Premodern European Championships

I have announced this blog as both a Old school and Premodern blog. I haven't really been playing much Premodern but when the European Championships was going to take place in Darmstadt and hosted by Slayjay (among others) I knew I had to go.

I am known for saying that Premodern is a great format without any fun decks and I somewhat stand by that still. I was deciding among some decks I was considering playing:

- Stasis

- UB Dreadnought

- Pit Rack

- Sligh

- Enchantress

The requirements were a deck that I would be able to play proficiently and a deck I wouldn't drop if I lost the two first rounds. Also, the deck needed to have some fast matchups so I could socialize with both old and new friends. Elves was out of the picture as I'm not proficient with it (never played it) and then I could borrow it to Olle Råde instead. I didn't want to play an Oath deck as the mirror is "unbeatable" according to fellow Gothenburg players, I lack the proficiency and it's very slow.

Traditional airport beer, don't leave home without it

I was set to travel alone and leave quite early on Friday. At the gate I found Pink Prison creator Sundberg which I had no idea was on the flight. I lost him after the flight and rushed to the bus from Frankfurt Airport to Darmstadt. Getting there was really easy if you took the bus in the right direction and had cash. Not everyone did their research :) One of the main events was to meet up with "corona friend" and Twitch expert d0314 and then spend the afternoon with him. After some communication breakdown we found each other at my hotel.

Me and the spike statue (photo by d0314)

Darmstadt delivered some strong political graffiti messages 

Sometimes it's awkward meeting up people from online and hanging out with them. But it felt like d0314 and I got along like old friends. We strolled the town and visited the JK Store and talked with storekeeper 'der flippi'. I also bought two German Renaissance boosters for my collection. Outside the store we met up with Slayjay and some other locals and far-away guests which appropriately carried a case of beer. The evening was going to be spent at Grohe Brauhaus, a brewery pub.

Meeting old friends (Photo by d0314)

View from the street of Grohe Brauhaus

The evening was mostly a social event. I got to meet a lot of new people and also loads of people I know from other international events. Everyone's mood seemed to be great. The Gothenburg guys left early. When they take the time to travel they don't seem to like socializing with others :) We started out with some dinner and I was at first going for a Schnitzel but got talked into ordering Gegrillte Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle). I don't regret getting this as it's one of the better meals I had in a long time (Genoa and Pesto alla Genovese, Germans are strong contenders for best Magic food).

Perfect amount of food when you skipped Lunch

Me with a big beer and the "Rat Lord" t-shirt

Grohe Brauhaus (photo by d0314)

The evening was set up with two "tournaments", one in Premodern and Old School. The goal was to find three opponents, play three matches and if you won all three you got a free beer. I brought a white-bordered mono red deck as I was mostly in for socializing anyway. I don't think the matches, decks or tournaments mattered. I just wanted to hang out and could easily have skipped playing Magic.

My deck for the evening

Round 1: 1-2 vs UW Revised Control (d0314)

Round 2: 0-2 vs Atog Bots (Jansson)

Round 3: 2-0 vs Treasure Island

Me with Seb and Berlin (photo by d0314)

I got to hang out a bit with the Finnish guys Antti, Erkka and Ville. I always appreciate meeting people from Finland. Even though I don't speak Finnish it will always be my true home country. Sadly, they opted out from the bar hangs. We went to a bar after the Grohe Brauhaus closed and I got to spend some time with Aaron and Kim among others. The bar was some kind of youth hangout, but we managed to snatch a table outside. After the bar around 3AM Ron, d0314 and I tried to find our hotel. I fell on the pavement and busted my hand, knee, and foot. We had a phone with Google Maps, and we still got lost. Somehow, I managed to get to bed and get a decent night's sleep.

Ron and me getting lost (photo by d0314)

Late night (photo by d0314)

Saturday venue

When I arrived at the venue, I didn't exactly feel great after last night's party and my hand was sore. And after some queuing up we got into the venue. It was well equipped with good toilets, a bar, Sky Guild as a vendor and Jeff Laubenstein and Ken Meyer Jr as artists. The issues with the venue was that the air was not the best (amended by opening the balcony doors) and the acoustics in the room was not optimal for a 125 player tournament. But with friends in the room the negatives don't matter that much, compared to a GP with the same problems these were not big issues.

