Painting Cincinnati Red

Grim Lavamancer and the rest of Magic’s newest Core Set promise to shake up Standard—join StarCityGames.com in Cincinnati for our first Open Weekend with Magic 2012!

We’re baaaack!

The StarCityGames.com Open Series returns, after what seemed like an interminable

hiatus for yours truly. The next stop is Cincinnati, and it’s sure to be one of the most promising tournament experiences of the year. We fought and
complained and, for once, we won—both Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic have been banned, ending the tyranny of the Standard format that we
have endured for so long.

Welcome to the new world.

If Cincinnati only featured the death of those two boogeymen it would be an exciting event, but there’s more. The StarCityGames.com Cincinnati Open
Weekend also takes place immediately following the official release date for Magic 2012, making it the first major event to feature Magic’s newest Core
Set. I’m expecting to see ripples in Standard and Legacy, with a few unusual cards piquing interest among players. Ponder, Grim Lavamancer, and
Oblivion Ring are all making triumphant returns to Standard, while some interesting new options like Grand Abolisher, Phantasmal Image, and Sundial of
the Infinite could have Legacy in their future as well.

Early reports indicate that Mono Red is one of the big decks to beat. Grim Lavamancer has always been a powerhouse one-drop, and new friends Stormblood
Berserker and Chandra’s Phoenix are also generating buzz. If you can’t beat a Goblin Guide on turn 1, you may want to rethink your deck choice! The
Cincinnati Reds may take on an all-new meaning this weekend.

Need Magic 2012 cards? We’ve got your back. The StarCityGames.com sales booth will be present as ever, by why risk us running out of the card you need?
Place an order on our website by noon Thursday and select the Event Pickup option. We’ll deliver your order to Cincinnati and hand it to you
ourselves, with no shipping charges.

Magic 2012 won’t just be shaping the face of a new Standard format. The Sunday Draft Opens will be offering highly competitive M12 drafts, replacing
the Scars of Mirrodin block format. The competition is only getting stiffer in these things, and our last Open in Baltimore fired three of them! If
you’re into cracking packs, Draft Opens offer an opportunity to get started on figuring out the Limited format that will consume us for the next few

Our alterist scene continues to develop, and watching these people work never fails to amaze. Fan favorite Eric Klug returns with a booth. Eric accepts
commissions on-site and also carries several pieces with him for sale. Get there early, because his time is valuable—like most alterists, he can only
accept a limited number of commissions. Known for his legendary lines and his comic book alters, Eric is also talented with full art extensions and
virtually anything else you might want done to your favorite card. Check out his website and blog,http://klugalters.blogspot‒.com/, and drop him a line on [email protected] if you’d like to know more about his work or his prices.

Joining us for the first time in Cincinnati is Kendall “Stumpy” Stump. Samples of Kendall’s work can be seen on The Magic: the Gathering Altered Art
Collection blog, here. Variety is the spice of life, and Kendall appears
to be an alterist with strengths in art extension and color—his Dark Ritual is probably one of my favorite Dark Ritual alters of all time.

Last but not least, Gus Schade—better known as yawg07 or just Yawg online—will also be in Cincinnati! One of MTGSalvation’s best-known alterists,
Yawg’s got a wide variety of alterist abilities within his repertoire. You can find his work scattered across the internet, but a few examples are
available in a photobucket.

This weekend’s hotel block will be in the LivINN Hotel, on 11385 Chester Road. It’s next door to the venue proper, and rooms are offered at $69.00 per
night—provided you mention Star City Games when you book your reservation. Call (513) 772-7877 to arrange a room for the weekend, before they run out
of accommodations!

The StarCityGames.com Cincinnati Open Weekend will take place in the North/South Ballroom of the Sharonville Convention Center. If you can’t make it
out to either Open event, don’t fret—live coverage will bring the event to a computer screen near you, as ever. Follow the event live on Twitter by
tracking our @SCGLive Twitter account and the hashtag #SCGCIN. SCGLive will once again be broadcasting matches, commentary, and interviews via
justin.tv. Gavin Verhey is flying out to bring you commentary all weekend, and debut commentator Ari Lax will be joining him. These young guns of
American Magic will narrate the Open Weekend with their typical verve, but with one small twist.

We’re starting coverage with Round 1 of the Standard Open!

That’s right, SCGLive will begin broadcasting shortly after 10 a.m. with the first round of Standard, and it will continue until the Saturday night
quarterfinals. We’ll pick up where we left off on Sunday, finishing the Standard Open and then broadcasting the entire Legacy Open. This weekend will
feature two Opens, covered from start to finish, for the very first time.

Join myself, SCGLive Director Jeremy Noell, as well as Gavin and Ari for a weekend of Magic in Cincinnati as we celebrate the release of M12 and crown
a Standard Open champion! Personally, I’m rooting for Solemn Simulacrum.

Glenn Jones
Coverage Content Manager