“The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last… The great battle of our time”.
Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
This weekend we finally reach the end of a story arc that started way back in Magic: Origins. A story that combines many plot elements from the last four years, and there’s a real feeling that it’s the end of an era for the story of Magic the Gathering. Yes, War of the Spark PreRelease is upon us and it’s looking like it’ll be a heck of a ride.
It’s an especially important PreRelease for us in the UK, as it’s also the weekend of MagicFest London and the main event will be a War of the Spark sealed event. This will make this Grand Prix one of the most skill-intensive events in recent history, as players will be having to learn a whole new format on the fly rather than having several weeks to practice online before the big event. We might have seen all the new spells we will be slinging, but getting to put them to the test for the first time on such a scale is no small task.
Luckily, there is no shortage of content creators willing to give you advice on the subject. From the great players of Channel Fireball to the many pros on the Mythic circuit, there is no end to the wealth of opinions as to the top picks of this new format. However, if you are planning on coming to London to compete it’s important to look after yourself as well as prepare for the new limited format. After all, it’s no good studying up on what the best uncommon removal spells might be if you burn out before the end of the first day. That’s where we, your friendly local content creators, come in.
Now I know we’ve done similar articles in the past, but this tournament will be a little bit different from other Grand Prix’s you might have played in before. Therefore, we thought it might be a good idea to give you some helpful tips to surviving the weekend and getting the most bang for you buck. With that in mind, we present to you our top tips for enjoying MagicFest London.
Tip 1: Eat well and stay hydrated.
As rules go, this is probably the most obvious one that comes to mind. However, it is also the hardest to follow. During a MagicFest there are many events and sites to see, and it’s easy to find yourself getting distracted by all that the event has to offer. When that happens, you may find yourself gravitating towards the junkier of foods and try to hydrate yourself with high sugar energy drinks, as they are usually the quickest things to grab on the go. This my friends, is a recipe for disaster.
While you might get a brief energy boost from a sugar high, your body will quickly burn through it, resulting in a major sugar crash. This will affect your ability to make rational decisions – the exact thing you don’t want to happen when you’re trying to play high level Magic. The best thing you can do for yourself in to eat healthy and drink plenty of water.
Get a good breakfast and eat fruits throughout the day if you require a snack. If you don’t have time between rounds to get a drink and a bite to eat, see if one of your friends (perhaps someone not playing in an event) can grab you something. Additionally, MagicFests and other conventions are a prime time to catch a cold or other such illnesses. Therefore, eating well and drinking plenty of water is key to staying healthy as well as staying alert. If you want a more in-depth view on this subject, then go check out Kristen’s article as she hits the nail on the head. Remember, your body and health are just as important as your deck, so look after them both.
Tip 2: Timings
There is a lot to do during a MagicFest weekend. With the main event, side events, vendors, and members of the community to meet, it can feel almost impossible to fit in everything you want to do in a single weekend. This is amplified by the fact that this coming weekend is also the second Mythic Championship of the season, and who doesn’t want to watch a match or too when some of the best players in the world are duelling it out.
The fact is that you might not have the time to do everything that you want to, but with a bit of planning you might be surprised at what you can get done. The best advice I can give you is that you should definitely head over to Channel Fireball’s event page and check out the event schedule for the weekend. Once you have seen what is on offer, pick what you want to do and make yourself an itinerary to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Map out where you want to be and what you want to do. It might seem like a bit of overkill, but by doing this you will guarantee that you won’t miss out on anything you really wanted to do. Just remember that each round of an event will take about an hour of the day and will consist of three to nine rounds depending on the event in question.
Tip 3: Party hard (but not too hard)
For those of you who are aged 18 or older, you might be planning on spending time with your friends after the hall closes and events come to a halt. Some of you might be planning on having a drink or two. Others might be planning on playing some late-night Commander at the hotel into the early hours of the morning. Others (like our motley crew) will be taking the opportunity to catch up with friends over a nice meal.
All these things are as much a part of the MagicFest experience as the main event or the prize wall, and you should absolutely enjoy yourself if you are doing any of these after-event activities. However, it is important to make sure you don’t exhaust yourself and party too hard. While it might be tempting to stay up until 2am looping turns in the longest game of Commander you have ever played, if you have to be at the event centre by 9am for your day two briefing it might not be the best idea in the world.
Now, if you have not got any plans the next day and have a late check out at your hotel, then by all means, go nuts and enjoy yourselves. Just remember to keep yourself safe and not get into any trouble. Make sure your weekend in London is an enjoyable one with lots of happy memories, not regrets.
And that should about do it for our guide to enjoying MagicFest London. We hope it has been useful to you. We are looking forward to the event ourselves and will be there for most of the weekend. So if you’re planning on coming down then feel free to come over and say hi to us.
If you have enjoyed today’s article, you can like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. We also have a Patreon, so if you want to support our future content consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. Until next time, remember: no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.