Magic is in the air

By Published On: October 17, 2011

Fantasy game card players gather for championship[here] Published Thursday October 13th, 2011
laura lyall

SAINT JOHN – Fantasy card players in the province are prepping for the ultimate battle.
This year, Saint John’s Gamezilla is hosting the 2011 State and Provincial Championship of Magic: The Gathering in New Brunswick. Gamezilla has hosted the event for the last six years, and the event is currently run by a company of Magic: The Gathering judges.
“It’s a collectible card came, collectible strategy. It’s kind of a cross between poker and Dungeons and Dragons, where you’ve got the fantasy element but the tactics and the thinking that would be involved are similar to a poker game,” said Sandy Lindsay of Gamezilla, a Magic player and judge. But while poker has only 52 cards, Magic: The Gathering has over 11,000.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Gamezilla. Players are randomly paired up, while the numbers of rounds played is based on attendance. The final top eight have a single elimination playoff until a winner is named.
The 2010 provincial champion was Andrew Olsen. This year’s champion wins Magic products, a plaque and a custom DCI card, which acts as a Magic: The Gathering identification, and grants the champion free access to premier main events hosted by the organizers for the next year and, of course, bragging rights.
The game has seen a spike in interest. Past tournaments have attracted between 40 and 50 people, but registration rates have been increasing, which Lindsay attributes to the growing card quality and the classic horror theme of this year’s card set features werewolves, vampires and other monsters.
“It’s growing in leaps and bounds,” he said. “Tournament attendance is up from last year 33 per cent throughout North America. (The game) is ever-changing. Every year of the game is different. The main roles are always the same, but they’re always adding new cards and new twists on cards, and the way decks are built to play against one is constantly changing.”
As a longtime player, Lindsay enjoys the game’s social nature.
“It’s one of those games that you can play it on the computer, but it’s much more enjoyable while you’re sitting around the table with people you know playing the game.”

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