Of Darksteel And Bridge From Belows – The Pittsburgh Open Weekend

Find out all you need to know before heading into SCG Open: Pittsburgh this weekend. Glenn Jones gets you all the details for artists, directions, events, and metagame info.

A conversation started by a question from buyer Wes Wise following the Seattle Open (at Denny’s, at 2 AM, on Monday):

“Do the events start to catch up to you?”

*blink* “What?”

“Do you feel the built-up exhaustion after an event?”

*blink* “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

And thus, I move onward to Pittsburgh! The Seattle Opens certainly solidified the metagame. Caw-Blade has retaken by force the mantle of Deck to Beat, with challengers Splinter Twin, Tempered Steel, and Mono Red chasing in its wake as Valakut thrashes impotently. In Legacy, Hive Mind has become more than just the premier combo deck—it’s rapidly looking like one of the strongest decks in the format. Just a few months ago it was little more than a pet deck, but a Grand Prix finals and two Open championships later…Show and Tell, you better watch your back!

We’ll write the next chapter of the Open Series in Pittsburgh, as StarCityGames.com touches down there this weekend for an Open Weekend prior to the Grand Prix that will arrive almost one month later. As it’s my first time in Pittsburgh, I’m looking forward to learning the town before partying it up at the end of August. Of course, there’ll be a couple of tournaments to watch this weekend as well!

Our host has a special treat prepared this weekend. Not only will we be running the event at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport on 1111 Airport Boulevard, but that’s also the hotel we’ll be sponsoring for the event. A short trip from your airplane to the tournament floor and directly adjacent to the hotel of choice, you won’t have to worry about navigating your way around town to find our event, hosted in the Regency Ballroom. If that hotel isn’t your speed, ring up the Super 8 at the Pittsburg Airport on 8991 University Boulevard—412-264-7888. Our room rate there is $64.99/night and a fair bit cheaper than the Hyatt, albeit less convenient and a few miles away. Be sure to mention Star City Games when arranging either room in order to get our discounted rates.

The Pittsburgh Open Weekend will host three alterists, which is rapidly becoming the norm for our east coast events. Lindsay Burley will be selling and slicing her unique 3-D cards and tokens as usual, with focus on tokens and Commander staples. You can see some of her cards and the creative process on her YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/use‒r/dixiebornandbred147. She’s truly found her own community niche with these alters, and you won’t see much like them elsewhere, so check her out. For special commissions before the event you can contact Lindsay at [email protected].

Brandon Brown of Modfly Alters is back for Pittsburgh following Baltimore. He’ll be selling and accepting requests for his painted alters, which he completes with style and professionalism. Brandon is perfectly willing to barter on price with copies of the cards he has altered, so bringing your own Sol Ring to trade for his altered one may be able to earn you a discount. Check out some of his great work at modflyalters.blogspot.com , and drop him an email for prices and custom orders at [email protected].

Debuting at the StarCityGames.com Pittsburgh Open weekend is alterist Jeremy Froggatt! Our own alterations expert, many of you may know Jeremy from his excellent column on our very own website. You can check out his archive, which includes many samples of his work, here. Jeremy also has his own website, http://www.mtgalters.com, where he blogs and makes updates regarding the world of alters. There you’ll find his gallery and commissions—email him at [email protected], or Tweet @JerFroggatt to learn more, and be sure to follow his column! It’s actually one of my favorites, as it appeals to my catlike wonder and love of pretty things.

I always mention the Draft Opens that run alongside the Legacy Open on Sunday, and they’re great—winning two drafts in order to take home $500 is a pretty good value, and Magic 2012 is shaping up to be a strong set for Limited. Those will be happening in Pittsburgh, but I’d also like to point out a Saturday event that has begun earning more and more attention: the StarCityGames.com Legacy Challenge. The Legacy Challenge runs Saturday at 4 PM, and has a $10 entry fee that we’ll halve if you played in the Standard Open. Essentially a Legacy Daily event a la MTGO, these events award prizes after four rounds of Swiss and offer Legacy enthusiasts valuable playtesting for the Open on Sunday. Even better, the prizes for 3-0-1 and 4-0 both include store credit, which will help players in their quests to outfit their decks with best in Legacy technology!

Speaking of the dealer booth, it’s always in attendance. We try to keep that bad boy well-stocked, but no guarantees—Seattle Legacy Open champion Ben Swartz found himself fighting without Angel’s Graces in Seattle, for example. For nearly all Open events, orders placed prior to noon on Thursday will be shipped free of charge, so keep that in mind. We will try to make special requests happen, but don’t procrastinate if you’re looking for an under-played card—there’s just no guarantee that we’ll have it on-site. Plan accordingly!

As a side note, StarCityGames.com will also be attending GenCon in Indianapolis next weekend and offering the same perks of free order delivery. Place a StarCityGames.com website order by 12 noon EST on Monday, August 1st and have it delivered for free at GenCon! Choose the “Event Pickup — GEN CON” shipping option when checking out, and your order will be waiting for you when you arrive at StarCityGames.com booth—#2025!

The StarCityGames.com Pittsburgh open Weekend will also feature @SCGLive for the full scope of the tournament once again, beginning with Round 1 of Standard at about 10:15 AM and covering every round of both Open tournaments. Veteran Adrian Sullivan and newcomer Ari Lax will be commentating this weekend, with director Jeremy Noell working behind the scenes. Ari’s first outing in Cincinnati was well received, and I’m looking forward to watching him work once again. We’ll be active on Twitter as always with @SCGLive, and the hashtag for the weekend is #SCGPITT. Stay tuned for all the action and you might just win some Premium come Top 8 time!

Glenn Jones

Coverage Content Manager