Washington In Winter

Returning to the site of an Open Series record, StarCityGames.com and SCGLive welcome you to Washington, D.C. with commentators Gerard Fabiano and Patrick Chapin!

Washington, D.C is on its way! StarCityGames.com is returning to our nation’s heart and the site of our largest recorded Open Series weekend in history. Last year, Washington, D.C. marked the beginning of Caw-Blade’s dominance following Pro Tour Paris, with our own Gerry Thompson carrying home the trophy thanks to his splash of red in that archetype for Cunning Sparkmage. This year, a U/W aggro-control strategy is top-dog once again…but the metagame is significantly more diverse than just a bunch of Delver decks.

While Delver has continued to put up strong numbers, Grand Prix Orlando showed us that it can be punished. Patrick Chapin Grixis build and Conley Woods‘ Wolf Run Rock preyed on the small creatures and weak long game of these decks with powerful trumps, and wound up meeting one another in the finals. While Delver’s hardly changed tiers, it’s fair to say that we’ll see an increase in other decks this weekend. Many players will be eager to tweak Patrick’s or Conley’s deck to their own liking, and others will see those archetypes’ success as an opportunity to pilot their own brews.

Frankly, I think those two factors might lead to another great weekend for Delver of Secrets, but hopefully I’m wrong. I certainly wouldn’t mind another victory for Glissa, or seeing Olivia Voldaren at the top of the standings!

Legacy remains in constant flux, with green decks performing better and better each weekend. Many of the format’s top players have been trying their hands at brews without Brainstorm, and the results have been good—the format’s best spell may not be as essential as many believed, although it’s still just as fun.

The festivities will take place in the same location as last year: the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. We’re expecting a full house after last year’s record-shattering numbers, so you may want to make sure you’re there early. Overnight guests should ring up the Courtyard by Marriott adjacent to the tournament site. We’ve got a deal there for $99 rooms, but only if you mention “Star City Games” when you make the reservation.

We’re happy to welcome Josephine Tsang of Clover Alterations to the alterists’ alley—she’ll have a booth set up where you can see her full art work and arrange for a custom commission of your very own. You can see examples of previous pieces in her online gallery, and you’re welcome to contact her in advance via [email protected] if you’d like to set something up before or after the event.

Joining Josephine is Open Series veteran Hannah Murray! Hannah was last spotted in Charlotte, but she’s a frequent guest for our events along the Atlantic coast. She’ll have her usual setup and be offering work onsite or by mail. You can drop her a line via [email protected] or visit her website, which has an excellent gallery for browsing her previous alters. Hannah’s one of the few alterists I know who dabble in language conversion as well—her Japanese Force of Wills are incredible.

The hardest working man in the alterist business, Eric Klug is driving down from Baltimore to do a show this weekend in Washington as well. Klug set the community ablaze with his Escher Maze of Ith just a couple months ago, selling the alter for a staggering $625 and vowing not to replicate the work. Klug’s known for experimenting across styles and has developed a well-earned reputation on the back of his crisp colors and clean lines. If you’d like to arrange an alter with Klug, email him at [email protected]. His blog updates often with his latest pieces and news, so add it to your bookmarks as well!

While it’s still January, our first Invitational season is already a fifth of the way done—this weekend marks the third Open Series weekend of ten total that offer an opportunity to qualify for the Baltimore Invitational. If you’re interested in a check for $10,000 of your very own, you’ll need to earn that qualification! A Top 8 in either the Standard or Legacy Open will do the trick, but you can also win a Draft Open, earn 20 points in our Player’s Club, or participate in our Invitational Qualifier program at 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—there’s one going on in Russia this very weekend! I’m looking forward to seeing its winner competing later this year.

The fine folks at SCGLive—including myself—will be bringing you live coverage all weekend, featuring Gerard Fabiano and Patrick Chapin! Patrick is fresh off a runner-up finish at Grand Prix Orlando and will no doubt have plenty of insight to offer regarding the Standard format and how to adapt to its shifts.  Follow @SCGLive and #SCGDC to keep up with Gerard and Patrick as they cover Standard and Legacy. If you’ve got feature requests, Tweet them, and we’ll do our best to showcase what you want to see.

You can find a full fact sheet for the Open Series weekend on our site if you’re attending. If you can’t make it, then just tune in and enjoy the show!

Glenn Jones


Coverage Content Manager