For those of you who don’t know, what is probably my biggest hobby is the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering. I was introduced to the game during my college days, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. Every so often I go to a prerelease tournament, where I get a chance to play with a new set of cards a few weeks before it is officially made available to the public. I went to one of these over the weekend, for their latest card set, “Innistrad.” The setting for this set of cards is a horror-world, where humans are beset on all sides from various classic horror monsters like Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Ghosts, Frankenstein Monsters and such. It also introduced a few brand new game mechanics I wanted to try out. For those of you who have never been to an event like this, or who have never played Magic, or who were thinking of giving Innistrad a try but are still on the fance, I wanted to give you my initial thoughts.
Here we go.
The event was held at Gamer’s Sanctuary, a gaming shop in the Genesee valley area of Flint, MI where I live. They offer pretty much everything you could want in a gaming shop, except for enough space to host a big tournament. So they had the prerelease at a conference hall across the street. From their store. They would need it, too: the tournament pool saw over 130 people show up to play. It was 30 bucks to get in, and I was given a free foil alternate art rare card, a collector’s bracelet, a cool scorepad, and six booster packs of the new cards I would be building my deck from. I got some nice ones, too: a couple of them are already worth a pretty penny (and a few ugly ones), even though the set hasn’t even been officially released yet. I saw a lot more female players this time around than at any other prerelease I had been to. There were about 10 in a field of 130. I’m thinking the horror theme attracted them. Most were girlfriends of other players who attended, and their boyfriends weren’t far from them, either.
Throughout the tourney, Gamer’s Sanctuary had food and gave away some really nice swag like the “From The Vault: Legends” set that featured some hard-to-find cards, the “Ajani vs. Bolas” duel deck set, playmates with art on them and extra packs of Innistrad. too bad I didn’t win any of it frownie The Seizure ActionWebcomic, Page 16: Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies, Oh My!
Speaking of art, they had Chris Rahn there. He is one of the artists who contributed fantasy paintings to the card set. Really cool guy, and I managed to get an autograph and a sweet business card from him. I wish I could paint. They had another feature where you could challenge a Pro Tour player to a few matches, and you would win an extra pack of Innistrad for every match you won. You had to use Tournament legal cards, though. I would have challenged him, but I didn’t bring any decks to run against him, and I wasn’t foolish enough to challenge him with the cards I had just gotten.
I got to meet a lot of cool people and talk at length about my favorite hobby, which isn’t something I get to do too often – my wife isn’t into the game that much, and she tries to discourage me from getting my brother-in-laws or nieces into the game. I had a lot of fun, but I normally do when I go to these events.
How did I fare, at the event, you may ask? Well, I will tell you. There’s some inside lingo coming, if you’re not familiar with the game. Just gloss over it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

My tourney performance was average. it was seven rounds, but I only stuck around for five rounds. (wifey wanted me to come home). I went 3-2, but one of those wins was an opponent no-show.
I ran a black, red and green deck, mostly focused on Vampires, but also with a few werewolves and some other creatures with evasion.
The most expensive cards I managed to get my hands on were Lilliana of The Veil (which I used) and Snapacaster (which I didn’t use but will probably get sold)
Lilly wasn’t nearly as powerful as I was hoping she’d be.
Literally all of my wins came from getting the Vampires out and running quickly
before my opponent could mount a defense. And the trepanation blade
One ridiculous turn I attacked with it and got through. Opponent milled 11 CARDS
on top of the 3 damage he took from the guy. instakill. He was pretty mad about that.
The general consensus from my LGS was that that card had no business being uncommon.
I think we’re seeing a new Umezawa’s Jitte in the making.

The Trepanation Blade (also known as “The Chainsaw”) was the most talked about card at the tourney. There were a lot of complaints about how powerful it was. The Reckless Waif was also a big deal because it was a one-drop that could turn into a big, nasty beatstick as early as turn two.

One of the kids who was undefeated at the time I left the tourney (at round 5)
was a 12-year old kid who had been playing MTG since he was 5. if I were as good as he at that age, I’d be trying to get my butt onto the pro scene, and competing in these $30,000 championship tournaments. That would make for some nice video game and candy money.

The Werewolf cards and Vampire tribal was really fun to play with, especially
the Vampires, who made for really fast games once they got going.

My deck:
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 ghost quarter
4 forest
4 mountain
7 swamp
1 trepanation blade
1 victim of night
1 bloodcrazed neonate
1 make a wish
1 reckless waif
1 gutter grime
1 liliana of the veil
1 boneyard wurm
1 gruesome deformity
1 bump in the night
1 galstaf shepherd
1 rakish heir
2 typhoid rats
1 cobbled wings
1 falkenrath marauders
1 stromkirk patrol
1 vampiric fury
1 ancient grudge
1 bloodline keeper
1 curse of death’s hold
1 ambush viper
1 spider spawning

BTW, the action comic starts a new chapter next week. You’ve been waiting to see some MMA and Robots. You might get a little bit of that in this coming chapter. Just a little, though.