It’s the Little Things

Hello everyone, Tyler here. My facebook is set to private by choice, so I am unable to easily share content that I post there to other platforms. Here is a quick and dirty copy & paste from my feed of a recent two paragraph story I wrote up about an event that transpired during the recent Eldritch Moon prerelease weekend and the days shortly after.

Story time!

During prerelease weekend I hosted the Homeschool event again, with a few new faces. One of them, also named Tyler, had an “audio processing disorder”, so I had to be very deliberate and clear in my speech, more so than I normally would when playing games with or teaching children ages 8 – 12. We ran out 3 rounds, and all of the kids got packs and that super sweet Chris King playmat which they thought was “AWESOME!!”.

Anyway, a few days later, Ryeland and I are working on online orders, and after I get back from a break, Ryeland tells me “your pizza came in while you were out”. Tyler’s mom placed an order for a “dinner box” for delivery and left a note saying thank you on the receipt.

Score! Thanks for reading.

This was from the most recent prerelease, Eldritch Moon. Our first event of this type took place during the Battle for Zendikar prerelease. Here’s a bit of backstory of how this all got started.

We were approached a while back about the possibility of hosting a “kid friendly”

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The note left by Tyler’s Mom.

prerelease event for a local homeschool co-op. Of course, we wanted to immediately, but had to make sure everything was all on the up and up with regards to event sanctioning, allocations, timing logistics blah blah blah, you can unglaze your eyes now.

I enrolled myself in the event and waded into the middle of everything to try my best to help everyone understand the cards they wanted to play. Of course, I took the opportunity to hastily construct my own sealed deck and join in, between answering as many rules and interactions questions as possible! After that, we paired up for rounds, greeted everyone, and began playing. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy being an experienced Magic player in this tiny pod. “Undefeated in the Junior League” may or may not have been the theme of the day. Imagine an evil sounding laugh while reading this sentence.

Shame, shame, I know. But here’s the thing! If you haven’t had a chance to play a game with a group of kids (or players of any age, really) who are just genuinely excited to play all the new stuff, don’t have a concept of tempo or mana curves, and just want to slam big vanilla 6/6 creatures on the table while singing John Cena’s theme song, let me tell you this: it’s absolutely refreshing. I haven’t had this much fun playing Magic in the longest of times. We immediately saw to making this a reoccurring event.

Cue my favorite story thus far. During the Oath of the Gatewatch kid’s prerelease event, I assembled a value packed U/G Eldrazi list full of 2/1 flying creatures and tons of removal. I paired up with a fairly shy member of the group, who had assembled his deck entirely on his own. Game one ended quickly, with me being on the receiving end of a 7/4 trampler three times. While shuffling up, contemplating the recent series of events, all around me were joyful shouts of “get rekt!” as one of the other kids played a counterspell. Apparently Deceiver of Form’s real name is John Cena, as another kid found out in short order. Game two between myself and my opponent ended very quickly again with a great curve on my side, and land flood on his. We proceeded to shuffle up for game three and wished each other good luck. After he stumbled on land drops for multiple turns, my Skyspawners crashed in one final time for a lethal attack. To recap: he had crushed me game one, then proceeded to get land flooded in game two, and then missed land drops to close out game three. Most players would be saltier than the Dead Sea.

But, after realizing that he had taken lethal and the match was over, he looked me square in the eyes, extended his hand, and said “good game!” with a beaming smile on his face. I was floored, and after exchanging the handshake, I asked if he could point his parents out to me. All of the parents of the co-op were right nearby, enjoying the show and conversing. I approached my opponent’s parents, and with a slightly bewildered look on my face asked them “Do you know what your son just did?”, which may have set off some alarms in their head. I relayed the story of their son’s sportsmanship and watched their faces shift from “Oh man, what now” to “That’s our boy!”.

Working these side events has been very rewarding, and a great change of pace from my usual activities during our absolutely massive prerelease weekends, which, to be sure, I also immensely enjoy! With the addition of the “fresh faces” I mentioned in the Facebook post, hopefully we’ll see even more of a turnout for the upcoming Kaladesh event.

 

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read this. Myself, and everyone else at Jacksonville Game Center, hope to see you soon!

Tyler