I’ve been thinking about how to write this article for a few weeks now and I have come to the conclusion that I want it to be from my perspective as a new player to the format attending his first real “Old School” event.
So I arrive about 30 minutes early to the Union House Brewery in Providence seeing as how I’m in charge of signing people up and doing all the round pairings. Turns out the bar doesn’t open until 11:30 but I wasn’t the only early bird. I got to meet Jared a member of New England Old School and Paul a member of Sisters of the Flame out of New York. So now I’m here chatting with some old school veterans about the format and the community that has formed around old school and I think to myself this is gonna be a pretty awesome event.
Finally the bar opens the door and we head in to get set up. I start to get my laptop setup so I can get everyone signed in and paired for round 1.To be honest I was a little nervous at doing this seeing as how it was my first time doing any event like this. But after just a few minutes of signing everyone in and talking to each of them I realized that the whole reason why I started playing this format was the fact that it is so laid back. I mean it really doesn’t get any better than this; a bunch of friends hanging out in a bar playing their favorite card game, drinking beer, and ordering bar food!
Now its time for Round 1. I’m playing a deck based around one of my favorite creatures of all time Atog. I choose to build a mono red version because I couldn’t justify the price tag on blue dual lands, especially on top of the money I had spent on the 5 collectors’ edition Moxes, Black Lotus, and Chaos Orb. I call the deck Atog Prison because, well, between the Blood Moons and Winter Orbs you’re usually going to have a hard time casting what you need. I won’t bore you with a whole tournament write up of how each of my matches went but I ended up with a respectable 4-2 record on the day which put me in 9th place out of 28 players. The prize pool pictured below is an Old School tradition. Everyone brings a card that’s playable and legal for Eternal. Central rules there is no limit or minimum. Then everyone that attends the tournament has to sign every card. At the end of the tournament we all pick a card out of the pile starting with first place. I ended up with that beautiful strip mine that I will now have forever as a memento from my first Old School event.
For me the whole tournament was a bit of a whirlwind. I was playing in my first large Old School event while trying to keep track of everyone’s win/loss record. But it was everything I had expected it to be. The whole reason why I wanted to play Old School in the first place was because it seemed like more of a group where friends gather to enjoy the whole reason most of us started to play this game in the first place: to have fun. I got tired of trying to go to FNM magic events because of the groups of people who only wanted to play with the best cards and the top decks to get really good for some big event some where. I find that Old School isn’t about that. It’s more about brewing janky decks to play with for fun to remind us of simpler times in life. It’s about making friends and building a community of people who all enjoy this type of Magic: The Gathering.
So to finish this article off I want to say if you haven’t heard about Old School I recommend you look into it, and try and find the local group that may be near you. Build that budget deck that won’t break the bank but has some obscure cards that no one else uses. Build that deck because it just seems like fun to play and it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. Build that deck and find some friends, a comfortable bar, and play some Old School! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my article, and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch me and I will try and answer your questions.
Until Next Time!
Born and Raised in Western Massachusetts
Chef for Life
Old School 93/94 Connoisseur
New England Old School Member