Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Road to WPN (Part 21)

[This is part 21 in a series, and assumes that you've already read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 14.5, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, and Part 20]

September 14, 2011: I hadn't seen any indication that the original event I ran at Novel Places had been cleared up yet, so I sent in an email to Brian to check on its status. Hopefully that whole situation will be resolved soon.

September 15, 2011: Brian emailed me back to let me know he was going to ask the data crew to get the event reported properly, and would let me know the results. Later I got the automated email from WPN that is sent when an event is successfully reported. Brian followed up with an email letting me know that all should be well now.

I can't wait until tomorrow when I can open up the WER and see "Core" next to Novel Places!

September 16, 2011: FNM tonight, so I opened up the WER to get the preregistered players into the system. And, of course, I had to check on the Novel Places status. I think "Core" may be my new favorite word :-)

Tonight's FNM is Standard. I'm thinking of entering myself tonight with Mono et Mono. It doesn't have long before it's no longer Standard-legal (in its current form, anyway), and I wouldn't mind winning one of the FNM promos myself!

Had a bit of a scare today, as Jon (owner of Beyond Comics) contacted me to say that the distributor was only allowing him to purchase Intro Packs for the prerelease of Innistrad, not booster boxes. WHAT?!?! He was going to email the guy again and try to get the full details, as we absolutely need booster packs of product for the event.

I jumped on the phone to Brian to see if I could get any details from him. As this is my first prerelease, I have NO idea what the ordering process is (and since I don't do the ordering for the store, I'm even further out of the loop). I needed to know what the normal operating procedure was.

While I got his voice mail, Brian was very quick to get back to me (under 10 minutes, I believe).  He had a copy of the spreadsheet with him that the distributors are given to let them know how much product any given venue can order. It turns out we're eligible to order up to 10 boxes of booster packs, PLUS WPN throws in two full boxes to be used as additional booster packs in the prize pool. This explains why (most) of the prereleases I've been to have been more generous in their prize distribution than ordinary events. I look forward to having an extra-generous prize hand-out at ours!

In addition, he let me know, we could order 1 Into Pack display for folks to buy and play open dueling if they wish. That cleared up a point I was confused about. I had distinctly remembered seeing text that said prereleases could no longer have side events, and yet the store where I had typically been going for prereleases was still advertising open dueling at their events. How could they do that, I had wondered. It turns out that the WPN does not consider open dueling to be a side event, and it is in fact allowed. Good to know! My older son will be pleased (that's his preferred way to prerelease).

Finally, Brian let me know that we should expect to receive two kits with 24 prerelease promo cards each in them. He said they'd probably arrive today, and if we hadn't gotten them by Monday I should let him know.

And, sure enough, when I arrived at the store tonight for FNM, I found the prerelease kits awaiting me. And oh are they loaded. Each of the two kits contained:
  • A point-of-sale stand up to advertise the prerelease and Launch Parties (since Beyond Comics doesn't need two I'll take one to Novel Places with me tomorrow so Patrick can advertise his Launch Party);
  • 2 packs of 12 foil prerelease promo cards that look like this:
So exciting to hold my first batch of prerelease promos as TO!
  •  2 packs of special Wolf token cards that advertise the Judge program on the back;
  • Special Innistrad "achievement cards"
  • An Innistrad-themed life pad.
By special request in the comments, the back of the promo DFC.
In addition to these two packets was a large cardboard box which, upon opening, I found to contain a folded-up display to advertise the prerelease. After unfolding, and snapping open (with some rubber-band assistance inside it), it proved to be a rather large 2-sided stand alone ad that shows the art for the double-faced Garruk in the set (one face on each side of the promo). This thing looks so cool. I forgot to take a picture of it, but I will get one for the next update, I promise!

