Introducing Ben Bleiweiss’ Deck Challenge!

On Sunday, May 16th, the Star City Game Center will be hosting Ben’s Deck Challenge in-store. What is Ben’s deck challenge? Read inside to find out!

Hey everyone! Ben Bleiweiss here, and I’m here to talk deck challenge. A couple of months ago, I took over responsibility for running in-store Magic events here at the Star City Game Center. That would be the physical store (located in beautiful Roanoke, Virginia), and not the website. In that time, we’ve reintroduced Friday Night Magic (which has been a roaring success thanks to the help of our new Tournament Manager, Matt Villamaino) and began running some rather amazing Sunday events. So far we’ve had two Central Coast Championship qualifiers, an NAC qualifier, and a Rejects Rare Draft. That last event in particular is a format near and dear to my heart, and was a fan favorite at Neutral Ground when I was employed there. From the feedback I’ve received from our own Star City players, Rejects Rare Draft is a tournament that we’ll definitely have to run again in the not-too-distant future.

However, I’m not here to talk about the past few weeks’ worth of events – nor am I here to talk about Draft-Till-You-Drop day on Memorial Day Sunday (where we’ll be running sanctioned 8-man drafts from 10am until when people leave – be it midnight 5am – $8 a head, winner gets free entry into another draft!). No, today’s subject is Ben’s Deck Challenge.

Ben’s what who?

You see, when I first started braving the retail half of our operation, I found a great group of players (both experienced and new) who were voracious for Magic. Quite a few of our former Yu-Gi-Oh players were braving the WOTC front, but they really didn’t know where to get started. It was purely by accident that I came upstairs to leave for the day when two of our players (Ryan and Tom) were looking to build their first real decks. Unfortunately, neither of them really had a mentor to help them build their decks. Both had a few boosters to work with, and a few cards they had been handed off by friends.

Enter the Bleiweiss.

They both were asking about potential preconstructed decks to build from. Now, there are quite a few good precon decks out there factory direct from Wizards, but Don wanted to build a Counter-Burn deck, and I couldn’t find a good counter burn precon for Don to start with. So I made him the offer: Give me 3 minutes and I’ll build you a completely functional 60 card counter burn deck filled with tons of good commons, uncommons and rares.

Two weeks later, I had built somewhere in the neighborhood of a few dozen decks for various in-store players.

Ben’s Deck Challenge comes from the fruits of these labors. I’ve put together 32 different decks – each with a 60 card main deck and 15 card sideboard – all built along the lines of these initial decks I had built for Don and Ryan. This tournament is limited to 32 people because that was the perfect number of decks that I could build in a month’s time to make sure that they all were competitive against one another, and that they were all fun to play.

On Sunday, May 16th there will be 32 players receiving, at random, one of these 32 decks (entry fee is $15 and you keep whichever deck you receive!). They will have 10 minutes to familiarize themselves with the decks and deck lists. At this point, there will be five rounds of Swiss competition using these decks, cutting to a top 8 single elimination bracket.

What does the winner get?

They get to supersize their deck of course!

Every single one of the 32 players will keep their decks – including the pack of 100 sleeves used to sleeve these decks! But for the winner –

Here’s my favorite part….

The winner will get four rares specifically tailored to make their deck supercharged!

And when I say four rares, I mean four good rares. And when I say specifically tailored, I mean that there are 32 completely different rares up for grabs.

One deck has four Arcbound Ravagers as their prize. Another deck has four Tundras. Another deck has four Morphlings. Another, four Masticores.

You see, the prize is all in your hands. Win and the spoils are yours. Lose, and you end up with a very good 60 card deck, 15 card sideboard and 100 sleeves to take home with you.

The way I see it, everyone is going to end up a winner by the end of Sunday. Only one person will be the winner.

Ben’s Deck Challenge is limited to 32 players. We’ve already started taking sign-ups in store (there are roughly fifteen slots left), and you must sign up in person! We are not taking sign-ups by e-mail or phone for this event! Run (don’t walk) to 5623 Williamson Road NW in Roanoke, Virginia (24012) to secure your spot in this event! All questions/comments/etc can be directed towards me at [email protected] regarding this challenge.

Over the next week, I’ll be gradually revealing all thirty-two decks in the tournament. Until then, here’s a little teaser to whet your collective appetites – the names of all of the decks in the tournament. Have a happy Mother’s Day and don’t forget to sign up before the slots for my deck challenge run out!

The Decks:

1) Little Green Men

2) Ralph, Lord of the Zombies

3) 10-4

4) Hi, we’re the Goblins

5) Hi, we’re not the Goblins

6) Fish Tank

7) Johnny & Kai

8) Medic!

9) Enter the Arena

10) Ehrnam’ and Burnem’

11) Key & Vault

12) When Walls Attack…

13) Chimera my Dreams

14) Zuberi & Friends

15) Fire & Ice


17) Cateran, Kansas

18) Ramosian, Illinois

19) Secret Quick Brooding Horned Root Muscle #4

20) Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Mushroom Mushroom!

21) Home is Where the Heart is

22) Orc & Dorks

23) Theater of Stomp

24) Land Ahoy!

25) Sunburst…..now with 100% less 5th Dawn!

26) Equipinator

27) The Ophidio Show

28) PT 10

29) Comblander

30) Rats!

31) Pheldagrif Nation

32) Tim-may!

Ben Bleiweiss

Magic Card Manager, StarCityGames.com