Winc0n - Ciao and arrivederci Genova!

After the disappointment of Tier1Con I was really excited to go for a trip to a real old school tournament. I really needed this trip to be great and it delivered way more than expected. 

Travelling to Genoa from Gothenburg there are many options, and they all have their issues. Either I could just travel to a close by city and get a train or go straight to Genoa but flying in at 0600 AM and out at 0630 AM. I choose the later alternative and must get up at 0300 AM and travel alone as no one from Gothenburg travels to old school tournaments except me. I booked a taxi and the driver tried to teach me some Italian on the way to the airport, nothing stuck of course. Everything went smooth and I arrived in Munich for a 3.5-hour layover and some breakfast with beers.

I love a Weißbier in the morning

Nothing beats a German breakfast? During the weekend I learned a lot beats that

Danny arrived at Genoa about the same time as me and we were going to get picked up by Megu and Lorenzo. First stop was Lunch at Osteria Marinara A' Lanterna di Don Gallo. Don Gallo was an interesting character, and the restaurant employs people with backgrounds that make them hard to get employed (like drug addiction or immigration). I had no idea of the importance of this restaurant and the foundation that Megu is the president of before the trip. We got to experience amazing food and learn about the restaurant. This trip couldn't start in a better way.

Trofie (Ligurian pasta shape) with fish and tomatoes, sadly didn't record the Italian name

By far the best Tiramisu I've had in my life

After lunch I got to drop off my stuff at the hotel and go and look at the site with Megu. Some people were already there and got to catch up with some old friends and meet a couple of new friends. I got to meet James Burton (who was on my flight to Genoa), an American from Seattle that goes to Genoa every year. The plan for Thursday was just to have dinner at the same place we had Lunch at. The dinner was amazing, and I got to try so many different Italian specialities and I didn't take pictures of everything but there were so many good dishes. I had no idea there were old school players in Guatemala but apparently there is, got to meet these crazy and nice guys that stayed for the whole duration of the event. Lorenzo explaining everything about the food and drinks we were getting really heightened the experience of the dinner. I will never look at Italian food the same way after this trip.

Clams with sauce and bread

Pasta with pesto

I can't stress how good the pesto was, being used to "Pesto Genevese" from a jar in Sweden this was out of this world. Some people mainly just had the pasta with pesto and nothing else and I totally get that. After the pasta with pesto no one even wanted the "main course" and we went straight for dessert. After the dinner, being up for more than 20 hours, I decided to go to sleep instead of meeting mg and Jason arriving at midnight. The Novotel hotel had good, clean rooms and a working AC. The trip couldn't start any better than this.

Friday morning, I got up early and took a stroll to the old town, it was so hot, so I just walked around for 1,5 hours and didn't take any pictures. Found a local market and looked through some records but didn't buy anything. Got a cheap metro ride back to the hotel and got me some cheap cold beers from COOP. I reached out to Jason, and we went to lunch at a nearby place called Da Stefano. Of course, we got some pesto for lunch.

Not as good as yesterday but still better than anything in Sweden

Went back to COOP for some more beers and we stayed outside the venue in the sun drinking our beers and greeting everyone arriving. The tournament started at 1900 and we were going to have aperitivo around 1800. I'm always a bit scared about tournament food but in this department the Fishlivers really did deliver, there was pasta, pesto, focaccia among other things. There was a threat that the food would get removed but it didn't, and I felt well fed the whole weekend just from the catering that was supplied at the site.

Now it's time for some Magic, I haven't even looked at the cards before this point and it almost felt sad to have to play instead of just hanging out and having a good time. This was the World championship of Scryings and I choose to play my Illusionary masks I bought for "too much".

Just a pile of good cards

I didn't think much of this and built the list in about 5-10 minutes. It was fun to play and as expected I had to explain the Illusionary Mask to several of my opponents. I ended up with a mediocre 3-2 finish but still had some fun games and one of my losses came down to one life point I probably missed somewhere along the line. All my wins where 2-0 and my losses where 1-2, I think this list can be optimized a bit more.

Round 1: 1-2 versus UR Counterburn (Rafael Traver)
Round 2: 2-0 versus UW Control Mill (Andrea Ramin)
Round 3: 1-2 versus River Disco (Damien Taylor)
Round 4: 2-0 versus Zoo (Cecilia Pomponi)
Round 5: 2-0 versus UR Counterburn (Daniel Emmenegger)

I didn't stay the whole tournament as I wanted to rest before the main event. Leo Bruder won with his Robots list not containing a single Scryings card against an opponent not playing a single Scryings card either. A bit sad, I thought I was going to be one of the guys with the least amount of Scryings cards (7 + 2).

For the main event I knew I was going to play some variant of Fantasy Zoo. I just took Simon Christie's winning list of the Summer Derby. I think it's very well tuned, and I also did commentary on four of his T16 matches and a podcast list so I felt like I "knew" that list even though I haven't played a single game with his configuration. Before the tournament I sold my old Italian Tabernacle and bought some new hot cards (2 UNL Granite Gargoyle, Bartel Runeaxe and Reverberation).

First time I get to play my Time Elemental Serra Angel

This time I tried to go with as much semipimp as possible. The Italians seemed to appreciate me playing Italian cards and pointed it out several times. There could be a whole episode about what cards you choose to play, and I love to go fully white-bordered, semipimp or just Swedish legal versions. For me it just makes it more interesting to be able to use different setups and card choices.

