We’re back! After a brief hiatus to celebrate New Phyrexia in Prerelease form, StarCityGames.com will be resuming the Open Series schedule with a
stop in Orlando, FL. Orlando is a great location for me personally, as I spent the year prior to joining this company living in Orlando—in fact,
I’ve still got a few months on my Universal Studios annual pass.
Sigh. Probably no time for that…
If you do decide to partake in a bit of recreation, the tournament is ideally placed. Florida is one of the world’s most popular travel
destinations, and International Drive is the heart of a tourist’s mecca. Disney World, Universal Studios, Wet ‘n Wild, Sea World, and
plenty of other attractions are all within driving distance, and most of them have shuttle services. Just a few miles north is downtown Orlando, my
former stomping grounds, if you’re interested in a more urban scene. International Drive itself is lined with every restaurant imaginable, so
finding a place to eat won’t be a problem—picking one, however, promises to be significantly more difficult.
Orlando is going to be an exciting Open, and it’s in one of my favorite corners of the United States (fair warning: I may be biased). The first
StarCityGames.com Open I ever attended was actually last year’s Orlando event, where I played Standard before smashing a couple EDH queues with
my beloved Vendilion Clique. (It was still EDH back then.)
Charles Gindy won our Standard Open with Naya, while future Grand Prix Paris champ David Sharfman took down the Legacy Open piloting Goblins. Between
both Top 8s, you got to see a “who’s who” of Florida Magic, in addition to a few top-tier performances from out of town, including AJ
Sacher. Will the Player’s Club and our tournament-tested grinders steal the spotlight this weekend, or will a hometown hero defend the titles?
I’ll be happy either way, but since I used to PTQ with the locals, I’ve got to say I’m pulling for them!
The biggest reason that Orlando will be amazing is that it’s the official release weekend of New Phyrexia. The set goes legal on Friday, and that
makes the Orlando Open the first major event to feature the new set. Think back to the Indianapolis Open, where Mirrodin Besieged defined the Pro Tour
Paris metagame just after the set’s release. The tournament showcased the coming out of Kuldotha Red, with Contested War Zone and Signal Pest
both immediately spiking. We even saw the first hint of Sword of Feast and Famine in that Top 8, and players with a keen eye were already grabbing up
Orlando will offer a similar preview of Standard formats to come. Like Indianapolis, don’t expect a major catastrophe, but a number of new decks
and strange strategies should crop up. Set releases tend to be a coverage reporter’s dream, and New Phyrexia is no slouch. Players are chattering
about all kinds of new cards, from the obvious standouts like Batterskull, Sword of War and Peace, and Mental Misstep to the smaller ones like
Spellskite, Despise, and Deceiver Exarch. All of these cards and more promise to be major players this weekend.
I don’t think we’ll see a radical metagame upheaval this weekend, but expect the ground to shake a little as the plates shift. Keep in mind
that the Indianapolis Invitational is approaching, and invite opportunities are growing harder to find. Other than this weekend and the Louisville Open
Series, players will be relying on local Invitational Qualifiers and the last chance events to lock up their slots.
As usual, I’m here to let you know what we’ve got in store for this weekend and give you a heads-up about everything Open Series. Lindsay
Burley of 3-D card fame will be at this Open, crafting more cards in multiple dimensions for your Commander needs, or any other reason. Personally,
I’m trying to find enough giant Glissa, the Traitors to make a massive one. You can see some of her cards and the creative process on her YouTube channel. Contact her in advance of the event for any special
commissions at [email protected], and she’ll do her best to have them ready when you arrive.
Speaking of advance notice, with New Phyrexia legal for only a day, getting cards in time for the tournament will be on everyone’s minds. Well,
everyone except for Gerry Thompson, Alex Bertoncini, Edgar Flores, and AJ Sacher… our Level 8 Archmages will be receiving their first benefits
for this lofty station in Orlando, with full playsets of New Phyrexia to each of these dedicated grinders.
In order to guarantee that your cards are on-site and ready to battle, place your orders now on StarCityGames.com. We’ll be packing up the van to
leave Thursday, but we’ll fill all orders placed before noon EST on Thursday and bring them with us to Orlando, free of shipping charges.
Don’t get caught without the cards you need, as there’s no telling what will sell-out on-site or rocket up in price.
Another step we’ve taken towards guaranteeing that players get the cards they need is inviting additional vendors to our Open Series events. In
addition to the ever-present StarCityGames.com booth, we have two guests who will be setting up their own sales and buying booths. Troll and Toad and
Cool Stuff Games will be in attendance. Between the three of us, we hope to be able to meet the demand for New Phyrexia singles and make sure that
everyone can play the perfect 75 cards.
SCGLive will be broadcasting the event on our usual time and channel. For Twitter users, @SCGLive and #SCGFL will tell you everything you need to know
about the Open and let you directly communicate with our commentators. Speaking of which… Joey Pasco and Joe Panuska of Yo! MTG Taps fame will be
narrating the action beginning at noon on Saturday. From there, we’ll cover every round of both the Standard and Legacy Opens, in addition to
whatever else we can find. Megan Holland of MTGMom.com will be assisting with our coverage this weekend, and I imagine she’ll be supplying some
kind of baked good in copious quantities.
We won’t be using our MTGO account much this week, due to the lag between adding New Phyrexia to the online mix, but look for that feature and
#MTGOfight to rejoin the lineup soon. I’m interested in broadening our horizons with that function, so be sure to give us feedback on what
you’d like to see.
I’m glad for the chance to revisit my home, and even happier to be resuming the Open Series grind. If I don’t see you there, then I hope
you enjoy the show!
Coverage Content Manager
P.S. Man, I hope Karn resets a game under the camera. That would be awesome!