My deck for the tournament

I decided to run with Arvid's Dreadnought deck. It's fun to play, it's very well tested and I know I can play all rounds with this even if the results weren't great. The only difference from my version compared to Arvid's list is that I play Engineered Plague nr 2 where he plays Sickening Dreams (a card I just didn't own). It can get a turn 1 Dreadnought (happened twice) or it can grind out against the control decks (happened several times).

Right side of the Venue round 3, I finished first so the judge borrowed my table :)

Left side of the Venue round 3

I didn't have the greatest results and had to play against two Stasis decks in my first two rounds. It's not a matchup I want to play as it has so many counters and can really lock you down (no phasing in with Stasis in play). I think I played the deck decently, but I probably should have taken more mulligans against at least my Pit Rack loss. The fun thing is the only cards I ever sideboarded in were 2 x Annul (5 matchups), 2 x Blast (2 matchups) and 2 x Winter Orb (1 matchup).

Best dressed player at the tournament

d0314 enjoying his favorite matchup, the Stasis mirror

My matches went as follows (I had written down all my opponents names, but my phone decided it was going to unlock itself in my pocket and remove all my notes)

Round 1: 2-0 vs Stasis

Round 2: 1-2 vs Stasis

Round 3: 2-0 vs Sligh

Round 4: 1-2 vs Lands Still (a Landstill deck without manlands but with 4 Dust Bowl and 3 Thawing Glaciers)

Round 5: 0-2 vs Pit Rack

Round 6: 2-0 vs Pit Rack

Round 7: 2-0 vs Sligh

The Sligh matchups averaged around 10 minutes and the Pit rack matchups took around 15 minutes each. My goal of playing some fast and some slower rounds was achieved. I wish I would have played against more diverse decks and not double up three match-ups, but there are more tournaments for that. 

The trophies for t8

After the Swiss we went for dinner. I managed to snatch Seb, Berlin and d0314 to tag along. We got some Lunch after round 3 which was the only food, I had the whole day, so I was starving. We went to a local place as I was up for round 2 of Haxe. It didn't disappoint and the beer sauce was top 3 all-time sauces I tasted. A great slow dinner with friends after the massacre the dinner and party the day before was. Didn't get a picture of the apple fritters with ice cream but it was delicious.

Haxe round 2. The meat was only tier 2 but the sauce was tier 0

I went back for a while and see how the Gothenburg guys were doing in top 8. Mikael Lindén lost his quarter finals with UB Dreadnought, but Martin Lindström was set to play the semi finals. For some reason two Finnish guys were playing "sleeve-less" and had taken off their shirts. Weird stuff. Martin lost his semi finals but had a shot at winning 3rd place.

Martin needs two judges watching him play!

Coverage crew Anton, Seb and Antti (photo by d0314)

To be honest I was so tired I was just sitting there, I didn't watch the game. I think already here I was starting to get sick, but I stayed until the end of the match. For some reasons the Spanish Technoliga guys were still yelling "MBP", and the judges had to make them calm down. The bar was closed at the venue so people kept dropping off to find a bar.

Martin got third place and upheld Gothenburg's honor

After the tournament I just went with Seb back to my hotel. I got some coke and some Pringles to round out the evening and got almost 10 hours of sleep that night. Woke up and felt like crap (not due to beer as I only had three on Saturday). Sunday had some tournaments lined up at another location, but I was not playing. I went there to hang out with some friends and say goodbye. As the venue on Sunday "Altes Schalthaus" had a restaurant I grabbed lunch and hung out with d0314, flippi and Arne(?). 

Enjoying a beer and watching some casual Premodern games

No Haxe on Sunday

The trip home was smooth and when I got home, and I slept for eight hours. This was a very good weekend and trip except for me falling and busting up my hand and foot. The tournament ran smoothly, and people were nice. I finally got to hang out with d0314 and he didn't disappoint! Everyone seemed to have fun and even thought it wasn't an old school tournament it didn't feel too competitive (at least from my middle point of the standings).

My loot from the weekend, the altered REB is sick!

So haven't felt great for the beginning of the week but now on Wednesday I'm feeling restored and no symptoms of illness. Two negative covid tests now and I'm ready to visit Norway on Friday for The Plague in Drammen. Stay safe everyone.

A Premodern player in the community has had some unfortunate events due to Hurricane Ian in Florida and if you feel like you could help support him every dollar helps. Find the GoFundMe here