Darksteel Pre-Release

So this weekend was the "Pre-Release" tournaments for the latest Magic: The Gathering Expansion - called Darksteel. I didn't go yesterday - couldn't convince myself I could burn an entire weekend obsessing on Magic. But I did go today and it was a lot of fun. Long term readers of the blog will remember this article from last August where I discussed my first introduction to Magic, and how I had stopped, and then recently startedagain.

In truth the slippery slope didn't really kick in then, for a lot of reasons. My new job was requiring crazy hours, and the 8th edition release on Magic Online really screwed up the environment. In fact they still don't have all of the features working right after the 8th release. So the Magic playing throttled back a bit. For a while . . . .

Then one day I had an IT guy working on my PC, installing a new Service pack for Windows 2000. He saw my wallpaper was a Magic card and mentioned that I should get in touch with the "guys upstairs". Turns out the the guys upstairs play at lunch fairly regularly. So I bought some Mirrodin to play sealed deck with them. Fun but I didn't get great cards, and I didn't play that well. Playing physical seems awkward now in a lot of ways. But now's there's the Darksteel Prerelease.

So I played in an individual tournament, and some of us played in a 3 person Team Sealed Deck format. Overall I did decent, and won 9 packs of Darksteel, in addition to the game cards.

The big slippery slope notch has been when I started putting the modern cards into a binder over the weekend. I don't have that much modern stuff, but I'm getting enough that I need to organize it. That act, the very act of getting out the binder sheets and sorting cards was a definite slide down the slope. :-) Oh, and finding all my old cards to see what was standard legal in those - that wasn't a good sign either. (Since they reprint cards, anything that is a current standard set is legal - even old versions. For instance - I have a card from Ice Age called "Icy Manipulator". This card is 8 years old, but Icy Manipulator has been reprinted in Mirrodin. So although most of Ice Age isn't Standard legal, I can play my beloved Icy.

Oh and it was super-cool at the tournament when they asked for my DCI card, and I had to bust out the old-school one. And say "Yeah, this is the old number" because they use 8 digit numbers, and I registered back in the day when they were only four digits. :-)

Darksteel seems decent, nothing jawdroppingly good, but a solid expansion on Mirrodin. Team Sealed is tough You make a three person team, get a card pool, and make three decks. You face off against another three person team, and play three different 1 on 1 matches. Whichever team wins two of the three matches wins the round. I think Mirrodin deckbuilding is hard. Trying to balance three decks is even worse. We ended up splitting red across all three decks, and ditching blue. (So I played white+red, and the other two decks were green/red and black/red)