In case you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks you will know that this last weekend Birmingham was host to not one, but two Grand Prix’s. Over the course of four days we here in merry old England got to experience Magic at its best. Abbie, Sean, Chris and myself were all invited down by the great people at Channel Fireball, and we had an absolute blast.
There was so much going on I can’t even begin to explain all of what happen over the weekend. All of us are planning to do some form of content about the event in the next few weeks, but I just wanted to do a little summary to whet your appetite. So today I am going to give you my Top 5 highlights of Grand Prix Birmingham (but believe me I could have done a Top 20 easily).
5) Dominaria Hype
Grand Prix’s always draw in a lot of people, no matter the format or set. The Prize walls are filled with booster boxes of the most recent set, and players do their best to win enough tix to grab a box for themselves. This weekend however, was something all together different.
I have never seen such hype for a set, and it seemed everywhere I looked I saw people rifling though heaps of boosters for some sweet value. No matter what format people played, from Legacy to Standard, everyone seemed genuinely enthusiastic to open packs and brew.
This was also reflected in the main events, with cards from Dominaria making an impact in both formats, (such as a certain Planeswalker, which we shall talk about shortly). Everyone I talked to was excited about the set, and it was great to see everyone getting behind it. If this is what the one set blocks are going to do for Magic, then sign me up.
4) Meeting the rest of the UKMTG content creators.
As you may already know we have been working closely many UK based content creators in order to help promote the UK Magic scene. I myself have have been doing videos and articles with some of them, including Orcs Head Magic and Pleasant Kenobi. The only trouble is that many of these collaborations have been digital, and I haven’t had chance to meet or talk to them in person. That all changed at Grand Prix Birmingham.
Channel Fireball didn’t just invite us down you see, but loads of different UK content creators. While Abbie and some of the other Master of Magics writers already got to say hello back at Grand Prix London, this was the first time I got to say hello.
Meeting up on Thursday and Friday we got to hang out and talk (mostly about Magic) and take part in the Spellslinging and Bounty events. I even got to film some collaborations with Dijital Llama and MTG Magpie, which I should be getting up onto the channel in the next few weeks. They are genuinely some of the nicest people you could meet, and if you haven’t checked out their content please do.
3) Meeting Karn and Jhoira.
It might surprise you to know that Karn is not only one of my favourite Planeswalkers, but one of my favourite characters in general. I got into Magic back in 8th Edition, and I played a lot of Mirrodin. When I got to the end of the Fifth Dawn novel (spoilers) and Karn showed up, I was immediately intrigued about this giant golem with godlike powers. Fourteen years later, I got to meet him in the flesh (so to speak).
The cosplayers that are active in our community do some stellar work bringing the characters from our favourite game to life. I got to see some great costumes over the course of the weekend, but none came close to Atlas Crafts’ rendition of Karn, and Nissa Cosplays’ Liliana and Jhoira.
— Abbie, Apostle of Karn #GPBIRM (@MasterOfMagics) May 11, 2018
I’m in my thirties, and yet the site of the Weatherlight crew made me nerd out, and nerd out hard. The level of detail they put into their costumes is truly astounding, and if you ever get a chance to go to a Grand Prix where they are in attendance I would highly recommend checking them out. You won’t be disappointed. I mean, I can say I have partied with both Liliana and Karn – can you?
2) A Champion in our Hearts.
Grand Prix’s are not only a place where people can meet and enjoy our hobby together, they are a place where you can test your mettle against others for a chance to compete at the Pro Tour. Naturally, we wanted to test our skills and see if we had what it takes to battle it out in the big leagues.
Chris, Sean and myself all entered the Standard main event in the hopes of achieving glorious victory. Chris would be piloting his Black/White Vehicles, Sean would be slinging spells with Blue/Red Wizards, and I would be staying on brand with Red Deck Wins. While I probably did better than I have ever done at a Grand Prix, by the end of day one I was knocked out of the competition. So too was Sean, who somehow managed to flood out with a twenty land deck more times than was funny. Chris however, he did so much better than us.
Not only did he manage to make it to day two, but he also went on a tear during said day two and smashed opponents left and right. He was even on coverage not once, but twice. Sadly Chris was not able to make it into the Top 8, but he did finish an amazing 14th and in our minds and hearts at least, he is a champion.
1) Meeting all of you.
Grand Prix’s have something for everyone. Whether you are looking to trade or get a new deck from the vendors, get your cards signed by your favourite artist or playing as many side events as humanly possible, a Grand Prix will probably have something for you. That brings me to my favourite part of the whole weekend – meeting all of you.
I got to meet so many different people over the weekend, and we were always able to to have a laugh about our shared hobby. It didn’t matter if we spoke a different languages, played a different format, or only enjoyed the art, this amazing game joins us together and gives us common ground. I can sit opposite an opponent and by the end of the match feel like I’ve made a new friend, which goes to prove that this can be one of the most open and friendliest hobbies in the world. It was also great to meet fans of the site, and even introduce new people to what we do.
I had an amazing time at the GP, and can’t wait until I get to go to another one. But don’t worry, we’re not finished with our Grand Prix coverage and still have so much to talk about. Be expecting lots of content over the next few weeks. And don’t worry, talking to my fellow content creators has got my brewer’s mind churning, so be expecting new decks and brews aplenty. I’d like to say a massive thanks to Channel Fireball for supporting us over the weekend too.
What did you think of Grand Prix Birmingham? Did you get to go? And if so how did you find it? Why not let us know about it in the comments below, and while you’re there subscribe to the site to stay up to date with all the going on here at Master of Magics. But until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.