The feeling is gone, this means nothing to me – oh Vienna!

There are so many good Magic tournaments running around. Viennageddon is also a special one for me because I won it last time (report here) and because it's a great place to meet many players that don't go to many other tournaments (yet). 

As usual I had to travel alone, people from Gothenburg really don't like to travel to international old school tournaments. I'm getting used to this and with a fully loaded phone with music and podcasts and my trusty ANC headphones travel usually goes smoothly.

The airport beer helps a bit as well.

I arrived at Schwechat in time and waited maybe 15 minutes for the Norwegian crew to arrive. We were staying at the same hotel so we managed to get a cab that could support us five to take us to the hotel. We chose a hotel "close" to the site and not in central Vienna. I ended up, yet again, not really seeing anything of Vienna. But I'm not really into that tourist stuff anyway. I'm all about the gathering, food, beer, and Magic. 

The outside of our hotel

There was no one working at the hotel during Friday afternoon (weird) so we had a code to get our keys. I almost stole a key from someone named "Reiger" as I thought they misspelled my name Reiger Johansson. The first thing I noticed before getting into my room was Vincent from the Hanseatic crew stepping out in the corridor, he was of course accompanied by Scooter playing from his love nest with fellow crew members Albert and Pascal. The lobby area was open, and it was perfect for playing Magic so first step was finding a Billa to buy some beer. There was a beer machine in the lobby, but it required an Austrian ID to work.

Some very inexpensive beer and radler

The other guys (including the Hanseatic guys) were going for a meet up at a brewery, but I was going to stay and chill knowing that two days of tournaments is enough for me. I convinced the Norwegians it was a great idea to hang around the hotel, find some food and drink some beer at the hotel instead. I have met all the Norwegians before, but it was great to spend some more time with them.

Scandinavians planning a heist

Landgraf beer, a little bitter and good if you want to make top 8 in a tournament.

We found a local restaurant named Da Giovanni which I first thought was just a pizza place (there was a lot of pizza and kebab places in the area we lived). They had a very diverse menu which generally is a bad sign, but all the food was great with one really weird exception.

Interesting coasters at Da Giovanni

Just a great Giovanni steak

Blazer enjoying his is (ice cream)

So, the weird exception to the food was that Daniel ordered pecorino but got feta. He asked the waiter if it was feta and the waiter not good at English kind of answered "feta, yes?". But all the food was good, and everyone seemed well fed after the quite cheap dinner.

I don't know how they can't see the difference between feta and pecorino

We did some lobby games and my trolls really got beat up by Blazer playing Armageddon and Ehrnams and I was really regretting my choice of deck. Actually, I'm quite fed up with that deck because I played it so much, but as I won the crown with that deck I kind of felt I had to bring it back again. It's very solid but sometimes it feels a bit slow and weak to the 12 bolt decks if they are built and played well. We went to bed and I fell asleep around 3 am knowing I could sleep to 10 but ended up getting up at 9 am.

There were some really weird porn lights in the room. They loved purple LEDs in this hotel.

When I got up Daniel and Erland already had breakfast, so I sat down by myself, but the Hanseatic crew showed up. Vincent also found some sparkling wine, so we started the day in style. If there is one complaint with the hotel it was the breakfast for 11 euro wasn't great and I regret, I didn't eat brunch at the site. We got to the site and the first guy I met was Reindeer that promptly showed me his deck list, bought us a beer and it all began.

Reindeer with his deck list

I opted to play a classical deck list where my flex slots in the main deck were Flash Counter, Stone Rain and the second Shatter. I also added a second Shivan Dragon in the sideboard to have even better Blood Moon game and a Recall in the sideboard for very grindy matchups. Last time it was 25 players in Viennageddon and this time it was 52 players. 