I was, however, disappointed at the lack of checklist cards among the prerelease goodies. For those of you who have not followed along with the drama of double-faced cards (DFCs) in Innistrad, here are the quick salient points:
  • Innistrad introduces the first ever DFCs to Magic
  • In order to play with a DFC in your deck, you must do one of two things:
    • Use opaque backed sleeves;
    • Substitute a checklist card for the DFC while it is in your deck, hand, exiled faced down, etc (anywhere that the card's identity should not be known)
  • There will be one DFC in every booster pack of Innistrad
  • There will be one checklist card in approximately 3 out of every 4 booster packs of Innistrad
You can, I hope, see the potential problem. Eventually, I imagine, the supply of checklist cards will exceed the need (not all DFCs printed will be used, and many will be used with sleeves). But at the prerelease, the very first time people are getting their hands on these cards, it seems to me likely that someone will want to use every DFC they get in their pool, but not have a checklist card for each one.

I thought for sure that WPN would be sending TOs a small supply of extra checklist cards, just in case, to help avoid this problem. Unfortunately, they did not appear. I feel like the ball was dropped on this one.

There ended up being 8 players at FNM tonight, so I bowed out rather than have 9 players, and have someone with a Bye every round. Maybe I'll play in tomorrow's event at Novel Places instead. Otherwise the event ran smoothly. There were some folks there who had never played at Beyond Comics at all.

The language was a bit rougher than I like to have at my events (and I even asked one player if he would cut back on some of the language he was using, as it just makes me uncomfortable). I would hope that such things would be moderated had, for example, my sons been present, but you never can tell.

I gave the November FNM poll to this group as well as last week's, and here's the final breakdown of the formats chosen, ranked from most votes to least (14 ballots total were cast, voters could pick up to 4):
  1. Innistrad Sealed Deck (11 votes)
  2. Standard (10 votes)
  3. Innistrad Booster Draft (9 votes)
  4. Two-Headed Giant Innistrad Sealed (7 votes)
  5. Modern (5 votes)
  6. Two-Headed Giant Standard (3 votes)
  7. Legacy (1 vote)
  8. Two-Headed Giant Vintage (1 vote)
Not sure if I should run the top 4 in November, or double up on the Sealed Deck. While there seems to be support for the 2HG, I've only got one team signed up for next week's 2HG M12 Sealed event.  Perhaps I will register for the first 3 weeks in November tomorrow (going with the top 3 picks) and then wait for week 4 until I see how next week's event runs.

September 17, 2011: Today's Standard event at Novel Places went pretty smoothly. We only had 7 folks show up, so my younger sun threw his hat in the ring so we could run it sanctioned. We had a about a 5/3 split between experienced, rough-and-tumble MTG players and relative newcomers (more what I'd consider in the "casual" group - a term I absolutely do NOT use with any derision, and a group I in fact included myself in). As a result I think the three more casual types were a bit disappointed with their performance.

This is something I really hate about the standard environment. Anymore you rarely get anyone who brews their own decks, it seems. It seems to be mostly copies or modifications of big-tourney winning
decks. It would be impossible to enforce, really, but I'd love to run a standard event where the deck HAD to be a home brew. Entirely your own creation, no netdecking allowed. Yeah, it would never work, but a man can dream.

For me the personal highlight was seeing my older son finally get a hold of the Silvos, Rogue Elemental (in foil, no less) that he's been wanting to be the Commander for his mono-green Commander deck. Silvos is actually on my Needs List, meaning not only do I not have any in stock for him, I've never even owned a single copy of the card. So I was very happy for him, and grateful for the gentleman who traded it to him.

There were two players who had never attended before (brought along by someone who's become a regular at my FNMs) and also one of the fathers (along with one of his daughters) who had attended last week's Magic Celebration came back, which is always nice to see. Hopefully they will become regulars, as they live in Clarksburg, so the store couldn't be much more convenient for them.

Now my focus is on next weekend, and my first ever prerelease as TO. I'm looking forward to visiting the plane of Innistrad with folks next Sunday!



pureval said...

Congrats on getting both of your stores up to Core level so quickly.
I am surprised that drafting scored so low, most players I know hate sealed.
I can not wait to hear how your prerelease goes.

Anonymous said...

Show us the other side of Mayor please? ^^

Don said...

@pureval - With the group that's been coming, draft does not seem that popular. The first set of votes even came on a night I was running a draft!

@Anonymous - Added!

Les 'Whoisles' Kershaw said...

Thanks for the pics! It awesome to know what promo things you get for the pre release.

Good luck Don and I for one will be counting the days until I can get my hands on the new set!