The gunfighter walks into town, cocky. For some reason, gunfighters never seem to ride into town. He strides in from the dusty wasteland, proudly, fingering his meticulously shined pistols, itchy. Itching for someone, anyone, to give him an excuse to whip his pearl-handled Smith and Wessons out and blow said person away. After all, that’s what he does. That’s why he’s here.
But the streets are abandoned. Everyone’s inside but the tumbleweeds. Tumbleweeds don’t offend many people anyway.
The gunfighter looks around at the locked doors and eyes peering out from the bottoms of windows, sadly. No one will come out to face him. He looks at his pretty, expensive pistols, thinking to himself, reflecting quietly.
He’s been around the Old West since it was called the Wild West, and he’s seen it all. He remembers when the streets were bustling and he was simultaneously feared and respected, rather than just treated as a rabid dog, coming into town to die.
That’s how I feel, when I walk into a Magic shop on a Saturday. Well, maybe not so much the rabid dog part, though.
Back in the day, there used to be a big local tournament every Saturday, starting at two pm. The format was always Type II, and there were always twenty to forty people. Think about those numbers…
When was the last time you saw forty people at a local Magic tournament? I’m not talking about PTQ’s or 1,000$ tournaments, but a run-of-the-mill, we’re-giving-away-a-box type tournament? Forty people? I haven’t seen it in three years. It started dying out in the age of Weatherlight. Recently, the drop-off has been total, with most places canceling their regular Type II events, due to lack of interest. Wizards of the Coast gradually noticed, and has instituted a new promotion:
Friday Night Magic.
Rather than spend time finding fault, and pointing out why attendances dropped, I want to promote this great new idea. Everyone who plays Magic, at all, should be attending Friday Night Magic. It’s absolutely the best planned thing to come out of Wizards of the Coast since Mercadian Masques.
Friday Night Magic is Type II. This is important, right now, as Type II is the Yellow Brick Road that leads to the magical castle at Disney World (talk about mixing your copyrighted metaphors!), wherein the best American players will be gunning to borrow some rating points from current National Champion, Kyle Rose. Type II is the best designed format for newer players. Because of this, everyone has a better chance to do well– there are less financial restrictions than Extended, where every deck has at least eight pricey out of print rares.
Friday Night Magic is 8k, ratingwise. 8k means that a loss to Bad Player isn’t going to ruin your future rating. Folks with the impressive ratings need not fear major losses. Additionally, Friday Night Magic is a relaxed environment. I’m going to say that again.
Friday Night Magic is a RELAXED ENVIRONMENT.
That means people are there playing for fun. So don’t bring Yawgmoth’s Something or Other. Bring something interesting– and interactive. Friday Night Magic is, at its most basic, a social activity. Go to play and meet new players. There isn’t so much on the line, either, that fun should be sacrificed for the need to win. If you’re an awesome player, take a deck you want to playtest. It gives other people a better chance, and solves one of your problems.
Friday Night Magic is Magic. Consider it the Minor Leagues, or something. The kiddies come, the veterans come… it’s where the talent crops up. If you’re looking to play seriously, this is where you’re going to find your partners. Remember, new players are coming into Magic all the time. The more serious ones will enter tournament Magic at a Friday Night Magic tourney. If you’re there to support them, and give them a good experience, they’ll come back. Before long, they’ll be after your advice and help. The next thing you know, some kid you met a few months back will be winning a free college education, thanks to your help.
Isn’t that amazing?
PLUS (as if helping people defray the massive costs of post-secondary education weren’t enough), you’ll make yourself a protégé, whose skills should (at least) equal your own. This effectively doubles your Magic strategy pool (if you’re just one person) or adds to your network. Either way, it’s only good news.
Good prizes! Hey, you don’t have to be a pro to cash in, at Friday Night Magic. You get something for winning, being a good sport, or just plain good luck. That’s what I like about it– sportsmanship is encouraged. There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing someone throw a temper tantrum at a low-level event. If there’s one thing WotC needs to spend more time encouraging, its sportsmanship. And the prizes are neat-o. Foil River Boa? I want I want I want! Foil Terror. Not so encouraging, but still cool.
Here is a list of FOIL cards I want bad to win at Friday Night Magic:
FOIL Vampiric Tutor
FOIL Hammer of Bogardan
FOIL Dread of Night
FOIL Llanowar Elves
Also, Santa, if you could pleeze print a FOIL Presence of the Master, with the old artwork, I’d much appreciate it. I leave you FOIL milk and cookies.
Yer little friend,
Omeed (a good boy).
You know what I loved about Friday Night Magic, more than anything else? It reminds me of the old days, when Magic was really, really a joy to play. It takes out the competitiveness, but leaves the competition. It has all the integrity a Magic tournament is supposed to have, and all of the fun.
My only problem with Friday Night Magic is that it’s on Friday Night. Good for the parents of twelve year old Magic players, bad for me! What about Saturday Afternoon Magic? I mean, I may want to go out, and at least PRETEND I have an engaging social life!
Other than that, Friday Night Magic is the greatest thing since sliced bread, which, I believe, was invented last year.
Eic – www.starcitygames.com
Contributing Editor, Scrye Magazine
“What’s it going to be then, eh?
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess”
-Should have been the flavor text on Temporal Aperture.