever near one!

But then it was time for something else

Around 10-o-clock Saturday morning Robin and I were back on our feet. We shared a pot of coffee and then started playing some Canlander for a couple of hours until the other Wednesday Wizards Teis, Thomas, Rasmus and of course Peter himself showed up.

For the old school part of the day’s programme, I had designed two decks with a sharp focus on winning the prize for best hungover- or DJ Trompeter-themed deck: The “Please just leave me alone” deck and the “Everything hurts!” deck. None of them DJ Trompeter-themed (I had no Dancing Scimitars and no English Brass Men – but that will be an epic list at one point). 

“Everything Hurts!” is a rather straightforward artifact/enchantment-based burn deck. The point of the deck is to make sure that everything hurts – hopefully your opponent is hurting more – or at least faster – than you are. 

As a deck without thematic restrictions it is not exactly impressive, but I feel like I nailed a rather prevailing feeling with the deck’s theme and what it did. Obviously, when looking at the cards, it is not a bad deck as such. It just has some very real issues against other aggressive decks, as much of what we are doing and spending resources on, are also hurting ourselves. 

But, you know, sometimes, some days, everything just hurts…

“Please just leave me alone” was another take on the hungover theme. It is also a very different approach to playing Magic. I was going for an old school control deck feel. 

This is one of those decks, I really find fun and also rather interesting to play. It is clearly a very much worse deck than the established control decks in the format. Without the theme, putting in some boundaries, I would build the deck somewhat differently. For example the Healing Salves should probably be Ivory Towers and a couple of Maze of Ith would maybe be better than the Armageddons. 

The Healing Salves was actually one of the main reasons I built the deck. We have a concept in Denmark – I am not sure it is also a thing in other places – called Reparationsbajer. Freely translated it is something along the lines of a restitution beer. It is the beer you drink to repair your body after having drunk lots of beers the day before. A brilliant and very Danish concept. And Healing Salves are the perfect Reparationsbajer! So of course they went in!

The deck is great fun in many ways, but of course it has some trouble ending games. That was also a bit of the concept – I actually considered building it completely without wincons except Howling Mine/Island Sanctuary, but figured I should put in just a couple of Millstones. 

But it is still a very slow deck. A grind of another dimension! I had several rather stupid games where I had one or two active Time Elementals. In one of them they were both on the field in turn three and both active from turn five or so. So my opponent never really got to do anything – because even when he finally assembled both Plains and Swords to Plowshares I was able to bounce one of the Time Elementals with the other. But it still took half an hour or so to actually win the game. Great times!

The deck – or both decks really – is also more examples of the fact that the original editions – Alpha/Beta – has such a vast array of playable cards. Apart from some of the restricted goodness, the Time Elementals and Millstones almost the entire blue/white deck could be assembled in Alpha. For the red/black one it is basically Underworld Dreams that you miss out on. And the decks are so different, and not in any way exhausting the brewing possibilities within the original pile of cards. I find it amazing every time.

All great things must come to an end

And so also the weekend at the beginning of April 2024. We were some tired wizards. And not even crisps, Baileys, the huge Tiramisu I had made or the pile of pizzas I baked was enough to really get us up. 

The sun, on the other hand, was. Said Saturday was the first day with just a tiny amount of sun in Denmark since it started raining back in July 2023. Or so it felt! 

So drinking a couple of beers, talking about the wildness that had been the DJ Trompeter gig last night and just having a truly carefree time in the sun was all that was needed. 

And so we played Magic until midnight or so. What an enormously great way to turn 39!

Around midnight it was unanimously decided that I was the winner of the competition for themed deck. Noone else had really done much in the regard. The price? A bottle of Cocio – a chocolate milk and the world’s best drink when you are hungover.

That hit all the right spots Sunday morning!

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