I’m getting knee deep in the MTG Newbie series here on Yeah Nah Gaming. This insanely fascinating trading card game has gotten its hooks well into me now. A big part of this is that the game is actually bloody fun, and the biggest part is Bea DND. I’ve now been to a couple of their events, and the consistent fun I have had there is entirely why I’ve been enjoying this game.
I went to check out their latest tournament, which was a sealed store championship using pre-release packs. Unsurprisingly, I loved it.
What the hell is a pre-release championship event?
So this beast was a big step for me. Basically, you get given a pre-release box that comes with six draft boosters, each containing 15 cards and a promo card. Everyone opens up their packs and has an hour to construct a deck of 60 cards from their 91.
The awesome thing is that everyone is on an even keel. Nobody can bring their $200 card from home. Everybody makes their decks from the random cards they find in their packs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as even as a Jumpstart event where the cards are pre-determined to be a balanced half of a deck. There is a lot of skill that goes into creating and balancing your own deck. The big but here is that that means you are being beaten by skill, not someone with 30 years of collecting and thousands of dollars worth of spending.
The sealed nature of the event had me eager to try it out.
So how hard is a pre-release event?
Having only been to Jumpstart events, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty intimidated. Fortunately, these packs are built for this event and come with a handy guide recommending roughly how many creatures, how many lands, etc. you can use.
With my limited knowledge of the game, I had a crack at building my deck. In hindsight, I should have used blue and black when looking at my cards, but I was a nervous newbie. As such, with the easier-to-follow words on the red and white cards, I went for them. I built an OK deck, and after having my ass handed to me in my first match, I had my opponent on the ropes in the second match.
Between a couple of rounds, I tweaked my deck a bit, but on the whole, I was happy enough with my first crack at building a deck.
What is it like as a newbie?
In my last write-up, I praised the culture and vibes at Bea DND. But that was a Jumpstart event targeted specifically at newbies. This one was way more intimidating, so how was it going to go?
Yet again, bloody brilliant. The staff at Bea DND are absolutely amazing and friendly as hell. The store has an amazing vibe to it that is nice, open, and welcoming. The whole thing is run like pros with the matches being lined up, and I mean, it’s a damn good experience.
The best thing about a good environment is that it builds a good culture. In the first round, I got beaten two-nil, but again, having my opponent on the ropes in round two, he said to give me my deck to have a look. He said it was pretty damn good. Not gonna lie, it felt pretty special at that moment.
The second round, where I got whooped pretty badly twice, well, because he kicked my ass so fast, we had some free time. He looked through my deck and said it was pretty good. He then looked through the cards I hadn’t chosen and identified four cards I should have used. Next, he helped me choose the four to drop out and guided me through some of the steps I could have done better with my cards.
All in all, I didn’t win a game, but holy crap, I had a blast doing it. Every opponent I had was a treat to play with, and everything about the tournament was fun as hell.
Should you check one of these pre-release championships out at Bea DND?
Get on down! If you aren’t in the Welly region, then check out a pre-release championship at your local, because while a challenge, it’s damn fun. And if you are in the general area of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, then take a quick drive to Petone for Bea DND. I am bloody terrible at this game, but I don’t feel out of place having a crack at such an awesome store!