Me playing Stebbo round 5 at table 1 (photo by Megu)

I really had a great time during the tournament and all my opponents were great. It really felt like a World championship as my opponents were from six different countries (Italy x 2, The Netherlands, United States, Belgium, England, and Sweden). The tournament ran smoothly all day long and the only issues were two repairings which is expected to happen in a tournament with 109 players.

Will playing against Emily in round 6 (both 4-1 and trying to keep the dream alive)

View of the main room from table 1

I'm quite happy with my results. I think I played decently and got good draws all day long except for the mirror match in round 6 (I had that coming, my hand game 1 just lined up bad against the mirror). The changes I would like to deck if possible is to get one Armageddon and the Braingeyser main deck, but it seems impossible.

Round 1: 2-1 versus The Deck (Andrea Bianconi)
Round 2: 2-0 versus Tax Edge (Alex Rutten)
Round 3: 2-0 versus "Iff-Biff Link Zoo?" (Andy Baquero)
Round 4: 2-0 versus Fantasy Zoo (Gwenn de Schampelare)
Round 5: 0-2 versus Lauter(ish) (Brother Stebbo)
Round 6: 0-2 versus Fantasy Zoo (Simone Merlo)
Round 7: 2-0 versus Chambers Blue (Fredric Düring)

Some random Wizards (photo by Emily)

I finished in 11th place on tiebreakers and wasn't particularly close to winning the amazing 9th place prize. That beer mug with a Mana Vault in the leather surrounding that was won by Emily. In the top 8 I was rooting for Brother Stebbo, Paul DeSilva and Daniel Ernst. So, I decided to stay for the whole duration. 

The 9th place cup (Photo by Maikol Larini)

Also I had gotten the amazing Reinvitational deck from Reindeer so I had to start trading for that as well! The format for this is like you get a deck of random cards and you have to do "school yard trading". Of course all the games are played for ante.

My Reinvitational pile looks like a real beast!

Paul DeSilva and Daniel Ernst lost their quarter finals, so it was up to Brother Stebbo to bring it home and of course he did that! I really like when someone like Stebbo wins the championship. Someone who has put in the time, the travels and is a big community builder. For some this is not that important, but I don't want people just playing shark tournaments with The Deck to win the Giant Shark (I'm still trying to amend this but when I won the shark in 2018, I was that guy who just played The Deck).

I hope this is the picture that will be made into a portrait!

So, it's time to prepare for the last day and the Atlantic Cup. As the brothers lived in old town I didn't join for the celebrations and instead choose to go to the hotel for a couple of hours of sleep. Also had to build my deck and take a deck picture. Sunday morning, I skipped the hotel breakfast and instead eat the brunch at the venue, a good choice as the hotel breakfast was so crowded and not that great. I still think that hotel breakfast is the best at Swedish hotels (pancakes, cream, jam and bacon).

Magrann's Workshop

This deck took me to a 4th place finish at the Havenwood Battleground 3 and it's usually a blast to play. Fun note I had trouble de-sideboarding in a game and Will heard that and said, "Want me to tell you which cards are in the sideboard?". It didn't go my way this time and I got beat by DFB and Brother Jonas in the first two matches. The matches went really fast and I had lots of time to catch up with people when the venue wasn't that crowded.

Heinz from Guatemala really punishing my turn 1 Library of Alexandria

Round 1: 0-2 versus DFB Green (D "DFB" FB)
Round 2: 1-2 versus Counterburn (Brother Jonas)
Round 3: 2-1 versus White Weenie (Stefano Martino)
Round 4: 2-1 versus Shops (Heinz Rottmann)
Round 5: 2-0 versus Mono Black (Antongiulio Manganelli)

I managed to beat White Weenie this time but my only loss with this configuration with this deck before was against White Weenie. Sometimes 4/4 first strikers or protection from black really can punish this deck. I finished X-2 in all tournaments and got to play 17 different opponents from 10 different countries. In the top 8 of the Atlantic cup, I was rooting for Will Magrann, Danny Friedman, Jason Schwartz and Andy Baquero. Andy took down the unpowered prize (he played the same amazing Iff-Biff Efreet Jacques Le Vert Zoo list the whole weekend). Megu went around serving everyone coffee that wanted a cup.

Chaos orb flip-off against the new shark, no draws in Atlantic!

During the finals with everyone watching there was an awkward silence, suddenly someone clears their throat loudly and everyone bursts out in laughter. Will ended up winning the whole tournament (who could have guessed he would win a tournament this weekend?). Sadly, a Derelor is not a Giant Shark :) I traded some more reinvitational, enjoyed the free tap beer and bought some nice semipimp cards (Fork, Granite Gargoyle and Jacques Le Vert). Also enjoyed some 12 hour old half wieners.

Daddy would you like some sausage? (Photo by Andy Baquero)

After the tournament it was time to say farewell to everyone. Me, Jason, and James had the 06.30AM flight from Genoa so no time for celebrations. Got up at 03.00AM and was still happy as ever, the journey back home was swift without any delays or other troubles. Sometimes I feel like the happiest guy in the world. To have the possibility to have a hobby that involves playing a kid's card game and travel the world and hang out with people I'm happy to call my friends. 

Megu, Lorenzo, Delfino and the other Fishlivers really did deliver, grazie mille! Your Italian hearts are so big, and the old school community don't really deserve this but somehow, we are allowed to join and go along for the ride. Also a big thanks to Resti for streaming this event on your YouTube channel. And to all my old friends and new friends, I love you all. Can't wait to see you all again. Next stop is the Premodern European Championships in Darmstadt!

The loot I brought back home


  1. It was an absolute pleasure to have you (as always!)
    I see that you also got your hands on one of those wooden wheels of fortune, well done, they are super cool!


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