Round 1: 2-1 versus Thomas Dorner (Eureka)
Interesting match, I mulliganed to five and he started with Ancestral and followed it up with a Chaos Orb. He then played a Eureka (tapping out) and put in a Triskelion, and I put in a Nevinyrral's Disk and he stopped adding stuff. I could disk, get rid of his Chaos Orb, and then get cards to start using Library. He didn't expect a Disk. I won that game and lost the second game after keeping seven cards. Game 3 I mulliganed to 5 again and somehow won.

Round 2: 2-0 versus Christian Marx (The Deck)
This was a weird one. He started with Tundra, Emerald, Black Lotus and Jayemdae Tome. It ended up me just denying his mana with Strip Mine, Shatter and Chaos Orb. He never got any good mana and just lost the game. Game 2 I started with Library of Alexandria turn 1 and I just burned through all his resources.

I really like these kinda pubs as venues for tournaments

Round 3: 2-1 versus Franceso Delfino (Dolphin Burn)
We played three extremely tight games against his very interesting build playing Candelabra of Tawnos, Copper Tablet, Black Vise, Maze of Ith, Copy Artifact, and a lot of burn. He won game two with Karma from the Sideboard. Game three I won at one life after him playing a Timetwister having three Black Vise in play and me at 4 life. I Counterspelled a Psionic Blast and Blue blasted my Troll to get down to five cards and surviving at 1 life. This is one of the better matches of Magic I played.

Franceso took a picture of my modest outfit. This got to me in very clandestine ways.

Round 4: 2-0-1 versus Michael Maier (Disaster)

Round 5: 2-1 versus UR Counterburn (Daniel Ernst)

Round 6: 2-0 versus Ron Dijkstra (Atog Valley)

Sadly, I don't remember much details about these matches. There were a lot of tight games and everyone of these three made the top 8 only losing to me. I had to play against a very diverse field of decks and five players I never played against before (I'm sorry if I played against you before and forgot it). After the Swiss the reigning champion was the only at 6-0. After the Swiss we had a great dinner that was included in the tournament fee, as it was about 11 hours since the last food it was very needed.

Asparagus soup



After the dinner I thought I was set up to play a Troll Disco mirror in the quarter finals but apparently the eight-place finisher left the tournament without saying anything (he knew he was top 8). I got a chance to hang out a bit on stream with Gordon and Gary. Gary is a guy from Scotland I remember winning the Legacy Grand Prix in Birmingham 2017. Gary is the oldest guy to win a GP at the age of 52. He is 56 now and apparently, he thought I was 50, I'm old but not that old. Francesco Delfino was the lucky 9th who got the 9th prize (which was Reindeer's deck list) and got a chance for revenge against me.

The Dolphin getting ready for his rematch

The quarter finals were extremely tight and I managed to with both (!!!) games at 1 life. I have tremendous respect for Francesco as a deck builder, player and person and he got a bit unlucky that I managed to survive 3 games at 1 life. But as Reindeer said in 2020 "Aland, life is a resource in troll disco."

In the semi finals I got to play Ron again and he beat me in three games. I thought I had him in game 3 when I deployed a Shivan Dragon, but he could handle it and he got to dethrone the Emperor of Vienna after 26 months. My Norwegian friend Trygve got to the semi finals and lost to Giacomo of the Fishliver crew.

The finals between Ron and Giacomo

The venue closed at midnight and because the dinner took some time and they tried to find the 8th place finisher the top 8 had to be played timed. It almost looked like the finals would end up 1-0 to Ron when time was about to be called but they agreed to 1-1 and finish the finals at the Italians hotel were Giacomo ended up the new Emperor of Vienna. We got an uber back to the hotel, spend a while in Erlands room before saying goodbye to Erland, Trygve and Daniel as they would go home Sunday Morning. Me and Öyvind stayed until Monday to try to get the two trophies and the double Rock Hydras.

We skipped hotel breakfast (it wasn't great as I said) and went to the site for some breakfast. I had some amazing spätzle that Reindeer recommended to me. And also, salad, after not eating salad for a couple of days that was great. I was tired and not really excited to play but it had to be done. Öyvind made some final changes to his deck.


