Richmond Gets Richer

Dark Ascension makes its Constructed debut in Richmond, setting the tone for Pro Tour Honolulu and the Standard season to follow.

We don’t waste any time over here at StarCityGames.com—Standard with Dark Ascension is at your doorstep. I hope you spent a little time brewing after your prerelease, because everyone’s expecting our favorite formats to shake. We’re booking it to Richmond, Virginia this weekend for the first Open Series—and the first major Constructed event, anywhere—to feature Innistrad Block’s newest addition!

Will Sorin prove himself to the naysayers, or be sheepishly laughed back into trade binders? Will graveyard decks take center stage, or remain on Tier 2? Is Gravecrawler going to span a new archetype? Perhaps most importantly, will someone kill that damned Delver of Secrets? 

Seriously guys, it’s getting a little annoying.

It’s easy to be psyched over Standard’s newest potential stars—I’m rooting for Dungeon Geists to make a splash, myself—but don’t forget about Legacy! Grafdigger’s Cage has drawn the most debate from the format’s fanatics, but there are a few other cards I’m interested in. Gravecrawler has some potential in the format, and Faithless Looting looks likely to live up to all the hype based on early reports. After seeing Burn dominate the Washington, DC Legacy Open and Maverick doing well in Atlanta and Los Angeles, I wouldn’t be surprised if combo decks experienced a major resurgence. Pack a bit of hate in your sideboards, and don’t decide to slack off this weekend!

The StarCityGames.com Richmond Open Series will take place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, as per usual. If you’re interested in a room for the weekend, we’ve partnered with the Hilton Garden Inn of Downtown Richmond on East Broad Street, just a short walk from the site. You can call for a reservation at 1.877.782.9444 and mention “Star City Games” to receive the $99 room rate, while it lasts. The Hilton isn’t the only hotel in the area—feel free to shop around if you’d prefer other lodging.

Welcome Mike Fairservice back to alterists’ alley this weekend! Mike is a 3-D alterist with a gallery on DeviantArt, visible here if you’d like to browse his previous work. He’s got a Facebook group you can use to contact him ahead of time, if you’re interested in commissioning a special something or acquiring more information. Mike offers some unique pieces among his standard fare, including alterations that blend other TCG cards into Magic frames, creating some cool alters that (literally) pop! If you’re an avid TCG gamer beyond just Magic, give his booth a glance.

Brandon Brown of Modfly Alters will be back to the booth for this show, bringing his own animation style to the traditional library of art extension and replacement available to most alterists. Brandon has hooked me up with a Glissa, the Traitor already—peruse more of Brandon’s work on his very own blog, and drop him any questions via [email protected] if you’re interested in discussing pricing, commissions, or which shows he’ll be at next!

I just saw Open Series staple Lindsay Burley in Washington, DC, and she’s back to her craft in Richmond this weekend. Best known for modifying tokens and legendary creatures into 3-D spectacles, she’s started doing some great stuff with the transforming cards of this block. Her Delver of Secrets alters can be spotted somewhere in the crowd at just about every show I’ve been to! She’s also working original art into her alters, so if you want a very special commander for the next multiplayer melee you’re playing, Lindsay can provide it. She shows the cards and her process on her YouTube site, and can be contacted at [email protected] if you’d like to arrange something in advance.

February has just begun and the Baltimore Invitational is bearing down upon us—there aren’t that many more Open Series dates available, which means qualifications are becoming more difficult to come by. Should a $10,000 check be something you might be interested in—to each their own, I suppose—you’ll need to earn a slot! Top 8s in either the Standard or Legacy Open will suffice, but there are other options. You can win a Draft Open, earn 20 points in our Player’s Club, or perform well in our Invitational Qualifier program through your local store.

If you’d like your store to host a StarCitygames.com Invitational Qualifier, point your local proprietor to [email protected] for more information. These events are hosted all over the world, and we love expanding our program—our Events staff will be happy to work with your store in order to create a successful tournament for everyone involved.

If you can’t attend the Richmond Open Series—a true tragedy, if I’ve ever heard one—then don’t fret. SCGLive will be broadcasting the event in HD once again, with hosts Gerard Fabiano and Jake Van Lunen! These New England natives are making the trek to bring you this tournament live, all weekend! We’ll have more of the games you saw from Gerard in Washington during the last Open Series, and Jake’s brewer’s insight into Dark Ascension. Follow the event via #SCGRich, and follow our @SCGLive account for updates from the floor!