I have never played Brothers Highlander before and certainly not 2 headed giant. The rules and point system are also not designed for a 2HG tournament but I managed to build some kind of pile realizing that I had to play red (Fireball and Disintegrate), white (Land Tax + all removal), black (Demonic Tutor and some other good cards). Our team's name was suggested by Mitja: "Schwanzus longus". 8 teams registered for this tournament.

I didn't put too much thought into this, Öyvind played pretty much the same deck.

In the first round we played Battery Brothers from Germany (it was Flippi and someone I can't remember the name of). The tournament was run best of one, but we took too much time discussing every single decision and that was our fault. I also missed the rules that there were only three extra rounds and not five in 2HG, we should have won in round five.

Some random board state in the first match

The second round we played against "Free Shahrazad" with Mitja and Phi as pilots. They just steamrolled us with Mitja having turn one Land Tax and Angus Mackenzie. At this point I thought, wtf is this and I was doubting playing and our decks.

The most interesting thing in the second match, never had these three lands in play at the same time.

Our third match was against a crew I don't remember the name of the team and only one of the players (Christian Marx). We tried to deny them of everything and slowly beat them down (getting help from their double Mana Vaults). It ended by Öyvind playing Mana Flare and me playing Disintegrate + Fork.

Living the 2HG dream

In the semi finals we beat team Free Shahrazad ending the game with me playing an Underworld Dreams (it's really good in 2HG). Before the finals we had dinner which was the same menu as the day before.

The finals were a rematch against Battery Brothers were I thought we would lose. I don't really have many notes from this tournament and I should have as from what I know it was the worlds first 2HG Brothers Highlander tournament. 

Me, Jeff Menges and Öyvind with the prize Rock Hydras Jeff altered

It's great to win a tournament and get a trophy for the collection. I'm happier for Öyvind to win his first Magic tournament ever though. Winning is a thing but winning with a friend is even better. Öyvind (known as Blazer online) is one of the guys I really spent a lot of time chatting with during covid and now I've managed to meet him at three online tournament weekends in three months. 

The trophy and a better picture of my part of the Rock Hydra

After the tournament we just hung out a bit, had a couple of beers, selling some cards, chatting with the Germans, Mitja and Francis before going to the hotel early. I just had a bag of Goldbären before I went to sleep and was out for 9 hours. Reflecting on this tournament; I had such a great time with meeting old friends and learning to know so many new guys. There are too many to mention here but I appreciated everyone's company this weekend. I must say that a lot of the time there are some people that can be annoying, or you don't get along with, I had nothing of that this weekend.

The most exciting thing from a vending machine

Monday was just a day to pass the time until the flight home was scheduled (I had a choice of like going 10am or 5.30pm and I wasn't sure I was up for going so early). Me and Öyvind just sat in the sun for 4 hours, chatting, drinking, and eating. Nothing exciting was going on so I just took some pictures of the stuff that entertained us.

Some outdoor training

Öyvind's leftovers

Cheap amazing Kebab

Öyvind excercising

We managed to get to the airport with an Uber after some extensive repacking. Öyvind lost his sunglasses in the Uber and I had passed the security check but somehow, I got the driver to call up Öyvind and he got his sunglasses back. I've not been a fan of Uber before but now I really think it beats the other taxi companies by a mile. Except for the trophy and the winner card I got home a Red Elemental Blast altered by the Norwegians and a Blue Elemental Blast signed by all my opponents.

I love having these kind of cards as a memory

The flight home went smoothly without incidents. I listened to a Swedish album Opeth - Sorceress, a Norwegian album Madrugada - Industrial Silence and ended with Renaissance - A Song for all Seasons.

The flight home

I hope to see you all soon but I'm taking a break from Magic for maybe a month now if there is nothing online that's interesting. I'm gonna spend some time with my non-Magic friends and some video games. Stay safe, take care and focus on the gathering.